Front Story to below letter: One of our PCPs sent a letter and received a letter printed in black and was so disturbed she passed on to our Chair Holli Morton who responded to Findley and Hansell printed in red.
Senators Findley and Hansell:
I am the Chair of the Republican Central Committee of Josephine County. One of our PCPs just received the following response from you, which she forwarded to me in disgust. Please see my comments in red:
I appreciate you reaching out today and the opportunity to correct the misinformation being spread regarding Senate Bill 865. I do not see that there is misinformation; rather we have a strong disagreement with what you are doing.
Senator Hansell and I have been contacted by our constituents both in and out of the Republican Party, some in Republican Party leadership, who are concerned about the mixing of party politics and legislative policy-making. Three county chairs have weighed in. I spoke to two of them and they barely understand what this all means… which suggests to me that someone asked them to do this. In addition, I do not believe the PCPs that they represent were included in the decision to do this.
All of a sudden, certain votes are being seen as official positions of all Republicans in Oregon when they aren’t, and vice versa. There are potential conflicts of interest and ethical considerations, and we have a responsibility as elected official to ensure the integrity of the legislature is not in question. I do not believe this is correct. Please provide specific examples.
The bill allows the Oregon Republican Party to establish and uphold its agenda and perform its grassroots functions independently and with its own set of priorities. It doesn’t at all impact that at times, the party and elected leaders should and do collaborate to ensure we are working together to put Oregon on a better path. I wish you WOULD put Oregon on a better path, but that is not what you are doing. In years past, Senators have also been ORP leaders (Marylin Shannon for example). At the time, the party and the ORP were much more effective than they are in this split environment.
Holistically and for the strength of our state government and our party, removing a conflict of interest such as this prevents future attacks on each entity’s effectiveness, credibility, and ability to perform the functions and duties of the roles therein. The collaboration between these independent entities will strengthen our collective efforts, not weaken it. With all due respect, this is a bunch of political, mealy-mouthed hooey! May I hear some specific examples please.
This legislation is absolutely not aimed at a single political party or individual legislators. If passed, it would prevent conflicts of interest between party and policy at every level in partisan state government position including Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Labor Commissioner (BOLI), Attorney General and the legislature. What you are attempting to do is eliminate the choice of the people about who should govern. The ORP has chosen its leaders. It is not up to you to undo this process. These matters should be handled within the party — not legislated. You have embarrassed the party and made a critical mistake in judgement.
Senate Bill 865 is not an attack on my fellow Republican Senators or the Oregon Republican Party, despite what some are telling you. SB 865 has no impact on any sitting county commissioners or previous office holders whatsoever, nor have any amendments been proposed to alter that fact. It was not collaborated on with members of the Democratic party or caucus. I completely disagree with this statement.
I’m thankful for the chance to provide you with more information as to why SB 865 would positively impact not only our own party policy, but Oregon policy as well. I think it’s an important part of my role as a Senator to continue having open dialogues with my constituents, which involves being an active listener and providing answers to questions. I am far from convinced. In fact, it becomes clearer by the minute that SB865 is a terrible idea and I ask you in the strongest terms to withdraw this bill. You have written this blanket letter to cover the bases of all of the complaints about what you have initiated. Please realize that VERY FEW AGREE WITH THIS AND MOST OF US ARE UP IN ARMS. The sooner you stop this nonsense, the better it will be.
Senate District 30
ACTION STEP: Immediately, everyone needs to send an e-mail or call Senators Findley and Hansel to tell them they MUST BOTH WITHDRAW SENATE BILL 865.
Also: send this email to your lists to make sure we have MANY PEOPLE taking action
On the 18th of this month, there will be a hearing on this bill — by zoom, I assume. Please mark your calendar and plan to weigh in if we have not already convinced Findley and Hansell to abandon the bill