Photo: Getty Images
Oregon politicians condemn demonstrations that took over the U.S. Capitol.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley:
“Americans have witnessed many foreign strongmen ignore elections to cling to power. I never thought we would see this kind of attempted coup in our most hallowed temple of democracy, but that’s exactly what’s happened today. The American people have rejected Donald Trump’s failed leadership, but he and his loyalists were trying to find any means by which to keep him in power. That is unacceptable in our republic.
“There is no evidence of any systemic fraud in any of the six states Republicans planned to challenge. All such claims were examined not only by respective state authorities, but by the courts. But the failure of Republican leaders to stand up and speak the truth and dismiss the false claims and conspiracy theories promoted by President Trump fueled today’s attempted insurrection. When a president attempts to deceive the public and inspire an anti-democratic revolt, it’s the responsibility of all to stand up, set the record straight, and protect and defend our constitutional republic.
“We now have a tremendous amount to do to restore our institutions so deeply damaged over the last four years. We have pressing challenges in our nation, and we need to have everyone engaged in addressing them. The point of serving in a republic is to produce solutions and remedies to the issues people face, not to hold power for power’s sake.
“I look forward to serving in the Senate while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lead our nation. We must immediately address the economic and health care issues raised by the pandemic. We need to invest in the foundations for families to thrive, which means health care, housing, education and good paying jobs. We need to restore our democracy and take on voter suppression, gerrymandering, and dark money, the real issues corrupting our election system. And we need to take on the biggest issue facing our planet: climate chaos.
“We have much work to do, and we need to get to that work right away. I hope that a few hours from now, the Senate will be able to return to the floor of the Senate to complete its debate on whether to accept the electoral votes from Arizona, and then to join with the House to complete the counting of electoral votes from across the nation. That is our responsibility under the Constitution. Let’s get it done tonight, and then let’s go to work on these important issues facing our democracy.”
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden:
“What’s happening today in our nation’s Capitol is a direct assault on democracy, a riot by insurrectionists that caps off four years of Donald Trump fanning the flames of fanaticism. Every Republican lawmaker who supported his efforts to overturn a legitimate election shares responsibility for the violence at the heart of our democracy.
All Americans must be able to elect House and Senate members safe in the knowledge that their views will be represented in civil debate here in Congress without mob rule ever squelching that discussion.
As a steadfast defender of the First Amendment, I will always support peaceful protest even if I disagree with the views that are expressed. This is far from peaceful protest. But I thank the Capitol Police for their courage protecting all elected officials from criminals bent on destroying democracy. And I very much look forward to resuming the urgent work for our country, as soon as possible.”
Oregon U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer:
“Let’s be clear about what happened here. The President of the United States sent a mob of domestic terrorists down Pennsylvania Avenue to attack and take over the U.S. Capitol in order to stop the certification of an election that he lost badly,” Blumenauer said. “This man needs to be removed immediately and I am hopeful he will face further consequences for his actions.”
“The first public forum I had after Trump was elected was about the 25th Amendment and how we needed to use it,” Blumenauer added. “It’s so distributing to me that we still need to advocate for this with just 14 days left in his term, but it’s no longer optional.”
The 25th Amendment, adopted more than 50 years ago in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination, provides a mechanism for the succession of the president for his or her replacement in the event he or she proves unfit to serve. Under the amendment, the vice president and a majority of either the Cabinet or some other body designated by Congress may remove the president from office.
Since Trump took office, Blumenauer has led the effort to clarify and strengthen the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Portland City Council:
Today in Washington D.C. the United States witnessed an attempted coup from right wing terrorists and white supremacists’ intent on destroying our democracy. Our democracy is sacred, and these actions are absolutely reprehensible. The City of Portland condemns these actions in the strongest possible terms. The situation in our nation’s capital is incredibly dangerous, destructive and despicable. The City of Portland is closely monitoring the situation and thinking of the safety of Oregon’s congressional delegation, staff, journalists, and all those in and around the capitol during this attack.
This is beyond unacceptable. It’s disturbing the President would use extreme violence against Black Lives Matter protests while allowing White Supremacists to storm the Capitol so easily. We look forward to a thorough national investigation explaining how this could happen.
This is the culmination of four years of divisive, hostile rhetoric from the White House. As your Portland City Council, we stand united in support of the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. It’s time to move forward. It’s time to accept the will of the people.
In Portland, with a new City Council and a long history of working together, we have an opportunity to show the nation and the world what it means to put aside our differences on behalf of the common good. That will require listening, patience, and elected officials making the changes our community desires.
Today, we pledge to work together to find solutions to address the legitimate concerns of our community. We reiterate our support for democracy and the peaceful transition of power. We call on every Portlander to stand with us and condemn this attempted coup.
To the people of Portland, we want to assure you we will continue to monitor the situation and ensure we as a community are safe.
Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury:
Progress and justice in our country have never been easy, and have always been locked in conflict with bigotry and white supremacy. Last night, our country saw the historic elections of the first Black and Jewish senators from Georgia, propelled by a more hopeful and inclusive vision of America; a half-day later, we were witnessing a grotesque attempt at an insurrection, fueled by imagined grievances and palpable rage. Although the current administration has worked feverishly to weaken our system of checks and balances, I am hopeful that the violence at the Capitol will end quickly and that the peaceful transfer of power will continue as it has for 245 years. But even when this situation ends, the tension between progress and fear will remain. I have faith that if Americans remain resolute and open to work toward a better version of ourselves, we’ll be able to keep moving forward, and I will continue working every day for the rest of my life to do my part.