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To the Right of Reality

Happy Thanksgiving one and all! We can be thankful that Tina Kotek prevailed in the election!

By the way, the date of our Reorganization and Holiday party was left off the notice; it is December13th. Click here for more information.

And now, the latest:

Nov. 14, 15 2022

If you don’t win an election, Republicans blame the process, not their message. Some GOP candidates in Oregon just can’t believe their anti-abortion, chase the homeless off, pro-gun, anti-climate change message didn’t go over well in Oregon during this year’s elections. Now some diehards are going to court with allegations that “overwhelmingly suspicious events” took place during the primary elections last May that carried over into the November elections. About a dozen plaintiffs, including Marc Thielman, who came in 6th in the Republican gubernatorial primary with 7.9 percent of the vote, and state Sen. Dennis Linthicum, who has made no secret of his disdain for vote-by-mail balloting even though in his East Oregon district it probably helps him, have filed a lawsuit against Oregon’s Secretary of State and about 11 counties challenging the constitutionality of mail-in balloting and computerized tabulation. They say there has been widespread fraud, suppression of the vote and voter disenfranchisement in Oregon but their evidence refers to alleged voting machine fraud in Colorado. They were apparently influenced by the debunked Dinesh D’Souza film 2,000 Mules as well since it is referred to in the lawsuit. https://www.yamhilladvocate.com/2022/11/lawsuit-filed-against-oregon-secretary-of-state-county-officials-alleging-voter-fraud-and-suppression/

Thielman appeared on The Bill Meyer Show Nov. 15 to discuss his lawsuit and ask for donations to his cause. Thielman resigned from his position as superintendent of the Alsea School District during his primary campaign for governor after several complaints were filed against him alleging he created a hostile work environment, tolerated sexual harassment, fired people illegally and showed disregard for anyone with a viewpoint not his own. The now-unemployed Thielman is currently keeping himself busy with a scheme to raise money from election deniers. He told Meyer he went to a Texas meeting on “election integrity” looking for funding for his PAC, Battleground Oregon, declaring he’s the perfect person to lead this mission because he worked in education where he came to understand “the mindset of the left.” According to Thielman “the left” are a sneaky bunch who “through malfeasance and incompetence set up rules that advantage one side.” He didn’t explain, however, how incompetent people could so deftly arrange to win elections.

Thielman said he filed the lawsuit in federal court because he doesn’t trust the liberal Oregon courts. If he loses there he hopes to take it all the way to the Supreme Court where he thinks the right-leaning justices will agree with him. This is why he needs money, he says. If they win, Thielman said, it will force Oregon’s voting system to look more like Texas, Florida and Ohio where Republicans always win.

Josephine County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger, on Tuesday Nov. 16, added his distrust of Oregon’s election system and blamed ballot harvesting by the big unions in Oregon for making it impossible for Republicans to win. “Ballot harvesting” is when people’s sealed ballots are collected and taken to collection sites by someone other than the voter, which is not illegal in Oregon. In 2019 then Secretary of State Dennis Richardson did fine a progressive PAC, Defend Oregon, $94,750 after their campaign staff picked up ballots but failed to turn in almost 100 of them. Defend Oregon said it was a staff error, not malfeasance. The fine was reduced to $23,725 after election officials determined Defend Oregon made an honest mistake. However they were required to submit a ballot collecting plan detailing who collects ballots, how they are trained and how ballots are collected, tracked and stored.

Baertschiger did credit Democrats in Oregon with being loyal voters who didn’t abandon Tina Kotek for Betsy Johnson. He said Johnson confided to him that if Drazan won then she wouldn’t consider her campaign a waste of time but “Democrat voters got in line.”

Meyer noted that Democrats also raise more money in Oregon because the donation app Act Blue is “incredibly effective at funneling money to Democrats” while Republicans’ Win Red isn’t because it rakes off too hefty a commission. That led to a discussion about how supporting a candidate doesn’t just mean voting for them. Meyer said “you gotta spend money” while Baertschiger said if you don’t have money at least volunteer for a campaign. They both advised Republicans to give directly to candidates instead of through donation apps.

After their gubernatorial loss, Meyer and Baertschiger discussed how Republicans might yet rise to power, at least in the statehouse. Concentrate on getting more senators elected, said Baertschiger.

“You only gotta get 16 senators and you can stop this agenda,” he said. “You’re missing the boat by not paying attention to the senate.”

After the Nov. 8 election, Republicans went from 11 to 12 state senators with right-leaning Independent Brian Boquist providing the 13th. A Republican replaced then Democrat state Sen. Betsy Johnson after she stepped down to run for governor.