On this day, November 26, 2010, US federal agents in a sting operation arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud (19), a Somali-born teenager, just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.
It isn’t every day that someone from Pennsylvania makes me look at things in a new way, but that’s what happened to me recently.
State Representative Jesse Topper represents Pennsylvania’s 78th District. Rep. Topper was speaking about high school football.
I don’t know about you, but when someone from rural Pennsylvania speaks about high school football I pay attention. Other than mining coal, there aren’t a lot of other things to do in rural Pennsylvania. Topper, who coaches football at Bedford High, had the following to say
I’ve had the opportunity to watch this football team at Bedford prepare for this year. And we told them, wear your mask, social distance at meetings, split your time in the weight room. They’ve done all those things. We’ve said if you follow these protocols you’ll have the opportunity to play.
To now come back to them and say, “You’ve done everything right; but you know what we still don’t have the will to let that happen.” And I think back to those words “It’s not worth the risk.”
We know, must of us up here have either played or been a part of athletics, we understand that there is inherent risk to what we do. That’s why there is an ambulance that sits out by the football fields on a Friday night. We know that there is risk.
But always that risk/benefit reward ratio has always been left to the families—to determine is this worth the physical risk. Well, I don’t see any difference in that now.
Those comments struck a chord with me, and I suspect they will with many Oregonians. Maybe I’m just lucky, but if it wasn’t for the hysterical news coverage, the unprecedented erosion of our civil liberties, and our economy being shut down, I’m not sure I would actually know that COVID-19 is ravaging our country.
Tragically, some of our elderly neighbors in Mount Angel have passed away...as people tend to do when they get old. Dying is the risk of living.
We’ve seemed to have lost sight that life is about balancing risk and reward. Reasonable people don’t take foolish risks, but they also understand life without risk is impossible.
Once upon a time, Americans lived their lives understanding that risk is everywhere. But they also saw reward everywhere. Somehow, we’ve become afraid of risk and reward. We have allowed politicians of both sides to stoke our fears—deciding for us where we can go, whom we can meet, and how we can worship.
The problem with politicians is that they’ll take all the power we’re willing to give them.
I stumbled across an interesting word the other day: Kakistocracy. It means “government by the least competent.” In Oregon and throughout our country, we have given a Kakistocracy unprecedented control over our lives. But it appears that politicians are as incapable of fixing our problems as they are uninterested in trying.
For obvious reasons, social scientists had to come up with a word to describe out-of-control corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, and indifference. They call it governmentality. But every once in a while, common sense pops up, even among Republicans; so I’ll give Rep. Topper the last word:
Quite frankly, when the governor was out in a protest in the streets of Harrisburg he was asked, “Did you follow your own protocols?” He goes, “No I didn’t because I felt the cause was worth the risk.”
Well we cannot just allow one person in Pennsylvania to discern for everyone which causes are worth the risk and which are not. That decision needs to be left up to parents and up to families. Is it worth the risk? I believe that in my case it is, maybe some other people don’t; but at the end of the day if we’re going to leave that decision only up to one person then we have a problem that is far greater than COVID-19.
Dan Crowe is from Mount Angel. His wife decides the right balance of risk and reward for him.
Criminalization of journalism strikes at the exercise of the First Amendment
Project Veritas sued the state of Oregon in Federal court to declare provisions of the draconian state recording law as unconstitutional. The challenge to Oregon’s undercover journalism ban found in Section 165.540 names Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schmidt and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as the two defendants.
James O’Keefe, the CEO and founder, established Project Veritas in 2011 as a non-profit journalism enterprise to continue his undercover reporting work. Today, Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society.
According to O'Keefe, “We are seeking to strengthen watchdog journalism by overturning an unconstitutional law criminalizing the kind of corruption-exposing journalism which holds the powerful accountable across the country.”
The challenge to Oregon’s undercover journalism ban found in Section 165.540 names Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schmidt and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as the two defendants.
Section 165.540 bars individuals from obtaining or attempting to obtain the whole or any part of a conversation by means of any device, contrivance, machine or apparatus, whether electrical, mechanical, manual or otherwise, if not all participants in the conversation are specifically informed that their conversation is being obtained.
“Imagine the Statesman Journal or the Oregonian’s coverage of Portland’s violent and destructive protests if they were able to record deep inside the civil unrest and expose who is really behind the violence. By denying the right to record, Oregon bans the most effective means of gathering the news,” O’Keefe said.
“We made First Amendment history with our legal victory in Massachusetts federal court, when the judge struck down that state’s multiple-party consent laws for recording public officials conducting the public’s business and we are now trying to restore the First Amendment to Oregon,” O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe asserted that the current law places citizen journalists in physical jeopardy given the proclivity of both police officers and protestors to engage in violence directed at journalists during heated times.
The lawsuit states:
“But for Oregon recording law, PVA would investigate allegations of corruption at the
offices of the Oregon Public Records Advocate and the Public Records Advisory Council. In 2019, Oregon’s Public Records Advocate resigned due to alleged pressure from or mismanagement by Governor Kate Brown. But for section 165.540, PVA would investigate this issue and secretly record interactions with the Advocate, his staff, and members of the PRA Council in: (a) open-air cafes in Portland, (b) public parks, (c) on sidewalks, and (d) in other public areas. If secret recording is not achievable, it would utilize open recording in these same circumstances. Specifically, the project would examine whether the Advocate and Council operate impartially or with pressure from the Governor. These methods of newsgathering are all illegal under section 165.540.”
The lawsuit goes into more detail about the current how Project Veritas could focus investigations in Oregon on the dramatic rise in violent protests in Portland between the police and members of Antifa and other fringe groups, stating:
“…Some newspaper reports suggest that Portland police have been ordered to stand down and to not engage protestors, even when they act violently or damage property. This investigation involves four distinct sets of reporting activities:
Project Veritas would secretly record interactions between the police and protestors to observe and report whether usual policing functions are occurring in Portland.
Project Veritas would secretly record discussions between Project Veritas journalists and the police to gather
candid police perspectives on the causes of the protests and investigate issues that may not be known by the public.
Project Veritas would secretly record discussions between Project Veritas journalists and protestors to gather protestors’ perspectives about the causes of the protests, to learn about instances of police abuse, and to investigate any anti-police animus.
In less dangerous situations or when the situation does not permit for ease of secret recording, Project Veritas would openly record discussions with protestors but without specifically informing everyone in the conversation of the recording.”
Ben Barr, one of the attorneys filing the lawsuit, said, “Oregon law currently makes it a criminal act to record a protest, or an interview, or nearly any other interaction without clear and conspicuous notice to anyone whose voice might be recorded.”
Barr said this criminalization of journalism strikes at the exercise of the First Amendment.
“The courts have used this law to endorse the arrest of a citizen who held a camera, warned the person he was filming that he had them on camera, but didn’t specifically warn the camera captured audio,” he said. “It is absurd. But more importantly, it is unconstitutional.”
Jered Ede, the chief legal officer for Project Veritas, said while the Oregon laws offer very limited opportunities to openly record, the law is suspiciously under and over inclusive.
“Oregon stands at odds with a vast majority of states which permit undercover journalism, with the United States Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of the press, and with decades of legal Supreme Court rulings deeming laws such Oregon’s unconstitutional,” said Ede.
This assault to our legislative process should be concerning to every Oregonian
We are all too familiar with the senseless violence happening on the streets of Portland each night. I commend the local police, Oregon State Police and Federal Agents who have done their best to protect property and people, given the political handcuffs they must wear. It takes men and women of real character to face adversity and chaos night after night, knowing the work of keeping the peace is a dangerous job, being also despised by some.
Currently, there is another kind of violence occurring in Salem, 50 miles south of Portland. It is not the kind of violence with rocks, fire, lasers or graffiti, however this violence is just as destructive to our way of life. In the last two years, the Democrat-led legislature has passed highly controversial bills — bills that Oregonians voted against. While controversial bills are nothing new, the strong-arm process in which these bills move through the State Capitol is alarming.
Our state’s legislative system is designed to be methodical, open and transparent. It is actually hard work to pass a bill into law, as the process should be. A bill is introduced by a legislator, discussed in committee, amended, passed out of committee and then debated and voted on the chamber floor. The process repeats itself all over again in the other chamber. Finally, when a bill is passed by both the House & Senate, it is signed by the Governor. This can often take several weeks or months. At any point along the way a bill may lose the support necessary to get to the next step. The design of this slow and deliberate process has two main purposes. First, it gives the public the ability to understand what is being discussed and to get involved by directly testifying in person during a public hearing, or by contacting their legislators with their support or opposition. Second, this process protects the minority opinion, giving it a real voice — a voice which can often spawn amendments to improve the bill, or conversely may stop the bill outright.
Controversial bills will garner the attention of Oregonians who wish to give their opinion during a public hearing. The practice of limiting testimony to two or three minutes in committee, which has become all too common, is wrong. People from my district, 200-300 miles away, will spend 5-6 hours driving to Salem in order to express their opinion on a bill that will directly impact their business or way of life — and they are only given 180 seconds to speak. This is not a process that rightly hears the people’s concerns. Rather it’s merely going through the motions, checking a box. If a committee chair plans on hearing a controversial bill, that chair should plan the committee’s schedule accordingly to hear everyone's full testimony. Extremely short time limits discourage the public from being involved, and does great damage to the very idea of a “public hearing”.
Furthermore, given the State of Emergency and Executive Orders we are currently under (which I oppose), the special legislative session held this past June was closed to the public — the public was not allowed into the Capitol. The legislature was open for business, but closed to the public. Public testimony was not allowed in person, only through remote kiosks outside on the Capitol steps. This limited testimony was demeaning as people were reduced to a tiny square on a screen. Drastic changes to public testimony has cut off a key component of the legislative process — effective and direct public input with legislators.
August featured a one-day, 15-hour marathon special session. This time no public input was allowed. None. Think about this for a moment. No direct public input was allowed on budgets or bills. The majority party has been abusing the legislative process over the past few years: Dropping complicated 100+ page major bill amendments at the 11th hour, not giving the public, or legislators time to read, analyze and properly understand proposed changes.; moving bills from one committee, which has expertise to discuss a bill, to a committee with no such expertise in order to obfuscate knowledgeable opposition.
Now there is talk of a third special session in September. The trend of limiting, and even blocking, public input is not good government. The silent violence happening to our legislative process, where minority points of view are not given proper time to organize and speak out, tears apart the fabric of our government of, by and for the people. The process matters, as it protects the people from the overbearing power of its government. This assault to our legislative process should be concerning to every Oregonian who deserves to be heard and desires to live free.
Before factoring in riots or government response to COVID-19
The American Legislative Exchange Council, a nationwide think-tank focused on state legislative issues released its annual report Rich States, Poor States and it has some ominous data for Oregon.
As part of it's report, it includes an Economic Outlook Ranking, which is a forecast based on a state’s current standing in 15 state policy variables. Each of these factors is influenced directly by state lawmakers through the legislative process. Generally speaking, states that spend less — especially on income transfer programs — and states that tax less — particularly on productive activities such as working or investing — experience higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more.
Oregon's current rank is eight (one is the best, 50 is the worst), so Oregonians have a lot to be proud of. Yet high taxes, high government spending and other factors give it an outlook rating of 42, which should be worrisome. The last decade of legislative super majorities for Democrats have created opportunities for policymakers to create an environment that is not hospitable to business growth -- growth that will be necessary to take up some of the revenue shortfall caused by the government response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since the recovery from the recession of 2008, the national economy has been flat, while the Oregon economy saw decent gains. However, for the past several years, while the national economy has lurched upward, Oregon's domestic economy has flattened. This has been driven in part by a spate of regressive tax increases as well as many new regulations on business. There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Since 2012, employment growth in Oregon has outpaced federal employment growth, which is good, but it's been steadily sliding under the weight of many anti-business policy moves by the legislature. Individually, they might have been sustainable, but the cumulative weight of regulations, coupled with the cost of government, has stifled economic growth in Oregon.
Numbers and graphs are all well and good, but the real indicator of how attractive Oregon is can be seen in the domestic migration numbers -- the number of people who come to the state minus the number of people who leave. Oregon has had positive growth through the decade -- growth that will almost certainly result in Oregon gaining a sixth congressional district -- but it's tapered off, as of late. These numbers don't factor in the impact of riots in Portland or the heavy-handed government response to COVID-19. Or the impact of upcoming legislative sessions.
This video of State Senator James Manning, Jr. (D-Eugene) illustrates the attitude behind the disregard for Oregon's economic condition.
Atoning for past sins shouldn’t require us to check our common sense at the door.
Congratulations to Senator Kamala Harris for her selection as Mr. Biden’s running mate. In its way, the selection of a female candidate for the Vice Presidency is as historically significant as landing a man on the moon...the third man on the moon.
The selection of a female or a black American as a national political candidate would have been unimaginable fifty years ago, just as landing a man on the moon would have been unimaginable back in 1919. Sure, Representative Geraldine Ferraro was selected by Walter Mondale in 1984 as his running mate; but that was widely seen as the desperate publicity stunt of a doomed candidate, even at the time. John McCain’s selection of Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 had the same ordure.
Americans dream big, and landing a man on the moon – like electing Barrack Obama as President -- was a development that shocked the world. Adversaries and allies alike shook their heads and had to admit, “Our country couldn’t have done it.” But it’s hard to dream big and sweat the details, and America’s attention span is as short as our dreams are big.
Neil Armstrong was the first man who landed on the moon. You already knew that. Who was the third? Charles “Pete” Conrad. I had to look it up.
Which brings us back to Senator Harris.
There will plenty of time for us to consider her transparent ambition, her insincerity, her -- shall we say -- “ethical flexibility.” Right now, we are told to focus on the “unprecedented” nature of her selection. I suspect that most Americans will respond as I have, with a yawn.
Whether you are the second black American or the third female American, it’s all the same to most of us: You can’t get my attention by changing the packaging on the same old toothpaste.
I said this in 2012, and it bears repeating: America won’t have arrived with the election of our first black President. That was simply the end of the beginning. America will have fully arrived when the first black national candidate isn’t elected, because his (or her) record reveals that they wouldn’t make an effective President.
Everything else is, as Senator Harris explained after calling Joe Biden a racist sex criminal, “Just politics.”
Oregon has its own painful history with race. Not from a Civil War which started when Oregon was a one-year-old; but from catastrophes like Vanport, which happened when my Mom was five.
But atoning for past sins shouldn’t require us to check our common sense at the door.
The fight against racism was a righteous fight, and it succeeded because it was true. By peacefully appealing to the decency of all Americans, our civil rights leaders revealed something about America that had become obscured: When the civil rights of any American are denied, the civil rights of every American are diminished.
But, typical for America, we outperformed even our wildest expectations. We won the only war that could be won: Today, any politician who claimed that any American should be denied opportunity because of race, creed, color, or gender would be unelectable. That was the war.
After winning the war, the surviving victorious generals looked forward to peace. But some at the periphery found that war suited them, and they set about making it a Forever War.
“Race” became “Racialism”: The idea that black Americans couldn’t compete with the rest of us unless they were given “special” status…kind of like the kids who ride the short bus. Racialism is as destructive as the ugliest racism, but the people who benefit look different. That’s “diversity” to them.
There are still scattered and powerless pockets of racist resistance in America -- much like Japanese Private Teruo Nakamura kept fighting World War II until December 1974. But to keep the country on a war footing forever means accepting a bloated and overbearing government and the carnage of a war that will never end...which suits the Racialists just fine.
You’ve probably never heard of Private Nakamura or Pete Conrad because they are historically insignificant, and Americans don’t sweat the small stuff. By 1974, America had already grown bored of sending people to the moon.
Dan Crowe is from Mount Angel. He has defended more than 100 Americans – including many black and female Americans – at court-martial...and hundreds more as Oregon’s Veterans Advocate.
Governor should direct employment department to apply for additional funds
Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) calls on the Governor and Democrat
Supermajority to direct the Oregon Employment Department to apply for the additional federal $300 dollar a
week Unemployment Grant Program that is available. After congressional negotiations broke down and failed
to extend the additional federal UI benefit to the unemployed in July, President Trump, through executive order,
made available an additional $300 dollar a week grant program of $44 billion dollars for unemployed families.
Many states have applied and have been accepted, and have begun passing these additional dollars on to their
unemployed. Oregon has yet to apply, leaving these benefits out of the pockets of struggling Oregon families.
“Oregon families continue to struggle to pay for basic needs, as Governor Brown’s Executive Orders in
response to COVID have crippled Oregon’s economy and have left hundreds of thousands of Oregonians
unemployed,” said Rep. Brock Smith. “Although the Legislature has taken steps to increase the UI benefits for
Oregonians, the failure of the Governor and Supermajority to direct the Employment Department to apply for
the available additional federal grants to assist these same struggling working families is deplorable,” he said.
“The Oregonian recently reported, ‘Oregon could also apply for the $300 weekly grant, but opt not to pay the
extra $100 boost,’ and I call on the Governor to forgo the additional $100 from the state and immediately act on
the additional federal benefits to get them in the hands of Oregonians as soon as possible,” he said.
“Oregon unemployed families cannot wait for congress to resume their political narrative back in D.C. and
Oregon leaders should not wait either,” said Rep. Brock Smith. “Oregonians deserve action on these additional
federal UI benefits now. Our motto, ‘She flies with her own wings’ is a clear example of how we don’t and
shouldn’t wait for the congressional disfunction to resume before taking action for our working families,” he
said. “The time has passed for Oregon’s leadership to put people over politics, Oregon’s struggling families
over their abhorrence of the President, and apply for the additional federal grant unemployment assistance as
other states have and continue to do across the nation.”
State Representative David Brock Smith and State Senator Dallas Heard; the members of Oregon’s Southwest House and Senate District 01, again condemn the growing hate, violence, arson and brutal assault on the public, police and property in Portland and continue to call on the Governor and their legislative Portland colleagues to join them in condemning these deliberate acts.
“As we pass the 84thday of protests; to which I support the rights to do so, the violence touted by the Governor and Supermajority as caused by Federal Officers defending the Federal Courthouse, continues to grow exponentially in the absence of those Federal Officers”, said Rep. Brock Smith (R-Port Orford). “I support the OSP Superintendents decision to pull his Troopers from Portland; in the face of the Multnomah County DA’s decision to not prosecute the ‘rioters’ crimes, so that our OSP Troopers can resume their duties in other areas of the State where they are respected and their public service is appreciated,” he said.
“As the rampant violence,brutal assaults, destruction of property and lawlessness from rioters continues to spread throughout Portland and into residential areas, we call again on Governor Brown and our colleagues to condemn these horrific lawless acts towards the public. Their lack of this condemnation is viewed as condoning the rioters lawless acts,” said Rep. Brock Smith. “As residents of Portland visit my district or residents of my district visit that of my legislative colleagues in Portland, every Oregonian deserves the right to have their protection of health, life and safety wherever they may be in this Great State,” he said. “That is a main purpose of these protests and it is being lost by the acts of violence that continue to escalate and proliferate throughout Portland in the absence of their representative leaders condemnation of it.”
“It’s unimaginable to me that Democrat leaders across the highest levels of government would continue to stay silent, despite the destruction and hate that has befallen their city and is now spreading from Portland to other parts of our state.” Said Senator Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg). “I have stated it previously, but it needs to be said again and again that I fully support all peoples right to assemble and protest. But this isn’t just protesting. Kate Brown and Portland Legislators have stood idly by and watched as rioters pillage the streets of Portland, all the
while actively punishing the smallest of the small business owners and communities of faith across the state for simply trying to stay afloat and provide hope during this pandemic.”
“Small mom and pop working class shops are closing their doors for good under the crushing restrictions and penalties put in place by Kate Brown and her elected House and Senate Democrats. Oregonians of all races and backgrounds who for so long formed the pillars of our communities are disappearing, and instead of standing up for and fighting for those peaceful communities their fates are left up to the will of the mob.”
“Make no mistake, there is no room for hate, bigotry, and violence from the extreme right or left of the political spectrum. We the Republican legislators from Southwest Oregon stand against and condemn any form of violence and hate against ANYONE! The elected Democrats running the entire state of Oregon expose their hypocrisy with every passing day that they don’t push back against this hate and intimidation.” added Senator Heard.
With escalating attacks spreading across Portland, we again call on our colleagues to join us in advocating to end the violence that continues to threaten the health, lives and safety of our Oregon Peace Officers, residents, their business and families across our state.
Below are links to the recent violence that plagues the City of Portland and its’ residents. Warning, as some of the videos have graphic violence.
Editor's note: this is the eighth of a multi-part series recounting how the party in power is thwarting the will of the people. There is also a downloadable companion brochure
What each voter represents on their ballot is their identity and what they value – law and order, a strong economy, responsibility, and that our representatives should actually represent all Oregonians regardless of party affiliation. Through the years, urban has dictated state policy that doesn’t make sense for rural voters and they find no reason to vote. But, is that a valid reason not to vote?
Some facts that could change things. Did you know that in the early 90’s, Kate Brown ran for State Representative and won her race by 7 votes? If just 8 more people had voted for her opponent, we would most likely not have Kate Brown as Oregon’s Governor today. And, in the 2018 primary, HD 53 was won by just 2 votes. Many local elections are determined by a hand-full of votes, especially in rural counties.
Rep. E. Werner Reschke, District 56, calculated that based on the 2018 returns, both Republicans and Democrats voted at about 80%. Under strict party line voting, Republicans would need to turn 32% more votes in 2020 to change state policy -- for a total of 112%. But not everyone votes along party lines. There is no indication how Non-Affiliated (NAV) or Independent voters voted.
To change the direction in state policy, it is imperative we find commonality with NAV voters, and encourage them to vote (only 43% voted in 2018). What makes a NAV is they are all individuals and distinct. There isn’t a “common NAV message” other than they don’t like or care about parties.
With majorities in both houses of the Oregon legislature and the Governors’ office, Democrats can pass anything they want, with no cooperation across the aisle and regardless of what voters say, and they are doing so.
We all prioritize personal and family safety, and that’s where we can take advantage of the release of prisoners, increased crimes, and rioting in Portland and around the state. When values take priority over party, the gap is bridged. It can be done, it has been done, we can make the difference but only if you vote and get others to vote.
Parents should be able to choose the health care for their children
Editor's note: this is the seventh of a multi-part series recounting how the party in power is thwarting the will of the people. There is also a downloadable companion brochure
Oregon’s leadership wanted to end all exemptions to vaccinations other than very narrowly defined and nearly impossible-to-get medical exemptions. Religious and Slavic communities saw it as a replay of the controls and persecution they escaped.
Legislative Fiscal Office said that “House Bill 3063 removes the ability of a parent to decline required immunizations against restrictable diseases as a condition of a child attending any Oregon school or children’s facility for reasons other than an indicated medical diagnosis.”
Testimony on Christian reasons to avoid vaccinations undersigned by 189 religious objectors gave details on the moral issue of cell lines taken from aborted babies: “Some of the most common vaccines are only licensed in America in forms that include live attenuated viruses cultured in aborted fetal cell lines. At least eighty abortions, likely more, took place in order to create simply that one vaccine.”
There are inherent dangers for certain children. A child today is to receive many times the doses recommended just two generations ago. Testing of some vaccines has been substandard, some children have been harmed and the pharmaceutical companies are shielded from liability. Parents shoulder the risk and should be able to choose the health care for their children.
A vaccine is in the works for the COVID-19 virus, which is to be optional according to President Trump. In Oregon, Democrats still want to add vaccinations as a mandate -- without exemptions -- for every child to attend school. They want complete medical control including single-payer healthcare. Is one more vaccine added to the 72 already required such a big deal?. The only reassurance to keep vaccinations as an opt-out is a change in the majority party.
Representative Bill Post (R-Keizer) formally requested that Governor Kate Brown order all flags in Oregon be lowered to half-staff in honor of two Oregon Marines who were among nine servicemen who lost their lives in an accident near San Clemente Island earlier this month. He as released the following statement:
“Private First Class Jack Ryan Ostrovsky from Bend, and Lance Corporal Chase D. Sweetwood of Portland, deserve our honor and gratitude. These two young men gave their lives in service to our country, and Oregon must not forget the sacrifice they made. I have asked the Governor to do the least she can do, and order all flags lowered to half-staff in their memory. My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of these two young men.”
This is not a new rule. It has been in place for years.
As the Oregon Republican Party's recall attempt against Governor Kate Brown nears the end of the signature gathering process, supporters are claiming that the Secretary of State Elections Division is changing the rules on numbering the sheets. For example, this post has been circulating on social media:
The Elections Division has just notified us they are changing the rules of the game at the 11th hour. As one example, they are requiring us to spend many, many hours reorganizing and renumbering the petitions, when such action is neither necessary or required by law...
We believe these last minute changes are meant to burden us with frivolous tasks and avoid accountability if they decide to reject our petition as inadequate.
The signature validation process used by the Secretary of State uses sampling, which depends on referencing pages by sheet number. That's why it's necessary that the pages be numbered sequentially. The Oregon Republican Party pre-numbered the sheets and now is having to go back and sequentially number them.
This is not a new rule. The current State Initiative and Referendum Manual was adopted by administrative rule in March of 2020 and the section on numbering the sheets sequentially is not new.