For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
press [at] dpo [dot] org
New hire calls into question Buehler’s judgement, tone of campaign
November 3, 2017
PORTLAND — Today Democratic Party of Oregon Chair Jeanne Atkins called on Republican Knute Buehler to answer if he was in agreement with a number of outrageous claims made by his new communications director, Jonathan Lockwood. Lockwood, who joined the Buehler campaign after barely a year in the Oregon Senate Republican Office, has earned a reputation for his hyperbolic and fear-mongering style.
Questions posted by Atkins to Republican Knute Buehler include:
- Do you agree with your spokesperson's claim that white supremacists are backed by Democratic funders?
- Do you agree that the Statesman Journal releases "fake news"?
- Do you agree with your spokesperson's claim that Oregon is sanctioning eradication of disabled children through forced abortions?
- Do you agree with Lockwood’s characterization that Governor Brown “celebrates abortions” and is an “abortion lobbyist”?
- Do you believe that fear-mongering and name calling are effective ways to reach Oregonians?
- Does your decision to hire Lockwood reflect a plan to run an entirely negative campaign for governor?
“I hope that Knute will clarify his position on many of the incendiary claims his new spokesperson has made,” said Atkins. “From Lockwood’s tendency to insult reporters to spreading flat out lies, I am concerned about the tone of political discourse ahead. The Trump administration has set the standard for Republican discourse with their dismissal of facts and accusations of fake news. It seems Buehler may be following the same right-wing playbook with this recent hire to his campaign team.”
Lockwood came to Oregon after running a Koch-funded conservative advocacy organization in Colorado. While there, he earned a reputation for stretching the truth and burning bridges. Following a series of outlandish claims and an advertising campaign that crossed the line, the editorial board of The Denver Post — the Colorado paper of record — called him “flat-out deranged.”