Oregon Republican Party State Central Committee Meeting
(and National Committeeman Election)
Salem, Or March 21, 2020
Subtitle: 63 Republican Knuckleheads
By Sam Carpenter
Overview: twenty-year incumbent National Committeeman Solomon Yue has been elected for an additional 4-year term
This was an intra-party/closed election. One hundred twenty-nine Central Committee members participated. At the end of my 6-minute “stump speech” presentation (which most delegates never saw or heard due to a “last-minute audio/technical problem”), I asked my supporting delegates to vote for John Lee. Although very few delegates heard my actual request that they vote for John, or my explanation of why I thought it was vitally important they do so, the request was carefully explained to delegates by Vance Day just before the voting. So, in the end, except for two of my delegates who didn’t get the message, John ended up with our combined vote.
Why did I do this last-minute maneuver? If I had not done it, we would have had a conservative-split-vote outcome…which is THE standard fallback for the establishment Oregon Republican Party contingent. John and I had quietly agreed upon this strategy weeks before the election (and it is why delegates never got a personal “can-I-get-your-vote” phone call from me in the weeks before).
But Yue defeated John by a 63-56 vote in the decidedly pre-ordained “election.” Some ballots were not counted. Others were not delivered to delegates in the first place. For technical, rush-rush, and exhaustion reasons, as I mentioned, there were two supporting delegates who never heard my request to vote for John. (They voted for me, effectively voting for Yue.) In another case, it seems a delegate voted twice, once for herself and once for her infirm husband. If all had been able to vote and proper protocol had been followed, John would have won. But, then again, even with that, it is my opinion that the numbers would have been tweaked behind-the-curtain in Yue’s favor and John would have lost anyway.
A tiny cabal of 63 Oregon Republican Party loyalists have determined the fate of this state…and the infuriating and unbelievable conclusion we’ve drawn is that, as illustrated yet again in this latest internal election, facts don’t matter to these ORP Ruling Class loyalists. (See five slides, below.) Never mind that our grassroots organization, MOGA2020 has ten times more online subscribers than the ORP, over 100,000. And never mind that 95% of the 704,000 Oregon conservative voters support our positioning – which means just 5% support the tiny RINO Ruling Class that has, over the last twenty years, effectively strangled the ORP to death. And in its slow demise the ORP has incrementally delivered state leadership to Democrat progressives.
And with this election, they confidently assume they will be conducting this impotent Oregon Republican Party for the next decade.
To the Republican Party nationally, Oregon is a bigger joke than ever before.
In the face of the ORP’s immediate self-congratulations regarding the “great success of this innovative, ground breaking, new-way-of-voting,” this report is my view of what happened in the election. Also, included here is a re-creation of my muted 6-minute stump-speech presentation. The 63, led by Solomon Yue, will continue to be our leaders/spokespeople unless the election can be voided and this leadership can be removed and replaced.
Trouble is…and our exit from Oregon Politics
Trouble is, there are few conservative leaders/fighters left, and Diana and I are simply no longer willing to carry this political grassroots leadership-load by ourselves. So, this is our last post regarding the ORP. We’re not sticking our necks out any further. We’re exiting Oregon politics. We hope someone will pick up where we left off. It IS worth the fight.
We’ll leave our website and Facebook Pages up and continue to blog, but not about the ORP.
BTW, it’s a bit strange how my personal political exit-decision came about. This last Wednesday morning at 4:00AM I awoke in my usual gung-ho/let’s-fight-back/never-give-up mode. All morning and into the afternoon, I churned away non-stop at a multitude of political-related tasks when, at precisely 3:05PM (I remember glancing at my watch), something swept over me just after reading yet another moronic email message from an ORP establishment clone. As per-usual for the “moderate” cadre, the message ridiculed me personally. I’ve dealt with these verbal-vomit attacks for a decade, but this time – in that very moment – it was all of a sudden just flat-out OVER for me. I immediately got up from my desk and told Diana, who was quilting in her sewing room at the time, that I was DONE. I’ve been hammering at this for so long, always feeling strong no matter what…and in one moment it was totally over for me. Yes, that particular insulting message was no more slanderous than the thousands I’ve received over the years, but it was the straw that broke this camel’s back regarding making any further efforts to fix the ORP.
Maybe it wasn’t what this guy said…it was the usual arrogant, nasty dribble. Maybe instead it was the extra-large, screaming type-face.
Who knows? Who cares?
Anyway, Diana was not displeased with my spur of the moment decision to walk away from the ORP politics, but continue to blog.
Other key points/conclusions
- The meeting was horribly mismanaged and therefore the voting results should be voided.
- Candidate presentations were not audible due to “technical difficulties.” Also reason enough to void the election results
- For years, there has been a degree of unethical behavior involving Solomon Yue and a handful of ORP Executive Committee enablers. Yet again, reason enough to ask for their resignations or to remove them by SCC recall.
In my view: pertinent details of the meeting and election process:
- Again, Candidate presentations were not audible to delegates who listened by phone. This was the majority of delegates. The remaining seven hours of online meeting were audible. (But…there were notable exceptions, including delegates waiting to make motions or to discuss points who were kept in silence until called upon…and many times they were never called upon thus leaving them in a mute isolation-limbo until they finally gave up and rejoined the conference call).
- And this, again: we candidates only were allowed 6 minutes to make our respective cases, and even that sliver of time was taken away by the “technical failure.” (My thoughts? BS. It wasn’t technical failure. It was deliberate silencing).
- Roberts Rules of Order: My understanding is that this protocol is to be used to conduct all meetings, including elections. The number of violations of those Rules in this meeting were astronomical. It was a hodgepodge. The Rules are called upon only when they are tactically useful for obtaining sitting OPB Officers’ objectives.
- The meeting was a confused fiasco: three ballots were cast that were not counted, two people never received ballots and didn’t vote, delegates “raised their hand” electronically and/or tried to make motions and were too-often never acknowledged (as noted above). Motion voting never came close to including the full list of credentialed delegates, with sometimes only 90 votes being cast.
- It took a full six hours to get to the election. (Who of us would not go borderline insane after six-hours on the phone?) By the time the voting process began at 3:00PM, delegates and candidates were exhausted and frustrated.
- Who was the audio/video “technician” in charge of the entire meeting? It was ORP Chairman Bill Currier, who had promised me personally the day before the meeting that “the only person in the room during your presentation will be the technical assistant.” In that conversation, he never indicated to me that that technical assistant would be Bill Currier (and at the time, it never occurred to me he would have the audacity to do something like that). Actually, Bill Currier was in charge of ALL computer, online and data systems/protocols including who received a ballot, actual voting protocol, number-crunching, etc. He was “everything for everything.”
- It seemed odd that Currier did not altogether postpone the meeting because of the health risks of the Coronavirus emergency. Everybody else living in the real world had postponed their organizations’ get-togethers. ALL the individuals in our small meeting room, perhaps ten total, were in VERY close quarters with at least two suffering from what appeared to be the cold/flu. On second thought, this was not odd at all. See next point:
- One former long-term Executive Committee insider (not in attendance at this meeting) said Currier and the Executive Committee top-leadership actively sought to NOT postpone the meeting, because “they knew exactly how it would turn out before the meeting even For this reason, it HAD to happen.”
- The electronic format gives multiple options for number-manipulations. (Yes, Judge Vance Day oversaw the meeting protocol but Judge Day would be the first to tell you he is not a software/hardware IT technician, and that he wasn’t brought in to perform those duties.) Bill Currier had hands-on control of EVERYTHING.
- Why exactly was the voting delayed for six hours? Technical snafus, bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, silly delegate pontification and multiple petty objections from “establishment” delegates (including discussion and voting on silly trivia e.g. whether it was OK for me to nominate Marylin Shannon for National Committeewoman). In my mind, these interminable, frustrating delays were intentional, promulgated so the election could be rammed through the exhausted delegate contingent at the very end.
- In the weeks before the meeting, as candidates dealing with the ORP bureaucracy, we had inexplicable delays and roadblocks and were given horribly outdated delegate contact information – with no email addresses – and had to send posts through Becky and/or Tracy to be delivered “when they had the time.” Over the course of the last month before the election, there were three different “updated” delegate lists delivered to us in near-unusable formats (including PDF, and another via a long email listing). And when I questioned that and other delays and obfuscations, both Bill Currier and Tracy Honl literally called me names and belittled me. (It’s all documented: they would never call me back and instead used email in their tirades.)
- In his role, Judge Vance Day did a fine job, keep things calm. Good guy. I’m positive he didn’t know this was all rigged…that more votes would be cast than credentialed, that some would not be able to vote, that credentialing itself would be a mess, that candidates would not get to make presentations that were audible, that the voting itself would be so chaotic, that Roberts Rules of Order were employed sporadically, etc. etc.
- If this meeting is to be analyzed for effectiveness, it should be done by an outside group, not by the ORP brass who have, of course, already labeled the meeting a huge success. They are already lobbying to have the next SCC meeting, in June, to be held in the same way. Electronic voting invites fraud. Everyone knows that.
Can legal action be taken to reverse the vote? YES. And it can also be done another way, without attorneys. And it would not be a big stretch to shut these people down so they can never do this again. I’ve talked to two lawyers about it. The question is, does anyone “out there,” in the grassroots, have the cajones or resources to take this on? Also, another thing, and I’ve referred to this already, too: there is the possibility of criminality – perpetrator and accessories – that I hope will be investigated (see Slide #4, below).
Following are the elements of my 6-minute presentation.
Introductory note: I was distracted in the very beginning of my talk when candidate John Lee interrupted the proceedings, loudly declaring that “Delegates can’t hear Sam!” Bill Currier told John to leave the room and instructed me to continue. In proceeding, I had to assume the audio was fine and that John had been mistaken. At this point I was thoroughly distracted because I knew the audio was probably NOT fine. There would be 6 minutes only and so I could only hope for the best. But with the interruption and confusion, I had to discard part of my presentation. I had been preparing this mini-speech for weeks! It was my only chance to make my arguments to delegates, “in person.” In the end, it was true: almost no one heard what I had said. John had been completely correct. Do I think this “technical snafu” was deliberate? Yes. And I’ll mention this again: after being on line for 6 hours, delegates just wanted the meeting to be over, no matter the unintelligible candidate presentations. There is no question in my mind that the frustrating, endless meeting blather was – in itself – the major element of the distraction/silencing strategy. No matter, this election result should be voided and an electronic meeting format should not ever be used again.
- My first point in the presentation: “Are you satisfied with the ORP? If not, vote for change today.”
- I meant to add the following but due to the technical confusion right at the beginning (you can see it in the video), I had to skip this: “If there is consistent organizational failure – corporate, military, sports team – leadership is removed and replaced. The workers, troops, or athletes are not dismissed.”
- I said, “there will be an important announcement at the end of my presentation; do NOT miss it.”
My short talk then revolved around the brief explanation of five separate charts (see below) that, together, illustrate the broad failure of ORP Executive Committee leadership since Solomon Yue became the de facto leader twenty years ago.
Chart #1: Fundraising: the ORP raised over $5,000,000 in 2000 just before Solomon Yue took power. In shocking contrast, the ORP raised barely $200,000 in 2020. Look at the steep and steady downward trend over Yue’s twenty-year tenure.
Chart #2: Relative Republican/Democrat power in our Salem legislature. Nearly at par with Democrats in 2000 when Solomon Yue joined party leadership, by 2018 both chambers had become Democrat supermajorities. See the constant trend downward:
Chart #3*: In 2018, 25% of House seats had no Republican nominees. Two years later in 2020, that “vacancy” rate was down to 10%. See map comparison below*. ORP leader Solomon Yue, and the Executive Committee, expended zero energy in making that happen, with Chris Barreto, the National Committeewoman, stated on social media (and I’m only very slightly paraphrasing) that “the ORP historically has not put any effort into finding candidates in districts that had a 15% or higher Democrat majority.” With our large database of conservative Oregonians, and super-active use of social media, Diana and I pretty much singlehandedly made it happen…from outside the ORP. (How do we know this? From feedback from new candidates who subscribe to our blog. They told us.)
Chart #4: For those with an intact soul and a functioning brainstem, this is a simple thing to understand. Through his role as ORP National Committeeman, Solomon Yue receives free guest passes to important Republican events in Washington, DC. He then sells those passes for profit through his private company, Republicans Overseas, of which he is CEO. Sales range up to $10,000 per individual (see chart below or website at www.republicansoverseas.com/membership). None of this income is returned to the ORP to assist Republican candidates. Some people would call this unethical, if not illegal. My recommendation? investigate all of this NOW, including making a FOIA request for Yue’s various intermingled corporations in which financials and other documentation are not available via the regular public domain.
Chart #5: Facebook is the gold standard for measuring an organization’s “reach.” Page statistics answer the question, how many constituents, customers and potential customers does the organization engage?** Below are the four most active political Facebook pages in Oregon, listed in order of number of total “subscriptions” (Page Likes).
- Note our Make Oregon Great Again Page listed at the top. It has 93K subscribers. Drop down to the ORP Page. It has 17K subscribers.
- Again, note Make Oregon Great Again Page at the top of the list. See “Engagement** this week.” In the week we measured, March 7th through the 15th, we actively engaged over 89K Oregon Republicans. The ORP engaged 5K, even less than CD2 primary candidate Knute Buehler.
After quickly explaining the above charts, I stated:
- “without a change in ORP leadership NOW, in November the legislature will maintain their super-majorities and the ensuing redistricting in 2021 will destroy conservatism in this state for the next generation.”
- Then I gave my announcement, taking one full minute to ask all my delegates to vote for John Lee. I said, paraphrasing, “John is the best man for the job, (experienced – he is the current ORP Treasurer, determined, fair-minded, patient, tenacious, likeable, etc.).” Why didn’t I ask my delegates to vote for John before election day? Two reasons. First, so I could maintain the gravitas of a candidate to the very end, and second, to be able to give the stump-speech presentation which I felt was compelling enough to get John over the top. This had been our strategy from the very beginning.
- I also did NOT get a chance to say the following, because of the time-limitations/fiasco: that “I am not at my best on a committee (impatient with BS, I hate meetings, I just want to get the job done, etc.). I am best at leading an organization (I’m decisive, don’t put up with BS, would better serve as a general, head coach, governor, etc.)”
- I said, in reference to ORP leadership’s new-found Donald Trump enthusiasm, “the ORP gave virtually no support, and hardly mentioned Donald Trump for two and a half years, until the second week of February 2019 in the ORP Executive Committee officer elections when I challenged the incumbent officers with a full slate of pro-Trump candidates. Our investigation of the ORP website, ORP press releases and the ORP Facebook Page was detailed, thorough and documented, back to the beginning of 2015” I added that, in contrast, “I had publicly endorsed Donald Trump in April 2016.”-
Diana and I are incredibly tired. We did our best to help fix our state Party, and we have great supporters everywhere, on the front lines and in the rear echelons. We’re done now with beating our heads against that particular wall. But moving on, if there is no actual Republican political grassroots leadership to carry on this fight against the Ruling Class, we are going to completely lose Oregon to Democrat progressives.
So, we encourage someone else “on our side” to boldly take up and continue this fight NOW. It’s a fight worth fighting. Contact me.
In the meantime, we’ll still be here in the background. -sc
* Note that this representation of the 2018 final “vacant” tally is actually the 2020 map one week before the 2020 filing deadline. Both maps had exactly 15 “vacant” districts, 25% of the total of 60, but the specific districts illustrated on the March 3rd 2020 map differ slightly from the actual 2018 final map.
** Facebook engagement is the total number of Likes, Shares and Comments on a Page. For more detailed information about these Facebook-provided statistics, including information regarding Kate Brown and Knute Buehler Page statistics, see our homepage message on our website at www.makeoregongreatagain.com.