By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Bladine: Time for the county to show who we are

We owe a debt of gratitude to those who produced an opportunity to vote for the recall of current Yamhill County governance.

Yes, your mail-in ballot says this vote is for or against the recall of Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer. But in reality, it is a referendum on the extremist politics and divisive actions of a county government run amok — a governance created after Berschauer was recruited, groomed and elected by an area agricultural-based lobby and outside interests for targeted land use and ideological purposes.

We should have known better at the time.

Berschauer was elected on the strength of a character-assassination campaign, and her time in office is marked by the abuse of county staff and citizens who disagreed with her substance and style. She teamed with Commissioner Mary Starrett to create an atmosphere of animosity among people supporting or opposed to their trail-killing, gun-sanctuary, pandemic misinformation campaigns.

But hey, don’t take it personally. This simply is hard-ball politics by people who were handed the keys to Yamhill County government by an unsuspecting citizenry. We now have an opportunity to turn majority extremism into minority opinion.

Hundreds of local citizens rallied behind Save Yamhill County PAC leader Lynnette Shaw and chief recall election petitioner Phil Forve. As this is written, the PAC has reported raising $88,000 in cash contributions — $2,500 from Ralph Farnham of McMinnville, and the vast majority in $100 to $1,000 contributions from citizens throughout the county.

Shaw is a 12-year Carlton resident and business owner who, in 2020, lost a race for state representative. She is an avowed political progressive, and while that label fits some recall supporters, others joined the campaign out of disgust with the chronic black eyes being given back-and-forth by good citizens caught up in today’s conflict-ridden politics.

Forve moved to McMinnville two years ago to be near family and become part of a great community. With 41 years of professional leadership experience in “operations, quality, safety, strategy, and systematic performance improvement,” he quickly realized that Yamhill County governance had a serious quality control problem.

Berschauer has reported raising almost $60,000 in cash contributions for the recall campaign, including $9,000 from the Yamhill County Republican Party, $7,500 from Stimson Lumber Co. and much of the balance from area agricultural interests.

Voters should talk about the issues, set aside personal recriminations, vote their beliefs and prepare to move on. This election will tell Yamhill County much about who we are.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.



Your hit piece is rife with opinion and not fact, estimation and not proof. You don’t know that she was groomed by anyone, you don’t know who voted for her, she didn’t ‘team’ with anyone (since when is agreeing with someone a bad thing and does that same rule apply when dems and progressives agree?)), describing someone who walks out their convictions and tries to represent the will of the people as creating animosity is childish (when children do what you are doing it’s called bullying), and lastly this whole name dropping thing on both sides, is at best just stupid. Just because big money is spent by someone with big money, does not make their opinion worth one cent more than anyone else.


I like it. An opinion piece "rife with opinion".


Loretta, that's why it's in the OPINION section. It's opinion. Thanks for a laugh on a Sunday.


I totally agree with Lorretta. Opinions, by definition, are not actually based on fact. So as an editor to the local paper, wouldn't you think his thoughts would be more to the middle and not so much to the progressive left? Of course, it's his ball and we have to accept his rules, even though they are tilted the wrong way. That's my opinion. Obviously, not everyone will agree with his.
BTW, does anyone believe the NR cherry picked any letters in the Readers Forum? As a community paper, it seems like opinions should be balanced.


So…..this is a “hit piece” and the N/R “cherry-picked” letters to the editor? Those speculations would be amusing and/or cringe-worthy if the issue wasn’t so critical to the well-being of Yamhill County. As a resident and property owner for thirty years, our local politics have always seemed quite conservative to me. But agree or disagree, I could respect the INTENTIONS of our representatives. This recall, however, does not qualify as “conservative,” it is instead all about extremism. It is all about abuse of power. It is all about decision making and taxation without representation. At the heart of the matter, it is about values and integrity.

I remain hopeful that the majority of my fellow citizens will step up and declare that Berschauer’s brand of toxic influence is intolerable. As those who pay her salary we are shamed by it. I am extremely grateful to the N/R for this editorial. In a matter of this importance we must leave no stone unturned.


The fact that this recall petition garnered enough signatures to trigger this election is absolutely staggering in a rural county that leans to the right. Both Republicans and Democrats are against LB's preponderance of division and malfeasance.

People above Politics.

Vote Yes.

Bill B

I find it interesting that when some people see an opinion in which they do not agree, they call it a hit piece.

Jeb Bladine


Responsible commentary is, in fact, based on facts, as well as opinions about those facts.

As an aside, the News-Register doesn't not cherry-pick letters -- virtually all letters submitted to the newspaper that meet basic length and language and liability standards are printed in the Viewpoints section.

Tom Hammer

My letter to the editor, with sources to verify all claims was rejected and this article by Jeb explains why. A recent piece by Cascade Policy Institute, a conservative think tank in Portland was carried by every paper and TV station in Oregon except one. Guess which one. People are defined by their sources of information. Which sources are growing?


I predict that this will indeed show who we are - a collection of low information voters who can be bought by thousands of dollars in outside special interest money. The gaslighting and deflection of the real issues is insane. In my conversations with voters, it is clear that people are buying such rhetoric as "this is about the 2nd amendment", or "this is all about the trail". Or my favorite, "well she has a lot of signs out". Do people realize that Yamhill County is the laughing stock of the state, or do they care? Maybe not. Do people know what real leadership even is? Why is it that someone like Berschauer can move into Yamhill County from the Portland area and then spew rhetoric like "don't let Portland politics into Yamhill County". Do people realize that Berschauer and Starrett are the closest connection to Portland politics that we have ever had in County Commissioners? I guess not. When Berschauer was running last year, she parroted the same rhetoric that Starrett did about keeping Metro out of Yamhill County. I contacted a Metro Board member directly and asked them about this supposed interest that Metro had in Yamhill County. The response was met with a "what?". They assured me that Metro had no interest in Yamhill County, and in fact the Metro Board had never even discussed such a concept. But there were people in Yamhill County who bought this lie. Low information voters. Unfortunately, I think that's who we are........we can be bought.


Hopefully the county shows that we will not choose a trail (that didn't have approval) over the rights and concerns of farmers. Hopefully they will not buy into this "takeover" conspiracy put forth by Progressive Yamhill. Vote no!


Farmers concerns I understand and reasonable compromise could be reached with good faith negotiations ... what rights should be granted for properties that farmers don’t own?.....


As stated, an opinion piece full of, well, opinion. As described. But I find it interesting. The initial unforgivable sin of Ms. Berschauer was being the second vote in killing the west side trail. Wasted tax money that was complained about was in part, returning state grants that were no longer needed for their intended purpose and countless useless hours of county employees time that was allocated by past commissioners who I believe were making a poor choice in doing so.

The one thing I do find interesting Mr. Bladine, is that you do not recuse yourself from this fight, or at least come clean with the readers. You are part owner in the Atticus hotel, a beautiful destination may add to its bookings with another regional activity. Not to mention your other property owned in the downtown area that may be developed into another lodging of some sort, or a nice restaurant? Those would both benefit from another regional tourist draw. It’s a shame you don’t declare that in such opinion pieces like this and show some honesty to the readers who may not know your background.

Jeb Bladine


The Atticus Hotel is a successful business, but I don’t have any ownership of it. I do have a minority interest in real estate that is leased by the Atticus Hotel group – a fact that has been reported over and over in News-Register stories throughout and since the development of that downtown hotel. Assuming you actually are a regular reader of the newspaper, you apparently you missed all of those stories.

Some other downtown property acquired by our family 45 years ago has been for sale for many years for whatever purpose a buyer might have. It has been reported – again, in our newspaper – that one prospective buyer has interest in acquiring the property for hospitality interests. That remains to be seen, but this kind of local development is happening for reasons that have nothing to do with the Westsider Trail project.

I don’t know who you are, but perhaps you should consider identifying yourself when publishing half-truth attacks on others’ character.


It appears, based on voter turnout, we are a county of voters that really don’t give a crap about county politics. I guess we deserve to be run by people that have no vision for the county’s future and swing whichever way their political finance winds are blowing. Disappointing but not surprising.

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