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Analysis: Deciding With Whom You Associate
Even Oath Keepers have the right to freedom of association

Every Individual of the age of consent has the authority and right to decide for himself or herself whether to associate or not to associate.

In his majority opinion for the Supreme Court case of the NAACP v. Alabama (1958), Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote, “It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech.”

The court ruled that the individual members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have the right to associate together free from the undue interference of the state. The members of the NAACP have a right to expressive association, which refers to the right of people to associate together for expressive political purposes. Unfortunately, today, the Biden Administration and others in the US Government are undermining and attacking the right to the freedom of association.

Their ultimate goal is to purge their ranks and society overall from what they deem as right-wing militia groups when in reality they are trying to silence the debate and dissent of their political adversaries.

The Oath Keepers are now in the sights of the feds because some of their members entered the US Capitol on January 6th in the so-called insurrection. Even though the organization was already under the scrutiny of the feds, their investigations have immensely intensified with the new administration, which is making difficulties for members of the Oath Keepers who currently serve in law enforcement.

There was a recent hit piece released by the taxpayer-funded Oregon Public Broadcasting titled, Dozens of Oregon law enforcement officers have been members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia.” In the article, they do their best to impugn the reputation of several police officers because of their membership and association with the Oath Keepers organization without taking into consideration that these officers have the right to associate or not associate with whomever they choose.

OPB took data that was illegally hacked from the Oath Keepers databases and crossed referenced it against public records, social media, and state law enforcement certification information for verification. They soon found out that there were dozens of current law enforcement officers who are members of the organization all across the US. Some of those officers are serving the public here in the state of Oregon. Remember, the name of this group is Oath Keepers, so it would only be reasonable to think that some of their members might be cops who are currently on the beat because cops have rights too.

Most citizens want the police to be dedicated to their oath, so it should not matter that they would belong to a group that celebrates fidelity to duty. Loyalty to the US Constitution seems to be a quality missing in government. Many could very well claim that today’s politicians are oath breakers not oath keepers, so it is refreshing to see such patriotism in people assigned to uphold the laws of our country.

The Oath Keeper’s website states:

“Oath Keepers is a nonpartisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That oath, mandated by Article VI of the Constitution itself, is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and Oath Keepers declare that they will not obey unconstitutional orders, such as orders to disarm the American people, to conduct warrantless searches, or to detain Americans as “enemy combatants” in violation of their ancient right to jury trial.”

OPB also makes the mistake of labeling the Oath Keepers as an antigovernment, anti-immigrant extremist group, which could not be further from the truth as an organization. Public Broadcasting is a known tool of the establishment, so their reporting is an extension of the government's McCarthy-style witch-hunt against anyone opposed to the Marxist reset.

Most members of Oath Keepers believe in a constitutionally limited government that delivers maximum liberty and minimal authority. It is what oath-keeping is all about. Many members support legal immigration, but they are opposed to the government allowing illegal aliens to violate US immigration laws.

The organization is fervently opposed to communism, fascism, white supremacy, or racial superiority. There are members of Oath Keepers who are first-generation immigrants who have faithfully served this country, there are members of many different ethnicities involved with the group and the one common denominator between these people is their belief in the American way. There are no disqualifications for membership based on race, or sex meaning they do not discriminate based on a person’s immutable qualities. Those beliefs are not extreme.

What is extreme? Those who are promoting open borders, big government with unchecked powers, and the elimination of the US Constitution because of the belief that it is inherently racist. During the Oregon 2021 Legislative Session, Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) and Senator James Manning, Jr. (D-Eugene) introduced HB 2936, which states “membership or participation in hate groups, racial supremacist organizations or militant groups erodes public trust in law enforcement officers and community safety.”

Signed by Governor Kate Brown, the new law HB 2936 is another way the Oregon legislators can virtue signal to the “woke” while simultaneously restricting the voices of anyone who disagrees with their agenda. Moreover, it helps them purge the ranks of the police of people who have other beliefs.

The problem with HB 2936 arises with a basic question.

Who gets to make the decision on which groups are hate groups, or are racial supremacist organizations, or even which group is militant? It is a lot of power for any one person or group of people and with the ever-changing contemporary meanings of words with definitions so broad and so vague, the courts could label anything and everything as hateful or racist.

Is a shooting club militant? Is the NAACP a racial supremacist organization? Are the Girl Scouts a hate group? Who gets to decide? What about government officials who belong, donate, and sponsor Antifa, Black Lives Matter, or even the Communist Party? Some would say that all three organizations are hate groups yet their members make up a good portion of the base of the Democratic Party.

Another problem arises from the new authority that the legislators created in HB 2936. The law may violate the Oregon and US Constitutions. Article 1, Section 8 of the Oregon State Constitution states that "No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right."

HB 2936 restrains free expression of opinion, it restricts the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject and it makes someone else responsible for deciding if speech and association with others is a crime. It is a clear violation of the rights of people serving in law enforcement.

Every organization is going to have good and bad members and the law should not judge a group by the actions and words of others. The government should punish people who commit crimes, but the government should never deny a right to one individual based on the actions of another individual, or groups of individuals. The law has to make a judgment based on the merits and actions of the individual no matter how extreme their beliefs are or whom they associate with, and before anyone makes that judgment they had better remember even Jesus associated with lepers, prostitutes, and thieves.

Editor's note: The author, Rob Taylor is a radio show host on www.KWRO.com in Coos County Oregon and you can hear his podcasts at www.RobTaylorReport.com. Rob has never been a member of the Oath Keepers and he does not belong to any political party.


--Rob Taylor

Post Date: 2021-10-21 07:13:52Last Update: 2021-10-21 09:57:19



Full Forensic Audit Requested by Oregon Republican
Representative asks Secretary of State to affirm election integrity

Oregon's House District 55 Representative Vikki Breese lverson (R-Prineville) has sent a letter to the Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, requesting a full forensic audit of the state's voting systems.

Representative Breese Iverson sets out the case for a full forensic audit of Oregon's election system:

"Trust in government institutions is at an all time low for Americans and Oregonians. Voters across Oregon continue to hear news story after news story about potential voter fraud, miss- steps, irregularities, multiple voters, and more. My office has received hundreds of emails and voicemails from voters across the state with regard to voter fraud on some level."

"In Oregon, vote by mail has been occurring for over 20 years. We have experienced success over the years, but with today's climate it is the right time to review and analyze the systems in place across the state."

"I am requesting a full forensic audit of 2020 elections across all 36 counties to ensure Our voting system has the integrity Oregonians deserve and to provide confidence in your office for the 2022 elections."

The office of the Secretary of State is responsible for auditing state government. Representative Breese Iverson lists several of the election sub-systems she would like the Secretary to consider:

"While I know this is a large request, statewide and agency audits are the responsibility of your office. At this time in the interest of all Oregonians, an audit of our election systems would be time and energy well-spent."

"Oregonians, regardless of political affiliation, need to know there is some continuity in processes across the state. Processes to include but not limited to: counting of ballots, machine counting versus hand counting; ballot security; recount process; ballot drop box security; voter ID requirements; signature verifying measures; are processes statewide or vary based on county, if they vary, why; and all the other processes in assuring Oregon elections are above fraud. Are there ways we can improve security and integrity in Oregon to make Oregonians feel secure in their election?"

"I had conversations with County Clerks within my House District and while they are confident in their local processes, they are unsure about processes across the state. With all the media concern causing voter insecurity, an audit of the statewide processes would provide real response to Oregonians."

Except for a two-year period in which Republican Dennis Richardson served as Secretary of State, Democrats have held the office for the entire period of evolution from polling places to vote-by-mail. Some political observers in Oregon have proposed that the Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, will either not acknowledge, or disregard the request for the audit.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-20 17:10:27Last Update: 2021-10-21 11:56:28



Yamhelas Trail Summary Created
This saga doesn’t rise to the level of an Agatha Christie novel, but it’s a beauty

A 24 page tell-all booklet, The Truth About The Trail showed up in mailboxes throughout Yamhill County on Friday.

The booklet listed dozens of never before printed emails obtained through public records requests bringing transparency to what some are calling a conspiracy. Published by Oregon Family Farm Association of Tigard, the booklet shines a light on individual elected and paid staff at the top of Yamhill County government and the private citizens who succeeded in exploiting those officials weaknesses. As the booklet demonstrates, the aforementioned knowingly broke the rules and ignored the law in a display of arrogance not normally found in this county still dominated by heartland values.

The contest between bureaucrats hell bent on building a bike path through farmland and plaintiff farmers protecting their property rights has played out in the Land Use Board of Appeals five times since the first appeal was filed in June of 2018. The county lost every legal action, repeatedly ignoring LUBA rulings using tax dollars to cover their legal fees while hoping to exhaust farmers legal funds. When the fifth and decisive action in June of 2020 required the County to permanently ceased activity and cover the plaintiff’s legal fees of $48k the legal game was over.

What sets this booklet apart from previous articles calling attention to the conflict is the detail of emails obtained through public records requests. The quantity and character of these emails demonstrates an intricate web of elected officials and non-elected leaders in league with Friends of the Yamhelas-Westsider trail plotting one extreme measure after another in a near fanatical defiance of the rule of law, or toward the destruction of individual business owners. As they racked up loss upon loss, Trail proponents resorted to character assassination and political retaliation.

The farmers were painted as a small and extreme special interest group. There are over 37,000 farms and ranches in Oregon. They make up a large primary industry that not only brings in outside dollars to Oregon, but aids in the U.S. balance of payments. We need more ‘small special interest’ groups like that.

County Counsel Todd Sadlo, who misrepresented too many details to higher authority was the first casualty. He took early retirement after a complaint filed with the Oregon Bar has morphed into an investigation. Sadlo asked County Grants Administrator Carrie Martin to get an engineer’s statement stating the Trail bridge could hold a fire truck as he sought to sidestep a LUBA remand requirement.

Martin, panicked by an ODOT letter warning of grant termination was caught misrepresenting vital details of construction of that bridge. Her angst manifest itself in unauthorized overtime expenditures intended to cover up differing claims of completion dates. Rather than show contrition, she sued the commissioner making her misdeeds known by claiming harassment. That suit subsequently ended in a full exoneration of the commissioner. Martin’s shield was temporary. Misinformed citizens caught up in the emotion of it all are attempting to recall the commissioner. As their effort stumbles they have begun paying people to seek signatures on a petition.

This saga doesn’t rise to the level of an Agatha Christie novel, but it’s a beauty. People only learn from their mistakes if they first acknowledge them. With the vindictive recall effort of the exonerated commissioner still in play it is doubtful that any such acknowledgement is in the cards any time soon.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-10-20 16:38:30Last Update: 2021-10-20 17:06:47



Brown Thanks the Vaxxed
She might not be the right cheerleader to encourage Oregonians

Amid her own echos, a maskless Oregon Governor Kate Brown thanked Oregonians for getting the vaccine and encouraged those who have not, to get more information and get vaccinated. In previous video appearances, the Governor has made a point of appearing on camera first wearing a mask and then removing it as she began to speak.

As if you credit herself for her mandates on educators, health care workers and state employees, she called them out by name.

"I want to take a moment to thank all the Oregonians who took the time to get vaccinated. By taking this step, you are protecting yourself your co-workers and your communities.

From health care workers to K through 12 educators to first responders and state employees, thousands more Oregonians have been vaccinated to protect against COVID-19 over the last several weeks."



Some pundits and insiders have pointed out that Kate Brown has very low approval ratings and might not be the right cheerleader to encourage Oregonians -- many of whom are tired of the mask and vaccine mandates and the lockdowns -- to get the vaccine. She plead with the unvaccinated:

"If you are not yet vaccinated please call your doctor or health care provider to get your questions answered. Ask a friend who's been vaccinated about their experience and why they got the shot. Vaccines are safe, effective and it's never been easier to get an appointment."

2,603,408 people in Oregon have been vaccinated, which is 76.5% of the 3,403,051 people in Oregon who are 18+ years of age.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-20 10:56:22Last Update: 2021-10-21 10:57:48



Salem Hangs Out the ‘You’re Not Welcome’ Sign
It should give pause to other cities

Cities are looking at new legislation and looking over their shoulders at Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04 of 45% reduction in GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2035, and 80% by 2050. HB 2021 then enshrined the goals into law for retail electricity providers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon consumers to 80% below baseline emissions levels by 2030, 90% below baseline emissions levels by 2035, and 100% below baseline emissions levels by 2040. HB 2062 establishes new energy efficiency standards for appliances and certain water fixtures, and HB 2180 requires certain newly constructed buildings to be electric vehicle ready.

What the city of Salem -- run by Mayor Chuck Bennett -- is doing should give pause to other cities. Salem unveiled its Climate Action Plan after a year-long process by a 35 member task force. They started by collecting residents’ vision for a climate-smart city of the future by 2050. A vision of utopia gave way to recommendations to tackle climate change locally by proposing major changes in how we travel, design neighborhoods, and use energy, among other approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare the community for impacts, and ensure a transition to an equitable and climate-smart future. The plan is a roadmap to exceed Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04 to reduce community-wide GHG emissions by 50% by 2035 (from the baseline year of 2016) and to be carbon neutral by 2050.

To measure the impact of local GHG reduction efforts, the plan forecasts future emissions with and without local action. Changing the American Dream into the American Nightmare takes drastic action. There are a few good ideas, like carbon sequestration of plants and trees. Of course, onsite solar and halt growth in natural gas is what HB 2021 is all about. But no thought is given to how this will impact business and discourage new startups and thus affect growth.

How long have we heard walk or bike more and drive less? The goal is to increase walkways, and bike paths. Then double electric vehicles and quadruple transit ridership on electric buses to reduce traffic in Salem by 10 percent. Traffic measurements are taken from before the pandemic in 2016, so there should have already been a reduction through working from home and lockdowns. While you’re limited from using your vehicle, don’t invite out-of-town guests or hold business conferences. The goal is a 40 percent reduction in traffic coming into and out of Salem. Businesses that depend on tourism will have a harder time staying afloat.

All those goals are only halfway to the target. To meet the remainder, they propose halting all combustion engine traffic, remove all fossil fuel-derived from natural gas in existing homes and buildings, and ensure a 100% renewables-only electricity grid. Achieve a zero waste through circular economy, compost and recycling, including capture of wastewater emissions and halt septic emissions by joining wastewater treatment.

Financing proposed will assess as many areas as the goals – parking fees, gas tax, and residential energy audits are at the top of the list. They also propose a trip reduction ordinance for employers to reduce single-occupancy trips. Revise land use plans to allow for more dense development promoting walkable neighborhoods. Implement a reward system that requires property owners to improve low-performing buildings.

If you envision the city plan on a smaller scale one could visualize a gated community where only one electric vehicle is permitted per house and there is a checkpoint at the gate to limit those coming and going. Each vehicle is monitored for use. The houses would be on an electric grid with limited watt and water use. Waste water and garbage monitored for what you are consuming. The behavior change will get you to compete at reducing your emissions, which means your every move will be tracked. If you don’t go along, there are programs to change your behavior. The new behavior is to buy less stuff or buy second-hand. Actions for individuals are to reduce driving trips and avoid unnecessary air travel, eat a plant-based diet, conserve energy and water and reduce waste. And while you’re feeling confined, like a slave, they suggest you pursue actions that address intersectionality and integrate social justice into your environmental work and daily actions.

The work was done using Verdis Group, out of Omaha, Nebraska. It is curious why the URL reads “California.” Is this simply a rewrite changing a few details? They use the EPA’s Local Greenhouse Gas Inventory Tool to gather inventory from the 2016 calendar year. It seems that gains Salem has made already during the pandemic aren’t being measured, perhaps to give a more compelling picture? They also use U.N. models for climate change, which may explain the more than 100% jump in warming from 2040 through 2069. How free can you be when every move is measured?

The public comment period is open until November 5, 2021, at 5 p.m. Comments will be accepted online at the Salem Climate Action Plan website.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-10-20 06:46:59Last Update: 2021-10-20 10:05:27



Girod Blasts Data Leak
“The failures under Kate Brown’s leadership continue to stack up”

On Monday night, Kate Brown’s Department of Administrative Services sent detailed vaccination statuses of tens of thousands of state workers to reporters from the Salem Statesman Journal and the Portland Oregonian.

The Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) released the following statement:

“I have been opposed to this overreach since the day Kate Brown announced it. Government should never coerce people into having medical procedures let alone keep track of this information. It proves to Oregonians they should not trust the government with their private health information or with this much power over their day-to-day lives.

“The impacts of Kate Brown’s overreaches are proving to be severe. Staffing shortages across the state in essential services, like police, teachers, and hospital staff are going to have enduring negative consequences on the safety of Oregonians. Now, citizens must worry if their private medical history will become public. This kind of breach of trust will further erode the public’s faith in government.

“The failures under Kate Brown’s leadership continue to stack up. Oregonians deserve better.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-19 17:17:55Last Update: 2021-10-19 17:42:29



Northwest Rolling Blackouts
Why should California get to have all the fun?

There are two sides to every scale. On one side you have uninterrupted electricity covering all situations. On the other side are customers that want to pay as little as possible for their electricity needs. The balancing act in the past has been the job of utilities monitored by Public Utilities Commission as an arm for customers. Over the last few legislative sessions, the PUC seems to have turned into the Political Utilities Commission reducing the consumer protection arm.

Rolling blackouts has been publicized as a risk of HB 2021, a bill introduced in the last legislative session by Representatives Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), Khanh Pham (D-Portland), Senators Lee Beyer (D-Eugene), and Michael Dembrow (D-Portland). Seemingly every virtue-signaling Democrat jumped in as a co-sponsor. The bill sets a path for electricity providers to reduce emissions to 100% (80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040) below baseline by 2040, with intermediate targets. That goal is along with requirements for electric companies to develop a Clean Energy Plan meeting supply mix standard. The two together will not only drive-up costs, but make it more difficult for power companies to provide reliable energy in peak seasons.

Our neighbors to the south received their second taste of rolling blackouts this summer. The California Energy Commission laid blame in three main areas: The first rolling blackouts took place in 2001, which almost affected the entire northwest. It was cause by drought conditions that reduced hydropower causing BPA to force 5,000 aluminum workers out of work to preserve power – an economic blow to the northwest. Oregon is currently struggling with the effects of drought delivering water to Klamath County experiencing dry wells. Proposed dam removals further threaten their source of water and power.

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, authorized by Congress in 1980 under the Northwest Power Act, gives northwest states a voice in energy plans while protecting fish and wildlife resources. The Council has done an about face going from power plans driven largely by least-cost energy efficiency with only a modest development of renewable power in 2016 to clean-energy policies as a result of the aggressive pursuit of the Green New Deal and the climate change agenda. That resulted in the retirement of coal-fired generators, uncertainty about the role of new natural gas-fired generation, and a decrease in cost of utility-scale solar and wind generators. However, the Act directs the Council to give priority to cost effective energy efficiency, followed by cost-effective renewable resources. Not so easy when forces are mandating a zero-emission plan that we see in HB 2021.

The Council acknowledges, “Increasing our dependence on sunshine and wind to make electricity has risks – primarily the risk of reduced output when the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing. Maintaining an adequate and reliable power supply will be challenging.” The Council’s 2021 Northwest Power Plan draft is available for comment by November 19, 2021. The draft plan incorporates the results of several energy models, recently enacted public policies, advances in technology, and a blend of climate change assumptions and economics in preparing the 20-year plan and its action plan, which covers 2022 through 2027.

Will Oregon see rolling blackouts? Not if the Council’s suggestions are followed by increasing each utility acquisition to between 750 and 1,000 average megawatts by the end of 2027 and a minimum of 2,400 average megawatts by 2041, and the region needs to acquire 3,500 megawatts of renewable resources by 2027. That could be a tall order considering the restrictions in HB 2021, and Governor Brown taking steps against it.

Governor Brown filed a preliminary injunction with the U.S. District Court over the management of the Federal Columbia River System. If the court approves her injunction, it would require lower Snake River dams and Columbia dams to spill water, which will significantly impact the hydroelectric power. The first spill is projected to cost more than $100 million a year resulting in a 5% increase in rates by Bonneville Power Administration. Additional spills will substantially increase greenhouse gas emissions putting a heavier burned on all utilities to meet the goals of HB 2021 to be 100 percent carbon-free electricity below baseline emissions by 2040. What is hidden in the bill is the ban on expanding or constructing power plants that burn natural gas or fossil fuels, which makes up 21.1 percent of electric energy consumption in Oregon.

In the past year cities around the state have experienced power outages for various reasons including extreme weather and public safety power shutoffs. It is not hard to see why Oregonians are thinking rolling blackouts are inevitable. And it doesn’t take much to see that HB 20211 can easily overload the grid without reliable backup systems. Will Oregonians be willing to pay more for less reliable electricity?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-10-19 06:01:33Last Update: 2021-10-18 10:58:44



Oregon’s Top 20 Agricultural Commodities for 2020
Cherries and hazelnuts crack the top 10

The 2020 crop year is a result of the 37,200 farms and ranches that make up Oregon’s agricultural community. Oregon is home to more than 225 commodities, everything from cattle to cherries to hazelnuts and hay. The ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns presented several new challenges to agriculture statewide. Growers and producers responded and adapted quickly to meet the needs of Oregonians, despite mandates issued from the state government.

Oregon’s greenhouse and nursery industry experienced a boon with value of production topping one billion dollars for a second year in a row. Industry experts say that people taking up gardening and landscaping boosted sales nationwide. Historically, greenhouse and nursery and cattle and calves remain two of the top commodities by value in production.

New to Oregon’s top 10 are cherries and hazelnuts. Cherries experienced a 78 percent increase in the value of production. High demand for Oregon cherries meant higher prices for growers in 2020. Oregon is currently the third largest producer of cherries in the nation, supplying 17 percent of the U.S. market.

Hazelnuts had a record year with a nearly 24 percent increase in production and a nearly 57 percent increase in value of production. Hazelnut acreage has grown over the past ten years from about 30,000 acres to over 80,000 acres. Nearly 100 percent of the hazelnuts produced commercially in the U.S. are grown in the Willamette Valley.

Oregon’s top 10 valued commodities by value for the 2020 crop year are: A majority of Oregon’s agricultural commodities in the top twenty saw an increase in value of production including eggs (+29%), onions (+9%), potatoes (9%), sweet corn (+8%), Dungeness crab (+7%), hops (+4%), Christmas trees (+2%), apples (+1%), and milk (+1%).

On the downside, grapes for wine experienced a decrease of 34%, while hay (-16%), blueberries (-11%), grass seed (-11%), pears (-10%), cattle & calves (-6%), and wheat (-3%) also recorded production value decreases. Rounding out the top twenty ag and fisheries commodities by value of production: These newly released statistics are primarily from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) compiled in collaboration with Dave Losh, Oregon State Statistician. Estimates were also provided by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Wine Board.

Industry insiders noted that hemp is not included in the agricultural commodities list. Beginning in October, NASS will begin collecting information on the acreage, yield, production, price, and value of hemp in the United States. Results will be available in 2022.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-10-19 01:33:32Last Update: 2021-10-19 19:46:59



Skarlatos Reports Successful Fundraising
“Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi will do anything to advance their liberal agenda”

Former Oregon National Guard soldier and U.S. Congressional Candidate for the 4th Congressional District Alek Skarlatos announced he raised over $512,000 for the third quarter, which is his first full fundraising quarter of the campaign, outpacing his presumed opponent long-time incumbent, Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield).

This news follows the recent announcement by the National Republican Congressional Committee that Alek Skarlatos was named as one of their top candidates for their 2022 Young Guns recruitment program.

“I am incredibly thankful to have the support of so many people, as Southwest Oregon deserves conservative leaders who will fight for them,” said Skarlatos. “Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi will do anything to advance their liberal agenda - which includes deliberately ignoring the crisis along our Mexican border and this $3.5 trillion tax and spend infrastructure bill championed by Peter DeFazio - and this is just the start of a long campaign to stop their far-left agenda.”

Skarlatos is a former Oregon National Guardsman, who served in Afghanistan. In 2015, while traveling on a train bound for Paris, Alek, along with four others, jumped into action to stop an Islamic Terrorist who tried to open fire on a passenger train. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world including, the United States' Soldier’s Medal. Skarlatos was defeated by multi-decade incumbent Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) in the 2020 election.

Oregon's 4th Congressional district changed mostly on the Northern counties. The loss of Linn County and the addition of Lincoln County turned the district slightly more liberal and Democratic than the previous 4th Congressional district.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-18 12:01:21Last Update: 2021-10-18 19:17:55



It’s Mandate Monday
Much of the work that the state does, it has to be staffed in an immediate and on-going basis

With the announcement of Executive Order 21-29 came Oregon's vaccine mandate for all state employees, contractors and volunteers. Any employee who fails to provide proof of vaccination "will face personnel consequences up to and including separation from employment." Mandates for health care workers and educators are also in place.

Legal challenges still loom. Though the company continues to dispute it, vaccine mandates brought Southwest Airlines to it's knees as they cancelled flights and scrambled to get back to a normal operating level, and have arguably driven staffing shortages in Oregon medical facilities as many health care workers refuse the vaccine, the state pushes forward with it's mandate.

There has been some speculation that the vaccination mandate is more about power than about preventing disease. Many state workers still work from home. Many work in non-public facing jobs. Yet, the mandate makes no distinction. Some have wondered if the mandate is targeted at anti-vaxxers -- Trump supporters and religious nuts -- who need to be driven from state government. In fact, we'll probably never know, because the Governor's COVID Council has a very poor track record with transparency.

Governor Brown's announcement of the mandate on August 13 appeared to drive a small blip on the graph of vaccine administrations driving speculation that while some prefer to not take the vaccine, their careers as state workers outweighed these concerns. In a meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board, OHA Director Pat Allen appeared to soften the mandate, telling state agencies not to fire employees over the deadline, but to keep them away from public-facing work.

Much of what the state does is necessary, but can be allowed to backlog, and for this kind of work, the state can absorb even a sizeable worker shortage. But for much of the work that the state does, it has to be staffed in an immediate and on-going basis.

For this kind of work, the state cannot understaff. This would be true of law enforcement, including corrections employees, state health care and mental health workers and care workers and contractors. It remains to be seen if there will be a problem in these fields and if so, how the state will respond. The Oregon National Guard has already been called out to fill gaps in the health care system. Perhaps they will be used to fill gaps in state government, but they can only go so far.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-18 09:41:54Last Update: 2021-10-18 12:25:54



Mask Mandates in Clackamas County
This building is now the “same as your private home”

Without comment or answer to the Northwest Observer’s questions, it appears due to the September 29, 2021, decision by the Appeals Court related to mask wearing as “nonmandatory recommendations”, the Facility Director, Jeff Jorgensen, captured the reason for any order given to the citizens by Clackamas County Commissioners and their legal counsel, Steve Markour, in this building, is that this building is now the “same as your private home”.

This government building houses or at least use to house hundreds of government employees. Many government employees continue to stay at home while now elected government officials call these government buildings “home” and their “private property”, now the move is to claim they can eject anyone they want without reason, cause, or law?

October 14, 2021, the Northwest Observer sat for 45 minutes in front of commissioners Tootie Smith, Mark Shull, Paul Savas, counsel Steve Markour during the Clackamas County Commission’s meeting mask free until the moment the public comment session began. Jorgensen approached the reporter holding in his hand what looked like some head gear contraption from 2001 Space Odessy. Because of the appeals court decision is that the reason Jorgensen never mentioned the “deadly virus” or the “emergency” or “the pandemic” and had no qualms with shaking the reporter’s hand? Now the issue has become simply that these buildings are the same as “your private home”?

The Northwest Observer's questions not answered by Chair, Tootie Smith, commissioners Mark Schull, Paul Savas and county counsel Steve Markour submitted via email include as follows: On November 19, 2020 Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith said, ”How dare Governor Brown think she’s going to come out, she’s going to send the police into people’s homes and arrest them and fine them for having a Thanksgiving meal with their family, while at same time she lets rioters and anarchists destroy downtown in the city of Portland. That’s hypocrisy.”

On July 28, 2021, Commissioner Smith continued her defiance. “As the Delta variant continues to rise in Oregon, Clackamas County chair remains staunch in her defiance of virus restrictions”

And on August 12, 2021 Commissioner Smith continued to uphold her consistent stance. “This week, Governor Brown issued a mask mandate to all indoor buildings yet said local authorities would not be charged with enforcement. My question to her is this: if it’s not enforced, how is it a mandate?” Smith asked.”

Oregonians know more and more now after a year and a half of listening to Governor Kate Brown’s pinball edicts on television that Kate Brown’s, OHA’s and OSHA’s “rules cannot violate law”, and more and more citizens wonder when their elected officials will also learn that civics lesson.


--Margo Logan

Post Date: 2021-10-17 11:13:57Last Update: 2021-10-17 11:38:30



Stay on Vaccine Mandates Denied
“It’s not a mandate, you just can’t work”

Free Oregon’s Emergency Motion for Stay against the Oregon Health Authority and the State of Oregon for OAR’s 333-019-1010 and 1030, was denied by Appellate Court Commissioner Theresa Kidd. The Commissioner’s job is to determine a case’s merit and likelihood of success prior to being presented to a judge.

According to the suit,

The issues presented in this case turn on what are arguably some of the most impactful and harmful temporary administrative rules that have ever been adopted by an agency because they force potentially hundreds of thousands of individuals to undergo a medical treatment against their wishes or else be deprived by a state actor of their job, their income, and their very means of livelihood. A failure to stay these Rules will leave Petitioners and those individuals without the ability to provide for their families. The Petitioners have filed an emergency motion because Petitioners, together with hundreds if not tens of thousands of other Oregonians, will be imminently terminated from their public and private employment in their chosen professions unless they subject themselves to the false choice of succumbing to an unwanted, intrinsically coercive, unreasonable medical intervention with unknown long-term risks, that is likely in violation of state and federal law, the Oregon Constitution, and the United States Constitution. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a “forcible injection … into a nonconsenting person’s body represents a substantial interference with that person’s liberty[.]”

Ben Edtl, director of Free Oregon, the organization which supported the lawsuit said, "We argued that the COVID-19 vaccines are experimental and not FDA approved and, therefore cannot be mandated according to the Emergency Use Authorization. We even provided the court with the actual FDA “approval” of the Comirnaty vaccine, to prove our point, alongside the federal government’s EUA. She says the State isn’t mandating which vaccines are to be taken, just that nurses, teachers and government workers must be vaccinated against Covid-19."

In what some are calling a circular argument justifying the decision that was identical to the State lawyers’ positions that on the one hand this is not a mandate while on the other hand we are experiencing a state of emergency, due to the pandemic, and that the State of Oregon has every legal right to mandate experimental vaccines. The determination of Commissioner Kidd was that the State would be likely to prevail.

The likelihood of success factor, together with the risk of harm to the public if a stay is granted, dispositively weighs against granting a stay in this case. Even assuming that petitioners have made a sufficient showing that they will be harmed if a stay is denied, and despite petitioners' urging that the public will be harmed by the vaccine mandate itself, the court agrees with the state that a stay would be harmful to the public. As all involved are aware, this case arises during a pandemic. Since its emergence, the coronavirus has spread throughout the world and COVID-19 has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths in this country. As the rules themselves state, healthcare workers generally have contact with many patients, including those who are "more likely than the general public to have conditions that put them at risk for complications due to COVID-19," and "[c]hildren are required to attend school, which is a congregate setting where COVID-19 can spread easily if precautions are not taken."



According to OHA, requiring workers in healthcare settings and schools to be vaccinated is an effective way to increase vaccination rates and thereby help control COVID-19 and protect the citizens of this state. The state clearly has a strong interest in protecting the general public from the spread of COvID-19, and the rules in question are directly aimed at accomplishing that goal. As the Supreme Court said much earlier in the course of the pandemic in Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown, although there "have been and will continue to be debates about how best to respond to the threat posed by the coronavirus," to "the extent that those debates concern policy choices they are properly for policymakers." The executive branch is "uniquely situated, and duty bound, to protect the public in emergency situations and to determine, in such emergencies, where the public interest lies. Given the public interests at stake, and the seriousness of the harm caused by the spread of the virus, the court determines that the risk of harm to the public if a stay is granted is significant.

Ben Edtl mocked the decision. "It’s not a mandate, you just can’t work. It’s not a mandate, you just can’t go to the grocery store. It’s not a mandate, you just have to stay in your house. It’s not a mandate, you just can’t leave the government internment camp." Edtl assures that "Our case will continue to a judge with a reconsideration filing, but based on this decision by Kidd it will be heard after Monday’s October 18, 2021 deadline."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-17 11:11:21Last Update: 2021-10-17 12:01:33



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