Mary Starrett: For Governor?

Marystarrett_1This morning, on KPOJ's Thom Hartmann Show, news anchor Heidi Tauber mentioned a fast-moving rumor: that one-time local morning TV host, radio talk host, and Oregonians for Life executive director Mary Starrett might seek the gubernatorial nomination of the Constitution Party.

Over at NW Republican, they're reporting that word is "circulating through conservative circles". As blogger Coyote puts it:

Mary Starrett is a smart and friendly person and could potentially pose a problem for the Republican nominee.

The Oregon Constitution Party will be holding their nominating convention on Saturday.

Learn more about Mary Starrett at the Oregonians for Life website, as well as this archive of her written opinion columns.

Update: Yesterday's Statesman-Journal included this tantalizing quote from Constitution Party chair Bob Ekstrom:

"We've had what I would consider to be an excellent candidate for governor that has stepped forward," Ekstrom said. "I think our candidate this year is going to be someone you'd call a well-known public figure." He would only say that the nominee is not Lon Mabon, the anti-abortion rights activist who is the party's most prominent figure.

Update: Starrett confirms her candidacy to Jeff Mapes at the Oregonian. He blogs it here:

Starrett, 51, told The Oregonian Tuesday that she will seek the party's nomination when it holds a convention in Lake Oswego on Saturday. ... "If the Republicans were doing their job, I wouldn't be doing this."

Discuss.

Comments

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)
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    It's too bad she's so far right-wing...judging by her headshot, Mary Starrett may very well be as hot as Kate Brown...

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    Never judge a book by its cover.

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    OFL believes human life, from conception to natural death, deserves to be protected.

    She's anti-war!

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    At last, a cornicopia of candidates on the Republican side. Those Republicans who are upset with the "moderate" positions expoused by Saxton/Westlund will finally have someone tilted to vote for!

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    Ted may not be cooked after-all...

    RUN, MARY, RUN!!!

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    I hate to comment on this prior to an announcement on Saturday, but I just can't resist. I can't think of a better way for the right to lifers to destroy themselves. If Mary runs, it is for the sole purpose of ensuring that Saxton is not elected. If he ends up losing she will get the total blame, justified or not, and the Republican party in Oregon will be in an all-out civil war. If he wins, the hard core right to life will have no clout in his administration.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I think it would be hilarious if she ran as her TV personality (perky and friendly, not nasty or as dry as Saxton when he did the TV commentary with the "think about it" timeline).

    And if she were to talk about details of various programs (is she so concerned about human life that she'd take the Jackie Winters approach of refusing to cut programs for the neediest Oregonians, or is she of the tax cuts uber alles wing of the party?) that would really hurt ol' sound bite Ron.

    It would be great fun to see a debate with all the candidates, from the major candidates to Joe Keating of PGP to Mary S. Maybe then we could have some serious debate going beyond soundbites.

  • Ben Dover (unverified)
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    Perhaps Mary could run for governor and if the polls are not highly in her favor a couple of weeks before the election, she could quit and ask her supporters to vote for Saxton.

    Also, isn't there a state residency requirement to become governor in Oregon? I thought she has been living in Arizona the past three years hosting an AM radio talk show.

  • Justin (unverified)
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    Posted by: Jeff Alworth | May 30, 2006 4:43:09 PM

    OFL believes human life, from conception to natural death, deserves to be protected.

    She's anti-war!

    For what it's worth, she was against the Iraq War. Isolationist. Also hates the UN.

    There's a "meh" factor to her candidacy. That extreme right-wing party is going to run somebody, you know.

  • DonSaxton (unverified)
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    Best news I've heard!! Mybe Mary Starrett wil bleed enough conservative Votes away from my Cousin to stop him in his tracks come November!!! Seriously though- does this really change the real threat to splinter the vote with Ben Westlund, and Ted Kulongosky, trying to vie for essentially the same Voter base, leaving Ron Saxton open for the Conservative Vote?? I Do hope so, but I'm very concerned this effort is coming a bit too late in the process to have any real impact.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Her party's announcement highlights the fact that her primary credential for governor is that she "is not Lon Mabon." Now that has some traction . . .

    With TeddyK, Ronbo, Benny and "I'm not Mabon Mary" in the race, the only thing guaranteed is that Oregon's next governor will be elected with a plurality, not a majority, of votes. Just like 1990 with Babs, Frowny and Al "I'm not Mabon" Mobley.

    • Wes
  • Levon (unverified)
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    Would this Mary be related to Kevin Starrett, the guy with the gun fetish (Oregon Firearms Federation)?

    Just curious...

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    ...and the Republican party in Oregon will be in an all-out civil war.

    I can't wait.

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    Her party's announcement highlights the fact that her primary credential for governor is that she "is not Lon Mabon."

    She's Lon Mabon in drag. Very important distinction. Or not.

  • David English (unverified)
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    This could prove to be a VERY interesting Goveror's Race

    Kulongoski vs. Saxton vs. Westland vs Starrett

    Let's get ready rumble!

  • Eric (unverified)
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    The question is - Where was she born and where did she grow up? Unless any of those come up Oregon, I have to vote for Saxton because he grew up in Oregon and went to chool and college in Oregon.

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    For what it's worth, she was against the Iraq War. Isolationist. Also hates the UN.

    True believers are interesting birds. Mostly unelectable (politics is about coalitions, not ideological purity), but they bring an interesting mojo to the table. If she is an isolationist, it may actually help Ted by reminding moderate swing voters that Ted's a former marine and a supporter of the troops.

    Immigration, abortion, fiscal responsibility--the very issues the GOP demagogued to seize power now seem to be the wedge issues shattering resolve in the party.

    But here's a question I have for all the wonky types: is Starrett enough of a candidate to offset Westlund--or does it help his candidacy?

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    Sorry, that "it" in the last phrase should be "she." Wasn't trying to cheaply slag Starrett. I think I was thinking "her candidacy" as the object when I wrote "it."

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)
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    What if she wins? The race has no liberals, so they stay home. Ted, Ben and Ron split the moderate vote and Starret puts on a decent campaign and takes the 25% of the electorate who are hard core right wing.

    Not likely to happen, but let's get this scenario circulated, rather than just whooping it up about how her entry into the race kills Saxton's chances.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Would someone please tell me the 2006 definition of "liberal"?

    Seems to me that is a 20th century term relating to the Industrial Age. Paul Wellstone was the last true liberal--it seems to me--and people of that quality are few and far between.

    What if voters in 2006 are not looking for ideology, they are looking for solutions?

    If Ben and Ted talk specifics (showing their knowledge of the Oregon budget in a way Ron and Mary have no clue about) then I say "let the best man win".

    Think back to January 1996. Did Ron Wyden beat Gordon Smith based on ideology? Or was it that Ron choose to go 100% positive (too late for someone I worked with who was so disgusted by the negativity he contemplated not voting, but early enough to win the election) and engage in dialogue with ordinary folks--while Gordon was on TV incessently telling us what we were "all real tired of"?

    Given that Gordon ran a totally different campaign the 2nd time, my guess is that he figured out he'd made mistakes.

    I don't think most people are spending the first week of June contemplating such "chess moves" as "The race has no liberals, so they stay home. Ted, Ben and Ron split the moderate vote and Starret puts on a decent campaign and takes the 25% of the electorate who are hard core right wing."

    I suspect voters are (as a friend of mine said last year when he was a legislative staffer) looking for someone "with a vision for the next 10 years and a plan to carry it out".

    I doubt Mary or Ron have that vision or any specific plan. If Ted and Ben could spend the next few months arguing who has the better vision and the better plan, Oregon would be in great shape because the winner would have a mandate--no matter who wins control of the House and Senate.

    Go back to Kitzhaber vs. Denny Smith in 1994. I recall a friend who is a swing voter (but default Republican unless has reason to vote otherwise) going to Rotary to hear both candidates. And choosing Kitzhaber because he talked substance and Denny was "just another slick politician". That isn't ideology, that is how the candidates come across to ordinary folks in the fall.

    There is strong feeling in the Legislative Commission (there was an Oregonian editorial about this yesterday, as I recall) that, in the words of one Commissioner, control of the legislature has become about "teams" collecting campaign dollars to see who "wins". Is that really ideology, or just raw power of the sort so many voters are disgusted with?

    My guess is that whoever can present an appealing vision will win.

    And I don't know who in the Oregon political talent pool as a "liberal" has a better vision for the future of this state than anyone who will/could be on the ballot in the fall. Which legislators are "liberal"? Should a statewide elected official have run for Governor?

  • Eric (unverified)
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    Who cares if they are Liberal or Conservative - as long as they were born and raised in Oregon.

  • Jon (unverified)
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    Would this Mary be related to Kevin Starrett, the guy with the gun fetish (Oregon Firearms Federation)?

    Just curious...

    Isnt he her brother?

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    "Your point being that there is a difference between Ted and Ron - and there isn't," she said. "If the Republicans were doing their job, I wouldn't be doing this."

    That's from Mapes' blog, and it perfectly captures what life is like at the extremes. No difference between Ron and Ted? Your perspective has to be VERY far out in outer space for the spectrum to be compressed enough that they look like comparable candidates.

  • Darrell Fuller (unverified)
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    Yes, Mary and Kevin are brother and sister, although I wouldn't assume one subscribes to the politics of the other on any given issue.

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    In doing research for our Weekly Update today, I found that Mary wrote some pretty interesting articles on:

    1. How WalMart is planting "Big Brother" microchips in your Gillete shaver, which then presumably ends up beeping your deepest secrets to satellites from your bathroom drawer; and

    2. One called (caps are hers, not mine): "WHY I'D VOTE FOR AL SHARPTON BEFORE I'D VOTE FOR GEORGE BUSH"

    Has anyone focus-grouped these messages? Hmmm...

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Hi Darrell. You are right, just because Mary and Kevin are siblings does not mean they share politics.

    Kevin is your basic right-wing gun nut with a chip on his shoulder, Mary is well beyond that, orbitting somewhere near Jupiter's second or third moon, trying to establish a signal back to us Earthlings.

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    Jeff wrote... But here's a question I have for all the wonky types: is Starrett enough of a candidate to offset Westlund--or does it help his candidacy?

    Actually, that's a better question for the hacks, rather than the wonks. The hacks can tell you about political tactics, while the wonks can discuss the impact of tax policy changes.

    Wonk: See Chuck Sheketoff. Hack: See Charlie Burr.

    For a discussion about the real war is between hacks and wonks, not Democrats and Republicans, see this piece in the Washington Monthly.

  • JB (unverified)
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    From a rant against MLK Day from Mary's News with Views archives:

    "King's well-documented ties with the Communist Party of the United States started with his involvement with the Southern Christian Leadership Congress. The SCLC was founded by two Jewish New Yorkers. One, lawyer Stanley Levison , was tagged as a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party, USA. The other founder was Bayard Rustin, well known as a homosexual and a Communist."

    Does this sound like a racist, anti-gay, anti-Semite to you? This is going to be fun!

  • Go Mary! (unverified)
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    Someone has to stand up for the babies!

    I know on this site such a view would seem unpopular, but someone has to stand up for the unborn children. Having 3 anti-life candidates is a travesty of politics -- a lack of choice for the cultural conservative.

    We need a real choice -- and at least one voice for morality.

  • A Real Choice (unverified)
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    SHE CAN WIN: This is a wonderful opportunity for the Right to Life Movement. With a Green, a high-profile Independent (pro-choice, pro-business) Westlund, a Pro-Choice/Pro-big-business Republican Saxton, a pro-choice/pro-business Democrat Kulongoski, there is a big chance for Mary. She might be able to become Governor with 22%-25% of the vote -- and there are that many pro-life people in Oregon.

    NOT A SPOILER: Also, with three people leaning left on the ballot, it's less likely for Mary to be a spoiler(with a Green and Westlund in the race...Saxton could still be the frontrunner in the race, even with Mary in the race). And even if she doesn't win, we can't afford to have the pro-life position silent in this election year.

    HOPEFUL YEAR: This could be a wonderful year for the Christian Conservative political movement. We will win parental notification, and we still have a chance for a pro-life governor.

    I encourage you to join us. And go Mary!

  • Go Mary! (unverified)
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    And I encourage even some of you Democrats to join with us. We can't have a race between 3 business sold out candidates -- the only difference being whether they're owned by Associated oregon Industries or the Portland Business Alliance.

    (And of course, it's the consultants who control those purse strings -- like Chuck Adams, Mark Weiner, etc. who are truly in charge.)

    Let's have a candidate who's not owned by business and who stands up for morality and for the unborn children who can't stand up for themselves.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Does "stand up for the babies" mean concern about their well being from conception to adulthood, or only conception to birth?

    There are some religious people beginning to say that those who only care about conception to birth (after birth care being less important than cutting spending on programs for needy children and families) are "merely pro-birth, not pro-life".

    A candidate who runs on anti-abortion alone without defining a vision of how to pay for education, health care and public safety is a candidate who deserves to lose.

    A candidate who talks about a variety of issues, incl. the welfare of Oregonians already born, would be a contribution to the debate.

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    you gotta love the hopeful idealism of someone who believes Mary can win! That's faith.

  • R Murphy (unverified)
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    “We need a real choice -- and at least one voice for morality.”

    I find it particularly disturbing that you’d assume, in your galling self-righteousness, that only those who agree with your position on abortion are moral. You mentioned that your post would be unpopular here. Rest assured, it’s not because of your position on abortion, but because of your insistence that only those who share your views are principled. It’s quite difficult to take seriously anyone with such a narrow view of morality.

    But such is the only currency of the true believer.

  • Jeff Smathers (unverified)
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    I just sent a reply to the NRNC about their request for contributions and this is what I sent them:

    Re: Contributions request sent to me 06/01/06

    I have contributed for years, and have been a Republican for 40+ years. The republican party has just lost the Capitalization in my book. Their conservative base is meaningless. The republican and conservative terms are no longer correlative.

    Tell the usual recipients of my money that they will have to show an extreme turnaround of conservative representation of about 30 -40 years ago before they get another dollar from me. That goes for about 12 -15 of my republican family members and friends who are also going to the Independent or Constitution parties.

    The republican and democrat parties are just a different shade of socialism anymore……

    Jeff Smathers Molalla, Oregon

    Snipped from a letter I wrote President Bush >>> The government by law has illegally “gifted” invaders the assets owned by its citizens. Further they are “taxing” the citizens to promote an illegal activity that is constitutionally prohibited.

    Its going to hurt, but we must not allow this amnesty to happen nor accomodate the transgressions of our government or of those that came here without an invitation. <<<<

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    Wonk: See Chuck Sheketoff. Hack: See Charlie Burr.

    Very funny.

    In my hack wisdom -- and this isn't really too profound -- I think this helps Ted, but that the importance can pretty easily be overstated. Third party spoiler on the far end of the electroal spectrum do the most damage when that party has been in power for a while, and the partisan intensity isn't as great.

    Starrett will cause some frustration and headaches for Saxton, but Republicans seem more hungry to win this year, and less likely to vote in the general for a candidate with zero chance of winning. Still, even if her vote pull isn't that great, anything that complicates Saxton's cynical and calculating march back to the middle is unwelcomed. That is, he could argue, "hey, I'm just as troglogyte on choice as anyone else" but this would not be helpful for his "different type of Republican" message.

    Assuming he gets on the ballot, it's also marginally helpful to Westlund. Ben's voters aren't the fetus empowerment crazies, and anything that diminishes support for Saxton also helps him too mathmatically.

    I don't expect her to have a big electoral impact -- even though in a really close race everything counts -- but rather she could be helpful to Ted about what issues take center stage. Oregon is a pro-choice state, and Ted's the only solidly and consisently pro-choice canidate in the race.

    One more factor in all of this is the anti-choice parental notification ballot measure (DANGER!!) that will be on the ballot. It will increase turnout on both sides of the issue, but Saxton may not be a big beneficiary of the increased turnout.

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    "King's well-documented ties with the Communist Party of the United States started with his involvement with the Southern Christian Leadership Congress. The SCLC was founded by two Jewish New Yorkers. One, lawyer Stanley Levison , was tagged as a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party, USA. The other founder was Bayard Rustin, well known as a homosexual and a Communist."

    I suggest that all communists, homosexuals, jews, and abortion rights adovcates join me in hosting signs for the lovely and morally upright Ms. Starrett.

    If we can get her profile high enough, she'll bleed off every right winger with a persecution complex from the terminally lefty Replican't Party. Ted will win walking away, and Saxton and his will know exactly what hit him.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
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    Is this another sign of Portland's "liberal media"?

    How many local Portland TV anchors/hosts go on to become prominent anti-liberals? Let's see, Lars Larson, Bill O'Reilly, John Stossel, and now Mary Starrett... am I missing any? Have they tested the water over at Portland's network locals?

    • Bob R.
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