Central Oregon’s first-term legislators emerged on the opposite end of the spectrum on environmental issues, according to the legislative scorecard released this week by the environmental policy watchdog group Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV). The non-profit has been tracking the votes of individual legislators on environmental policy issues for more than three decades and compiling the information into post-session scorecards for voters.
According to the most recent scorecard, newly elected state Rep. Judy Stiegler supported nearly three-quarters of the legislative items identified as being pro-environment by OLCV and other Oregon environmental organizations. First-term senator, Chris Telfer, however, secured only a 15 percent pro-environmental voting record, according to OLCV, which singled her out for criticism in its news release.
“..new Senator Chris Telfer represents a dramatic downgrade compared to former Senator Ben Westlund,” the release stated, noting that while occupying the same seat during the 2007 session Westlund had scored a perfect 100 from OLCV.
A former Bend city councilor, and one time Democrat, Telfer is well known to those who have followed Bend politics as an extreme pragmatist and un-abashed supporter of business. While Telfer’s score was among the lowest in the legislature, she didn’t nab the worst score. That dubious honor went to, Sen. Larry George, a Sherwood republican who narrowly edged out another Central/East Oregonian Sen. Ted Ferrioli, who voted in favor of pro environmental bills a scant 10 percent of the time.