Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland. (Jaime Valdez/Portland Tribune)
SALEM – Growing political tensions at the Legislature boiled over Thursday as House Speaker Tina Kotek stripped a powerful Portland Democrat of two committee chairmanships because of his behavior.
Kotek at the same time booted a Republican legislator off a committee, justifying both steps as moves to keep governance in the Capitol civil.
She acted, she said in a statement, “to uphold the new standards we are all trying to model.”
Committee placements are not just a matter of ceremony or title. Chairs have significant influence over legislation, with authority to kill a bill by never giving it a hearing or advancing legislation to a floor vote.
Legislators came into the session already under a cloud over behavior, relating to complaints and investigations of harassment of legislative employees and . . .