Fliers posted in Portland, Ore. neighborhoods have been threatening to expose the names of area welfare recipients, according to local reports.
“There are twenty seven people in this neighborhood who vote and receive food stamps,” read one flier posted on the doors of homes in a southeast Portland neighborhood Monday, according to KPTV.
“The names of these people are being posted where they can be seen by taxpayers and the neighborhood can decide who is truly in need of food,” it concluded.
The note was signed by “Artemis of the wildland.” Artemis was an ancient Greek goddess of hunting and the wilderness.
In August, “Artemis” posted fliers in communities around Portland threatening to expose those who receive disability payments.
“There is an intersection between those people who vote and those people who receive public assistance. There are nineteen people in this neighborhood who vote and receive cash disability payments,” the note, posted in full by The Oregonian, read.
“The names of these people are being posted where they can be seen by taxpayers and the neighborhood can decide who is truly disabled. Benjamin Franklin said, ‘when the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.’ Some of us in the neighborhood wish to save this democracy and stand in the way of those who would destroy it,” “Artemis of the wildland” concluded.
Disability payments and food stamps have been in the news as both programs have grown in scale, reaching record high participation rates in recent months and years.
According to reports, while the fliers have unnerved people it is unclear whether the person or people posting them have committed a crime.
“On the surface of it, I can’t find a crime there,” Oregon Police Dept. Sgt. Pete Simpson told The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “It’s probably not a crime, because there wasn’t any overt threat and they were being left on porches and/or telephone poles — which, realistically, we don’t enforce telephone stuff because we’d have to arrest concert promoters.”
“It appears to be somebody trying to stir up the neighborhood a little bit and get people upset,” he added.
The paper noted that no names have been posted yet, and both the Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, and Social Security Administration, which deals with disability payments, keep the recipients of assistance confidential.
The Portland mayors office told the LA Times that while he fliers are “bad” and “stupid,” the city likely won’t devote police resources to catching the posters given the lack of clarity that a crime has been committed.