Courage for Democrats

By Ted Quackenbush of Sherwood, Oregon. Ted describes himself as a "concerned progressive Marine Corps Vietnam vet" and is a board member of Veterans in Action.

As a Marine Corps Vietnam vet, I think it's time to target our resources and focus on helping the Governor. Some Democrats seem to be avoiding taking a strong stand in favor of the Governor and we need to change that. This lack of personal courage to stand up for what you and your party stands for is appalling.

As a proud fellow Marine Corps veteran, Governor Kulongoski is an inspiring example of true personal courage and dedication to Democratic principles. Democrats as a party need to support and emulate those traits as much as possible.

I think the Dems can benefit from the 5 principles of Marine Corps Leadership:

1. You must be technically and tactically proficient.

2. Make sound and timely decisions - a good plan executed now is better than a great plan executed too late. Be decisive, act, and be ready to adapt.

3. Set the example.

4. Know your Marines and look out for their welfare - it's not about you, it's about the troops, everything else is only support.

5. Train your Marines as a team - morale and esprit de corps depend on everyone feeling part of it.

The Dems need to take a stand and grow a set. We don't want the shame of this state having a Republican Governor.

Comments

  • Bill (unverified)
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    "Some Democrats seem to be avoiding taking a strong stand in favor of the Governor and we need to change that. This lack of personal courage to stand up for what you and your party stands for is appalling."

    I agree - it is appalling. Absolutely appalling that Kulongoski failed to find the courage to stand up for education funding, tax reform, marriage equality,... And I sincerely hope the guy can "grow a set" before November.

    But it sounds like there may be another non-Saxton alternative on the ballot this year...

  • listensecond (unverified)
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    Kulongoski took on the pharmaceutical lobby and has consistently fought for lower prescription drugs. He's worked to get our economy back on track -- adding over $100,000 new jobs since taking office -- and has made providing opportunity for Oregon's middle class the central mission of his 3 years in office. The Governor is standing up to the big car companies by pushing for more efficient -- and less polluting -- autos for folks. His healthy kids plan would provide access to Oregon's uninsured children.

    Bill, I don't understand why anyone would support the former Republican Senator from Bend because of marriage equality of all issues. The Governor has been a champion of gay rights since the 1970s; it's the "non-Saxton alternative" who's campaigned for Measure 36, which enshrined bigotry in our state's constitution.

  • Bill (unverified)
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    It's not just about equal protection, which the Governor ran from as fast as he possibly could.

    (Like so many in the Democratic party that year, Kerry and Hardy Myers included, he clearly wished those tax-paying, creative, productive, married gay and lesbian Americans would just go away...)

    But Kulongoski also failed - miserably - as an advocate for education funding. As a parent with kids in the public schools, I know of very few enthusiastic backers for Ted. We've seen him in action (or inaction) - and realize we're on our own.

    Westlund is intriguing - he says all Oregonians are due equal constitutional protections (including marriage contracts), and promises to fight for school funding and tax reform. Ted (and Hardy) did nothing in the face of a direct and successful assault on my family's legal worth and value, or in response to the financial needs of my children's schools.

    I admit I don't know Westlund. I've been a solid, loyal Democrat for years, and I certainly have no interest in Saxton. But I do know Ted. With Ted, my schools suffered and my legal rights were cut back. Ted (and Democrats, as a party) decided to drop my family like we don't matter. That has consequences - or should. If there's an alternative, I'm interested!

  • LT (unverified)
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    Just looked at the KATU poll results, and it appears that Ted K's crack that he is running against 2 Republicans" is not gaining him the support he needs.

    Maybe Tim Nesbitt and the others who recently joined the campaign will get through to Ted and tell him that those who voted for him in 2002 and were not happy with the result have the right to question whether he should be re-elected. When people who campaigned for Ted in 2002 get together at social events like one I attended last week and say things like "They called her Queen Minnis because there was no king in the capitol" (the implication being that Kitzhaber was better at standing up publicly for his beliefs and against Republican legislative leadership than Gov. Ted), making a partisan appeal won't win those folks back.

    At a recent social gathering someone made the remark that when Gov. Ted was asked about the civil unions bill, his response was along the lines of "that issue was important to Karen Minnis".

    The derisive remarks about that crack were along the lines of "...and your point is...?" and "So, what should be done about that?". Was Karen's view of the bill more important than the views of people Ted is trying to attract to his campaign now? Will Ted ever publicly answer that question?

    Attacking people like me for saying Ted K. has been a disappointment will not win strong support from people who campaigned for Ted for Gov. in 2002 and didn't like the result. I would love to see Ted trying to win my vote--but that would require Ted explaining Ted's actions in the last session. That doesn't seem to be happening.

  • Emess (unverified)
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    Listensecond:

    Yes. The governor has been a champion of gay issues since the 1970s. And he's still struggling to get some traction on that issue in 2005. I have enormous respect for the man, but simply holding a position for 30 years doesn't mean anything to me. there's other stuff that he's done.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Ted -

    Politics is not war. And our obligations as voters in a democracy are not that of soldier in the military.

    Even though the radical right wing in this country is taking us down the road to facism by using fear and war as a tool to terrorize us, having a set has very little to do with what you describe.

    What you so describe, and what the military is all about, is carrying out a mission someone else gave you. That is not leadership. Leadership is about standing up and defining governing goals and values people identify with. And then governing to defend those values so that we only fall back on military action as the very last resort.

    As a Democrat, I recognize K has not demonstrated the quality and level of leadership ability we need in these times very well these past four years. It very well may be that he actually does not have that ability. We don't really know.

    At this time and this point in this election, his role is to prove he has that leadership ability suffiicient for the job, rather than just trying to persuade folks to help him fulfill his personal ambitions. We the people have the obligation in our democracy to think critically to elect the best representatives we can, and not simply fall in line behind him.

    That is personal courage.

  • listensecond (unverified)
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    Bill, the Governor did do something about the direct assault on your family's legal value. He publicly campaigned against Measure 36, but as you know opponents lost and supporters like Ben Westlund won. Ted not only supported the civil unions bill later, but also appointed a task for to address discimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. He appointed Rives Kistler -- the nation's first openly gay state Supreme Court Justice in the country.

    LT, no one has told you that you don't have the right to your opinion. And I'm assuming that you don't believe that I don't have the right to disagree with you.

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    According to Basic Rights Oregon, Ted Kulongoski has done more to advocate for equality than any sitting governor in the United States. Bill (and others), do you disagree? Can you name another governor?

    When I first heard this, it didn't sound right to me either. But, I thought long and hard. Ran down the list of 50 American governors... and you know what? BRO is right. You CAN'T name another governor who has done more for GLBT equality... because there isn't one.

    Do I wish that Governor Kulongoski could have created gay marriage with a stroke of a pen (like SF Mayor Gavin Newsom)? Sure. But it wouldn't have been legal (just as it wasn't in CA). Change is slow in coming, and I'm impatient, but that's the reality.

  • (Show?)

    Ted has been a courageous champion of gay rights since the 70's. He saved the public schools when he took the courageous stance to "fix" PERS against the wishes of most unions in the state. Because of his unpopular "fix" more money was available and school days did not have to be cut. Were your children's school days cut Bill?

    Westlund, a Republican who has historically not supported public education, gay rights or tax reform scares me because his about face and decision to become an Independent rather than a Republican has more to do with not being listened to than a true set of values and standards. His "victory" over his personal drug use also signals ..perhaps.. a lack of personal judgement, and reflects upon his character.

    Ted has done more good in 4 years than John Kitzhaber did in 8 years. Oops I forgot, Kitz saved the salmon, and was fixated on dam removals for 8 years and he invented a financially unsustainable Oregon Health Plan to the dissappointment of many Dems. And of course he turned away while Oregon's economy went into the tank. I still held my nose and voted for him because anything a Dem governor does is better than a Grover Norquist funded Republican candidate like Saxton.

    Most of us here on BlueOregon hold no distain for other opinions, even when we disagree with them. After all we here at BlueOregon celebrate the Democracy we live in.

    Democrats do need to stand together and re-elect Ted Kulongoski. I don't think it takes courage. I thinks it just takes common sense. He's the best candidate. The Big "O" stated it well this morning when it was written that Ted would appeal to any mainstream Democrat. There are many fiscally conservative socially progressive Dems lurking around BlueOregon who will happily vote for Ted Kulongoski.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    "Democrats do need to stand together and re-elect Ted Kulongoski."

    Paulie, that "hold your nose and vote Democratic because you are a blind loyal D with your head in the sand" attitude is not winning the support of most Democrats. Reread the above comments. Most progressives are not happy with what Kulo has done the last 4yrs, and are not happy to be "head in the sand" types. And Kari's single issue BRO stuff, maybe that is why Kulo has the worst ratings of all 50 (or 49..I can't remember) states? Being the best BRO gov is not going to win Kulo a 2nd term alone. What about schools? Kulo flunked that class last term, why send him back if you care about schools? Is appeasing BRO more important to progressives than improving out schools?

    If it was only Kulo vs Sax, then I see your point. But with Westlund, progressives have a choice, and it appears that many are seriously evaluating that choice, rather than just punching the straight ticket.

    Now that Westlund has 18K signatures, he will get the additional to get on the ballot. His mo will go from 10% to the mid 20s soon enuf. Then it will become a 3 way horse race, with the other little 3 gaining 10% from the fringe, and leaving Kulo/Sax/Westlund to devide 90%. This race will be won by somebody getting 33-38%.

    Kulo is going to have to earn his way to a 2nd term, and it will not be by intelligent progressives suspending their brains and sticking their heads in the sand and trying to forget the last four years.

  • How about (unverified)
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    Former New Jersey Governor McGreevy? ;-)

  • listensecond (unverified)
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    Paulie was referring to Kitzhaber, not Kulongoski, with the "hold your nose comment."

    Ted increased Oregon Opportunity Grants by 70% and just yesterday had his Shared Responsibility roadmap -- a plan that will double the amount of students receiving grants -- affirmed by the State Board of Higher Education. He won an extra $74 mil for K-12 during the special session, and has worked to reduce overhead and increase direct financial aid to students.

    You may be right about his civil rights work not translating into electoral gains, but it's still the right thing to do. A lot of what he's focussed on has been important for the state, even if not always sexy for the media.

    The transportation package passed in 03 is a major deal for the state. It's getting people to work in the short term, but making smart investments in our infracture for the long term. It was the right move given what the economy looked like when Ted took office.

    We led the nation in hunger and unemployment when Ted took office. Creating 100,000 new jobs is a great example of our party's commitment to Oregon's working class families. I am proud to be voting for that.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    paulie -

    With comments like this:

    Oops I forgot, Kitz saved the salmon, and was fixated on dam removals for 8 years and he invented a financially unsustainable Oregon Health Plan to the dissappointment of many Dems.

    you prove you really lack the understanding of the difference between supporting the person (little K, who you seem to like so much) and standing up for Democratic values (which Big K did). In fact it wasn't that the plan is/was unsustainable but that little K lacks the moral integrity AND the leadership capability to lead on sustaining the plan.

    The only think I can say is supporters like you are convincing true Dems like me to look closer at just how much of a fraudulent Dem little K might be. Or you're a Rovian droid who is out trying to cost little K votes.

  • (Show?)

    This post was one of the best things I've read on Blue Oregon in a while. Thanks for writing it, Ted. Those five points are not exclusive to the military -- they are just common sense. It's awfully tough winning an election and holding a circular firing squad at the same time -- Oregon's just not that blue.

    I'm going to use these points as I go around visiting local Democratic parties, and I'll give you credit for bringing them to us.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Omigosh! I agree with ASK on something!

    I read on another topic that the new Ted for Gov. campaign manager reads Blue Oregon.

    Perhaps he will look at the comments here by Harry and Ask Questions First and decide that he needs such people to win in November.

    To answer a question Kari posed on another topic, there are those here who seem to think blind loyalty to Ted will win the election. There are those of us who think Kitzhaber was a better governor. Saying that Ted did more in 4 years than Dr. John Kitzhaber did in 8 won't win back those folks. Kitzhaber talked about specifics of what he had done more than Ted has.

    And about this: He saved the public schools when he took the courageous stance to "fix" PERS against the wishes of most unions in the state. Because of his unpopular "fix" more money was available and school days did not have to be cut. Were your children's school days cut Bill?

    Are there no districts like Hillsboro whose school days were cut sometime after Kulongoski was sworn in Jan. 2003? Were there no districts like Salem where teachers worked one or more days without pay to save money for education during a budget crunch? Are there any districts like Salem where teachers were then given less of a raise than administrators?

    If Saxton's attitude is "PERS is the root of all problems" and Kulongoski's attitude is "PERS was fixed, no further discussion of that needed, time to move on to something else", what about citizens (who may be private sector employees, not members of public employee unions) who want to ask questions about PERS? Is this the election where the major party candidates want us to accept their views of PERS, no questions asked? What about those who say "PERS strikes me as more complex than candidates make it sound"? I remember the bills to "fix PERS". Very little public debate (none from Saxton) except that "PERS must be fixed this session. Period."

    Ted should say "The reason we needed this particular PERS fix was...". Ron should admit that if he got every PERS change he ever wanted, that won't alone deal with classes cut over the years, bureaucracy in large districts, smaller districts which seem to prefer things like 2 vice principals in a middle school rather than funding teachers. Not to mention the cost of transportation in rural districts given the rising price of fuel.

    Of course, those are real life costs instead of debating points. Us vs. them with public employee unions as pawns only appeals to those who don't ask "OK, what else do you have to offer besides your talking points on PERS?" Maybe candidates would rather use debating points even if some voters consider that intellectually lazy. For those who don't recall how Kitzhaber got elected Gov. in the first place, much of it had to do with speaking substance to audiences. Members of groups he spoke to (incl. groups like Rotary) then told their friends how impressed they were with the serious doctor who had been in the legislature. We have yet to see that level of substance and detail in this Gov. election.

  • Bill (unverified)
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    "Can you name another governor?"

    I'd take Christine Gregoire in a heartbeat! She's smart, progressive, proactive (gas taxes to fix aging infrastructure), invests in education, and is a real advocate for children. She was reportedly in the Washington State Legislature to personally watch the close vote that added civil protections for gays and lesbians, to see that legislators voted the way they'd promised her they would.

    A leader. What a concept. And tantalizingly close, too!

    "Bill, the Governor did do something about the direct assault on your family's legal value. He publicly campaigned against Measure 36"

    Really? When? There wasn't even a separate statement in the Voter's Pamphlet (I think his name was included - in tiny print - with a list of other opponents). He (and his Attorney General) sat back and watched as the state constitution was amended to explicitly exclude gays and lesbians from marriage equality. There was minimal leadership from the Governor at a critical time.

    "Because of his unpopular "fix" (PERS reform) more money was available and school days did not have to be cut. Were your children's school days cut Bill?"

    No - but I think that had a lot more to do with Multnomah voters (first the itax, now one time county monies), our state legislators (who extended a Portland property tax), and the Portland City Council (more one time monies). And legions of exhausted parent and teacher and school staff volunteers. Once again, the Governor was not much of a presence, a leader - or a help.

    So again, Westlund is intriguing. I'm not saying he has my vote yet, but I'm interested. He says he made a mistake on 36. His words on equality (viewable on his campaign website) are as now pretty as Ted's - and (I know there's a lot of lipstick going on this pig, but...) Ted is a proven disappointment in the action department.

    This is the one posted comment I don't get at all...

    "His (Westlund's) "victory" over his personal drug use also signals ..perhaps.. a lack of personal judgement, and reflects upon his character."

    Actually, Westlund's victory over drug use signals...perhaps...good character, hard work, and personal responsibility. These might even be experiences that help make...a leader?

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Sorry for the unintentional bold case at the end there.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Bill says he'd rather "take Christine Gregoire in a heartbeat!" I agree, having voted to make her governor, and I also worked to make sure she had Democratic majorities in both houses of the state legislature, so she could achieve those wonderful results we cheer. I'm sure Ted K. would love to be in her position, and I hope he ends up in that catbird seat here. I'm sure Oregon would benefit similarly. I don't believe anyone else can offer that hope.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Saxton (and other Republican candidates) would love nothing more than to see Ted K (and other Dem's) locked arm-in-arm with Roey Thorpe (now departed) and BRO. The next image fading across the screen will be a grainy, black & white image of Diane Linn and the Mean Girls (before they were mean) issuing same-sex marriage licenses in MultCo.

    We've seen it already in the Merkley attack ads run by Adams & Co. (The Minnis-Scott consulting firm in Salem). Whether BlueOregon admits it or not, BRO will become the Progressive's OCA by November.

    The MultCo license debacle, and BRO's role in it, will emerge in this campaign as soon as a candidate touts BRO's endorsement. This is hard ball politics, folks. Nesbitt & Co. would be wise to recognize this fact as a political vulnerability, not a strength.

    • Wes (The Heretic)
  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Well, if the governor's race here devolves to nothing more than sideshows designed to exploit bigotry, we will get the government such clueless fools deserve. I assume W. C. thinks the recent Republican intitiatives on flag-burning and staying-the-course in Iraq (as fine a course as it is [shudder]!) are excellent examples of impressive leadership. I will not cede our future to the politics of exploitation of people's baseless fears. We have very real and pressing problems to address, and your nightmares can only come true if we allow ourselves to be distracted.

  • LT (unverified)
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    We have very real and pressing problems to address, and your nightmares can only come true if we allow ourselves to be distracted.

    Yes, Ed, I agree. And the sooner we hear "Elect me governor because I have this vision with a specific plan to carry it out" instead of talking about organizational endorsements, the better off all Oregonians will be.

    Just got an email from a friend who has been both active Republican and fed up independent in recent years. There are people who have been both registered Republicans and public employees who retired on PERS (wonder if Saxton knows that).

    Here is what my friend said: "I tend to agree with you on the issue of partisanship. There simply is too much of it! Some issues, perhaps many, are made into political issues when that isn't necessary. An Independent as governor would surely result in less partisanship."

    A truly smart statewide campaign would address that concern. This formerly active Republican friend knew State Rep. Westlund, and I think is leaning towards voting for him as a person he knows well.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Proving why the premise of confusing politics for war that started this thread is sadly misguided:

    Let's face it, it's WWIII, Gingrich says http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=postman16m&date=20060716 http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/davidpostman/archives/2006/07/gingrich_says_its_world_war_iii.html

    Democrats will never win by trying to out fear-monger Republicans with the war theme. And be clear here, this is an election strategy Gingrich is talking about here and not actual prosecution of a war (unless we actually just go whole hog and embrace fascism). We will only win by harking back to FDR's "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" framing AND exposing Republicans as traitors to the democratic ideals of this country. And governors like little K and Gregoire (despite her performance on the one issue Bickford cites, she is no great shakes as a principled Dem with backbone) just have not exhibited that they have what it takes leadership-wise to hold up their corner of the national strategy required.

    And here's the question: Set aside whatever previous feelings you have about Israel for a moment. Simple population demographics prove that, absent some catastrophic world-wide violent event such as advocated by Gingrich and the traitorous right-wing, Israel is going to lose the population numbers game. And frankly, if such a population balance shifting event were to happen, the U.S. would become an pariah AND the energy resources the U.S. depends on would be increasingly unavailable.

    So what possible safety, never mind intelligence, is there in the war strategy at this time rather than finding a new path to peace? It will result in long lasting enmity and retaliation when the population numbers do become completely untenable. And despite what the psychotic right wing says (except for the whackos who believe this is the start of the apocalypse), there is no way for the U.S to win in the long run. The Asian subcontinent and particularly China, have no real dog on the U.S. side in the fight, and they stand to be the dominant economies in the future. Particularly if we chose to destroy our own economy and world credibility. They would do quite well if their population was able to move up economically and become consumers of their national economic output, given their numbers, AND the U.S. just went away as a competitor for oil resources.

    Get people to get perspective on their fear. Make FDR's incredibly wise statement that the reason the only thing we have to fear is fear itself real to them. Make people get in touch with their greater fear that that the lesser fear that leads to war will indeed destroy us. That is a Democratic value that will get people to vote. (I haven't even touched here on the very real issue of corporations working this war fear in their self-serving efforts towards globalization so that they survive at the cost of the American people.)

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Gingrich was selling his 'advent of the Apocalypse' shtick on "Meet the Press" today, in an interview along with Senator Biden.

    Gingrich is pandering to Christian fundamentalists' obsession with the wars that will prompt the Rapture: "we are in the early stages of what I would describe as the third world war, ... and this is the 58th year of the war to destroy Israel."

    Predictably, once Biden started talking about a diplomatic approach to dealing with Kim Jong-Il's sabre-rattling, Russert went into attack-dog mode.

    Biden says "John Kennedy said we should never negotiate out of fear, we should never fear negotiation. ... we should have a high-level negotiator sitting down, saying, “Here’s the deal. This is what’s in it for you if you behave, this is when it’s not.” You know why these guys wouldn’t do that three years ago? They’re afraid the answer may come back, “OK, we’ll give you verifiable agreement on missiles and on nuclear, but you got to promise not to try to take us down.”

    Russert jumps in: "Would you promise North Korea and Iran the regimes could stay in place if they stopped a nuclear program?" Bark! Bark!

    What the transcript doesn't show is that here the camera cut to Gingrich who is sitting there with his head down, chuckling! He comes to Biden's defense: "Let, let me speak for my good friend here, because I don’t think he quite meant to say that." It's not a good sign that Gingrich is having so much fun.

  • listensecond (unverified)
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    LT, you're entitled to process information however you like, but I assure you that many people do care about environmental and other organizational endorsements in the Governor's race. Maybe you don't like their choice -- but they've given Ted the nod because of his solid environmental work, including, but not limited to, implementing tough energy security measures that reduce global warming and increase our renewable energy portfolio in the state.

    If third party endorsements aren't important to Westlund, then it makes no sense that he's courting so many of the groups you seem to be unimpressed with.

    The Governor has been working hard to deliver relief to coastal salmon fishing communities, and he's working both across party and state lines. The areas in distress tend to be solidly conservative -- but helping them is the right thing to do for our state.

    The Governor has also put partisanship aside to invest in infrastructure and transportation projects, working across party lines to pass the most significant transportation package in the last fifty years. He worked with Republicans and Democrats alike -- and won passage of a massive investment for our state's future.

    Ted's certainly willing to stand up to Bush -- especially when clean air and water is at stake -- but he's not so blinded by partisanship that he can't work with Rs when progress is needed for our state on important issues.

  • LT (unverified)
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    All I was saying was that each indiv. makes their own decision. For instance, in a room with 10 people, there may be people who vote organizational endorsements, people who vote for someone they or their friends have met, people who vote for "that guy who made that great statement on TV" (or against someone who did something idiotic), etc. and they all have the right to their opinion. But I don't see how it helps a campaign to tell the person who supports a candidate they know, "but you know, there are people who vote for candidates based on organizational endorsements".

    I too saw the Meet the Press interview. And that relates to this topic. If every other person on Blue Oregon wants to vote for the candidate endorsed by some organization, more power to them. My preference would be to see a candidate for any office adopt a way of speaking Biden used this morning.

    Asked if we are winning the war in Iraq, he said "No, we are not. And here are the ingredients we need to win there..." He named off a number of things: a functioning bureaucracy which could make sure the Iraqi employees are paid and the troops are fed; a political solution which involves a "buy in" by all the ethnic groups; an end to the militias used by Sadr and others.

    That may or may not be the right answer, but at least he has specific steps in mind rather than slogans like "when Iraqis stand up, we will stand down".

    Let me make myself clear. Anyone who wants to vote for the candidate endorsed by their favorite organization should do so. I have no problem with that, regardless of listensecond's statement "I assure you that many people do care about environmental and other organizational endorsements in the Governor's race".

    I was not being exclusionary. If 100 people who read this blog base their vote on organizational endorsements, then all 100 of those people should vote for the endorsed candidate of their choice.

    My question was different, and perhaps more nuanced: If everyone who cares about organizational endorsements votes for the candidate endorsed by their favorite organization, will those voters alone be enough to win? Or does a victorious candidate have to attract a wider following?

    There are people who are very excited by, for example, the OLCV endorsement. There are other voters, however, who don't know that OLCV stands for Oregon League of Conservation Voters.

    There are others who may know all about OLCV but think perhaps education or public safety are more important. Are their votes needed to win, or will the margin of victory be sufficient if all those who care about organizational endorsements vote the endorsement?

    I happen to think that a line I quoted above from a friend IS very important to the outcome of elections: "Some issues, perhaps many, are made into political issues when that isn't necessary. "

    For instance: funding of public safety. The horrific plane crash near the Hillsboro Air Show brought out all sorts of public safety personnel. They appear to be doing a good job of handling the emergency. But will we hear any statewide or legislative candidate this year talking about how much it costs to deal with such an emergency, how to pay for it, praise for those emergency workers who handled a challenge well?

    Or will we just hear about public safety union endorsements, whether the emergency personnel fall under PERS or a local government retirement system apart from PERS, and generalities about "government waste" etc.?

    I think this is a year problem solvers (and those who talk about the steps needed to identify and solve problems) will do very well. But don't think I am trying to influence anyone's vote. If listensecond or anyone else wants to vote for an organizationally endorsed candidate, by all means do so. Just don't claim motives for me that I don't have.

    If someone wants to vote organizational endorsement, by all means do so. If someone wants to vote for a person who talks specific proposals, by all means do so. If someone met one or more candidates and formed an opinion, by all means go with that opinion.

    AND, if someone says "This is July, we just had a major plane crash--so why are you debating politics?", I say more power to them! That sentiment is probably close to the views of the majority of Oregonians who realize they don't have to decide about elections until late October.

  • Aaron (unverified)
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    AND, if someone says "This is July, we just had a major plane crash--so why are you debating politics?", I say more power to them! That sentiment is probably close to the views of the majority of Oregonians who realize they don't have to decide about elections until late October.

    Blue Oregon is a political blog. Politics is debated here -- no one's forcing you to participate.

  • (Show?)

    And Kari's single issue BRO stuff, maybe that is why Kulo has the worst ratings of all 50 (or 49..I can't remember) states? Being the best BRO gov is not going to win Kulo a 2nd term alone.

    Let me just be crystal clear here... I do think there are many reasons to vote for Ted K that have nothing to do with gay rights. I'm just reacting to some gay rights supporters that seems to be saying things like, "he didn't do enough for us". So far, no one has been able to name a governor in the country who did more for equality than Ted Kulongoski. (Other than a joke answer of NJ/McGreevey - who is no longer in office, and one of WA/Gregoire, which focused on a bunch of other issues.)

  • Bill (unverified)
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    Kari wrote: "So far, no one has been able to name a governor in the country who did more for equality than Ted Kulongoski. (Other than a joke answer of NJ/McGreevey - who is no longer in office, and one of WA/Gregoire, which focused on a bunch of other issues.)"

    During Gregoire's term in Washington, civil rights protections were extended to gays and lesbians. As I understand it, she lobbied hard for passage of the bill - even sitting in the Legislature as they voted to make sure certain legislators fulfilled the promises they made to her of support.

    During Kulongoski's term in Oregon, a whole horde of faith-based crusaders (including the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland) pushed hard, and successfully, for the selective denial of a basic constitutional protection for gays and lesbians. Ted who?

    Give me Gregoire (or maybe Ben!).

  • Dan J (unverified)
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    I agree with Mr. Quackenbush.

    Dems neet to " grow a set".

    Ted, thanks for your service to this country. Thanks for stating the obvious.

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    Ironically, I think that if Ted had spent more of the last three and a half years following those five principles, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all because Ted would be polling in the high 60s, Westlund would be hanging out on his ranch, and we'd be talking about how Ted's coattails were gonna help us retake the House this fall...

    1. You must be technically and tactically proficient.

    HA! I think even most of Ted's supporters on here would concede that politically he hasn't been very adept. After all, the party line seems to be Ted has done so many great things that he's just not getting any props for. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what political tactics are all about.

    2. Make sound and timely decisions - a good plan executed now is better than a great plan executed too late. Be decisive, act, and be ready to adapt.

    Damn, I wish he'd have thought of this before ceding all the early ground on budget negotiations last year.

    3. Set the example.

    I'll give him this one. In attending the funerals of Oregon's fallen soldiers and other actions, Ted has consistently show himself to me a man of high personal integrity. If everyone were so dedicated, we really wouldn't even need leadership.

    4. Know your Marines and look out for their welfare - it's not about you, it's about the troops, everything else is only support.

    Another flunk that I think is difficult to dispute. I mean, we're some of Ted's marines right here — progressive activists — and clearly we aren't universally impressed. Ted may be doing his best to look out for our welfare as far as he knows it, but he really seems disconnected in regards to what's important to his troops (both us as activists, and the state as a whole).

    5. Train your Marines as a team - morale and esprit de corps depend on everyone feeling part of it.

    Getting a bit feisty in that debate joint press conference with Saxton was a good start, but again it just seems that Ted doesn't understand how to energize the troops and get people excited. Time and again I see people on here practically begging to be inspired. It seems like virtually all of us really want to support Ted, but we want to do it because we know in our hearts that he's going to spend the next four years being a truly great governor, not just because he's better than his opponents.

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    just wanted to add under #1 that "tactically proficient" also means winning a few more skirmishes with the Republican Speaker; something that's been far too rare...

  • CAPTAIN DANDy (unverified)
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    "Equality" extends beyond the gay community. What has Ted done to promote equal opportunities and justice for black folks, homeless folks, low income folks, and folks with disabilities? It seems to me that the marginalized people in our state are no better off than before he took office. REAL Democrats focus and deal with the down trodden. Has Ted REALLY done so? I believe that Ben Westlund is more of a Democrat than Ted has ever been or has the "grow some" to be.

  • Stryker (unverified)
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    If Westlund's a progressive, then I've got to find a new label. I've heard both Westlund and others talk about his so-called "regret" about authoring a pro-Measure 36 statement for the voters pamphlet. I've heard little regret on other anti-progressive Westlund initiatives.

    Last legislative session, the "new, reformed" Ben Westlund went out of his way to AUTHOR a bill allowing irrigators and developers to drain down Deschutes River flows in Central Oregon. Now anyone who's been to Bend or Redmond lately can attest to the reckless development occuring in the Basin, and luckily, Oregon has a law that prevents industry, agriculture and development from degrading flows on Scenic Waterways like the Deschutes.

    Or at least we had such a law, until Westlund used his "moderate" credentials and swing-vote status to overturn a District Court decision that actually enforced it (see the url in typepad and this link-http://landru.leg.state.or.us/05reg/measures/hb3400.dir/hb3494.en.html)

    Now maybe he was just doing the bidding of his developer constituents in Bend, or just maybe his progressiveness is one of convenience.

    It's a crapshoot, and I learned a long time ago that while craps has the best odds in gaming, in the long run if you play, you lose.

    Anyone wanna bet the state?

    Baby needs a new pair of ........

  • LT (unverified)
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    Nate hit the nail on the head:

    ". Time and again I see people on here practically begging to be inspired."

    How much more intelligent than "here is what is wrong with Ben...".

    If Ted were an inspiring figure with 2005 examples of standing up to the House leadership, with a vision for the future and a detailed plan to carry it out (I don't mean "my education enterprise is good because..." I mean "Here are the 4 parts of my education enterprise, and here are the steps needed to fully implement the plan...") Ted would be doing better in the polls than the 54% of votes in the primary, and Ben would not be attractive to some who campaigned for Ted in 2002.

    The biggest mistake Ted made in 1982 (the year he ran for Gov. and lost) was to spend more time talking about opponents than about himself and his plans. As the old Saturday Night Live skit used to say, "Hear me now and believe me later". If Ben Westlund were to disappear off the face of the earth I would still be saying this Ted for Gov. campaign gives me a bad feeling that Ted is making the mistakes of 1982. And comments like Stryker's don't change the fact that Ted has to talk about Ted's plans and Ted's record.

    If you don't like Westlund's voting record, get off this blog and spend your spare time campaigning for Ted.

    Just don't think "here's what is wrong with Westlund's voting record" will translate into support for Ted.

  • stryker (unverified)
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    With all due respect LT, what makes you think I'm not already doing that? I suffer under no illusion that Ted will be perfect on the issues I care about (school funding, health care, and environment), but I do know that he will be light years ahead of Saxton and Westlund on them.

    Once he's reelected it will be our job to give him enough support to push an agenda through what will likely continue to be a divided legislature. We, and I mean the big "WE" didn't do that last session and the Rs managed to gum up the works.

    With a Governor Saxton, our best strategy will be a rearguard action, while with Westlund, the Rs in the House (and a few flexible "d"s will run roughshod over the progressive agenda.

    I'd love to elect a Saint, but I haven't seen one run in a while.

    Now back to the campaigning.

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