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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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Oregon Republican Who Assisted Attack On Capitol Expelled By Legislature

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

On Thursday, Oregon's House of Representatives approved a resolution, voting 59-1, to eject Republican State Rep. Mike Nearman from the chamber. The lone vote for Nearman came from none other than … Mike Nearman. Nearman makes history, becoming the first person ever expelled from the Oregon legislature. His crime? Helping to plan and then attempt to execute a breach of the Oregon state Capitol building during a December 21, 2020, protest. The breach of the Oregon state Capitol ended with "thousands of dollars in damage and six injured Salem and Oregon State police officers."

Video of Rep. Nearman letting protesters into the Capitol that day, captured on a surveillance camera, quickly went public, as did video of Nearman coaching a group of potential insurgents in the days leading up to the breaching of the Oregon state Capitol building. While Republicans had stayed mostly quiet as Democratic representatives called for Nearman's resignation as the weeks went by, it wasn't until The Oregonian reported on video showing Nearman speaking to a group of constituents just days before the breach of the Capitol building, clearly coordinating with them and giving out his phone number in order to allow this crew of insurgents inside the building. At that point, even Nearman's craven colleagues knew it was time to cut bait, signing a letter asking him to resign.

Before the vote, Nearman, who refused the call of every single one of his colleagues to resign, wrapped himself up in the deluded snowflake MAGA blanket of crybaby persecution, telling the chamber sarcastically, "The party in power doesn't have to be fair—might makes right." His argument being that the building being closed to the public at the time was the real problem, not Nearman colluding to break the law. "So, if that's what you want to do, let's do what the people have sent us here to do. Let's decide." They did decide and both might and democracy made right. Democratic state Rep. Julie Fahey spoke during the debate before the vote, saying "This is potentially the most serious and historic vote any of us will ever take in our career as legislators."

Let us all be clear on Nearman's defense here. Nearman is positing that he himself was being some kind of courageous patriot … by pretending to just happen to walk out and let in body-armor wearing protesters while his colleagues were doing their jobs. He was clearly trying to give himself some plausible deniability, by walking out, letting in insurgents and disappearing from the building. The only people who search for plausible deniability in things are people doing shit they know they aren't supposed to do, but are also too chickenshit to actually, full-throatedly admit they did it.

Important to note: Nearman's pantomime defense—that he just happened to be going outside to take a breather when these folks came through the door he was leaving—was accepted by his GOP colleagues enough that they stayed mum on calls for his resignation for weeks. As fellow Republican state Rep. Bill Post crocodile-teared in a post on his blog, "Mike told us that there is NO further evidence and certainly not any that would show premeditation. In fact, about five weeks ago, as his friend and one of the closest colleagues he has in the Capitol, I asked "is there ANY further video or other evidence?" He said "no." That is the crux of the problem: he lied. To me personally and to the House Republican caucus. This pains me to no end to reveal. He is my friend."

The problem was that he lied to fellow Republicans about there being evidence that he planned some kind of criminal action that might put his fellow colleagues in harm's way, to thwart the democratic process of our country. The problem was the lie, not the actual action? Luckily for America and Oregon, there was video showing Nearman actually planned to break the law. You know, like how if someone had died because of Nearman's actions it would have been considered second-degree murder as opposed to first-degree.

But video did appear, showing state Rep. Nearman speaking with a group of constituents, about something he jokingly said he didn't know about called "Operation Hall Pass," then giving out his cell phone number and saying if he was texted at a certain section of the building he might be able to let people in, that Republicans finally realized it was time to pretend they understood the magnitude of Nearman's betrayal to Democracy.

"We're talking about setting up Operation Hall Pass, which I don't know anything about and if you accuse me of knowing something about, I'll deny it. But there would be some person's cell phone which might be" and he recites a phone number beginning with 971.
"But," he continues, "that was just random numbers that I screened up. That's not anybody's actual cell phone. And if you say 'I am at the west entrance' during a session in text to that number there, that somebody might exit that door while you're standing there.

Nearman remained delusional to the end. On Monday, with the reality that Nearman would likely become the first Oregon legislator to be expelled, he reportedly told right-wing radio host Lars Larson that "Someday you're gonna be watching Jeopardy and somebody's gonna say, 'Who is Mike Nearman?' And that's gonna be the right answer." You mean like a question about, say Ted Kaczynski?

Here's him talking about "Operation Hall Pass":

Rep. Mike Nearman coached constituents how to breach Oregon Capitol with "Operation Hall Pass" www.youtube.com

And here's the yellow-bellied patriot letting in guys wearing American flag boots.

Rep. Mike Nearman helps right-wing demonstrators breach Oregon Capitol www.youtube.com

Oregon Legislator Charged After Letting Trumpist Rioters Into State Capitol

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Video shows a Republican state lawmaker in Oregon opening a door to the State Capitol last year to let rioters in, but he was only recently charged with misdemeanor offenses despite his decision making way for a faceoff between demonstrators and police officers. Rep. Mike Nearman was caught on surveillance video in the incident last December 21 and charged last Friday with second-degree trespassing and first-degree official misconduct, according to court documents multiple news outlets obtained.

"He literally opened the door so rioters could enter the state capitol - and they charged him with misdemeanors," civil rights and criminal defense attorney Rebecca Kavanagh tweeted late Sunday. And yet, prosecutors will charge Black and Brown people with serious felonies in a heartbeat if they're even present at the scene of a crime."

Marion County prosecutors accused Nearman, "a public servant," in court documents of "unlawfully and knowingly" performing "an act which constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another." With about 150 protesters gathered outside, the surveillance video shows Nearman letting demonstrators into the state building who wore no masks and held signs in support of President Donald Trump. More than 30 protesters made their way inside the building, Oregon state's legislative administrator told The New York Times. At least five rioters were arrested and one man charged allegedly for spraying bear spray on officers during the incident, according to The Associated Press.

Nearman is the same conservative legislator who tried to pressure the state attorney general into joining a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn results of the 2020 presidential election, the newspaper reported. He sued Gov. Kate Brown because she had the audacity to put COVID-19 restrictions in place to protect her constituents, and he has advocated for requirements attempting to force voters to prove citizenship to vote. In short, he's a racist.

Nearman is scheduled for court May 11 and has already been removed from committee assignments, The Denver Gazette reported. Democrats called Nearman's actions "completely unacceptable, reckless, and so severe that it will affect people's ability to feel safe working in the Capitol or even for the legislature" in a formal complaint they filed in January. "Rep. Nearman put every person in the Capitol in serious danger and created fear among Capitol staff and legislators," state House Speaker Tina Kotek tweeted on Friday. "I called on him to resign in January and renew my call in light of today's charges."

Nearman, who hasn't responded to charges filed against him, issued a statement The Denver Gazetteo btained upon the initial release of video of the lawmaker on January13. In his statement, he accused Kotek of deliberately releasing the footage after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and he attempted to defend his support of Oregon insurrectionists.

"I don't condone violence nor participate in it," Nearman said in the statement. "I do think that when Article IV, Section 14 of the Oregon Constitution says that the legislative proceedings shall be 'open,' it means open, and as anyone who has spent the last nine months staring at a screen doing virtual meetings will tell you, it's not the same thing as being open."