Shields & Monroe explanations don't add up

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Today's Oregonian covers the Frank Shields/Rod Monroe debacle. Previous BlueOregon coverage is here and here.

Monroe said he and Shields did not arrange the filings and withdrawal to keep other Democrats out. He said he filed only as a backup candidate to Shields and planned to withdraw if Shields stayed in the race.

Of course, that doesn't make one bit of sense. After all, there is a process for handling a vacancy - both for the Senate seat, and for the nomination.

If Frank Shields and his housemate, Rod Monroe, had truly intended for this to be a democratic process - open to all potential candidates - Frank should have filed for re-election as usual.

He would have proceeded through the primary election and won renomination uncontested. At that point, if his health had been a problem, he could have withdrawn his nomination. The Democratic Party would have organized a nominating meeting -- with elected precinct committee persons -- and the process would have been opened up to the public.

The only reason to have a "backup candidate" is if you're trying to game the system. This was a backroom deal intended to throw the Senate seat to his favored replacement. Friendship is a good thing, but it shouldn't trump the democratic process.

Cornett Kicks Off: Last night, Jesse Cornett gave his first speech as a candidate for public office. With only 24 hours notice, nearly a hundred folks showed up to pack the house. Several thousand dollars were raised - and, more importantly, thousands of volunteer hours were pledged.

Jesse's message was strong and forward-looking - focused on jobs, education, health care, and the environment. It's going to be a short and fast campaign, but Jesse is already picking up major endorsements from statewide elected officials, community groups, and citizens.

Hope for Recovery: Finally, I wish Frank Shields the best in his recovery from his illness. He's done a lot of good in his life, and I hope he recovers -- and has many more decades to do good work, both in and out of government. He's a good man, and I hope this incident isn't the unfortunate coda on an otherwise decent career.

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    it wouldn't hurt if people like Kate Brown were a little more circumspect in quotes they give to the media. it may be true that "...we got caught with our pants down" but to say that directly to the Oregonian is bad politics. Clyde Drexler, a great player and a booooring interview, had the right idea: look good on camera and never say anything useful if you could avoid it. when dealing with people like these Rs, who do just fine making up lies and slurs, it isn't necessary to give them actual quotes. we're just making their slime jobs easier for them.

  • Norm! (unverified)

    I used to live in Shields' district and proudly voted for him at least once which is why I'm really surprised and disappointed in his treatment of his constituents. I understand health problems would cause a last-minute decision. However, the Oregonian article said he has gone "back and forth dozens of times on whether to run for office again" since a hurricane (Katrina?) damaged their Gulf of Mexico his retirement home.

    Also, why would Rod Monroe go along with this scheme? As an experienced former elected official, certainly he knows he would be held responsible by voters for the deception. Shouldn't Monroe consider dropping-out of the primary to avoid a nasty internal fight?

  • LuckyLab (unverified)

    I, for one, don't want to see Kate Brown with her pants down.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    It may well be that Frank hadn't made up his mind. From the article this looks like Rod taking advantage of Frank's health problems to set himself up.

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    Shouldn't Monroe consider dropping-out of the primary to avoid a nasty internal fight?

    I thought that was the definition of a primary. ;-)

  • Anon (unverified)

    Interesting stuff, but when is our progressive community going to start discussing the biggest surprise and threat from filing day?

    Chuck Lee, head of a Salem Catholic school (which must mean he lines up with the Pope and Catholic teaching on abortion, gay rights, women's rights, etc.) is a DEMOCRATIC candidate for the Keizer legislative seat held by Kim Thatcher. Rumor is he is supported by Jeff Merkley and other House Democrats.

    Can you say KEVIN MANNIX all over again? Do we really want a wolf in sheep's clothing representing our party? Can we let an anti-choice Democrat get the Democratic nomination? Where's the outrage? There is another Democrat in the Primary who needs our help. When will women's rights and gay/lesbian/transgender rights groups stand up and say "no way" to Chuck Lee getting any kind of suppport from the Democratic Party and the House Democratic Campaign Fund.

    If Chuck Lee gets the DEMOCRATIC PARTY NOMINATION, Oregon progressives will be the laughing stock. Where can one progressive go to start a movement to ensure we aren't embarressed by Chuck Lee?

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    I don't know you, obviously, and I do not know Chuck Lee, but do you know Chuck Lee? Why is it that because someone is Catholic they can not be progressive. Why can't someone be pro-life and still be progressive on most other issues. You sound like the same kind of single issue voter as my pro-life inlaws. They don't want to be confused with all the issues of war & peace, support for public education, health care, the environment, etc. Now you may be right that Chuck is regressive on all these issues, but if Merkeley likes him I doubt it. We can not get a majority if we exclude everyone who isn't pure. That is why Casey (pro-life) is the Democratic choice to defeat Santorum (even more pro-life) in Pennsylvania.

    Remember that Catholics used to be one of the major bulwarks in the Democratic party. A key reason Republicans have gained so much in the past two decades and Bush won can be attributed to the loss of the Catholic vote. We need to make Catholics feel welcome in the Democratic party if they support us on social justice and are willing to talk about choice and gay rights and are not dog-rigid about it.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Why can't someone be pro-life and still be progressive on most other issues.

    They can be. But its really not very likely. The thinking that leads one to want to make abortion illegal usually spills over into other issues. Kevin Mannix is a good example of someone who consistently portrayed himself as a progressive "McGovern" democrat on every issue except abortion.

    Remember that Catholics used to be one of the major bulwarks in the Democratic party.

    I think they still are, but that is because many Catholics were from German, Irish and Italian immigrant working class families. One of the reasons social issues have become such a huge part of political discourse is that they have been a useful way for Republicans to pry loose working class people from the democratic base.

    We need to make Catholics feel welcome in the Democratic party

    Most Catholics are pro-choice. And those that support the Democratic party on issues of social justice aren't going to be turned away by a candidate's position on abortion. There is far more to be gained by having pro-choice candidates who can go after moderate Republican and independent voters.

  • LT (unverified)

    As a friend of Chuck Lee I have to object to this: Chuck Lee, head of a Salem Catholic school (which must mean he lines up with the Pope and Catholic teaching on abortion, gay rights, women's rights, etc.) is a DEMOCRATIC candidate for the Keizer legislative seat held by Kim Thatcher. Rumor is he is supported by Jeff Merkley and other House Democrats.

    Can you say KEVIN MANNIX all over again?

    I met Chuck Lee last year, introduced by a mutual friend. He is more along the lines of the positive (non-sarcastic) Hubert Humphrey style Democrat. I am proud to call him a friend. If anyone has a problem with that, they are saying they don't want my support for their candidates. I stick up for my friends!

    Also, as someone who knew Kevin Mannix 20 years ago, he was not always the sarcastic right winger who lost 3 statewide elections. There was a time when Kevin Mannix was a Democratic state rep. who could stand up in front of a town hall meeting and seriously answer questions.

    I think we need candidates who match the district. Kate Brown or Jeff Merkley couldn't win in District 25, but the Keizer City Council member who is a Catholic school administrator has a good chance. Esp. if it is true that there are people who voted for Kim Thatcher last time and were not happy with the state rep. they had in the 2005 session.

  • Rachel Fox (unverified)

    Anon -

    What good do you think it does to spin who owns christianity in this country? Just because someone is in the Democratic party does not mean that they are automatically pro choice and they are automatically not religious. Seperation of church and state actually means something to people.

    I'm Catholic, and please do not assume I'm a pro lifer or a republican. I have been a life long democrat and many in my family are democrats. I don't agree with the Pope we have but none of this is anyone's business! Somehow millions of Catholics have charted this course in our country for decades, many of our actions and beliefs are considered liberal and progressive.

    Continuing the rhetoric that the Republican party owns christian groups does a injustice to our constitution and to the people of our country. -Rachel Fox

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    "Chuck Lee, head of a Salem Catholic school (which must mean he lines up with the Pope and Catholic teaching on abortion, gay rights, women's rights, etc.)"

    This is an incorrect assumption. There is provision within the Catholic faith to diverge from the Vatican on such issues as you describe, and still be a Catholic in good faith.

    As an anonymous commenter with dubious assertions, I want to call astroturf on you. Who are you and what is your stake in this election?

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)

    Shields' decision was based on more than "health reasons." The Senate Republican Caucus had some dirt on him, and was VERY willing to make it public. I think Frank knew what was coming, and saved himself the embarassment. It's all too bad, because Frank's a pretty good guy.

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    First of all, Bush won 52% of the Catholic vote in 2004. If you limit the group to non-Hispanic Catholics, Bush won a solid majority. This from a group that used to vote Democratic 90% of the time. Second, why do you insist that pro-life can not be progressive? Sen. Reid, our leader in the Senate is pro-life. While I agree with you that for the past decade the combination of pro-life and progressive is not typical, perhaps it is as much that we have chased these voters out of our party as much as the Republicans have welcomed them. Lastly, I do agree with you that the majority of Catholics are pro-choice in spite of their church's official stance.

  • Matt (unverified)

    "Anon" is obviously trying to get a rise out of conservatives who read this site. What he/she is trying to do is move the idea that democrats are intolerant of religion. "Anon," as a catholic, I suggest a good sit down with a priest. Absolution is yours should you perform the proper penance.

    So, puuuuuuhleeease, stay on topic. What about this senate seat? New comer vs. old timer? That's great. Let's get it on! I remember Jesse from the days of the Gore Lieberman campaign and he's just a great guy.

    Personally, I don't know Rod Monroe but, I imagine this race will be interesting. Now, stop bagging on the religious stuff and start getting excited about the primary.

  • LT (unverified)

    Looks like Allison was wrong on 2 counts.

    Not only that Monroe's first name is ROD, but also the Oregonian quote

    But Monroe and Shields were not talking to others, such as Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown, D-Portland. Brown said the first time she heard about Monroe running for Shields' seat was Tuesday, when she met with Shields. Brown said her impression was that Shields and Monroe were trying to preserve Shields' ability to run for re-election if his health allowed it, and he was waiting for important medical information this week. "He wanted an opportunity to hang on to his Senate seat, and when you're facing life-threatening crises, I can't criticize that," Brown said. She said she was troubled, however, not only because she was left out of the process but also because others who might have been interested in representing the district weren't aware of the open seat. She described it as "extremely unfortunate for the Democratic process."

    Maybe Allison doesn't care about the Democratic process, or maybe she thought no one would react to this: As our goals turn towards 2006 and a majority in the House, the last thing we need is to jeopardize D seats in the State Senate. It was in that effort that the Democratic leadership instructed each of the Democrat Senators to have a contingency plan should one of them not be able to continue his or her duties. As Frank actually inherited his seat from Rob, Frank thought it only fitting that he be his back up plan. Ringo announced his retirement early enough for a contested primary. According to Allison's formulation, are we to believe he cooked up a deal with Avakian to be his contingency plan? Or is Allison spouting some kind of fantasy? Is she upset Jesse filed? If so, tough luck. It is a free country and anyone living in the district with appropriate registration is allowed to file. And knowing Kate Brown but never having met Allison, I believe Kate.

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    Anon, you might enjoy reading "A Brief, Liberal Catholic Defense of Abortion" by Daniel A Dombrowski and Robert Delete. The authors write that "the church's theological view of fetal which the fetus is endowed with a human soul only when it achieves a physical human diametrically opposed to the anti-abortion stance." The authors argue that the morality of abortion in the early months should be an open question for Catholics. A fresh perstective is usually a good thing might want to try it.

    I predict Jesse will win in the primary. It's great to hear so many Dems are supporting him.

  • Marc Lucca & Jonathon Burley - Shoo Again! (unverified)

    "Former Salem Staffer"? Is that those dumbass redneck racist, sexist jerks Marc Lucca and Jonathon Burley again? Goodness boys, it's not all about your delusions. Gotcha. :-)

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    Folks, Anon (I presume for anonymous) is clearly either from the Kim Thatcher camp or the House R camp. Disregard the entire comment as a troll. The R's are clearly very worried that Mr. Lee could win what is presumed to be a safe Republican seat. Mr. Lee is a traditional progressive catholic who will fight for struggling working families, lower health care costs, and more good paying jobs. As a pro-life economic justice Democrat Mr. Lee will run with the support of both well know Republicans such as Vic Backlund and progressives such as Tim Nesbitt. Mr. Lee will be great state legislator who will legitimately be able to bring people from both sides of the political fence together.

  • Anon (unverified)

    Me again. Will keep my post "on subject" if someone can tell me where to go to learn more about Lee and discuss his campaign. Anyone? Let's not miss the boat, here.

    Am I wrong about Lee? Could be. I know there are lots of good Catholics like Peter Courtney. If Lee is like Courtney, I'm fine. I'm not anti-Catholic per se.

    HOWEVER, my friend tells me Lee has visited the Right to Life office more than once looking for support. Jon Isaacs' post admits he is pro-life. Someone needs to get to Lee and ask some hard questions, like:

    Are you anti-choice? Do you support female priests or are you against gender equality? Do you support gay marriage, not watered-down civil unions? Do you support gay rights? How did you vote on the so-called "Defense of Marriage" initiative? Do you support tax dollars going for "school vouchers" for students to attend private Catholic schools? What do you think of Bush's "faith based initiatives"?

    I'm willing to admit I went too far too fast in crying wolf if someone can get some answers for me. Until then, I still see a wolf in sheep's clothing. Until I have some answers, I want to know that my donations won't be going to prop up a right-wing Democrat just in case he has a shot at winning in a GOP district. It is better to lose and be right than win and sacrifice your principles. We can win someplace else with a real DEMOCRAT candidate.

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)

    I'm neither Marc Lucca, Jonathon Burley, a dumbass, redneck, racist or sexist. I just happen to be privy to a lot of inside information, since I was present during the last session (unlike our current governor) and still have friends in the business, as well as in the press. I hope that clears up any misconceptions.

  • red (unverified)

    anon... hm...sounds like you're proposing a litmust test. i thought only republicans do that.

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    Not only would Chuck Lee be an outstanding fit to represent the Keizer/Newberg/St. Paul area in the Oregon House, he would also be a great addition to the House Democratic MAJORITY Caucus.

    Let's remember that Chuck's opponent in the Democratic primary, Susan Keen, was a REPUBLICAN until the middle of 2005. She voted for George W. Bush in 2004. The choice in this race couldn't be any more clear: Chuck Lee.

    Let's keep our eye on the ball: winning back the Oregon House and moving Oregon forward. We need fewer litmus tests and greater unity around Democratic candidates.

    I agree with Jon Isaacs that "Anon" is a plant for the House Republicans. If you're not a plant, please come forward and identify yourself!

  • FormerSalemStaffer2 (unverified)

    "I, for one, don't want to see Kate Brown with her pants down."

    Speak for yourself, LuckyLab.

  • Anon (unverified)

    Damn right I want a litmus test.

    There is a reason we recruited Hardy to run against Kevin Mannix in the Democratic Primary for Attorney General. If we don't stand for reproductive rights, gay rights and a good public school system, then we don't stand for anything.

    Are there progressives out there who would argue for no litmus test to be supported for office by progressives?

    My questions still stand. Until someone can provide me with the answers, I'll assume the worst.

    His primary opponent may be just as bad. I'd like to see her answers to the same questions if she was an R and voted for Shrub II.

    I give time and money to see a progressive agenda move forward. If neither candidate can support the most basic tenants of a progressive philosophy, then count me out. And, count me a squeaky wheel until election day. Just because politicians already in power want more power doesn't mean I'm ready to leave right and wrong at the door like Rep. Hunt.

    We don't need "greater unity around Democratic candidates" as Hunt suggests. We need greater unity around Democratic principles and candidates with the guts to stand for what is right and oppose what is wrong. Sounds to me like Hunt would vote for Mannix as long as he reregistered first. That doesn't work for me.

  • LT (unverified)

    Count me as supporting people I know. There is an article in today's Statesman-Journal about Chuck Lee. Anyone who blogs should be able to find it.

    But how do we know if Anon even lives in the area or knows which city is the headquarters for the SJ?

    Those of us who have been on Blue Oregon for some time wonder if Anon is always the same person. "We recruited Hardy" implies someone from out of the Marion/Yamhill (Dist. 25) area.

    Anon, if you don't live in the area and don't want to support the candidate who filed in District 25, there are all sorts of House candidates who could use the support: Gilbert, Gilbertson, Brading, Caudle, Clem, Grisham to name a few.

    Just don't demand that we answer the concerns of someone who may not be from this area. As one of the people who met Chuck Lee months ago, talked with him about running and was thrilled when he filed, I am not impressed that anon (who may or may not know anything about Dist. 25) thinks there should be a litmus test which will please someone who calls the AG by his first name.

    My litmus test is a candidate to match the district. It has been my litmus test since long before I ever heard of Chuck Lee--who happens to be a mutual friend of someone I have known for years.

    Anyone who has a problem with that can just go campaign for someone else, or explain why a re-elected Kim Thatcher would be better than someone who may not pass anon's litmus test.

  • Anon (unverified)

    Well, there you have it folks. Two startkly different views of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement.

    THE ENDS (WINNING) JUSTIFY THE MEANS (SUPPORTING ANYONE) Rep. Hunt and LT want a Democratic Party based solely on electability -- no litmus tests allowed. If Pat Buchanan moves to eastern Oregon and registers to vote as a Democrat and runs for the legislature, he will have the support of Hunt and LT, because he's a Democrat and his views will make him electable in eastern Oregon. Nothing Buchanan believes in or has said can be used against him. That'd be a litmus test. You know, like the one I suggest for Chuck Lee: A simple "are you with us or are you against us" on core issues.

    If Lon Mabon comes out of the shadows and registers as a Democrat in southern Oregon, he would pass the electability test and be deserving of Hunt and LTs' support. Right? No litmus test, right?

    There's a great older movie called Power starring Richard Gene as a political consultant. He has a great line in the movie when talking to a client who has just flip-flopped on a major issue. He, as consultant Pete St. John, says something like, "that's like saying you're with Gloria Steinem except on women's issues."

    And with Hunt and LT the progressive movement will be defined by how many watered-down, wishy-washy Democrats get elected, not by whether or not elected Democrats can agree on anything and make progressive changes in the law. Winning elections is the goal for Hunt and LT because it gives them the perception of power.

    DEFINE THE GOAL AND SUPPORT THOSE WHO ADVANCE IT I have a different view. I want to be part of a progressive movement because I want PROGRESS and MOVEMENT. Any candidate -- regardless of party or electability -- does not MOVE PROGRESS forward if they don't have a progressive philosophy as the core of their desire to be in public service.

    I think the progressive movement should stand for something. Yes, a litmus test that says "here is what we believe and what we are tying to accomplish. If you agree with us, we will support you. If you don't agree with us, we can't support you." Just that simple. And, if the Democratic Party wants the money and effort created by the progressive movement, then they better recruit candidates that share our values. Otherwise, why be a party of the party? I half expect one of you to start talking like a Republican and say we need a "big tent" or "open tent" or whatever it is the GOP fights about.

    I don't expect candidates to adhere to a rigid idealogy on everything, all the time. But I would hope most of those reading this would expect a candidate to have at least a basic respect for reproductive rights and the freedom to love the person we choose without discrimination from the state.

    And for those doubters, I have lived in Oregon my entire life. I reside in the Salem/Keizer area and I know the Statesman Journal is right next to the YMCA in downtown Salem, just a stone's throw from the State Capitol Building. I know Hardy Myers. I know Chuck Lee. I know Kevin Mannix. And Ron Wyden, and Earl Blumenauer, and Darlene Hooley, and Peter Courtney, and Kate Brown and Pete Sorensen and Jim Hill. I don't call them by their first names in person. But I know them and they know me. That's why I am, and will be, Anon.

  • LT (unverified)

    Anon, You miss my point. I have met and been impressed with Chuck Lee. I don't know you or if you have ever held any position in the Democratic party (even pct. person). I was a member of the State Central Comm. in the 1980s known for opposing those who said "all good Democrats believe..." and even had a piece published in a Democratic newsletter on that topic.

    I have met Lon Mabon and can't stand the man.

    I suspect you don't care so much about litmus test as about either being so arrogant that if a candidate doesn't live up to your anon standards they don't deserve to run as a Democrat, OR you are a troll for those who don't like to see certain candidates be popular.

    Or maybe you are from the ideological purity brigade.

    Would you rather have had a Republican elected than Joan Dukes (pro-life Democratic state senator for many years)? If so, say so. I admired her, so I suppose that is a black mark in your eyes. Perhaps you hope Chuck Butcher (Blue Oregon regular) loses his primary because you disagree with his Second Amm. views.

    Perhaps you are one of those who believes it better to have someone who opposes your views lose an election and have a Republican serve in that office, I don't know.

    If you knew me, you'd know how many times I have disagreed with Dave Hunt.

    But you can't convince me that I should reject a person I have met and been impressed with because an anonymous person (doesn't even use initials or a screen name) tells me I should trust their judgement rather than my own.

    Which candidates do you support? Or is that asking too much?

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    Hey all...

    I don't know a thing about Chuck Lee. But I think we're asking a very interesting question here.

    It's exactly the same question that came up back when Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) was considering running against Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI). Chafee is pro-choice, and Langevin is pro-life. The folks at NARAL quashed Langevin's candidacy - and put Chafee in the driver's seat for re-election. (Every poll showed Langevin beating Chafee, if he ran.)

    I'm planning on writing a review of Crashing the Gate by Kos & Armstrong, but meanwhile, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this very cogent paragraph:

    Here's where things get complicated. We want an America where a woman, not the government, has control over her own body. We want a world where a woman's doctor, not the theocons, can care for her reproductive health. We support the party that has enshrined abortion rights into its platform, not the party that has vowed to criminalize it. And who is in a better position to protect those rights -- a lone pro-choice Republican or two within a governing party hell-bent on destroying those rights, or a lone antiabortion Democrat or two in a governing party determined to protect those rights?

    I'm still cogitating on this question. But I think I'd rather have pro-life Chuck Lee voting for Speaker Jeff Merkley - than a pro-choice Republican voting for Speaker Karen Minnis. (Not that Kim Thatcher is pro-choice.)

  • LT (unverified)

    Thank you Kari.

    And one reason I feel strongly about this (other than disliking a stranger telling me I shouldn't like a person I have met and was impressed with) boils down to what I would call the Joan Dukes question.

    Many years ago (in the 1990s? earlier?) I went to a state central comm. meeting not as a member which I no longer was, but because some friends said I should go to this meeting as it might be interesting.

    The report of the campaign committee said that Democrats should agree on 5 issues. (Were they saying they'd rather have a Republican in any seat if the Democrat didn't agree?)

    There was a debate going on at the time (log exports?) between coastal communities and inland communities. Joan Dukes, a pro-life state senator who wasn't in-your-face about it, was a very nice person who I think had been one of the moderators or whatever of something like a session of the Platform Convention (it was a long time ago). She represented a coastal district. The 5 campaign committee items included abortion rights and the inland (rather than coastal ) point of view on that controversy.

    Needless to say there were some very angry people who considered this as an attack on Sen. Dukes. Would the campaign committee folks have preferred a Republican elected in that district?

    Someone at the meeting made the statement that a truly pro-choice individual believed in the freedom to be Joan Dukes.

    I'm with you, Kari. Majority doesn't answer all questions (the 2005 Senate was not everything some might have hoped) but it is way ahead of whatever is in second place! I'll take 32 House Democrats who I disagree with on 32 different issues over Republicans controlling another session in the House.

    And I think the issue you bring up is the Millicent Fenwick issue. She was the model for Doonesbury's Lacy Davenport. She was a great lady in many ways. But she voted for Republican presiding officers who weren't as nice. I think it was Frank Lautenberg who defeated her because voters decided they wanted diff. presiding officers.

    Another thing: NARAL and Right to Life are both lobbying groups. There needs to be a serious discussion (esp. after that debate here about OLCV and Nathanson) about whether Democrats are the party of individual thought or the party of doing what lobbying groups want done. Talk to some people who were involved in Hart/Mondale primary of 1984 or Lonsdale/ AuCoin primary of 1992. Long time ago, I realize. Some of those same issues (indep. thought vs. lobbying groups, not that abortion was involved at all in those) were involved in both races. Hart people tended to think for themselves, and support Lonsdale in 1992. Mondale people tended to go with what the group they belonged to (union, whatever) wanted.

    Hart blew away Mondale in 1984 (59% of the primary vote) although most of the "establishment " (well known people who were elected, or pct. people, or whatever) went for Mondale, and Lonsdale came within a 330 vote recount of winning that primary. Which is why I was so offended by the whole Paul Hackett situation. Do Democrats want quality candidates or the choice of the in crowd?

    And there hasn't been a discussion of all of this for quite some time.

    Thanks for the comment.

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    Having done my college politics in California, I learned one very important lesson from the great Willie Brown - fmr spkr of California:

    The most important vote is the very first one. The one for leadership. It's at least as important as all the other votes combined.

    So, would I rather a Democrat who votes for the Democratic leadership who casts a whole series of otherwise-bad votes? Or would I rather a Republican who votes for the Republican leadership but then makes a bunch of good votes on bills?

    I'm with the Democrat who casts bad votes after voting for Speaker Merkley.

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    Of course, in this case, we're talking about a Republican who votes for the Republican leadership AND casts a bunch of bad votes.

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    It's amazing to me that "Anon" admitted that he didn't know Chuck Lee on Friday afternoon, but by Saturday afternoon he claims "I know Chuck Lee." Anon: you don't know Chuck, and I suggest you call him or e-mail him or meet him before you spew any further ridiculous allegations. You are simply dead wrong about him.

    BTW, just because you know where the Stateman-Journal building is located doesn't mean that you're not a Republican plant. Nice try.

  • Anon (unverified)

    Rep. Hunt: Where in any of my posts did I say I don't know Lee? He's a great guy. The kind of guy you'd want running the school where your children attend. He's just the kind of guy who can get elected, maybe even in a "red" district like Keizer.

    My questions aren't about electability and likability. I'm impressed every time I see him or talk to him. So what?

    Are you guys really willing to admit your voting for a pretty face just because he might win? That makes me ill.

    The "first vote" rule of thumb is a good one. I might be convinced that Kari's argument is strong enough to hold my nose and vote for a right-wing Democrat. But why should I have to do it? Why are my choices a right-wing Democrat or a very recently converted Republican? Great job of recruiting.

    Thank you to those who posted these two gems:

    "I don't know a thing about Chuck Lee. But I think we're asking a very interesting question here" and "there hasn't been a discussion of all of this for quite some time."

    I think it is time for the discussion. Does that make me a closet Republican? No. Am I being arrogant for wanting to know where Democratic candidates stand on some pretty important issues? I hope not.

    I liked Sen. Dukes a lot. I was very sad when I learned her long-time assistant, Connie Fritz, had passed away. She was a grand lady, too.

    I've already wrote that I don't ask for lock-step agreement on any set of issues. On the other hand, shouldn't I be able to expect 60%? 70%? 80%? Is one single vote really enough for ya'll?

    Rep. Hunt, a serious question to which I hope you will respond thoughtfully: Is there a point at which a Democratic candidate is too conservative even for you, or is any person registered to vote as a Democrat deserving of your support because of the first vote?

    I mean no disrepect. Lee is a good man who has simply become a useful tool in urging a serious discussion about who we are, what we believe and how much we should be willing to compromise in order to count to 16 or 31. Is power the ultimate goal? I hope not.

    I care about my party. I care about my movement. Because I dare ask important questions I am being called an arrogant Republican. Gee-almighty! Talk about a low-blow. And demanding to see my ID makes you guys sound an awful lot like the Bush NSA folks. Can't I suggest the emperor has no clothes without first showing my voter registration card? Heck, how do I even know Rep. Hunt is really Rep. Hunt?

    Please, somebody, tell me which Democrat in the Primary is the most progressive. Please, somebody, ask them the tough questions about where they stand on important issues. Where does he stand on important issues? Why did she change parties?

    Is the first vote the only thing we care about? Convince me. I'm just not there, yet. Maybe I will never get there. But I'm willing to have the conversation as long as you stop accusing me of being a Republican or demanding I post my ODL or voter registration card.

    I think I represent a lot of people in the party and in the movement. Maybe, maybe not. But when you look at the polls, the public I represent doesn't seem to have much respect for Congress or the Legislature, Republicans or Democrats, becausing winning and holding power has replaced principles and standing up for what is right.

  • LT (unverified)

    Anon, About this: I think I represent a lot of people in the party and in the movement. Maybe, maybe not. But when you look at the polls, the public I represent doesn't seem to have much respect for Congress or the Legislature, Republicans or Democrats, becausing winning and holding power has replaced principles and standing up for what is right.

    Are legislative elections about "people in the party and in the movement."? Or about people of whatever registration who actually live in a district?

    Are you willing to admit that Merkley probably couldn't get elected in a rural area? That Buckley might not get elected in Portland? That Sen. Deckert might not get elected in Sen. Walker's district? Or doesn't that matter because Democrats all over the state have the right to demand candidates agree with them? That attitude is a lot older than blogs or the Internet--I recall debates about that (is it better to have Democrats represent districts E. of the mountains, or is it better to have Democrats agree with the party platform even if they lose?)going back decades. If you go to Ben Westlund's site and click on "watch Ben's videos" there is the speech on the nonpartisan bill that anyone can watch/listen to--they have an audio file that is only 660 which even a dialup connection can load easily. Are you aware that the fastest growing party is no party at all and some people decide not on D vs. R but on whether to register Indep. and jump on the Westlund bandwagon?

    I hope you spend a lot of time talking with the legislative candidates in your district, wherever that is. But you strike me as saying your questions are more important than anyone else's and if you don't live in Dist. 25 you still have the right to question Lee because you might speak for "people in the party and in the movement".

    You seem to be saying (above) "agree with anon on abortion and gay rights or the Democratic party should turn their back on any candidate who doesn't agree on those issues".

    When did the Democratic party become the litmus test party and not the economic issues party?

    Or are you not a candidate and therefore you get to ask questions but never answer them?

    If you know Chuck Lee personally, why ask questions on this blog? Why not ask him the questions to his face and listen to his answers? If you like the answers, then tell your friends.

    If you don't like the answers, however, don't come on here and say "I didn't like his answers therefore no Oregon Democrat should support him". Oregon Democrats have the right to think for themselves and not let some anonymous stranger tell them who to support.

  • (Show?)

    Well said, LT.

    Our resident unidentified Republican, "Anon", posed this question: "is any person registered to vote as a Democrat deserving of your support because of the first vote?"

    No. And I never said that.

    What I have said consistently -- and still strongly believe -- is that Chuck Lee will make an excellent legislator. He'll cast the correct "first vote" -- AND then cast votes that move Oregon forward on a wide array of issues from health care to education to economic development to infrastructure to public safety.

  • LT (unverified)

    Thanks, Dave.

    A long time ago when House Dist.25 was up closer to you (Milwaukie, which I think is now Tomei's district) there were obnoxious people just like Anon who tried to get a rise out of others. They might be Republicans. Or they might be Democrats of the "I wasn't at the state central committee but I know you cast the wrong vote on that resolution and that is why you deserve to have me yelling at you" variety. If Democrats, they were usually of the type who were never there to put out the mailings or staff a booth or table, or do phoning or door to door, but BY GOLLY, they knew what all Democrats should believe and why would anyone dare question them!

    Not sure which one Anon is, but Anon needs to be asked these questions:

    1) Sen. B. Obama was on Face the Nation this morning saying that he is prochoice but believes abortion should be safe, legal, rare. Had Anon lived in Illinois in 2004, would Obama have been worthy of support? What about the Obama statement that as a Christian he believes moral debates should go beyond abortion and gay marriage to helping the poor and to the Sermon on the Mount? I would add one of the Beatitudes: Blessed are the peacemakers.

    2)This quote from the original Anon post: Can you say KEVIN MANNIX all over again? Do we really want a wolf in sheep's clothing representing our party? Can we let an anti-choice Democrat get the Democratic nomination? Has this person ever met Susan Keen and discovered her views on everything from abortion and gay marriage to land use planning, the role of courts in having oversight of ballot measures, and the role of Tom McCall in Oregon history?

    3)As someone who was in high school when JFK was elected president (and who remembers Protestants voting for Nixon not because they were Republican but because JFK was Catholic), I really do object to this anti-Catholic bias as if no Catholic was ever before elected to the Oregon legislature from Marion County. Salem Catholic school (which must mean he lines up with the Pope and Catholic teaching on abortion, gay rights, women's rights, etc.) I have had friends who taught at Catholic schools and often they were nicer people than some of the sarcastic types I met in politics. But then, I recall a time when there were DEMOCRATIC Marion County legislators named Courtney, Mannix and Johnston, and a fellow from Lane County named Kulongoski who I think was raised in a Catholic orphanage. Did Anon ever ask those others the same questions he/she thinks Lee should answer right here on the blog? Does Anon know the voting records of the others?

    At some time in my life I supported all those Oregon Catholic legislators, because they were friends, and actively campaigning for the ones in Marion County. I've known them all for decades, and I regard Anon's charges as an attack on friends.

    But here is the real question: Is Anon angry because Mannix became a Republican therefore all Catholics are suspect? Or a Keen plant? Or a Republican?

    Is Anon saying we should ask all 54 Democratic House candidates the questions Anon demands answered and if the answers do not please Anon it would be better to have Queen Karen and Wayne's World for another session because Anon has the only opinion that matters?

    My guess is that Anon is less a person of strong feelings than someone pulling a campaign stunt.

  • LuckyLab (unverified)

    I am wholey amused by the discussion regarding Chuck Lee. I think it's utterly charming that a bunch of Portland liberals think they have found a messiah in Chuck Lee that will deliver the state house. Since House Democrats need to delude their funders about their prospects of retaking the House, they cooked up some game plan to count to a Democratic majority. Clearly John Issacs, or Jeff Merkley or somebody called down to Lee and filled his already fat ego with sweet little somethings about chairing a committee or God knows what. But I think they forgot to do their homework.

    I don't care if Chuck Lee is pro-life, pro-choice, or protean (think two-faced), he isn't the person you think he is, and he isn't going to win House District 25 for the same reason that Vic Backlund is no longer the state rep here. Here comes the part about being amused. Marion County is a Republican stronghold. Yamhill County? Even more so. Despite being a teacher in Keizer for many years, Backlund didn't even carry his own community. The issue? Taxes, pure and simple.

    Keizer started out as a revolt against the City of Salem and property taxes. Keizer went out on its own and incorporated as a low tax, low service community - and that's just how residents like it. Want proof? Russ Walker calls Keizer home. Kim Thatcher is a solid anti-tax increase vote and residents of the district will reward her for it with their vote. Chuck Lee will be painted as pro-tax and he will not be able to convice the 13% Republican majority (or whatever it is) otherwise. In Keizer, even the Democrats are conservative and wary about taxes.

    Did I mention that Chuck Lee got utterly destroyed when he ran for Mayor of Keizer in 2002? CITY OF KEIZER - MAYOR
    CHARLES E. LEE . . . . . . . . 3,927 34.35
    LORE CHRISTOPHER . . . . . . . 7,452 65.19

    And we haven't even begun to talk about the renowned egotist that Chuck Lee is. Jeff Merkely wants Lee in his caucus about as much as he would want a newly Democrat Kevin Mannix in (by the way, Mannix and Lee... on the Blanchet school board together). Why Chuck Lee is still a Democrat is beyond me.

    Anyway, pay John Issac's spin no mind. He probably couldn't even find Keizer on a map (we did get a Starbucks a few years back and now you can finally buy socks here). Chuck Lee doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell. Maybe he's trying to take a page out of his friend Mannix's playbook. Chuck didn't win when he ran for Mayor of Keizer a few years back and he's not going to win now. My bet, Thatcher wins by 10%.

  • LT (unverified)

    Lucky, Which county do you live in?

    As a Marion County resident who actually knew Chuck Lee before he filed, I think you may be wrong.

    Or maybe your intent is just to spew.

    I didn't consult Isaacs or Merkley (my Marion County friends can tell you how often I have questioned their wisdom) before forming my own opinion that Lee could be an excellent candidate.

    Vic Backlund lost Marion County in the 2004 primary by something like 300 votes. And have you really talked to people who voted for Thatcher last time and are ready to do so again? Not what I hear.

    But then I am only a Marion County activist who has been around longer than blogs, or Isaacs or Merkley. And I can smell fear on the part of those who seem to be dumping on Lee because he is a threat. Maybe he lost Mayor election, but he has been on the City Council.

    For years many of us have been hoping there would be more legislative candidates who would have local government experience. This year we have Chuck Lee of Keizer and Paul Evans running in Sen. Dist. 10 (S. Salem-Monmouth) who is former Mayor of Monmouth.

    Not even sure your description of why Keizer was founded is accurate, but then I recall 2 friends debating whether it should have ever been a city, and a local legislator who voted to allow Keizer to be created.

  • (Show?)

    Wasn't the original title of this post 'Shields & Monroe explanations don't add up?' I mean, I think it's been established that one anonymous troll doesn't like House Democratic candidate Chuck Lee.

  • Anon (unverified)

    Fine, guys and gals. I wanted to know if Lee and/or Keen in my community reflect Democratic values or not. I asked a short and pretty simple set of questions that are important to a lot of people in the progressive movement and the Democratic Party. Questions happily answered by Courtney, Johnston, Deckert, Walker, and any other Democrat who supports the party's most important values. If Lee were a progressive Democrat, I'm sure Hunt would have had him sign on long ago to put my fears to rest. The silence is deafening.

    I haven't told anyone what to think or how to vote. I've asked questions about Lee, about Keen and about the price of achieving power. I thought blogs were created exactly for this kind of discussion. But on this blog, on these questions, one must tow the Future PAC line of winning at all costs or be labeled a Republican.

    Instead of taking questions about women's rights seriously, you attack me. I guess that means I know the answers to the questions. You know them, too. And, you clearly don't want them in print, especially on a progressive blog. You've told us (the masses) all we deserve to know" "Chuck Lee is a nice guy who is electable. He is registered as a Democrat. Now stop asking questions and vote." Neither Lee or Keen are worth supporting and a serious discussion on the cost of achieving power in Oregon is beyond the scope of this blog.

    What a shame.

  • LT (unverified)

    Anon, apparently you didn't read what C. Burr said about the original subject of this topic.

    And if you truly live in Dist. 25, you can get contact info off the Sec. of State filings website and contact the candidates personally. That you have chosen the blog route and on an off message topic makes me suspect you are a troll or some other type of troublemaker.

    If you are living in Dist. 25 and are too lazy or otherwise unwilling to ask the candidates those questions in person or over the phone, that is the true shame.

  • LT (unverified)

    One more thing. My friends would laugh at the idea that because I think Anon should ask the questions of the candidates personally instead of on this blog that makes me a supporter of " one must tow the Future PAC line of winning at all costs or be labeled a Republican" --few have been more critical of FP than I have.

    But that is because I believe in face to face politics, not "sorry, that district has a lousy R to D ratio" (as FP often has said) or someone trying to stir up trouble on a blog topic unrelated to what they are asking.

    And if you are saying "answering Anon's questions is the only way to prove one supports womens rights", that is baloney!
    How do we know Anon is someone who cares about those rights and not just agent provocateur?

    Of course, Anon, if you asked the candidates those questions yourself, you'd have to reveal your identity. Perhaps you are not willing to do that.

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