PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County Republicans issued a statement in response to criticism for a planned raffle with an AR-15 rifle as the prize.
The raffle will take place February 15 at an event honoring both Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. Critics have expressed concern about a fundraiser involving a firearm at an event that also highlights two men who were both shot to death.
In our enthusiasm for celebrating Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Constitution, our Multnomah Republican Party issued a press release that was unfortunately easily misunderstood. The GOP stands for individual liberty, lower taxes, smaller government and individual responsibility. We apologize if people were hurt by the message being marred by insufficient wording and/or cynical misinterpretations by those who disagree with us politically. We will certainly endeavor to communicate more clearly in the future, and learn and grow from this experience.
Both Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King delivered speeches in defense of American liberty and freedom that will live forever in the hearts and minds of the American people. They gave their lives for his cause.
Martin Luther King's famous "dream" speech is an eloquent, timeless appeal for the Constitutional rights of African Americans, who, at the time, were being denied those rights. His speech is even more relevant today than when he delivered it 50 years ago.
Today, powerful elements within our political establishment are working to suppress the Constitutional rights of all Americans. Our rights to freedom in choosing our own medical care, our freedom to build businesses to enhance the lives of ourselves and our neighbors, our freedom to be free of debt, our freedom to be free of oppressive taxes and misguided regulations, and yes our freedom to defend our lives under the Second Amendment - all are under attack.
The great political issue today is whether or not the American people of all creeds and races will live free or live as slaves - slaves to their own overreaching government. 50 years ago, Martin Luther King's great speech was an appeal for freedom for African Americans. Today, those same words he spoke 50 years ago are an appeal for freedom for all Americans.
This is the message our press release should have delivered. I am proud, as a representative of the Republican Party, to deliver it in this press release today - belated but no less true. Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln were great blessings to our nation. Their deaths were great tragedies. Our job, as Republicans, is to carry on their work and preserve American freedom and liberty for all people in our nation and as an example for all people in all nations.
The Multnomah County GOP is in negotiations with a new venue, and the Lincoln Day Dinner will go on as planned. We are excited to host Pastor Rafael Cruz, who passionately spreads the message of personal liberty and the fight against tyranny. We invite everyone to join us in the fight for Liberty.
The church said it’s refunded the Multnomah County GOP’s deposit. As mentioned in the statement above, the group has not yet confirmed a new venue.
This is the third time in less than a year that the group has raffled off an AR-15. Tickets at previous raffles quickly sold out.