Category: Politics

Jesse Lippold running for Salem-Keizer School Board, Zone 5

After much thought, Jesse Lippold decided it was time to enter the SKSB race.  Yes, he’s young, but his experience and successes in overcoming childhood challenges, and becoming a strong advocate for children, while working in the banking industry and attending college, motivate him to serve the community where he grew up and finished his secondary education. 
“I’m a persistent person and understand the challenges students face today. I know I would bring a perspective to the SKSB which would challenge the status quo.  Some may say I do not have enough experience, but I ask, what has 10-20-30 years of ‘experience’ done for students?  Are our graduation rates higher? “
Jesse and his sister were abandoned and homeless during their high school years, but he managed to survive, and thrive.  His persistence personality helped him finish high school in Salem.  Now, in addition to working in the banking industry as a Premier Banker and going to college, he has just organized a non-profit, “SALEM TOGETHER, focused on helping kids, homeless, and others in need.”  
“My vision for the SKSB is seeing that we are providing the appropriate opportunities for all students, and that parents are a part of the policy making the Board undertakes.”  He admits he has no PACS giving him money, or endorsing him, and that he likely would not be a union favorite.  “I’m not a part of the professional administrative, political system, which in my view is a benefit. Doing the same thing over and over hasn’t worked.  Maybe it’s time for a change?”

Willis Calls on Schrader to Denounce Stunt

Stayton, OR — Yesterday, a group of Democratic Congressmen staged a “sit-in” on the House of Representatives floor that disrupted the proceedings and forced Speaker Ryan to adjourn the House.

In a statement released today, 5th congressional district candidate Colm Willis blasted the protest. “This childish protest is not only counterproductive; it is stopping the people’s representatives from carrying out the business of the nation in the House of Representatives. After you lose a vote, you should work harder to win the next one rather than throw a tantrum on the House floor.”

The Democrats are staging the stunt to protest the lack of gun control legislation in the aftermath of the attack in Orlando. The gun control measures they wanted to pass had already been defeated in the Senate, and they did not have the votes to bring them to a vote in the House.

Willis slammed the action as a political stunt, not serious governing. “At a time when our nation is under threat from ISIS attacks and our economy is at risk of dipping back into recession, the Democrats would rather engage in legislative blackmail than work to solve our nation’s problems.  This is an attempt to turn a republic into a mobocracy.”

“I call on my opponent, Kurt Schrader, to condemn this mob action and allow the House to return to its normal business.”


Steve Forbes will headline Freedom Foundation Oregon banquet

SALEM, Ore. – The Freedom Foundation has announced that Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and two-time candidate for president, will be the keynote speaker at the organization’s inaugural Oregon dinner.

The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 24, in the Oregon Zoo’s Cascade Banquet Room.

Other speakers include: Rebecca Friedrichs, plaintiff in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the just-decided U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with mandatory union membership for government employees; and, Dr. Eric Fruits, adjunct professor of economics, finance and statistics at the University of Portland, who will discuss Oregon’s economic malaise.

Forbes_SteveJPG (2)Forbes, an outspoken critic of public-sector unions, serves on the board of Directors of the advocacy organization FreedomWorks. He is also on the board of the National Taxpayers’ Union and the Heritage Foundation, an influential Washington, D.C.-based public policy research institute.

Forbes is a frequent panelist on the television program Forbes on Fox, which also features members of the Forbes Media staff.

See for ticketing details and reservations.

The Freedom Foundation is a member-supported, Northwest-based think and action tank promoting individual liberty, free enterprise and limited, accountable government.

Republican Candidates in HD 23 to Debate in Polk County

Rickreall, Ore – Gator’s Radio Experience and 1430AM  KYKN together with the Polk County Republicans are hosting a candidate debate between incumbent House District 23 Representative Mike Nearman and challenger Beth Jones.

The debate will be held at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall on Sunday, April 24 from 6 PM – 8 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

This is the second time that Dallas resident Beth Jones has challenged Mike Nearman for the HD 23 seat. In 2014, Ms. Jones entered the race as the Independent Party of Oregon candidate only to drop out before the general election.  Both Nearman and Jones are running for the Republican nomination this year.

mike nearmanIncumbent Mike Nearman attained the HD 23 seat in 2014 after a contentious race with former representative Jim Thompson. Nearman, a current Precinct Committee person and former chair of the Polk County Republicans, believes in the Constitution and the rule of law. He is passionate about upholding what is just and right citing a love for politics and policy that has been a driving force all of his life.

beth jonesBeth Jones is an Army wife, mother of two and founder/director of Bambinos, a non-profit that serves low-income families in Polk County. Jones is an advocate for veteran and military families, she believes in caring for others with as little government intervention as possible. Jones served on the Dallas City Council from 2011-2015.

The debate will be moderated by Gator Gaynor, host of the popular drive time talk radio show Gator’s Radio Experience with assistance from show co-host, Denise Quinn Nanke.


Bud Pierce Ready for Challengers in Republican Governor Race

Salem, Oregon (March 7, 2016) – Bud Pierce, candidate for Oregon governor released a statement today acknowledging Allen Alley’s late entrance into the Republican primary.

Pierce said, “Ever since I entered the race last September, I have been ready for challengers in the primary. I don’t take Allen’s candidacy lightly, but I am still confident that I am the right candidate for this election.”

Pierce began preparing for a race last February and announced his candidacy last year on Sept. 10 on the steps of the Oregon Capitol, followed by a celebration that attracted over 300 supporters. Since the fall, Pierce has been building his campaign team, opening an office, hiring staff and travelling around the state listening to fellow Oregonians.

Kevin Mannix, attorney, former candidate for Governor and former Oregon Republican Party Chair, said, “We already have an excellent candidate for Governor in Bud Pierce. He is smart and qualified and he will bring prosperity to Oregon. Allen had a chance to step up and be part of this process since last year and did not commit until now, which is late in the process. Bud has proved his worth to Oregonians over and over again through his involvement with the business community, his medical practice, his support of solid causes, and his generous support of charities. He has developed a dynamic campaign over the last year and has traveled all over the state. It is a mistake for Allen to think he can drop into the process at the last minute and be able to achieve that same momentum.”

While there are a number of people who have filed on the Republican ticket, Allen is known because of previous runs for office. Pierce comments, “Allen’s been around Oregon politics for a long time and has run before, albeit unsuccessfully, but that doesn’t dissuade me. For my part, I believe that Oregon needs new blood, fresh ideas and a break from the one-party rule we’ve had in the governor’s office for 30 years. I still expect to become the nominee of Oregon Republicans and, ultimately, the voice of working Oregonians.”

Bud Pierce, Ph.D., M.D., of Salem, Oregon, is an oncologist, business owner, veteran, and Republican candidate for Oregon Governor. See more details about his agenda for Oregon on


Lawsuit Alleges SEIU 503 Isn’t Complying With Supreme Court Ruling

SALEM, Ore. – Service Employees International (SEIU) 503 is the subject of a new lawsuit whose aim is to force the union and the Oregon Department of Human Services to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Medicaid-compensated home healthcare providers to decide for themselves whether to pay dues and fees to the union.

The suit, filed in federal court on Thursday by attorneys supported by the Freedom Foundation and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation on behalf of an Oregon home healthcare provider, challenges whether the union can treat workers who didn’t know they had a right as having waived that right.

The union argues that care providers waived their right to stop dues deductions when they signed membership agreements before Harris v. Quinn gave them the constitutional right not to pay any dues or fees to a union. The Freedom Foundation counters that a care provider cannot waive the right granted by Harris before she knew she had that right.

The court ruled in Harris v. Quinn two years ago that home care providers were not full-fledged state employees and could no longer be forced to pay dues or fees to SEIU 503. The union, however, took the position that, while it couldn’t force workers to join up, it didn’t have to make the opting out process easy or immediate, either.

One way to make things more difficult was to only allow workers to leave the union and stop paying dues during a 15-day window period every year.

However, workers who signed membership cards prior to Harris can’t be penalized after Harris. The law puts a high value on First Amendment rights and sets a high standard for any action that purports to waive these rights.

With respect to Oregon home care providers, it’s nearly impossible to imagine how one could waive Harris rights before Harris rights existed.

Freedom Foundation General Counsel James Abernathy explained, “A person cannot be declared to have waived a First Amendment right that is not clearly articulated in the waiver, didn’t exist at the time she signed her membership card, and was not recognized by federal or Oregon courts at the time.

“We expect this kind of bad behavior from unions,” he said, “but it’s a shame that litigation is necessary to get the state of Oregon to honor the constitutional rights of workers.

“Gov. (Kate) Brown and the state of Oregon have made their choice,” Abernathy said. “They have prioritized SEIU 503’s annual $30 million cash windfall over Oregon citizens’ First Amendment rights.”


Willis Announces Legislative Leadership Team

Stayton, OR — Colm Willis’ bid for the Republican nomination for Congress in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District was bolstered Thursday when the campaign announced the endorsements of 8 local lawmakers.

The Colm for Congress legislative leadership team will play an instrumental role in providing policy background and support for Willis’ campaign for Congress. Members will be added as the campaign progresses.

“I am honored by the support I have received from state lawmakers who represent hundreds of thousands of working Oregonians across the state,” said Willis. “The needs of the hardworking people in Oregon will continue to be my primary focus every day.”

Colm for Congress Legislative Leadership Team

  • Senator Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls)
  • Representative Jodi Hack (R-Salem)
  • Representative John Huffman (R-The Dalles)
  • Representative Mike Nearman (R-Dallas)
  • Representative Cedric Hayden (R-Roseburg)
  • Representative Greg Barreto (R-Cove)
  • Representative Bill Post (R-Keizer)
  • Representative Gail Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls)

Colm Willis was born and raised in Oregon.  He is a husband, father of two daughters, and a small business attorney in Stayton. Willis previously served as the political director of Oregon Right to Life and as an aide to the Joint Economic Committee in the U.S. Senate. He attended Willamette University College of Law where he earned the Civil Rights Award and graduated first in his class as valedictorian.

Willis is a Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District. The primary will be held on May 17, 2016. The Republican nominee will face incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader in the general election.


Representative Mike Nearman Calls For Immediate Changes Within Department Of Human Services

Asks For Resignation Of Senior Agency Official, Full Account Of Public Records Practices

Salem, OR – Representative Mike Nearman (R-Independence) today called on Interim Department of Human Services Director Clyde Saiki to replace Public Affairs Director Gene Evans immediately. Rep. Nearman issued the call after learning that Director Evans oversaw the stonewalling of a routine public records request by an Oregon citizen. In his letter to Director Saiki, Rep. Nearman also asked that the agency be prepared to fully explain to the Legislature the circumstances surrounding this failure of transparency and what steps the agency will be taking to ensure similar situations do not arise in the future.

“I am saddened and angered by media reports that an Oregon citizen, Anne Marie Gurney, made simple requests for Department of Human Services records that were clearly public and that she was subjected to delays by the Director of Public Affairs, Gene Evans, which resulted in the records not being delivered. Furthermore, it appears that the delay was intentional, so as to ‘wait out the clock’ on pending legislation,” Rep. Nearman wrote in the letter dated December 7. “I find it outrageous that taxpayer funds are used to pay the salary of a Director of Public Affairs, whose job is to inform the public, and that person engages in tactics to keep public data from a member of the public. I therefore call for the termination of Director Evans, immediately.”

Records show that Director Evans and his staff mishandled, and ultimately denied, a routine request for information, even despite previously acknowledging the legitimacy of the records request. Director Evans, citing an exemption signed into law just one day earlier, denied the request nearly six months after first receiving it.


Freedom Foundation Expands into Oregon

SALEM, Ore. – The Freedom Foundation – Washington’s most assertive citizen watchdog group – has extended its influence into Oregon with the opening of a branch office in Salem.

And just to show it means business, the organization is also filing a class-action lawsuit against Gov. Kate Brown and SEIU 503 on behalf of a Bend home care worker who was illegally unionized and forced for years to pay dues and representation fees.

More than 20,000 other Oregon home care workers could also benefit from the ruling should the Freedom Foundation prevail in court.

Both moves will be announced during a press conference at:

2:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 13,
in the Capitol Press Room
at the Oregon State Capitol Building,
900 Court St SE, Salem OR 97301

Founded in 1991, the Freedom Foundation is a member-funded, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank dedicated to the principles of free markets and smaller, more transparent government. Its main focus these days is exposing and ending the undue influence of government employee unions on the political process.

Freedom Foundation’s Oregon coordinator, Anne Marie Gurney, recently appeared on the Gator’s Radio Experience show to discuss the organization’s goals and mission, explaining the group’s desire to challenge Oregon’s unions; both private and public sector.


Oregon Republican Party Leads Oregon Towards State Government Transparency Ratifies Resolution in Salem Making Transparency a Priority

Wilsonville, OR – The Oregon Republican Party State Central Committee ratified by a unanimous vote today a resolution that makes transparency and government accountability a top priority for Republicans. The resolution calls for the Central Committee to partner with Republican legislative leadership to prioritize transparency and accountability legislation, and in turn, pledges the Central Committee’s and fellow Republican’s support.

“Republicans are determined to make our government more transparent and more accountable to the citizens it serves. Until we succeed, real and effective government reform has little hope in Oregon.” said Bill Currier, Oregon Republican Party State Chairman. “Government transparency and accountability is not only a good idea, but it should be a top priority and it is something Oregonians deserve. It’s time our citizens regain control of their government which it is supposed to serve.”

Many bills were introduced into the recent legislative session that would have promoted and improved government transparency and accountability–something Oregonians are hungry for after the disastrous John Kitzhaber scandals and resignation earlier this year. Despite wide bipartisan support, Senate Majority Leader, Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Senate Rules Committee Chair, Diane Rosenbaum (D-Salem) used stall tactics that killed most of these bills in committees.

Some of the bills that were stopped by the Democrats include:
HJR 31 – Would have given the state legislature power to impeach corrupt government officials, including the Governor.
SB940 – Would have prevented “vote trading” by legislators.
SB853 – Would have required testimony given in the legislature by high-ranking agency officials and elected officials be “under oath” and subject to perjury laws if caught lying.
SB852 – Would have made lying on a voter’s pamphlet statement illegal.

Oregonians are being denied a more transparent and accountable government by Democrats who favor of a corrupt and dishonest system they have thrived in. Today Republicans have resolved to change it.