Ham Radio Operator Leaks Far-Right Group's Oregon Plans

Ammon Bundy-affiliated group aims to dominate county GOP apparatus
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2024 12:15 PM CDT
Report: Anti-Government Group Seeks Control of GOP in Oregon
In this Oct. 24, 2018, photo, Ammon Bundy poses for a photo in Emmett, Idaho.   (Kelsey Grey/Idaho Statesman via AP)

A far-right anti-government group appears to be making inroads into the Republican Party at the grassroots level. The Guardian reports that at least 66 members of People's Rights Oregon 5, a subgroup of the People's Rights Network founded by anti-government militant Ammon Bundy in 2020, ran for positions in three Oregon counties this week. It's not clear exactly how many were elected as Republican precinct committee persons—PCPs—but some of them faced no opposition. PCPs elect Republican leaders at the county level and the People's Rights Oregon 5 effort appears to be a "coordinated attempt to capture the local Republican party infrastructure," reports the Guardian.

The Guardian says it was informed about the group's activities by an amateur radio operator who intercepted and recorded dozens of hours of conversations on a private radio network set up by the PRN. In the Oregon group's early years, the conversations mainly focused on efforts to counter COVID mask and vaccine mandates, but they were later dominated by discussion of local Republican politics—especially after members were able to take control of the GOP central committee in Deschutes County. The Guardian says it confirmed its source's information by cross-matching FCC records of radio callsigns.

Devin Burghart at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which researches far-right groups, tells the Guardian that the group is following the "precinct strategy" espoused by Steve Bannon, among others. "They want to take over the local party apparatus and change it from the ground up," he says. It's not clear how many other PRN chapters have similar plans. The group has split states into areas and Burghart says People's Rights Oregon 5, which has around 1,400 members, is "one of the most successful areas in terms of organization." (More Ammon Bundy stories.)

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