That same undercurrent is now running through the Oregon Legislature, thanks to the growing extremism of the Republican Party in the state, which has broken into the news because nine Oregon state senators have fled to neighboring states in order to deny the Democrat-dominated body the quorum needed to vote on a key climate-change bill.
Not only has one of these legislators threatened to kill state policemen if they arrive to force him to attend the legislative session (“You better send bachelors and they better be heavily armed”), but now some of the very same militiamen involved in the Malheur standoff have announced they plan to rise to these senators’ defense.
A Facebook event listing posted this week announced a coming “Rally To Take the Capitol” in Salem on Thursday. According to Kos diarist Spherical Aberration, organizers are claiming that “at least some of the errant Senators intend to return to the capitol on the 27th for the rally, but that they will not be participating in government. The affiliated militias have committed that they will not permit the Oregon State Police to seize ‘their Senators’.”
Bruce “B.J.” Soper, leader of a militia dubbed the Central Oregon Constitutional Guard, which is aligned with the “III Percent” militia movement, is listed as one of the event’s three organizers. Soper also ran a “Pacific Patriots Network” that organized the initial antigovernment rally in Burns, Ore., that wound up being the springboard for the Malheur standoff.