On March 26, 2018, the Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) issued Public Records Act requests calling on the Portland Public Schools (PPS) to produce documentation of efforts to organize Portland students against Second Amendment rights. After a month, PPS finally produced an estimate reporting over 37,000 responsive documents, and seeking a charge over $15,000 to produce the requests. As far as the MCRP can tell, PPS re-wrote the request to make it broader and increase the cost, and when the MCRP objected to this, PPS provided no further estimates, and also declined to rule on the MCRP’s request to waive the production fees because disclosure of the documents was in the public interest. Today the MCRP has appealed PPS’s continuing refusal to produce the materials to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
“It is ridiculous our request for electronically-stored documents that can be gathered with a few keystrokes is subject to this kind of stonewalling and abusive charges,” complained James Buchal, Chair of the MCRP. “We can only conclude that PPS is interested in hiding the ball here, and hope that the District Attorney orders PPS to produce the documents forthwith.”
There have been widespread claims that student walkouts on March 14th and April 20th were organized exclusively by students, raising questions as to how there could be tens of thousands of electronic documents on the PPS system. “By all appearances,” says Buchal, “the PPS administration is far more focused on Leftist political agendas than teaching reading, writing and arithmetic”.
Appeal to District Attorney, May 15, 2018
MCRP Chair, James Buchal, 503-227-1011