191205-nrr-oathkeepers

A passerby walks along Garden Valley Road next to a sign acknowledging Oath Keepers as a participant in Douglas County’s Adopt-a-Highway program.

The Oath Keepers came under scrutiny last week after several community members objected to its participation in Douglas County’s Adopt-a-Highway program.

Groups participating in the program clean up a stretch of road and are acknowledged with roadside signs. In the Oath Keepers’ case, the signs are located on Garden Valley Road not far from the Roseburg city limits. County officials said the group’s sign has been up since 2015, but it became an issue last month after objections were raised at a Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Opponents say the group is linked to extremism and white supremacy, while the Oath Keepers reject those labels and describe themselves as patriots opposed to unconstitutional laws.

Either way, it seems Douglas County isn’t the first government to grapple with controversy over its Adopt-a-Highway program.

Governments from Georgia to Missouri to Marion County, Oregon, have had to deal with controversial groups seeking to establish Adopt-a-Highway signs along their roadways.

In those cases, as in this one, the issue ultimately boiled down to freedom of speech.

Back in 1994, for example, the state of Missouri tried to reject the Ku Klux Klan’s application to adopt a piece of highway.

According to Smithsonian.com, the Klan then filed a federal lawsuit saying its constitutional rights were being violated. A federal judge agreed, saying that if Missouri allowed other groups to join, they had to open the program to the Klan too. If not, the court said, they were violating the Klan’s free speech rights.

The sign went up, but it appears the state had the last laugh. It renamed that stretch of Interstate 55 the Rosa Parks Highway.

Eventually, the Klan lost its signs anyway as it turned out the organization wasn’t picking up any trash.

The state of Georgia dealt with a similar problem in 2012, when the Klan applied to adopt a section of roadway there. As in Missouri, the courts rejected Georgia’s attempt to block it. The state responded by suspending its entire Adopt-a-Highway program.

Oregon’s Marion County faced its own controversial roadway sign problem in 2005, when the American Nazi Party adopted a stretch of county road outside Salem. The sign, reading “American Nazi Party,” was built and installed but soon after was vandalized and destroyed, Marion County Public Works Director Brian Nicholas wrote in an email.

“The group ended its participation with the adopt-a-road program and the sign was never reinstalled. The sign was in place for less than two weeks,” Nicholas said.

So who are the Oath Keepers of Douglas County, and why is its Adopt-a-Highway sign so controversial?

Oath Keepers bills itself as a group of current and former police officers and military veterans who have sworn not to obey laws its members believe are unconstitutional.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Oath Keepers is a radical anti-government group loosely connected with other groups in what’s been called the patriot movement. Some refer to patriot groups as militias because they sometimes show up armed to various events where they assert they are providing security.

Recently, for example, the national Oath Keepers group put out a call on its website for members to provide security for attendees at President Donald Trump’s rallies. Closer to home, Oath Keepers offered to provide security to Oregon’s Republican state senators who walked out over climate legislation this year, though that offer was rejected.

It appears Rhodes has recently attempted to create some distance from white supremacists, though. OPB reported Rhodes urged Oath Keepers to avoid a Portland rally in August, saying the group should not associate itself with white nationalists he believed would be attending.

John Parker, Jr., a former associate of the local Oath Keepers group that was involved in adopting the roadway back in 2015, said the group isn’t made up of white supremacists and has gotten a bad rap thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he said is like a left-wing version of the right-wing conspiracy website InfoWars.

Parker thinks the solution to the local controversy is simple, though. He said Oath Keepers members are no longer cleaning up the roadway and its sign should be removed for that reason. Parker said he’s observed a local man who currently walks that stretch of road every few weeks picking up garbage.

He said the sign should be renamed after that guy.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(10) comments

MRFSYS

Politics aside (for a moment), extensive research begun in 1990 has confirmed evidence that the Oath of Office Clause, the Appointments Clause, and the Guarantee Clause are being routinely violated by government personnel in every State of the Union. "Republic" is clearly and correctly defined in common English dictionaries, but the existence of two classes of citizenship in America has been a tightly concealed secret until the relevant Court decisions were unearthed in 1991. As things now stand, Oregon State Citizens cannot vote or serve on juries of any kind; and, "amendments" to the Oregon State Constitution were never reviewed nor found by Congress to be "republican in their form of government". Such "class discrimination" has already been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court e.g. in jury selection. The population of federal citizens who inhabit the 50 States is an absolute legislative democracy, NOT a Republic as required by the Guarantee Clause. Oregon State officials in Salem have been properly notified, but they are doing nothing about these gross violations of the Fundamental Rights of Oregon State Citizens who are not "subject to the municipal jurisdiction" of the Federal government, by Law.

NJ

The Oath Keepers chapters in Oregon have appeared in public touting their weapons, meaning they appear to be a militia. As Article II establishes, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,..." Are they well regulated by the State of Oregon? Do they work for the State of Oregon? Does Oregon understand they must regulate this militia? I suspect the Oath Keepers would just as soon avoid being regulated at all, the epitome of outlaws with guns.

supratrdturbo

It would be nice if this reporter would write about all the great things oath keepers have done instead of write up a big article trying to make them look bad. Who does she really work for?

MRFSYS

> Who does she really work for?

That's easy to answer:

She works in a building with the following letters displayed prominently above the entrance (NOTE WELL: 3 x "KKK"):

KKKKK

RKSQS

SMKEK

BXRNR

541radio.com

supratrdturbo

The SPLC is responsible for great division in the USA and has been in bed with people like George Soros (known naughtzee collaborator) for many years. Soros also founded Media Matters. Propaganda machine. NR isnt doing much better regurgitating media matters (fake news) talking points and smears against real legitimate investigative journalism. Remember The N.R.'s demographic. All the naive elderly citizens that don't use computers possibly in assisted living being forced fed this stuff who think that the old going extinct print and almost zero rating TV news would not lie misinform or mislead them.

MRFSYS

A very easy way to prove severe political bias by SPLC, is to cite standing decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court which the SPLC goes out of their way to ignore. The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Commissioner v. Acker held, correctly, that a tax liability may not be created solely by means of Regulations published in the Federal Register, absent the required Act of Congress. There is no Act of Congress which created a specific liability for federal income taxes imposed by subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code. The Regulation which fabricated that liability is 26 CFR 1.1-1(b). A useful exercise is to edit that Regulation so it is worded like other liability statutes e.g. IRC 3403 is a bona fide liability statute for "employment" taxes imposed by subtitle C (employer is liable). The writer of this article has referred to people who know these facts as "ANTI-TAX ADVOCATES". Well, it's not a "tax" if there is no Act of Congress creating that specific liability, and Ms. Carisa has already been advised to read Commissioner v. Acker where it states clearly: "the law does not permit". If you believe we are lying here, find that decision on the Internet, and search for that specific text and the context in which it was stated:

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/361/87.html

supratrdturbo

Hillary for Prison 2020 Free HongKong Free Alex Jones Free Rodger Stone Free General Flynn Flush Kate Brown Down End Sanctuary Dreamer cities Bring the Troops home build the wall and drain the swamp. The photos of the Chinese protestors waving American flags says a lot about freedom and western culture.

supratrdturbo

It is foolish to compare Oath Keepers to naughtzees and The KKK. Oath Keepers are wonderfull patriotic people. Rhodes is correct about Killary Clinton. She would absolutely use the Patriot Act and Nation Defense Authorization Act to "disappear" political opponents and dissidents as if we are under chinese style communistic government.

MRFSYS

The writer's office building displays "KKKKK" prominently over the main entrance: that appears to be "KKK" x 3. A long-time resident of Roseburg told us recently that a human skull was, at one time, displayed openly in the District Attorney's office. If you don't already know what "KKK" means, then Google KKK . I see nothing wrong with exposing Americans who worship "The State" -- read idolatry. A variation of such false worship appears to be common among the Editors of this newspaper. See also the fallacy known as "cherry picking": "The stronger the withheld evidence, the more fallacious the argument."

mynamehere

Our Governor has given illegals sanctuary, the RIGHT to apply for a driver's license citizens only have the PRIVILEGE, removed capital punishment and given aid and comfort to murderers on death row. I'm sure the people complaining about the Oath Keepers are OK with Governor Brown's legislative agenda.

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