Questions for the ORP Executive Committee


Adapted from the Making Reality Great Again Facebook post of 8/19/2019

Not officially affiliated with the ORP Central Committee, nor an office holder, now I find myself a grassroots blogger. We have over 100,000 Oregon direct subscribers and reach in excess of 400,000 Oregon Republicans every month. That’s a decent audience.

One of my favorite quotes is Stephen Covey’s, “Begin with the End in Mind.” That is actually a Chapter title in his Seven Habits book. So, what is the “end” goal of this post? Simply to put every question about the ORP Executive Committee’s performance in one place. By doing this, perhaps a chink will appear in the armor of the Oregon Republican Party’s Executive Committee leadership.

Regarding ORP leadership, someone has to do the critique and perhaps I am the most qualified outsider to do it. But then again, I’ve been deep inside the political meat grinder as both a US Senate candidate and a gubernatorial candidate (2016 and 2018).

I know exactly how the sausage is made.

Do I care what the ORP Executive Committee thinks of me? Nope. For one thing, I’ve been “thoroughly vetted.” So, they don’t intimidate me even a little bit. And more importantly, the utter political devastation we’ve sustained here in Oregon over the last decade, much of which has to do with the ORP’s complete failure as an organization, has reduced the ORP’s engagement with regular Oregon Republican voters to virtually zero.

The Executive Committee will hammer me personally because they will have no good answers for the questions I ask here (Yes, of course that’s the way the Democrat Progressive Left operates. Attack the messenger personally with whatever can be conjured up.)

In any case, this post is about the ORP Executive Committee – our ORP’s very top official leadership. Not me.

I am not interested in leading the official ORP organization or in running for office in this cycle. But as ORP constituents – Diana and I are just two of over 701,000 total voting Republicans in the state – we have some legitimate questions that perhaps some Central Committee members could ask their Executive Committee.

In order to assume a proper big-picture perspective, before reading the Executive Committee questions we list below, there are a couple of questions you might first ask yourself: in Salem, have Oregon Republicans ever been politically weaker or more humiliated than they are now? And then ask yourself, is there any evidence that via our current leadership, will things will get any better in the near future?

Chronicled in our literally thousands of social media and one-on-one chats with Oregon Republican grassroots voters over the last three years, here are questions we’ve been asked, and now we direct them to the ORP Executive Committee:

  1. Here’s the most frequently asked overview/general question: why has Democrat Leftist influence been tolerated by the ORP Executive Committee, while conservatism has been downplayed? When has that posture won us even one significant election? Why does ORP leadership continue to push the party to the left when that stance has always failed, leading Oregon to this awful place?
  2. The Trump factor: while literally 90% of Oregon Republicans have supported Donald Trump from the beginning (a statistic consistent with the rest of the country), why did ORP leadership virtually ignore the man for literally two and a half years, from his nomination in July 2016 all the way through to the first week of January 2019 when my pro-Trump slate challenged their never-Trump leadership (that is headed up by Solomon Yue, Bill Currier, Tracy Honl, and indirectly by Knute Buehler – who, BTW,  literally hates our President)? Why did the ORP state party Executive Committee pretend Donald Trump didn’t exist for all that time? (Yes, ORP leadership is flat-out fibbing when they proclaim otherwise. This history of the regime’s non-support of our President has been carefully documented; is easily available to anyone via simple online research. I also precisely detail this in my book, Make Oregon Great Again.)
  3. Why have influential and respected conservatives (e.g. Marylin Shannon and Patti Adair), been banished from state ORP leadership? Did this happen so the Executive Committee could finally become a solid bastion of “moderates”?
  4. Why did the Executive Committee tolerate 2018 gubernatorial nominee Knute Buehler’s shameless rejection of the 2017 ORP platform? And why did the Executive Committee silently stand by to watch him execute his multi million-dollar primary campaign strategy of flat-out deceit?
  5. If the ORP insists it stands neutral in primary elections, why did an Executive Committee member endorse Knute Buehler early-on in the 2018 gubernatorial primary campaign?
  6. Before mounting a recall effort against Kate Brown, did anyone on the Executive Committee investigate what the actual outcome of a successful recall would be? Did the Committee not understand that an unsuccessful recall would demoralize our base, and that a successful one would do exactly the same because it would give us an incumbent democrat Governor Tobias Read to deal with in 2022? Doesn’t the ORP brass understand that facing an incumbent in that race would be a huge disadvantage for Republicans? (The recall effort, sexy as it sounds, is unquestionably a chaos-inducing, energy-draining lose-lose for Oregon Republicans. Why did ORP leadership make this move, especially when another identical effort was already underway? Our very top ORP leaders are smart political people. I think they knew the various negative outcomes full-well…especially the fact that this effort is distracting Oregon Republican voters from what really matters: electoral victories in 2020 and 2022.
  7. Why is communicating with regular Oregon Republican voters of such low priority and happen so infrequently?
  8. In 2018, why did 25% of House districts have no Republican candidate at all?
  9. What is the ORP doing to recruit and promote candidates for this upcoming most important election of our lifetimes? Or, diabolical as it sounds, and as I mentioned above, is the useless recall effort intended to divert grassroots energy, time and enthusiasm away from finding good candidates for those elections?
  10. Why does the ORP website continue to be so seriously outdated (e.g. still listing 2018 AND 2016(!) candidates, not listing Executive Committee members, with important links still “under construction” as they were two and even four years ago?
  11. And this: In the February 15, 2019 Executive election meeting, why did Chairman Bill Currier publicly promise the entire Central Committee, and I only slightly paraphrase him here, “The big donors are lining up to contribute! They just want to know they have two more years of my leadership! My first four years as Chair were carefully executed to lead up to this crescendo of contributions in my third term!” The facts: since that meeting and his re-election, per ORESTAR, a total of twenty-three ORP contributions totaling $17,000 have been gathered. $9,000 of that total came from Greg Walden, and a few true-believers including Greg Barreto and a couple of other individuals, the Baker County Republicans, the Marion County Republicans, etc. This means that, beyond those in-the-bag contributions, Chair Currier has gathered a total of $8,000 in individual contributions in the past seven months…after he, as I said, openly declared there would be substantial contributions immediately upon his reelection for a third-term. And for that matter, does anyone really believe he personally solicited even those few dollars? OK, let’s say he did – and we are being way too generous in this – he only raised $8,000 in seven months? WHY did Chair Currier mislead the Central Committee about his intent and/or his ability to raise money? (In most state Republican Party organizations, raising funds is the primary duty of the Chair). And a pointed question to the Central Committee itself: why did two-thirds of you believe him? (Note: In contrast to Bill Currier, past ORP Chair Perry Atkinson single-handedly raised multiple millions of dollars during his tenure. No wonder the ORP has been on the brink of insolvency for so long. Go here to ORESTAR see the numbers for yourself.)
  12. And put this one under the you-must-think-we’re-all-stupid category. How can political candidates’ USPS postage mailing expenditures, channeled through the ORP’s non-profit status, be classified as successful fund-raising by Bill Currier?
  13. Is the above maneuvering even legal?
  14. Why is ORP social media such a train-wreck, reaching less than one-tenth of one percent of Oregon Republicans? (That percentage is not a misprint. This point is important enough that I will cover it in a post to be published two days from now.
  15. And here are some elephant-in-the-living room summary questions. How does the Executive Committee explain its massive failure-to-perform over the years? Why has Oregon sunk low enough to join only two other states that have Blue Trifecta super-majority governments (California and Illinois)? Why haven’t we been able to replace a seriously horrible governor who should have been easy to defeat? In other words, why has ORP leadership performed so miserably in its duty to protect and promote its Republican constituency and for that matter, every Oregonian no matter their political affiliation? And why has this profound failure-to-deliver not ended the terms of the entire ORP Executive board in this most recent round of elections? If ORP leadership was a basketball team, this management team would have been dismissed years ago…And, this: In reviewing the above horror-story, one could legitimately ask the Executive Committee, why have you performed so poorly over such a WIDE spectrum of issues, points, and protocols? And so, after all that, the logical next question is…could all of this dysfunction be on purpose? Is the utter failure of the ORP Executive Committee on so many levels, over so many years, by design? If so, who at the very top of the Executive Committee is behind this nefarious stratagem?

I’m just sayin’…

And if I was a member of the Central Committee, I’d also be wondering how many Oregon Republicans actually give a hoot about the official Oregon Republican Party leadership and ORP Platform.  In my next post I’ll answer this question with real numbers. In advance, I’ll tell you here that the give-a-hoot contingent is far less than 500 total across the entire state.

OK. Here’s one big final question for you, the reader: if ORP leadership has zero communication with literally 99.9% of Oregon Republicans, the Platform is ignored, and the party itself is paralyzed and dysfunctional on so many levels, how do we regular Republican Trump-supporting grassroots voters untangle ourselves from this ORP leadership charade?

So, for now, as members of the Oregon Republican grassroots, we challenge the Central Committee to go deep, asking the questions that matter to their Executive Committee; to consider the end-game and to not let obvious reality be swept under the carpet yet again.

-sam carpenter