ROSEBURG, Ore. -- State Sen. Dallas Heard is weighing in on the controversy surrounding Citizens Against Tyranny (CAT), a group that claims Gov. Kate Brown is infringing on their rights as Americans by telling them to shut down during the pandemic.
The senator told KEZI 9 News he has been a part of the group since the beginning and helped them draft a declaration that explains exactly what they're fighting for.
“It’s their declaration of basic rights,” he said. “Earn wages, assemble without persecution, make their own decisions, control their private property.”
Since the declaration was released two weeks ago, Heard said they established a board and have gained support from 400 people and local business owners.
He said the goal is to help the small businesses that are struggling and empowering them to stand up for their rights.
“We’re not telling them to open against the rules,” said Heard. “We’re telling them that (Brown) is breaking a moral and constitutional law of life in a free society, and you need to quit letting the bully shame you down.”
However, Heard said he understands there has been some controversy surrounding CAT, starting with the “filthy traitors" list that was posted on their website, naming two people who allegedly reported a small business to state officials for violating COVID-19 protocols. The list was later taken down.
Heard said he didn’t know the list was posted publicly and told KEZI it shouldn’t have existed in the first place. He said they would never intentionally target members of the community.
“That accountability list is suspended,” he said. “We never greenlighted it. It’s always been in discussion and in development.”
In recent weeks, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, the district attorney, the sheriff, and State Rep. Gary Leif have spoken out against CAT and Heard’s work with them. They’ve said they won’t sign on in support of the declaration because they don’t support what they stand for.
Heard said he doesn’t buy it.
“Public servants should be held accountable if they prove to be liars about what they represented in their core values when they sought those people’s votes,” he said.
However, Heard said the group is focusing on their efforts to help small businesses during the pandemic. He said they are raising money to give back to those businesses that need it the most.
“It doesn’t matter if they're signed up with this movement or not,” he said. “It’s for those we find most impacted.”
Heard said he donated a car to the group and they are currently selling $25 tickets to raffle it off. He said their goal is to sell at least 10,000 tickets. He said they also have car washes planned for next week on Garden Valley Boulevard in Roseburg.
All of the money will go back into the community, specifically the small businesses, Heard said.