ICYMI: Knute Buehler in Potential Legal Trouble
New Complaint and Possible Investigation into Residency Issue Causing Headaches for Oregon Republican
Oregon Republican Knute Buehler has found himself in some potential legal hot water. The Republican State Representative told a radio host earlier this month that he no longer lives in Bend and has moved to Tualatin—a move that would make him ineligible to continue representing the 54th District. The Democratic Party of Oregon filed a complaint to that effect with the Secretary of State who is processing it.
See below for excerpts from coverage of Buehler’s latest mess:
Eugene Weekly: Does Buehler ‘Bend’ or Break the Rules?
DPO files complaint that Buehler no longer lives in the district he serves
What’s an election without some drama? Jeanne Atkins, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO) and former Oregon secretary of state, announced today that she has submitted a complaint to the Secretary of State’s office to conduct an investigation of Republican candidate Knute Buehler.
Atkins and the DPO allege he has moved out of his district and is no longer eligible to serve as state representative in Oregon’s district 54.
Atkins draws on two media interviews where Buehler said he moved from his district in Bend to a new home in Tualatin — more than 165 miles out of district. He told the Portland Tribune that he and his wife were moving back to Tualatin, where they once lived 25 years ago. While on the Mark Mason radio show (a Portland-based program on 1190 KEX), he confirmed that he no longer lived in Bend.
No official word from the Buehler camp. But the Oregon Republican Party (ORP) shot back in true Trumpian fashion: It threw a red herring.
… The DPO, however, cites Article IV, Section 8 (7)(a) of Oregon law, essentially gimmick or not — it’s the law:
“A person may not be a Senator or Representative if the person at all times during the term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative is not an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen or which the Senator or Representative has been appointed to represent.”
Portland Tribune: Democrats say Buehler is ineligible for his House seat
Party claims GOP gubernatorial candidate’s Tualatin apartment violates Constitution’s mandate that he inhabit his Bend district.
The Democratic Party of Oregon points to two press interviews with Buehler — one with a sports reporter at The Portland Tribune and another with Mark Mason of 1190 KEX in Portland — as evidence that Buehler has moved to Tualatin.
In the interview with Mason, Buehler confirms Mason’s sign-off description of the candidate as “Knute Buehler, of Tualatin now.”
Then Buehler responds, “Of Tualatin now, yeah, just down the street.” Mason then says, “No longer Bend.” And Buehler says “Yeah, and soon to be resident of Salem.”
“The evidence for this is in his own words,” said DPO chair Jeanne Atkins.
Atkins pointed to Article IV, Section 8 of the state’s Constitution, which states that “A person may not be a Senator or Representative if the person at all times during the term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative is not an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen or which the Senator or Representative has been appointed to represent.”
Atkins said the constituents of the district no longer had someone to represent them, and that the Democratic Party of Oregon wants the Secretary of State, which houses the state elections division, to investigate.
“Bottom line, political ambition has trumped his commitment to his current constituents,” Atkins said.