The keynote speaker at the annual Dorchester Conference at the Salem Convention Center on March 3rd was Roger Stone. Stone is reportedly under investigation by Robert Mueller for playing a role in Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russians in the 2016 Presidential election.
Stone is suspected of having direct contact with WikiLeaks which published emails stolen by the Russians from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. Stone denied direct contact to the F.B.I, but in recent weeks a reporter for The Atlantic published private messages she obtained between Stone and the Wikileaks Twitter account.
This is the second year that the Dorchester Conference has been held in Salem. It was founded in 1965 by then state legislator Bob Packwood, who was upset about the conservative direction of the Republican Party that had nominated Barry Goldwater for President. The first invitation to Dorchester famously said “Far right-wingers will be deliberately excluded.” For years the conference was held on the Oregon coast and was an important national forum for centrist and liberal Republicans like Mark Hatfield, Tom McCall and Dave Frohnmeyer.
Apparently the exclusion of “far right-wingers” from Dorchester no longer applies, given the prominence given to Roger Stone who frequently appears on Alex Jones’ radio show. Jones’ Twitter feed featured a photo of Stone in the bar at Bentley’s in downtown Salem purportedly with some members of the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as a “hate group.” Stone and the group are pictured making a “white power” hand sign.