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Some votes spell trouble at home

Legislators' households are divided on the question of self-serve gas pumps.

Like all systems of government, representative democracy has its flaws. While regularly scheduled elections may help to ensure that legislators represent most of the views of most of their constituents, they will never represent all of the views of every last one of them.

Even if they're married.

Jim Laden, who lives in Southeast Portland, wants to be able to pump his own gas. His husband, state Rep. Rob Nosse, loves not having to pump his own gas.

State Reps. Julie Fahey, D-Eugene, and Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, have long been interested in the idea of allowing Oregonians to choose the self-service option at gas stations. After Fahey and Laden discussed the idea at dinner recently, they introduced House Bill 3194 on his behalf.

On Wednesday, Laden made his pitch to the Joint Transportation Committee for the bill, which would allow gas stations to designate a portion of their pumps for self-service. Nosse testified against it.

"Rarely do all of my voters and myself disagree, and I suppose this was bound to happen at some point," Nosse remarked.

Nosse and Laden weren't the only house divided on the issue. State Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, who sits on the committee, said he thinks it's a "wonderful" idea, but he joked that he was glad his wife wasn't watching when he said that.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Lee Beyer, D-Springfield, echoed Boquist.

"I couldn't go home," Beyer said.