Two separate petitions to place the recall of Oregon Governor Kate Brown on the November ballot are presently being circulated in Wallowa County. Each needs 280,050 validated signatures of registered Oregon voters by October 15th to place a recall measure on the Oregon ballot. One is sponsored by the Oregon Republican party. The other similar petition is sponsored by a group called ‘Flush Down Kate Brown.’ Two local women, Annette Lathrop, chair of the Wallowa County Republican party, and Marissa Hess, of Enterprise, are ramrodding signature gathering here. To submit all signed petitions by the October 14 deadline, signature gathering in Wallowa County will effectively halt on October 7.
Hess is circulating the Flush Down Kate Brown petition which is headed by the Oregon First PAC. The petition addresses many of the same issues as Lathrop’s Republican petition. Specifically, it states that Brown has “..reduced our kicker tax refund, raised taxes mercilessly, and spends our money recklessly”, and cites Brown’s failure to address the financial concerns of PERS, Oregon’s “sanctuary state” status, and providing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
Lathrop and her mother, Rowena Patton, have been working hard to collect as many signatures as possible on the Republican Party’s petition. Initiated by Oregon Republican party chairman Bill Currier, it initially focused on Brown’s support of House Bill 2020 (carbon tax) and her threat to implement it by executive order, as well as allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Altogether, the petition lists ten reasons for the recall, including denying citizens the right to fully protect themselves as guaranteed by the Constitution, attempting to deprive Oregon’s working families of jobs using faulty environmental policy, and failure to address the PERS crisis. Other issues include what Lathrop considers a tax bill disguised as an education bill that has harmed businesses across the state.
Why the recall petitions? “Many people during that last legislative session saw the train for the good of their perspectives and needs go off the rails,” Lathrop said. “That is the energy behind the movement. As Republican chair I think the state Republican party wanted to capitalize on all that energy. The petition was birthed.”
Lathrop said she has found a lot of enthusiasm in the county for the petition. “A man who saw my shirt (bearing the slogan “Remove Kate Brown”) literally came running across the street, waving at me, and asked if I had a petition he could sign.” Some county visitors have also been signing, including hunters who live on the west side of the state.
The controversy over public records advocate Ginger McCall’s resignation, and the appointment of Misha Isaak to the Oregon Court of Appeals has sparked renewed interest in the recall petition, Lathrop said.
“I believe the people in rural communities deserve a governor they feel are working for them,” Lathrop said. “The people in the timber industry, the farmers, and all who voted overwhelmingly to deny driver’s licenses to illegals, should have a governor who honors the will of the people.”
“Kate Brown is no different than many other classical political corruption politicians who are using their office to promote their own agenda and further their own political careers,” Lathrop said.
Lathrop feels that her Republican party petition, as well as Hess’ Flush Kate Brown petition are on track to gather the required number of signatures for inclusion on the ballot.
“If they get enough signatures and it goes to be voted on, I think Oregonians will feel vindicated. In Oregon politics,” (she laughed) “you just don’t really know. And I hope it passes. But even if it doesn’t, the very fact that it came to a recall vote will certainly come to the attention of those who thought we don’t care or we had just given up. I think it will have an impact. It’s a real positive thing because it’s energized lots of people who have never been in the process before.”