Originally created 4/28/2018, by Sam

Some of the following has been updated.

Over the past weeks, off-and-on, I’ve put this informational back-page together, adding points as they surfaced on various Facebook chats and through observant friends. Note the incredible personal legacy that has been created for me by my primary election opponents. In alphabetical order: anti-war protester, bigot, bully, common thief, debtor, draft dodger, heartless CEO, homophobe, internet spammer, Jane Fonda’s friend, misogynist, racist, Saul Alinsky disciple, skinhead, stolen valor fraud, terrorist, throat-puncher, vulgarian, white supremacist, xenophobe…and maybe most shocking of all, an Obama voter. -sam

Now my staff and I know how Donald Trump feels.

Per the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, Buehler has spent upwards of one-million dollars in marketing over the last three weeks, with the vast share of it going to attack ads on me. Following are accusations either publicized in their media buys, stated by candidates in public forums, or pushed on back-channels by Buehler, Wooldridge and Cuff operatives

I held off in defending myself against the following charges because each was so profoundly absurd. But finally I decided that we must make at least some effort to put this ridiculousness to rest.

There is one reason for these attacks and it’s not rooted in some kind of heroic civic duty to seek truth and to expose the guilty. The attacks happened because my Republican political opponents were pressured to counter my rising poll numbers. It was a desperate attempt to win the election despite polling that showed me consistently in the lead, and with the momentum building toward a victory.

Here we go. It’s been said…

  1. That I falsified my Voters Pamphlet. Two of the other campaigns, through their operatives, filed complaints with the Secretary of State’s office and then turned around and publicly (and gleefully) proclaimed I was under investigation. Anyone can file any claim re the voter’s pamphlet and a public investigation is immediately begun. The first claim was that I falsified my 2016 voter’s pamphlet in the section describing my education. Upon the complaint, I was promptly put “under investigation by the Secretary of State.” (I simply got a letter from that office stating someone had filed a complaint and asking me to explain, and I have done that.) It was a setup: pure political hackery. The tech school I graduated from in 1974, the “New York State Ranger School,” a forestry tech vocational school, was affiliated with Syracuse University at the time. Later, well after I graduated, the name was changed to the “SUNY ESF Ranger School,” and became affiliated with the State University of New York. A simple Google search shows this fact. It’s the same school. (Go to this page to see my diploma. Go to this page to see proof that I am a member of the Syracuse University Alumni Association). The other campaign knew this simple truth, full-well, before filing the complaint with the Secretary of State and then publicizing that I was “under investigation,” and that I had falsified my voter’s pamphlet to enhance my resume as a “Syracuse University graduate.” It was a not-so-clever pathway to adding another arrow to the smear campaign quiver. As noted above, I’ve submitted all relevant documents to the Secretary of State’s office that is, by law, as I also said, required to investigate any and all complaints. It’s a statute-based requirement that they do that. The second complaint was that I actually earned an AAS degree, and not an AA degree as I described in the Voter’s pamphlet. Ridiculous, but it allowed my opponents to advertise again that I was under further investigation for fraud. Nothing ultimately will come of this. The ability to make public statement that I was being deceitful was the point of the complaint. This was just another element of the accusations from the three intimately connected campaigns to reinvent me as a deceitful, shallow candidate: “Slippery Sam,” was the term Buehler coined and used in his attacks against me. Cuff and Wooldridge happily joined in. I was attacked savagely from all three campaigns in the last month, with Buehler even citing a Cuff quote and a Wooldridge video in his own marketing materials.
  2. That I live in Kentucky. No. Diana and I have a second home there. Diana’s 84-year old mother and her grown daughter live there. It was Diana’s hometown for 40+ years before she moved here to Oregon with me last December. Yes, she is registered to vote in Oregon (as a Republican…). I have lived in Oregon for 43 years, raised my two children here as a single parent; have had my business, Centratel, here in Bend, now with 50+ employees, for 34 years.
  3. Profanity on social media? I can isolate the word, “dumbass” used in one instance out of literally millions of online exchanges. (Over the last month of campaigning we consistently reached over 400,000 people per week with our posts). David used the word once, and in that particular back-and-forth, I used the word myself, in his defense. Not a bad record, considering. And anyway, this is hardly a vulgar term. It’s a socially accepted pejorative. Per the urban dictionary: A dumbass is “Someone who holds a stupid, illegitimate or completely baseless opinion with a perplexing amount of self-righteousness.” See the footnote below re the use of this word on a popular TV show, twenty years ago.* And, in this context, the word is referring to a donkey, not a human anatomical body part…and as an aside, an astute and successful female rancher from the La Grande area told Diana and me that, “it’s a perfectly serviceable term.” Ha!
  4. That I have voted in Kentucky. Nonsense. For the last 43 years, I have only voted in Oregon.
  5. That I am a terrorist. Because I have a 501C3 non-profit in Azad Kashmir, assisting impoverished back-country schools? See Good grief.
  6. That I am pals with Jane Fonda and her cronies. I have never met the woman or her friends. I detest Jane Fonda. She is a traitor.
  7. That I am a draft dodger or have misrepresented my military involvement (of which I have none). The reality is that in the spring of 1971 I went through a battery of testing in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was accepted for entry into the Army. Note that I did not go into the recruiter’s office in San Juan to enlist as a candidate for special forces. I expected to go to Viet Nam in the infantry. But the recruiter suggested I had potential for special forces boot camp/training because my test results indicated I was a good candidate. And so of course I was excited about that. Keep in mind that this was almost 50 years ago and recruiting and enlistment were different than they are today; requirements were less stringent, and we were in the middle of the Viet Nam war. In any case, I was ultimately rejected one week before my actual enlistment because a misdemeanor (6th degree, $25 fine) drug charge surfaced that I had received two years earlier as a result of simple carelessness. (I had prescription medicine in an unmarked container. The pills were given to me by my doctor and I had stupidly taken them out of their prescription container and put them in my belongings in another container. Remember the old Kodak film canisters?) I did not think it was a big deal at the time when a routine road block sent local police through my car and I was fined (and, for the record, NOT arrested). But obviously, it turned out to be a very big deal for my future. Ouch. To repeat, if it’s not clear: I have never been in the military, BTW a profound life-long disappointment, nor have I ever claimed to be in the military or claimed to be in “special forces.” Update 5/14/2018: Do I really have to explain this? One doesn’t go to “Army Ranger School” or “Navy Seal School.” It is ridiculous that I have to state this obvious fact. These units are the elite of the elite, and these guys go through literal Hell physically and mentally in order to be accepted. One doesn’t “go to school” to be an Army Ranger or a Navy Seal. I have to keep dumbing-down my explanation here in order to respond to my political opposition’s troll attacks on my Facebook page, attacks that are designed to defeat me in this primary election. For them, the destruction of my personal reputation is simple collateral damage and of no consequence. But I have to say it is clear that some of the confusion re the word “Ranger” lies in the fact that two years later, in 1973, I attended the “NYS Ranger School,” in upstate New York. I graduated in 1974 with a tech degree in forestry and surveying. The school is not related in any way to the US military. See #1 above regarding the NYS Ranger School. For their own political gain, my primary campaign opponents, Greg Wooldridge and Knute Buehler, have both dishonestly and blatantly mischaracterized me. These are despicable accusations. (For further details see my May 11th post with true war hero, Ty Raddue at
  8. That I protested the Viet Nam war. Simply NOT true. Not ever. Not once. But, in 1970 I did participate in a demonstration/march in Washington DC just after the Kent State debacle (that had resulted in the death of four students). This had nothing to do with Viet Nam. I was a small-town 19 year-old boy caught up in the 60’s. It was also where I met the mother of my children – and I wrote about this in my first book (which you can read free online here, or contact me at and I will send you a hard copy…).
  9. Per Knute Buehler’s TV, radio and print-media ad marketing campaign released May 2nd: That I have unpaid debts. I have no unpaid debts. I’ve been late occasionally through the last 50 years of adulthood, but never has a debt gone unpaid. In 1992-1993 I had six separate liens from the IRS and the Oregon Department of Revenue as part of a single divorce settlement (all for the same debt, but incremented into separate liens). Although I came out of the proceedings relatively unscathed, the judge decided I should be responsible for approximately $40,000 in IRS and state tax debt from the marriage. The requirement that liens be filed for outstanding debt in divorce settlements was, and still is, a common protocol. I paid all this debt off within a few years. At this same time, related to the above-mentioned divorce, and coincidentally with the economy in a recession, I also had cash-flow challenges with my business, Centratel (which I have now owned for the last 34 years). I didn’t know it was happening at the time, but my bookkeeper failed to pay payroll taxes for several months. When I discovered this, I immediately contacted and then worked with the IRS and the state, and that involved a lien from each, on my business. Those Centratel debts were paid off too, within two years. This was 25 years ago! The other lien was from a few years ago when I sued a local company for damages. The other side countered my lawsuit by putting a 19K lien on my house. I subsequently won the case. The lien was removed and I received an additional 50K in settlement. So, in my life there have been nine liens total, covering three instances, one of which was not my fault. There were not twenty-one instances as Buehler claims. In my entire life, I have never NOT paid back a debt. That period of time back in the early 90’s, so long ago, was very tough for me and my children, and I have covered it in detail in the first chapters of my book, Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less. This kind of defamation is the worst-of-the-worst in politics, and it’s why there is a dearth of good Republican candidates. Who would want to put their family through this? Here’s something else to consider: Knute Buehler’s personal attacks on me began on the morning of Wednesday, May 2nd, just hours before the following article surfaced. Diversion? Panicked reaction? And, no I have had no liens or debt problems since then, over two decades ago. In operating numerous businesses and startups, and with normal economic ups-and-downs, there was, as I said, the occasional late payment, but nothing at all serious. It’s a rare life-long business owner who has not had one or more liens placed on them personally. Again, I have never NOT paid anyone.
  10. That I was rude to another candidate; that I would not shake his hand. This is petty stuff, but it’s out there and so I will explain. In October 2017 this candidate, Bruce Cuff, promised me, as well as multiple other people and at least one organized group, that he would abide by a poll to be conducted in the first week of March 2018. He said that he would drop out of the race if he was not in first place among conservative candidates. This was HIS idea, that the candidate in second place would drop out to support whomever was in first place; that we must not split the conservative vote. The first week of March 2018 arrived and when I presented Cuff with the Triton scientific poll showing his 6% score compared to my 18% score, he refused to look at it and then said that we had never had made the agreement. He then turned and walked away (without shaking MY hand, or taking the hard-copy poll I offered him). Yes, I refused to shake his hand afterwards because that would have been a sign that I was OK with what he did; that breaking a solemn promise and then calling me a liar was fine with me. None of this matters now. As I said, it’s petty…
  11. That I am under criminal investigation. The other campaign’s incompetent operatives found someone else by the name of Sam Carpenter, who lives elsewhere in Oregon, who has an indictment, and they claimed it was me. There are a LOT of Sam Carpenters out there, and I’m sure there are multiple other Sam Carpenters who have rap sheets and legal problems. These “opposition research” operatives aren’t very good at what they do. How long did they think this particular accusation would stand? Did they think it would not backfire?
  12. That we brand our adversaries as David Duke and that we are bigots, racists, white supremacists, and homophobes. It’s simple: the rumor started with a single person accusing me of being a terrorist (see #5 above). Not only is the claim ridiculous, but it comes from a mindset that assumes all people from Islamic countries, or people who did work in an Islamic country, are terrorists (BTW, a decidedly racist positioning). When asked by a supporter how to deal with these people in a private message, a member of my campaign suggested that labeling them racists like David Duke, and calling on other candidates to denounce them, was appropriate. Simple as that. And for the record, my two grown children are half Hispanic. I reject all racism. Period.
  13. That I voted for Barak Obama. Ludicrous! I voted for John McCain – and was especially excited that Sarah Palin was on the ticket! I did not support McCain in the primary – I admit I was not even registered as a Republican at the time (I was an independent). But the election of Obama, which I saw as the failure of McCain – and the Republican Party – to stop him, was what sparked my desire to get more involved; to support a conservative Republican Party agenda and to get involved politically. That was in 2009.
  14. That I’m an Email Spammer. Tracy Cheeseman is a field and yard sign volunteer from Union County, who sent a small batch of emails in my support to Washington County PCP’s without my campaign’s or my personal knowledge. (And I don’t have a problem with that. She’s not a paid campaign staffer. That was her choice.) Some in Washington County have said that I engineered this, calculating people would assume Tracy Cheeseman’s name would be interpreted as Tray Honl’s name (the Washington County Republican Chair). Tracy Cheeseman got the database from someone else, NOT from my campaign. Tracy Cheeseman’s main sin seems to be her first name. Her last name was prominent in the email (so what is the problem?) This mailing was not meant to mislead because I knew nothing about it, Tracy Cheeseman had no idea that some of the people who read it would confuse her with Tracy Honl, her last name was prominently displayed, and anyway, Tracy Cheeseman never heard of Tracy Honl or that she was chairperson of the Washington County Republican Party. Tracy Cheeseman lives in the La Grande area. This charge is akin to the sign-stealing charge described below, in #16.
  15. That I don’t pay my bills. Again, as noted above, I had difficulty in the early 90’s with a hard-hitting divorce and business struggles – but, again, as I wrote in my book, I turned everything around and paid every bill… and went on to grow several successful businesses that I still operate and own.
  16. That my team was removing Wooldridge yard and field signs and replacing them with our own. Not true. Doing that would be tacky and stupid, and I’m neither. In fact, my team observed Wooldridge staff removing my signs and replacing them with Wooldridge’s (I can provide this source).
  17. That I am a lousy leader. If you think that, talk to the people who work for me, look at the bottom-line of my businesses, and/or read my book Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less. This two-year, AAS. degreed candidate is winning the Oregon Republican Gubernatorial nomination spending less than 10% of what Knute Buehler, Rhodes Scholar, is spending, the establishment-approved, assumed blue-blood heir to the nomination. This efficiency and thrift is in my businesses too; it’s why they are successful, and this efficiency and thrift will be precisely how we will win the governor’s seat in November…and at the same time, take back the leadership of the House and the Senate. And after that, it’s how we will stimulate the economy of this state to take off, and how the government will be retreating from your personal life. In my tenure as your governor, your government is going to be returned to you, the people, quickly and completely. Just watch.

I have never been charged, indicted, arrested, spent a night in jail, received a restraining order, failed to pay a debt, filed for bankruptcy, and as I said above, ever been convicted of anything (other than the above-mentioned misdemeanor charge when I was 19).

Designed to damage our campaign, it’s a tragedy these fabrications may prevent the Oregon Turn-Around. Let’s hope the OSTV effort, combined with the character assassination efforts of my panicked opponent, Knute Buehler, fail, so we can get this state back on its feet after three decades of decline….

If I don’t win the nomination on May 15th, Kate Brown and her far-left progressive pals will stay in office another four years. I don’t envy the propagators of the above fabrications as they will be facing the wrath of voters, voters who believed we really could have turned this state around. Ouch.


*Footnote to #3, above. Here’s Red Forman, the popular TV dad from “That 70s Show” who, much like Archie Bunker, was a tough nut, and who called everyone who was an idiot (everyone else on the show) a “dumbass.” It’s a pop-culture classic pejorative. Google it.