Party official sharply critical of obstacles it says Democrats put in its way
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Republican Party released a statement Monday as the “Stop The Abuse - Recall Kate Brown” campaign announced that the number of petition signatures to qualify for a vote to remove the governor from office has fallen narrowly short of the minimum required.
“To our great disappointment, the “Stop The Abuse - Recall Kate Brown” campaign has fallen 2,796 signatures, or less than 1% short of the minimum number of 280,050 signatures required to qualify to put a recall of the governor on the ballot this fall,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier. “It is the highest bar for petition signature gathering in our state’s Constitution and has definitely been an uphill struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other obstacles.”
“In 2019, nearly 25% of our signatures were gathered at the Oregon State Fair, county fairs, and numerous festivals which have all been canceled due to the Governor’s lockdowns, depriving us of an estimated 50 to 80 thousand additional signatures in 2020,” said Currier.
“Also, due to an arbitrary and cynical change in the law by the Democrat supermajority-run state Legislature between the 2019 recall and the one in 2020, the ability to freely download and pre-print ePetition sheets to provide to voters was severely reduced. This made it much more difficult for thousands of businesses and individuals to conveniently provide signature sheets to Oregon voters to exercise their state constitutional right to sign the petition.”
“The campaign also faced totally unnecessary and legally questionable rule changes towards the end of signature gathering from the state Elections Division that required all the petition sheets to be renumbered, a requirement that the Elections Division refused to put in writing. This cost hundreds of man-hours at a critical time in the campaign and at a time that it could afford it least.”
“Of course, it must also be remembered that several of our volunteers faced harassment, destruction of petitions, and physical assault, including a Democrat volunteer who has been recovering in the hospital these past couple of weeks. It is hard to estimate what effect these acts of intimidation had on suppressing signature gathering efforts across the state. Sadly, this is par for the course in Kate Brown’s violent, dystopian Oregon.”
“Because, under state law, prior to the submission of any petition signatures, I, as chief petitioner, must first attest to having the minimum number of qualified signatures. Therefore, the signatures cannot be submitted to the secretary of state’s election division,” stated Currier.
The only other recall effort ever supported by the Oregon Republican Party, the 2019 Stop The Abuse - Recall Kate Brown campaign, fell 8% short of the minimum signatures required. The 2020 all-volunteer, grassroots signature-gathering effort total of 277,254 represents a new record number of signatures gathered for any statewide petition of any kind in Oregon history - all without the support of out-of-state donors funding and paid signature gatherers. Over one-third of the signatures of the 2020 recall came from non-Republicans, exceeding the 2019 recall effort.
“Kate Brown is the one who fueled this recall and gave Oregonians new reasons every day to want a do-over. As she narrowly escapes being recalled this time, we expect that she will continue to abuse power, ruin our economy, prioritize her favorite corrupt special interest cronies, play political games with the lives and livelihoods of Oregonians, aid and abet the violent crime, rioting, looting, and, now, murder in our streets, and let down our children as she guides our state’s education system to the bottom of performance nationally.”
“We want to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to the hundreds of petition signature gatherers who worked tirelessly for three months in this monumental effort to give the voters of Oregon a chance to hold our state’s Governor accountable to the will of the voters. It has been and continues to be a worthy cause and you are true patriots.”
“During these three months we’ve heard the countless heartbreaking stories of Oregon families, workers, and business owners who have suffered at the hands of Kate Brown’s egregious abuses of power and her disastrous pandemic shutdowns. We must continue to work to hold her and her enablers in the state legislature accountable by ending the Democratic supermajority.”
“The signers of the 2020 Stop The Abuse - Recall Kate Brown petition represent a large and growing army of voters who are increasingly dissatisfied with the direction of our state and the failed leaders taking it there. This army isn’t going anywhere and the Oregon Republican Party will continue to work to help this army and all Oregon voters with the vital task of restoring freedom, equality under the law, prosperity, and bringing accountability to our state government.”