By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Whatchamacolumn: Response insists on follow-up story

My column last week about financial intrigue at the Oregon Firearms Federation was not intended as Part 1, but OFF Executive Director Kevin Starrett insisted on a follow-up.

Starrett was angered by the column – and a previous Oregonian story by reporter Maxine Bernstein – about the lawsuit by Portland attorney John Kaempf seeking unpaid legal fees from OFF. People often get annoyed by news and commentary, but Starrett tip-toed over the line by suggesting: “You and Bernstein should shack up. You could spawn more half-wits working for dying rags.”

At first I was confused, thinking he meant Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein. But I digress.

All seem to agree that OFF engaged Kaempf with a $60,000 retainer to fight the gun regulations in Oregon Measure 114; that on Dec. 15 Kaempf presented OFF with claims for another $66,000 in legal fees; and that 30 days later, in a highly unusual move, Kaempf filed a lawsuit against OFF and Starrett seeking payment of fees and penalties.

Starrett claims he fired Kaempf on Dec. 8, and repeatedly asked “point by point questions about questionable charges on his (Dec. 15) bill.” He said he didn’t sign a fee agreement with Kaempf until Nov. 19, so Kaempf’s lawsuit cannot be truthful in claiming he “worked on the lawsuit for several months.” (Kaempf filed that lawsuit on Nov. 18, so obviously there was prior legal work.)

Neither Starrett nor Kaempf responded this week to questions seeking documentation and clarification of these various claims. Starrett, however, was protective of his sister, Yamhill County Commissioner Mary Starrett.

“You,” he wrote me, “just like the hacks at the failing Oregonian, just saw it as an opportunity to slime an organization whose values you disagree with and toss in gratuitous slams on my sister.” I could only respond: “You must recognize that when brother/sister, respectively, are leaders of a high-profile state anti-gun-regulation organization and of high-profile anti-gun-regulation county initiatives, the two often will be mentioned together in the media.”

Behind the scenes, there are America’s mass shootings – incidents in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter. In four days following last week’s column, eight mass shootings in America killed 25 and injured 42 people. In 2023, through Jan. 24, 40 mass shootings have killed 73 and injured 165 people.

Gun regulations aren’t enough. To repeat from last week: “There will come a day, perhaps far in the future, when America can contemplate its history of gun violence and death, and act decisively to change things.”

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



Unfortunately, folks like Kevin Starrett have learned that in Oregon you can form a PAC, stir up folks so they believe you really have their interests at heart, appoint yourself as the Chairman of the PAC, and you have an instant income. This guy only brings hysteria to what should be a concern to Oregonians. There are several other organizations like the Oregon Sheriff's Association, and the Oregon Hunters Association who actually represent responsible gun owners and who bring sane discussion to the table. When we elect Mary, we get Kevin. She's the front for his initiatives and Yamhill County is the vehicle to move them forward. She finally found a place where she can get elected. For the sake of all Yamhill County, I hope that at some point in time we can turn around this 20 year downhill slide that this county has been on. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's happening any time soon.


Insults are an indication of a weak case factually.. and the connection between the actions of the county commission and the OFF are undeniable.


Interesting that you didn't publish Mr Starrett's response yet you felt compelled to publish a follow-up article.

Even more interesting is your presumption that the billing dispute between OFF and their attorney is germane to the validity of Ballot Measure 114 and the entire gun control debate. Everyone with a functioning brain now understands that Ballot Measure 114 was a classic bait and switch. Aside from a blatantly unconstitutional restrictions on possession and a prohibition on sales of new, standard capacity magazines, BM-114 mandated training classes and licenses for gun owners when no such classes exist and probably never will exist. The goal is to simply put all of the firearms dealers out of business then maybe enable very limited gun sales in the far future.

What is truly pathetic is that the editors of the MacMinniville News Register knowingly and intentionally published fraudulent news articles and opinion pieces to assist BM-114 to get passed.


“ intentionally published fraudulent news articles “…?….That’s a tall accusation… got some facts to back that statement up?





I don’t think a “yes” is enough to prove your point.

Bill B

Tagup; Don't get him/he/her/she/they/it started!


Point taken…:)



Given my suspicion that you are a staff member of the Register, I suspect that you are well aware of the voluminous, impeccably documented information that has been provided by various people to rebut the fraudulent talking points from the supporters of BM-114. This includes the FBI annual crime reports (such as they have degenerated into), the FBI SUPPLEMENTARY HOMICIDE REPORTS, and the FBI, detailed database on weapons used to murder police officers.

The voters were hoodwinked by a bait and switch that massively magnified the threat from military style, semiautomatic rifles to effectively ban all semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns as well as most pump action shotguns.


Your suspicion about me is incorrect…I have no connection to the NR.

When inflammatory statements ( like fraudulent & intentional) are made without supporting facts…. Then the author’s credibility becomes an issue.
With that said, I see little value in continuing the conversation.


Hey, let's just all point guns at each other everywhere we go? Won't that eliminate all shooting deaths?



I just cited impeccably documented references that if checked would refute the propaganda often regurgitated by the NR. You of course ignored the information.


JWC- Cite: to quote by way of example, authority, or proof.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable