Last week, many of us read about domestic terrorist and Oregon state legislator Mike Nearman for the first time. He plotted with fellow right-wing extremists to invade the state Capitol and then allowed them in through an unguarded side door.
Yesterday, the state House voted 59-1 to expel him and take away the right to vote from everyone who had reelected him until they pass a civics course. Just joking about the morons who voted for him. They'll no doubt elect another Trumpist sociopath in a special election. But that 59-1 tally was real-- and impressive. It was the first time the Oregon legislature voted to eject a sitting representative.
The Oregonian reported that "Lawmakers removed Nearman because he let far-right demonstrators, some of whom were armed, into the Capitol on Dec. 21 while lawmakers were holding a special session. The Capitol was closed to the public due to the pandemic and remains so."
Surveillance video captured Nearman, a four-term Republican, opening a door and exiting the building, stepping aside so that demonstrators waiting at the entrance could quickly slip into the building. The demonstrators clashed with police who attempted to expel them from the building and allegedly sprayed police with bear maceLast week, a video from earlier in December surfaced which showed Nearman instructing viewers how they should wait outside an entrance to the Capitol and text his cell phone. Then, “somebody might exit that door while you’re standing there,” Nearman said, a plan he dubbed “Operation Hall Pass.”
In an interview Monday with a conservative radio host, Nearman said the group he instructed on how to text him when they arrived outside a door at the Capitol were “mostly blue-haired old ladies.”
That did not accurately describe the group that showed up at the Capitol and entered the door Nearman opened. Rather, the demonstrators included the right-wing, Vancouver-based group Patriot Prayer known for street brawls, people wearing clothing with Three Percenters militia logos and a Confederate flag hat and people armed with rifles and wearing military gear.
Nearman already faces criminal misconduct charges for the incident and in a committee hearing on the expulsion proposal earlier Thursday, he declined to answer questions on the advice of his attorney. However, he said it was against the state Constitution to close the building to the public and it was “a place they had a right to be, a place the legislative assembly had no right to exclude them from.”
Democrats gave Nearman unlimited time to speak during the House floor debate on the resolution to remove him. But Nearman, the lone “no” vote against his removal, kept his comments brief and reiterated that “the citizens of Oregon should be able to instruct their legislators” and industry and interest groups should have in-person access to lobby lawmakers.
The 22 other House Republicans, all of whom voted to expel Nearman, remained silent during the floor debate. However, the top leaders of the caucus discussed Nearman’s actions earlier in the day.
House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, of Canby, said on the public radio show Think Out Loud that the demonstrators’ incursion could easily have turned deadly.
“(Nearman) made a decision to intentionally come up with a plan to let people into the building (when) he did not know how that would turn out and he was comfortable with that,” Drazan said. “I am not comfortable with that. There could easily have been a death on that day.”
In the committee hearing Thursday, Rep. Daniel Bonham, a Republican from The Dalles and the deputy House Republican leader, said Nearman exercised “terrible judgment” when he opened the door to demonstrators that morning.
“I saw the people outside,” Bonham said. “Nobody should have opened the door to the people that were here that day.”
Senate Republicans successfully filibustered a resolution to empower a bipartisan investigation of the domestic terrorism, insurrection and attempted coup in DC on 1/6, primarily because an investigation is likely to destroy whatever is left of Trump's reputation-- which would be bad for GOP fundraising-- and because several Republican members Congress conspired with the insurrectionists, at the very least, Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and the two QAnon crackpots in the House, Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) and Lauren Boebert (CO), who gave a group of far right terrorists a guided tour of the Capitol and texted Speaker Pelosi's location during the violent coup attempt.
9 prominent Trumpists took part in the coup planning session in Trump's private DC residence the night before the White House rally and Capitol Hill riot. None of these men have been arrested yet:
Donald Trump, Jr
David Bossie (representing the Mercer family)
Adam Piper (executive director if the Republican Attorneys General Association)
Charles Herbster, fascist candidate for governor of Nebraska
Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville
An hour after McConnell's filibuster killed the bipartisan commission, Pelosi should have empaneled a Select Committee to investigate the insurrection. She is crippled by political fear and has failed to serve the best interests of the country. She should resign and start spending her time with her great grandchildren.
Teresa Tomlinson: "It’s fear that cripples the Democratic Party. Fear of our policies, fear of who we are, and fear of the Republicans. Yes, fear is what has politically cost us in the last many election cycles. One cannot lead if one is afraid. The thing about leadership is that people want their leaders to be brave. They care less about what you think on the issues than whether you have the moxie to fight for them and the strength of conviction to tell them what you really think."
Shahid Buttar is Pelosi's progressive opponent and he seems to have also noticed her increasing befuddlement and inability and unwillingness to uphold her obligations and duties. "Nancy Pelosi long ago abdicated her oath of office to defend our Constitution against domestic enemies," he told me this morning. "Her failure to respond to Republican obstructionism fits a pattern established for decades. Well after blocking the impeachment of George Bush, she limited the Trump impeachment processes, ensuring the interests of a corrupt GOP president by affirmatively taking his worst crimes off the table not once, but twice. Beyond failing to hold GOP voices accountable, Pelosi has also actively promoted Republican interests, from the Paygo rules to her decision to fund Trump’s concentration camps at our borders. She enjoys a reputation for toughness that the policy record sadly does not at all support. If Pelosi ever debated a challenger, her career would have ended a long time ago. But our proud democracy’s vaunted 'free press' has never once asked her to justify her apparent entitlement to lead in Washington for an entire generation without ever facing the voters. As a result, her repeated actions fueling the crisis in our democracy have gone largely unnoticed, despite their grave constitutional implications. Her failures to seek accountability for an armed insurrection by her colleagues is simply the latest example of her demonstrated complicity in an ongoing constitutional crisis."