For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim McCann
Following Representative Mike Nearman’s hearing on Tuesday in Marion County Court on criminal charges stemming from his enabling violent rioters to enter the Oregon State Capitol in December, the Democratic Party of Oregon reissued our call for Nearman to either resign or be expelled from the Oregon House of Representatives. Democratic Party of Oregon Chair Carla “KC” Hanson issued the following statement:
“For years, Rep. Mike Nearman’s hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric has opened the door for extremists and white nationalists to further escalate their tactics of violence and intimidation. In December, as video footage clearly shows, Nearman literally opened the door for armed, violent rioters to illegally enter the Oregon Capitol building and attack Oregon State Police. Nearman’s actions put his House colleagues and everyone else in the Capitol building – especially BIPOC legislators and staff – in grave danger. He must resign, and if he refuses, he should be expelled.
“In January, the Democratic Party of Oregon joined elected officials and community leaders from all across the state to condemn Nearman’s actions and to call for his expulsion. Now, Nearman has been charged with official misconduct and criminal trespass, and faces more than a year in jail if convicted.
“Oregon’s judicial system will determine whether Nearman will be found guilty and face criminal consequences for his actions. But right now, the Oregon House of Representatives has a duty to ensure the safety and well-being of legislators and Oregon Capitol staff. Nearman’s words and, more importantly, his actions have proven that he is unfit to serve and cannot be trusted with the duties and responsibilities of a member of the Oregon Legislature.
“This is not a matter of partisan politics. This is instead a matter of public safety, a betrayal of the oath we expect our elected officials to uphold, and a significant breach of trust by which Rep. Nearman put his colleagues and Capitol staff in harm’s way.
“House Minority Leader Christine Drazan said in January that ‘If the investigation finds that actions taken were criminal, legislators are not above the law and will be held responsible.’
“We hope Minority Leader Drazan takes her own words to heart and joins her Democratic colleagues in the House to do the right thing and call on Representative Nearman to resign, and should he refuse, take action to protect the safety and well-being of her fellow legislators and staff within the Capitol.”