Last week, the Oregon legislature expelled a member for the first time in the state’s history. With a 59-1 vote (the member himself the lone objector), the legislature voted to oust State Representative Mike Nearman (R) for letting dozens of insurrectionists – some of whom were armed and wearing body armor— into the state capitol on December 21, 2020, resulting in several thousands of dollars in damage and injuries to six police officers. In addition to his expulsion, now ex-Rep. Nearman also faces misdemeanor charges of abusing his authority and assisting in criminal trespass.
As strong proponents of personal accountability and public integrity, we applaud the bipartisan action of the Oregon legislature. In that same spirit, we call on our federal legislators in Washington, DC to conduct a comparable and candid accounting of the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol, that resulted in injuries to more than 140 Capitol and DC Metropolitan police officers, property damage in excess of $30 million, and several deaths.
It is essential that our elected officials hold the instigators, planners, and participants of the events of January 6th accountable — including, and especially, those in positions of public trust. As Oregon has now demonstrated, it is possible for our elected officials to put aside politics and act to protect our democracy.