Responding to recall, Mark Shull attacks the messenger
Clackamas County's embattled commissioner repeatedly attacks the messenger rather than recognizing the harm that his behavior has caused and working to correct it, supporters of Mark Shull's recall say.
Shull's targets have included fellow Commissioner Sonya Fischer and recall-campaign organizer Cris Waller, whom Shull have called "associates." Fischer has said that she had never spoken with Waller until after Waller revealed Shull's racist, misogynist, xenophobic and Islamophobic social media posts last January. Fischer and the rest of the county board have unanimously called for Shull's resignation, along with over 100 leaders throughout the Metro region.
Shull requested "forgiveness and understanding from the Muslim community for my words that caused hurt," during press conference on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day last year. Shull has since made clear that he has not apologized for any other statements, including his sharing of a meme in September that appeared to draw a comparison between vaccine mandates and an image of Jewish people wearing yellow stars during the Holocaust.
"This whole thing was blown out of proportion and put in a very negative light by the woman — notice I have never said her name, and I won't say her name," Shull said on Sept. 21.
While pledging to pay no attention to Waller, Shull this month criticized the recall-campaign organizer in his written statements to Pamplin Media Group.
"My performance of duty as commissioner and my personal conduct reflect the true Mark Shull, which is transparent for anyone to see," Shull wrote. "I will continue to serve Clackamas County while paying zero attention to Waller."
Waller responded that it's true that Shull's performance and personal conduct "reflect the true Mark Shull."
"The true Mark Shull tried to disband the Veterans Advisory Council because it questioned him, compared vaccine mandates to Jim Crow laws and the Holocaust, opposed studying racial justice and funding housing for homeless seniors, and actively supported anti-mask and anti-vaccine activists as well as the partisan mobs who have attacked local school boards," Waller said. "The true Mark Shull has had to be censured by his fellow board members three times for his repeated incidents of insensitive and racist behavior."
Without providing any proof for his claims, Shull's written statement went on to directly attack Waller.
"Cris Waller is motivated by hate and a radical and delusional political intent," he wrote. "Her comments are not based on truth or empirical evidence, but only on her own desire to spin up a false storyline. Her accusations are devoid of any regard for honesty, and she has no problem with making sensational, false claims."
Waller responded to Shull's statements by saying that the county commissioner is clearly perpetuating libelous statements against a citizen.
"If this was just my delusion, we wouldn't have had the ability to raise over $40,000 for the campaign to recall him and have earned the backing of dozens of elected officials throughout the region," she said.
Waller said that Shull's habit of targeting citizens is his technique of "deflection" away from himself and his misdeeds.
"It's his own delusion that it's just me opposing his actions when it's in fact the majority of decent people throughout the county," Waller said. "It's standard operating procedure for him to target citizens, like when the veteran's advisory committee called him out, he tried to have them disbanded."
Recall organizers have updated their website with corrected information when alerted to an error. The recall campaign had said that Shull received a $20,000 from the Timber Unity PAC, which was identified on the secretary of state's website at Timber Unity PAC 20000, but it turned out that he had only received $500 from them.
"We stand by what we say, and if you point out something that's inaccurate, we'll make a correction," Waller said.
Despite repeated requests for clarification from Pamplin Media Group, Shull has not provided any evidence that Waller has lied. On Jan. 11, Shull wrote that he would provide evidence by the afternoon of Jan. 12, but he has not provided any additional comments since missing his self-imposed deadline.
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