After a 6-month court battle, Oregon state judge David M. Vandenberg ruled November 18 that the ballot initiative submitted by Move Oregon’s Border “met the basic constitutional standard.” Lake County Clerk Stacie Geaney on December 11 cleared the campaign to begin collecting signatures. Oregon counties generally allow collection of signatures as long as 24 months, but Move Oregon’s Border hopes to meet the February 17 deadline to put their initiative on the May 2021 local election ballot. The initiative has been posted on the group’s website, greateridaho.org .
Move Oregon’s Border continues to collect signatures for the May 2021 local elections in 11 other rural Oregon counties where county clerks had already approved signature collection.
Mike McCarter, President of Move Oregon’s Border said, “Kate Brown’s proposal to close a state prison in Lake County is an insult because Lake County already gets less than its share of state spending according to the study we did for Lake County commissioners. Our study showed that counties of the same population density and per capita personal income in Idaho get more money from their state than Lake County’s government does, even though Idaho’s overall tax rates are lower than Oregon’s. Cutting this prison will ensure that Lake County votes to join Idaho.”
“Kate Brown’s proposal to close the state prison in Coos Bay is part of an unacceptable pattern of favoring urban Oregon over rural Oregon. State government didn’t fight like Idaho would for the timber industry that this port served. State government approved investments in ports in Portland that compete with Coos Bay, but refuses to approve the Jordan Cove project in Coos Bay as Idaho would. Multnomah’s average income is way higher than the average income in Coos.”
He added, “The lockdown has affected the whole state, but we saw Oregon give COVID relief to urban Oregon instead of rural Oregon. Rural Oregon is unrepresented in the Democratic caucuses in the Oregon House and Senate. Since state leadership doesn’t consult Republicans, rural interests are completely ignored when it comes time to apportion state spending around the state. This state will split one way or another because the state protects Antifa arsonists, not normal Oregonians, it prioritizes one race above another for vaccines and program money and in the school curriculum, and it prioritizes Willamette Valley above rural Oregon. ”
Mike McCarter responded to the President of the Oregon Senate’s recent remarks about greater Idaho by stating, “Divisions in Oregon are getting dangerous, so we see the relocation of the border as a way to keep the peace. It’s not divisive. Oregon and Idaho are already divided by a state line. The problem is that the location of the state line was decided 161 years ago and is now outdated. Its current location doesn’t match the cultural divide in Oregon. The Oregon/Washington border was updated in 1958. The Oregon/Idaho border was not.” Senator Courtney’s remarks are here: https://katu.com/news/your-voice-your-vote/push-to-move-oregons-border-with-idaho-regroups-after-november-election
When asked why his followers haven’t moved to Idaho, McCarter said “We love our communities. We’re tied into them. It’s just the state government that we can’t stand.”
Circuit Court case number 20CV16716