This Train Wreck Was Planned.
As you know, this past Thursday, the Oregon Senate passed SB 554.
SB 554 was a direct attack on persons with Oregon Concealed Handgun Licenses. This assault was based on nothing except the Democrat’s blind hatred for gun owners.
Under this bill, persons with concealed handgun licenses will face 5 years in prison for being near a public building with a licensed firearm.
(During the floor session, the proponents of this bill repeatedly misrepresented this fact.)
The Democrats gave no examples of CHL holders in Oregon shooting up libraries or bus shelters. This extreme attack on the rights, and even the freedom of Oregon’s most law abiding citizens, was motivated by nothing more than the “feelings” of liberals whose mental stability is clearly in question.
At the beginning of the floor session, Oregon Firearms Federation was attacked by Republican Senator Bill Hansell for the headline of an email alert we put out the day before.
Here is that alert. The headline, as anyone listening to the attached audio can see, is 100% accurate and true.
But, after Democrat Senate President Peter Courtney was heard on an open mic saying “I saw Hansell here, they’re gonna get crushed” just before the floor session where the Democrats crushed the Republicans on the SB 554 vote, Hansell came to the floor on Thursday to praise Courtney, discuss their relationship and insist that the comment referred to a sports team.
As you can see in our headline, we never said who Courtney was referring to, so we think the ladies doth protest too much.
Hansell’s fawning lovefest with the Democrat leader was followed by comments from Democrat Floyd Prozanski who said that our alert was the product of an organization and person (Director Kevin Starrett) who has a “history of misleading people.”
Just to set the record straight on that comment, Prozanski has accused us for years of misleading people. He once sent out a lengthy email claiming we doctored a photo of him to make him look foolish and posted it on our website. As with everything else Prozanski said, this was a complete and total lie. In fact, Prozanski inadvertently demonstrated how deceitful he is by linking to the photo in question. The link was to a website that is not OFF’s and which OFF neither controlled nor had anything to do with.
At the time, we publicly offered Prozanski $10,000.00 dollars if he could demonstrate that one word of what we had reported was untrue. As you might expect, he never attempted to collect.
Prozanski suffers from his own demons that make him terrified of gun owners. But for some reason he never stops working to make life easier for criminals. What motivates his twisted agenda is not hard to speculate about, but people like Hansell have no excuse.
As we have reported, six Republican Senators were on the floor for the vote on SB 554. 5 Republican Senators, and one former Republican (Brian Boquist) were not.
We know, unequivocally, that most of the Senators who were not there, walked out to protest this bill. The Republicans who were on the floor all voted “no.” And this is where the sideshow begins.
We have repeatedly noted that the Republicans who were on the floor assisted in the passage of this bill. Their “no” votes were immaterial, meaningless, theater.
Once that bill came to the floor, it was guaranteed to pass.
The Republicans knew that. Every single one of them. And any one of them that says differently is a liar or a fool.
The Democrats have complete dictatorial control over what passes and what does not. Period. That is the end of the story. Bills do not reach the floor of the Senate unless Senate President Courtney knows he has the votes to pass them. You can research yourself and see how incredibly rarely a bill is voted down on the floor. And SB 554 was no different.
The six Republicans who showed up on the floor on Wednesday allowed the Democrats to schedule the bill for Thursday simply by showing up. Once the bill was on the floor for a vote, it was going to pass.
And by showing up on Thursday, and once again providing the Democrats a quorum, the six Republicans guaranteed passage of the bill and their “no” votes and comical and pointless procedural moves to slow it down meant nothing. Every single objection they raised was trashed immediately by the majority as they knew it would be.
That was all a sideshow for the ever failing cameras so they could go back to the gun owners in their districts and boast about all they did to “protect gun rights.” In some cases the charade was a success. OFF received numerous emails saying we were wrong about the vote. Because they heard from these brave Republicans and by God, they voted “no!”
Of course they did. Because anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes in the Senate knows how these things go, and know a vote against a bill has no bearing on the outcome. (Ok maybe newly elected Dick Anderson doesn’t know anything, but we’re guessing someone clued him in.)
The Republicans had one option to kill this bill and prevent the Democrats from placing you at risk for prison time. And that was to walk out and deny quorum, a lawful, constitutional tactic that was used in the past to stop the Democrat’s radical and hate filled agenda. They all knew that, and six Senators stayed away. The others remained, gave a meaningless “no” vote, assisted Democrats in their agenda …and then ginned up the spin machine.
Senator Tim Knopp told people who wrote to him that he took a “leadership role” in fighting the bill. This is the same person who stayed behind to help the Democrats get a quorum when Republicans walked out last time and successfully killed these kinds of bills. Then Knopp told people that he had been “asked to stay behind to monitor things.” Anyone who believes that should talk to the folks who were in charge during the successful walk out.
For a moment of entertainment, have a look at this video of Senator Lynn Findley “explaining” the important reasons he folded and let the Democrats screw gun owners.
Findley is assuming all the voters in his district are rubes who have no grasp on how things actually work.
After telling viewers what a big supporter of gun rights he is, he says there are “significant fines” associated with SB 554, somehow failing to mention the 5 years in prison part.
He then claims to have “made progress” on the bill and points out it has no emergency clause, which means it can be challenged “in the initiative process.”
He then shifts gears and talks about all the amendments and issues they planned to bring up to give the “opponents , if they choose to litigate, more ammunition in their litigation.”
It’s not clear if Findley is using the term “litigation” to refer to a ballot measure or if he is implying the law, once passed, can be challenged in court. We see exactly zero basis for challenging the law in court, and all the amendments and meaningless procedural moves in the world would have no effect on a ballot measure.
So exactly what he is talking about is unclear. But there are a couple of take aways from his comments.
In an email to unhappy gun owners, Findley wrote “…my Republican colleagues and I used every tool we had at our disposal to prevent this bill from passing as it is currently written.”
But his discussion of a ballot measure to reverse the bill and all they would do to provide “ammunition” make it clear that he understood the bill’s passage was a foregone conclusion.
Other turncoat Senators have also suggested that if the voters were unhappy with their sellout they could simply do a ballot measure to reverse it.
And while this is technically correct, what Findley and the others don’t mention is that gun owners will also have to mount extremely expensive ballot measures to undo the other gun control bills that the Republicans are going to let pass including:
Endless Delays and
A revocation of preemption which will have the same effect as SB 554 (and more) even if 554 is defeated at the ballot box.
Also not mentioned by any of them that we know of, will be the costly battle to stop the gun control ballot measures being filed by the well funded anti-gun extremists even now.
So far, none of the Senators who showed up and allowed this bill to pass have offered to contribute any funds from their own PACs to mount these battles.
As of this writing Findley has over $88,000.00 in his PAC.
Knopp has over $13,000.00
Hansell has almost $19,000.00
Anderson has almost $40,000.00
Bill Kennemer has over $33,000.00 in his old House Pac. Which is interesting, because Kennemer did not even run for his Senate seat. He was appointed after Senator Alan Olsen resigned.
Senator Fred Girod, the “leader” of the Republicans who stayed and helped this bill pass has almost $300,000.00 in his PAC and the “Leadership Fund,” a PAC he controls that is supposed to benefit all Senate Republicans, has almost $90,000.00.
All of these people were the beneficiaries of money donated by gun owners.
And by the way, the “Leadership Fund” has sent out numerous fund raising emails out using the gun control bills as reason to send them money.
In them, they announced, with a straight face, their intention to “send a petition” to the Democrats to make them stop attacking our rights. (And please chip in 20 bucks.) Frankly, in the face of their willingness to hang gun owners out to dry, this is nothing short of pathetic.
But surely all these good folks will be eager to help fund the insanely expensive battles that their actions made necessary right?
Amazingly, on Saturday, Findley sent out a fundraiser asking for more money because of the loss he helped engineer. In it he said : “I’ve never run from a fight before, and I won’t run from this one. I will continue to fight the supermajority’s agenda to take away our rights. Can I count on you to join me in this fight?”
In fact, running from the fight is exactly what all 6 did.
In what can only be considered a bizarre recreation of reality, Findley said :
“My Republican colleagues and I proposed common-sense, data-driven approaches that would protect Oregonians’ constitutional rights and enhance public safety. It is unbelievable that the supermajority wasn’t interested in the facts and instead, is clearly determined to pursue a political agenda at the expense of our rights.”
In what alternate universe do rational Republicans believe that the controlling party is interested in facts? Really Lynn, you find this “unbelievable?”
Findley went on : “I cannot neglect the need to fight these fights too. Over 140,000 Oregonians are counting on me to show up for all the issues in Salem and that’s what I have sworn to do—but I need you with me.”
Only the most out of touch think “showing up” for certain defeats is the answer to what even Findley calls a train wreck.
In spite of all the nonsense and posturing, these 6 knew that showing up on the Senate floor on Wednesday and Thursday was the beginning of the end for gun rights in Oregon.
It’s interesting to note that the legislative website listed SB 554 as scheduled for action on the House side hours before a vote was even taken on the Senate side. Could this be one more technical screw up by the same folks who have locked you out of the process or was it simply understood by all parties that passage was a foregone conclusion?
The Oregon Republican Party has some new leadership. We can only hope that after the last few years of miserable performance, the new blood will be able to turn around this disgraceful mess. We wish them well and they have our support.
The Republican Senate Caucus has no leadership. Fred Girod has proven he is willing to throw his supporters to the dogs rather than take a courageous stand and is leading the other 5 down this same path to disaster.
The reality is, nothing good is going to happen as long as someone who is happy to take your money but not the least bit interested in protecting your rights is in “leadership.”
SB 554 now goes over to the House. The House Republicans under Christine Drazan have indicated they cannot walk out because they face $500.00 per day fines if they do so. However, that rule was adopted by a vote. A vote the House Republicans participated in knowing that rule would be included and knowing that they did not have the votes to stop it.
Agreeing to vote on that rule created a perfect excuse for them to take the easy way out. Numerous other bills, as mentioned above, are moving on the House side. If the House Republicans don’t take a stand, and the leadership of the Senate Republicans does not change, it’s doubtful that there will be much left to save at the end of this session.
* In an email today, received shortly after this alert was posted, and unrelated to this post, Senator Brian Boquist said:
The above six GOP registered Senators did make several SB 554 procedural motions for the record, but in sixteen years in the legislature, I have never seen Democrats break ranks to support a procedural motion. Remember, the super-majority registered Democrats have 18 votes while the minority has 6 to 12 votes.
Bills must be stopped before they go to the Floor of the State Senate as no real debate exists. The Senate President controls 100% of the process, there is no republic or democracy, thus only bills with Democrat majority votes are sent to the Senate Floor. Contact your State Senator above with your request to support the People not the government that has been controlled by Democrats for four decades.
Ironically on Wednesday, the day before the above bills passed, the Democrat Senate President sent out forms to Republican State Senators asking them if they wanted federal rescue money for their districts or projects in their districts with borrowed bond money. The later project money is processed through the Capital Construction Subcommittee chaired by the Republican Caucus Leader under the direction of the Democrat Senate President.