Ginny take a ride (on the gravy train)

I was kind of relieved when I read the other day that Ginny Burdick will be retiring from the Oregon State Senate. There are several folks who have been running the state into the ground way too long, and she's at or near the top of that list.

But the next day, I saw the real story: On the way out the door, she's being put on a cushy "energy policy" commission that will quadruple her salary as a legislator in exchange for little or no work. The salary boost also provides a more than five-fold increase to her state pension, which is mildly obscene.

Ted Sickinger of the Oregonian pulls no punches in his assessment of the situation:

Burdick, 73, is not an obvious choice for the wonky position on the council, a federally funded panel that provides policy and planning leadership on regional power, fish and wildlife issues....

[S]he is not a legislative leader on energy issues and doesn’t bring the same depth of energy or fisheries industry and policy experience as appointees from the other three states.

The appointment, however, follows something of a pattern for Brown, who filled two open seats on the council in 2018 with long-time legislators: Sens. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, and Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, a former corrections officer and public relations executive, respectively....

The council positions carry a salary of $142,848 a year, more than four times the $33,000 annual pay of a state senator. The position also has the reputation of being somewhat relaxed, with the analytical heavy lifting performed by the council staff.

I'm surprised the milquetoast editors at the O let Sickinger be so honest. Usually they play Portland Polite with old cronies like Burdick. Maybe there are no editors on duty this week.

But Sickinger's right, of course. And as he's revealed over the years, anything coming out of Salem with the label "energy" on it tends to reek of corruption. It's no surprise that it marks the end of Burdick's dubious tenure as a lawmaker.

I love that she's "a leading advocate for gun safety legislation." That's been one of the legislature's big failures over the last decade. Advocacy groups like Cease Fire Oregon can tell you. Session after session they go down to Salem demanding common-sense gun control, and every session they come home empty-handed. Burdick and the crew just can't get it done, even with blue control across the board.

Now she's an energy expert. Yeah, whatever. Killer Kate takes care of her friends.