From the 2019 book by Sam Carpenter, a chapter from Making Oregon Great Again: Guide to the Grassroots Revitalization of the Oregon Republican Party (and the Defeat of the Ruling Class).
Download the entire book for free at www.makeoregongreatagain.com/book
The ORP Doll House
(Author’s Note: April 1, 2019. This final chapter is published on the heels of the Mueller Report release. With that, it’s clear that, overall, Donald Trump continues to triumph over the DC Democrat progressive/Republican anti-Trump deep state. But what about Oregon? We remain in the iron grip of our own Republican deep-state/swamp leadership. -sc)
I lost the Oregon Republican Party chairmanship election in the February 16, 2019 Central Committee organizational elections held in Salem. No surprise. The ORP’s last-minute electioneering against me hinged 100% on the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary campaign treachery and lies of candidate Knute Buehler. Outspent ten to one in that race, Buehler’s big-money-politics-of personal-destruction tact has perhaps permanently tarnished my reputation, at least in the Oregon political world.
That’s OK. My family and I will survive.
In any case, Diana and I now have zero allegiance to the statewide ORP that, we finally understand now, is literally a front line for the progressive Left. With the current Republican Ruling Class leadership, the ORP is the enemy of the grassroots conservatives who comprise 90% of the party.
In any case, our ultimate allegiance lies with President Trump.
If there is to be salvation for the Oregon Republican Party, it will come from within those county party organizations that have not been corrupted by the anti-Trump/leftist leadership of the state organization. And that salvation can only happen when current Ruling Class Executive Committee members are replaced with true conservatives who represent the base of the party.
But at this point, salvation is a long shot…
Are we bitter? Nah. Not really.
As you read this final chapter of the book, see the one-layer-deeper reason Oregon is descending into a Democrat progressive hell-hole at supersonic speed. The reason is ridiculously simple, yet invisible. And so far, this reason is fully grasped by only a few politicos on our side.
Bully Tactics: The ORP Ruling Class’s Purge of Grassroots Conservatives
We’ve seen the outfall of the Mueller “investigation.” I’m here to tell you that similar deep-state forces have long been at work here in Oregon. And not just within the Democrat progressive left contingent, but also imbedded in our own party.
ORP “establishment” Ruling Class leadership continues to press the party hard to the Left with the majority of 21 Executive Directors conned and/or strong-armed into believing this is the best tact for winning statewide races.
Never mind that this “move-to-the-middle” approach is opposite the official Oregon Republican Party Platform and the wishes of the huge bulk of Republican voters who have not missed the fact that this stratagem has not worked even once in over 30 years of Oregon elections.
So why does party leadership keep pressing Left? The subtle reason is diabolical.
Read on, and I’ll put the pieces together.
Here in April 2019, under the ORP guise of “Blue Oregon” and “uninterested Republican voters,” nearly all grassroots conservatives have been purged from the ORP’s Executive Committee ranks.
Former ORP Vice-Chair establishment Republican Chris Barreto made a very public announcement last Fall that she was retiring from ORP Executive Committee involvement. Yet, on February 16th at the Central Committee meeting, she quietly re-joined the Committee to replace recently appointed Finance Chair, Patti Adair.
Patti, a grassroots conservative and an accomplished fundraiser/political organizer, as well as Deschutes County’s most recently elected county commissioner, wasn’t notified by Chair Currier that she had been replaced. To add further insult to injury, there was no attendee package prepared for Patti when she arrived at the above mentioned Central Committee meeting. In her rude dismissal, the message was clear.
To the disgust of her grassroots supporters, Patti was gone before she arrived.
And now, as I predicted back in February, there is an Executive Committee ambush to recall Marylin Shannon as Oregon National Committeewoman. Marylin is a forty-year veteran of Oregon Republican conservative politics. She’s a grassroots icon, and a direct link back to “how things used to be” in our state.
So, what is the problem?
Simple: Patti and Marylin are conservatives.
The Executive Committee’s baseless attacks on Marylin, fueled by conjecture and innuendo, are in full swing as this chapter goes to print. The vote is scheduled for the next Central Committee meeting in McMinnville on Saturday, April 6th, 2019.
Already, multiple county chairs have petitioned the ORP Executive Committee to withdraw the petition for Marylin’s recall. It seems to these chairs that the ORP has bigger problems to tackle than this purely politically-motivated bullying effort to expel yet another highly qualified (and especially esteemed) grassroots conservative Committee member.
If the ORP Ruling Class can successfully oversee Marylin Shannon’s ouster, do not be surprised if Chris Barreto, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of her voluntary and well-publicized retirement, also takes over this important RNC Oregon Committeewoman seat.
You’re asking, WHY would Executive Committee members of the ORP, who have presided over the literal loss of the state, have the nerve to ask to stay in power when they clearly will be unable to reverse the steam-rolling political disaster that happened under their own watch?
Actually, that’s an easy question to answer. It’s because for the two or three people who are orchestrating the ORP’s powerlessness, the continued loss of the state to the Left is precisely the goal.
And the rest of the ORP Executive leadership? Good people, but hoodwinked.
Republican Primary Election Manipulations of the ORP Ruling Class
This is key: step-by-step, we’ve lost our state in the primary elections. Why have we consistently been losers in general elections? It’s because, in the important statewide and Federal races, our Republican nominees have been, by-design, left-leaners.
Republican “moderate” candidates simply can’t win general elections! These nominees are pretenders. As they walk away from the conservative base and acquiesce to the Democrat Left, both Democrat and Republican base voters see their disloyalty and spinelessness and they vote accordingly.
Regardless of party affiliation, who wants to vote for a pretender?
A Republican nominee who campaigns as a Democrat-lite? It’s a sure-fire way to lose an election. And, here’s the thing: it’s a well thought-out primary tactic endorsed by our very top ORP leadership.
As he middle-fingered the Republican Party platform, and with zero resistance (and even encouragement) from our top ORP leaders, Knute Buehler’s failed 2018 gubernatorial candidacy was a perfect illustration of this deliberate tact.
In his general election loss, some Portland districts rewarded him with a mere 6% of the vote.
The state ORP’s personal-destruction whisper campaign against me in these more recent ORP elections is another example of how our ORP leadership operates.
Other tactics? Here’s one that is especially potent: The failure to stop (or rather, the encouragement) of vote-splitting. Go back to chapters 14 and 21 to review details.
But there’s another ploy too, one that I’ve briefly mentioned: to allow (if not encourage) “useful idiots” to secure a nomination, and then quietly watch that candidate do zero campaigning in the general election that follows. “Capture and hold” is a great strategy to insure the Democrat will win.
Yet another tactic: to make no effort to find Republican candidates. Over 25% of our Oregon House races had no Republican candidates whatsoever.
As chaos reigns, mostly our top ORP leadership stands by and watches silently. This do-nothing approach is a strategy. No longer should we attribute this non-action to uselessness or incompetence.
Another key to understanding how all this works: Chaos and disunity within the party is literally the goal, as it obscures what is really happening. Who stirs up this chaos? Just a couple of Republican leaders who – and I’ll be diplomatic here – do not represent the organization’s base membership.
How can the 10% of the base that comprises the anti-Trump Republican Establishment Ruling Class ever satisfy the conservative 90% that hates their leadership and who supports our president?
They can’t. And the chaos that ensues due to that internal dissatisfaction IS the goal!
Here’s my analogy: just a couple of Ruling Class individuals within Top Oregon Republican leadership have relegated the Republican base to be as innocuous in the Oregon political world as an eight-year old child playing quietly with a dollhouse. It’s fun for the child, and it certainly occupies the child’s time, and the child may even think the play is important. But the preoccupation, time-consuming as it might be, has zero effect on the world outside the child’s bedroom.
Diana offers this analogy, too. The Oregon Republican Party is an ant farm, with the Republican ground-troop ants busy building tunnels no one cares about except the ants doing the work. Every so often, progressive left operatives within our party will pick up and then vigorously shake the farm and the ants get even more preoccupied and distracted as they try to repair the damage; to stop the chaos. It’s all a useless waste of time and energy because in the big picture, no one outside the ant farm gives a damn.
The job of the Ruling Class, Left and Right, is to keep those ants busy, occasionally assuring them that what they do actually matters when, in the big picture, it doesn’t matter.
And while all this chaotic distraction is occurring, the Ruling Class caterwauls about the lack of unity within our party, of course blaming grassroots conservatives for not towing the Ruling Class line.
It’s infuriating to watch the 10% ORP Ruling Class leadership pretend to represent its 90% conservative Republican base. Truth is, these very few people in leadership hold conservatives in utter contempt. In their eyes, like in the eyes of any Democrat progressive, you and I are not their intellectual, spiritual, and moral equals.
Grassroots Republicans Out in the Cold
Facts are facts: Even though I had been outspent by Knute Buehler ten to one, statistically I was the leading candidate in the 2018 Oregon gubernatorial primary race until the final three weeks of the contest. Then, a very tiny contingent of Republican ruling class operativesunleashed a massive personal-slime campaign of lies and innuendo on me personally. (See chapter 27).
I also led the ORP leadership race until the final three weeks when an identical mudslinging whisper-campaign was unleashed by a handful of current board members and their outside sycophants.
The means justifies the ends. It’s always about power. Never mind the facts.
In my view, and I am certain of it, the goal of the current top ORP leadership is to install Leftist Republicans in the Executive Committee in order to insure Lefties are nominated in statewide and federal races. Conservatives are to be banned.
Why? Ironically, because a good conservative would win, and winning is not the goal.
I am a conservative Trump-supporter, and the Ruling Class – Left and Right – could not allow me to be nominated for governor or to take leadership of the ORP. It would not be permitted. No way!
Here it is: The ORP’s carefully orchestrated move-to-the-Left tactic is deployed by Leftist pied-piper infiltrators imbedded at the very top of our Party. They want leftist nominees, not because these nominees can win, but because these nominees will always lose.
The rest of the Executive Committee and the majority of the State Central Committee? As I’ve said, these essentially good people really do think that shifting to the Left is what we must do to win statewide races. They are good people; just misguided.
This calculated move-to-the-Left ploy – and the associated purge of grassroots conservatives from ORP’s top-leadership – guarantees Oregon Republicans will continue to lose critical elections.
Progressives laugh at us, while our conservative base seethes.
We’ve been watching this scenario for too many years. How much more proof do we need?
The upcoming 2020 elections? Watch for repeat performances, including from many of the same bad actors.
And I’ll state again that the Left’s killer-manipulations are always in the primary elections where can’t-win “moderate” Republican nominees are carefully channeled into the general elections so they can lose to their Democrat opponents.
And for posterity, this seemingly obvious fact must be stated categorically: Of course, progressive leftist Democrats don’t want us to win elections! And, of course that’s why they want our candidates to ignore and annoy our conservative base!
It’s been so, so simple for the Left to stop us cold! They recognize this is war (while we do not), and so, as warriors, they conspire. War almost always includes some degree of espionage from opposing sides. But in this particular war the espionage is one-sided, from Democrats because our side is so distracted by our own internal chaos…and the political myth that we must move Left (see Chapter 1).
Internally, we’re too angry and disorganized and distracted to even start to fight the other side.
Equally disturbing is that the huge majority of Oregon Republican voters know for sure that the continued shift to the Left is what has killed the Republican Party and led to disaster electorally. Correctly suspecting Leftist infiltrators at work at the very top, our voters fully understand that – other than the infiltrators – two-thirds of ORP Central Committee leadership has unknowingly drunk the Kool-Aid.
Wait. Maybe this is the ultimate galling insanity: the obedient media, progressives, and our own anti-Trump contingent points to the ORP’s “continued move to the right” as the reason for our electoral losses. Truth is, our conservative principles as reflected in the ORP platform have remained unchanged through the decades. This is not debatable: Our ORP leadership has moved hard Left despite the relatively unchanged conservative party platform – a product of the conservative base. And in this, the media, their progressive Democrat masters, and our own Ruling Class never-Trumper contingent, blame the incessant election losses on grassroots conservatives who, they declare, have “moved hard right!”
And there is no question that our unflinching support of Donald Trump further convinces those people that we are ill-informed, naïve and reactionary. In fact, fully confident, most recently they blamed the mere existence of Donald Trump for Buehler’s loss.
In his campaigning, Buehler apparently didn’t hate our president enough.
The ORP’s Faux Trump-Enthusiasm
And regarding the new-found support of President Trump within ORP leadership: the Executive Committee’s Trump-enthusiasm only began in the second week of January, 2019 when I took the statistical lead in the ORP chairmanship race. The previous three years? The ORP hardly mentioned Donald Trump. One ORP press release that did hit the streets just before the 2016 general election was downright derogatory to the man. Then, in June of 2017, as the economy surged due to Trump’s electoral victory eight months prior, two back-to-back ORP press releases came out in his support.
Then, for whatever reason, that brief eruption of support stopped cold and President Trump was ignored again. The ORP website reverted to hardly mentioning his name until January 8, 2019, five weeks before the ORP Central Committee leadership elections…and in the face of what seemed like my impending victory for Chairman. In that brief period, the ORP churned out three press releases in support of our president.
But, the ORP’s limited enthusiasm for our president that started just weeks before the ORP leadership elections doesn’t matter. My prediction: in a year from now, in the Oregon Republican U.S. Senate primary campaign, for example, there will be one “moderate” never-Trumper candidate vs. four to six rag-tag grassroots Trump-supporting conservatives. Those grassroots candidates will split the conservative vote thus delivering the nomination to the moderate (who will go on to lose the general election against the Democrat progressive nominee).
And it’s likely no credible Republican grassroots conservative candidate will be in the running. What serious primary election candidate, leading in the polls halfway through the contest, would want to endure hell-fire attacks on their personal reputation, only to lose in the final weeks of the campaign?
And if I’m wrong and in the primary race there happens to be a particularly solid, courageous grassroots conservative U.S. Senate candidate, expect a well-funded last-minute “conservative” pro-life vote-splitting candidate to enter the race. The vote-splitters’ sole task will be to absorb a big chunk of the conservative candidate’s votes that will be driven away by the inevitable no-holds-barred, last-minute mudslinging by the ORP’s chosen moderate candidate.
Perhaps Knute Buehler and Greg Wooldridge will do an encore.
In any scenario, the Trump-supporting conservative vote will be split and the single designated “moderate” candidate will be the nominee. Wittingly or unwittingly, this nominee will be defeated in the November general election.
Yet again, ORP leadership will stand back and do next to nothing while all this happens.
Watch for this pattern in all of the important upcoming contests.
With current ORP leadership, here are the races we could lose in 2020: Treasurer, Attorney General, a U.S. Senate race, and four out of five Congressional Districts. And perhaps our single sitting Republican congressman, Greg Walden, will be defeated. The Democrat supermajority legislature could stand as-is, or more probably will become even more lopsided.
Again, there will be a large number of House races without Republican candidates.
The Mueller report’s utter vindication of Donald Trump? It won’t matter. Hey! This is Oregon, and we’ll beat to our own progressive drum until Hell freezes over.
Yeah right. Keep Portland weird.
The Oregon gubernatorial race of 2022? A mere formality for the Democrats as our Republican ants scurry about…
Oregon conservative Republicans have been neutered by their own party.
In Summary: The Ploy
As noted, with the ORP infiltrated and managed by a couple of Left-leaning operatives, leadership positioning is opposite that of literally 90% of Oregon Republican voters, voters who are profoundly disappointed with current Salem government and the state ORP. These Oregonians want BIG change. Despite the ORP’s new-found (and to be short-lived) ORP Trump-enthusiasm, nothing tangible is going to change in election outcomes until we replace our current top ORP leadership. As things stand now, we’re going to continue to lose important general elections because of the ORP’s failure to find viable conservative candidates due to their…
- overt and covert preference for “moderate” Republican candidates
- conscious decision to allow chaos to reign in primary elections
- failure to quell personal-destruction mudslinging against conservatives
- encouragement of vote-splitting and “capture and hold” shenanigans
- deliberate lack-of-action used as a tactic
Solomon Yue: Crazy-Maker Extraordinaire
The chief protagonist of the Oregon anti-Trump Ruling Class contingent is Solomon Yue. See Appendix S for a 2010 letter by former ORP Chair Bob Tiernan. It says it all, and it was written nine years ago…
Remember that chaos is key to creating an inefficient and therefore useless organization. (My bet is that Solomon Yue has a Mao quote to substantiate that point…).
Note that in my candidacy for ORP Chair, Bob Tiernan and three other past ORP presidents, plus a former U.S. House Representative, endorsed me and my slate. This action was in blunt opposition to existing ORP Ruling Class leadership. I didn’t personally ask any of them for their support. Unknown to me, they worked together and did it on their own. See Appendix T to read their endorsement letter.
I won’t go into all the details of what I know about Yue except the following, because it’s so recent (and because it’s so annoying): in his presentation at the 2019 Central Committee Organization meeting in Salem last February, Yue went on and on about a recent discussion he said he had with Stephen Moore, Chief Economist for President Trump. In his presentation to the ORP Central Committee, Yue crowed that he had schooled Moore on President Trump’s intentions, China economics, super-power status, etc.
Gag me with a fork.
I’ve been personally acquainted with Steve for ten years. At my request, he’s come from DC to Oregon more than once to speak to Republican groups to which I’ve belonged. I’ve visited with him in California, Portland, and Washington DC. Steve has stayed with Diana and me in our home in Bend. I will speculate, diplomatically, that Solomon Yue is not someone Steve Moore would describe as either a follower or a mentor. I will opine further that the two have zero in common, personally and otherwise.
Beyond Bob Tiernan’s letter, there is a significant body of evidence from multiple sources to support the contention that nearly two decades of ORP chaos has stemmed from Solomon Yue’s iron-grip, manipulative leadership.
Remember that chaos is the prime objective.
If there is to be a recall effort, it should target National Committeeman Solomon Yue, not National Committeewoman Marylin Shannon. But, of course the ORP Executive Board would never allow that to happen. Yue owns the Board.
Negligible Contributions (and the Big Lie)
The ORP has very little money, barely enough to operate. And there’s debt. Why are there so few contributions? Because the ORP does not accomplish anything of real value for the people of the state. Oregon is – administratively, legislatively, and judicially – ruled by Democrat progressives. Why should anyone contribute to the Republican Party?
Do donors truly want more of the same?
According to ORP Chairman Bill Currier, as he listlessly stated at the ORP Central Committee meeting in February, the problem is that the ORP, under his leadership, just needs more time to convince donors to give more money. He droned, “Donors want consistency in leadership.” And we are to believe that Bill Currier’s unprecedented third two-year term should be just the ticket!
Currier is a failure at fundraising, having brought in, literally, less than $11,000 in his most recent three years as Chair. Check it out for yourself at the Secretary of State’s page, but following is the over-view. Really, does anyone think donations are going to suddenly start rolling in because Currier has another term?
Incoming Funds to ORP
So now Bill Currier has a third two-year term. Never mind that no ORP Chair in the past 40 years has served more than two terms. And, never mind that he’s overseen the literal destruction of the Oregon Republican Party and the evaporation of a conservative presence in Salem.
No question about it, donors will not be impressed with two more years of the same non-accomplishment by a useless political party. Watch: there will continue to be minimal contributions.
I know it and you know it.
The utter lie that Currier personally raised $1,500,000 in contributions in 2018 should have, all by itself, ended the current ORP Regime in this last February’s elections. The huge bulk of that total amount was because gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler used the ORP’s 501C3 non-profit mailing discount to send out several million brochures. The rest of the total was from a couple of other candidates who did the same thing.
In itself, this scheme is possibly an illegal undertaking. Someone should look into that.
Legal or not, it was “contribution laundering.” And in any case, when did a candidate ever make a contribution to their own party? Good God! Candidates SEEK contributions! Representing this money as a Bill Currier fundraising triumph is a flat-out fabrication.
And note: those who are politically aware unanimously agree that a political party Chair’s primary job is to raise money. In glaring contrast to the Currier performance, note that Perry Atkinson, in his four-year stint as ORP Chair, raised nearly three million dollars in actual contributions.
Will there be any Viable Grassroots Republican candidates?
Forget it. No time soon. What sane person would risk sending their personal reputation through the meat-grinder after seeing what ORP leadership allowed Knute Buehler do to me in the 2018 Oregon Republican primary election?
The Oregon Republican Party COULD monitor, police, and channel primary campaigns to a meaningful degree.
Does anyone believe the Democrats don’t control their own internal goings-on?
The ORP has become a diabolically leaderless, dysfunctional organization, unwilling to recruit and protect conservative candidates.
Yes, at least for now, our state is lost. We can’t fight the progressive beast if we don’t have leaders willing and able to enter that fight.
Guidelines for Future Conservative Efforts
For guidelines for the future – if the current ORP leadership applecart could somehow be flipped over – go back to Chapter 34. There I outline mechanical strategies for a new ORP; strategies that are underwritten by a return to conservatism, fighting back rather than cowering, and overt support of President Trump.
The 90% must take back control of our party.
I’ve been a resident of Oregon for 45 years, and these days the following lyrics haunt me as I’ve watched our beautiful state’s descent into a progressive Hell-hole…and as Diana and I consider departing from politics and perhaps from Oregon itself. This is from the song, “Wooden Ships,” composed by David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Paul Kantner, circa 1968.
Horror grips us as we watch you die
All we can do is echo your anguished cries
Stare as all human feelings die
We are leaving, you don’t need us
Go take a sister, then, by the hand
Lead her away from this foreign land
Far away, where we might laugh again
We are leaving, you don’t need us
And it’s a fair wind blowing warm out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I’ll set a course and go
As it is, the Oregon Republican Party is not protecting us against the Democrat progressive Ruling Class. And in fact, diabolical, it has been helping to ensure Oregon’s decline in every aspect that affects you and me: from massive debt, to encroachment on our 1st and 2nd amendment rights, insane taxation, free-form abortions, hellish forest fires, street-chaos and filth in the cities, rural poverty, lack of opportunity for our children, and on-and-on.
Today, the progressive Left owns Oregon, and their operatives have corrupted and therefore neutered the ORP, the single organization that could fight back the Left.
With many thanks to our supporters, please understand we may very will decide that we just can’t afford – financially, physically, or psychologically – to continue this political fray. We’ve done everything we could to help turn this wayward ship around. Maybe this book will assist future conservative grassroots warriors to move ahead, confidently and unafraid, to take firm control of their ORP, reclaim Salem, and then to do what must be done for the people of Oregon.
* Mark Callahan has executed this strategy twice in the past two election cycles. He won the nomination for Oregon U.S. Senate in 2016, and then the CD2 nomination in 2018. In each case, after his primary victory, he did literally nothing to either raise money or campaign for the general elections that followed. Thus, in his inaction, he made it easy for the Democrat progressive nominees to win both those races.
** Bad actors, mostly anti-Trumpers, directly or indirectly associated with the Knute Buehler 2018 Oregon gubernatorial Republican primary race’s perfectly executed vote-splitting/personal-smear effort: Greg Wooldridge, Jonathon Lockwood, Bruce Cuff, Russ Walker (consultant to Wooldridge), Dan Lavey (consultant to Buehler), Jeff Grossman, Bill Post, Ben West, and Derrick Kitts. In this nefarious group, add Mark Callahan, and of course there was – always laying low – the political mastermind of ORP chaos, Solomon Yue.
*** The Republican Ruling Class’s character destruction protocol: using mainstream media henchmen, the ultimate aim is the personal annihilation of any viable conservative candidate who challenges their strangle-hold on power. The leftist-style attacks hinge on treachery and lies, always smothered in a bath of PC/virtue-signaling. The ultimate task is not just to defeat conservative candidates in primary elections, but to destroy them personally – and therefore politically – so they never reappear. And yes, so they will serve as examples of what will happen to any future grassroots conservative candidates who have the temerity to challenge Ruling Class authority.
**** Summary of transactions based upon interpretation of the categorization in Orestar. Note: ORP “bucketing” may change categorization slightly. This summary assumes that funds channeled through the ORP for candidate postal mailings do not constitute “fund-raising.” It assumes the same for County organization and PAC input.