And the winner is… the white guy.
House Democrats have chosen the almost certain next Speaker of the House, Dan Rayfield.
Rayfield is a far left lawyer from Corvallis and staunch supporter of restrictions on gun rights. Rayfield is also.. white.
Rayfield won over Janell Bynum who has sought the position before, challenging outgoing Tina Kotek.
Bynum’s campaigns for the speaker’s role have been largely based on her position that she should have the job because she is black.
“I issue this challenge to the Democratic Party: Commit to mentoring, stepping aside, and creating pathways for leadership development,” Bynum said. “These are the ways qualified Oregonians of color will enter into these halls of power. We are capable of so much more than the opportunities that are open to us.”
Bynum’s expectation that white Democrats “step aside” has twice now led to disappointment as her liberal colleagues, once again, chose a white person to control the House. Her quote is telling however. Bynum makes no secret that her “public service” is about power, not the best interests of Oregonians.
The Democrat’s vote for their next speaker candidate was held this past weekend by secret ballot. So Bynum does not currently know who cast their votes for Rayfield but the final vote does not occur until the session begins in February. Then there will be a vote of the entire House, so Republicans will get to vote as well.
Typically the Republicans will nominate one of their own for the job. That person would lose and then the Republicans would change their votes so the Democrat nominee would have a unanimous victory.
(The Democrats will almost certainly vote in lockstep for their nominee on the floor.)
But this could still get interesting. Bynum challenged outgoing Speaker Tina Kotek in the past based on her belief that she deserved to be speaker because of her skin color. Kotek is white but has established liberal credentials because she’s a lesbian. As you can imagine, this challenge presented quite a conflict for liberals.
Bynum, who has an MBA and owns several McDonalds restaurants, is the leader of the “BIPOC caucus.” The BIPOC caucus is made of up legislators who are not white or who identify as non white. The BIPOC caucus controlled the agenda in Salem last session where they passed legislation to ban ropes with loops, outlaw Columbus Day, change the state song because it included the words “free men”, forced private corporations to include a certain number of transexuals on their boards, and neuter the police, among other things. So it’s interesting to hear her complain that “doors” have not been opened for her.
So somehow, while not having anyone to “train or mentor” her, or open doors, she was “taken seriously” and “got really far.” Far enough to become a powerful member of Oregon’s House and challenge the House Speaker.
Last time Bynum sought the speaker’s office she threatened to challenge Kotek on the House Floor where there would be an open, recorded, vote and the world would see who the racists were. But then, according to Bynum, and backed up by Akasha Spence, a deal was made to avoid a floor fight. (Spence was just appointed to the seat vacated by Ginny Burdick, who left her role as the legislature’s most extreme and shrill gun banner to take a much better paying and cushy government job.)
The deal, according to Bynum, was that she would drop her bid to unseat Kotek in exchange for, among other things, a promise of endorsement for that job in the future.
As the very naive House Republicans learned, making a deal with Kotek is the sign of being truly out of touch with reality. And now it appears that Kotek reneged on her deal with Bynum just as she reneged on her “deal” with former Republican House Leader, Christine Drazan.
Drazan had the football swiped away from her when she agreed to fold and give the Democrats every demented thing they demanded in exchange for the meaningless gesture of equal representation on the redistricting committee. After rolling over and handing the Democrats a free pass to turn Oregon into a socialist cesspool, Kotek told Drazan that she was only kidding and backed out of the deal.
But now, once again, Bynum has had her dreams of consolidating her power dashed by the racists in her own caucus. She was shunned for another rich white guy.
It’s interesting, and not a little appalling, that members of the Democrat caucus actually consider Bynum TOO MODERATE!
We can only assume that’s because Bynum owns McDonalds restaurants which signals she may harbor some secret capitalist sympathies. They picked Rayfield because he is actually further to the left than Bynum.
There is nothing to stop Bynum from making another play for the job by challenging Rayfield on the House Floor. If she does, the House Democrats won’t have the benefit of a secret vote to hide their racist tendencies. And the Republicans get to vote.
One Republican vote Bynum won’t be getting is Greg Smith’s.
Smith is the longest serving House Rep. He comes from a conservative Republican district. But he has long been a reliable servant to the Democrat leadership.
Smith is the co-Vice Chair of the powerful Joint Ways and Means Committee. And if Smith knows anything, it’s where his bread is buttered.
When former Republican House Leader, Christine Drazan, called for a vote to censure Tina Kotek for welching on her redistricting deal, Smith beat feet for the exits to avoid going on record against the all powerful Kotek, who of course, picked committee assignments.
And now that Rayfield looks like the heir apparent, Smith is already cooing his praise for the radical leftist.
“Rayfield is considered more liberal than Bynum, but has also won respect among Republicans. Rep. Greg Smith, a Heppner Republican and the longest-tenured House member, told OPB this week he is “doing everything I can to support Dan Rayfield as speaker.”
“There’s only a handful of people who know more about the budget better than I do,” said Smith, who chairs a budget subcommittee. “In his six years, he knows it better. He’s the real deal.”
There may well be some interesting times ahead in the opening days of the February session. Will the new House Republican leader, Vicki Iverson, roll over and allow the House to institute rules that forbid a walkout like her predecessor did? Will Bynum call out her racist colleagues and demand to be enthroned as speaker, because she is, after all, not white?
We will soon know. But what we do know, without question, is the new House Speaker will be every bit as extreme and anti-gun as the last. Stay tuned.