In defense of Senator Ginny Burdick

WatchdogIn defense of Senator Ginny Burdick
By Jason Williams
Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Civility in politics is a very personal issue for me and represents the very first topic I ever wrote about for Oregon Catalyst seven years ago. I feel deeply disturbed at how uncivil politics has become and how sometimes harassment has become accepted as political tool. It applies to both sides. You see, when Democrats interrupted President Bush during his state of the union address I got mad. When a Republican Congressman interrupted Barack Obama during his State of the Union I got mad as well, but my fellow fiscal conservatives defended him with every excuse imaginable.

This week, when I heard that someone videotaped State Senator Ginny Burdick outside her own home I felt creeped out. Simply put, if this were to happen to a conservative Senator like Betsy Close — I would be incensed. Videotaping at public events is fine, but one’s private home is off limits and all lawmakers deserve a basic personal safety zone of protection. It is consistent with my civil libertarian beliefs. I also believe that becoming a lawmaker is not the same as signing up for 24-hour on duty military service — if it is, then we can expect fewer middle class ordinary folks to run and expect more rich lawyers who live in gated communities to run.

I know that the people were sincerely trying to prove a political point, but I caution against their tactics.

Fiscal conservatives, Second Amendment Supporters & Republicans cannot say they are the movement of personal safety and privacy while living out the opposite.

Post Script: This website has chronicled Republican lawmakers being hounded by trackers.   The story is much worse.  Several Oregon lawmakers have been videotaped at private places at all hours.  One woman lawmaker was videotaped inside of shopping center.   Another Republican lawmaker spoke on how a private meeting of volunteers was interrupted when a tracker invaded the premise and began taking picture of of everyone’s license plates.   This takes it to a new extreme level of harassing not just a candidate but ordinary people volunteering to help their candidate of choice.

Here is the challenge:  Several Oregon newspapers have already made their voices heard on the Ginny Burdick videotaping incident.  Now will these same newspapers hold both liberal and conservative, Republicans and Democrats to the same standard? Will the media enforce their values equally when this issue comes up again now that they are on record?

  • Hmmm….. Conservative politicians are routinely denigrated in the media and by the public yet wew are supposed to rally to defend a liberal gun grabber because she was video taped in public? Come on.

    • Lulz

      Evidently you are unable to read for content or context. There is enough bashing of both sides in the media and in the public. That is to be expected, especially in today’s political climate. We’re talking about filming someone at their home. Or didn’t you get that point?

      If she wasn’t a “liberal gun grabber” would you have been more sympathetic?

      • guest

        Your’e sic as in numbfounded, Mr. Lulz.

      • As I said in my original post, the public also denigrates conservatives and several things the public does is demonstrating, publishing addresses, and filming conservatives at their homes all with media assistance. So now I am supposed to get all concerned because it happened to a liberal? I’m sorry but you liberals set the rules for this behavior.

        • HBguy

          So, we should base our standards of conduct on how low our opponents will sink?

          Unfortunately, that appears the SOP for too many partisans.

          • One should give as good as one gets and the liberals have set the low ground rules. This a very partisan situation and to refuse to hit back is to lose the initiative. Just ask McCain and Romney. Or locally Art Robinson in the 4th district congressional race race.

  • T. Partee

    Sloe Ginny Burdick is no friend of 2nd Amendment rights and supporters. If she wants to be a public figure she must realize the wagon she’s riding doesn’t assure her safe passage, especially if she’s carrying papers meant to defrock the document.

  • Thank you for this post.

    This type of behavior can only be interpreted as threatening, and demeans any attempt at civil discourse. Stalking a politician to their home, confronting them at their doorstep, and lingering outside taking video footage is reprehensible and the persons involved should be thoroughly ashamed.

    I disagree with Senator Burdick’s opinion on this issue, but I would defend her 1st Amendment right to it…

    No matter how much a person may disagree with a policy position, nothing justifies this sort of behavior. A politician who ducks public meetings should be voted out of office, not stalked, threatened or abused.

    Like any rational adult, I will work in the future to elect politicians that share my values…and more importantly, never stay silent or tolerate anyone attempting to use fear and the threat of violence to get their way.

    To those of you creeps out there embarrassing the rest of us law-abiding gun owners, think about this: If you value your 2nd Amendment rights, act like you deserve them.

    • devin watkins

      Please do not accuse someone of stalking if they are not doing so, you diminish the harm the real stalkers out there do. Not to mention that accusing someone of a crime that they did not do is liable for damages under libel. Stalking in Oregon means “The person knowingly alarms or coerces another person or a member of that persons immediate family or household by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact with the other person;” OR “It is objectively reasonable for a person in the victims situation to have been alarmed or coerced by the contact; and The repeated and unwanted contact causes the victim reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety of the victim or a member of the victims immediate family or household”.

      • Lulz

        Unbunch the undies. He wasn’t talking about stalking in the legal sense, but in the common usage sense. But I suspect you already know that and just like to create problems and misdirection when it serves your purpose. Just my opinion, of course.

    • guest

      Sit down and count your Beijings out Mr Communista tank in the lark.

  • Bob Clark

    Thanks for your perspective and integrity, Jason. I think this type of invasion of privacy, well thoughtfully intended to check the veracity of the senator’s action and words, actually has a more serious long term downside in that it may discourage more well meaning and more business like citizen leaders from running for office. There are such folks in Portland believe it or not, but the specter of living in a fish bowl if elected to office, puts them off big time. Filming our leaders while at home may seriously cut our supply of more centered and business like politicians in the long run. Instead, we are left with the Sam Adams of the world (although Sam did have his good points, especially when he wore his funny inclement weather hat and told us all to stay safe and warm…that was actually kind of fun).

    And thanks to Jason for also sticking up for Susan Gallagher at the E-club this past Wednesday. We needed a little balance to the negatively charged air, the latter being more than justified but needing some positive.

  • HBguy

    You had me thinking this was pretty reasonable until the gratuitous slam on “rich lawyers who live in gated communities”

    If you mean people with law degrees that are on the payrolls of big firms, I’d agree. These folks sometimes appear to be paid by these large firms to be legislators. I’m sure its beneficial for firms like Miller Nash, Ater Wynn, Perkins Coie and a couple others, when they tell their clients that there is a young legislator down the hall here who may have some insight into their particular legal issue.

    I’d actually suggest we need more real main street lawyers in the Legislature. Like Rep. Dennis Richardson, who bring insight and an understanding of how laws effect our neighbors.

    Believe me, main street lawyers don’t care much for the tall building lawyers either.

  • devin watkins

    The only thing they were showing through the video was that she lied about the reason she was ditching constituents. That was clearly the point of the video, and that is a good purpose. I commend the people who made that video to stand up for truth.

  • Randalph

    Why are you not “mad” or “creeped out” that the “honorable????” Senator Burdick lied to the citizens of Oregon? How can we prove their decet and dishosesty unless there is actual proof? How can we hold them accountable and show the public what type of “representation” they really provide?
    Are the “elites” to be immune from exposure?

  • Ginny plays the victim very well but she has been intimidating and violating Citizens Rights for many years:

  • Jason, I disagree with your post as it advances a narrative that distracts attention from what Senator Burdick did.

  • When any politician proposes a bill or make a law that reaches into my
    private life, they have effectively invited me to scrutinize their
    private lives!

  • T. Partee

    Ginny Burdick has chosen to be a public person and as such relinquishes privacy she might otherwise expect or hope for.

    It happens all the time to ‘fair game’ and if this upland game bird, like a Ruffed Grouse, coos about in estrous fanning for gun control and expecting some unusual coverage, then by all means sequester her in the ODFW bldg in Salem until the current legislative session adjourns.

    Meanwhile, attending the case of lawful videotaping revealing her in a fat lie, there’s no retroactive camouflage she can wear. Senator Burdick got caught in transparent clothing and the exposure warrants an R & R (repent and relocate) indefinite term in the Hotel California Quail jail as far as 2nd Amendment supporters might deem appropriate.

  • jim

    First, Ginny Burdick is and always has been a Career Politition. Supposedly she is a “communciations consultant”. Ok, sure, she has a job? Looks like by here own website she has been on some form of commity or political front since 1987. Next as for this “stalking”, It wasn’t stalking, and this evidence that she lied to many people saying she had a “conflict of schedules”. Yea, I do too, can I get out of a court hearing? NO, I can’t use that excuse.

    To those who like or dislike fire arms, to each thier own, but lets look at the facts of legislation she is backing.

    1. Local Police or Sheriffs office must inspect your home and safe to ensure you are keeping your firearms locked.

    So people who support this, are OK with illegal search and siezure. How about we make a law for pot saying the same thing. It kills many people a year, so maybe it should be locked up and your home should be inspected annually.

    2. She says, that if you own a Semi-automatic weapon, you may only own one, and it must be registered and your home must be inspected annually as well. Added to that any weapon over 1, must be sold, destroyed or turned into the police. Doesn’t matter what you paid for it or such, you just can’t own it anymore.

    Why don’t they do this with cigarettes and cars? Both of these kill more poeple per year. Matter of fact, if you take all of the firearms deaths in the United states, add them together, which includes, accidental and murder, then compare to only the Vehicle accidents that kill people in Oregon ALONE. People are still killed by vehicles more. But we will just ignor that fact because everyone has a right to own a car, but not a fire arm. I don’t get peoples thinking process.

  • Oh HOGWASH!! This is pure investigative journalism, a la Mike Wallace and others. Besides the fact that it smacks of Ginny’s own modus operandi. If she is going to lie to the public, she needs to be shown for what she is.

  • zanzara2041

    Ginny shouldn’t violate other people’s lives with legislation.

  • guest

    IMO, soeginny Burdick, as usual, manifests nonsense. Thereto, trek-ammending her ashore ala Bangalore and embiking on a trip into her inner dementia and finding some unusual suppositories.