What does Sam Carpenter have in common with U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden? Carpenter has penned a new book in advance of seeking office.
Carpenter, 69, a Bend businessman and former candidate for U.S. Senate (he lost in the 2016 GOP primary) and governor (lost in the 2018 GOP primary), is challenging incumbent Bill Currier for Oregon GOP chairman in a Feb. 15 party election.
As a prelude to his candidacy, Carpenter wrote to Currier on Dec. 9, 2018, suggesting the incumbent clear the way for him. "Early resignations will be appreciated far and wide," Carpenter wrote in a letter he includes in his book. "Let's minimize conflict and embarrassment."
Carpenter is not normally bothered by conflict. On his way to a second-place finish in last year's GOP gubernatorial primary, Carpenter and his supporters staked out a combative position on the party's right flank, battling with a wide range of foes, from tea partyers to LGBTQ activists.
His new e-book, Making Oregon Great Again: Guide to the Grassroots Revitalization of the Oregon Republican Party (and the Defeat of the Ruling Class), is a 285-page rumination on how three fellow GOP candidates for governor—then-state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), former Navy pilot Greg Wooldridge and Bruce Cuff, a Marion County real estate agent—conspired to defeat him, and how the future can be brighter.
Carpenter's assessment: If his fellow Republicans would simply fall in line with President Donald J. Trump, the GOP's long losing streak would end and the party would soon claim a "red trifecta," controlling both legislative chambers and the governor's office (which it hasn't held since 1987).
Here are five key takeaways from the new book:
Page 75: Democratic manipulation of GOP primaries has made it impossible
for real "grassroots" Republicans to win.
"Over the decades, a fundamental tenet of the Left's political chicanery—their
formula—has been to control and undermine our Republican primary elections, all the while distracting conservatives by propagating the myths of 'blue Oregon,' and 'disenfranchised conservative Republican voters,'" Carpenter writes. "The take-away? Our defeats in general elections have been pre-determined because of manipulations within our primary elections."
Page 94: The media are in league with the Democrats.
"The vast bulk of the mainstream media is the enemy of conservatism, and they are responsible for 90% of the distempered political conflict in this country," Carpenter writes. "Especially with print and TV, we can simply ignore them while we call them out for the duplicitous louts they tend to be. It's what President Trump has done. He's largely bypassed them; talking to you and me one-on-one. Who doesn't trust the mainstream media? Most people."
Page 89: The state's largest anti-abortion group is also in on the conspiracy.
"Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) inserted itself into the primary election via Greg Wooldridge, facilitating his vote-splitting candidacy. A moderate Republican candidate could not directly pull this off, but an off-Broadway organization like ORTL could possibly accomplish it without backlash," Carpenter writes. "In their dodging and weaving and ineffectiveness, it's almost as if ORTL were a front for [the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws]."
Page 162: The general election matchup between Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, and state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) was really no contest at all.
"The philosophical distinctions between Kate Brown and Knute Buehler were minor," Brown writes. "Whoever was to win, little would change. However, ironically, as I have said, there is an advantage in Kate Brown's win: the conservative waters are no longer muddied."
Page 182: Oregon Republicans can take over the state—but only if the party allows him to use a company he owns.
"There are very, very few conservative social media marketing companies," Carpenter writes. "And as I've mentioned, I happen to be the majority owner of one. I must be able to use my company, PathwayOne, for technical assistance, marketing and web design."