Press Releases

Anti-immigrant hate group endorses Knute Buehler, GOP candidate keeps silent

Sep 11, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
(503) 367-4327
press [at] dpo [dot] org 
September 11, 2018

Anti-immigrant hate group endorses Knute Buehler, GOP candidate keeps silent

PORTLAND — In a news segment on Oregon Public Broadcasting late last week, Cynthia Kendoll, president of the Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), doubled down on her organization’s endorsement of Republican Knute Buehler for Governor. In August, OFIR’s official Facebook page shared a blog post supporting Knute Buehler and stated, “Oregonians are ready for a Governor that will put citizens first!”

OFIR, well known as the most prominent anti-immigrant hate group in Oregon, is a key architect of Ballot Measure 105, which would repeal Oregon’s decades’ old law to prevent racial profiling.

In comments to OPB, Kendoll endorsed not only Buehler's bid for Governor, but his entire record as a legislator, saying that Buehler "has always supported" the hate group's issues in the Legislature.

“Voters should be appalled that Buehler would stand by and accept kudos from a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as a ‘hate group’,” said Jeanne Atkins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “This is not the behavior of a candidate who shares Oregonians’ values. These dog whistle politics show voters just how far to the right Buehler is willing to go to appease his Republican base.”

Despite calls from the Kate Brown for Oregon campaign yesterday, Buehler has yet to comment on the hate group’s praise of his candidacy and legislative record.

According to the non-partisan Southern Poverty Law Center, Oregonians for Immigration Reform "has demonized immigrants while working closely with nationally recognized anti-immigrant groups and figures" for almost two decades.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated OFIR a hate group because of their racist rhetoric and their relationships with the white supremacist movement. By silently accepting this praise, Buehler has made clear that he's not a moderate or aligned with Oregon values,” said Atkins. “Meanwhile, Governor Kate Brown has worked her entire career to make Oregon a welcoming place for all.”

The Democratic Party of Oregon officially endorsed a “no” vote on Measure 105 in June 2017, when the measure filed as Initiative Petition 22.