2022 New Year Situation Report
Happy New Year.
First, of course, we want to extend a very sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped support our efforts through your generous contributions to OFF, the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation, and our political action committee OFFPAC.
We are in the midst of numerous fights with plenty more coming. There is simply no way we would be in them without you, so from us to all of you, thank you.
We hope you had a peaceful and joyous Christmas and New Years and want to take a moment to provide a report on where we are right now.
Salem, The Continuing Crisis.
As you know, last year’s legislative session was an unmitigated disaster, not only for gun rights, but for the future of our state and for common sense.
Criminals were rewarded, police were neutered and demoralized, our heritage was attacked and eroded, and our rights and property were assaulted.
Unfortunately, all of this damage was not only tolerated, but actively encouraged by virtually all elected Republicans, with the exception of a few Republican members of our Senate who stood up while their “leaders” sold us out.
On the Senate side, Republican “leader” Senator Fred Girod caved to every far left whim and handed victory after victory to the anti-gun extremists with hardly a whimper. When the left said “jump” Girod said “how high” and then bounced up and down until Senate President patted him on the head and told him to return to his corner.
In the House, Republican “leader” Christine Drazan presided over the most disgraceful display of cowardice and greed in Oregon history. Her almost supernatural incompetence was on full display as she lurched from one policy catastrophe to the next. She gladly gave away any opportunity to stand up in exchange for “deals” with the Democrats that a 5 year old would have laughed at, only to see those deals broken at the last minute by far left, anti-rights, pro-riot, Tina Kotek, the Speaker of the House and current candidate for Governor.
Drazan, who became leader in her very first term as a House rep, had given every indication of standing up to Kotek in her first session when House Republicans followed the lead of Senate Republicans and walked out of the capitol to protest leftist overreach.
But those were very different days, because at the time, the Senate Republicans actually had a “leader” (Senator Herman Baertschiger) for Drazan to follow. But with Baertschiger gone, Girod in his place, and not a real leader in sight, Drazan stamped her feet, flipped her bangs away from her eyes and handed Kotek and her Marxist fellow travelers everything they wanted. And not just by refusing to walk out. No, Drazan (and most other Republicans) actually voted with the Marxists over and over and over.
And then, since complete capitulation wasn’t enough, Drazan led her entire caucus to expel the only House Rep with any integrity, Mike Nearman.
Nearman’s “crime” was actually doing what Drazan and her fellow cowards only bleated about. Letting Oregonians, (you know, the people who own the capitol) INTO the capitol.
It’s almost impossible to imagine that not a single Republican House Rep had the spine to stand up for their colleague. But with Drazan at the helm, the odds were defied and EVERY SINGLE Republican turned their backs on Nearman while also voting to PROTECT one of Kotek’s Marxist staffers who was arrested at one of Portland’s nightly riots.
But, as we learned, there actually was a perfectly reasonable explanation.
Well in Drazan’s case, there were 2 million explanations. That’s how many dollars each Republican House rep got in exchange for their willingness to sell out the entire state. That was 2 million OVER the usual appropriations each district got, to do with pretty much as they pleased. That was money generously provided by the Feds, after they took it from you.
Not to be outdone, Republican Senators also got a nice incentive to roll over. In fact, their incentive was nicer. They each got FOUR MILLION dollars.
We know what they are, we’re just dickering over the price.
Now, as a result of the Republicans being greased with your money, you may no longer possess a firearm in the Capitol, at the Portland Airport, in any school that decides to ban you and of course, any gun you own must be locked up and useless. Thank you Drazan and Girod.
But it’s a new year and things are changing.
Fred Girod has resigned his position as Senate Republican “leader” (though not his Senate seat) and Drazan has resigned her position as House leader. She too will keep her seat as a House Rep.
While you might think this is good news, Girod has been replaced by the one Senator who can be demonstrated to be even more of a despicable sell out than Girod was. If you can believe that.
The new Senate Republican “leader” is Tim Knopp. The ONLY Republican Senator who stayed behind to help the Democrats during the successful 2020 walk out.
While Knopp refused to stand up and join the walk out, he comically told voters that he had been “asked by leadership” to stay behind to “monitor” the Democrats. This absurd, pathetic lie was, sadly, believed by some people. None of whom, we can assure you, ever actually checked with the leadership Knopp was lying about.
Knopp has also proudly posted photos of himself with a gaggle of gun grabbing “Moms Demand Action” hacks and praised their courage.
As you may know, the Senate Republican Caucus was so miserably run by Girod that it split virtually in half and two Republicans actually left the party in disgust. (Senators Brian Boquist and Art Robinson.) Now things could actually get worse.
The House Republicans replaced Drazan with Vicki Breeze Iverson. We have no indication that she has any plans to run things differently. Given the craven collection of cowards she has to “lead” we can only wish her luck. But since she caved alongside them all, there’s not a lot of reason to think there will be a dramatic change. But, we can hope.
A month before the next legislative session, the leftists who run the legislature (unimpeded by Republicans) have already announced plans to move Oregon closer to a complete Marxist hell hole.
As you have no doubt noticed, we are entering election season. We know our email box is filling up.
The Democrats have a line up that includes ultra lefty Tina Kotek, State Treasurer Tobias Read, (who has made no secret of his support for mandates) and Nicholas Kristof, a writer for the New York Times, and… a resident of New York. Much like our own Senator Ron Wyden.
The list of Republicans running for Governor grows daily and includes some new names and some horrible retreads. Once again, anti-gun groveler Bud Pierce is running on no discernible platform, as is Jessica Gomez who only recently decided to become a Republican after years of being a Democrat. Interestingly her campaign spokesperson is the wife of former Senator Bob Packwood, Elaine Franklin. Franklin famously left the Republican Party out of disgust with…conservatives.
Most of the other candidates have so far made positive statements about Second Amendment rights, but a recent addition to the line up should prove interesting.
After a disastrous term as House Republican Leader, none other than the poster child of failure and disgrace, Christine Drazan, has added her name to the growing list of Republican Governor candidates.
The one upside to this absurd development is that she will be gone from the legislature and no longer be in the House.
Her campaign website is one outrageous fabrication after another, where she describes herself as a “fighter” with lots of vague references to her “standing up” to the Brown’s and Kotek’s of Oregon and no mention of the truth, that she gave them everything they demanded and more, in exchange for a few taxpayer’s dollars.
We can only hope the voters of Oregon look past the lies and look at her record.
In addition to the long list of Republican contenders, former Democrat Senator Betsy Johnson has resigned her seat, left the Democrat party, and is running for governor as an independent. She quickly garnered very large contributions from well known Oregon businesses.
Although a long time Democrat, Johnson was a reliable pro-gun vote. Where she will be on other issues remains to be seen.
Two extreme anti-gun ballot measures, IP 17 and IP 18 qualified for the ballot after a lengthy delay caused by… us.
Oregon Firearms Federation was the only organization to challenge the ballot measure titles and that (costly) legal battle set back the anti-gunners by a considerable length of time. However, their ballot titles were finally approved and they are now qualified to collect signatures.
A quick review of the measures will make clear their intention. At a time when Oregon politicians are rewarding criminals and neutering the police, the extremists behind these measures want to make sure all decent Oregonians are disarmed and defenseless. They have made it clear that if successful this is only a starting point and they fully expect their lackeys in the legislature to add even more restrictions.
If they collect enough signatures we fully expect a well funded campaign by Bloomberg to pass these demented attacks.
There are major and important battles on the county level as well. As you probably know, Columbia County passed not one, but two Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinances by a vote of the people. 100% of the credit for these victories goes to Chris Brumbles, OFF’s Columbia County Coordinator and the hardest working man in the gun rights business.
To no one’s surprise, two of the County Commissioners were so horrified by the idea of the people insisting on their rights, that they rewrote the ordinances and then immediately asked the court to invalidate their own version. They were joined by Mike Bloomberg’s “Everytown” and our own Attorney General.
After another expensive court battle (thanks to your support and the help of Gun Owners of America) the gun grabbers lost when the judge recognized that the county and their fellow travelers were simply trying to use the court to overturn the will of the people.
Now they are back and appealing that judge’s decisions. So OFF is once again in court fighting to uphold gun rights in Columbia County and some shred of sanity in a state determined to undermine common sense everywhere. It’s interesting to note that in this appeal, the Attorney General chose not to participate. Make of that what you will.
At the same time in Yamhill County, the AG is working to overturn the Yamhill County Second Amendment ordinance. This ordinance, however, was actually passed by the Commissioners of the county. (Two of the three that is. The third, far left Casey Kulla, voted no and is now in a quixotic race for governor himself.)
These local battles for 2nd Amendment rights will have far reaching consequences .
The AG has also sued to overturn a similar ordinance in Harney County. We have no word on whether Harney County plans to fight for their ordinance.
We think given the current situation in Salem, these local battles are going to take center stage in the fight for gun rights.
We are seeing battles heat up all the way down to the school board level. For a long time the left has infiltrated school boards and city councils. Now patriots are pushing back and what used to be sleepy uncontested races are getting ugly as the leftists discover they can longer control and manipulate the agenda unopposed.
This development creates new opportunities for freedom fighters to become part of the fight in races that are far more local, accessible and affordable. But make no mistake, these races are critical and may well be more important than legislative races in the long run.
Looking ahead, we are quite sure there will be some ferocious fights in this state. In Salem, in your county, and in your town.
We are deeply grateful for your support, your activism and your commitment to liberty. If Oregon has any hope left, it really is you.