Oregon Republican Party files brief; backs Burke/Reeves

elephant dung

In the attached Brief, dated October 15, 2014, the Republican Party of Oregon states:

“The Oregon Republican Party . . . contends that the respondent faction (Wes Wagnor’s group) acted in violation of the organizational documents of the Libertarian Party of Oregon.”

See: Brief, Page 2, “Summary of Facts.”

The Brief concludes with the request that:

“. . . this Court should reverse the Circuit Court’s judgment and remand for further adjudication of appellants’ claims.”

Ibid, page 10, “Conclusion.”

The Brief was submitted, and apparently authored, by the “Counsel for the Oregon Republican Party:”

James L. Buchal, OSB #921618, Murphy & Buchal LLP, 3425 SE Yamhill St., Ste. 100, Portland, OR 97214, Tel: 503-227-1011, E-Mail: jbuchal@mbllp.com.

Mr. Buchal is also currently running for election to the United States House of Representatives as, “a Republican, Independent and Constitution Party candidate.”

See: http://ballotpedia.org/James_Buchal

Mr. Buchal’s campaign website can be found HERE. His Blog there had not been updated since June 22nd at the time of this article’s publication (15 October 2014).

Last August the Oregon Secretary of State’s office removed the nomination of Mr. Buchal from their reporting website, ORESTAR. See prior IPR coverage HERE.

In 2012 Mr. Buchal attempted to run as the Libertarian candidate for Oregon Attorney General. See prior IPR coverage HERE.

At that time, Mr. Buchal apparently paid Mr. Burke’s political consulting company fees of a bit over $2,000.00.

“1280542 View Transaction 07/13/2012 Amended Buchal for Attorney General Prime One Consulting Cash Expenditure $387.50
“1280545 View Transaction 07/13/2012 Amended Buchal for Attorney General Prime One Consulting Cash Expenditure $300.00
“1277601 View Transaction 07/10/2012 Original Buchal for Attorney General Prime One Consulting Cash Expenditure $1,500.00”

Source: Comment dated July 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm in the IPR article referenced directly above.

IPR reached Mr. Wagner for comment earlier tonight; he provided the following quote:

“Apparently Mr. Buchal has realized he has lost his political campaign and now has time to focus on trying to help other Republican operatives try to take over the LPO through the courts. The voters rejected him; the Libertarian Party of Oregon rejected Burke and Reeves. They are all made for each other.”

UPDATE (16 October 2016)

IPR was provided a copy earlier tonight of the Appellate Brief filed by Tyler Smith on behalf of “Reeves, Saub, Burnett, and Pealer as THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF OREGON, and Terry, Carling, and Burke as Members of the Libertarian Party of Oregon” verses a “cabal of insiders intent on bending the organization to their will” (namely Wes, et. al; see page 1; but later depicted as, “a rogue officer” . . . “unrestrained by law” (just Wes, see page 37)).

The entire Appellate Brief, which concludes with a claim that the Curcuit Court “abused” its discretion and that its decision should be reversed can be found HERE.

40 thoughts on “Oregon Republican Party files brief; backs Burke/Reeves

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    This is SHAMEFUL. I challenge Richard Burke and Dave Terry to come here and tell us why it should be considered appropriate for Libertarians to have Republicans involve themselves in our party.

    I triple-dog dare you!

  2. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Jill @ October 15, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I’m sure they will reply that they have no control whatsoever over what the Oregon Republican Party does or does not do.


  3. Wes Wagner

    Aaron Starr has shoveled more money onto the pyre and further proven his republican allegiances:

    1871978 View Transaction 10/08/2014 Original Libertarian Party of Oregon Aaron Starr ** In-Kind Contribution $4,980.00

  4. Wes Wagner

    (Note that contribution is a payment for attorneys fees on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Oregon Political Action Committee, which endorses Republican candidates for the general election, not the Libertarian Party of Oregon the Minor Political Party, which has posted a record number of registered Libertarian Candidates for office and more than all other third parties combined.)

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    Aaron Starr does this, while asking and receiving contributions to his own campaign. It seems to me that anyone contributing to him is contributing to his support of the libertarians who support Republicns in the state of Oregon.

  6. Andy

    I’ve heard that the Vote Yes campaign for implementing Top Two Primary in Oregon has raised a lot of money, so if this thing passes, there may not be that many Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot in Oregon anymore.

  7. Wes Wagner


    Proponents of a nonpartisan “top-two” primary system in Oregon have had the money advantage in the campaign surrounding Measure 90. But support remains far from the 50 percent level as voters remain undecided or opposed.

    At this point, 36 percent are in favor, 38 percent are opposed and 26 percent are undecided.

    To some extent the money is also backfiring. Enron is not a popular word in this state.

  8. Wes Wagner

    Mail ballots go out soon. Where you want to be on a ballot measure is >60% before people have a chance to read it. Historically support bleeds between the poll and the actual outcome once people have the voter’s guide and the measures in their hands.

    Mail ballots have been sent out and will be hitting people’s boxes today.

    The money may have arrived too late.

  9. Wes Wagner

    (There are also a number of supporters for the Yes on 90 campaign that filed their pro-90 statements under the No section of the voter guide … most Oregonians will take that in very poor taste and that will backfire as well)

  10. Richard P. Burke


    I’ve done some looking into this. If you think it is bad that the Republicans filed an Amicus brief on our behalf, do not blame us. Blame Mr. Wagner.

    I have a copy of an email conversation between Mr. Wagner and Noah Robinson, son of Oregon GOP Chair Art Robinson. In this email thread, Mr. Wagner repeatedly threatens the GOP with political warfare and various political consequences.

    While they were vaguely aware of what was going on within the LPO, they hadn’t given it a lot of scrutiny as they have bigger fish to fry. It was Mr. Wagner’s threats that woke them up and caused them to focus more closely on what was going on within the LPO. It occurred to them that what happened to us could happen to them, and they realized it almost did.

    Specifically, during the last term, the Oregon Republican Party was poised to recall their state chair Suzanne Gallegher. There was a lot of speculation about whether or not she would step down or fight. She resisted stepping down. It was feared that, as the Republican “Chair of Record”, Gahlleger could have done what Wagner did and rework the Republican Party’s governing documents and officer lists in order to hold on to her seat.

    Ultimately, Gallegher did not follow Mr. Wagner’s lead and stepped down. But the situation was a wake-up call to the GOP. Then after receiving Wagner’s threats Robinson authorized Buchal to write an Amicus brief supporting our position in the lawsuit. Here is an article covering the GOP situation:


    Seriously – If Mr. Wagner (or any other “Chair of Record”) wished, he could sit at his kitchen table tonight, write a new set of governing documents and list of officers, provide it to the Secretary of State, and it would be accepted because of their unwritten policy. There is no way to build a foundation on such a system.

    This should be a wake up call to all political parties in Oregon – not just the Republicans. I know it had been discussed, but I didn’t know about the actual existence of the Amicus brief until three days ago. If we had more time, we would seek Amicus briefs from every party from the Constitution to the Pacific Green Party.

    On other subjects, I have this to say:

    1. Mr. Wagner is fond of telling people that he is running a large slate of candidates this year while accusing us of helping Republicans. What Mr. Wagner doesn’t advertise is that 17 of his nominees are Republicans. I support fusion voting too, but 17 candidates is a bit ridiculous. If at any time we had nominated 17 Republicans, Wagner and his friends would be all over us. If anyone wanted to build a conspiracy theory around that, it would be easy.

    2. Yes, I worked for James Buchal in 2012 and made no secret of it. My name was on his press releases as a contact. I thought Buchal was the best candidate who had won a party nomination legitimately. Because of the illegitimacy of Mr. Wagner’s bylaws, I did not view the Libertarian nominees as legitimate and could not support him. Mr. Buchal is a candidate for congress this year, I have not worked for him, and had nothing to do with the drafting of his brief.

    Mr. Wagner is the true father of the GOP Amicus brief for reasons stated above. And, at least in this case, we offer Mr. Wagner a hearty “Thank You.”

    Richard P. Burke

  11. Wes Wagner

    RPB is or should be an authority on what happens to people when they allow me to taunt them into destroying themselves. If his story were accurate as it is portrayed, this should be tremendously good news for Libertarians… tremendously bad news for Republicans.

  12. Richard P. Burke

    We shall see if it is good or bad. The GOP seems to be doing a pretty good job of shooting themselves in the head without anyone prompting them. In any case, the GOP has their problems; we have ours. At least we agree that party leadership by dictate is a bad thing.

    Richard P. Burke

  13. Steve M

    “party leadership by dictate is a bad thing” isn’t that what the Burk faction tried to do with a hand full of people (and a republican party attorney)?

    Richard, why don’t you get from the state of Oregon the mailing list for all registered Libertarians and before the next election of LPO officers send out a mailing advocating your candidates instead of trying to use the force of the government to impose your officers?

    Wes, if an Oregon Libertarian requested a mailing list of the Libertarians participating in the selection of officers would you provide the list including the mail addresses?

  14. David Hiniku

    Thank you Mr Burke,
    For standing up for the Republican Party.
    I was concerned that many people would be confused into thinking that the Reeves group was connected with the Republican party and that just because their attorney has been working with your group and now is contributing to your lawsuit that many people would blame your group for the lawsuit that you created and assume that it was your fault that the Republicans joined your lawsuit.
    Thank you for setting the record straight and helping us understand that it is Wes Wagner’s fault that you are suing the LPO and Wes Wagner’s fault that the Republican’s are joining your lawsuit against the LPO.
    Thank God for you Mr. Burke, Thank God that good men like you will defend the Republican Party against malfeasance like Wes Wagner (the man responsible for the Republican party deciding to take actions against him)

  15. Wes Wagner

    Thank you Joe… Hopefully David Hiniku can read the entire appeal and help me understand just how much my fault all of this is.

  16. Joseph Buchman Post author

    David Hiniku @ October 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    THANKS for both the laugh and the cutting insight! It’s posts like yours that generate loyalty among IPR readers as well as the buzz/WOM that keeps this place growing.

    On behalf of all the contributors here — THANK YOU!

  17. Joseph Buchman Post author

    I find it sad reading the title page to learn that there are only three “members” of the Libertarian Party of Oregon left — just M. Carling (does he even live in Oregon?), Our America Initiative State Director Richard Burke, and David Terry. Sad that there aren’t more Libertarians involved and willing to take a stand on this, or any upcoming events or 2014 Projects, etc . . . (See: https://www.ouramericainitiative.com/oregon.html.)

  18. Joseph Buchman Post author

    I wonder if Mr. Burke can get his attorney friends over in the Republican Party to help OAI out with its (not-yet-filed-but-will-be “soon as we get some more money”) lawsuit against the Presidential Debate Commission?

  19. Jill Pyeatt

    Sometime this weekend I’ll look for the thread where Burke essentially admitted he was involved in plotting with the Republicans in Oregon against Wes’s group. He can tell us he just found out about it three days ago, but perhaps IPR readers might have a different opinion after reading what he said.

  20. paulie

    I find it sad reading the title page to learn that there are only three “members” of the Libertarian Party of Oregon left

    Are you saying that the Burke/Reeves faction publishes their full membership list online, and that Reeves is not a member of his own faction? What title page are you referring to?

    I wonder if Mr. Burke can get his attorney friends over in the Republican Party to help OAI out with its (not-yet-filed-but-will-be “soon as we get some more money”) lawsuit against the Presidential Debate Commission?

    I’ll bet heavily against that happening. It’s not in their interest as Republicans. As far as the lawsuit, there are other things being ironed out besides the money. Some of the lead attorneys I know have had serious health issues, there may be some jockeying for prominence in publicity -vs- responsibility for costs and risks among the sponsoring organizations, and so on.

    Sad that there aren’t more Libertarians involved and willing to take a stand on this, or any upcoming events or 2014 Projects, etc . . . (See: https://www.ouramericainitiative.com/oregon.html.)

    Again I am confused as to what you are referring to. OAI projects at the state level are a pretty new thing, and OAI is different than the LP. There’s a bureaucracy to getting OAI project officially approved which involves filling out a form. I need to do that for Alabama as well but haven’t done so yet. We have several projects we are considering but have not fully decided on the list yet, and need to submit the blurb for approval. Also right now a lot of the people that would be working on it are busy with elections in their other capacity (LP). A few states have officially approved OAI projects but most don’t yet.I’ve got one of the few states where we have a full OAI leadership team and we don’t even have our projects official yet. Burke is not in my region so I am less aware of what projects he is planning to submit as approved OAI projects for Oregon if any, but that is a completely different question than what projects his faction claiming to be LPO has – although my impression, based on incomplete knowledge, is that the lawsuit is pretty much the only thing they have going on as far as being or claiming to be LP organization.

  21. paulie

    What title page are you referring to?

    I think I figured it out. You mean the plaintiffs in the lawsuit who are party members but not officers? That’s way different than the entire party membership.

  22. Wes Wagner

    And who is the only consistent figure in those 21 years? And who are his allies?

    Get rid of them all or you will never know peace.

  23. Kyle Markley

    Mr. Burke,

    You should be embarrassed to bring up fusion nominations. Your group attempted to make just 6 nominations: 4 were Republican fusion and only 2 were straight Libertarian. That’s two-thirds Republican.

    By contrast, the LPO made 49 nominations. There were 16 (not 17) fusion nominees, but there are also THIRTY THREE straight Libertarian nominees. That’s two-thirds Libertarian.

    I suspect that we nominated more Libertarian candidates than you have dues-paying members in your entire organization.

  24. Wes Wagner

    According to their campaign finance filings, we had more fusion nominations than they have dues paying members.

  25. George Phillies

    The interesting question: How many fo these fusion nominations were historical Libertarians who also ran as Republicans or Democrats. How many of these fusion nominations were long-time Democrats or Republicans, e.g., incumbents, who grabbed a Libertarian tag after their name?

  26. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m sure this latest actions which ties Reeves/Burke in with the Republic Party even more obviously will further endear the members of the Libertarian Party of Oregon to their leadership when the court ultimately finds for them and puts them into leadership .


  27. Joe


    “I think I figured it out. You mean the plaintiffs in the lawsuit ”

    Yep, I was being a bit facetious.


  28. Wes Wagner


    Mostly all are long time major party candidates grabbing for support. Our bylaws committee is looking into changes that might change the standards some and see what people find acceptable.

  29. Wes Wagner

    On the upside none of our Libertarian candidates I have seen so far advocate for more police officers like the candidate for Oxnard:


    “For example, Oxnard’s human resources department has been too busy hiring people for the Materials Recycling Facility instead of hiring sworn officers to fill vacancies at the police department. “

  30. Joe

    Now where did Alicia put that pro-more-government-gun-wielding-police platform plank? Rats, I must have that around here SOMEWHERE . . .

  31. Fred

    I once describe Wes Wagner as “The Dennis Rodman of the Libertarian Party”

    (http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/01/geoff-neale-reaffirms-that-the-lnc-recognizes-wes-wagner-as-lp-of-oregon-chair/#comment-869982 SEE comment 53 to discover why)

    So its only fair I give a celebrity comparison to Richard Burke and the Reeves group.

    Richard Burke inspires his small group to great loyalty and they are able to reap great attention for their righteous crusade. Their group is small in numbers, and although some claim their views are not representative of the larger cause, they have been very effective in making their views known. Many libertarians deplore their tactics. They find their actions offensive, heavy handed, and hateful. Those on the sidelines often think that Burke and the Reeves group are a distraction from the real issues and that the publicity they generate is bad for the cause.

    But nobody doubts that Burke and the Reeves group are able to command attention beyond what other groups their size would be expected to receive. Burke has inspired his troops to action for a cause of righteousness. He has managed to convince people that they must set right something that has gone wrong. Even when unpopular, Burke and the Reeves group have been willing to do whatever it takes to eradicate the wrong actions they are fighting against. They recognize that the end result is more important than the means, and if they hurt other libertarians in the process it is because they are the soldiers of their true message. They are willing to point out the wickedness and sinfulness of their opponents. They are on a mission to spread their doctrine and fully expound on it because it is the one true message.

    So that is why I suggest that Richard Burke and the Reeves group are:
    The Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church of the Libertarian Party.

  32. Jill Pyeatt

    Thanks, Fred, for your noble and accurate comparison, and also for the best laugh of the week.

  33. Bob Tiernan

    “It was Mr. Wagner’s threats that woke them up and caused them to focus more closely on what was going on within the LPO. It occurred to them that what happened to us could happen to them”
    So, their response is to request to get the court to reverse its decision and reward the LPO to you and Reeves? These are two separate issues. Seems now you are doingg an imitation of Obama by pretending (or actually) learning what’s going on by reading the news.

    Bob T

  34. Joshua Katz

    A candidate is not bound to the platform, we’re allowed to think for ourselves. I don’t totally agree with Aaron’s position there, but he is not calling for more police – just pointing out that there are vacancies in the department which are not being filled.

    On his crime and safety section, he says nothing about having more police. He points to statistics to show that the incumbents are not improving the city. He suggests, broadly, that electing a Libertarian will lead to government not trying to run golf courses, and perhaps focusing on the few jobs it is assigned.

    Personally, I don’t think government should be assigned those jobs. That said, you can’t run for office on a plank of “fuck crime fighting.” You can run on controlling the police and making sure they aren’t killing citizens. You can run on accountability. You can run on not using tax money for golf courses. If elected, you will be walking into a situation where, like it or not, government exists, and where, because government has not allowed the market to operate, there is no crime-fighting apparatus other than government. In that circumstance, you need to slowly move government out of that business to allow private initiative to work. Done rapidly, you get some problems. You can, though, rapidly stop running golf courses.

    With a Libertarian on the city council, the police will be more accountable. They will be controlled and kept from wreaking havoc. They will be focused on reversing that uptick in murders – and note that, while working on murders, they are not, say, looking for plants in homes. This is more important than the number of officers.

    Electing Libertarians doesn’t lead to utopia. It leads to better, freedom-focused solutions to problems.

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