Benton blasts House Republicans over vote

first_imgAn email from state Sen. Don Benton scolding fellow Republicans for their votes on a Democratic-led bill sparked an internal brouhaha among legislators this week.Benton took 14 House Republicans to task for voting in favor of a bill that would create new rules for signature gatherers under the state’s initiative process. House Bill 2552, which cleared the House last week, would require paid signature gatherers to register with the state and complete a training program before collecting signatures, among other requirements.Benton said he was “deeply disturbed” by the Republicans’ yes votes on the bill. Among those in his sights: Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver, one of the bill’s co-sponsors.“I did my due diligence and checked and confirmed that you did, in fact, vote for HB 2552, and I was completely surprised to see your name on the list,” wrote Benton, R-Vancouver. “Republicans in the Legislature have diligently defended the initiative process from legislative assault by Democrats going back as far as 2003.”The email went on:“HB 2552 is one of the most oppressive Big Government anti-initiative bills they’ve ever tried. And you voted for it! Even the ACLU opposes it. Remember the words of the First Amendment: ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech … and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’”last_img

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