Living in Fear
-by Scott Rohter, January 2012
“Local conservatives need to reinstitute a reign of decency back into our city government,
in which we are not afraid to speak out and have a differnet opinion
from that of our elected and appointed officials.” –Scott Rohter
Aren’t you tired of living in fear? I remember several years ago when I had a bad experience with a local police officer. This cop happened to be from Springfield, but he could just as easily have been from Eugene. I insisted upon speaking with his watch commander, but I was told that the watch commander was out in the field and couldn’t be reached. I said I would be willing to wait, or come back later if I could just talk to him. “I told you he is in the field and can’t be reached,” the officer snorted. “Well I guess that people don’t matter around here,” I quipped back. “What’s your name?” the cop demanded to know. “Scott Rohter” I said. “Don’t move, I want to talk to you,” he shot back. Then he stormed out from behind the glass enclosure.
I had come down to the police station to complain about the poor way in which a Springfield police dispatcher had handled a rather routine call, a little earlier that night. That officer, whose name was Haltunen would have shot me dead, right there on the spot, inside of the police station that night, and I wouldn’t be alive today to write this story, if I had only reached my hand into my pocket for a little Kleenex to wipe my nose. And a video tape of the incident, which I still have in my possession, proves beyond a doubt that this police officer was totally out of line, even though the tape is mysteriously missing three minutes of the most incriminating video. While I freely admit that this tape is not nearly as important as the infamous Watergate tapes, with their notorious eighteen-minute gap, nevertheless, it does illustrate just how difficult it is for someone who tries to challenge the establishment in our two cities. When I first asked for the videotape, I was told that there weren’t any cameras in the new police station. But that was an outright lie! Only my determination not to accept blatant lies got me the tape, and when I finally did receive it several weeks later, it had already been gone through and edited, and the most damning details had been deleted.
I wanted to sue the city of Springfield over the improper behavior of that police officer, and because he filed false charges against me. And I wanted him removed from the police department because he represented a threat to the entire community. But I couldn’t find a lawyer who would go up against the city of Springfield. Months later I read in the Eugene Register Guard that the same Springfield police officer had been the subject of a different investigation, and a lawsuit in which he had broken somebody’s arm during an incident while the officer was on duty. This lawsuit had cost the city of Springfield close to $100,000 to settle the claim. Not that I tried to tell them so, but I did!
Fifteen years ago when an attorney sued the city of Eugene to achieve some small measure of justice for Jack and Betty Neely, two elderly members of our community who had their house illegally foreclosed on, and sold for ten cents on the dollar by the City of Eugene and Lane County, that attorney probably signed his own career-ending death sentence. In addition to losing the initial case against the City on a technicality, he soon thereafter closed his law practice, and left the State of Oregon. That’s what happens when you go up against the liberal Eugene establishment.
When I recently published my article A Eugene Area Conspiracy in the Register Guard, it cost $3,400 to buy the space in the paper for a full page political ad. Some folks had read my story online, and they liked it so much that they gave me the money to have it printed in the ‘Guard’. They literally handed me thirty-four one hundred dollar bills to publish my story. I thought to myself, “Now who does that? Who trusts somebody that they hardly know with that kind of money.” It felt a bit awkward giving thirty-four one hundred dollar bills to the cashier at the Register Guard, but my sponsors told me that they didn’t want to experience any retribution from the City, or the County, or the State, and I believe them! They didn’t want to write a check because they didn’t want it to ever become known who had paid for the story to appear in the newspaper. Would you trust someone that you didn’t know with $3,400 in cash? Well they did! Now who would do that? That’s the proof that too many people are living in fear of the powerful liberal establishment that is in control of our city. They are afraid that the City, or the County, or the State will engage in some kind of political retribution against them if they challenge the status quo. People are so afraid that they are behaving in ways that violate basic rules of common sense!
Aren’t you tired of being afraid to speak out? In Eugene there are two talk radio stations, KPNW and KUGN. Neither radio station is particularly conservative, although KPNW broadcasts the Michael Savage program on a tape delay, and features Lars Larsen live everyday, and they are pretty conservative! In defense of KUGN, they broadcast the Glenn Beck program on a tape delay basis, and he is definitely a conservative. But neither station features a local conservative who is willing to take on the local liberal establishment. Neither KPNW nor KUGN will host a local conservative who will effectively challenge the liberal establishment here! These radio stations won’t even let a real conservative get anywhere near a microphone, or a camera, or a newspaper column. They won’t even let me come on their morning radio programs to effectively advocate in defense of conservative issues. To tell you the truth, they are living in fear too! Aren’t we all getting a little tired of living in fear of each other? Can’t we allow ideas to be openly discussed in the free marketplace, and let the best ideas prevail?
I know that every word I am writing is true. Because I have tried to get on all of these programs and stations, and it’s like beating your head against a brick wall. I have asked Lars Larsen, Bill London, Storm Kennedy, and their station managers and producers at one time or another, to come on their programs and do an interview on some current issue of local concern. My requests are always ignored or declined. You know I’m telling you the truth because you know yourself as well as I do that the radio, television, and newspapers in this town only give grudging, token support to local conservatives and our causes. But boy oh boy, they were sure all over the Occupy Eugene Movement, weren’t they? They were all touting how wonderful it was at first.
There is no local or regional version of Michael Savage or Glenn Beck, and the powers that be don’t want one here either. They won’t let me anywhere near a microphone or a TV camera, or even a newspaper column, unless I pay through the nose. But you can change that simply by turning off the local news media, and by not subscribing to the newspaper. Don’t consume whatever it is they are producing. Go to my website, LessGovistheBestGov.com, for your daily antidote to the latest local, liberal bias. I have heard that 5,000 people have signed up for the Our Money Our Transit newsletter. That’s great! But 5,000 people aren’t enough to win the next mayors election, or change the constituency of the Eugene City Council. And there are plenty of other issues to be concerned about besides the West Eugene EmX. It's time to stop Living in Fear!
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter