By Commissioner, Jim Raffenburg
April 2, 2008
Josephine County Commissioner Jim Raffenburg’s response to the false allegations levied against him by the Grants Pass Daily Courier, its Editor Dennis Roler and reporter Stacy Stumbo.
For those of you who do not live in Josephine County, Oregon you can refer to my March 2008 Commissioner Report for a little more background on this issue. I had only one day (between the first attack and the posting deadline) to write the third part of that Report and was not able to rebut the false allegations in that time frame.
On March 22, 2008, the Grants Pass Daily Courier newspaper launched a series of vicious and false attacks on me, with the clear, malicious intent of removing me from political office.
Editor Dennis Roler and cub reporter Stacy Stumbo have, over this past week, presented their unfounded opinions in both slanted editorials and as pseudo-news articles, alleging everything from saying I was dishonorably discharged from the US Army to asserting that I am a “certified masseur”. Both assertions are false.
Following the short Commentary below, you can read the Guest Opinion I presented to the Daily Courier on March 31, 2008, fully rebutting, point-by-point, their false accusations about me, which they have refused to print.
All of the documentation that proves the Daily Courier knowingly lied about me has been provided to two respected media outlets in our county, KAJO/KLDR Radio’s Carl Wilson and Editor-in-Chief Bob Rodriguez of the Illinois Valley News newspaper.
The Daily Courier and Dennis Roler have a history of this type of smear-attack and pseudo-journalism. In July, 2004 I provided him with the same documented proof of my experience, education and military background. Two months later they tried to interfere with the local general election process by publishing their first story about me which they knew to be false, right before that election, challenging my credentials. Then, like now, they refused to allow me to answer their false claims in a Guest Opinion.
For the record, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office investigated my background and on February 15, 2005 informed me that they found nothing wrong with my background statements.
Dennis Roler may think he is God, but he cannot turn his lies into truth, no matter how cheap his ink or how much paper he buys. I will pray for him.
On March 29, 2008 Daily Courier Editor Dennis Roler called for me to resign in his Editorial, citing his own false allegations about me as his basis of “reasoning”.
One day earlier, on March 28, 2008, Josephine County Treasurer John Harelson stood-up in a regular County Administrative meeting and proclaimed that he was proud to be a part of the “Cabal” I have identified inside our county, that is apparently behind this effort to remove me from office.
Readers of my March, 2008 Report will remember I reported that Josephine County Legal Counsel Steve Rich was overheard talking on the telephone to someone named “John” and they appeared to be discussing how they needed to neutralize me because they were concerned I would derail their plans for massive property tax hike proposals later this year. Was John Harelson the “John” he was talking to?
When I was a kid, I remember a Marx Brothers movie about the political machinations of a fictional Banana Republic. This entire pageant, as laid out by Dennis Roler and friends reminds of the manic, carrying on in that movie. A lot of smoke and mirrors and loud noises meant to confuse the average person. Then, use all the confusion thusly generated as the excuse for imposing a “solution” for resolving that confusion. It is a tried and true tactic used by totalitarians throughout history.
With the filling of Recall Petition papers by others associated with this obvious conspiracy, this Political Assassination attempt has now moved into it’s endgame phase.
This is a thinly veiled attempt to silence dissent in our county. I stand opposed to their plans to raise your taxes, to increase government regulations and expand government control over your lives. For that I have to be silenced. I have to go.
It is no longer about me proving anything. It never was. I have been falsely charged, tried and convicted by my political opponents for my political beliefs and efforts as an elected official. It is un-American and presents a very dangerous threat to all our futures.
It matters not to them, that it is they, not I, who have lied.
It matters not to them, that I was elected with nearly 65% of the vote in 2004 because the People of this county wanted government costs and its intrusion into their lives reduced.
The only thing that matters to the people behind this naked political power grab is political power itself, over all of you.
People of Josephine County: This patently and proven false attack on me now, when I will be out of office in 8 months anyway, is not about me. It is about you.
It is a clear warning to anyone who dares to actually question these petty, would-be tyrants, both inside and outside of county government. They are attempting to make an example out of me, as a warning to you.
This is your wake-up call. This is not a joke. These people are serious. They think you are incapable of thinking for yourselves or doing anything to stop them.
I need your help now. I have done everything in my power to serve you as your Commissioner, representing you, not the system. That is why the system hates me.
I call on you now to rally to my side.
If you do not, you will lose more than a public servant.
Come to meetings, call you friends, write letters to the editor and send them to all of our local newspapers. Show your strength. Raise the alarm with everyone you know.
Otherwise this modern political lynching will move to its conclusion and set the standard for everyone else who ever dares to run for public office in this (and other counties) in the future.
Know that I will not resign. I have done nothing wrong. If they want to waste $40,000 to $60,000 of your money, on this show trial, kangaroo recall, when I’ll be out of office within months any way, and when our county is otherwise on the brink of financial collapse because these same people refuse to control their own addiction to misspending public funds, then you will have to hold those responsible for this travesty accountable in the future. If you can.
Below is the Guest Opinion I presented the Daily Courier on March 31, 2008, in rebuttal to their false claims.
Dennis Roler turned down my request that it be printed on that same date.
(I hereby request that you print (no later that April 5th, 2008, without any changes) the following 957 word rebuttal “Guest Opinion” to the false claims regarding my background, printed in the Daily Courier, as front page articles and in your editorials, since March 22, 2008.)
On March 27th and 30th, 2008 I provided overwhelming documentation of my background (including my US Army Honorable Discharge DD-214) to Carl Wilson of KAJO/KLDR Radio and Bob Rodriguez, Editor of the Illinois Valley News.
I will not provide any further documentation to the Daily Courier. This paper is not interested in the truth, only political agendas.
For example, let’s compare the Daily Courier’s false claims with the documented facts:
discharged from the US Army?
I was injured on active duty and was Honorably Discharged on January 16, 1973.
Not a qualified
reserve deputy sheriff?
I was thoroughly qualified under the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office standards in effect at the time of my appointment. Regarding the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, I was a 19 year old cadet for a short time. Apparently they do not keep cadet records that old.
change was to “hide” past “affiliations?
My name change was done openly, in accordance with Oregon law. My family history is interesting, but irrelevant.
Voter Registration Card was incorrect?
My birth date is January 3, 1955, not 1953 – it was obviously a transposition error. Regarding my parents’ names, upon reflection, I remember being told the information was needed only as a “password” to verify my identity when I voted.
Prejudice” under “UCC 1-207” is a “mystery”?
How can reserving one’s Rights under the US Constitution be seen as a negative by anyone who supports the Constitution as the vital security of our freedoms?
not as claimed?
This issue was investigated and settled in my favor by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office on February 15, 2005. My NASA employment job titles were “Construction Administrator” and “Construction Field Manager.”
NASA Construction Administrators and Construction Field Managers were all encompassing manager/inspector positions with the following responsibilities spelled out in my job description, “As Field Manager for NASA construction projects, you are responsible for reviewing construction contractors work for progress and compliance with contract documents and furthermore to interpret the documents and issue field orders as required to direct contractors…..”.
On May 23, 1988, NASA Engineer Tim Gafney, quoted in your article, wrote a Letter of Commendation regarding my work, noting my Manager job title. Mr. Gafney wrote, “I would like at this time to commend (Jim’s work) as Field Inspector/Manager for this project…..Construction of the HPASF (High Pressure Air Storage Facility) went so smoothly, in large part due to Jim’s work….”.
Mr. Gafney was the overall NASA Project Engineer/Manager for this job and was rarely seen in the field. His twenty year old memory would seem to conflict with my written documentation from his own hand.
involved with the Foundation of Human Understanding?
I bought a book (never finished reading it) 30 years ago. I worked for Prestige Homes for about one year, nearly 20 years ago. I spent one day at Brighton Academy checking out the school. My daughter was not enrolled. That’s it.
has not been assessed in years?
We pay the tax bills. My work on our house was interrupted when I ran for Commissioner.
not a Master Gardener?
I completed the OSU Extension eight-week course in the mid-1990’s.
martial a arts instructor?
I never said I was. I’m a certified Brown Belt in Tae Kwon Do. The only training (of others) I have participated in was as a peer assistant to junior skill level students.
a “certified masseur”?
Where does this come from? I have never been a certified masseur. Just how does this relate to being a Commissioner?
out of nowhere?
Prior to running for Commissioner, I spent nearly eight years on the Planning Commission, plus two years as a reserve deputy sheriff and court panel mediator. By ignoring my efforts in that work, Mr. Roler appears to believe there is no value in the dedicated efforts of all the volunteers performing these services.
missed 20 meetings since January, 2008?
I do miss three meetings each month when I travel to Salem for Board of Director meetings for the Association of O&C Counties. That accounts for 9 meetings.
I was in Washington, DC, on a self-funded trip, to lobby for renewal of the Safety-Net payments and to attend a National Association of Counties Legislative Conference for 8 days. That accounts for 6 meetings.
I took two days off when I returned from DC. That’s 2 more. And I missed a few meetings due to being ill. That’s at least 2 more.
I can account for
19 of 20 missed meetings. (9+6+2+2= 19.) I’ll try to do better.
(FYI-Mondays are, by Board decision, meeting free days.)
My Washington, DC trip last year was independently credited with being instrumental in Josephine County receiving 15 million dollars in Safety-Net revenue in 2007. Someone had to go to try again this year. What do the People think? Was that County business?
The “distraction” associated with this issue has been caused by the Daily Courier, not by me. I’m not the one who should resign.
Regarding any other allegations or implications, they are patently false on their face – and truly malicious.
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This type of smear attack is unprincipled and un-American. But then, as it is apparently a “mystery” to the staff at the Daily Courier that a person would want to reserve their Rights under the US Constitution, these actions are not altogether surprising.
Instead of wondering whether or not to believe me, readers should now ask themselves if it’s wise to believe anything the Daily Courier “reports” about me. And that is no mystery. The truth is out there. Now all of you know where to find it.
� 2008 Jim Raffenburg - All Rights Reserve