Rep. Mike Nearman, a Senior Fellow at the extremist “Freedom” Foundation has been exposed for secretly holding a door open to the violent mob that invaded and ransacked Oregon’s Capitol Building on December 21, 2020. Inside, legislators planning further mitigations to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the state were terrorized by the invasion.
The mob, brandishing long guns, pitchforks and Trump flags repeatedly assaulted law enforcement officers attempting to protect legislators. It was a day of violence and extremism, a dark foreshadowing of the now infamous events in our nation’s capital on January 6th.
How has the “Freedom” Foundation responded to one of their own committing such atrocious, anti-democratic acts on camera? They haven’t…at least not publicly. In fact, Rep. Nearman himself showed no contrition and made no apologies. Meanwhile, neither have their allies at the Washington Coalition for Open Government – who have taken donations from the “Freedom” Foundation and continue to give its Vice President Brian Minnich a seat on the board.
This is not Rep. Nearman’s first foray into dangerous behavior. As the Senior Fellow for the dark-money “Freedom” Foundation, Nearman oversees their insidious attacks on the health and safety of the Northwest – attempting to defund public services, privatize education, and voraciously deny the COVID pandemic. Nearman has also been the leader of a group classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the most prominent anti-immigrant group in [Oregon].”
We believe without a swift rebuke, other extremists will be encouraged. If we don’t stand up now and hold bad actors like Representative Nearman and his allies accountable, we welcome an onslaught of new attacks. The Washington Coalition for Open Government, supposedly a beacon of government transparency, should stand up and condemn Nearman and break ties with his apologists at the “Freedom” Foundation immediately.