Pamplin Media Group – Suburban Republicans reflect Oregon’s GOP

In Clackamas County – a Republican stronghold – elected officials and party leaders declined to comment.

The Portland Tribune asked some of our suburban sister publications within the Pamplin Media Group to reach out to prominent Republicans in their community to help tackle the divide within the GOP.

Clackamas County reporter Sam Stites noted that Republicans across the board were unwilling to interfere in the story.

Clackamas County’s GOP Chair, Margie Hughes, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither other elected officials nor party leaders in the county.

When it comes to county politics, Republicans have been far more successful in Clackamas counties than Multnomah or Washington counties in recent years.

In Washington County, reporter Ray Pitz spoke to Lou Ogden, former mayor of Tualatin, who ran for Oregon’s commissioner for the Bureau of Labor and Industries in 2018. Pitz also spoke to Tom Anderson, a former member of Tigard City Council and a candidate for Metro Council 3rd Ward. Answers have been edited for clarity and space.

Lou Ogden

Pamplin Media Group: Do you think President Trump won re-election?

Ogden: Biden won the election. (But) I have no doubt that there was electoral fraud. I’ve seen something firsthand. In many other situations where there is smoke, there is fire. (Jeff, CEO of Amazon) Bezos declined to object to mail-in ballots used in voting by Amazon employees. Dems in New York say the New York Congressman (Claudia) Tenney’s victory was rigged when they competed in the race for more than 90 days. The Dems would not consent to any review or investigation into the alleged fraudulent claims. If there’s nothing to hide, why is it? Was there enough to swing the choice? We will never know The bodies are all buried

PMG: Do you think the US Capitol attack was a “false flag”?

Ogden: I have no idea what a “false flag” is. I know the uprising was pre-planned. I know there were rioters around the Capitol before Trump took the stage. I know there were tens of thousands at the rally and several thousand in the Capitol. I know those who stormed the Capitol were idiots and criminals and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I have every confidence that will happen. At the same time, the months of turmoil, destruction, and death (with nationwide protests) were barely followed throughout the summer. I know the left has used the idiotic riots to make idiotic claims of insurrection, conspiracy, Trump delusions and impeachment. If every member of Congress were charged with shouting “fighting words” to their base or even encouraging Trump supporters to engage in malicious activity, the Capitol would always be empty except for impeachment hearings.

PMG: Do you think there is a huge gap between members of the Republican Party and if so how can it be fixed?

Ogden: Any Republican divide is perhaps no different than a Democratic divide. Do you think the Vermont Army (Senator Bernie Sanders) and the Bezos billions are on the same side? Nor is it any different than … differences in religions. (I grew up in the Lutheran Church of America and I told the Missouri Lutheran Synod this was wrong.) There is a rift between my family over Thanksgiving dinner. In all the years that I have been mayor, there have been divisions in the council. There were seven on the council. I’ve always said that if all seven of us thought the same, we don’t need six of us. You don’t “fix” things to use your words by asking for unanimity. However, this certainly seems to be what the left and the “culture of annulment” (Editor’s note: a form of exclusion where someone is ousted from social or professional circles because of unpopular opinions). I believe in the “big tent” approach.

PMG: Where is the Republican Party going from here?

Ogden: We Americans have to “get out of here” by removing labels first. This is more for those who assign the labels than those who assign the labels. Right wing, left wing, Trumpers, Bernies, BIPOC, LGBTQ, whatever. I can’t keep up We are americans. We will strive to build a better future for all of us by removing barriers, removing stereotypes, restoring the benefits of doubts, not questioning each other’s intentions, and talking about mechanisms that allow people to work with their own Skills to be successful (and at the same time to protect them, lack of skills). All day long I can talk about solutions that make sense and work for everyone, with specific customization. These are the conversations we as Americans need to encourage. That will create natural guidance; A lead that people want to follow. When people band together around these goals and mechanisms for achieving the goals, the partiality in favor of the goals will collapse. (Oregon Governor Tom) McCall did that, (Oregon Senator Mark) Hatfield did that. And to be honest, Trump did (although he didn’t have the presence of mind to be gentleman enough to get his ideas done). Trump is not a Republican. He’s a populist. He was elected with millions of dems voting for him. If only he had (Republican) he would never have been elected. Many people who could not stand his rhetoric were drawn to the possibilities of his beliefs. The same applies to (Sen. Bernie Sanders). The problem is, it takes hard work, time consuming, and real conviction to get this message across on a consistent, dedicated, and unwavering basis. That’s not how American politics work. It’s all about the media and money, and neither of those two cares about the merits of what I’m advocating in the above sentences. This is one of the reasons the media, money and institutional government in both parties wanted to destroy Trump. He was a disruptor who threatened their political and financial norms and established the oligarchy. Fortunately, Trump self-destructed, just like the Soviet Union did in the 1980s

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tom Anderson shown outside his store on Tigard's Main Street.

Tom Anderson

PMG: Do you think President Trump won re-election? “”

Anderson: No.

PMG: Do you think the US Capitol attack was a “false flag”?

Anderson: I think there were agitators on both sides of the rally, but the people who walked into the Capitol were Trump supporters.

PMG: Do you think there is a huge gap between members of the Republican Party and if so how can it be fixed?

Anderson: There has been a rift since the Tea Party formed and defied the moderate wing of the party. Now you have the die-hard Trump supporters who are the loudest. But it’s still a fringe of the party and the majority of Republicans want good leadership.

PMG: Where is the Republican Party going from here?

Anderson: Nationally, I think Trump will eventually disappear and Republicans will find new leaders. The two-party system is not going away as both sides need each other whether they accept it or not. There are a growing number of independents and non-affiliates, but that just means they can choose more freely. Nationwide, Oregon has been democratically controlled since the 1980s, and the number of Democrats in the Portland metropolitan area suggests it will remain so for the near future. I’m a bit concerned that Oregon is in trouble with a party so dominant and virtually unregulated and has not done well in some key categories for years. The nice thing about the two-party system is that it offers a variety of viewpoints, but of course you need a rational dialogue.

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