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Every election cycle, candidates align themselves with groups and organizations that they feel can help get them elected. In return, those candidates help those groups advance their agendas once they’re in office.

You can tell a lot about a candidate by the kinds of groups that they associate with and seek support from. If those groups are supporting someone, the odds are pretty good that they’ve been promised something in return.

That’s why Clackamas County residents should be concerned about the association that current Commissioner Paul Savas has with the radical leftist organization Reimagine Oregon.

On that organization’s main web page, www.reimagineoregon.org, it lists a series of “participating jurisdictions” that lists elected officials they are working with. That list includes Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, notoriously soft-on-crime Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, some of the most liberal members of the Oregon Legislature, Clackamas County Commissioner Sonya Fischer, former chair Jim Bernard….and Paul Savas.

So what is the Reimagine Oregon Project, and what do they want out of the politicians they are backing? Well, their website has a list of what they call “policy demands.”

Among other things, those demands include removing school resource officers from schools, defunding local law enforcement agencies, requiring racial impact statements on all pieces of legislation, stopping the cleanup and removal of homeless camps and growing bureaucracy needlessly by establishing equity advisors in all offices and bureaus in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties and Portland.

On its website, Reimagine Oregon boasts about the “success” it’s had in achieving some of its aims.

“The Board of County Commissioners made its first action to Divest from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in June 2020 by adopting an FY 2021 budget that decreased its funding by $1.8 million,” the website states.  

Right next to this paragraph is the organization’s stated goal of wanting to “defund $50 million from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.”

Another stated goal of Reimagine Oregon was to “defund the East Multnomah juvenile gang enforcement team.” The website states that this goal was successfully achieved when the “state legislature removed funding in the summer of 2020.” The website makes no mention of the organization taking credit for the appalling rise in shootings and other crime that have occurred since.

The kinds of radical policies proposed by groups like Reimagine Oregon have dire consequences for the quality of life we all enjoy. These groups largely succeeded in getting their way in 2020, and the results have been disastrous. We are all now less safe in our homes and in the streets because of the policies these groups have been pushing.

Reimagine Oregon has made clear that, in their view, Paul Savas has been on board with helping them advance their agenda. To me, that demonstrates how he has changed in the many years since he first took office.

When Paul Savas first ran for Clackamas County Commissioner, he proudly touted his conservative credentials and promised to represent those values in office. Maybe he did at one point, but he has since fallen further and further from his original stances and closer to the fringe occupied by activists like Fischer.

I’m proud to state that I’m not beholden to groups like Reimagine Oregon. They don’t support my campaign for county commissioner, and I wouldn’t accept their help if they offered it to me. I reject their radical agenda, and I urge you to oppose any elected official who is complicit in helping them move it forward, including Savas.

*If you’d like to find out more about or support the Mark Johnson for Clackamas County Commission campaign, please check out our website at https://markjohnson22.com/