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Thursday
Oct112018

Good Ole' Boys

This week has been quite revealing when it comes to the Douglas County Commissioner race.

We’ve had conflicting polls about the front-runners, one candidate drop out, and at least one sitting commissioner (so far) endorsing a candidate. That in itself is quite unusual; in fact the last time (if not the only time) I can remember that happening is when Doug Robertson endorsed Joyce Morgan for reelection when she was challenged by Marilyn Kittelman. That didn’t work out too well though because Marilyn defeated the 16 year incumbent in her own party!

I remember the big expensive print ads and mailers Doug bought including a picture of Joyce and him and the slogan; “Keep the Winning Team”. But our ads for Marilyn countered with; “Sometimes in order to keep the team winning, you need to trade players! “ The voters agreed and they did. Outspent almost three to one Marilyn went on to be elected Douglas County Commissioner.

Commissioner Chris Boice came out today with a full-on endorsement of local sporting goods store owner Tom Kress.

Boice is in his second term as commissioner, having run to fill the vacated seat of Doug Robertson who quit less than halfway into his 9th consecutive 4-year term as Douglas County Commissioner. Boice was only to have filled the remaining approximately 2 years of Robertson’s term, but somehow got legal counsel to make the case to let him have a full four year term. And now he’s decided who he’d like to have in the seat next to him on the board.

Tim Freeman, a former City Councilman in Roseburg, and former State Representative, this week was reported to have paid for a new political poll to see who was leading in the commissioner race. He said he didn’t “have a dog in the fight” but wanted to get a feel for how the race was doing in the event that he endorsed someone.

Also of note is that Freeman’s former campaign consultant Chuck Adams is the consultant for Kress. The poll, which was at odds with an earlier poll released by Alek Scarlartos’ campaign, shows Kress trailing Skarlatos by only one percentage point, while Skarlatos’ poll conducted by Remington research showed he led Kress by almost two to one. The Remington poll has Skarlatos at 35% and Kress at 16%.

Retired Army Aviation Logistician Dan Loomis, after returning from his European vacation, and finding he was trailing the two front runners by double digits, dropped out of the race unexpectedly on Sunday October 7, just a little more than two weeks before the ballots were to go out. Loomis gave the nod to Kress and said he hoped his supporters would follow his lead. Loomis will still be on the November ballot, although he has withdrawn.

Meanwhile the rest of the field, including democrat Jeremy Salter, are polling with single digits, most with less than 5%.  So this race for Douglas County Commissioner is clearly between Boice’s guy Kress and Alek Skarlatos. 

Thursday
Oct112018

Time for New Young Blood in County Government

 

By Marilyn Kittelman

The political atmosphere today is ugly and violent. Since President Trump was elected the hatred has risen to a whole new level. People no longer make any attempt to hide their true feelings, which may be the only benefit – you know where you stand.

It all began ramping up the night of Trump’s victory. I clearly remember in Portland, a group of thugs who went to a high end car sales lot and began smashing car windows and vandalized vehicles to show just how unhappy they were with the outcome of the election. Never mind that Trump had no connection to the owner. But somehow the vandals felt totally justified to express their unhappiness by destroying private property.

I believed that after those adult children threw their temper tantrums, arrests would be made and people would go back to living their lives, but that wasn’t to be. This week social media has been inundated with photos of people having been violently attacked for their political positions. A man was beaten up for wearing a Trump hat and a lady was shoved down stairs. People were forced to leave restaurants simply for expressing their support of a sitting President.

This week, Johnny MacKay from Vancouver, Washington, left his Nissan Titan pickup parked at a bar overnight. His truck, which had Trump stickers on the bumper, exploded during the night, completely totaling the vehicle after it was engulfed in flames. The vandal spray painted TRUMP on the side of the truck prior to setting it on fire. If you don’t agree with the left, they will retaliate – no one on their side is suggesting tolerance anymore.

When I was Commissioner things were nasty. A man delivered black prunes to a commissioner meeting (I called him up to the podium and thanked him). I received hate mail and death threats. And for several years after leaving office, there was a hate website in my honor. The worst was the haters following my kids around, publishing videos of them and adding nasty comments. But those pranks and negativity certainly never rose to the level that elected officials are dealing with today.

So why would someone run for office?

That is a question I was able to ask three different candidates for the position of County Commissioner, in my office in the past two weeks. I visited with them and was having trouble deciding who I would vote for until yesterday. And now I can tell you that I will be voting for Alek Skarlatos.

There are two main reasons why I decided to announce my support of Skarlatos. The first was my comfort level after having talked with him personally. I knew his background, but had never talked with him. The second reason, and just as important, was my discomfort from the good old boys closing ranks around his opponent. First the positive…

You probably know that Alek, along with two of his buddies, on a train to Paris, stopped a gunman who could have caused a lot of death and destruction. Because of Alek’s bravery and willingness to do what needed to be done in a dangerous situation, he was awarded the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal from the President of the United States. He also received France’s highest decoration, the Legion of Honour.

There were many people on the train, heck there are many people every day that are in situations where they could stop something bad from happening (as in all of those situations I mentioned previously regarding the terrorists attacking people they don’t agree with since the election), but most people just don’t want to get involved. They won’t do what is necessary to fix things.

Remember what Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Alek engaged, he didn’t have to, but he did.

Some have criticized Alek because of his age, but that too has benefits. Courage is most often demonstrated in young men, not old. The older we get, the more we safety up, that’s just human nature. In the political climate we are in now, I believe his age may be beneficial, he isn’t young in life experience.

Alek said he wants to use his position to advocate for training people to work in industry. He has met with business owners who can’t find enough properly trained drivers, welders, and other tradesmen to fill the need. What a benefit it would be to have local training, family wage jobs and fill needs in our own community.

I also admire Alek’s wiliness to join the Oregon Army Nation Guard. He could have gone to business school or worked his way up the corporate ladder, but instead he gained real life experience defending our country. He was deployed to Afghanistan and the acting adjutant general of Oregon referred to Skarlatos as “a true citizen soldier who displayed the courage each of us would hope to find in ourselves.”

 

The engagement on the train drew a lot of attention which opened doors for him to star in a movie (as himself) directed by Clint Eastwood and to participate in a season of Dancing with the Stars. You might ask how that prepares him for a position as Douglas County Commissioner, and I will tell you. The importance of the contacts Alek made is unmeasurable. The number one job of a Commissioner is to advocate for our issues in front of people who have the power to do something about them.

Whether that is lobbying back in Congress to get more timber out of the woods, or bring training and job opportunities to Roseburg, the exposure Alek has had and the caliber of people he has met will open doors for him that no current commissioner, and certainly not to any other candidate, has.

And now the negative…

This past week Commissioner Tim Freeman made front page news for personally funding a poll to benefit the other commissioner candidate. Today, Commissioner Chris Boice wrote a letter publically endorsing the same candidate. In Boice’s endorsement letter, he states that he will work with whoever is elected and that Commissioner Freeman will do the same. There is a reason why Commissioners are not legally allowed to discuss county business in private and that doing so constitutes an illegal meeting. Can you imagine the danger if these two commissioners colluded to elect the third commissioner?

Having three commissioners working in collusion is not a good thing. To keep a balanced perspective, there needs to be three independent thinkers working for the best interest of the county, not furthering an agenda created behind closed doors.

If you are having trouble deciding who to vote for, pick up the phone and call them personally. I believe that will do it for you.

Marilyn Kittelman was elected to the Douglas County, Oregon, Board of County Commissioners in November 2, 2004. She served four years. Her greatest accomplishment, while in office, was to pass an ordinance making it illegal in Douglas County to seize private property for increased taxes or anything except the strictest interpretation of the Constitution. Marilyn and her husband John raised and home schooled their three children on their ranch in Yoncalla.

 

Angus, the oldest, has an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Special Education from OSU and will attain his PhD from U of O in the summer of 2018. Sage has her Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees in Industrial & Mechanical Engineering and is a PhD Candidate to OSU, first year. McCrae has a year of college and is currently working full time on the ranch, his help has been an essential part of his parents success. John trains Cutting Horses and renovates neglected homes to once again show pride of ownership . Marilyn owns Cutting Edge Real Estate, a thriving company with five brokers and sales that continue to exceed each previous year. She is President of the Million Dollar Club for the 3rd year and has personally sold over $71 million of real estate.

 

Tuesday
May222018

Freedom of Speech for Free!

Roseburg, Ore- It all started when Roseburg High School Junior, Fletcher Case, ordered a tee-shirt on-line from Danny Duncan with the slogan, Virginity Rocks.

Case went to his teachers the week before asking if it would be okay to wear it to school, and heard mixed responses from faculty ranging from, “I don’t see why not”, to, “I’d need to see it first”. Then when his new shirt arrived Case wore it to school, received the blessing of at least one faculty member, but was ultimately sent home because he was told it violated school policy. Following The Roseburg Beacon’s April 11 story about the incident, Danny Duncan said he received over 150,000 Instagram hits and reached out to Fletcher to thank him for supporting his merchandise business and asked if he could come up and thank him by giving away some shirts to other RHS students.

So on Friday May 11, Danny Duncan made good on his promise to Fletch, and having driven all the way from Los Angeles to Roseburg the day before, landed at the Good Vibrations parking lot to “spread some good vibes” to the several hundred students gathered.

The Danny Duncan Crew consists of: Alex Martinez,the official filmmaker (a virgin); Gary Winthorpe, Danny’s ‘life coach’; Kevin (aka Kev) co-star in Danny’s YouTube videos, and Cameron (the little person and a virgin) also a regular in the YouTube videos.

For those, including this writer, who hadn’t heard of Danny Duncan before the Virginity Rocks tee shirt incident at RHS, it might be surprising to learn that the 25 year old Duncan has annual sales of his merchandise, after just a year and a half in business, approaching $3 million.

In the parking lot outside John Hooper’s Good Vibrations, home entertainment, car stereo, and record business, somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 students gathered to catch a glimpse of the pop icon Danny Duncan, and hopefully walk away with a free “Virginity Rocks” tee shirt.

Those who showed up, some as early as 5:30 AM, in the dark, were mostly from Roseburg, but some traveled a great distance. Chris Duncan (no relation) 19 years old, drove all the way from Seattle Washington, with his buddies Conner Tomseth, and Kanton Hale, who lives in Washington but grew up in Roseburg.

The atmosphere was festive, reminiscent of waiting for your favorite rock band to take the stage, as the crowd anticipated catching Duncan live, in the flesh.

When Duncan’s black on black Mercedes Benz Sprinter pulled in around 6:50 AM the crowd pressed in close, and as the door rolled open there was Fletch, honorary member of the Duncan Crew, greeting his fellow RHS classmates. What followed was Duncan throwing shirts to the crowd gathered from a high lift supplied by Hooper. There was the predictable scramble, as kids dove to catch the flying shirts. Duncan said his crew packed 500 shirts, which were all given out in a matter of less than 15 minutes, which was none too soon because many had to make it to RHS and other schools for morning class.

A group of young girls clearly disappointed that they didn’t score a shirt, even though they were the very first ones to arrive, told Duncan, and he took their name and address and promise to ship them some.

Other side shows that morning included “Old Man Haircuts” given by Duncan himself, and a few rounds of little people boxing, both regular features of the Duncan Road Shows.

When asked about the slogan that he has made so popular, “Virginity Rocks”, Duncan was forthcoming.

He said that while it was conceived and put out there in good fun, “I have never made fun of virginity; I think it is a very good thing.”

To wrap up the day, after leaving Good Vibrations, the Duncan Crew headed out to Fletch’s place to bake cookies with Grandma Linda. Her account of the cookie bake: “After a few emails and a phone call with Danny prior to the Friday visit, I was actually looking forward to meeting him. Fletcher texted me after the t-shirt give away and said they were all headed to our house and that Danny wanted to bake chocolate chips cookies with me. I couldn’t resist the chance first to meet them and of course my favorite thing… to BAKE. After the introductions of his entourage we tied on our aprons, I fired up my oven as well as my questions for them all. We talked about his start on YouTube, how he picks his things to merchandise and about them and their families. Even as exhausted as they were, Danny scooped out cookie dough and frosted cupcakes as Alex, the video guy, captured it all for future YouTube videos. Whatever his persona is on all the many social media platforms he’s on, Danny Duncan, and his crew, are welcome back in my home anytime”.

Duncan said of his Roseburg visit, “I felt like Fletch supported us, I wanted to come and show my support for him” while helping other students express themselves in the spirit of free speech. And in this case the free speech was literally free in the form of hundreds of free shirts. Duncan told the Beacon he plans to come back to Roseburg again, soon he hopes.

Thursday
May102018

Editorial: Mother's Day Cease Fire

I have pondered some of the recent vitriol that’s being hurled about and is accumulating out there on FaceBook, other social media, and the radio and television airwaves in the final days of the May Primary Election, and in addition to recoiling from the same, I wondered; what would our moms think?

Now, to be clear, as a forty-plus year veteran of political campaigns in Oregon, from local commissioner races,to congressional and presidential campaigns, I have seen almost everything there is to see in the way of campaign tactics. I have in fact, in many cases, been responsible for directing some of what goes on in the way of messaging and in creating a campaign strategy and media program. And one thing that is absolutely undeniable is negative campaign tactics work.

I can hear the sucking in of breath now, and can envision the shaking of heads in disdain, as you mumble, if just to yourself, I hate that!

Yeah, I get it, me too! But it doesn’t change the reality. That said, one thing I have always maintained as an unwavering, non- negotiable campaign principle, both in governing myself, and in the directing of the candidates who have hired me, is that an opposing candidate’s record, and their public statements are fair game, negative or not. It’s the record, and usually the most honest way to assess or measure a candidate beyond the sound bites, and stump speeches. How did they vote? Who did they support? What are their public policy positions, especially those positions, delivered in public? Those are the facts, and they are not disputable.

Oh, there is one other criteria for selecting the candidate you can support, which was ingrained in me from very early on by my mom, and later, mother-in-law too, the principle that you should look into who is supporting the candidate. Hmmm? It tells quite a lot really. I could give plenty of examples, but you know exactly what I’m saying.

So on the other side of “negative campaigning” is the flat out false, vicious, personal, ad hominem attacks, based not at all upon someone’s actual record, or public statements, but crafted (or made up out of thin air) with the express purpose of defaming the person and derailing their campaign. Oh, this is an art, or better a craft, that some very high paid consultants employ all too frequently. And in today’s instant media, social networking, etc. it has become even more deceptive, and effective than ever!

One factor that is absolutely essential in the deploying of said negative campaign tactics and ads, is the timing; holding them to the last minute, to such a time when the veracity of the charges cannot be determined, and even when they are, and are proven to be false, the damage caused by the smear is done and cannot be undone.

But back to our moms for just a minute. Do you know that research has shown that every single human being alive today has one, a mom that is. Sadly some have departed, in my case, just the day after Mother’s Day two years ago. I still miss her! But we all have moms, and some of you, statistics say about 50.6% of the world’s population, are at least potential moms; you not only have a mom, but are, or may become moms too!

Motherhood is amazing! It is truly a magnificent design by our creator. And this past week something spectacular occurred in Iowa that honors moms, and would-be moms. It is the Bill signed into law by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, entitled the “Heartbeat Bill” which says once a pre-born baby has a discernable heartbeat, they cannot be killed.

We are living in a time where the tide is beginning to turn, and it is turning if favor of motherhood, and of life!

President Trump just issued a statement that declares Abortion is Not a Human Right. This was delivered in a State Department report on human rights, April 24, 2018. He is the first president to participate in the March for Life parade, and has put Planned Parenthood on notice that their days of federal taxpayer monies are numbered.

So as we come into the final stretch of this primary campaign season here in Oregon, and throughout the nation, I thought it would be a fitting way to honor our moms, by calling a Mother’s Day ceasefire on the hostile campaign rhetoric.

Ask yourselves this question; if the mother of the candidate whom you are attacking was sitting in the room when you are offering your perspective on their son or daughter, would you use the same language and tone? Really, would you? How would your remarks about their child make them feel? Would it cause them to smile, and glow with pride and satisfaction? If not, perhaps we can do better. And this ‘mom factor’ applies to you candidates speaking ill of your opponent’s character, and getting nasty about it, and even dishonest. What would your mom say if she was watching, or if she knew?

I am reminded of the truce on Christmas Day during World War I, when the British and German soldiers put down their arms, and shared some smokes, some coffee, and some Christmas cheer. Let’s do this at least on Mother’s Day, and have a political ceasefire.

And then, even perhaps as we rejoin the battle, we can forget what the commanding generals of the warring factions want, and remember that while some things are definitely worth fighting for, we are all human still and we all have moms who we should at least try to make proud in our actions.

Friday
Apr202018

Ballot Initiative Threatens 2nd Amendment Rights Sheriff Hanlin says “Not on My Watch”

Roseburg, OR-Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin has built a reputation as a ‘Constitutional Sheriff, and has been very public about his stance in being true to his oath of office, particularly when it comes to the Second Amendment.

The three-term Sheriff first joined the DCSO 28 years ago. Prior to his election as Sheriff he had served in a number of capacities including head of DINT, Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team and Commander of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Detectives division. 

As Douglas County Sheriff, Hanlin was first thrust into the national spotlight five years ago, when he sent a letter to then Vice President Joe Biden informing the Obama Administration that he would not enforce any proposed federal laws that violate the U.S. or Oregon Constitutions. From that letter sent to V.P. Biden January 15, 2013, Hanlin stated; “It is my position as Sheriff of Douglas County, Oregon, that I will refuse to participate in, nor tolerate enforcement actions against citizens that are deemed unconstitutional.

In the ‘Biden letter’ Hanlin also cited the basis for his refusal to enforce the then proposed Obama administration’s additional restrictions on gun owners. “The United States Supreme Court has ruled that when a Sheriff chooses to enforce an unconstitutional directive, he is violating his Constitutional Oath. 

I will NOT violate my Constitutional Oath.” Hanlin was joined by Sheriffs nationwide, many of whom were members or supporters of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, who address law enforcement issues such as Second Amendment, enforcement jurisdiction, and federal control of lands, from a constitutional basis.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s second major foray into Second Amendment protection for county residents came in 2015 with the Oregon legislature’s passage of SB941. Hanlin testified against the bill at the State Capitol in Salem. Senate Bill 941 passed in the Senate by a vote of 17 to 13 along strict party lines, and passed in the House by a vote of 32 to 28 with three House democrats voting against the bill and no republicans in support. The bill, which took effect May 11, 2015, requires that any private gun sales between parties be a registered transaction and a background check completed prior to transfer. In Hanlin’s testimony he said, “I am certain that SB 941 would NOT prevent criminals from acquiring firearms.” 

Upon the Bill’s passage Sheriff Hanlin once again took the lead in defense of Second Amendment rights for Douglas County residents due to the “infringement” on the rights of citizens to own and transfer ownership of their firearms. “This law makes criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens” said Hanlin. He added that the law is completely unenforceable, and is an unfunded mandate for the local jurisdictions charged with enforcement. “We simply do not have the resources in terms of staff to administer the program, but even if the state provided the funding, I still couldn’t support it.” 

The following is from an August 19, 2015 memorandum from Sheriff Hanlin to all Douglas County Sheriff’s staff:

Effective immediately,the following policy shall be adhered to in regards to complaints involving SB 941. Any calls for service, complaints or issues involving the private transfer of firearms, specifically, those transfers of privately owned firearms that are described under SB 941, shall not be investigated or responded to by this agency. Any suspected violations of SB 941 shall be referred to the Sheriff.

This agency shall take no part in sting operations nor shall we provide or give information upon request to other agencies regarding the sale or transfer of firearms as defined by SB 941. SB 941 violations also come with a pretty hefty penalty, the first offence is a Class A misdemeanor, the second is a Class C felony, which means if convicted the “guilty” could not own a firearm of any kind and would lose their right to vote.

Asked how many arrests have been made since SB 941 passed Hanlin replied “not one investigation, not one arrest. Now, with the potential of a ballot measure in Oregon coming before the voters in November of 2018, which proposes to ban the ownership of so-called assault weapons, it looks as though Sheriff Hanlin is once again stepping into the fray.

A group of citizens have put together a County Ordinance, which has already passed in four counties, entitled the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance (SAPO), and is coming before the Douglas County Board of Commissioners as a scheduled item on the agenda on April 25. 

According to Board Chair Gary Leif the commissioners are in receipt of the proposed ordinance and are considering a variety of options following the public hearing on the 25th. One option would be to adopt an ordinance provided a majority of the three commissioners approve the language, while another option would be to approve placement of the proposed county ordinance on the November ballot, allowing the voters to weigh in on the new law.

According to Section 2 C of SAPO, “any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms or ancillary firearms rights that violate the Second, Ninth, or Tenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, or Article 1, sections 27 and 33 of the Constitution of the State of Oregon, as articulated herein, shall be regarded by the People on and in Douglas County as unconstitutional; a transgression of the Supreme Law of the Land and its spirit of Liberty, and therefore by necessity void ab initio.” And any such laws shall be deemed unenforceable. Further the SAPO ordinance would provide for enforcement provisions for any violations, including stiff fines.

Sheriff Hanlin said he is reviewing the language of current version of SAPO and that he had been asked to look at a similar measure about a year ago, which he said didn’t have enough “teeth”, meaning ability to enforce. “What I did not want was something that was just symbolic.” The new version has teeth, in fact provides for fines per occurrence up to $4,000 for any enforcement that violates the ordinance.

This SAPO ordinance may become crucial, organizers believe, due to Initiative Petition 43 being circulated statewide which would ban certain types of firearms and so-called high capacity magazines or ammo cartridges that are currently legal under Oregon law, and require they be turned in to the government, disabled permanently, or taken out of the state.

There is also a provision in IP 43, under very limited circumstances, which allows someone to “register” the guns/ accessories they already owned prior to the law’s passage, but they would not be able to acquire any new firearms proscribed under the law.

As far as Sheriff Hanlin is concerned IP43 is another clear- cut issue of adhering to his constitutional oath of office, to uphold and defend the constitution; “I could never support this initiative.” Among the many problems Hanlin sees in the language of the measure is the definition of assault weapons. He even took issue with the opening paragraph in Section 2 “The people of the State of Oregon find and declare that a reduction in the availability of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines will promote the public health and safety of the residents of this state.”  “This is not a statement supported by facts” said Hanlin, going on to cite the example of the horrific shooting at UCC October 1, 2015. “We lost nine precious lives that day, but not one ‘assault’ weapon was used.” 

Kevin Starrett, Executive Director of Oregon Firearms Federation told the Beacon they are being flooded with phone calls and e-mails from everyday Oregonians wanting to know how they can stop this attack on their Second Amendment rights. He said that OFF has experienced an “unprecedented response from gun owners”, the likes of which he said he hasn’t seen in over 40 years of working on Second Amendment issues. Not even the backlash over Oregon SB 941.

The Oregon State Sheriffs Association (OSSA) is analyzing IP43 and may vote on it within the next month or so according to Hanlin, and he feels the vast majority of the 36 Sheriffs in Oregon will stand with him and oppose IP43.

Other Oregon Sheriffs have already gone public with their opposition to IP43.

Sheriff Shane Nelson of Deschutes County made the following statement:

“As your Sheriff, I took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Oregon. In addition to this, I swore to perform the duties of Deschutes County Sheriff to the best of my ability. 

I support and defend the Second Amendment and oppose IP 43.  

I serve the 190,000 citizens of our great county and am charged with public safety.   

 Our office has issued over 14,000 concealed handgun licenses  and I firmly believe that every responsible and accountable law abiding citizen who wants to legally own a firearm should do so. Firearms have their lawful place in society and are an important tool in personal protection and ensuring public safety in our county.” 

 Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins weighed in early in opposition to IP43 a couple weeks ago. On his FaceBook post he wrote; “These laws will not help protect me, my deputies or the public” adding “These laws, and any law restricting any type of arms, will only make us weaker, making ‘good people’ law breakers and ‘bad people’ stronger.” 

 When talking about the threat posed by IP 43 Sheriff Hanlin said “We have nothing to gain by sitting back and waiting, we need to be proactive.”