Governor Lockdown Kate Brown is slamming 15 counties back into the toughest rules of the pandemic…and then found out that she’s extending her own emergency powers into the summer. But does she have support of the government she represents? Yamhill County Commissioner, Mary Starrett says no.
Listen Below, or read the transcript provided by Kathleen Worman
Lars: About Kate Brown’s announcement earlier this week that come Friday, fifteen counties go back into extreme
risk designation. Then her announcement today “Big surprise” her emergency powers which she glommed
onto last year which the law appears to say she has to go to the legislature for after a very short period of time
and ask them are the people’s representatives okay with me continue to have emergency powers?
She didn’t do that because the courts say she didn’t have to. So she has been the queen of Oregon for about
the last year. Should northwest cities go along with the governor’s ordered shut downs or should they fight
I’m starting to see more indications that they’re ready to fight back. One of those indications is my longtime
friend Mary Starrett who is a Yamhill County commissioner but used to work in TV and radio. Mary, welcome
back to the program and what should Yamhill County do when Kate Brown decides to flip and flop and we’re
following the science and now we’re not following the science. We’re shutting down. We’re opening up.
With all of this stuff going on, what should the counties do? Should they push back?
Mary: Absolutely, Lars! One of the things that I did in the meeting with the governor and county chairs last
week was I asked her about some of the discrepancies in the data that she’s using as justification for these
fifteen counties going back to high risk. I said, listen, I’m going to submit a list of questions. Can I get
agreement that you’re going to respond to them? I sent that list of questions to her last week and I’ve asked
many questions over the last year and I’ve gotten absolutely no information. What I’m saying is, what’s the
data? What’s the science? What exactly are you using? So I sent her a letter and said we have a discrepancy
because we now have a brand new arbitrary rule that’s put in place for the very first time when they’re using
these hospital beds as justification. It’s brand new. They never went to the legislature. They never asked for
any input, they came up with a 300 bed rule and a greater than 15% increase over one week. It was never
called out in any of the previous reports. So as you mentioned, how do you keep your emergency powers
going and come up with new ways to justify it? So I looked at the data, looked at the charts, looked at their
own data and I’m thinking to myself, when this becomes public, is anybody going to be outraged? So it’s a
new rule and it shows that she actually authorized a reduction in the COVID bed count.
In December we had 1,400 beds. In April we had 997. So almost 500 COVID beds reduced! There’s an
enormous discrepancy between what the state bed counts are and the federal bed counts are. So why did
Lars: Mary, so when they talk about a bed reduction, did beds just disappear with a wave a wand? Or are
they re-designated for something else? Because we don’t have disappearing beds in hospitals, do we? How
does the bed count change?
Mary: Because the OHA is now reporting that we have 3,700 fewer hospital beds than the federal system is
reporting. So how many of these people that are currently hospitalized for COVID are actually…I mean what
happened to these beds? Did she add this new rule and why did she basically say we’re going to take those
beds offline? This is something that if you look at the data, it’s kind of confounding. Why is there a
discrepancy between what the censors say and what the governor is saying.
Lars: Because nothing coming out of the OHA, I mean all the way back to the beginning of this when another
reporter, Pat Dooris and I had to fight to get them to tell us how many people are you monitoring that might
have it. That was back in late February about the time Italy was getting hit. Let me ask you about another
issue. I’ve shared with my audience all the best studies I’ve been able to find over the last year. And we’ve
got much better info now. Say that 2 to 4% of all the COVID cases come from exposure at a bar or a
restaurant. Two to four percent! So most people are getting sick in social gatherings or at home or perhaps at
their workplace, but those three places, but not from dinner. So how does she justify saying the hospitality
industry has to take it in the chops?
Mary: Because last December, I was on a call with her and I asked her that very same question why gyms and
restaurants are being singled out basically for destruction. I asked what’s your data? What’s the science? She
said, “There is none, but we’ve heard.” Now that’s not good enough!
Lars: We’ve heard? That’s the standard by which the governor of a state makes decisions for four million
Mary: The Association of Oregon Counties did something they have never done. They signed on to a letter
this week with the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and said, okay governor, show us the proof.
Show us your work! Where is this coming from? And 80 commissioners and 27 counties signed on and said,
Governor, its killing our restaurants. Show us the data. But as you’ve said before, she doesn’t ever respond to
these requests. She doesn’t have to show us the data, because there is none.
Lars: I’ll tell you a group that could demand it if they had the backbone. Mary, you and I have covered politics
and news for a long so we understand that usually you don’t find Democrat lawmakers sticking the Democrat
governor metaphorically in the eye with their finger. On the other hand, the Democrats are in a solid majority
in both houses. The legislature, according to the law, has a role to play when there’s an emergency and it’s
supposed to be oversight of the governor’s emergency powers. They have chosen to do none of this. Peter
Courtney, Tina Kotek, the two leaders of both houses could be saying, Governor, this has got to stop or
Governor, reign this in. They’re not doing that at all. I don’t see the media; I don’t see reporters demanding
of them, why aren’t you standing up to the governor? Or are you tacitly saying, we’d rather she do it. She’s
term limited out. We’re not. We want to keep our seats. So we’re just going to shut up and let her do
whatever she wants to do. We’re not going to question her and get in trouble with our party and we’re not
going to try to question what she does even though the law gives the legislature an absolute role and an
authority and responsibility in all of this.
Mary: Well, I hope people remember this at election time, but frankly Lars, you and I see people get re-
elected that totally, completely abdicate their duties to their constituents. Look at how she’s weaponized
OLCC and OSHA against our businesses. It’s gestapo-like tactics. At one restaurant in Newberg that decided to
stay open because everything they own goes into this place. They have curtains on the windows. It was a
wonderful, happy gathering place for the community. All during the shutdown, she had people climbing up
on ladders, taking pictures from the only windows way above street level that didn’t have curtains and then
looking on face book to see if people posted that they were actually there. Then went ahead and suspended
their license, fined them to the degree that the new owners have to agree that to get their license to have a
24-hour surveillance system that OLCC can tap into to make sure the former owners never set foot on the
premises again. Tell me that’s not like the SS.
Lars: It is! This reminds me of Cuomo and DeBlasio had city employees taking pictures through the windows
of synagogues to try to catch Jews at prayer when they were banned from their own buildings. This stuff is
crazy. And the fact that nobody will stand up to her and just say listen you’ve got to rein it in. You’ve got to
let the people’s representatives speak. This is outrageous! Mary thanks so much for coming on and keep up
the good work in Yamhill County. That’s Mary Starrett, Yamhill County Commissioner was in the media and
that’s how I know her.
Note: I highlighted the word censors at the 3:41 mark because I’m not sure that’s what she said, but that’s as
close as I can understand her.