GOP Straw Poll: Dorchester Picks Saxton, Atkinson

Over at Ridenbaugh Press, Randy Stapilus gives us the rundown of the weekend at Dorchester - the annual Republican swankfest. The late-breaking update:

On Sunday, the Dorchester straw poll was held, and the preferences were decisive. Saxton took 162 votes for first place; he’s been sold as The Man Who Could Do It, and the argument seems to be sinking in. A close second place - and we’re guessing here that our take on Atkinson’s charisma was shared by others - went to Atkinson, with 151 votes. Mannix came in a distant third...

Head on over to Ridenbaugh for the rest of the rundown.

Comments

  • aaron (unverified)
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    HMM...Mannix in distance 3rd? Saxton in 1st...how 4 years can make and break repeat candidates. Or was it the debt issue!!!!

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    Probably the three-time loser issue.

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    I've said it before, Saxton will win the primary. He has moved right, has the most money, and strong support. We will see a race between Saxton, Kulongoski, and Westlund. I also believe that Westlund will pull more votes from progressives than from the conservatives. Unless the Dems can unite behind Kulongoski, people better get used to the idea of a Republican governor.

  • FloppyMcFlopperson (unverified)
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    I'm sure Kulo and Westlund are hoping Saxton can pull this off -- he's changed his stance on just about every issue in the months heading up to the primary... With solid (and sometimes recorded) quotes of crazy stuff coming out of his mouth, the hit pieces will write themselves.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I've said it before, Saxton will win the primary. He has moved right, has the most money, and strong support. We will see a race between Saxton, Kulongoski, and Westlund. I also believe that Westlund will pull more votes from progressives than from the conservatives. Unless the Dems can unite behind Kulongoski, people better get used to the idea of a Republican governor.

    So, unless every registered Democrat stops their flirtation with Hill and Westlund and tells all their friends "I'm with Ted Kulongoski all the way", Oregonians in November will elect Ron "why don't we lay off all state / public employees and rehire them without PERS" Saxton.

    Because anything in the Oregonian or the Statesman Journal today saying Westlund will talk more seriously about the state budget and the unhealthy tax system than anyone else represents a minority opinion.

    We'd better get ready to choose between "Give schools a % of the personal income taxes and don't ask any detailed questions" or "if only we could eliminate PERS and public employee unions, Oregon would have no budget problems".

    Because there really are no other choices?

    Sorry, I have more respect for the intelligence of Oregon voters than that.

  • GOP Observer (unverified)
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    Keep in mind that Dorchester is a moderate GOP event. It's been pro choice in the past, for example. Packwood started it to encourage moderate Rs.

    I'm sure Saxton will do better than last time, but he's just the kind of candidate that Dorchester was designed to promote. But I wouldn't read this as representative of the statewide primary vote.

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    "a moderate GOP event"

    Not enough left to fill an elevator, much less a hotel ballroom.

  • Ron Ledbury (unverified)
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    LT,

    Mr. Saxton's position on PERS and Unions are intentionally way off base so as to not be any real threat. He just wants to exempt estate taxes and Greenspan-induced-asset-price-inflation from taxation.

    Then again he really could be just an idiot.

    Westlund too seems to go for the belief that Greenspan-induced-asset-price-inflation is the embodiment of and sum total of entrepreneurial capitalism. (On capital gains.)

    The CPI is, or was, supposed to be a proxy for matching the money supply and aggregate output. Classical economic stuff. It has instead morphed into a statistical bit of data that would make a contortionist envious.

    The remedy, as I have said before, is to abandon the CPI in favor of a new measure for correlating money supply and aggregate output.

    Wages relative to the money supply have been is steep decline in correlation to the increase in the money supply. Yet even the measures of money supply have themselves fallen prey to manipulation via hedge funds and ever more creative financial instruments and the Federal Reserve's abandonment of maintaining the soundness of our financial system.

    Demand that the standard deduction in Oregon be raised substantially. This by no means addresses the notion of stimulating the economy, but neither does the notion of lowering the capital gains tax rate. It does however partially address the equitability question of who bears the burden of taxation.

    It becomes even more important as the state government has gone on a bonding boom to supplement the federal mechanisms that induce asset inflation and corporate profits, and even to offer tax free receipt of bond coupons by bond buyers.

    Remember that a person who invests in KK&R or TPG does not, in my book, escape characterization as a capitalist that must be personally exposed to the financial risks associated with that investment choice merely because they obtained their wages as a public servant. If all of PERS holdings were confined to investment within Oregon then there might be some public purpose behind the disguised guarantee on investment returns but that would still fall prey to investment decisions based on political favoratism and exclude non-publicly-employed persons from obtaining matching guarantees on investment returns on their savings and it would still not comply, technically, with the law.

    I see no hope from any of the candidates nor from the political deals that each might make. Ted is still in the same boat as he was during the secret deal making in late 2002 between public employee unions and the moralist/wealthy team sitting across that table in the bargaining session. The public's interests are again excluded, as they have no representative at the table.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Ted is still in the same boat as he was during the secret deal making in late 2002 between public employee unions and the moralist/wealthy team sitting across that table in the bargaining session. The public's interests are again excluded, as they have no representative at the table.

    Don't know about that, but do know that Salem-Keizer teacher negotiations are public this year:

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AI

    Perhaps that had something to do with what happened here the last time-citizens thought the teachers had been treated unfairly by secretive administration/ school board. Top level administrators got raises, why was there no money for teachers? Signs sprouted in car windows and local businesses SUPPORT SALEM KEIZER TEACHERS and people got so angry we ended up with a school board that is majority new members.

    Westlund has more budget knowledge (from Ways and Means experience)than the others. And as Steve Duin said today, he is willing to do more than nibble around the edges of the problem.

    Now, if Ted would talk in more detail rather than having a campaign manager claim he is doing "what Oregonians want done", we might get an intelligent debate going. Will Atkinson ever discuss that SB 382 which had Westlund, Schrader and Hass as sponsors? Or does he think that as long as we fund schools by the 81st day, nothing else matters?

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    It is true, Dorchester is just a snapshot poll. I do hope someone besides Mannix wins the Republican nomination.

    Need I remind anyone who the last three Republicans were that ran for governor:

    2002 Kevin Mannix 1998 Bill Sizemore 1994 Denny Smith

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    the Rs at Dorchestor apparently were full of glee that Oregon was ripe for the taking. they actually believe the state is turning red! they haven't won a statewide office since Gordo Smith won. they have 1 of 5 Congressional seats. they've lost the State Senate and are likely to lose the House. Gov Ted, for all his low approval numbers, still whups on all 3 Republican candidates. while the Dem party isn't racking up huge registration advantages, the Rs are still losing ground -- to indies, who appear to prefer voting D than R.

    why are these guys happy? do they think they are in Mississippi? well, if they were to regain power, they would be. i don't care who they nominate. they have nothing to offer that the majority of Oregonians want to buy.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    18 years... 18 years... 18 years...

    actually it's been more than 20... since a Greedy Old Person has been governator of Oregon... and Lee Atwater will rise from the dead before another one is elected.

  • David (unverified)
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    The folks over at Oregon Catalyst are saying Mannix will drop out and endorse Atkinson. I personally don't believe it but I thought you should know what they're saying.

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    LT and John Calhoun, frequent Blueoregon contributers, are correct in their assessment of what will probably happen if Dems don't line up behind Ted. We will have a Republican governor. Balance out the risk factors and get behind Ted.

    Last year, the governor worked hard to campaign for tourism in Oregon. His Brand Oregon initiative broght $7.5 billion into the state's economy.

    Through capital construction, the Governor has invested a record $500 million dollars in construction at Oregon's Community Colleges and public universities, creating 8000 construction jobs.

    Last year the Governor led 'Connect Oregon', a landmark investment in rail facilities, ports and airports which created more than 1500 new jobs and strengthened employment opportunities for creating thousands of other jobs. Improving public infrastruture and making Oregon more attracive to businesses is what Kulongoski is all about. Ted has been investing in Oregon.

    Through the Transportation Package the Govenor passed the largest public works project in Oregon's history. The project upgrades our highways and bridges and directly created 9,000 new jobs with another 5000 expected to follow. I'll say it again, under Ted Kulongoski's leadership Oregon has the nation's fifth fastest growing economy.

    What's not to like?

  • LT (unverified)
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    Paulie, where did I say we need to get behind Ted and not even ask him about his appearance on KPOJ this morning? He said "there will be a debate" but did he mean in the primary? Or is he so sure he will win the nomination he doesn't need the votes of pesky question askers like me and he will debate in the general? Would he be willing to be in a debate including Westlund? Or is merely asking that question tantamount to electing the first Republican governor since Atiyeh although the only Atiyeh quality candidate this year is Westlund?

    What I said was "Now, if Ted would talk in more detail rather than having a campaign manager claim he is doing "what Oregonians want done", we might get an intelligent debate going. Will Atkinson ever discuss that SB 382 which had Westlund, Schrader and Hass as sponsors? Or does he think that as long as we fund schools by the 81st day, nothing else matters?

    How is that "what will probably happen if Dems don't line up behind Ted"?

    If I am ensuring a Republican governor just by telling my friends it is my intention to vote for Jim Hill in the primary, why should I maintain my Democratic registration? If as a Democrat I have no right to choose who I support in the primary, why be a registered Democrat? Don't know if Paulie remembers the US Senate campaign of 10 years ago, but that attitude was used by Bruggere supporters. Tom Bruggere bought the primary, a friend called the choice that fall "the slick one vs the chinless one", I was one of many who voted for a 3rd party candidate--as well as registering Indep. I did not re-register Dem. until this century. Paulie, are you willing to say I should re-register Indep. because Ted doesn't need my vote in the primary and all Democrats should be good little boys and girls and not ask our governor any questions ?

  • bollocks (unverified)
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    LT and John Calhoun, frequent Blueoregon contributers, are correct in their assessment of what will probably happen if Dems don't line up behind Ted. We will have a Republican governor. Balance out the risk factors and get behind Ted.

    Just once in a Gubernatorial campaign, I would like to see Governor Kulongoski and his supporters campaign on a platform other than "A Republican would be worse".

    The Governor has had 3 years to lead this state, and if, after all of this time, that's really the best rationale for voting Kulongoski in 2006, then I'm voting for Ben Westlund.

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    Yo LT!

    Sorry I misunderstood your post man. Ask a billion questions of our candidates, we all have the right to and should.

    Yo bollocks!

    Man, I was an Oregonian living in Connecicut 10 years ago. Saw the handwriting on the wall when Measure 5 passed..raised our kids in good well funded schools in the Nutmeg state.

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    bollocks: Just once in a Gubernatorial campaign, I would like to see Governor Kulongoski and his supporters campaign on a platform other than "A Republican would be worse".

    Did you use that same rationale to vote for Nader rather than Gore? And do you think the people who did do so - bear some responsibility for Bush being elected, and everything that's happened because of it? Or do you just not get the connection?

    I make no apologies for being a pragmatist. None. It's true that States aren't red or blue, they're purple. But that applies to us as well. Had only half of the Libertarians voted for Mannix instead of Tom Cox in 2002 (who has since joined the Republican party, BTW), we would have Mannix right now as Governor.

    Most of the posters on this website who are angry at Kulongoski, aren't mad because he didn't listen. They're angry because he did. He deliberately tried not to antagonize the majority of Oregonians who didn't vote for him, pulling gently in the progressive direction, rather than staking out controversial positions sure to alienate them. As a consequence, he now has many business leaders publicly stating their support for elimination of the corporate kicker, and may very well be able to get regular voters to do the same with the regular one.

    In other words, not only is Kulongoski better than a Republican, he's better than a fringe leftist who would only driver Oregonians into their arms.

    You wanted a rationale? There's one.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Poor Kevin Mannix. I'm betting his own Mom would have put him last too, in that big, fat white crowd of losahs.

    What did Mannix say he'd do first in Salem? FIRE THE DEADWOOD! Yes, really. He said it.

    Okay, lets say he finds 1,000 sleepy workers @ $40,000 a year. That adds up to a savings of $40,000,000 or .003 of the $12,000,000,000 budget, maybe less.

    Math is hard... for Kev... and Barbie.. who stands a much better chance of being elected Governor.

  • bollocks (unverified)
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    In other words, not only is Kulongoski better than a Republican, he's better than a fringe leftist who would only driver Oregonians into their arms.

    Jim Hill is a fringe leftist? How'd he win statewide office?

    Seriously, Steven, about the only thing that you've convinced me of is that you put party loyalty (misguided though it may be) ahead of policy and principle. I voted for Gore in 2000, but I also recognize that if he had made a few concessions to Nader and his supporters, he would have probably pulled an endorsement from Nader and won the popular vote outright.

    Republican voters didn't think that Ted was a liberal in 2002, or that Gore was liberal in 2000 because of their liberal policies -- most voters know nothing about actual policy. They know what they see in 30-second spots.

    Those spots won't go away just because Kulongoski appointed Lane Shetterly to the land use commission, or because he broke his word with the public unions. The Republicans are going to attack a Democrat as liberal no matter who the Democrat is.

    Speaking of practicalities...

    Ted is polling at 58 percent among Democrats and 38 percent statewide. And the fact of the matter is that with Westlund in the race, siphoning votes among centrists, this election will likely be decided by the bases of both parties. That being the case, I really don't think that you are helping his cause, if indeed you actually support Kulongoski, by suggesting that anyone who doesn't support him in the primary is "a fringe leftist". All that does is build ill will that will push moderates like myself who want to see Democrats take a stand, toward candidates like Westlund who don't run from their policies or their base constituencies.

  • JHL (unverified)
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    "Anyone but Bush" was a good enough reason for me in 2004. "Anyone but Mannix" would have been good enough for me in 2002. (Although we actually got some un-lived-up-to promises instead.)

    But this election really changes the electoral math... As someone who has never voted for a non-Democrat, I'm begging Ted to give me something better this time than stories of Republican Boogeymen, because Westlund's offering me real reasons to vote for him.

  • Come On (unverified)
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    Come on T.A.

    Sometimes I don't even think you believe some of the stuff you post. How can you argue there is going to be some huge Dem take over of Oregon when we just came out of an election that saw all but one ballot measure go conservative? And looking at the future, a dem take over of the House. Are you kidding? According to the Oregonian this morning most of the House races have yet to draw challengers (now there could be a blitz tomorrow but that is doubtful).

    If the best the D's can do is Kulongoski they are leaving the door wide open for a Republican. Voter apathy with that nominee could kill them.

    This election is way too early to call for the D's. Let’s at least try to be intellectually honest here.

  • bollocks (unverified)
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    Sometimes I don't even think you believe some of the stuff you post. How can you argue there is going to be some huge Dem take over of Oregon when we just came out of an election that saw all but one ballot measure go conservative?

    The Dems hold all 5 statewide offices; 4 of 5 congressional seats; control the state senate; hold a voter registration advantage; and raise more money than Republicans; and yes, it is true that Kulongoski wins head-to-head matchups with both Mannix and Saxton.

    Out of curiousity, which part of T.A.'s comments were not "intellectually honest"?

  • Come On (unverified)
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    The Dems hold all 5 statewide offices; 4 of 5 congressional seats; control the state senate; hold a voter registration advantage; and raise more money than Republicans; and yes, it is true that Kulongoski wins head-to-head matchups with both Mannix and Saxton.

    OK, I will admit when I am wrong. The Dems are firmly in control of Oregon government. Thanks to them we have one of the highest unemployment rates, lowest number of state troopers and the largest school class sizes in the nation.

    Yep, I would say their reign was an overwhelming success! Congrats! And before you start blaming Republicans, you said you were firmly in control. It is your show.

  • jim (unverified)
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    Democrats want to just keep moving chairs on the deck of the Titanic. Republicans want to grab the helm and turn away in time from the iceberg.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Actually, Jim, I think you are describing Westlund. Mannix wants to tell us wer are "soft on" anything where we disagree with him, Saxton wants us to accept as "leadership" his vague rhetoric on PERS and all sorts of other issues without specific proposals, Atkinson thinks all problems will be solved by funding schools by the 81st day but not asking any questions about the logistics of that proposal.

    Westlund has actual concrete proposals.

  • bollocks (unverified)
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    Yep, I would say their reign was an overwhelming success! Congrats! And before you start blaming Republicans, you said you were firmly in control. It is your show.

    Actually, until the last session, the R's controlled both houses in the legislature. They had control of the purse strings, not the Democratic governors.

    If you want to play the blame game, you could make the case that Oregon's economic rebound coincided with the Democrats regaining control of the Senate.

    But personally, I think that if the Republican minority chooses to play the blame game in this election, they will lose. Oregonians are tired of the partisan division and the obstructionist gridlock that comes with it. They want to see people commit to working together for the betterment of the state.

    That'll be troubling for many of your candidates many of whom have raised the politics of division and personal destruction to an artform. That includes Queen Karen, whose anti-Democratic obstructionism was a key obstacle to bipartisan cooperation in the legislature during the last session.

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    Jim Hill is a fringe leftist? How'd he win statewide office?

    Dunno. He certainly didn't do it in 1992 by running an almost pure negative campaign against a fellow Democrat, like he's doing now. His campaign of criticism is obviously not intended to win: he started late, has no money, and isn't even close to getting out of single digits. It's only intended to damage Kulongoski, which makes me doubt that he cares about the consequences of his best case scenario - a GOP win.

    Handful of supporters? Check. Spiteful? Check. Claims the mantle of true progressive purity, even though he's really hurting progressive causes? Check. He's pretty much the definition of "fringe" in my book.

    Republican voters didn't think that Ted was a liberal in 2002, or that Gore was liberal in 2000 because of their liberal policies -- most voters know nothing about actual policy. They know what they see in 30-second spots.

    Yes, but there are more than Republican voters in the state. There is a wide swath of independents who prefer fiscally sensible, socially moderate, governance - which Oregon Republicans have been unwilling to provide in their candidates, but Democrats have.

    You obviously think that people are such sheep that it doesn't really matter what our politicians actually do. I, on the other hand, know that Oregonians aren't quite as stupid as you make them out to be. They may not pay attention all that closely, but they do have a fine sense of smell for political BS. They also prefer their representatives to be 'independent', meaning that they don't act like they're beholden to their parties' special interest groups (which is again what 'independents' like yourself are really mad at Kulongoski about). And they certainly can tell if their taxes have gone up during a recession, which they haven't - by the way, thanks to the Governor's fiscal stinginess. So that's one 30 second ad the Republicans won't be able to run (and it's usually their best, too).

    In short, according to Rasmussen everything you pretend to yourself will drive independents away from Kulongoski, have already made him more popular than Jim Hill, not just head to head - but also in all key matchups against the likely Republican candidate. More than enough to withstand the usual onslaught of GOP media lies.

    I really don't think that you are helping his cause, if indeed you actually support Kulongoski, by suggesting that anyone who doesn't support him in the primary is "a fringe leftist".

    My concern is greater than any one candidate. It's to remind people of the costs associated with supporting candidates who, for whatever reason, decide to campaign merely to damage their fellow progressives. Like Lieberman on the fringe right, these people do more to hurt our cause than our outright enemies. And if you can't see that, hopefully some of the other readers will.

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    ballot measures have a completely different dynamic than elections for office. people have personalities, records, parties, etc. initiatives have whatever spin their handlers manage to inflict on the public. with M36, it was a combination of bigotry and lies (we'll support the right to seek civil unions, they said). with M37, it was playing on the frustrations of a few mixed with a sales pitch that shucked and jive past enough ill-informed voters. spend enough money, you can sell about any initiative (or defeat it). but a candidate for office is a different critter, the inability of Rs to win state-wide office isn't an accident. the Dems are winning the arguments about who can best take care of the people's business -- the Dems are winning the elections. the GOP is going backwards.

  • bollocks (unverified)
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    In short, according to Rasmussen everything you pretend to yourself will drive independents away from Kulongoski, have already made him more popular than Jim Hill, not just head to head - but also in all key matchups against the likely Republican candidate. More than enough to withstand the usual onslaught of GOP media lies.

    The advertising portion of the campaign hasn't really started yet, and Kulongoski has better name recognition than his opponents. Of course he's polling better in head-to-head matchups. And though you may prefer to ignore the 58 percent negative rating that Kulongoski has, or the fact that he has only 58 percent support among Democrats in a race that will be decided by the bases of the two parties, sticking your head in the sand won't make those problems go away for Kulongoski.

    As for the primary... Kulongoski is reaping what he has sewn. I happen to believe that an unpopular incumbent should be made to answer hard questions in the primary season. The notion that doing so is in any way comparable to Nader's run in the general election in 2000, or Cox's run in 2002 doesn't stand up to any real scrutiny since, the last time I checked, votes against Kulongoski in the primary aren't counted in the general election.

    And, again, if your goal really is to build support for Kulongoski in the general election, then you may want to rethink your tactics, because what you are really doing is alienating people who might otherwise be persuaded to coming around.

    My concern is greater than any one candidate. It's to remind people of the costs associated with supporting candidates who, for whatever reason, decide to campaign merely to damage their fellow progressives.

    Kulongoski isn't a progressive. He's a moderate establishment choice who's electability is wrapped up in his ability to convince liberals that the Republican bogeymen would be worse for Oregon than he is.

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    Correction for poster 'Come On' who stated Oregon has the highest unemployment rate. Wrong. Those days in Oregon are over. Oregon's unemployment rate for January 2006 is the lowest in 5 years. The growth in personal income, 5.8% in 2005, reflects the fact that more people are working than anytime in Oregon's history. Jobs are much much more plentiful in our state. Under Governor Kulongoski, Oregon has turned the corner in recovery from the past recession and his efforts to revitilize and stimulate job-creation are paying off. The job growth in Oregon was the fifth-fastest in America.

    At the close of 2005 we finished with job gains that show Ted's leadership has created 100,000 new jobs in the last three years. Kulongoski should be given full credit and votes for a remarkable comeback after Oregon suffered the highest unemployment in the country.

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    Excuse me while I toll on the floor and laugh at the idea that the Gov has made this a great economy, has brought in tons of jobs, etc.

    Tell that to all the people still trying to finds jobs, but no longer on unemployment. You do realize they're not counted in that number, right?

    And all those techies who were contract workers who were never counted in the first place because we were ineligible for unemployment?

    Of course Oregon's numbers are down-- you can only be on unemployment for so long. That right there is going to make the number go down.

    And when you've had the biggest job losses in the nation, of course you're going to beat everyone else out in new jobs-- we have many people here desperately needing jobs. And they're more likely to accept a lower paying job with bad benefits than an area with low unemployment numbers.

    And have you taken a look at those jobs created? Many are in retail and service (fast food & the like). These jobs pay poorly and have little or no benefits.

    The studies have already shown that while Oregon is getting jobs, they're not good paying jobs. And those at the lower end of the wage scale are falling further behind.

    As one of those people who lost their job during the dot-com bust and haven't been able to find a good paying full-time job that is going to last more than a few months, you aren't fooling me.

    I'm sorry, but the governor has no claim to the "improved economy" any more than President Bush does.

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    I sincerely hope you aren't on the floor too long. Here's a sketch of one county in Oregon, Lane County. (www.qualityinfo.org)In the report the employment situation is expected to unfold through 2014 in the Oregon Employment Department's forecast something like this. Construction is expected to have strong growth (+17.9%). Professional and business services will be the most rapidly growing major industry sector (+28.4%). Private education and health care (+28.4%). Information is expected to add (+15.2%). The long list of percentages on the plus side for Lane County is available to from the Oregon Employment Department-PRISM-WorkSource Oregon.

    The projected job growth rates for the Portland metro area are between +12-+18%. The fastest growing economic regions include Josephine/Jackson counties, the Bend area and the Hoodriver/Pendelton area with projections of over +18% job growth forecasts.

    During Kulongoski's term of office he has aggressively recruited new companies to relocate in Oregon. Amy's Kitchen to Medford, Lowe's distribution Center in Lebanon, while Google, Yahoo, Royal Carribbean, and Wachovia all opened new facilties in Oregon. THe governor also helped expand existing facilities in Oregon, creating thousands of new jobs. Among these are Country Coach in Junction City, Keystone RV in Pendelton, Sun Microsystems in Hillsboro, and the Sabroso Corporation in Woodburn.

    Off the floor yet?

  • LT (unverified)
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    Dunno. He certainly didn't do it in 1992 by running an almost pure negative campaign against a fellow Democrat, like he's doing now.

    First of all, I don't recall the 2002 Hill commercials as being negative.

    Jim Hill this time is running as the guy I helped elect to the state legislature in the early 1980s, and I am really proud of him.

    Opponents who say things like "As Democrats we should stand up and..." or "I believe we should..." are not being negative, they are just stating what they believe. When I saw Jim Hill in front of about 60 Marion County Democrats, he said things like "When I was in the legislature, we...." and "When I was State Treasurer we...".

    If Ted Kulongoski would go before groups of Democrats and say "This is what I did as Governor and this is why and I am willing to answer your questions..." then he'd have a lot more support.

    But this attitude of all he has time for is photo ops and meetings with various kinds of leaders is not appealing in a candidate with a history of socializing with ordinary voters.

    And supporters who just attack anyone who doesn't say "Kulongoski all the way--why would anyone ask him any questions?" just come across as worried they are losing.

    Steven, I am going to some Filing Day events today. And if I see anyone wearing a Kulongoski button, I will be sure to tell them that their guy needs to get out in public more and answer questions from ordinary people. The Gov. is a long way from a guy who campaigned in bowling alleys 4 years ago. And that attacks like yours on anyone who doesn't give Ted unquestioning support don't help the cause. They might even convince people to drop their party registration and collect signatures for Westlund--as one friend of mine has already done.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Paulie, one thing about this quote: At the close of 2005 we finished with job gains that show Ted's leadership has created 100,000 new jobs in the last three years. Kulongoski should be given full credit and votes for a remarkable comeback after Oregon suffered the highest unemployment in the country.

    There are people in Oregon who were employed in 2002 and are now not employed due to layoff during the last 3 years.

    How are you suggesting those people vote, and why?

    What if those people think Westlund is offering more concrete solutions?

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)
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    Paulie wrote: "Oregon's unemployment rate for January 2006 is the lowest in 5 years."

    That's probably true for a lot of states since the recovery from the recession is nationwide.

    A more relevant and relative observation is that our employment rate is 43rd in the country - meaning that only 7 states have a worse unemployment rate than Oregon.

    http://www.bls.gov/web/laumstrk.htm

    Does Ted want to take credit for that as well?

  • Scott McLean (unverified)
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    It's sort of amusing who the Republican activists think can win a gubernatorial election. They really need to find a candidate with statewide name familiarity to run a strong race.

    This time around Republican candidates could gain attention if their ideas are moderate enough. The governor doesn't come across as a strong candidate at this point in the campaign, which means the Republican nominee will have a chance if he doesn't alienate too many voters.

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