Of course the recall failed!

And as an encore, let’s get ready for a repeat performance. More on that in a minute.

So, in the Oregon Republican Party recall attempt, not nearly enough signatures were collected/submitted.*  Following is a let’s-get-right-down-to-it summary of this carefully engineered fiasco.

Last July 26th I risked being labeled a traitor by Oregon Republican Party leadership as I publicly challenged their recall-Kate-Brown efforts. More recently, Bill Currier, ORP Chairman, called me names.

I was not alone in expressing my doubts about the recall attempt. Like a few others who were disenchanted and who had the temerity to say so publicly, I made my points because the truth HAD to be delivered. I said that the ORP would gin up enormous grassroots fervor for the recall, it would fail, and then our Republican base would be emotionally exhausted, frustrated, and demoralized just as we should be starting to gather our strength for the upcoming 2020 races.

Bill Currier’s repeated explanation for the recall effort – in itself predicting the expected failure – was that the recall action would, if nothing else, “deliver a message” to Democrats.

Currier was exactly correct about this. A message HAS been delivered to Democrats: the truth that Republican leadership is dysfunctional and laughable.

And it also delivered a gigantic false message, and this infuriates me, that our Republican base of over 700,000 is also dysfunctional and laughable.

For the record, early last August, Diana and I perfunctorily signed both recall initiatives and then we silently stood aside until the eve of the ORP Platform meeting later that month in which I publicly asked the ORP Executive Committee some pointed questions (https://www.makeoregongreatagain.com/newsroom/questions-for-the-orp-executive-committee/) which of course were officially ignored. I am positive that particular post, just days before the Platform meeting in Pendleton, helped prevent ORP leadership from shifting the party radically Leftward.

I’ve remained silent from then until now, in the same way I was silent during the gubernatorial general election campaign when I knew for certain that Knute Buehler would lose that election. (Then and now, you can call my silence the political strategy of a “good” Republican. No one can blame me personally for either of these failures.)

My problem is not with the Oregon Republican Party’s Central Committee of perhaps 150 members, and certainly not with the massive Republican base. My problem is with the very top directing force of our party, the approximate twenty members of the Executive Committee and particularly the top leadership including Solomon Yue, Bill Currier and Jeff Grossman who, in their party-power influence, have produced literally nothing of substance for the Republican base. And in fact, they have greased the wheels for continued radical Democrat progressive control of the government in Salem.

Below, I re-publish portions of my July post about the recall effort. (I have slightly paraphrased a couple of points, and added a link).

Pay attention to the content. Be courageous and draw your own conclusions.

July 26th Post:
“Of course, removing Kate Brown would be a good thing, but at what cost and to what benefit?

“First of all, the hurdles to reach the required number of signatures in 90 days, followed by a referendum vote in our favor will be near impossible. Why? Because of the inevitable management problems that will embroil the establishment-led Oregon Republican Party that has a decade-long legacy of failure. There is no paid staff. The chairman is part-time. There is no staffed office (although the Party pays a hefty rent each month), there is minuscule voter-engagement (https://www.makeoregongreatagain.com/the-hijacking-and-the-neutering-of-the-oregon-republican-party/), most counties are in disarray because of lack of direction from state party leadership, and there have been doubts about the most basic premise: does the state party support President Trump, or not? (Until this last January, the answer to that question was an inarguable “no.” And now? Support is perfunctory.)

“Look at the ORP website. Cartoonish, with many information links not working and much information sorely outdated. Some of the 2016 candidates are still listed as running for office…

“And there is already another recall effort underway. Considering this factor alone, is this (vote splitting) not a recipe for chaos and failure?

“And there’s this, especially: In the slim chance we win a recall ballot measure, Democrat progressive Tobias Read, the current Democrat State Treasurer, would replace Kate Brown…and who’s to say he won’t be worse than her? Then, as governor, Read would come into the general election in 2022 as a more or less entrenched incumbent and by definition would have a huge advantage against a Republican challenger.

“And during this signature-gathering time, Republicans will be distracted, running in well-meaning but frenetic circles, and not getting ready for what we need to do to take back the legislature so we can at least slow down Kate Brown’s onslaught in her last two years, as well as prepare to install a Republican governor in January 2023.

“Certainly, ORP leadership knows how unlikely it is that this recall effort will succeed, and certainly they realize that even if it did succeed, that it will do no good. Of course, they know this!

“So why are they doing it?

“In politics, behind every move, there is always a strategy…and sometimes that strategy has a damn diabolical motive. I could elaborate more here, but I won’t. The timing isn’t right. Maybe later. For now, draw your own conclusions.

“Having said that much, we urge our fellow Republicans to sign whichever recall petition they desire, or both of them, even if it’s just a feel-good move. But then let it go and join us in focusing on the only goals that really matter and in which we can actually succeed: insuring success in the next election including delivering seven electoral votes to President Trump, and at the very least, removing the Democrat super-majorities in Salem. –sam”

So, Executive Committee and Central Committee members especially, ask yourself if there is a leadership problem with your state-level Oregon Republican Party? Do you see a pattern of profound non-accomplishment, and as a result, a state solidly in the lap of the Leftist opposition?

Presuming the ORP’s prime-objective is to lead us to electoral victories: you say you don’t see a problem with ORP leadership? Then either you and I live on different planets, or you feel hamstrung to say anything in the face of the intimidation of the current ORP leadership. My guess is it’s the latter…

In a Facebook statement tonight, Bill Currier said, “It’s often necessary to fight twice to win once.” Does this mean we can look forward to another recall signature-gathering fiasco, further stirring up the base in this endless fool’s errand that will continue to distract conservative voters from doing anything substantial in preparation for November 2020?

Is THIS how we’re going to spend the next 13 months until election day?

From the ORP, is there ANY talk about the 15 vacant house seats we had in 2018? Is there any talk of the super-majorities in our legislature?

(BTW, a super-reliable source told me yesterday (Monday evening), after visiting one-on-one with Bev Clarno in Salem earlier in the day, that Clarno stated adamantly that there is NO WAY she can be governor if Kate Brown is ever recalled. The current Treasurer, Tobias Read, would be the incumbent governor in the gubernatorial election of 2022.)

Interesting that the also unsuccessful Michael Cross recall-Kate-Brown effort gathered 100,000 signatures that did not appear in the ORP signature database. Why did the ORP initiate a recall effort after Michel Cross began his? The skeptics among us would say this looks just like the tried-and-true ORP vote-splitting protocol used in our primary elections…).

Great job ORP. Really: who exactly are you working for?

It’s planned chaos, a perfect scenario for Oregon Democrat progressives.

Just a tiny handful of ORP leaders have virtually destroyed Republican influence in this state, converting all 701,000 of us into neutered laughing stocks. It would not be unreasonable to ask the entire Executive Committee to resign after this latest debacle. But then, what would that achieve? The damage-repair would be a colossal undertaking, and who wants to undertake that?

For now, we’re lost. And until we can admit that courageously, there is no hope.

Politically it can’t get worse for Oregon Republicans. Expect this horrible manipulation and weakness to continue unless there is a virtual revolution within the ORP power structure.

I’m not holding my breath.

-sam carpenter

  • Postscript (10/22/2019):  I discovered yesterday that a total of slightly over 130,000 signatures were gathered. A colossal boondoggle, this  is 46% of the required 280,000 necessary to get an initiative on the ballot.