Oregon Republican “leaders” take a hard left turn
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 4:11PM

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.

Article originally appeared on The Roseburg Beacon (http://www.roseburgbeacon.com/).
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