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Oregon GOP seeks to recall longtime member, Trump supporter who backed Dhillon in RNC chair race

Solomon Yue has served the RNC for 23 years.

Published: May 28, 2023 11:08pm

Updated: May 28, 2023 11:40pm

Longtime Oregon Republican National Committeeman Solomon Yue is facing a recall from the state party that he suspects is in response to his support of former President Donald Trump. 

Yue, who is in his sixth term as state GOP national committeeman, is basing his assumption, at least in part, on the petition to recall him having been circulating days after he met with the former president, who promised to hold a rally in Oregon. 

Trump met with Yue last month at the National Rifle Association’s National Convention in Indianapolis. Yue told Just the News this weekend he wanted Trump to come to a rally in Oregon "to energize our base because there is a voter apathy.” 

He further argued the GOP could have flipped six Oregon House seats with 4,000 votes last year, but voter apathy prevented Republican voters from turning out. 

Also, some conservatives have moved from Oregon to Idaho and Florida, Yue said, noting that if the trend continues, there will be “nobody left to fight,” causing “blue states to become bluer, and red states to become redder.”

Yue told Trump that the state could be flipped to Republican. The former president agreed to hold a rally in Oregon, and four days later, the recall petition was circulated by the state GOP. 

Yue said he has never received an official copy of the recall petition. There is an unofficial petition that was found online that includes 22 charges against him, including one alleging he undermined then-RNC Chairman Michael Steele in 2010 and another alleging he targeted then-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in 2016.

Yue led an RNC executive committee investigation into Steele, which found he used committee funds on such personal expenditures as private jets, a strip club, and limousines, instead of raising money. Steele lost reelection for the RNC chairmanship to Priebus. 

Another charge is that Yue has “created fractures and divisions in the RNC through multiple chairmanships,” including Ronna McDaniel’s. 

Yue supported McDaniel’s challenger in the RNC chair election this year, Harmeet Dhillon, after receiving more than 2,000 emails from grassroots requesting he support Dhillon, compared to only two for McDaniel.

The Oregon GOP National Committeewoman, Tracy Honl, voted for McDaniel. 

The RNC did not respond to a request to comment for this story. 

The petition also says that Yue, who was born in communist China, "has had serious questions as to his loyalty asked by many including former Republican Party Chairman Bob Tiernan Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy.” 

Following the petition’s release, Yue wrote a message that was sent to Republicans explaining how he “survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution and escaped with my life to America.”

He also said that since his grandfather was a capitalist, Methodist, and “a deputy commissioner in the Shanghai British Concession,” he was born with three strikes against him in the eyes of the Chinese Communist Party. 

When Yue was a child, he says, his parents were threatened by the CCP because he questioned communism, then he was sent to a communist reeducation farm. His grandfather helped him eventually escape to the U.S. 

The Oregon GOP Central Committee’s meeting to decide whether Yue should be recalled is scheduled for June 3.

The petitioners and Yue will each have 15 minutes to state their cases, and the committee will have 10 minutes to ask them questions. 

Yue said that while he can bring witnesses to testify on his behalf during his 15 minutes, it is not enough time to address all 22 charges against him. 

He also believes that Honl is working behind the scenes to recall him, based on her scheduling McDaniel to visit the state party for a fundraising event with recall petitioners in attendance on the same day that petitioners for the recall had to submit their signatures.

Honl has said that the meeting happened to be on the same day because it worked for McDaniel’s schedule. 

“Neither Chairwoman McDaniel, her staff, or even I was aware that it was the ‘deadline’ to get signatures for Solomon’s recall petition. (In fact, there was no real deadline, apparently that was the day it was due to hold the recall on the same day as an already scheduled meeting.),” Honl wrote in a letter in response to another RNC National Committeeman regarding Yue's recall.

Yue also argues that the Oregon GOP is violating its own bylaws with the recall petition by not allowing him or his representative to view how the signature verification was performed for the signatures on the recall petition.

He further argues the body that elected him in 2020 is the only entity that can recall him, but that body – the Oregon GOP Central Committee – has changed membership since then, meaning the current committee cannot recall him. 

Former Circuit Court Judge Vance D. Day, who also previously served on the Oregon GOP’s Executive Committee, analyzed the state party’s bylaws for Yue and sent the alleged violations to the Oregon Republican Party’s chairman. 

Yue says the situation is "crazy and very disturbing because I saw Trump being politically persecuted and they used the police state and government power to do that. Now for somebody who survived the CCP's political persecution and facing my own state party's political persecution, I am concerned about where this country is going."

Honl told Just the News on Friday: "I am not involved with either organizing or circulating the petition to recall Solomon Yue. I do, however, support this recall. Instead of taking responsibility for the situation he put himself in and making an effort to make amends and bring people together, he has instead doubled down – making untrue accusations to deflect and distract people from the truth. It’s time for the division that has surrounded him for more than 2 decades to end."

She also said nearly 60% of the active Republican county parties in Oregon signed the petition to bring the recall petition to a vote on June 3 and that they want the state GOP party to "move forward and work together to win in 2024."

Honl also says she's a "two-time Trump delegate" and that the recall has nothing to do with a visit from President Trump.

She also questioned why Solomon is "demanding a different set of rules for him than the rules his close allies demanded when they launched a recall against former ORP Chairwoman Suzanne Gallagher in 2013 and former National Committeewoman Marilyn Shannon in 2019?"

Gallagher resigned after a recall for her began because she allegedly hired her hairdresser as a personal assistant for $5,000 a month with Oregon GOP donations, according to an email sent to Oregon GOP members in support of Yue.

Yue told Just the News on Saturday that the recall didn't go through for Gallagher since she resigned, and that Shannon completed the recall process.

Virginia’s Republican National Committeewoman, Patti Lyman said Saturday that the charge questioning Yue’s loyalty to the U.S. is "the most egregiously false accusation I could possibly imagine. Solomon’s patriotism is unsurpassed by any other American I know – native-born or otherwise.” 

She also said Yue “puts Oregon on the map in the Republican Party" and argued he’s “the key for President Trump in Oregon.” 

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