Knocking off the Red Queen

There's a new PAC in town looking for some action. The DFO Action PAC is an outgrowth of Democracy for Oregon - which is an outgrowth of the Dean campaign here in Oregon. That's right, folks, the Oregon Deaniacs have a PAC now. For starters, they're taking on the Speaker herself:

Oregonians have had enough of House Speaker Karen Minnis and her destructive stranglehold over our state.

We’ve watched as Minnis (R-Dist. 49) has destabilized Oregon's education, public safety, and human services budgets. We’ve watched as Minnis has used parliamentary games and power plays to block hearings and keep bills from being voted on in the House.

We've been outraged as Minnis irresponsibly pulled out of the joint Ways and Means Committee and then closed down the House to keep it from passing bills critical to the forward progress of our state. And we've watched as Minnis, like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, yelled "Off with their (political) heads!" to any moderate Republicans who dared to compromise on taxes or a balanced state budget.

Just like the Red Queen, Karen Minnis wants everything her way.

No longer will we sit back and allow Karen Minnis to force Oregon to go her way.

Democracy for Oregon, the people-powered team that brought you the Progressive Leadership Summit in May, will help lead Oregon out of this tyranny of the Red Queen. We have formed a new PAC, Democracy for Oregon Action, with the foremost goal of restoring responsible leadership to District 49, as well as to the Oregon House of Representatives.

Check it out: DFOaction.org

Comments

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)
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    As with the Dean and Potter campaigns, this is going to happen through lots of small donations--if just 5,000 Oregonians give $20 each, that's $100,000 for Minnis's challenger and/or other progressive House candidates.

    During the last campaign, Minnis's operation got scared and they put out a lurid flyer that attempted to link her opponent to child pornography (as I recall, he had served on a library board at one time). With access to people-powered funding, this time her opponent can get the truth out, one voter at a time, about how destructive Minnis has been to this state.

  • LG (unverified)
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    Yeah... it's gonna take a lot more than $20 contributions... good luck with that... a Minnis has served that district for 20 years.

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    LG,

    Did you know that Queen Minnis just barely won that seat last time? Just a little support by progressive citizens would have made ALL the difference. Rob Brading was an excellent candidate and did all he could against the Rethuglican machine out there. Every one of us who cares about resoring fairness and democracy to the Oregon House needs to step forward with just a little time, effort or cash, and we can get the job done. Never underestimate people-power, I say. Also, don't discount the base energizing power of incumbant autocrat of any party 'gone wild!' Keep up to date on this effort with our Minnis Watch at DFOAction.Org!

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)
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    DFO Action will take $50, $500, $1,000 contributions quite happily as well as $20! The point is, if only a fraction of the Oregonians who are fed up with Minnis's abuse of power chip in some amount, whether $20 or $200--it will add up very, very fast, giving her opponent a nice financial boost from the grassroots.

  • (Show?)

    The Multnomah County Democratic Party welcomes DFO Action into the fray as we set our sights on Queen Minnis in '06. The county party fully supported Rob Brading's excellent campaign last year with both manpower and money, and were early and sometimes lonely supporters of his cause, so we welcome DFOAction into the fray.

    This woman is beatable, as demonstrated by Rob's results, and the way she completely disregards the wishes of her constituents both in her district and throughout Oregon tells us that we must strike now while it is all fresh.

    The best way readers of Blue Oregon can help us right now is to donate money to either DFO Action or to the MultCo Dems. As we get closer to the election, you can help by volunteering your time to help us educate voters in her district.

    Moses

  • Dying Downstate (unverified)
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    Let me see if I get this correct.

    Spending gobs of precious campaign dollars from all over the state in an exclusive, single-minded effort to take Karen Minnis out in Portland will actually solve the House Democrat's problems of serving as the minority party under a redistricting plan that should have us at 36?

    I guess it is true. The DPO is really the Democratic Party of Portland. Thanks for the help downstate, guys.

    Gee, I hope some downstate Republican (maybe from S Oregon?) doesn't see this little number for what it is: The far right-wing full promotion to speaker effort of 2006.

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    Dying Downstate--

    First off I think you're a bit confused-- we're not talking about the DPO-- we're talking about DFO, otherwise known as Democracy for Oregon. I'm sure the DPO will be working on campaigns across the state.

    Secondly, Minnis is in Wood Village, Troutdale, Fairview and Gresham. While some of her addresses may say Portland, they're only that way because they're served by a Portland post office.

    Third, we're (DFO) not the only ones who are going to be working against Republican candidates across the state. We've selected the person who is doing more to subvert democracy in this state than anyone else--Karen Minnis. She is a big target and will need much of our focus (not saying we're not going to help other candidates, though-- she's just our first target).

    We'll get some help in our fight against Minnis (from groups like the Multnomah County Dems), but other organizations will be spending money and working to defeat Republican candidates elsewhere as well.

    We have two seats here in Multnomah County held by Republicans (plus at least one more that is partially in Multnomah County). If we can take those three seats (Minnis-49, Lim-50, Smith-52), we almost control the State House.

    Also, you have to remember that Minnis does a lot of the money raising and campaigning for R's across the state. If we keep her busy at home, she doesn't have time to fight elsewhere. And when she's kept busy, we tend to win the other races.

  • WH (unverified)
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    A couple of things for everyone to think about: First of all, the goal really should be to restore the Democrats to the majority in the House, not knock of Speaker Minnis. Regardless of what a witch she is, she won't have the power she has now if she's in the minority. (Just look at the House D's right now.) Beside that, if she gets knocked off and the R's keep hold of the House, we've got Wayne Scott, and I think he's actually worse than Minnis. Second, DFO, a subgroup of Howard Dean's old Democracy for America, has obviously missed the emphasis that Dean is putting now as chairman of the Democratic Party on winning rural areas over for the D's. Dying Downstate is totally right--we've got to take the emphasis off Portland. Do you really think Portland is going to decide the next governor of this state after watching the last few elections? Rural voters are becoming the political drivers of this state and DFO and DPO are going to have to wake up and realize this if we're going to keep Oregon blue. I've been watching this unfold all day, and I know my criticisms will be answered shortly by someone from DFO; I thank you for reading and look forward to discussing this.

  • WH (unverified)
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    Another thought to add to that: Instead of focusing a ton of money on one race that is, to say the least, an up-hill battle, why not spread the money out over a number of smaller races in more swingable districts? This is how Dean is running the DNC: instead of spending a ton of money at the national level he is funneling it to state parties. Again, the paramount goal should be winning the majority, not knocking off Minnis.

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)
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    Thanks WH, you are absolutely right--restoring a Democratic majority in the House is definitely a key goal of DFO Action. As noted above, a strong challenge in her home district will divert Minnis's time and resources from helping with other races around the state, as well as having an excellent chance of toppling her from the speakership--and all it takes is a couple more seats going D and we don't have to worry about Wayne Scott.

    That said, DFO is also absolutely on board with Dean's strategy of focusing on rural as well as urban voters and running progressive candidates in EVERY district. As noted above, Minnis is not a Portland rep but east Multnomah county, a whole different world politically. At any rate, Minnis is just the beginning. We hope and expect to take on other races as well.

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    The paramount goal is winning the majority.

    However, as long as Minnis receives no serious opposition, she spends her time (and money) on races across the state. By focusing a lot of time on her, it forces her to stay at home and work her district. That is good news for progressive candidates across the state.

    And it's definitely not an up hill battle-- it's actually far from that.

    Results of the last election: Rob Brading (D): 46.41% Karen Minnis (R): 53.14%

    2002 results: Minnis: 60.54% Pamela Spradling (D): 39.46%

    There's a more than 10% gap between Dems and Republicans in her district (more D's than R's).

    Minnis had $115K. Brading had just over $30K.

    He came within 6.73% of Minnis, all with very little money and very little support (the Multnomah County Dems were one of his few big supporters-- they gave more money to him than any other candidate and they got their people out and walked the district). Imagine what could be done with $100K.

    By taking on Minnis, we free up other organizations to focus on other candidates across the state. While we welcome help in fighting Minnis, we know there are other candidates to be beaten.

    Also, we have never stated that Minnis will be the only candidate we're ever going to oppose, or that we won't support other candidates. Minnis is our main target and the first one we've announced. Nothing precludes us from working for/against other candidates. We haven't even officially entered the campaign season yet.

    What we saw was a member of the legislature who is working hard to subvert democracy. Many groups are afraid to go after her (or her minions) because it means their bills won't pass, friendly R's will get opposed by Minnis, or other forms of retribution. We're willing to stand forward and take her on (along with the Multnomah County Dems) and take the pressure off other groups in terms of Minnis so that they can win elections in other parts of the state.

    Getting 5,000 people from across the state to give an average of $20 each won't keep those same people from giving towards groups that will be going after other R's across the state-- that's what is great about people powered politics.

    We're not advocating for only focusing on Portland (although eastern Multnomah County screams everytime they're called "Portland," as they get no more support than rural Oregon). We're all for working in rural areas. However, when you have at least 3 seats held by R's in the most progressive area of the state (one of which is the house speaker), you have to do something about that as well. We're only something like 5 seats away from a majority-- Multnomah County could get you halfway there.

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    One quick thing...

    Please, please, please don't call the Gresham area "Portland." We're our own city. With nearly 100,00 residents, we're the fourth largest city in the state.

    Yes, we're in Multnomah County. That just means we get to pay a lot of taxes that are then spent on Portland.

    The push to become its own county (along with Troutdale, Wood Village, Fairview and parts of eastern Clackamas County) grows stronger ever day.

    Eastern Multnomah County is quite different from Portland both in demographics and political views. It contains several cities, including the fourth largest city in the state. Please, please, please don't lump it together as "Portland" just because we share a county.

  • WH (unverified)
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    Thanks DFO folks for your thorough responses. Your numbers make a very convincing argument about the political mindset of the district, but I would again like to hash out the rural/metro argument. By focusing in on the three metro races in question as a means of winning the majority (we actually only need 4 seats for a majority, 3 to tie)we are once again telling rural D's that the emphasis of Democratic/progressive politics lies in Multnomah and Lane Counties. It doesn't make a blind bit of difference to people who aren't from the area whether or not Wood Village is techinically Portland, or whether or not residents of that district see themselves as Portlanders; all they will see--and all the press will see--is that emphasis is being put on Minnis' race. For the first time, rural Oregon D's are taking a stab at defining themselves and forcing metro D's to acknowledge their place in Oregon Democratic politics. We could be on the brink of a great change in Oregon politics, a change that makes legislators pay attention to the land-use and water-right needs of farmers and ranchers in rural Oregon.The R's aren't concerned with these issues--they think these votes are in the bag based on "moral issues" and the Lane/Multnomah focus of Dem legislators. (Example: lots of attention has been paid to the PGE bill, but legislators can't seem to find the energy to churn out a bill to help Oregon's stagnating agriculture industry, a true public utility if I do say so.) (Just so this doesn't become an issue, I am not suggesting that the PGE bills were not important.) And we have these go-getter rural D's; they are involved, they are passionate--now all they need is some acknowledgment and some help to get the job done in rural Oregon. They no the terrein, they know the message, and in rural Oregon a little money goes a long way. Since I'm pounding home this rural/metro issue, I'd like to throw another thought out there: what about the governor's race? Kulongoski's base for reelection, no matter how much Lane/Multnomah folks may want ot deny it, is in those two counties. I doubt Multnomah voters will be too happy about voting for him again when they are reminded by Mannix about the PGE situation next year. Not only that, but he has a challenge from Sorenson in Lane County--divided support there as well. So where does he need to stir up votes if he's going to win again? Rural Oregon. The Speaker of the House is powerful, but he or she does not have the ultimate say--that's the governor. When I said earlier that our primary objective should be winning the majority, I meant to imply that "majority" meant a sufficient body to control the process. If we lose the governorship, we are just as bad off as we are now. I'll let that sit for now and see what comes of it by morning. Good night, all.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Yeah WH! When I talk to people who are not political, I discover they can't answer the question "can you name your state rep?". I ask it as "Darned if I know is a valid answer to this question".

    I maintain it is the responsibility of candidates to do what it takes to make their name known--and not by mailers! It has been shown that the day after mailers arrive, lots of people don't know the name of the people whose campaign ads they have thrown in the recycle bin. I am talking about "I know him, he lives down the street" or "she was on school board" (or she got us the 4 way stop sign on that awful corner-the reason for one city council vote of mine)" name familiarity. I ask this is all sorts of social situations--the relative visiting, the 4th of July party, etc. where politics is not the reason to get together.

    And another thing--I know from casual conversation of people who are not politically active that the Gov. race looks different, "Oh, you think the Gov. would have trouble getting re-elected?" and worry from Republicans that Mannix and Saxton would not have a chance.

    One reason I sympathize so much with the rural Democrats, is that I live downstate--although I live in an urban neighborhood several miles from downtown. I live where a largely rural legislative district is just blocks away from me, and my House district covers both urban and rural precincts. I live in a district where the GOP incumbent won by over 6000 votes over a week opponent in a district where over 8,000 voters refuse to choose a major party. If there was a quality candidate who wasn't afraid of that 6000 vote margin and appealed to those 8,000 NAV plus the Democrats, they would definitely have a shot among people who didn't think they voted for someone to follow orders from leadership.

    And for those who want to "knock off" and humiliate Karen Minnis and Wayne Scott, those 2 might lose even if concentration is elsewhere, given their behavior this session. But can you imagine a greater humiliation than Karen and Wayne fighting someone else for the post of Minority Leader? Especially if the majority of the Democrats come from counties not named Multnomah, Washington, or Clackamas? And if Wayne Scott were in minority next session, he could be taunted with what might be called the Roblan precedent: "OK Rep. Scott, you said that members of the minority party should take orders from the majority leader..."

  • WH (unverified)
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    LT makes a good point that it's up to candidates to make their name known. Since it was brought up in the context of this rural/metro debate, I'd like to offer this story: I go to college in Minnesota. Before the 2004 election, the House R's had a 28 seat majority; afterwards, they had a 2 seat majority. This was one of the few examples of Democrats making significant pick-ups from November's election, and it happened by focusing on rural races rather than metro (aka St. Paul and Minneapolis) races. Were the metro and suburb Republicans hated? Just as much as Minnis is. But they realized that money and energy were better spent in Minnesota's rural districts. The kick-back to LT's comment, though, is in how these rural candidates conducted their races: they went door-to-door, speaking with everyone in their district. I met one guy--one of the unsuccessful rural challengers--who went through eight pairs of shoes knocking his district. They relied on the tight-knitedness of rural social circles to spread the message of their campaigns. They had honest, face-to-face discussions with voters and developed a personal relationship rather than a familiarity created by mailer messages. Not to say this couldn't be done in the metro area, but there's a certain awareness of community members that can be found in rural communities but is somewhat lacking in urban and suburban areas.

  • Salvador (unverified)
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    By focusing in on the three metro races in question as a means of winning the majority (we actually only need 4 seats for a majority, 3 to tie)we are once again telling rural D's that the emphasis of Democratic/progressive politics lies in Multnomah and Lane Counties.

    Dear WH,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    As someone who lives in rural Oregon, chairs a county party in rural Oregon, and who is working hard to recruit candidates and build the infrastructure necessary to win candidate races in rural Oregon, I take exception to your assertion that members of the Democracy for Oregon steering committee and the DFO Pac are ignoring rural Oregon or, indeed, that we are saying anything about how the Democratic Party should allocate its resources.

    The fact of the matter is that Democracy for Oregon is not telling anyone to focus on multiple candidate races in Multnomah county. We are not telling anyone to ignore rural Oregon. And we are not telling anyone that the Democrats should not run strong in all 60 house districts.

    The only thing that DFO Pac is saying is that we are going after Karen Minnis's seat in HD 59, a district with a +2000 voter registation advantage for Democrats, and a seat that the Democratic party, with the exception of the Multnomah Dems in the last cycle, has never considered to be winnable and has never taken seriously.

    Why go after Minnis?

    Karen Minnis is the de facto leader of Oregon's radical right. She is a major part of the legislature's disfunction. Karen Minnis has driven nearly every moderate Republican out of the legislature. And Karen Minnis is eminently beatable. By taking the fight to Minnis in her home district and forcing her major funding partners to spend their money defending the seat rather than focussing on swing seats in other districts, we are taking their money and energy away from down-ticket candidates, thus increasing the likelihood that more progressive and/or moderate candidates can win in other districts.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Salvador, From what I have heard from friends I don't think DFO is only going after Minnis, but the post did sound like that.

    WH, Great comment They relied on the tight-knitedness of rural social circles to spread the message of their campaigns. They had honest, face-to-face discussions with voters. This was brought home to me some years ago when I ran into an old friend and former co-worker in October of an even numbered year. There was a young man who had served in some local office who was running for state rep. in her district and she lived outside a small town in that district. I tried to tell her I had met him and been impressed, and all she said was "We talk among ourselves and decide among ourselves who to vote for and don't pay attention to ads". That is not something consultants want to hear if they believe in mailers and other forms of ads. It is probably more true than some would like to admit. BTW, the young man lost.

    But I have seen "He'll never win because..." candidates win after going door to door. And I think the well-liked high school coach, doctor or other professional who "everyone knows", real estate agent, young man who campaigns by living out of his truck in a large rural district, and others who have made contact with voters all have a chance if they interact with voters rather than just inflicting ads on them. I think most voters have developed "sales resistance" to ads which don't catch their attention. I think even a "secure" GOP House incumbent in a district with several thousand not registered to a major party might be in trouble if a highly qualified and well supported (lots of local friends, Bus Project, DFO, etc. ) candidate files against them and runs a smart campaign visiting public events in all areas of the district and speaking at/ attending public gatherings. And I know from personal experience that when I try to say to friends that I WAS impressed by an ad, the usual response is that others haven't noticed (it went in the recycle bin, they don't listen to that radio station, haven't had time to watch TV in the past week, etc.). But BOY, do they remember a conversation with someone!

  • Dying Downstate (unverified)
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    As noted above, a strong challenge in her home district will divert Minnis's time and resources from helping with other races around the state, as well as having an excellent chance of toppling her from the speakership--and all it takes is a couple more seats going D and we don't have to worry about Wayne Scott.

    Yeah, right, strategies like that have really worked so far.

    All you will end up doing is creating an incentive to raise at least 25% more in contributions from their already extensive base, more than enough to easily defend her race and boost any other challenged Republican by at least 10%. Why do you think anyone who runs and consults campaigns with a winning record and historical perspective knows not to bother with the top person?

    Because there are bigger fish to fry. With Scott, Richardson and Krieger (her real hatchet men) waiting in the wings, Queen Minnis is the least of our worries. And if anyone thinks that one of them would not end up in charge next session, may I point out that under the current redistricting plan Democrats shouls be at 36 in the House, but we were only able to gain two last election cycle...a cycle that included a Presidential race, 90% voter turnout, and a plan that should have given us at least four House seats and the majority by 2006.

    And how many House seats have we historically gained during an off-Presidential election? Minus two?

    Then there is the cost of financing a campaign to overcome a better than 13 point performance deficit. Are you seriously suggesting that we divert $50K, $100K, $250K from other races to accomodate your scheme? What about the eight other Democratic districts where the performance deficit is a hell of a lot less? What about the purple districts?

    Perhaps you think we can simply raise the additional money necessary to chase this flawed folly out of thin air? In a non-presidential election season where our choices for Governor will be candidate Yawn and candidate Snore? Where the voter turnout will barely break 50%?

    Republican strategists are just salavating at another hair-brained scheme hatched by those geniuses from the Metro area, the same geniuses who have brought us our scathingly briliant strategies to take the House by now, not to mention those rousing victories for us on Measures 28 and 30. They are actually looking forward to this plan to take out Minnis and greet it with warm enthusiasm.

    I do not expect Metro Democrats to comprehend what it is really like to fight a tough battle on the front lines and battle districts outside the relative comfort of the Metro area. After all, the Democratic Party of Oregon, the Oregon Bus Project, both Democratic legislative caucus campaigns, and numerous allies who are supposed to want to reach the downstate voter are all located in the heart of urban Portland. Even the DNC plans to give already Progressively locked-up Portland it's own regional organizer, leaving the rest of the state to fight for the other position. Table scraps for the rest of us, as usual.

    So that leaves us with as yet another Portland Metro-centric plan to take back the Legislature, just like the ones that have worked so well for us in the last seven election cycles. You will excuse me if I don't get too enthusiastic for your scheme this time around.

    If that is not reason enough to insight revolution inside the party, I don't know what is.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Actually, I think the Bus Project has done great things by being more attentive to locals than to "Portland central control" (as a friend active with the BUS emailed me last fall about working successfully on the Bates campaign). Besides Bates, I think they helped elect Buckley and Verger--I kept a record from their emails last year.

    And as I recall, Komp and Riley were 2002 BUS candidates who lost narrowly in 2002 but won in 2004.

    But it really will be "actions speak louder than words". If there is actual help (not "explain it all for you" Portland types telling us we don't know our own area as well as they do, or promises of help but no follow through or accountability) for candidates in counties like Marion, Jackson, Coos/ Curry and other western rural counties as well as helping out Steve and the other rural party chairs E. of the Cascades, then lessons will have been learned.

    But those of you who think all wisdom comes from counties that are in Metro should not expect those of us in the rest of the counties to follow your ideas the way Minnis and Scott expect all GOP House members to follow orders. If you do expect that, you are in for a shock.

    And speaking of ordering members around, Minnis and Scott have scheduled House Bill 2537 (the Senate's 2nd try at the S. Coast airport) on 3rd Reading for Monday (session starts 4pm). Karen and Wayne took that "field trip" down to the S. Coast to see the airport themselves. If for any reason the money for the airport upgrade doesn't pass (it is like the 5th item on the agenda, so it should get voted up or down on Monday) then the wonderful Molly Ivins line becomes operative.

    "Breathes there a Democrat with soul so dead that they can't recognize an issue when it bites them?".

    Any candidate who needs a consultant to write their "talking points" on why that whole thing smells doesn't know enough about how the system was designed to run and shouldn't be a candidate for public office. The Oregon Constitution does not even mention legislative caucuses and says power is inherent in the people. So why a House Majority Leader would think he could bully a minority freshman should be a campaign issue all by itself.

  • WH (unverified)
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    Salvador-- First off, thanks for responding on behalf of the DFO folks. Your comments concerning the rural/metro split are a little easier to swallow seeing as you have experience in that area. I understand the concept of forcing the R's to spend there money defending Minnis seat, but the moment you do that you throw focus on to that race. Do you really think newspapers and TV stations will be covering the nuanced drawing-money-to-this-race-and-away-from-other-races position? Think one year into the future. I believe strongly that as this effort unfolds, it's going to be painted as Democrats are mad at Minnis and we want her out; that may be true, but it doesn't play to well to swing voters, and there is the already-discussed deemphasis of rural Democratic politics. This move will be seen as yet another example of Oregon's Multnomah/Lane-centered Democratic politics--whether or not DFO folks think it is. As I said earlier, it doesn't matter how many times you say that E. Multnomah isn't Portland or that this isn't a Portland race: what matters is what the public perceives. In our eagerness to bump off the read queen, we may lose the governorship and maybe some Senate seats. So the question is, which headline/tagline is better for Oregon Democrats and progressives: "Democrats focus money and energy on defeating Minnis" or "Democrats reach out to rural voters"? Dying Downstate brought up those R's waiting in the wings. Just a thought: what if we didn't try to defeat Minnis but instead focus solely on making her the minority leader? Then the new speaker, Jeff Merkely most likely (although I would love to see Peter Buckley in some leadership position--maybe majority leader), could shut her up the way she has shut him up. If she loses with tons of money and attention being paid to her defeat, she's going to stay in the public eye for years to come. If she is reduced to minority leader and her power is zeroed out and then she is defeated a few years down the road, we won't have to put up with her directing the public debate for years to come. Your thoughts on that?

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    Dying Downstate:

    You said:

    "Then there is the cost of financing a campaign to overcome a better than 13 point performance deficit. Are you seriously suggesting that we divert $50K, $100K, $250K from other races to accomodate your scheme? What about the eight other Democratic districts where the performance deficit is a hell of a lot less? What about the purple districts?"

    I'm not sure where you're getting a 13 point deficit when Rob Brading lost by less than 7%-- and that was with less than $35,000 spent on his side.

    I never said anything about diverting money from anywhere. We're talking about small donations coming in from many people. Getting 5000 people to give an average of $20 each will not take money from other races. That's an extremely affordable amount and still leaves $30 from your political tax credit to go elsewhere. And that's not inculding all the people who will give more than the $50 you get back on your taxes. We're following the Dean model of "people powered politics"-- with small donations from a lot of people you can do great things. Just ask Mayor Potter who voluntarily followed such a model.

    It is definitely a "purple" district-- it has a higher number of Dems than Republicans and the deficit went from over 20 points to less than 7 in the course of two years. With some more money to spend on materials and events along with more volunteers to help the candidate walk the district, it won't be that hard to win.

    But as I've said over and over, targeting Minnis does not mean we aren't going to target other races as well. That's just target #1-- our goal is to help multiple progressive candidates across the state in order to take back the state house.

    Of course offices of these groups are going to be in Portland-- it is biggest city in the state. It's where the news media is. Why would they put their main office out in central Oregon only to have to drive into Portland multiple times per week? Usually your first office is in the big city. As you grow, you move out to other parts of the state. The Bus Project was able to get a second group down in Lane County. They're always looking to expand, but on their small budget they can't yet afford an office somewhere else.

    Also, not all of us have always lived in the metro area. I've lived the vast majority of my life in a rural town. I fought political battles in a small rural town in Texas until the summer of 2000 when I moved here to Gresham. I lived in a town controlled by the Baptist church and the Christian Coalition. Many of the adults were farmers, ranchers, or blue collar workers (usually working at an oil refinery). Believe me, I know what the fight out there is like.

    And Portland may be comfortable politically, but that is not true for the metro area. Here where I live, all three house seats are controlled by Republicans (and Bush won). Clackamas County has numerous battles on their hands. As do Washington County. It is only inner Portland (NE and SE) that is "comfortable" and not having big fights on their hands. This view that the metro area is almost all represented by Dems and that we don't have any political battles to fight is completely wrong.

    But as I've said over and over again, just because we have battles here does not mean we are ignoring the rest of the state either. We're currently working on a process by which we'll select other candidates to support or oppose as well. Minnis was first, as her name came up over and over again when speaking with our Supporters (who live all over the state, not just in the Metro area). It was obvious she is a huge roadblock to democracy in this state (and protecting democracy is a huge part of Democracy for Oregon). But she isn't the only roadblock. Give us time-- this won't be the last time you hear from us. The election cycle doesn't begin for months and not many people have announced yet if they're running or not.

    You'd think that we're telling everyone to not help any other group/candidate just because we've announced our PAC. No one is going to stop working to keep a Dem in the governor's mansion, to keep control of the Senate, etc. No one is going to ignore other parts of the state just because one of the races we're taking on is in Eastern Multnomah County. The fact is that we're one piece of a giant puzzle-- all these pieces of the puzzle will (hopefully) work together during the next election cycle so that we (Dems/progressives) win House and Senate seats across the state in addition to keep the governor's office.

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    But it really will be "actions speak louder than words". If there is actual help (not "explain it all for you" Portland types telling us we don't know our own area as well as they do, or promises of help but no follow through or accountability) for candidates in counties like Marion, Jackson, Coos/ Curry and other western rural counties as well as helping out Steve and the other rural party chairs E. of the Cascades, then lessons will have been learned.

    But those of you who think all wisdom comes from counties that are in Metro should not expect those of us in the rest of the counties to follow your ideas the way Minnis and Scott expect all GOP House members to follow orders. If you do expect that, you are in for a shock.

    LT & WH, Me thinks thou whineth too much. First off --- so...do you want Minnis to regain her seat or something? She's made herself the easiest mark in the state, and we, unlike the calculating consultants of the D party, are not going to let this opportunity go by. We would be fools. Your espousing that we should makes me wonder if you may be closet Minnis supporter (:-) ?) Sorry, that's a low blow. But really, your posts are so needlessly hostile and cantankerous toward us that it makes one wonder. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND --- we are Dean democrats. We refuse to be intimidated. We intend to harness the people power resources we know are available and we intend to use them to as a strike force to take out the exposed Queen. That is an important first move in this chess game.

    You can carp and complain all you want about former failed strategies by metro-centric know-it-alls and it doesn't have the slightest thing to do with us. We are the newly activated pissed off. We are all over the state. We just got started. We are Dean activists fighting to make Oregon livable for fighting moderates and hostile for Republican-lite Dems. We want you to join us and start a DFA team in your community. But even if you just keep at what you are doing, which we support, please rest assured that there is no consultant or power-that-be in the DPO, the bidness leagues, or anywhere that can tell us what to do.

    That said, let's focus on the goal. We MUST turn the Oregon House blue. Let's do it together. In fact, let's discuss this some more. Feel free to continue your comments over at the Blog for Oregon (http://www.BlogforOregon.com). We welcome the opportunity to discuss it with you, but, respectfully, we refuse your hostile framing -- we can not be blamed for either the current situation or the past failed strategies. We do understand your frustrations though. So join us and let's fix this place before the R's completely ruin it!

    Thanks.

  • WH (unverified)
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    Ms. Ross-- I have not felt our posts are hostile and cantankerous in the slightest. I would encourage you to please reread them. Your response (your's personally, not necessarily those of other DFO members which, to date, have been cordial and informative) seems to indicate that you have made up your mind and are totally unwilling to take any criticism on the subject. Speaker Minnis conducts herself in a similar fashion. You contend that Minnis has made her seat easily winable: win it without money and attention then. Win it by making a personal effort--door knocking, talking to people, simple forums--and save the money and attention for a new brand of Demoacrat races; make that your "first goal". For once in the history of Oregon Democratic Party, show that we care about the rural areas and not just the (perceived) metro areas. I agree with you wholeheartedly--Minnis has made herself easily defeatable--so much so that it can be done without a lot of money and publicity. You say "we are Dean Democrats", "we refuse to be intimidated", "we are the newly activated pissed off" as if that justifies what you're doing. Well I am a Dean Democrat, I refuse to be intimidated (at this moment by you!), and I am one of the newly activated pissed off AND I DISAGREE WITH YOU. You don't own these labels, Ms. Ross, and I would caution you to every justify your action with labels. You justify LT's comment that you think all wisdom comes from the metro area when you shoot back at us like this. You speak to us as if you and only you know what is best; well we have a counter option which we would like to you to think about. Your DFO brethren have not yet treated us like this; they have handled this discussion in a reasoned and polite manner. If you wish to post again, I would appreciate it if you did the same. I also refuse to move this discussion to your home turf where I stand a greater chance of being hit with attacking, close-minded, insulting responses like your's.

    Jenni: I appreciate that you lived in rural Texas--between you and Sal there's a little rural representation--but I've got to tell you that rural Texas is nothing like rural Oregon. (I have a good friend who just moved to my area of Oregon a couple of years ago from rural Texas, so I'm not just guessing on this.) In rural Oregon (at least my part of rural Oregon)(other may want to chime in with counter examples), politics is much more driven by things like government interference and farm subsidies than it is by moral issue of religion and sexual orientation. I firmly believe that if a strong progressive candidate was to promise to look out for famrer's right--and then follow through with it--he or she would be just as ingrained in this district as the Minnis family is in HD 59. No one--R's or D's--is taking a firm stance on the sustainence and the development of agriculture in this state--this is our chance! I appreciate that you acknowledge as well the importance of news outlets in all of this, since they will ultimately control the piblic's perception of DFO and DPO efforts in the coming year and a half. I understand full-well that Minnis is not your only target, but once you make her the top priority you change the dynamics in other races throughout the state in ways that I think will be ultimately detrimental in the governor's race and in some senate races. I wish to draw folks back to the DFO websites explanation of their plan: "DFO Action's first goal is to remove Karen Minnis as Speaker of the House by raising funds to support a progressive opponent in the 2006 election." I fully support removing Karen Minnis as Speaker. She has been a horrible obstruction to democracy is Salem, and she and Wayne Scott are the only reason this state does not have a budget right now and why we can't get a number of good, people-helping laws through the legislature. But I take issue with the paramount need to remove her from office rather than simply win the majority. And what of our Democratic challenger? Will he arise from the ranks or will DFO pick someone as DFA does and push them through to November 2006. I worry that in this blanket statement of opposition to Minnis DFO may end up being forced to support a moderate Democrat (due to the close nature of the district), someone who is not as progressive as we all would like. Thanks!

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    WH--

    Which part of Texas did your friend come from? I came from a town that was heavily supported by farming and ranching. From what I've seen of rural Oregon so far, the beliefs there are very much like where I came from. Religion was a big deal there, but their issues tended to lie in government in their lives, gun control (typically against), agriculture issues, etc. Our town is a big supplier of American grown rice. Other areas of rural Texas (particularly those in west Texas) typically tend to be more focused on religion and/or militias.

    As far as the candidate goes, we'd like to see Rob Brading run again. He was a great candidate, well liked, and did well against Minnis. Last I heard, he had not decided whether or not he would run again. If he chooses not to, I'd imagine we will work together with the DPO, Jeff Merkley, people who live in the area, and anyone else who is interested to find a new candidate. I worked with Merkley during the last cycle to find candidates for both H.D. 49 and 50. Finding a candidate only works if we all work together to find that candidate.

    People out in this area are looking for a change-- from the city council to county commissioners to their state representatives. They already made a change by going Dem for their state senator (Monnes Anderson) and replaced several Gresham City Council members with Dems.

    Our crime rates are skyrocketing, our fire dept. doesn't have enough money to operate, traffic is a nightmare thanks to the only major road (I-84) running north of town, the parks dept. is non-existant, etc. They're looking to the state for lots of help-- they've already gone to the state to get control of Powell (approved) and of all the streets currently under county control. We need to show people in this area that Minnis has done absolutely nothing to help with any of these problems, and in fact has made them worse. Progressive candidates can win out here-- we just have to control the message.

    I still have the mailers we received during the 2004 election (my hubby is a moderate R-- the Party sent stuff in both of our names-- I guess they think he controls my vote). I can tell you that the R's completely controlled the message out here-- we can't let them do that this time.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    Take a couple days off for a class, come back, and find you're having a very interesting conversation about election resources. Wow!

    A couple thoughts.

    1. Knocking off Minnis is a good thing, even from the perspective of Prineville.

    2. DFO?? DFO's structure and leadership is somewhat confusing. The DPO (Dem. Party of OR.) has a structure with a chair, Co. Chairs, etc. that is clear - perhaps the DFO has similar. One thing I know for sure is that the DPO and DFO are not one and the same. There are folks working in the DFO on projects that main stream DPO people do not support. (A debate for a different time.) -- So anyway, I can't tell who speaks for DFO - Sal, WF, whoever? The call for $20 contributions is great, but who made the call? Does "Democracy for Oregon" use democratic processes? I don't mean this as criticism, I just don't know.

    3. Upstate/Downstate. I am greatly encouraged in the DPO that the Howard Dean message of running a candidate in every race has taken root and is growing. In the DPO we have influence on but no control of groups such as FuturePAC that decide where lots of money goes in campaigns. Traditionally, scarce State campaign money has gone to races where the money can make a difference. So, "downstate" (OH, how I really hate that term!) races where the Democrat was not likely to win got little if any money as well as "upstate" elections where the Democrat was sure to win. Truly contested elections got the money.

    The problem with that is that it is short sighted. The only way to turn a "red" area to "blue" is to work at it for years. The Democratic Party message needs to be conveyed year after year for people to hear it. A counter point to Republican message has to be made. When my mail box fills up with Republican literature each election cycle, and when I might get one or two pieces of mail about Democratic candidates, the lack of investment shows. In weight alone, the Republican message is at least 10 times heavier than the Democratic message - as measured at my PO Box in Prineville. How can we make progress without a message?

    That is where money talks. Radio and TV ads talk too. Really, we do have these modern contraptions - even indoor plumbing! In any case, I think we need to have threshold financing across the State, at least enough to stuff some mail boxes come elections - and I have no problem at all if more money gets spent in East Multnomah Co. to defeat Minnis.

    1. Rural Campaigning. There are vast differences between rural and urban when it comes to campaigns. Urban electioneering methods can be offensive in rural areas (door to door and phone banking). The Rural Caucus of the DPO has set as one of its highest priorities working on developing and sharing more effective rural campaign methods. Talking circles of informally networked friends, as noted in early posts on this thread, are extremely important - but difficult to access. I and other rural Democrats have a few ideas on this - but I will refuse to discuss them in this forum read so consistently by Republicans.

    2. The Hydra Effect. One earlier post noted that if we defeat Minnis, we get Scott. Cut off one head, another grows. The Oregon Citizen's Alliance (OCA) was ultimately defeated in its work to bring discrimination into law, but the ideas they proclaimed still are ringing across Oregon, defeating equal status for marriage and civil unions.

    We have to be careful that we don't spend all of our resources on cutting off one head to the point where three more grow. The only way to remedy this situation is to elect 31+ Democrats each session to the House, and 16+ Democrats for each session to the Senate, and have a Democrat in the Governor's seat. The only, only, only way we can do this consistently is to elect Democrats from rural districts. We have done this in the past, we have some now, and we can certainly have more in the future.

    1. My vision. If we can learn how to elect Democrats in rural areas, the Minnis/East County issue becomes moot. Neo-Cons become history if we can do this nationally. Once we can consistently expect rural seats to be filled by Democrats in Oregon and Nationally - the era of the Neo-Con will go into a chapter of history books, be put on a shelf, and gather dust.

    This is not about money. This is about giving Rural Democrats voice in the Party, working with Rural Democrats to develop new electioneering methods, and making sure that the Democrat message is not anti-rural in content, tone, or inflection. -- Ah, money would help too, but that is only a piece.

  • LG (unverified)
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    WH,

    With due respect, in my opinion, you couldn't be more wrong about rural Oregon. I've spent plenty of time out there and I can tell you that even rural Ds are conservative. Forget the individual progressive here and there roughin' it or whatever. When the number of cows approaches or exceeds the number of people, the progressive message isn't going to break through.

    About the previous comment about 13% performance, whoever wrote that knows what they are talking about. Whoever doesn't understand it has a lot to learn about campaiging for legislative races in Oregon. I have never studied Minnis' district, but I do know that the D registration advantage is something like 10% or slightly more. She should be beatable with that stat, right? Wrong. Peel back the layers and look at the voter performance of the district. Again, without having studied the district, I suspect that the precincts in that district have gone Republican for years on a range of candidates and "conservative" ballot measures.

    If you think that Minnis' holding back civil unions is going to hurt her, you should look at the vote on M36 in her district. Once again, I haven't looked, but I suspect it probably passed 58-42, something like that. If so, you can forget about beating her using that or similar issues.

    This is the thing I've always thought about the difference between R and D campaigns. The Rs run better campaigns, period. Fully funded, no strings attached, no labor meddling, and no pesky coalitions and splinter groups like DFO to worry about.

  • LG (unverified)
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    Oh, one other thing. Look at the results on M30 in Minnis' district. My guess, it got shellacked. It'll take a superstar to beat Minnis in HD 49. I, for one, don't know a home-grown progressive superstar in east county.

    Almost forgot, BTW, Minnis' C&Es might show she raised $115K herself, but don't discount her "Speaker's PAC" and the House Republican PAC. If Minnis is in trouble, I would'nt be surprised if $400k suddenly materialized to defend her. After all, she can't run for higher office if she gets knocked off.

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    Steve--

    DFO just recently approved a set of bylaws, with a few small tweaks to be made. Those bylaws go with our 501c4 filing for Democracy for Oregon. The bylaws, if I remember correctly, call for officers and directors. Those have not been elected yet.

    Previously we had been using the consensus process for decisions. We're now on the typical democracy model-- majority wins. However, we try our best to alleviate all concerns so that we end up with consensus on items.

    The $20 contributions came from agreement throughout the Steering Committee, advisors, and supporters that we should use the Dean model of "people powered elections." That model states that you get many small donations from many people. An average donation of $20 is the number we shoot for, as it is affordable for just about anyone (including unemployed folks like me) and is still enough to pack some power when grouped with other such small donations.

    There are several members of the Steering Committee, and growing. We'll have our Steering Committee for a bit longer as we firm up the bylaws and the board/directors. Those people include Sal, myself, Ginny Ross, Ruth Adkins, Teri Mills, Chris Anderson, Beth P., Joan Coates, and Moses Ross. I have the feeling I'm forgetting some people, but that's what happens when you don't get any sleep...

    You're right that DFO and DPO aren't one in the same. Several of us work with the DPO (as well as the county parties). Myself I work with the DPO on tech issues and east Mult. Co. issues. Sal's a county chair. Most of the group are PCPs. While we may work together, we're not one and the same. We don't ask their permission for anything, and vice versa. Sometimes we make them angry and sometimes they make us angry. It happens with all groups-- you aren't always going to get along, and that can be a good thing. As long as you don't bicker over trivial things, that is.

    We're working on getting more "about us" type of stuff online. We've been fairly busy the past few weeks getting our new online communities set up and our legal ducks in a row. Now, with many thanks to Ruth, we're getting more text about us online. More is coming-- sometimes the democratic process slows things down a bit, but it's always for the better in the end.

    Thanks for all the questions! I didn't take it as criticism, but more of an honest need for more info.

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    LG--

    The problem isn't that Dems are voting conservatively. The problem is they aren't voting.

    32.5% of voters are Republicans.

    40.6% are Democrats.

    23% did not state which party they were affiliated with, but it's known that the vast majority of these people lean Democrat. Why such a high number of people not affiliated with a Party? Because this area feels extremely cut off from everyone, especially the Party. Dems feel abandoned.

    In more than half the county the turn out amongst Dems is less than 65%-- other areas of the county were much higher than that.

    I just looked at my maps-- in 2004, only one tiny precinct voted for Bush-- the rest voted for Kerry. My district (50, it's sister district in S.D. 25) had some precincts voting for Bush.

    As to M36, every precinct but one east of 82nd Street voted for the measure. It's the same precincts that voted against the county income tax. I'd have to go pull the numbers and color code my map before I could tell you about the other measures.

    Republicans out here are courted heavily by the Party. They filled 94 of 120 PCP position in the general election in H.D. 50 (same in 49). Several precincts had too many people. From what I've been told they filled the remaining spots through appointment. We had a whole 13 PCPs for our district-- and most of those quit. There are well over 130 spots to fill. (I have both the D and R ballots for H.D. 50 right here)

    Out here, the Dems have been ignored. It's not like in some counties where the Party just isn't able to work on the whole county. This is the most populous, has the most Dems, has the biggest opportunity for donations. There is no excuse, and Dems out here have gotten tired of it.

    They don't want to vote for a R, but they can't bring themselves to vote for a D who will ignore them later. Laurie (Monnes Anderson) has had great success out here. Why is that? She does town halls and allows people to ask her the hard Qs (John Lim and Minnis at the same town hall refuse to do so). During the election she personally got out and walked the district every day. She talked to thousands of voters. As such she won her races for State Rep, won the primary for the State Senate, and won the State Senate seat in November.

    Yes, she put lots of hours of talking to voters in (along with the Bus Project, Mult Dems, OLCV, Planned Parenthood, and others). But it also took money to send out lots of mailings (I think I got at least one a week), a nice looking web site, items to hand out at the door, events, phone calls, etc. Money and being visible go hand in hand.

    I'm planning to see how the various precincts did on various measures over the past few cycles to see what issues are important to the voters. I'll let you know what I find out.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I'm planning to see how the various precincts did on various measures over the past few cycles to see what issues are important to the voters. I'll let you know what I find out.

    I did that in past years from some districts in Marion County and discovered in some cases the precincts were "purple"--went Republican one election but not the next when it came to state legislators. Can't find them on my hard drive, must have saved them to disks.

    That is time consuming but can produce very interesting results.

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    Results out in H.D. 49 go both ways. H.D. 49 is a weird district-- it covers quite a bit of area and has a few small precincts (one has 53 people, another 37). I think it does have a tiny section of Portland, as it may cover some house boats along the river. It also covers some unincorporated areas of the county.

    I just pulled the numbers from the MC Elections and compared them to the list of precincts in the district...

    On Medical Marijuana (M33)-- 5 out of 12 precincts voted in favor.

    On Resources Conservation (otherwise known as Tillamook 50/50, M34)-- every precinct voted against it.

    Patient Injury Caps (M35)-- All but two precincts voted against this measure; those two had a difference of 2 votes on one and 9 on the other. Both are small precincts (one had only 53 registered voters, the other 296).

    Property Compensation (M37)-- every precinct voted in favor.

    M36-- one precinct voted in favor of it. It ranged from 51% in favor all the way to 66.2%. Most were at 56-62%.

    Minimum Wage (2002-M25)-- Only one precinct voted against it. This is an odd little precinct (53 people) that often goes the opposite of the rest of the district.

    President-- Every precinct but one voted for Kerry. It was a differece of 6 votes in that race.

    State Senate Dist. 25-- Laurie only lost in 3 precincts-- one by 7 votes.

    In 2004, only 3 precincts matched or were higher than the state average turn-out-- four of them were considerably lower.

    In 2002, only 2 precincts matched or were higher than the state average turn-out.-- eight of them were considerably lower (one of the larger districts was more than 10% lower in 2004 and just shy of 20% lower in 2002).

    It only makes sense that we have to target the right issues for this area. The same is true for everywhere. However, there are plenty of VERY progressive issues we can hit on-- minimum wage passed easily; they were for protecting injured people's rights; they really liked Laurie; and they disliked Bush. Doing some surveying and polling on the issues over the next 6 months could really do some wonders to help Dems win out in this area. People care about wages, safety, transportation/traffic, education, health care, and getting a fair share of their taxes back to use in the community. They're protective of property rights, and typically religious.

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    Whoa, can tell I am tired.

    That should be on M36 that one precinct voted against it. The remaining precincts all voted to limit marriage.

  • Dying Downstate (unverified)
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    Jenny Simonis writes:

    "Of course offices of these groups are going to be in Portland-- it is biggest city in the state. It's where the news media is. Why would they put their main office out in central Oregon only to have to drive into Portland multiple times per week? Usually your first office is in the big city. As you grow, you move out to other parts of the state."

    I take it you have not been in Oregon long. If you did, or at least learned from Oregon history, you would know that the DPO was not centered in Portland until relatively recently, and that for most of it's life the DPO was run primarily by Democrats from all over the state. Today, not so much.

    Someone from the DPO executive committee once told me that Portland is where the DPO should be, because that's where most of the active Democrats in Oregon are. How arrogant. According to that little bit of insightful logic, the Republican party should also be headquartered in Portland, as the Metro area also has the highest concentration or active Republicans.

    Another perfect example of the theory not coming close to matching the result.

    Instead, unlike the far superior intellectual strategy hatched by the DPO, those dunderheads in the GOP kept their headquarters out of the Portland Metro area, relegating themselves to the smaller, media-challenged atmosphere of Salem and denying themselves all of the virtues that a large and politically superior-minded city can bring. Furthermore, Salem also happens to be the largest rural-identifying town in Oregon. Stupid, right?

    So, how's that worked out for them in the, oh, let's say, past 15 years?

    Probably has something a little to do with Salem being the seat of, oh, I don't know, STATE POWER? Ya think?

    You cannot profess to reach out to rural and traditional Democrats when you keep your party operations buried deep within the bastions of urban progressivism, even if it happens to be more convenient for urban progressives. If you do not see that the continuing lessions of success by the Oregon Republican party are not proof of that, then you and the Democratic Party of Oregon will never succeed, ever.

    As I stated before, we have bigger fish to fry. We Democrats traditionally lose two house seats and one or more senate seats during a non-presidential low turnout election. We rely too much on urban and out-of-state advisors who have not been able to help us deliver a coherent message that resonates with the majority of voters who decide who they want in the legislature. And for the past two years we have purposely ignored the fact that the Oregon GOP has single-mindedly engineered this legislative gridlock for one purpose, and only one purpose: To take the Governorship of Oregon.

    And for those same two years the party leadership in Oregon has done absolutely nothing to prepare us for this inevitable fight. While the GOP puts their party chairs and staff into legislative staff positions, progressives sit comfortably in the bastion of metro progressive activism, too busy to learn the political intricacies and behind-the-scenes actions of state government first hand. While the Oregon GOP is training their next generation of candidates and campaign managers now by working in the legislature, party leadership prays to the mecca that is the DNC and progressives worship the almighty gospel of Dean while reinventing the already existing wheel and, of course, the ever perpetual search of what it is to be a Democrat. While the Oregon GOP focuses on advancing their anti-working class Oregonian agenda, the DPO holds house parties to raise over $12K of our precious local dollars for a stupid DNC-produced commercial to convince Oregonians that the real threat is 2,500 miles away in an already GOP-controlled US Supreme Court (at least since the Civil War), $12K that could have went to fight the GOP here, in Oregon.

    Sadly, I don't see any hint that this mentality will ever change, nor do I see our election results fairing any better.

    Money among Democrats is truly a finite thing. Asking 5000 democrats to blow $20 each on a single-minded political vendetta means that $100K does not reach a strong Democratic candidate who has better odds and a superior message in a crucial district race. And if you think that $100K represents new money from long-time Democrats who live within their means, well, I do happen to have a bridge for sale. Cheap.

    Of course that doesn't even count the huge amounts of money you will need once either the plan goes south or the polls indicate any kind of gain, money that will no doubt be diverted from other races or cut into that $30 political contribution surplus you so carefully referred to.

    Then there is the large untapped resources that the GOP is able to raise when just such a threat arises, money that will also be shared with other, much more closer races in which the Democratic candidate could have won. Money that I bet $100 says Minnis will not even break a sweat raising for herself and her party. Like I said, state GOP campaigners know this attack is coming, and they are salivating in anticipation of it and in the knowledge that they have deeper pockets then we Dems ever hope to have.

    They also know that in fact, it will be the Democrats who will be distracted in this Quixote-like quest. Kinda fits into their plan to take back the Governorship and all.

    So much for the diversion theory.

    Now you can rationalize this scheme all you want, dabbling into the inner depths of the theory and all under the assumption that this is all brand new and suddenly discovered. Truith is, it's been done before in Oregon, and almost always it has never worked. I leave this argument for you to look it up for yourself. It can be quite an eye-opener.

    You know, it's one thing to come into the political scene and try out ideas. Bully for you! But to go venturing off on a political scheme to overcome a 13-point PERFORMANCE deficit (that's where the Democrat should win, the only number any Democratic candidate should be looking at and beating) that has little tangible logic to it, diverts limited resources and, more importanly, has been tried unsuccessfully before on both sides, well, that's just plain wrong.

    In short, it will do nothing to further the goal of bringing the message to the people and getting Democrats elected.

    Instead, why don't you and others get active in changing the party direction back to the way that used to work so well for us before political outsiders and neo-progressive dogma took us down the road to failure. How about bringing the party back to where most of the registered Democrats and former Democrats (i.e. two-thirds of the non-partisans) live and work. How about learning the history of what it is to be an Oregon Democrat? To figure out why Democrats cross over, despite repeated schemes to analyze the districts?

    If you are really serious about burying Queen Minnis and her minions, then roll up your sleves and fight to make the Democratic Party of Oregon the party for all Oregon Democrats.

  • (Show?)

    Portland is definitely not where the most active Dems area. Actually, the county is filled with a lot of lazy Dems. I know of counties raising almost as much, or more, money than the Mult Dems-- and they're in much smaller counties.

    And I never stated that the DPO has always been in Portland. It's been here for quite some time now, but I never said always. I said it makes sense that today it is in Portland-- they want to be close to the news media, close to the population center, etc. I'm surprised, though, that they haven't moved closer down to McMinnville so that they'd be midway between Portland and Salem.

    And it makes sense that the R's would stay out of Mult Co-- they're not that popular here and often have their offices burglarized, broken into, vandalized, etc. (not necessarily by Dems, more likely by the extreme left wackos). It happened continuously during the election.

    Personally, I'd like to see the DPO have regional offices across the state. It would help them to build relationships in the communities so that they know what is going on, who the upcoming leaders are, etc. All things they are seriously lacking in right now. However, you can't sit back and wait for it to happen. Get together with neaighboring counties and raise money to go towards a regional office. Then help raise money towards expenses like phones, electricity, supplies, at least a part-time employee, etc. Help the DPO pay for it, show them how much they'll benefit from it-- then it'll be easier for them to get money from Dems across the state for the project. I assure you that house parties for that project would bring in more money than $12K.

    It's not a single minded political agenda to go after Minnis. She needs to be out of office. She tried to stop the balanced budget 2 years ago. When some Republicans compromised with the Dems, she made sure they wouldn't be re-elected. Then she actively campaigned for that budget to be overturnedby the voters.

    She takes tens of thousands of dollars from payday loan businesses and then makes sure her leadership kills a bill to stop their loan sharking.

    She gutted and stuffed SB1000.

    She pulled the House out of Ways & Means.

    If we're not willing to take on her now, she'll only continue to grow more powerful. If she wins this time, I would expect her in the next election cycle to go after an even bigger seat. Do you really want to be fighting against her in a State Senate seat in 2008? Governor in 2010?

    And she broke a sweat during this last election-- she stopped spending as much time out of district and actually worked the district. She's done more town halls. Word from people close to her is that she was very worried last year-- their polls numbers were not good, and that's something she has never had to deal with.

    We won seats in 2002, a non-presidential election. It was thanks to those results that we tied the Senate.

    A lot of the people who are likely to donate to a campaign like this are ones who don't usually donate. Personally, I've given almost no money to candidates or campaigns. I gave the Mult Dems a bit of money last year, as I went to see F911 with them and gave a small donation as part of a request from the officers (of which I was one) to the membership for more money. I've also given a bit of money to the Bus Project-- usually the 501c4 as opposed to the PAC. Other than that the only money I've given to a campaign was to finance my own runs for school board. And I'm not rich or well off my any means-- I lost my job more than 2 years ago and haven't been able to replace it with a full time steady job yet. I've had a few temp jobs, but that's it. My family brings in quite a bit less than $30K per year (for 2 adults and a toddler). But I'll be donating. And I know of other people in the same financial situation as myself who will do the same-- we can't afford for her to stay in power.

    It's less than $3 a week between now and the end of the year to give the $50 amount. If you do $20, and break it up half this year and half next, that's 50 cents a month. 50 cents a month isn't going to stop anyone from giving to other candidates.

    Put a jar in your house and throw your extra change in it. If at all possible, never take any change out of it. Call it your "Minnis the Menace" fund and at the end of the year turn it in for bills and donate it to the PAC. Do the same thing next year until you hit $20. Would doing that keep one from giving to other candidates as well?

    We have almost 5000 people on our supporters list now-- many of which are not regular donors to the Party or its candidates. A huge chunk have been away from the Democractic Party for years, if not decades. It was Dean that brough them back. This is exactly the type of race that Dean has been encouraging his supporters to undertake.

    An effort and a little money ($33K) was put towards beating her in 2004 (she had more than $200K). In 2002 Minnis won by over 20%. In 2004 she won by less than 7%. Republicans have easily controlled this district for years (mainly her and her husband) and then Brading comes along and almost beats her. By doing some work with messaging and working on the issues out here, we can not only take the seat for Dems, but also win for the governor, progressive ballot measures, the H.D. 50 seat and probably even the H.D. 52 seat.

    You have to understand that Minnis rules by fear. PACs across the state endorse her and her minions (such as Patty Smith, HD 52) because they know as long as Minnis is in power she can keep their bills from passing. This isn't speculation-- this has come straight from the mouths of numerous organizations across the state. If they feel confident that there is a good campaign against her that can win, they will be able to support candidates in other parts of the state without fear. Instead of giving thousands to her pals, they can give it to the Dems that they truly support.

  • LT (unverified)
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    For those of you not aware of the history, DPO office moved to Portland in 1991. Some said it was because "that's where high rollers are". Back when it was in Salem, active Democrats from all over the state would come to visit. But why deal with Portland traffic, Portland parking, etc?

    As I recall, the state chair and state exec. director made the decision to move (was the exec. comm. involved, I don't know) and had already reserved the moving vans by the time the full state central committee met. I was at that meeting. Happened to be out in the hallway talking to a friend when the issue of moving without broad consultation came up in the meeting. I could hear the yelling out in the hallway.

    Lots of bad feeling about that for years afterwards. Perhaps another reason why downstate Democrats don't trust decisions made in Portland.

    We here in the rest of the state DO know more about our own areas than someone in Portland, so just get used to that idea.

  • LG (unverified)
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    Jenni,

    I'm impressed by your work to id the various measures in a short period of time. I agree with you about Minnis' vulnerabilities, but as I read your list, and you did not include M30, it looks easy to me, especially if the D opponent brings up the civil unions issue. You said yourself that residents are protective of private property rights and typically religious. All Minnis and her consultant Chuck Adams has to do is put together an Adams special saying that the D opponent wants to raise your taxes to pay for teaching your kids that gay marriage is the way to go and take your land away to give to a GLBT family and that's it, end of story. Five will get you ten that that is exactly what will happen unless a progressive superstar comes along that has the credentials to withstand the inevitable hit. Rob Brading is unfortunately not that person.

  • LG (unverified)
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    And incidentally, Jenni, in 2002 House Ds lost 2 seats (in the non-presidential year). Bradbury's map assured that the Senate Ds would pick up seats. How could they not?

    And I wouldn't count on Riley and Galizio to be shining examples of the possible. Both are nice and talented people, but c'mon, Gallegos lost because she was lazy and Cox skimmed enough votes off the top. Otherwise, that's an R seat. As for Galizio, he won in spite of himself. His opponent was a freak who cost herself plenty of votes by being far too radical for the district. Brad Fudge would have wiped the floor with Galizio, who required a muzzle during the session and has few accomplishments to speak of (or is it "of which to speak" - grammar and all).

  • LG (unverified)
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    House Ds haven't picked up seats in a non-presidential year since before you were born (not really knowing you or your age). Rs turn out better than Ds. 2006 will be no different.

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    I disagree: Rob Brading very much IS that person.

    My wife volunteered at Multnomah Community Television (public access TV), where he is in charge, and later worked there part-time. He is an outstanding human being, and when no one in East County wanted to take the ball, he did. He'd be an outstanding legislator in that seat.

    Not only was he outspent 3 to 1, but his campaign forgot to put the PHONE NUMBER on his column in the Voter's Pamphlet. This was his first time running for office, and he damn near beat her.

    Those of you who think you know that Rob Brading can't win, do yourself a favor: ask REPRESENTATIVE Betty Komp how much she lost by, her first time around. I walked 100 houses for her with the Oregon Bus Project during that race, and I guarantee you it was a bad beating, along the lines of 20%, or more.

    So I suspect that, given a chance to learn from her mistakes (and capitalize on those of the incumbent), she turned that around and won a seat for effective civil government. And a twelve-year-old could make the case against Mrs. Dwarf of Darkness: it's not like she's exactly "stealth," is it?

    It'd be extremely stupid not to give Rob Brading, who did MUCH better than that his first time out, that same chance. So even out here in the swamp, I'll be sending him some money next time out.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    Dying Downstate somehow moves the debate from discussion about defeating Minnis to complaining that the DPO State office is in Portland. Isn't this fun?

    I live in Prineville, in the County that is at the geographic center of the State. I think that the DPO office belongs in Portland.

    Why? Our road system makes that the central point. Portland is a three hour drive from where I live - but so is Eugene and Salem. But Oregon is laid out for transportation by two key freeways. They meet in Portland. Move an office south, and the I-84 people and the north coast people start driving further. Is the 45 miles between Portland and Salem significant if you drive over from Klamath Falls or Lakeview? Not really. Many of us know that the pass over Mt. Hood is better maintained and lower for snow travel in winter than the Santiam Pass. On the east side of the State, we have a lot of "can't get there from here" road issues. (It takes 4.5 hours to get from Prineville to Pendleton, but in takes 4.0 hours to get from Portland to Pendleton. - Look at a map and you'd think Prineville was closer to Pendleton than Portland, but you "can't get there from here".)

    So, I guess you can make a case for DPO office being in Salem with the "seat of power" concept, but really, the Legislature is only supposed to be in session about 25% of the time. The rest of it does have to do with media and access to people in the State. Ultimately, it really isn't that big of a deal. We who are truly rural will travel no matter what, its a fact of life.

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    Sorry, I'm a bit tired. Which one was Measure 30?

    They tried the stuff out here with the same-sex issue in the last election and it didn't work. Laurie won and Rob came very close. Candidates don't typically win their first time around unless they have a very known name, come from a line of politicians, etc. As Dean says, you have to support a candidate for a few races to let them get know, learn how things work, etc. You can't give up on someone because they lost once.

    They tried the same stuff with Jim Buck, but that's not why he lost. He was not as visible around the county, his message wasn't strong, etc. John Lim, on the other hand, came out with a very strong message and a good campaign. He's crazy, but he ran a good campaign and was out there.

    And that map wasn't just a new map for Senate D's-- it was a new map for House D's as well.

    Rob Brading is a wonderful guy and a great candidate. I really hope he does run again. He's very personable, people feel like they can talk to him, he'll stand there and talk for quite a while on the issues, etc. Not only that, but he makes you feel as if he's actually going to go to Salem and do something.

    Now I have to head off to bed... a bad sore throat kept me awake all night, so I spent the time compiling Minnis' campaign contributions over the past 2 years into a spreadsheet. I think the brain's had enough info in/out for the day, and it's about to give out on me.

    Feel free to stop over at Blog for Oregon and discuss these issues there as well. You're sure to get some great input over there as well. I promise we don't attack, and pretty much let the blog run itself. We'll stop people if they get extremely threatning, is spam, etc., but we're not out to stop people's opinions or inputs. We want to make this organization the best it can be, and without great input from people all over the state, that won't happen.

    We'd love to have more people from outside the metro area involved in advising the organization. It would be great to get some people from the coast, gorge, southern, central, and eastern Oregon all participating in our blogs and forums. Now that we've finally finished our website move, we'll get on starting discussions on what actions the organizations (501c4 and PAC) shoudl undertake. On strategies. On the future. And we'd welcome any thoughts, comments, etc, you may have.

    If you have items that relate to the organization, our activities, etc., post them over on the forums for either the c4 (issues & education) or the PAC (candidates).

    Night!

  • LT (unverified)
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    Good points by Steve and Jenni.

    A word of advice to LG. Beware of overly broad statements like House Ds haven't picked up seats in a non-presidential year since before you were born (not really knowing you or your age). My 40th high school reunion was last year. Today I had lunch with some young relatives who were born in the late 1970s. By definition that means we were all alive in the early 1980s.

    I doubted your "before you were born" crack, since I have been involved in politics for so long. First of all, in 2005 if Rs and Ds turn out equally, the election may still be decided by those who refuse to choose either party. I live in a district where an R incumbent won easily, but that margin of victory is a few thousand short of the number of voters in this district who refuse to choose a major party when they register.

    According to your remark, the number of House Ds in the session after a presidential election year will be larger than the number of House Ds in a session after a non-presidential election year. I didn't have to look far to find that was inaccurate. In 1980, Reagan won the state of Oregon and Denny Smith beat Al Ullman for Congress. Our state rep. candidate lost in a recount (and was named in news stories as one of those who probably lost because Carter conceded early). In 1981, there were 33 House Dems. According to your statement,"haven't picked up seats in a non-presidential year" there would be no more than that in 1983.

    Except that there were 36 Democrats in the 1983 session. These included Jim Hill who had lost the 1980 recount and won handily--first Dem. elected in that district, Bernie Agrons Dist. 53 Klamath Falls (yes, folks there was a time when Democrats won E. of the Cascades!), Tom Hanlon of Cannon Beach replacing a Republican from Astoria, Al Young of Hillsboro. I found that with just cursory research--I keep those books now called Legislative Guide.

    Blue Oregon is a great place to debate. But it is also a great place to challenge misconceptions. It may well be that the consultants who have been trying to win back the majority since the 1990 election when Majority Leader Dave Dix was an issue (as bad as Scott but for different reasons) have been going about it the wrong way. Jim Hill ran a local grass roots campaign with local campaign management and steering committee and lots of neighborhood coffees. Rob Brading would also have the "should have won" wind at his back that Jim Hill had in 1982. Whether he used it the first time he won or not, Al Young had a great idea when he ran for re-election: the 50/50 pin. Anyone who contributed either 50 hours of volunteer time or $50 got one of the pins. Bernie Agrons won by a few hundred votes in 1988 and did not run in 1990.

    It could be argued that 1990 was lost because people were disgusted with Dix and with Democrats having been in control for many years. The same could be said of the Senate being 20-10 Republican and not having that large a majority afterwards. And it could be true of the House Republicans who have fewer seats this year than they did in 2003.

    I would love to see Minnis defeated, but would also love to see serious campaigns in other areas of the state. If Cowan, Howells and Steigler had won in 2004, the House would have been 30-30. Perhaps it is time to pay as much attention to the Coast, the Mid-Willamette Valley, and E. of the Cascades as is paid to members from Mult. County.

  • LG (unverified)
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    LT, you are a crusty old bat, aren't you. First of all, I was talking to Jenni about the before you were born part. House Ds haven't picked up seats in a non-presidential year in something like 30 years. You say 25, I say whatever, its still a LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY. So keep living in the past and posting argumentative, crotchety and wacky remarks, LT. I'm glad the real work is being done by progressives with constructive comments and color TVs. The way you pine for yesteryear, one wonders how you got past using AOL.

  • Dying Downstate (unverified)
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    Jenni Simonis writes:

    "It's not a single minded political agenda to go after Minnis. She needs to be out of office. She tried to stop the balanced budget 2 years ago. When some Republicans compromised with the Dems, she made sure they wouldn't be re-elected. Then she actively campaigned for that budget to be overturnedby the voters."

    And Scott, Richardson and Krieger don't? But then they sit in "Republican-safe districts, AKA downstate, where the Democratic leadership long ago retreated from.

    Sad, really, considering those are the type of districts that Kitzhaber, Kulongoski, Bradbury, etc came from and represented once when metro progressivism was non-existent.

    "And she broke a sweat during this last election-- she stopped spending as much time out of district and actually worked the district. She's done more town halls. Word from people close to her is that she was very worried last year-- their polls numbers were not good, and that's something she has never had to deal with."

    No she did not. The caucus/DPO/allies plan was to target six House seats (they actually raised enough to target one or two more), with great assurances that they would win four. We all know what really happened.

    Yes, her people did cry wolf. And she used that effectively to raise an additional $200K or more for her GOP allies. Probably explains, in part the high level of close races that we managed to not score on.

    Again, the assumption does not match the result.

    "We'd love to have more people from outside the metro area involved in advising the organization."

    You are, but you still want to go ahead with this scheme to unseat the one person who you wrongly believe is the source of all that is anti-Oregon. This is a wholly metro-progressive idea, just like the multitude of other sure-bet ideas to come out of the bastion of urban progressivism. And like all metro-centric schemes, this one is doomed. Unfortunately, it will cost us dearly.

    The problem is GOP right-wing control manifested in the likes of Scott, Richardson, Atkinson, Atteberry, Kropf, et al., and the Democratic leaderships inability to counter that extremist message. The symptom is Minnis.

    Try treating the disease rather than the symptom.

    Ancedotal evidence is not a compelling nor reliable way to prove that the financing for this scheme will come from new money. It won't. In fact, I just received an e-mail from your organization asking existing progressive Democrats to give to your cause. Case in point:

    "We are now collecting small donations from our supporters. Just as Howard Dean did when he ran for President and Tom Potter did when he ran for Mayor of Portland, we intend to remain people-powered. We have seen first hand the power of the grassroots. Please support our progressive cause and help us bring about an Oregon House, Minus Minnis."

    Your argument would be much more credible if you would stick to fundraising from progressives in your particular neck of Multnomah County. But you won't.

    Steve Bucknom writes:

    "Dying Downstate somehow moves the debate from discussion about defeating Minnis to complaining that the DPO State office is in Portland. Isn't this fun?"

    No Steve, it is not fun. It is not fun to see Democrats handed their butts by the Republicans continuously for the past 15 years. It is not fun to see Democratic party leadership retreat to the bastion that is metro Portland and surrender our former base of support to the Republicans and their lies. It is not fun to see armchair political quarterbacks, who have no hands-on legislative experience and absolutely no experience dealing with the GOP majority in the House, telling those of us who do how things should be. And it is not fun to see metro progressives hatch yet another scheme, another sure-fire plan to take back the House and unify the Democratic Base by focusing, once agiain on metro politics.

    Reason enough to move the party out of metro Portland. Besides, you all still haven't explained how the state GOP, which is not located in Portland, manages to pull it off with such consistent success when their base of activists and their money is also concentrated in the Metro area, the area where all of the media is located?

    Like I said, GOP strategists are salivating at the prospect that the DFO and the progressive community will go after Minnis. They welcome it, because we will be giving them a much easier and very public incentive to raise obscene amounts of money to defend her and any of the other candidates that we target. They know we will spend huge amounts of limited resources on this quest. They will create the illusion of competitiveness and maybe even panic in order to raise support and money that they would not normally get in a non-presidential election. They know we will not.

    And they will win.

    No, it is no fun to see this party contine to lose by making the same mistakes and relying on the same metro-centric philosophy over and over again. Unfortunately you all are going to continue down this path again, no matter what any of us from the trenches has to say. That's too bad.

    Repeating the same mistakes over and over again in the hopes that some day we will get it right. I believe that is the definition of Insanity.

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)
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    Good discussion, thanks everyone! Just to emphasize once more-- DFO is not "the party"--although as Jenni notes, many of us are also active in DPO, DFO as an organization has nothing to do with the location of DPO's headquarters, its past/present strategy, etc. These are all worthy topics for debate, but are separate from DFO.

    As Jenni notes, the DFO steering committee absolutely wants to help bring about a D majority in the House, and one important step toward that overarching goal, as we see it, is defeating Karen Minnis. But again, that doesn't mean Minnis is the only race we are going to be focusing on in 2006, and it definitely doesn't mean that we are going to be overlooking rural seats. So while reasonable people can disagree on the tactic of starting with Minnis, please know that this is just the beginning.

    As a next step--How about a "Dean Dozen" type process where the grassroots nominates the candidates they think the new PAC should support? It would be great to hear from all around the state on this.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Dying Downstate has it right. Marion County Democrats (and others also, I'm sure) deserve more support than what they seem to be getting.

    If the House majority had been WON in 2004, this would be a different argument. But since that didn't happen, it is time to throw out FuturePac, the idea of "approved vendors", and the idea that the rest of us should be happy to support an attempt to overthrow Minnis as if that seat in Mult. Co. is all we should care about.

    BTW, I think the ultimate revenge would be for Democrats to get a majority and then if Minnis, Scott et. al were re-elected they could learn what it is like to work in the minority. Imagine the humiliation for them, the questions like "OK, Scott, last session you thought a Majority Leader had the right to bully a minority freshman. So maybe you can tell us why you shouldn't take orders from this year's Majority Leader".

    I admire Steve's work with the Rural Caucus. I think the legislature would be a better place with more rural Democrats.

    But anyone who wants to have a statewide Democratic Party rather than the Democratic Portland Organization must realize there are Democrats in counties like Marion who are "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore". If people who can contribute money start giving directly to candidates they know rather than to statewide organizations that might give only to candidates in the metro area, that is campaign finance reform which doesn't need a ballot measure to pass.

    When I can afford to donate money, I give it directly to candidates I know, and then it goes where I want it to go. And it is also more transparent when money is donated directly to candidates---or is that what some are worried about?

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    my reading of the Dist 49 precincts is that all but one went for Kerry in '04, and that one was 35-29 Bush. The overall total for Kerry was 53%, so it's not like her constituency is some right-wing fantasy demographic.

    I understand the point about Minnis being a placeholder with minions behind her should she lose next time around, but there is much to be said for framing an election's purpose around a clear issue or personality that requires attention. I agree that all races are important, but a focus on Minnis as indicative of the entire problem with Rs running the House, could be quite useful. It puts a name and a behavior pattern to the allegations, and then allows you to use associative politics to score points against those in her caucus:

    "John Jones said he'd represent Southeastern Oregon. Instead, all he's done is take his marching orders from Speaker Karen Minnis-- stalling bills, destroying bipartisan budget negotiations, and acting like they were elected to the House in Washington DC! Let's change all that. Elect someone who will do YOUR bidding, not Karen Minnis'."

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    As a guy that's been fighting leadership for a while regarding the whole Portlandcentric nature of the DPO for at least a few years, I'd like to back Steve, Jenni, and Ruth in their comments.

    Yes, leadership still has some glaring problems which I won't rehash here, but the three folk that I mentioned, along with Jenny Greenleaf, Ginny Ross, Chuck Butler, and a lot of other rural and urban Dems do "get it". They're making the change happen.

    Down in Medford last week, it seemed to me that the changes that LT and Downstate are pushing for were very much in play and being addressed. I hope that you guys aren't planning to sit on your hands until "The Perfect Party" becomes a reality. There's a lot of new blood coming in to help some of the old timers effect change from within.

    <hr/>

    One idea that they're working on is quantifying and measuring results, something thaat the Republicans have been doing for a while now. If you want to be part of this stuff, you have to hold your nose and dive into the muck with these other hardy souls.

    Like LT, I really hate having to contend with supposed allies, but I'm cautiously optimistic that real progress is being made.

    <hr/>
  • WH (unverified)
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    I have missed so much of this debate--it just keep growing and growing! And that's a good thing. First of all, there's been a lot of discussion about DFO versus DPO and the targeting of races. I heard today (and I can't really say from who) that DPO has chosen again to target six seats and that only three of them are rural--one that they almost won and two coastal races. Is this true? What about those of us in Marion and Polk? We thin we've got a fighting chance down here too! Ruth, thanks for clarifying DFO's position--that it's not only going to work to defeat Minnis but will also work on other races, too--but you're still missing the point. It doesn't matter that you willl be working on other races, it doesn't matter that HD49 isn't really Portland, all that matters is what the public perceives. And in Oregon, it's pretty damn clear that people both in-state and out-of-state think that Democratic politics exists only in Portland. At a time when rural D's are trying to make their presence felt, it would be extremely beneficial for the health of progressive politics in Oregon for a group like DFO to acknowledge their importance. Maybe if a group like DFO was willing to step up and say, "We realize how hard rural Democrats are working and we are making it our number one goal to pick up seats in rural districts for the Democarts" DPO would come around to the idea of active rural Democrats. LT's right. I live in Polk County, and I can state with certainty that our two House seats are easily winnable by the right kind of D. LG made a comment yesterday that even the Ds in rural Oregon are conservative and that, "When the number of cows approaches or exceeds the number of people, the progressive message isn't going to break through." Besies the fact that this comment seems unnecessarily arrogant, it misses the historical roots of the progressive movement: progressivism started 110 or so years ago with farmers and workers. All they're looking for--more than outlawing abortion, more than preventing gay marriage, more than involving God in politics--is someone to look out for their right to farm their land. And we can do that--we should do it--it's in the best interest of Oregon that we do it. In Minnesota, the Democartic Party is the Democrat Farm/Labor Party (DFL). I think this would be a good model for Oregon to consider. Steve, my experience with rural politics is limited to Willamette Valley farmers. I know you commented earlier, but I would love to hear your thoughts, particularly after your Rural Democart Caucus last week.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Pat, I am all for quantifying and measuring results. We know what the success rate of the Oregon Bus Project is--anyone can keep track of their emails about which candidates they were campaigning for and then note who won.

    And about this Down in Medford last week, it seemed to me that the changes that LT and Downstate are pushing for were very much in play and being addressed. I hope that you guys aren't planning to sit on your hands until "The Perfect Party" becomes a reality. There's a lot of new blood coming in to help some of the old timers effect change from within.

    I don't need a "perfect party", just one that doesn't condescend to those who want Marion County candidates to be taken seriously. There is nothing I would like better than to get involved in a House (and maybe Senate) race locally. From where I live there are multiple districts with Republican incumbents which are within several miles (I live blocks from one district line and a few miles from another).

    Nothing I would like better than a qualified legislative candidate to help next year. But by qualified I mean of the caliber of Claudia Howells or Brian Grisham in the last election. "Been there done that" with the attitude that if only we volunteers take orders and support who we are told to support without asking any of those pesky issue questions, there will be a majority. That has been tried. It does not work.

    Don't try any of that nonsense of "that worked in my county, therefore it should work here".

    Few things would make me happier than a Democratic campaign organization I could believe in. But given what has happened in recent years, I will only support candidates who think for themselves, with preference given to local fundraising and local management. I have a Republican incumbent who has said and acted as if it is politically lethal to question the wisdom of party leadership. Not worth replacing that legislator with another of a different party who thinks party leadership is more important than listening to locals.

    I hope all of us who are unhappy are able to see Pat's optimism rewarded.

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    But anyone who wants to have a statewide Democratic Party rather than the Democratic Portland Organization must realize there are Democrats in counties like Marion who are "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore"

    LT, the point that you've raised above is a good one. And I'd like to thank you for keeping an open mind about our goals and agenda. I feel as though we've been caught, rather unfairly, in the crossfire of frustration that some folks outside of the metro area have with the Democratic Party of Oregon.

    Any suggestion that Democracy for Oregon Action is a Portland metro organization, that we are only interested in working on races in the tri-county region, or that we are somehow interested in "telling folks in rural Oregon what to think" is, simply put, dead wrong.

    DFO steering committee members like Ruth, Teri, Jenni, and Ginny have helped to organize 4500 people in 19 Meetups around the state, including as far north as Ranier, as far south as Ashland, as far West as Lincoln City, and with members living as far east as Ontario. And they are doing it as volunteers, not as paid consultants.

    There aren't too many people in Oregon, paid or unpaid, who have done more to encourage grassroots political activism in 2004 and 2005 than those women, and in my view, they deserve thanks, not opprobium, for their efforts.

    As for DFO Action...,

    Though we will target Karen Minnis in the next election, the PAC was also set up to facilitate locally-controlled, locally-directed fund-raising and campaigning by DFA Meetups. The local Meetup members choose what races to target. They recruit their candidates (or pick candidates to cupport). They raise the money. They run the campaign. We deal with the C&E reporting and take advantage of some of the economies of scale with regard to lit development and so forth.

    Isn't that exactly the sort of thing that you'd like to see? More local control by grassroots membership rather than top-down models implemented by paid consultants?

    We haven't focused on that aspect of the PAC in this thread, because it's more of an issue for our members than for the general public, and because we wanted to make an announcement about Minnis before the end of the session in hopes that our announcement would help to move her on some pending legislation, including funding for the North Bend airport (definitely not a PDX issue).

    In any case, some folks like "Dying Downstate" will no doubt continue to try to grind their axes on our stone regardless of whether or not it's reasonable, accurate, or fair to do so. And that's fine. But I'd leave such people with the admonition that it's important to recognize past mistakes, but playing the blame game isn't going to get anyone elected. Regardless of whether or not you get all of the help that you think you deserve from one group or another, at some point, you've got to do your own heavy lifting.

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    I agree that more focus should be placed on coastal candidates. I went out last summer and walked for candidates on the coast. The two candidates we were walking for were Verger and Cowan. I wish Cowan had won, and I hope she looks at running again.

    I also know how badly Marion County (and the surrounding area) needs help. Several people who have been great advisors to the Steering Committee (some of which host Meetups) have been fighting the DPO for more funding. They were, if I remember correctly, the first ones to ask about the possibility of them raising PAC money where the legalities and such would be handled by us, but that the money could be spent on candidates they chose.

    If you prefer to give straight to candidates, that's fine. It's not like anyone is going to get angry if you gave money straight to one of the candidates we were supporting as opposed to giving it to us. You're still helping the cause-- to take back the House.

    Like I've said, give us time. We just announced the PAC. We haven't even gotten to our monthly meetups yet where we can discuss this stuff with our supporters (those come at the beginning of the month). Over the next few months you'll likely hear from us again as the PAC and meetups select additional candidates they'd like to oppose or support. There are districts all over the state that could be be won by Dems. At the state central committee meeting a few months back they had these great binders that showed how areas voted on various issues. That's a start. Now surveys and polling need to be done to check to see how valid that information remains. Things can change in 2, 4, 6 years. Take Gresham for instance (only because I know its info the best)-- we have almost 50% of our population in apartments, which means you cna have huge changes in 4 years due to people moving. Or the Bend area, which is one of the fastest growing in the state.

    Torrid Joe--

    That's exactly the type of stuff they need to be doing. These R's are being led around by Minnis. The fact they went along with all these recesses just proves the point. Pushing the idea that a district needs a rep who will follow their wishes (not Minnis') is a good start. These are all the kinds of things we're thinking about, but not wanting to post on a message board we know the R's like to watch. There's a lot of stuff I could say to help relieve the fears of some of the people here, but it's stuff that shouldn't be said here.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Here is something the general public should be aware of: Although I never voted for Reagan and fought his politics in college in Calif. when he was Gov., he's right about that slogan he learned to say in Russian: Trust but verify.

    I would like to believe what I read here, but I am not wedded to electing Democrats so much as electing sensible people who think for themselves.

    Torrid Joe has great wording for a soundbite or a flyer, but only if it is matched with a positive ad saying what specifically the candidate plans to do if elected. Or the corollary : "The incumbent voted against HB 1234 which I would have supported because...".

    As a friend was saying on the phone this afternoon, there is a spectrum of voters and their knowlegdge/ involvement in this state which ranges from the folks at the family reunion last weekend who see no relevance in knowing who their state legislators are on the one end, to the folks who read C & E reports on the other end.

    This isn't about ideology but about how campaigns are run. A campaign which puts most of their money into local vendors (printers, etc) postage, gas for cars, salary for a campaign manager who the candidate knew before filing for office, sounds good to me. It may well be looked at in some circles as a more reliable, independent campaign than one which lists consultant fees and the staff are people hired by the consultant instead of by the candidate. That may get the reputation that campaigns have become a business--and that no voter is required to believe that consultants make a more honest living than, say, retail work, construction work, health care, teaching, or any other business.

    My friend and I were talking on the phone today about how there ARE people around with experience winning local races, experience putting on neighborhood coffees or events at the local Grange Hall, etc. These are the folks who know it is politically smart to contact ----and invite them to any event and it is politically stupid for an outside consultant to be rude to the person who looks like a sweet little old person but is the matriach or patriarch of local politics --and if that person tells friends that a candidate is great or is young and shallow, that is a message no amount of professionally produced "message" ads can change.

    I would love to believe all the optimism expressed here, but I intend to trust but verify. Wise of some people to use Cowan or other people outside Mult. County as examples. I think Rob Brading is great and I hope he runs and wins next time. But it is a sensitivity issue. Just as someone in the GOP attacking people with Hispanic surnames as being illegal aliens is stupid, so is "We expect you to be with us and forget your frustration all these years". One of the joys of Howard Dean for many people was that he restored the faith in grass roots politics of many a "battle scarred political veteran" like myself. I like Howard Dean's crusade to make politics more about grass roots than about consultants.

    Here's a really radical suggestion: If activists were to call for Jon and Ivo not to take part in House Democratic elections outside the Portland Metro area because they had their chance in 2004 and did not succeed, that would send a signal that Democrats really do care about what happens in the 30+ counties which don't have much in common with Portland. And while I feel the frustration of those in E. Multnomah County (probably similar to those in Woodburn or Mill City that Marion County Democrats meet in Salem), the only way that people outside the Metro area are going to believe Democrats care about them is when they see it.

    I don't think that is an ax to grind any more than the statement "tired of being taken for granted" is an ax to grind. How would Portlanders react to a statement like "you must run your campaigns the way Sens. Bates and Verger ran theirs, because they were successful therefore you will be too". Of course that is nonsense--every county is different. But it is equally true that people are not required to think the way they are told to think.

    I will campaign for a nearby candidate who impresses me as someone who will be a good legislator, someone who speaks well and answers questions from ordinary citizens. It could be someone I have known for decades, someone who is a friend of a friend, or someone I have never met before who gives a good speech. But it is the obligation of the candidate/ campaign to impress voters, not the duty of voters to be impressed.

  • Dying Downstate (unverified)
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    Salvador writes:

    "In any case, some folks like "Dying Downstate" will no doubt continue to try to grind their axes on our stone regardless of whether or not it's reasonable, accurate, or fair to do so. And that's fine. But I'd leave such people with the admonition that it's important to recognize past mistakes, but playing the blame game isn't going to get anyone elected. Regardless of whether or not you get all of the help that you think you deserve from one group or another, at some point, you've got to do your own heavy lifting."

    Talk about progressive elitist arrogance! Just what the hell do you think some of us have been doing the past two decades?

    So you all think that those of us who have been actively fighting against the adoption and continued reliance on the metro-progressive strategy that has resulted in having our butts handed to us by the State GOP for the last eight election cycles are just a bunch of disgruntled voices who merely have an axe to grind?

    Yup, we who have been around for a decade or two and who fight (and win) in the trenches on the front lines obviously don't know what the hell we are talking about, right?

    Funny. Your predicessors said the very same thing when the decision was made to crawl in bed with the DNC/DLCC on a "sure-fire" strategy to make the Legislature "more Democratic." They said the very same thing when they tried to justify moving the party headquarters to Portland (convenient for metro-progressives) and abandon the rural and working-class base. They say the same thing election after election after election...

    How's that working out for you guys?

    Your predecessors are long gone now, banished in the discrace that is planned failure. We, however, are still here.

    Funny, even though your predecessors are long gone now, you continue to preach the same gospel of the DNC/DLCC, only now you call it the Dean Plan. Don't want to work with rural and working-class Dems? Just form your own movement and call it progressivism. Pretend like you want mainstream Democratic input, and then do your own thing anyway. And if you don't like hearing from those who have been around the block a time or two, well, you can just refer to them as naysayers or old-guard Democrats.

    How about some well-needed history? The very same decision by progressives to abandon the rural and working class constituentcy and embrace the metro-centric philosophy and strategy was made in Oregon Fair Share in the late 80's. It killed the organization within three years, despite having a strong grass-roots canvassing program and over the objections from the Lane, Rogue and Proyecto chapters.

    If history is any indicator, and it most often is, the DFO scheme to go after Minnis is just another extension of that already failed strategy. It will not accomplish the goals that the supporters of this scheme claim.

    Yes, the numbers are there. Unfortunately, nothing else is.

    All this scheme will do is divert precious campaign resources from more viable campaigns, as there is no evidence that it will raise non-existing dollars. It will further dilute any unified effort of all Democrats and give progressives another excuse to avoid joining working-class and small business Democrats and further alienate our base. More important, for those of us in Eugene/Springfield, Ashland/Medford, Coos Bay, Bend, et al. who work on getting Democrats elected, this scheme will make it a damn sight harder to do our jobs.

    Still, you stifle those of us who speak out and have the legislative and campaign experience to back it up, merely because we question the wisdom of a failed metro-progressive strategy. You dismiss us as angry and having an axe to grind because we have a plan that works and you really don't want to hear it. You ignore us because we are not Portland/Multnomah progressives and will not pledge allegiance to the gospel of the metro-progressives.

    Meanwhile, any clear plan of success from outside the confines of metro-progressive Portland gets filed in the bottom of the waste basket.

    Now, if you can show all of us how this scheme will generate new dollars and new volunteers from Multnomah County and not from resources that would go to existing campaigns elsewhere, if you can prove that this will cripple Minnis' ability to raise additional dollars that will go to other targeted races, and if you can guarantee that this will give us our best shot at getting to 31 in the House, I and most outside of the Portland Metro area would be more than happy to support it.

    Talk about your reasonable, accurate, or fair. It is, after all, what is expected from those of us who run campaigns.

    Problem is, you can't. In the face of repeated requests and solid evidence to the contrary, all you have been able to do is supply ancedotal evidence, unsubstantiated assumptions and wild speculation as proof; things that no successful campaign plan ever relies on. Unfortunately, if you cannot answer the questions that successful campaign managers know you must answer (and do), then your plan is sure to guarantee defeat and make our job downstate a hell of a lot harder.

    Of course, if the metro-progressive community would make a real effort to listen and work with rank-and-file Democrats from downstate, we could actually beat the Oregon GOP where it hurts, take the Legislature and keep the Goverenor in the blue column.

    Not gonna happen, though. You'll just plow ahead with your separatist scheme anyway, confident in your metro-progressive superiority and regardless of the pleas and input from those of us with legislative/campaign experience and a working knowledge of political history in Oregon. After all, to you we're just a bunch of disgruntled rural Democrats with an axe to grind, right?.

    Like I said, repeating the same mistakes over and over again in the hopes that some day we will get it right is, I believe, the definition of Insanity.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Dying downstate is right. If someone who ever met me wants to call my lazy or whatever, they would have to answer to my friends who know I volunteered thousands of hours over decades. But apparently, people like me are some sort of subversives if we rely on our own volunteer campaign experience. Specifically:

    In any case, some folks like "Dying Downstate" will no doubt continue to try to grind their axes on our stone regardless of whether or not it's reasonable, accurate, or fair to do so. And that's fine. Exactly what axes are those--that we reject the idea of "knock off Minnis and if there is any money left over it can go to the rest of the state"? But I'd leave such people with the admonition that it's important to recognize past mistakes, but playing the blame game isn't going to get anyone elected. Perhaps Salvador or anyone who agrees with him could give us a list of what will get anyone elected--be as slavishly obedient to Democratic consultants as apparently Republicans have been given today's Oregonian article about consultant Chuck Adams? Gallegos is portrayed as not having a choice of hiring Adams. How are Democratic campaigns different? What happens to a Democratic candidate who announces they will use local campaign management, printers, etc? Are they required to only patronize "approved vendors" because there is no one in any district outside the Metro area which can provide such services?

    Should we believe that if only FuturePac is allowed to run their campaigns unquestioned that eventually they will get a House majority, this next election or the one after that or the one after that? If every volunteer would pledge all their free time and all their spare cash to a campaign they have no input in the direction of because of course "Portland Central Control" knows all, why should be believe that will win elections?

    Regardless of whether or not you get all of the help that you think you deserve from one group or another, at some point, you've got to do your own heavy lifting. Define "heavy lifting"--is it talking to friends about why a candidate should be elected, or is it following orders from groups like FuturePac?

    Early this year I had a conversation with someone from the House Democratic office who told me that the caucus endorses those "who are willing to do what needs to be done". But would he give me a list of "what needs to be done"? Of course not!

    As long as campaigns are about making a living for political consultants first and winning downstate legislative elections second, don't think any amount of insults will force those of us who are tired of being bossed around to do your bidding. If that is an "ax to grind" so be it, but I campaign for those candidates who think for themselves. I don't know when the system was changed to tell us that "we the people" have no right to an opinion because consultants decide everything.

    Could it possibly be that many people can't name their state rep. because they don't think it has any relation to their own lives? Maybe the consultants and those who believe in them think there is nothing more important dumping Minnis. But is the Rural Caucus on board with that, or do they want to elect rural Democrats? That would be interesting to know.

  • LG (unverified)
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    LT - What about Sachs Communications down in Salem? They are not a Portland vendor.

    Stop whistling the same old tune. It's time for a fresh one.

  • (Show?)

    Dying downstate is right. If someone who ever met me wants to call my lazy or whatever, they would have to answer to my friends who know I volunteered thousands of hours over decades. But apparently, people like me are some sort of subversives if we rely on our own volunteer campaign experience.

    I'm not saying that you don't have a legitimate axe to grind, LT. I'm saying that you are grinding it against the wrong stone. DFO certainly isn't to blame for the history and problems of the Democratic Party. In fact, it has grown out of frustration by citizens response to those problems.

    And, as I've pointed out, our group is an all volunteer organization that is much more interested in providing a mechanism that will restore a measure of local control in terms of fundraising and targeting races. None of us are paid to work on candidate races, and no one on the Pac is making a dime for being there.

    Our decision to go after Karen Minnis happened because no one else, besides the Multnomah Dems are working on it. So far as I know, Future Pac has never targeted that district, and they certainly weren't involved in our decision to go after that seat.

    As for Dying Downstate, I have no way of verifying anything that he or she is saying. He/she is hiding behind a fake name. So far as I can see he/she is going out of his/her way to mischaracterize this discussion; discourage people from working against Karen Minnis; and generally widen the chasm between rural Democrats and those evil Portlanders -- regardless of whether or not "those evil Portlanders" actually happen to live in Portland.

    As I've said, I chair a rural party. Anyone who has been to a DPO meeting in the last year knows that I have consistently advocated for the party to spend greater resources in rural Oregon, and to provide a minimum level of support for all legislative candidates.

  • Salvador (unverified)
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    Yup, we who have been around for a decade or two and who fight (and win) in the trenches on the front lines obviously don't know what the hell we are talking about, right?

    I have no way of knowing whether you know what you are talking about, DD. What I do know is that you are posting under a fake name and going out of your way to mischaracterize comments in this thread in a curiously self-defeating attempt to widen the divisions between Portland and the rest of the state. What makes your exercise so bizarre is that you are doing it at exactly the time when the Dems are actually committing real resources to rural Oregon.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Well, I guess the residents of each county will believe those "real resources" when they see them--next year?

    Salvador, everyone who chairs a county party or is very active in DFA, DFO, or other organizations deserves praise. However, there is a lot of wisdom in the definition of faith as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".

    You are the one who chose the phrase about grinding axes.

    I know lots of people who have lost faith in the party system, regardless of what party they were involved in. The evidence is as clear as the S. Salem district I live in where the incumbent won re-election by a margin of about 6,000 votes. There are about 8,000 who refuse to choose a party in a district once known as one of the most Republican in the state. Is saying one party is better than the other really going to win the votes of those folks?

    I know people who hate what has gone on in the House who say they wish they could have faith in the Democratic Party to change things. I know people whose faith in politics was restored by Howard Dean. Those people are as much a reality as the fact that some House races get 10,000 votes or more for the winning candidate in a presidential year and maybe only 8,000 votes in a non-presidential year, while other districts have the winning candidate winning over 10,000 regardless of the year.

    To use a coastal example, Alan Brown has won the last 2 elections by less than 500 votes, but in 2002 he won over 11,000 votes and in 2004 he won over 15,000 votes. Minnis won over 8,000 votes in 2002 and over 12,000 votes in 2004, when the election was much closer.

    My point is this: it is a little early to know who will be running in the various districts. Some might think discussing this before the legislature even goes home is like discussing the 2008 presidential race before the 2006 elections.

    Winning those 15,000 or whatever votes will take more than Meetups, more than money, more than endorsements. It will mean convincing 15,000 or whatever voters in a particular district to vote FOR a particular candidate, not just against the opponent. (Chuck Adams may think he is political royalty, but his efforts sure didn't help Goli Ameri to get elected to Congress!) The goal should be to support known quantities running again in hopes they will be as successful as Rep. Komp and Riley, and supporting any newcomers who show promise. But would it hurt to see who is actually running first?

    If some of us wait and see if any new group can earn our respect the way the Oregon Bus Project has done in the last couple election cycles, that is not having an ax to grind. It is just being cynical based on past experience and hoping to be convinced to trust in Oregon Democratic efforts as much as we do in Dean and the Bus.

    WH has some great words from above which I will close with. Another thought to add to that: Instead of focusing a ton of money on one race that is, to say the least, an up-hill battle, why not spread the money out over a number of smaller races in more swingable districts? This is how Dean is running the DNC: instead of spending a ton of money at the national level he is funneling it to state parties. Again, the paramount goal should be winning the majority, not knocking off Minnis.

  • Dying Downstate (unverified)
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    Salvador writes:

    "I have no way of knowing whether you know what you are talking about, DD. What I do know is that you are posting under a fake name and going out of your way to mischaracterize comments in this thread in a curiously self-defeating attempt to widen the divisions between Portland and the rest of the state. What makes your exercise so bizarre is that you are doing it at exactly the time when the Dems are actually committing real resources to rural Oregon."

    This is supposed to be a dialogue. You ask for input, and when you get logical input that does not validate your belief you question the motives of the author? How elitist!

    Does it really matter to you who I am? Is it not enough to answer the questions and address the concerns raised. If your position is one of strengh, you should be able to easily respond. I, LT and others don't seem to have that problem that you do.

    Regardless, you still have not answered the questions that I, LT and others have raised. Neither has anyone who is advocating this scheme. Could it be because you can't?

    I doubt disclosing who I am will make a difference. Apparently your minds are already made up. Why am I not suprised?

    Besides, you already know who I am, or at least you should. It is apparent in the facts that I raise, the history I point out, and the questions I try to get you and others who advocate this metro-centric scheme to answer. These are the things you and DFO refuse to address.

    Better to discredit the messenger than it is to address very real and very legitimate concerns, right? Funny, I always thought that was what Republicans do.

    Who I am is irrelavent. It would only trigger further your already preconceived and totally misguided prejudices.

    Who I represent, however, is important. The name represents 15 years of frustration by non-metro Democrats over the direction this party has taken...a direction that has cost this party dearly. The name represents downstate Democrats who have been chastaised and attacked by party officers simply because they happen to stand up and ask the question "why?" The name represents legislative staff who have to deal with the arrogance and ignorance from party officials and staff who have never set foot in the legislature and know even less of what really happens here in session. The name represents campaign managers and advisors in the places I mentioned previously, who show their candidates a better way to win...a way that is not approved or supported by their metro bretherin.

    You would think that after 15 years of having the crap beaten out of us by the state GOP, we would welcome such input regardless of where it comes from. Apparently I am wrong.

    I shouldn't have to tell you that as chair of a rural party you have an obligation to represent all of the members of your party, not just those who validate your particular point of view. That means questioning the wisdom of yet another Portland metro-centric scheme to chase after windmills. That means questioning the logic of forming yet another splinter group and thus further fracture the party. That means asking the questions and demanding the answers that I, LT and countless other downstate Democrats are asking before you jump in and commit limited resources on a questionable and unjustifiable rookie campaign scheme.

    So why do I have to tell you what you should already know?

    My god man, use your power. Join with your brothers and sisters from all over the state to unite the party and shape the overall direction from within. If that means standing up to the stranglehold that metro progressives have exerted on our party, so be it. Demand thourough and logical answers. Don't sell your soul to those who would convince you that their failed strategy is the only way, especially those trying the same old tactic and initiating the same old schemes over and over again.

    Read what is written. Answer the questions. Address the concerns. Look, listen and learn. It's either that, or be left behind.

    And stop obsessing with the authorship.

  • (Show?)

    First, I will say I was born before 1980.

    Second, we've already said we will be spending money on other races. Those other races have not been chosen yet-- we're aking for input from our Supporters at Meetups, through e-mail, on our website, etc. Minnis was selected first because her name has overwhelmingly come up over and over again in discussions with our Supporters.

    I do not believe that FuturePAC should be "allowed to run their campaigns unquestioned." I have disagreed with many of their actions. I've had several discussions with them about how wrong it was to basically ignore Rob Brading and his fight against Minnis. He was able to do a lot with $33K, but could have done more with $60K.

    I'm not advocating we spend all the contributions in the state on Minnis. I'm not even advocating spending a large chunk against her. However, I think that a hell of a lot more than $33K should be spent against a Republican speaker in a Democratic district.

    Those with ideas regarding where we should work, districts that should be worked in, etc. should head over to our forums. If you have info about that district (possible candidates, past results, important issues, etc.), that is helpful as well. We'd like to hear from people on this issue so that we can decide over the coming months who else we'll be supporting/opposing. Stating "rural Oregon" is great and all, but that encompasses a huge chunk of the state. We're looking for more tangible info, such as specific districts, elected officials to oppose, areas of the state (such as the Bend area or Klamath Falls area), etc.

    Another way to participate in the process of choosing who we'll be supporting/opposing is to come to our monthly Meetups.

  • Salvador (unverified)
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    This is supposed to be a dialogue. You ask for input, and when you get logical input that does not validate your belief you question the motives of the author? How elitist!

    Who I am is irrelavent.

    The fact that you are hiding behind a fake screen name is relevent because you are doing it precisely because you don't want to have a reasonable discussion. You have an axe to grind, you want to vent, and you you don't want to be troubled with trivialities such as civility, accuracy, fairness, or mutual respect while you do it.

    I would welcome logical input and reasonable discussion from you. What I will not do is pick out a few valid comments that are buried in polemical attacks based on a litany of assertions about myself, DFO, and other volunteers that have no basis in reality -- not the least of which are that we are working for the DLCC/DNC, don't want to work with rural Oregonians, are advocating any sort of "metro-centric scheme", were pressured by FuturePac, etc.

    I strongly suspect that fair-minded downstate folks like Rep. Ackerman would share some of my concerns with your tone, tactics, and irresponsible assertions in this thread, even if they agreed with portions of your message.

  • (Show?)

    Dying, LT, and others,

    No one whines on this list more than I do. No one attacks individuals on this list more than I do.

    That said, I feel that if I'm going to attack, I have to also give fair hearing to responses from those that I attack.

    I also have to be very careful to keep up with with progress as it occurs. If the purpose of attacking people and institutions is to effect positive change, then I must be ready with attaboys for people that actually do the things that I've been advocating, otherwise over time, people will tune me out.

    The bedrock bottom line of the true progressive is the ability to assimilate new facts and new situations and act on them in new ways.

    Case in point: As the DFO becomes more of a force, I'm alredy seeing the DPO scrambling with the "me toos" and that is hugely encouraging to me. If the DFO wins a couple of house races that they've targeted for '06, you will see some "me tooing" from FuturePAC as well.

    The Bus Project has made big strides. The Rural Organizing Project also has a proven track record. FuturePAC made some net gains in the last election cycle.

    Useful efforts are not limited to the ones that I think are useful.

    Spurs can be beneficial or they can ruin the horse. Depends on judicious use.

    All of these groups (and many more) are about advancing the progressive agenda. I'm taking a deep breath here............

  • LT (unverified)
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    This is at the top of the Yamhill County Democrats website. Sounds like good advice for everyone. The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Taking a deep breath is a good idea. So is returning to central principles. I'm a big Joe Trippi fan. Anything I have heard or read about Trippi and Dean says decentralization. I think that is a great concept.

    I think the people who reacted here sensed a "we've decided" tone in the post. Democracy for Oregon, the people-powered team that brought you the Progressive Leadership Summit in May, will help lead Oregon out of this tyranny of the Red Queen. We have formed a new PAC, Democracy for Oregon Action, with the foremost goal of restoring responsible leadership to District 49, as well as to the Oregon House of Representatives. Who is the "we" in "we have formed a new PAC... with the foremost goal of..". Is it the people at the organizational meeting of the new PAC? Is it 5 or 10 people or more? Was this decision made at a central location or put out for consideration at Meetups?

    The legislature may adjourn by next Wednesday, or it may not. At the end of the session, members of either chamber may say "Enough Already! " and declare they are not running for re-election. Or they may do it a few months from now when they've had some sleep and a chance to think about it. Senate retirements might lead to House members deciding to run for the Senate, leaving open House seats. Right now there may be someone with a lot of potential making the decision whether or not to run (impacts family, work, etc. and is not an easy decision for many).

    I hope Rob Brading files to run against Minnis again, and that lots of other worthwhile candidates who ran last time run again. But we really won't know until people start filing for office.

    Meanwhile, sit back and have a beer or a lemonade and enjoy the sunshine while we have it. None of this has to be decided by the end of August.

  • Dying Downstate (unverified)
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    Salvador,

    It appears that both of us have allowed this discussion to degenerate into a "you are, no you are" namefest.

    For that, I am sorry. It is an unfortuante result when two people from different experiences, who have strong convictions and strong passions, allow their opinions to cloud their objectivity.

    You have legitimate reasons for advocating this direction. I have legitimate reasons for not.

    Perhaps this discussion needs to be continued in a more civilized and less adversarial personal setting. I welcome you to stop by the office, and we'll find a less confrontational setting to discuss this important issue.

    I'll even buy the coffee.

  • (Show?)

    RE: forming of the PAC

    The final decision was made by the Steering Committee, which is just over 10 people. However, it was from the input of hundreds of our Supporters that led us to doing this.

    The topic came up over and over again at Meetups across the state. We also received e-mails from Supporters on the issue. Some of our Meetup groups had even looked at forming their own PAC.

    It was not something we ever put on the agenda for our Meetups, as we were focusing on getting everything in place for our 501(c)4 and its board. It was our supporters who kept bringing it up over and over. At the Dem's Central Committee meeting in Pendleton I lost track of how many of our Supporters who attended came over and talked to us about starting a PAC.

    <h2>So this wasn't a decision made by the few directors listed for the PAC. The form asks for a certain number of directors and a treasurer, and that was filled in with a few of our names. There are a lot more people supporting it than we could list.</h2>
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