By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Democrats target Noble with attack ad

The Democratic Party of Oregon mailed a flier to Yamhill County voters late last week attacking District 24 Republican Ron Noble over his record as head of campus security at Linfield College, a private school in McMinnville.

It claims, “During his time as the head of campus security ... four different female students reported waking up during the night with a man in their room, watching them sleep or going through their things.

“Noble dismissed each break-in as an ‘isolated incident,’ leaving young women on campus reporting that they ‘felt really unsafe.’” The flier does not mention that those incidents were on the same night, by the same person, who was later removed from campus housing.

Scott Nelson, director of communications at the college, told the News-Register, “The college does not generally comment on political tactics or messaging, but the implications made in this flier could not be more misleading.”

However, Noble’s opponent, Democrat Ken Moore, stood by the allegations. He told the News-Register in a written statement late Monday, “As a father and active community volunteer, Ron Noble’s record of dismissing the concerns of young women as ‘isolated incidents’ is concerning to me.

“Ron Noble has, among other things, said that he wants to go to Salem to ‘protect Oregon from terrorist attacks,’ and he’s running on his record in law enforcement. Voters deserve to know about the records of people seeking elected office, and as a candidate for Oregon House District 24, I welcome the conversation about our records.”

Nelson disagreed. He described the underlying facts this way:

“In April and May of 2015, we learned of two incidents where an intoxicated male student allegedly entered unlocked rooms of several female students at night. He left after being confronted, without touching anyone or taking anything.

“Nonetheless, the college determined his identity and immediately removed him from campus housing. The case was prosecuted under our student-conduct policy.”

The college newspaper, the Linfield Review, reported on the second set of incidents on May 5. It said four rooms, all unlocked, were entered around 4 in the morning.

Three of the women were present at the time; a fourth was not. None of the women notified campus security at the time, but one indicated in the story, speaking anonymously, that she felt unsafe as a result.

The Review reported the four were offered the opportunity to move to different housing, but declined. It quoted Noble as saying, “Some of the residents whose rooms had been entered stated they believed that the person was likely intoxicated. ... We are confident that this is an isolated incident that poses no ongoing threat to the Linfield community.”

Reached Monday, Noble said he was surprised and disappointed by the last-minute attack, but plans to stay focused on his own campaign. “That’s not the type of campaigning we, obviously, are going to engage in,” he said.

He said the incidents were not reported at the time they occurred, but “a couple days later.”

Brad Martin, executive director of the Democratic Party of Oregon, said that to call these isolated incidents “is just terribly troubling, and we think it’s important voters know that.” He said, “To have that kind of an attitude is just plain wrong.”

He alleged that some of the women quoted by the Review complained they were discouraged from discussing the incidents.

“That’s not how we solve problems in Oregon,” Martin said. “When talking about the safety of young women in Oregon, that is such a reckless approach.”

He called Noble’s actions “just plain reckless,” and said the party wanted to make sure voters were informed.

Noble said he’s been getting a very different reaction.

He said several residents of the district had told him they were upset by the nature of the ad. As a result, he said, “Some people who were on the fence before” have now declared their support for him.

The ad went on to say, “Less than a year later, another female student was attacked in an attempted assault, and Noble again dismissed it as an ‘isolated incident.’”

According to the Review story on that incident, occurring this March, a man grabbed an unidentified female student who broke free and called police. Officers from the McMinnville Police Department, which Noble headed for several years before taking the Linfield post, joined campus security officers in mounting an unsuccessful search.

The Review quoted Noble as saying that the McMinnville Police believed the incident was an isolated one. And in fact, no further attacks have been reported since.

Nelson described the incident this way:

“On March 31, 2016, a student reported that a man grabbed her arm while she was walking on a public street near the Rutschman Fieldhouse. She yanked her arm back and reported the incident to College Public Safety, which in turn notified the McMinnville Police.

“CPS and the police conducted a search, but weren’t able to locate the man, and campus officers stayed with the student and escorted her home. The college offered her counseling services, and followed up to check on her welfare.”

He went on to say, “Any suggestion that our college public safety force didn’t take these allegations seriously, or that we didn’t respond and fully investigate, is a misreading of the facts.

“In both cases, the college alerted the student body about the incidents, and students were reminded of safety habits and procedures. The college also asked students to report any suspicious behavior they noticed.”

A large banner across the bottom of the ad says, “Ron Noble: Dangerously careless with our community. Say NO to Ron Noble for State Representative.”

The reverse features a photograph of Helen Lee, who was a student at Linfield in 2015.

She served as the editor of the Linfield Review that year and did a brief internship with the News-Register. The flier quotes her as saying, “Ron Noble turned his back on students like me when we needed him the most.”

“Last I knew,” Noble said, she was “working for Ken Moore’s campaign.”

Martin acknowledged that Lee had worked as an intern for Moore’s campaign.

He said the issue came to light because “we do very thorough research” on opponents. He said that Lee emerged as a natural person to quote on the issue.




Wow. Ken Moore, I'm surprised that you would stoop this low. The incidents are as Nelson described them. You know it, and I know it. You and/or your supporters have come to my house 3 times over the past few months, and each time I have said that you had my vote. You no longer have my vote. The twisting of the facts is unexcusable and I'm disappointed that you have sunk this low.


Ken Moore sounds like a desperate politician who is stooping to a pretty ugly low...the likes of which we rarely see here at the local level. Shame on you Ken Moore.


And shame on you too, Helen Lee.


Ridiculous. I was on the fence, but Mr. Noble earns my vote now.


There's a TV version up now, getting local air time. Looks as though the Democrats are going to pull out all the stops on this one, no matter what it costs.
This sort of tactic typically speaks of desperation and typically backfires, particularly when an innocent party like the college gets thrown under the bus in the process. And I'm sensing some of that in the responses here.
But you never know. I've seen some pretty vicious and specious attack ads actually do the trick.
Guess we'll have to wait until election day and see what that brings.


I saw this ad and was wondering whether Ken Moore had vetted it - I see that he did and is unapologetic about it.
Nice going Democratic Party, you just secured my vote for Noble.
I wasn't impressed by Noble's "terrorist" fear-mongering ads either, but this ad definitely sets the low bar.
This is precisely why I don't claim affiliation with either Democrats or Republican party - they've both disgusted me too many times with their actions.
I was hoping that, unlike the ugly national elections, we could maintain civility and honesty locally. I was, unfortunately, wrong.

Sal Peralta

I agree with everything GrizzlyWildcat said.


It just shows how low and morally corupt some people are to attack someone this way!!!


One of the things I look for in a legislator is someone who can review the facts, see the whole picture and have the common sense to make the appropriate and reasonable decisions based on sound judgement.
The Democratic Party of Oregon and Ken Moore, have just proven that this judgement and ability to reasonably deduce the facts is woefully lacking in their camp. Demonstrating this kind of judgement and taking advantage of young women victims in a distorted (dishonest) portrayal of the facts disqualifies him for any public office.
Just my opinion.


What a distortion of truth and underhanded tactics by Ken Moore and the Democratic Party to try and sway voters. Well… your strategy worked for me. I was on the fence who to vote for, and now have decided to vote for Ron Noble. Shame on you Ken.


I pulled this from my mailbox and instantly thought "exceedingly cheap shot." Then I wondered if Ken approved this. Seems he has. Therefore, I just have to ask, "what the hell could he possibly have been thinking?!?!"

Beaver believer

Well I think I'll present a different perspective. The flier was from the state democratic party, not Ken Moore. Further, another flier came from the Right to Life people earlier in the week that was pro Noble and contained some statements about Ken Moore that were not factual either. I have personally known both of these men. They both have their strengths and their weaknesses. Noble is touting his law enforcement background, but at Mac PD everything was not necessarily good. I'd exercise a little caution with an emotional response to this flyer from the Dems. I know Ken to be a man of honor and integrity. The good news is that we have two relatively good candidates. Unfortunately there are some outside influences (like $50,000 from Phil Knight to Noble's campaign when they have never even spoken to each other)that will come calling for favors after the election is over. One doesn't give that kind of "donation" without expecting something in return. I'll be so glad when this election season is over!


I'm with you beaver.....making a decision based on a flyer is a bit shallow.....although the political negativity, at all levels, in place of dialog about issues, is disappointing.

Sal Peralta

DPO has paid for all of the mailings so far from Ken's campaign. It is not credible that he did not coordinate on the piece, given that the person on the mailer had been his intern.


Ken Moore released the following written statement upon being confronted on the issue Monday:
"As a father and active community volunteeer, Ron Noble's record of dismissing the concerns of young women as 'isolated incidents' is concerning to me." He went on to say, "Voters deserve to know about the records of people seeking elected office, and as a candidate for Oregon House District 24, I welcome the converrsation about our records."
That doesn't remotely sound like a denial of knowledge or complicity. That sounds like doubling down, Trump style.
In fact, there were only two incidents, 11 months apart. In the first one, a drunken male student stumbled into the unlocked rooms of several female students in the middle of the night. He was so blithering drunk, he flipped the light on in one of the rooms before stumbling back out.
None of the women reported the intrusion to Campus Public Safety at the time. CPS learned of the intrusion a couple of days later and tracked the intruder down. He was promptly expelled.
Noble called it an isolated incident, which it was, the intent obviously being to reassure other students they need not fear a repeat by the young drunk in question.
In the second incident the following year, an adult male grabbed a female student outside on foot. She broke free and they both took off.
Following an investigation, McMinnville police, not Noble, said it appeared to be an isolated incident. And it did, indeed, turn out to be an isolated incident, never repeated.
The facts don't remotely fit the allegations here. They is no way to twist them to the point where they remotely impugn Noble.
The last time I saw a political smear so utterly lacking in foundation, it was perpetrated by Tom Bunn in his county commission race against Mary Stern. As I recall, that was about 15 years ago.