After a near unanimous vote, a GOP representative in the Oregon state legislature just became the first ever congressman expelled from his post in the state's 160-year history.
With a 59-1 decision, the Oregon House of Representatives voted to oust Rep. Mike Nearman for opening a door to allow protestors to occupy the Oregon state capitol building during an emergency session held on December 21, 2020.
Occurring just two weeks before insurrectionists' similar invasion of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Nearman's direct assistance allowed the Oregon rioters to get inside the building, where they shoved and sprayed police officers with bear spray.
The building was supposed to be closed to the public while lawmakers convened for an emergency meeting to discuss the state's economic struggles stemming from the pandemic.
Nearman, who's actions were picked up by a security camera, faced harsh scrutiny from his colleagues in the statehouse during an earlier hearing on the incident, Huffington Post reported.
Representative Paul Holvey, a Democrat, was appalled that Nearman would put so many lawmakers in physical danger, saying:
"It's impossible to overstate the seriousness of the reason we are here today,."
"Rep. Nearman enabled armed, violent protesters to enter the capitol, breaching the security of the capitol, which was officially closed to the public, and also endangered the authorized staff and legislators inside the building."
Oregonians were also given a chance to submit written testimony to that hearing.
Some praised Nearman for what they deemed an act of "civil disobedience". Others denounced him as an unpatriotic helper of insurrectionists.
David Alba, who lives in the district Nearman represented, had this to say:
"Mike Nearman's behavior ... was abhorrent and anti-democratic."
"Furthermore, by aiding and supporting extremists, he has placed people's lives in danger. He should be removed from office and he is not fit to represent my district."
Casey Ocupe, another Oregonian, was in full support of Nearman's actions.
She attacked GOP lawmakers who recently suggested Nearman step down after local news reports documented that Nearman pre-planned exactly how he'd let the protestors in, saying:
"We see you compromising Republicans that whittle away at concepts of morality, liberty, and justice to take a knee to the woke mob."
"May your Republican constituents take no mercy on you."
During the debate over whether Nearman would be expelled, he stood his ground.
"The fact is that I exited the building and members of the public entered into the capitol building, a place they had a right to be — a place the legislative assembly had no right to exclude them from."
People were glad to see the Oregon House showing some unanimous resolve
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Cathy Smith Ro/Facebook
And so begins the process of finding Nearman's replacement. With plenty of supporters infuriated that Nearman was expelled, that process is sure to arouse some raging debate across Oregon.
The saga continues.