Jeff Kruse
Jeff Kruse.jpg
Member of the Oregon State Senate
from the 1st district
In office
January 2005 – March 15, 2018
Preceded byBill Fisher
Succeeded byDallas Heard
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 45th (to 2002), later 7th district
In office
January 1997 – January 2005
Preceded byBill Fisher
Succeeded byBruce Hanna
Personal details
Born (1951-09-07) September 7, 1951 (age 70)
Oregon
Political partyRepublican
Residence(s)Roseburg, Oregon
Alma materWillamette University
OccupationFarmer

Jeff Kruse (born September 7, 1951) is a former Republican member of the Oregon Senate, representing the 1st District from 1996 until his resignation for sexual harassment in 2018.[1]

Committees

Kruse formerly sat on the following Senate Committees:

Native American mascot controversy

In July 2013, Kruse gained national attention by appearing in a CNN video news story about a bill he sponsored. His bill would reverse an existing Oregon law requiring public schools to remove what some colleagues consider "racist" and "insensitive" references to Native Americans on their sports team's uniforms. Prior to the enactment of the 2012 Oregon law, the State Superintendent of Schools had determined that the continued use of Native American mascots has created a "hostile educational environment." Schools have been given until 2017 to comply with the required change. In defending his bill, Kruse has asked: "do we change the entire world for the small few [sic]? He graduated from Roseburg High School whose mascot is "the Indians". This mascot is frequently depicted in cartoons as clownish or as a charging warrior. The images have offended citizens of Native American descent and caused local controversy.[2]

Sexual harassment allegations

See also: Me Too movement

In October 2017, Kruse was removed from all of his Senate committee assignments by Senate President Peter Courtney. An article in The Oregonian indicated that Kruse had been accused of inappropriate touching and had failed to resolve ongoing workplace issues.[3]

The removal came days after Senator Sara Gelser indicated she had been inappropriately touched by Kruse. Senator Ginny Burdick supported Gelser's allegations, calling Kruse's behavior a "chronic problem", recalling an incident where she had to tell Kruse to get his hands off of Gelser and another incident where Kruse had inappropriately touched a female staffer on the Senate floor.[4]

Kruse's smoking violations in his Capitol office were also a factor in the sanctions. He categorically denied any inappropriate behavior while acknowledging that "the smoking still is an issue that I will not deny."[5]

On February 9, 2018, Kruse announced his resignation, to take effect March 15, 2018.[6]

On April 17, 2018 fellow member of the Douglas County delegation Dallas Heard succeeded Kruse as State Senator for the Oregon State Senate 1st District.[7]

References

  1. ^ "State Government Legislators and Staff, 2005 Regular Session". Oregon State Archives. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  2. ^ "Lose that mascot, or lose state funding". CNN. July 18, 2013.
  3. ^ "Oregon state senator booted from committees over 'ongoing workplace issues'". KATU. October 21, 2017.
  4. ^ Friedman, Gordon R. (October 23, 2017). "State senator: Fellow senator groped me in Oregon Capitol". The Oregonian.
  5. ^ Friedman, Gordon R. (October 20, 2017). "State senator stripped of powers due to allegations of inappropriate touching in Capitol". The Oregonian.
  6. ^ "Kruse to resign after finding of groping at Capitol". February 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Borrud, Hillary (April 10, 2018). "Roseburg Republican Dallas Heard selected to replace disgraced ex-lawmaker Jeff Kruse". The Oregonian