AP NEWS

Oregon’s governor lost a vote on a dog, and learned a lesson

February 14, 2019
In this Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 photo, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, right, talks with reporters in her office in Salem, Ore. At a similar encounter on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, the Democratic governor described a lesson she learned from her stepdaughter wanting a dog while speaking about getting Republican lawmakers, who are in the minority in both the state Senate and House, on board as bills go through the Legislature. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Democratic governor was talking with reporters Thursday about getting Republican lawmakers, who are in the minority in both the state Senate and House, on board as bills go through the Legislature. Then she described a lesson she learned from her stepdaughter wanting a dog.

Gov. Kate Brown, sitting at a conference table in her Capitol office with a half-dozen reporters, said she did not want her stepdaughter to get the dog, but was outvoted by her stepdaughter’s mother and father.

“The story ended up very badly, to make a long story short,” Brown said.

Brown said the dog didn’t fit her stepdaughter’s needs or her lifestyle.

With that intriguing but too vague of an ending to the anecdote, a journalist asked the governor to include the final chapter.

“The dog bit the police chief in Enterprise, so it met its demise,” Brown said.

An internet search for the event after the press conference produced zilch. The encounter in the remote northeast Oregon town that gave the governor a life lesson in opposition politics does not seem to have left a digital trail. And it is lost in the lore of the five-person police force in the town of 2,000.

“Officers get bit all the time,” Police Chief Joel Fish, Jr., said with a laugh over the phone. He said he hadn’t heard of the incident and surmised that it could have happened to a previous police chief.

Brown said she is sure the dog was put down and wasn’t shot by the police chief.

Before the segue to the anecdote, Brown had been describing holding talks with Republicans in the Legislature.

“I think it is so important that they stay engaged and that they stay at the table, because they can affect the way the train is going down the track,” she said.

Then she likened it to the dog situation.

“My takeaway, when you see a train coming down the tracks, get on that train, see if you can move it in your direction in a way that you think makes more sense,” Brown said.

“Next time I’m overruled I’m going to figure out how to get on the train and make sure that it meets the needs of the family and the situation, and that’s what I’m encouraging Republicans to do.”

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Andrew Selsky is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky