Sam Carpenter for Governor of Oregon

The draining of the Salem swamp will soon begin.

I’m Sam Carpenter and I live in Bend. Today, I’m announcing my candidacy as a Republican candidate for Oregon governor.

I’m not a politician, I’m a businessman and a long-term resident of Oregon who passionately loves this state, just as you do.

But it’s the political dysfunction that distresses me, and I find myself uniquely qualified to actually DO something about it.

Personal liberty, free enterprise and the American institutions that are the foundations of this great country are under assault: everything from Christmas, to football, to how we worship, to, now, even the dignity of our fallen soldiers. Enough! It has to stop!

I share President Trump’s vision of creating vibrant economic opportunity, with less government interference in our lives, (of course, custom-fit in our own unique Oregon way). To be a bit more specific, I’m pro-life, rely on God’s wisdom, revere our military and first responders, and want a limited government based on our U.S. Constitution.

I love our flag and I always stand with pride for our national anthem.

In my bid for US Senate in 2016, I was the single Oregon candidate who publicly endorsed Donald Trump prior to the Oregon primaries.

As your governor, I’ll fight for less government and putting the power back in your hands where it belongs. Today, I’m not seeing this commitment or direction from either side of the political establishment.

I have no choice but to run for governor and, with your help, to quickly begin making the long overdue changes necessary to make Oregon great again.

Here’s the thing. In Oregon, eight out of ten voices have been ignored: Government is NOT to be our master. It’s to be our servant. And I reject the progressive far-left presumption that you and I – the working people of Oregon – are not smart enough to manage our own lives.

That’s arrogant and ridiculous, and like many of you, I’ve had a bellyful of it. Working people and small business owners, from various political affiliations, BUILT this incredible country.

We will no longer be ignored, and then mocked.

And, especially from our working class – and since the beginning of America – more than a million men and women have died defending it.

My personal background is small-town working class, at the age of eleven, I began work with door-to-door sales, and by my mid-thirties had held dozens of mostly blue collar jobs. And, I have a technical degree in forestry. But, although my heart has always yearned for chainsaws, heavy equipment, and to be part of a down and dirty construction crew, for the last 30 years I’ve been a CEO and job producer, the author of a best-selling business book, and a professional turn-around specialist who, in collaboration with my business partner, has assisted in the rescue, growth and success of over 500 small businesses across the country.

I’m a fixer and a builder, and like any good CEO, I have a talent for diving deep into the operation of a business to find what’s not right, and to quickly take that business to super-efficiency so it can provide great value for all involved – employees and customers.

I’m passionate to lead the charge to do the same thing with Oregon’s state government.

In our government, who are the employees? They are the governor, the legislature, the judicial, and our state workers.

And you and I are their customers: the over four million regular citizens of this state…the people who get up every day to show up on time to work; who contribute and volunteer, who build and maintain – who pay the taxes, who raise the children, who fight for our freedom and keep us safe at home, who watch over our own communities…and, yes, in Oregon especially, who comprise an incredibly diverse array of lifestyles and aspirations, beliefs and political affiliations.

You and me! We’re the customers!

Is our state government broken? Of course it is! Horribly so, bloated in size and clumsy in its operation. And of course, if it were a business that had to compete with other businesses to earn its survival through thrift, innovation, and great customer service, it would have failed years ago. You and I know that, for sure.

Look. In the big picture, consider that Oregon state collects more tax revenues than ever before, yet we’ll be billions in the negative before our next budget even begins! You know this, too: this is debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back. Can you imagine operating your small business or even a family budget in this way?

And then think about the unstoppable forest fires of this last August and September. It was a classic example of leadership incompetence and bureaucratic stranglehold, both on the federal and the state levels. Downtown Portland? Pretty scary place, nowadays. Rural Oregon? Economically devastated. The rule of law? The Oregon legislature has deemed Oregon a “sanctuary state,” self-righteously and without our permission, violating federal law.

And our current leadership turns a blind eye to riots, and drugs in the streets.

Small businesses, producing 70% of our jobs, are punished with high taxes and over-regulation.
And in the smaller picture, you know full-well our families have endured a long-term scarcity of jobs and opportunity. And for the jobs we DO have, wages are no better or even less than they were three decades ago, due to offshoring and wide-open borders.

Keep in mind that since 1990, inflation has cut the buying power of the dollar in half, while taxes have risen substantially. The people who are doing the work – blue collar and white collar alike – have been relentlessly hammered.

Our children are set back right from the very beginning because of our poor schools, and our seniors struggle on fixed incomes.

But I go back to the debt: What business operates this way, all the while punishing its customers?

And why are things getting worse rather than better? First, it’s because the embattled Governor Kate Brown and her leadership cohorts are horribly inefficient bureaucrats. And second, and what makes their inability to manage things much worse, is that their leadership decisions are based on a progressive far-left ideology that ignores the safety and economic well-being of their customers – you and me, and our children.

You and I believe people should rise based on merit: to what they contribute and accomplish. The progressive far-left ideology looks down upon merit-based advancement.

And in no way do I suggest the 10% of our society that truly needs help, due to physical or mental handicap, or their age – very young or very old, and abandoned, should be left behind. Our society has plenty enough capacity to take good care of those who need it.

And this has to be said: The Democratic party leadership of today is far different from that of John Kennedy or of even Bill Clinton. Kate Brown and her pals in DC have drifted far, far left. So for this reason, you won’t see me criticizing Democrats, or even liberals, whose leaders have strayed. Our nemesis is the Democratic Party Progressive far-left leadership, not the bulk of the party membership itself.

OK. Let’s get down to it regarding ideology: The problem with far-left progressives, who are maybe 20% of our Oregon population, is they consider themselves intellectually and socially superior to you and me – the remaining 80% — which includes non-progressive Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Non-affiliated, Libertarians, and the rest. And because far-left progressives believe that our 80% has created an inferior society, they consider it their moral duty to roll over the top of us by passing laws that will create THEIR vision of the “correct society,” the society that “should be.”

Of course, their presumptions are profoundly wrong.

Ask yourself, “did I vote for government expansion, higher taxes, more debt, and for Oregon to be a sanctuary state”?

And this: Do I really want four-more-years of this? And here’s something else: In all likelihood, President Trump will be reelected to a second term in 2020. Do you really want six more years of a governor who despises our President and who will work against him at every turn?

So, instead, I’m asking you to imagine a state government that is less intrusive; functioning in the background to benefit our lives, not dictating what they should be. And imagine a government that operates in the black, not by raising taxes and hampering economic growth with ridiculous regulations, but by working hard to make itself smaller and less intrusive.

Government will instantly stimulate the economy by getting out of the way and leaving us alone.

We can’t tax our way out of the debt crisis. We need to grow ourselves out of it.

This less-government/lower taxes/fewer regulations/get-out-of-the-way orientation is precisely opposite of the leadership of governor Kate Brown.

Since the problems I’ve outlined cross ALL economic, philosophical and social boundaries, today I ask you to put aside your political menu, and instead, look with fresh eyes to decide for yourself how things are for YOU right now. Are they OK?

Here’s what I will do as your governor: We will seek out and destroy bureaucratic strangleholds as I work with our legislative and judicial branches to first, prioritize problems and then to fix them one-by-one. Systematically, piece-by piece, we’ll make our Oregon government machine smaller, tighter, and faster, and we’ll make it operate in the black – without raising taxes or neglecting those in need.

It’s a huge to-do list, but we should relish the thought of tackling this challenge because there is so much room for improvement; improvement that can happen fast. This repair work will be profoundly satisfying for all of us.

And, of course, government comes with an inherent flaw – it’s “other people spending other people’s money” – and this is why it can get so out of control, and this is why citizen leaders are better than professional politicians in managing the machinery of it.

Subtle political power-plays, favors for preferred groups, and too much bureaucracy, distract from government’s singular goal of serving the people of Oregon. This kind of distraction engenders waste, while at the same time our Oregon society deteriorates into lawlessness and debt.

Your governor’s office will have no ulterior political motives. There will be no favors to large donors, lobbyists, unions or corporations. I’ll take no large campaign contributions from corporations. If I did that, I’d be putting a leash around my own neck.

We cannot allow special interests to shape our future. You, the citizens of Oregon will shape your own futures. From the beginning, this is how it was meant to be in this great experiment called America.

But listen! Winning the governor’s seat in November of next year is not enough. If we’re going to achieve fast, significant improvement in the lives of all Oregonians, we must also create a “governmental Red Trifecta.” This means we must also put both sides of our Salem legislature under Republican leadership.

What shall we call this quest for control of the executive and legislative branches of government? Let’s call it the 2018 Oregon political Red Trifecta Movement. A movement to allow choice, create opportunity and quickly deliver power back to you, the people of Oregon.

Did you know that of our 50 states, there’s already 26 red trifectas, and just 6 blue? And of the 26, four new ones were born just a year ago, in the 2016 elections.

Another statistic: Exactly 70% of America’s governors are Republican.

The political momentum is relentlessly in our favor across the country. It’s been going in this direction for eight years. The numbers say there is no question we can achieve the Red Trifecta.

In the upcoming elections, if your candidate, for whatever office, is not rallying around this movement for a Red Trifecta, you should consider another candidate who is!

Here’s how the campaign will unfold for me: Once the Primary election has passed next May, and I’ve been named Republican nominee for governor, my main task for the following six months will be to work closely – on the ground, in person – with Oregon Republican House and Senate candidates to insure we gain the Oregon Red Trifecta in the November 2018 election.

I won’t just be campaigning for myself. I’ll also be campaigning for the Trifecta.

And of course we’re ready for the inevitable attacks from the progressive far-left media. Those attacks will begin NOW. I won’t shy away and I won’t apologize for who I am or what I believe. Neither should you.

Together, let’s be bold and confident!

As I deliver this message to you, the momentum is surging: we already have an army of nearly 50,000 Oregonians subscribed to our Facebook page, with over 30,000 of those having enlisted since September 1st when I first suggested that I might be a gubernatorial candidate.

Let’s upset the apple cart!

Will you climb on board?

Join our movement and volunteer or donate at our Make Oregon Great Again website. And on the website, you can join us on our direct mailing list, and join us there too on Facebook and Twitter.

Together we can do this!

I’m Sam Carpenter. I’m running for Oregon governor – for your governor – and I appreciate your support

-Sam Carpenter