For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
press [at] dpo [dot] org
Buehler on Racial Profiling: Which is it?
In criticizing Republican Knute Buehler’s ‘no’ vote on the state’s new distracted driving law, a recent editorial published in the weekly Bend Source newspaper revealed yet another example of Buehler’s habit of doublespeak.
The Source included Buehler’s explanation for his opposition to HB 2597:
"This law is an overreach and one I think will be difficult to enforce. I believe it will disproportionately impact low-income Oregonians," wrote Buehler in a statement to the Source. "…I also have concerns that this law could be used for the practice of pretextual stops which could increase instances of racial profiling."
Buehler’s supposed concerns about racial profiling are curious given his vote against HB 2355 this session, a key social justice bill that addresses racial profiling through statewide data collection and analysis.
HB 2355 was supported by a broad coalition of social justice and public safety organizations.
“If Buehler is so concerned about racial profiling in traffic stops, why would he vote against a bill to collect data on these incidents?” said Jeanne Atkins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “There’s only one Knute Buehler, but he seems to have two positions on every issue. He will say anything to get elected.”
Buehler’s attempt to have it both ways on racial profiling comes on the heels of several other conflicting statements. Claims of being ‘pro-choice’ clash with his vote against the reproductive health equity bill in the 2017 legislative session, and previous messages of acceptance for the LGBTQ community are in stark contrast to his silence when his fellow Republicans showed their true, intolerant stripes.
“Oregonians deserve to know where their candidates stand on the issues,” said Atkins. “This ‘trying to please everyone’ approach by Knute Buehler demonstrates a lack of conviction.”