Readers react to a reversal of gun policy by Betsy Johnson
The TEDxPortland ideas conference and gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson are in a tight race for who had the worst week. Johnson’s unscheduled appearance on May 27 at TEDx drew mockery from the outraged crowd over his votes against the gun control bills, a sudden effort by Johnson to change his stance on the issue (A question, WWJune 1), and seven complaints to the Oregon Department of Justice regarding TEDx’s violation of tax laws prohibiting nonprofits from engaging in political campaigning. (The Department of Justice forwarded the complaints to the IRS.) Here’s what our readers had to say:
Serge, via wweek.com: “Betsy has been a member of the Legislative Assembly since 2001. She never changed her pro-gun agenda after Sandy Hook, Roseburg, Parkland, Las Vegas, El Paso, Orlando, etc., etc., etc., but now that she is a candidate for governor, she suddenly changed her mind?
Jorge Lara, via Facebook: “Sure, it looks like TEDx screwed up the bed on this one. Non-profit organization promoting a candidate in violation of IRS laws. And their excuse is that she’s a “potential” candidate? Someone should tell Phil Knight that the $1,000,000 he gave her was a mistake because she’s not a candidate.
Herb Welch, via wweek.com: “Betsy forgot that the problem with guns is that sometimes you can shoot yourself in the foot.”
PDXBill, via wweek.com: “Fake scandal in a city with nine shootings in the last 24 hours and record gun violence. Be outraged by your local elected officials, the DA and the Portland Police Department who cannot ‘gun control’ and the gun violence in our own town. This is from a guy who supports gun control and who was never in the NRA.
Waygee, via wweek.com: “For someone who comes off as such a direct shooter, she’s playing the standard politician’s card of avoiding the topic at hand and giving us vague, uncontroversial platitudes instead.”
Joshua Marquis, via wweek.com: “One of the main reasons I support Betsy Johnson is because she consistently supports law enforcement, victims and meaningful prosecutions of gun crimes. All of this fabricated controversy is in stark contrast to her actual votes on crime issues.” Betsy scares the Oregon establishment. They will do anything to destroy it.
scrappymutt, via wweek.com: “I have to admit that Betsy Johnson was a huge disappointment. I was just reading about Michael Shellenberger, who is running as an independent for governor of California, and I think he has a much better understanding of what an independent candidate should offer.He wants gun control and access to abortion, but is focusing his campaign on ending homeless camps by building a network of treatment facilities for addiction and mental health statewide, and trying to do it with existing funds rather than raising taxes and creating more committees. He is a candidate I could support. Instead out of that we get a Democrat who is anti-environment and pro-gun. Great.”
Cindy Abernethy, via Facebook: “Betsy is at least consistent. She was a Democrat who voted like a Republican. Then she saw that she could get a lot of financial support for a gubernatorial campaign if she officially acknowledged her shift to the right, so she went “unaffiliated,” a move that could easily hurt a Democratic candidate in the next election, whether Betsy wins or not. . So now the attention has focused on guns again after the last massacre on the school grounds, and she sees that being pro guns isn’t going to help her much, so she returns to the left, at least in vague statements.
“Bottom line, does anyone really know what Betsy is supporting besides herself? The only thing we know for sure is how she voted on various issues. Actions speak louder than words, so I trust his track record.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author’s address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 words or less. Send to: PO Box 10770, Portland OR, 97296 Email: [email protected]