By Brian Cameron, for the Tillamook County Pioneer
When the term ‘divisiveness’ gets brought up these days it’s hard not to immediately segue into current affairs. Indeed, there is a lot to be said, by everyone. It’s true that it can be easier to respond to opposing views with a quippy meme on social media, but when it comes down to opening up the narrative it’s best to get it straight from the source.
Recently I had an opportunity to do just that with a chance to hear from our local party officials. Tillamook Republican Chairman Mike Sears was kind enough to offer a virtual sit-down with the Pioneer to get down to the brass tacks.
What are the topics of focus on the local level?
“The issues we deal with today are the same issues we have had for the last three years,” said Sears. “We’ve spent a great deal of time gathering signatures but there is a total disregard for our State Constitution of the minority party.”
Sears is referring to an effort by the local party to endeavor to remove Oregon Governor Kate Brown from her role, or at the very least retain her as Governor. According to Sears the state minority party is treated with a lack of decorum and protocol, even going so far as to be notified before a session to not offer amendments, and ignoring a “point of order” request as well.
What are your thoughts on Governor Brown’s handling of the COVID pandemic?
“I feel the total response started off on the wrong foot,” said Sears. “Governor Brown’s declared emergency ended just thirty days after she first declared them, but she has continued to push out the time frame for further restrictions.”
Sears suggests that the issue has been clearly defined within the State Constitution, however when passed to the Oregon Supreme Court, they did not force a special session of Congress to extend her emergency powers.
“Her dependence upon ‘science’ to determine closures have challenged common sense,” said Sears. “If masks and social distancing were a safe precaution then there should not have been closures or restrictions to small business, farmers, loggers, personal service business and restaurants.”
How as the local Timber Unity movement affected local Republican party action?
“Timber Unity has given small business owners, and rural working people, a place to unite and stand for the working men and women of this state,” said Sears. “Locally their support and participation in the recall was strong.”
Sears personally attended a few of the local Timber Unity gatherings, including the state-wide truck rally to protest the “Cap-and-Trade” bill (HB2020).
How do you feel about national Republican party leadership, and how recent events may course the future?
“The effort to re-elect (Fmr.) President Trump comes from the widespread feeling that Washington no longer serves the citizens and cannot be trusted,” said Sears. “That said, we have no idea who will lead the national committee, or the path forward, except that will not change is the core Republican Platform. Which is based on liberty, freedom from the government, pro-life, and protecting our Bill of Rights.”
Do you have any thoughts regarding the January 6th attack on the US Capitol?
“I was scared watching it happen and could not understand who would do something like that,” said Sears. “A conservative republican would never attack the US Capitol, no matter what hat or shirt they might be wearing. Their actions of violence were not shared by the majority of us.”
Sears goes further to suggest that as he continued to watch, as more time passed, and identities of the rioters were revealed, it became clear to him that the attack was not only planned, and organized, but also seemed to have the support of the localized law enforcement.
How do groups like QAnon affect the local Tillamook Republicans?
“Ultimately I’ve not had a chance to really look into the QAnon situation, so I’m not sure I can say much about it,” said Sears. “However, if they differ from the party core values that I mentioned earlier then I will not personally support them.”
Mike Sears took on the role as Chairman for the Tillamook Republicans in November of 2019. For more information on the Tillamook Republicans, you can check out The Tillamook County Republican Central Committee on Facebook, or log online to www.tillamookgop.org.