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Thursday
Apr112019

National Popular Vote Passes in Oregon Senate

By David Jaques, The Roseburg Beacon 

The Oregon Senate passed SB 870, the National Popular Vote act, which will bind Oregon’s Electors to the national popular vote. Many consider this an end run around the Electoral College. Instead of the winner of the popular vote in the State of Oregon getting the electors, they will be tied to the national popular vote if the Oregon House passes SB 870.

The senate vote is being  heralded as bipartisan, due to the fact that two democrats voted against the bill and two republicans voted in favor.

The Oregon Senate voted Tuesday April 9, and the count was 17 aye to 12 nay with one vote excused. Two republicans; Chief Sponsor Senator Brian Boquist SD12 from Dallas Oregon, and Senator Chuck Thomsen SD 26 from Hood River were the only two republicans who voted aye.

Senator Bill Hansell, republican SD 29 from Athena was excused and therefore didn’t vote. According to Hansell’s staff he was testifying before the California legislative Assembly instead and was absent for the critical vote. Had those three republican votes been against the SB 870, the NPV bill, the count would have been 15-15 and the bill would have failed to pass.

The Oregon House will take up the matter next. With the House split of 38 democrats to 22 republicans there is very little likelihood of the NPV failing to pass in the House. If it passes and is signed into law Oregon will be the 16th jurisdiction to pass the plan, joining California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, which will have the effect of giving them additional electoral votes, and thereby potentially controlling the outcome of future presidential elections.

Wednesday
Apr102019

Oregon Republican “leaders” take a hard left turn

Saturday, April 6, at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, in McMinnville, the Oregon Republican Party (ORP) conducted what can only be viewed as an inquisition, targeting Republican National Committeewoman Marylin Shannon, with the sole purpose of displacing one of Oregon’s longest serving champions of the traditional Republican platform. And sadly they succeeded.

Rather than convening a meeting of the State Central Committee for the purpose of coming up with a plan to win back the legislature in 2020 and elect Republicans to other local, statewide, and national offices, or to combat the onslaught of liberal socialist legislation now before the Oregon legislature, they chose to oust the most conservative member of the state Executive Committee, and our representative on the Republican National Committee.

And this process was set in motion over three years ago when Marylin was first elected to the post.

In fact from the first day of her election the old guard establishment bucked her, and have been unrelenting in their personal attacks ever since.

I have known Marylin Shannon for more than 34 years, working with her the first time on the Joe Lutz for U.S. Senate campaign to unseat Senator Bob Packwood, known to many as ‘Senator Death’, for his strong support of abortion. It was a true David and Goliath campaign, but one that we almost succeeded in, despite the incredible odds against us.

Over the next few decades Marylin went on to serve two terms as Vice Chair of the Oregon Republican Party, two terms as the elected Chair of the Fifth Congressional District, four terms as Marion County Chair and a term as Marion County Republican Secretary. She  also has served twenty- four years on the ORP Executive Committee, in addition to having served as a Precinct Committee Woman (before we changed the name to Committee Person to be politically correct) since 1978.

Marylin was elected and served in the Oregon Senate from 1995- 2001. She was elected Republican National Committeewoman just prior to the RNC Convention in Cleveland Ohio in 2016.

Marylin has always been a strong champion for the life of the unborn. She has been a member of Eagle Forum, founded by Constitutional Lawyer and scholar Phyllis Schlafly, and helped Phyllis get the Pro-Life plank into the Republican Party platform at the national level, and has  fought to be sure it remains in the platform. Marylin is currently President of Republicans for Life, and serves on the Board of Directors of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund.

As to Marylin’s work on the RNC, it is beyond reproach. She was very well respected by all she served with. Here’s what Morton Blackwell, RNC Committeeman from Virginia had to say: “It is a privilege to work with Marylin Shannon at the Republican National Committee in her role as National Committeewoman from Oregon. Marylin is a very effective and diligent worker for constitutional government, liberty, and the other conservative principles in our nation. She is a great asset for the RNC and an excellent representative for Oregon Republican interests.” Blackwell is the longest serving member of the RNC and is affectionately known as the Dean of the RNC. He is also founder and president of the Leadership Institute, which was founded in 1979 and has trained over 200,000 young men and women in communications, fundraising, and political affairs.

Andy Schlafly, Phyllis Schlafly’s son, a constitutional lawyer himself and World Net Daily Columnist, had this to say; I fully support Marylin Shannon. She was most recently with my mother Phyllis Schlafly at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. They recounted together how they helped persuade President Reagan to endorse the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in 1983.

Marylin has long stood for principled conservative positions, especially the sanctity of life. She stood with Phyllis in making the Republican Party platform pro-life, and in confirming good pro-life judges to the Supreme Court and other federal courts.

Phyllis is no longer with us, but Marylin exemplifies what Phyllis stood for. With Marylin, Oregon has someone who stands up for our values, and who never wavers. Marylin is one of the finest Republican National Committeewomen in our entire country.”

In a press release last Friday April 5, Phyllis Schlafly’s successor Ed Martin, President of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, issued the following statement addressing the attacks and slander against our Oregon RNC Committeewoman and the recall vote to remove her from the RNC:

“Senator Marylin Shannon is and has long been a towering leader in the conservative movement. For decades she has been an important player in the successful implementation of conservative, pro-family, and pro-life policies. She has served at many levels of party leadership as well as elected office, and she currently leads the Republican National Coalition for Life, which she helped Phyllis Schlafly found in the 1980s. 

“Marylin Shannon has only ever stood up for conservative values and spoken boldly even when others would not. The accusations against her are a combination of ridiculous fabrications and manipulations. I ask all of the Oregon Central Republican Committee to support Marylin in this vote. 

She has only ever been a courageous voice for our values. We cannot let those among us whose convictions are the accumulation of power divide us. Please stand with Marylin Shannon during this recall vote. Do not believe these malicious, false attacks.” 

The above remarks were shared with all the delegates at the Central Committee Meeting, but to no avail. The leadership, who disavowed any involvement in the recall effort, had done their legwork and had a sufficient numbers of delegates whom they had successfully lobbied with their whisper campaign and falsehoods to vote against our National Committeewoman.

The first hour and a half of the state meeting in McMinnville was taken up with arguments over the ORP bylaws and the rules of procedure for the meeting which was a meeting by petition for the sole purpose of recalling Marylin. But even before the meeting the maneuvering had begun. Several supporters of Marylin, including the duly elected Chair of CD2, Joseph Rice, were turned away and told they could not register as a participant, or guest due to Fire Marshal restrictions on capacity. Even though the ORP website clearly indicated registration was allowed the day of the event!

Then the Star Chamber Inquisition began in earnest. The low point was when an invited speaker, Russ Walker, the ousted former ORP Vice Chair, and unpaid guest, took to the microphone and accused National Committeewoman Shannon of being a racist and xenophobe, by alleging he heard second hand reports that Shannon had called Oregon’s Committeeman Solomon Yue a communist. Shannon refuted Walker’s claims in her rebuttal, and pointed out how Solomon Yue himself was the one who accused the RNC treasurer of being a communist sympathizer, which Yue had even put in a slide presentation which I personally witnessed at a previous state Central Committee meeting.

The format of the meeting was the most bizarre and carefully orchestrated I have ever seen, including requiring those who wished to speak, including Marylin Shannon to do so from the floor microphone and face the Executive Committee rather than the delegates who were the decision making body, and who would vote on the recall. I ran Douglas County Planning Commission meetings for more than a decade and we did have those giving testimony face the Commission, rather than turn to the audience, because the commission was the decision making body. But in this case it was very unnatural because the speakers had their back to those they were trying to make their case to. This was very inappropriate, and was done to limit the accused and her supporters from addressing the “court”.

And speaking of judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, Marylin Shannon was never able to face her accusers, as their names were held in secret. ORP Chairman Bill Currier, during an Executive Committee meeting which I attended via telephone conferencing, told Shannon she could have an observer during the petition certification. This was never done, she had no observer, and Currier later denied he ever offered that.

Not only that but the man serving as the parliamentarian at the Central Committee meeting last weekend, Jeff Grossman, is the husband of one of the chief recall petition circulators, Laurie Hein- Grossman. You can’t make this stuff up folks!

North Korea has nothing over this group when it comes to control and secrecy. They did not allow any recording or video of the proceedings, and for the past two statewide meetings have required that any literature or flyers be approved by the Chair and Vice Chair and cannot be passed out to the delegates in attendance. Even the “approved flyers” had to be placed outside the meeting room on a table. At the last statewide meeting they wouldn’t even allow National Committeewoman Shannon to pass out her report on the latest RNC meeting to the delegates!

One of the key charges brought against Marylin Shannon during the inquisition was that she supported someone other than Oregon Representative Greg Barreto and his wife Chris Barreto’s choice for governor, Knute Buehler, favoring instead pro-life businessman from Bend, Sam Carpenter. But Marylin did make it clear that after the primary she did vote for Buehler and that her family did as well.

But when she asked the Buehler campaign consultant if she should endorse in the General Election they said no, because she was too well known as Oregon’s top pro-life supporter and Buehler had gone to great lengths to show he was pro-choice (abortion).

Yes, the Oregon Republican Party has taken a hard left turn after losing statewide in 2018 with the most left-leaning Republican candidate for governor ever. But the grassroots conservative rank and file republicans, aside from a few in the party apparatus, are still conservative and very upset with this latest run of events.

Monday
Feb182019

Presidents’ Day 2019

We have five American presidents alive today; Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and our current President Donald Trump. And just three months ago we had the greatest number of living ex-presidents, until the passing of George H.W. Bush.

The thought came to mind this week that not only are we living in extraordinary times, but certainly also a time when the values, principles, and key agendas of past administrations could not be more dissimilar!

And this most recent “peaceful” transition of power from one administration to another, Obama to Trump, has been shocking in its lack of civility and cooperation. In fact any reasonable assessment would conclude that we still haven’t fully transitioned.

At no time in our history has there been such discord and obstruction in that transition, not with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, nor even following the resignation of Richard Nixon after the Watergate cover-up.

I had the occasion this weekend to hear Judge Vance Day give a speech to Oregon Republicans, his first major public appearance since his full exoneration of all charges by the Oregon Ethics Commission and the Oregon State Bar Association on charges related to his not performing same sex marriages. What a speech he gave! Judge Day stood on principle and didn’t in the process violate any laws, nor his faith position or his conscience. Asked if he’d do the same today his answer was “absolutely”.

At this same gathering, Wally Hicks; former Marine, Annapolis Graduate, former legislator and minority whip, and current Josephine County Attorney also spoke. His chosen topic was the status of America. He posed the question “If the Bill of Rights were proposed today, would it pass?”

His answer, “It wouldn’t even get a hearing!”

When you think of the differences today, not just between the living past presidents and our current president, but of all the presidents in American history, it’s hard not to cringe at the degradation of our institutions in general and the office of the presidency. President Donald J. Trump is certainly the closest to our early presidents and their upholding of our constitutional principles of any of the living presidents, and maybe even more than President Reagan. And yet he continues to be vilified by the democrat socialist progressives, the media elite, and even those within his own party.

Presidents’ Day. It is an amalgam of the two President’s birthdays we used to celebrate individually in the month of February; Washington and Lincoln. It’s a time when everything from mattresses to big screen TV’s are marked down for Presidents’ Day sales, a time when most city, county, state and federal, and bank employees get a three day weekend, the last before Memorial Day.

But how many today take the time to reflect on the presidency, especially those who helped forge and hold this nation together, and the people who put them into office? Seriously, we barely give that a thought even for Memorial Day or Independence Day. But it would do us well to consider, and to instruct our young people to observe the heritage and the legacy of these great leaders, not just in American history, but the lasting impact they have enabled America to have on the entire world!

Thank of what was taken for granted back then; life was precious, there were only two sexes, neither government or individuals could spend more than they take in, peaceful trade with all nations but entangling alliances with none, a man’s word was his bond, education was a tool to instruct our youth in the arts, literature and sciences, not to indoctrinate them on shifting social mores, and our military had one primary purpose, to defend the United States of America. But as Wally Hicks pointed out, our current members of the people’s House of Representatives likely could not even agree that we have certain inalienable rights, that were given by God to all men, and that our government was instituted expressly and only for the defense of those rights. Instead they are prone to such outbursts as “f#%@ president Trump”, from the House floor. Imagine even the most partisan opponent of President Lincoln behaving in such a fashion when debating whether or not to go to war with the South in the run-up to the most brutal war in our history.

But America is strong, our people are strong, and because we are a republic, with a constitution, we have been able to weather terrible storms in the past, and I believe with God’s help, and with this current president we will weather this one. But it is incumbent on each one of us to stand together, and stand with President Trump as he fights against enormous odds and powerful interests that are determined that not only he fails, but that America as we know it fails to remain a free republic, and that beacon of hope for the world.

Thank you President Trump, we honor you this Presidents’ Day, and stand with you sir. And may God bless you and bless this great nation!

Sunday
Feb102019

“The State of Our Union is Strong”

Following Speaker Pelosi’s childish attempt to deny the President of the United States his constitutionally mandated directive to give the nation an account of the state of our national affairs, a week later than originally scheduled, President Donald Trump did just that.

And it was certainly worth the wait.

The president’s address to the joint session of Congress, members of his Cabinet, Supreme Court Justices, and honored guests, was filled with the accomplishments of the past year and some since the outset of his administration now entering its third year. The SOU, his second, at 82 minutes in length, was the longest since Bill Clinton’s 89 minutes in 2000, and the third longest ever.

And it was all Speaker Pelosi (on camera the entire time the President was on camera) could do to keep from screaming. To watch her was painful. She kept mouthing words as the president was speaking, moving her jaw constantly as if to adjust something in her mouth, and sending signals to the women in white and others of her party, when they had to reluctantly stand and applaud.

But President Trump never looked or sounded more presidential, or more in control.

He cited the State of the Union as being strong, with over 5.3 million new jobs in America, 600,000 of those in manufacturing. Just last month over 304,000 new jobs were reported.

He stated that our middle class is “bigger and more prosperous than ever before” to a thunderous standing ovation (absent even one Democrat). Five million Americans have been “lifted off foods stamps” and African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans are at the lowest unemployment rates in recorded history. And all this as 157 million Americans are at work, the most in our history.

The President mentioned that with the tax cuts taking affect and the child tax credit being doubled, families are keeping more of what they earn.

For the first time in American history the U.S. is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas of any nation in the world! And for the first time in 65 years we are a net exporter of energy.

“The State of Our Union is Strong”. Another standing ovation, minus the democrats.

President Trump then lowered the hammer for the first time. He said the only things that can stop us are “foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations”. The Dems sheepishly murmured their disapproval. But the president went on ‘We must be united at home if we’re to defeat our enemies abroad”.

He called upon the members of the Senate to quit holding up the more than 300 nominees awaiting confirmation.

He went on to implore the congress to act now and confront the “National Crisis” on our southern border. Citing the evidence provided by the U.S. Border Patrol of more than 266,000 arrests at the border over the last two years, including illegals guilty of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and over 4,000 murders. The Dems didn’t like it, but they have nowhere to hide. President Trump reminded them that “most of the people in this room voted for the wall” in the past. “Walls work and walls save lives” he said and “I will get it built”.

He addressed the rebuilding of our military and the $100 billion that our NATO allies are now paying for their own defense. But he added that we have spent over $7 trillion on wars in the Middle East and warned that “great nations do not fight endless wars.” “It is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.” And he stated that they are close to a solution to end the Afghanistan conflict.

One of the highlights was when he said he has asked congress to prohibit late term abortions, a response to the New York law touted by Democrats that allows abortion of healthy babies up to the hour of delivery. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life” adding “All children are made in the Holy image of God.”

I did not bother to watch the democrat “rebuttal” to the president’s powerful address to the nation.

But one thing is certain, they cannot run from the facts; of a strong economy, record low unemployment, more take home pay for the middle class, less Americans on welfare, new industrial and manufacturing jobs, and a foreign policy that has not only all but ended ISIS attacks, but brought North Korea to the table.

The Dems have nothing to show, but attacks on the president and his supporters, useless witch hunts, and a new hunger for increased abortions.

They are going to have a major struggle to come up with a reason for anyone to support them in 2020.

They have underestimated 45 and the legions that support him, especially with the mounting evidence that we were right in electing him.

Wednesday
Nov212018

Even More Thankful!

Living in America is, to me, in and of itself, plenty to be thankful for! The fact that Columbus set sail a half a millennia ago to discover a New World, where the gospel could be promoted and spread, set the stage for the greatness that would become America. Even his name ‘Christopher’ means Christ bearer.

And this Thanksgiving season we are truly beginning to see America becoming great again!

I saw a coffee mug on-line (which will be available soon at the Beacon office) that has the inscription; “The Best Part of Waking Up is Donald Trump is President”. A nice take, I thought, on the old coffee jingle many of us grew up with.

And while the message is somewhat glib and intentionally simplistic, it bears some truth as well.

It has been on my mind lately how similar Ronald Reagan’s popularity and ascendency to the presidency is to the steady and increasing love for this president.

Similar too were the circumstances when both came into office. In Reagan’s case we were crawling out of the Jimmy Carter “Malaise” full of defeat and despair. Not unlike the economic and social chaos that Barack Hussein Obama left in his wake. Never in my lifetime had I seen an America as divided as what Obama had set in motion. Racial tensions and class envy had been stirred up to a boiling point, and the whole take-a-knee when our national anthem was being presented was just a symptom of the seeds of division he had sown.

But Donald J. Trump, like Ronald Reagan before him, has struck a chord, like those played by Lee Greenwood in his ballad “Proud to be an American” that reached out and ignited the American spirit once more. Oh, I know, there are still those who aren’t proud, but the ones who are, are standing tall and not backing down. And they have a champion in the White House.

We can all be thankful; for the economy, the best in decades, for the low unemployment rate (especially among blacks and Hispanics), for the tax relief (with more to come) which has stimulated this economy, for the investment capital that has come home to our shores and reinvigorated our manufacturing sector, even to the extent of restoring our lost steel industry, for the end of the constant threat of ISIS and their surrogates, for the establishment of active diplomatic ties with North Korea and China, for shoring up our historic friendship with Israel and moving our embassy to Jerusalem, for the pushback on the pro-abortion industry and the exposure of the monstrosity of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in dead babies, replacing that with the new Heartbeat legislation and a president who has placed constitutional judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, and all of this and more, in just his first two years in office.

Oh, we still have the radical progressive socialists in the Democrat Party, and their surrogates in Antifa and other radical fringe anarchists, and of course their willing accomplices in the media and entertainment industry, but they too, are starting to crumble. Just as in the Kavanaugh hearings, the election fraud and attempt to overturn the legitimate results of this November election are exposing these anti-American zealots for who they are. And intuitively Americans don’t like it. The Walk-Away movement is growing.

Americans are attracted to a positive message of “you can do it” and that we can still achieve greatness, individually, and as a nation, and aspire to enjoy the fullness of life that our unprecedented freedom and independence has fostered these past 238 years.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful especially for our family, both near and not as near, our five children and twelve grandchildren, aunts and uncles, cousins, and dear friends. They are the source of our joy, our hope, and our legacy. I am particularly thankful that my Aunt Susan made it out of the inferno in Paradise that destroyed her family’s house and the entire community they called home forty plus years. But she remains hopeful and thankful, what an inspiration!

I am personally thankful to have the opportunity to share some thoughts each week with you, that we may be an encouragement to one another, and spread the message of freedom far and wide and above all keep the torch of liberty alive for the generations to follow.

Wishing you a Great American Thanksgiving Celebration with your family and friends!