Roger Stone—the former political adviser to Richard Nixon and President Donald Trump—appeared without incident at the state's oldest Republican conference last weekend.
But an organizer of the Dorchester Conference in Salem says Stone was so worried for his safety that he enlisted a right-wing group as private security.
Patrick Sheehan, a Dorchester board member who booked Stone, says Stone reached out to the Proud Boys—a group notorious for its participation in Portland street brawls—after reading about violent political clashes in Oregon.
"He was worried about getting killed," Sheehan says. "He gets death threats constantly."
Photos of Stone drinking with a handful of Proud Boys circulated across social media over the weekend, outraging Democrats.
The Proud Boys is an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group, and one that has contributed to plenty of street brawls at Portland protests.
Sheehan says there weren't actually any protesters present during Stone's address to a crowd of roughly 400 event attendees.
He adds that Stone's speech was notably less offensive than expected, with the most ludicrous remark being about a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back and having a "dick on his back and on his front."
"There were no shouts or protesters," Sheehan says. "He just gave a really good talk that generated a lot of discussion."
Stone's talk focused on his five decades of political advising, from the Nixon administration through the current Trump administration.
And while Dorchester was prepared for a protest—the board's president says it hired a security team from Corporate Crime Control Association to be on the premises throughout the weekend—no brawl ever arrived.