A year ago Portland’s Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler surrendered to Antifa, pledging to other residents in his condo building that he would move so they would not be subjected to increasingly frequent and noisy left-wing protests.
Now, Wheeler has surrendered to Texas.
Earlier this month, Wheeler announced that, due to the new Texas law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, the City Council would cut off all business with Texas and would prohibit employees from traveling to the Lone Star State.
The ban would last, Wheeler said in a Sept. 3 statement, “until the state of Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban on abortion or until it is overturned in court.”
“The Portland City Council stands unified in its belief that all people should have the right to choose if and when they carry a pregnancy and that the decisions they make are complex, difficult, and unique to their circumstances,” the statement added.
Texas officials mocked the idea.
Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted, “Portland boycotting Texas is a complete joke.”
“A city led by depraved officials allows lawlessness, putting their citizens in grave danger. A boycott will hurt them, not us. Texas’ economy is stronger than ever. We value babies and police, they don’t.”
In a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, the City Council not only ditched the idea of no longer doing business with Texas, the board also agreed to use its taxpayers’ money to pay for abortions for Texans who may travel to Portland to get the procedure.
The vote set aside $200,000 for that.
Councilmember Mingus Mapps dissented, calling it “bad policy” that does nothing to change or challenge the Texas law.
“This is not good government – the lack of thoughtfulness, the fact that we didn’t check in with interest groups before we crafted the proposal, the fact that the proposal got amended in a way that ignores the core problems,” Mapps told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “None of this is behavior that we hope to see in local government.”
The Oregonian, the state’s biggest newspaper, agreed with Mingus.
In an editorial, the paper noted that the City Council “has exactly zero authority, power or influence over Texas, the new law or the Supreme Court.”
Our city leaders’ focus must be on taking meaningful actions that benefit the lives of the people they represent,” the editorial added, “not on progressive preening to score some short-term points.”
For Wheeler, the problem is that pro-abortion groups – such as the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, and Planned Parenthood – also saw the boycott as pointless.
Wheeler, in acknowledging the failure of his plan, offered the mea culpa expected in progressive enclaves like Portland.
“While I still believe that our plan would have been an appropriate and strong course of action to take,” he said Wednesday, “as a white man, I recognize the importance of listening and being guided by those who do the work and live the work on the ground.”
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