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An open letter to the constituents of House District 23 and Senate District 12: Rep. Mike Nearman and Sen. Brian Boquist are our elected representatives. Both have informal ties to militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and the 3%ers, who have vowed to protect their Second Amendment rights.

This has led to threats of violence against government officials and Oregon State troopers. The Malheur episode and Boquist’s recent threats serve as fair warning that these disgruntled groups are not to be taken lightly. While gathering the attention of Oregon news organizations, these groups seek to gain recruits and legitimize violence against our established laws and democratic institutions.

In the meantime the law-abiding citizens of House District 23 and Senate District 12 have elected a shadowy couple of representatives whose main goal is to vote "No" to issues that benefit rural Oregonians. Nearman and Boquist essentially voted "No" to a cellphone tax that would allow money to provide better broadband coverage for their rural constituents.

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These anti-government or "no" tax votes may seem to appease Republican voters but in the long run rural Oregonians will lose a voice as both Nearman and Boquist become sidelined in the Legislature. Just ask them what bills they have supported or initiated for your community. The narrow views of these anti-government representatives, Nearman and Boquist, who also have both their wives on the government dole as well, take your tax dollars and spew false solutions to real problems.

Phil Plaza

Alsea (July 2)

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