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Senator Ginny Burdick Is Abusing Her Elected Position

By Timothy W. Dunn

Originally published by (and submitted for publication here by) The Watch Report, 
Les Lemke, P.O. Box 1524, Coos Bay, Oregon 97420 
The Watch Report 2001, leslemke@earthlink.net

Apparently Oregon Senator Ginny Burdick believes she is above the law when it comes to our individual rights guaranteed to us by the Bill of Rights. 

I'm going to tell you a personal story of how Senator Burdick used her elected position in an attempt to intimidate and harass a State Employee who opposed her anti-gun views and anti-gun legislative agenda. This story also has to do with a pro-gun rally which was scheduled for Monday, April 23rd at the Oregon State Capital as well as subsequent events which involve Senator Ginny Burdick. In case you are wondering, both pro-gun/pro-individual rights citizens were there as were anti-gun fringe group individuals such as Senator Ginny Burdick. 

For several weeks after I initially heard about the rally I started to plan for it and look forward to it. The purpose of the pro-gun rally was to oppose Senate Bill 508 which would restrict concealed handgun, permit holders (CHL) from carrying on public school grounds. 

If you want to know my reason for wanting to attend the rally it is because I am a law abiding citizen who has a Concealed Carry Handgun Permit. I've been finger printed, photographed and had extensive criminal background checks done on me. Because I am a law abiding citizen I do not appreciate the actions of those who seek to take my rights away from me. Besides, school shootings are not perpetrated by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders. School shootings are committed by out-of-control children, adults with the mentality of a child and the mentally deranged - not by citizens who have shown to society that they are living their life in an adult, sane, and responsible manner. 

Because of my desire to attend the rally I made arrangements with my managers and supervisors, well ahead of the rally date, to take Monday, April 23rd off as a day of vacation. Being as I had vacation time coming this request was approved by my managers and supervisors well prior to the rally date. 

In case you are wondering, prior to the day of the rally, and on my own time, I spent considerable time making a sign for the rally. I was sincerely interested in presenting my own pro-gun opinion on the Oregon legislative doorstep. 

I arrived early at the Capital on the morning of April 23rd and was immediately joined by at least 20 other people who had also come to demonstrate against Senate Bill 508. We were civil and abided by all requests of the State Police concerning our signs and our location outside of the Capitol building. 

At approximately 9:30 am Senator Burdick held a press conference. At the end of her presentation she opened it to questions. This Q&A period was stopped right after the second question was asked of her. Senator Burdick refused to answer any further questions. 

At about 10:30 a.m. we disbanded with a positive feeling because very few Anti-gun people had showed up. Even the press had not shown up for Senator Burdick's press conference. 

I had thought that the events of that day were over. Little did I know that my exercise of my 1st Amendment Rights on the steps of the capital would result in Senator Ginny Burdick trying to bring the pressure of her office to bear on me via my workplace managers and supervisor. 

I am employed by the Oregon Taxpayers at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). I work as a Information Systems Specialist and provide computer support for over 200 employees at ODOT. I have a personal web site which I maintain from my home that contains a link to my employer, ODOT. I am also proud of the fact that I work with a dedicated group of people and that is the reason for this link on my web site. 

When I went to work on Tuesday, April 24th I was reminded by my Team leader Mark Robinson to make sure that I had filled in April 23rd as a vacation day. About 20 minutes later I asked Mark why he was reminding me to double check my timesheet because he had never done that before. Mark replied that "you are not supposed to tell anyone this but you pissed a State Senator off yesterday while you were at the rally". I asked Mark "could that Senator be Ginny Burdick?" and Mark replied "yes". I asked Mark how he knew this information and he replied "Senator Burdick called Dave White and wanted to know your status, whether or not you were on the clock or not". Dave White is the Chief Information Officer for ODOT. Mark also stated "the Senator was very upset at Dave White for letting you have the day off to attend a rally". 

So for the rest of the day I kept this issue to myself until about 2 p.m. That afternoon when my manager Will Schlictman approached me and said "I hear that you like to piss Senators off". I asked Will "I thought I wasn't supposed to know about this". When I explained what I was demonstrating about he did say "good to see you are doing something you believe in". Will did not continue this conversation and I was not going to press it. 

During this entire day I felt that Senator Burdick was trying to intimidate me for attending a rally in opposition to her anti-gun agenda. There was absolutely no reason for her to contact my employer concerning my status because my Team Leader and Manager would not have let me have that day off if I had not requested it as a vacation day. 

So, why did Senator Burdick call? What was her intention? Was it an attempt to get me in trouble with my employer? Was it to attempt to get my managers to intimidate me? I really don't know the complete content of the conversation that took place between Dave White and Senator Burdick other than what I was told by my Team Leader and Manager. 

Whatever Senator Burdick's reasons were for contacting my employer it had nothing to do with my status and everything to do with intimidation and abuse of my 1st Amendment rights to free speech! 

In a nutshell: Senator Burdick used her position as a State Senator in an attempt to intimidate me through my employer. Senator Burdick can deny this event ever took place because she is a politician but my managers can not because they are employees of the state and making false statements is against policy. 

I always thought that even as a public servant I had the right to voice my own political opinion on my own time in my private life away from the workplace. Has something changed in Salem, Oregon that I don't know about? Has intimidation by elected public officials suddenly become a new "reasonable law" - as Senator Ginny Burdick so often talks about - that I am unaware of? 

I complied with all State Policy rules as it relates to my participation at the political event - the rally. I did this so I could have an opportunity to express my views under the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights. 

Apparently State Senators like Burdick don't have to comply with any rules, much less show respect for my - and YOUR - Bill of Rights!


The Guilty Party:
The "Feinstein of Oregon" Mugshot

Senator Ginny Burdick
Party: Demoncrat
District: 6
Capitol Phone: (503) 986-1706
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE S-317, Salem Or 97301
Email Address: burdick.sen@state.or.us
Web page Address: http://www.leg.state.or.us/burdick/

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