In January, we joined community organizations, other unions, and elected officials to call for the expulsion of Rep. Nearman from the Oregon Legislature for his actions on December 21 if he does not resign. In light of recent criminal charges filed against him by the Marion County District Attorney, we renew those calls today. Mike Nearman does not deserve to be in office.
The DA was clear when she accused Nearman of “unlawfully and knowingly” opening the door to violent rioters. They were brandishing semi-automatic weapons and bear mace. When they entered the building to attack police and threatened lawmakers, they put the lives of everyone in the Capitol at risk including the staff that keeps our Capitol running. The people most in danger that day were Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) legislators and staff as the groups Nearman allowed in have a long history of espousing racist and xenophobic viewpoints and using violence as a way to threaten their opponents.
As Oregon’s largest public employee union, we know the importance of protecting everyone in their workplace, especially working people. Nearman unlawfully violated the safety of Capitol staff. This is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, this is not Nearman’s first foray into this type of disorderly behavior. In April, we condemned his xenophobic comments on the House floor. He previously served as a leader of Oregon’s largest anti-immigrant hate group; he currently serves as a “Senior Fellow” at an extremist, COVID-denial group, the so-called “Freedom” Foundation; and he regularly attends events organized by white nationalists like Patriot Prayer and the Three Percenters.
Article IV, Section 15 of the Oregon Constitution is clear. Nearman’s colleagues in the State House should vote to expel him for his “disorderly behavior” if he does not resign.
You can take action and send a clear message to your State Representative: Nearman needs to go NOW.