Doing the DPO Laundry

Pat Ryan

089cusworth2003 Fun times are ahead for delegates to the state central committee. At the next meeting they will elect the officers who will guide the party in preparing for the '08 election cycle. Some of us with fantasies of competence at state are following this horse race with interest. Others, I'm sure, would rather watch paint dry, or maybe even a baseball game, but that's just repetitive. So anyway here's a little snapshot of how things stand today.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Please see this note from Jim Edmunson correcting this post.]

Jim Edmunson, current fearless leader, is stepping down from his chair position to run for drumroll the newly minted male vice-chair position. Mr. Edmunson is apparently supporting Carol Voisin, fresh off the CD campaign for chair.

So here's how the competition for three top spots look right now:

Chair
Meredith Wood Smith
Mac Prichard
Carol Voisin

Vice Chair (male)
Bill Kroger
Jim Edmunson

Vice Chair (female)
Jill Thorn

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I ain't getting into my preferences, except to say that since my pal Chuck Butcher ain't running for anything here, those of us concerned with getting a few votes from independents, and espousing populist rhetoric to achieve that goal, will be watching this race with bated breath.

Anyone who reads the "comments" section already knows where I stand regarding current leadership, both negative and positive.

I do hope that folks like:

Pat Ackley who built the Deschutes County Dems up from nothing and designed the traveling  Dem candidate forum for CD 2;

Meredith Wood Smith who spent thousands of hours and many of her own dollars traveling the entire state in the effort to promote the Dem message;

Mac Prichard who was absolutely indispensable to the Kerry effort along the West bank of the Willamette;

Jill Thorn who built the Clackamas Dem party up from its "frozen in amber" state in 2002 to its current incarnation as a Fightin' Activist Base Camp ;

Will all start getting the recognition that they deserve. After all, recognition of outstanding activists is first and foremost a tool to inspire more involvement by the grassroots.

Those who fail to recognize this basic fact of life should be instantly disqualified until Emergency Ego Deflation can be certified to have occurred.

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Note: Any specific mention of Dem activists by name is not meant to diminish the many, many, others that I didn't mention. When talking about my own efforts over the past five years I like to start out with something like:

Me'n about eleven million other progressives..............

Comments

  • Josh Balloch (unverified)
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    In 2006 I was worked with Jill Thorn in Clackamas County during the GOTV effort.

    Simply put, Jill was AMAZING. She was smart, hard working, committed and brought a level of understanding and clam to every campaign she touched.

    I watched her work minor miracles in parts of Clackamas County all by using a very simple yet effective strategy: "Get the right people in the right places and let the grass roots take hold."

    I can honestly say that Jill is an asset to our party.

    In 2006 Jill helped delivered Clackamas County to the Democrats. Lets reward her with more work.

  • Noelle (unverified)
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    I can tell you as a member of the DPO Committee Body, I've received campaign letters from three of the candidates listed above... so the campaigns are obviously firing up! I've already decided my vote for chair, and am leaning on the other positions, but it is great to see competition out there among the activists for these positions in politics that most people don't hear about.

  • Spicey (unverified)
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    Anyone who has run against Greg Waldon has my vote. Plus, it may give Carol more cache as she runs again in 2 years to take back Eastern Oregon in the great Dem tsunami/takeover of the legislative branch 'o gov't in DC.

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    Carol Voisin ran against Greg Walden, attempting to unseat a Republican incumbent in the 2nd Congressional District. During her campaign she learned just how incredible and critical each Democratic County organization was as she traveled up and down the state. She also learned about the strengths and areas DPO needs to improve. She is committed to improving the DPO's support for Democratic candidates and increasing two-way communication between Counties and the DPO. Carol beat out three Democratic candidates in the Primary mainly because once you've met her, she is clearly a stand out among Democrats.

    Carol is known for her strong organizational skills, knack at coalition building, and public speaking prowess. She really cares about people and listens to her conscience, not just political consultants when she takes a stand. As Chair of the DPO she'll owe no favors,and her thinking and leadership will be strong and fresh as she moves the DPO toward Howard Dean's 50 state strategy.

    Carol is setting up a website, has developed her platform and will be in contact with delegates very soon.I ask all delegates to study each candidate for Chair, read their literature, and listen to each candidates speech before making a decision on who should lead the DPO.

    Some background information about Carol Voisin:

    She was born in Kansas, raised in Denver, the daughter of a city bus driver, her mother a grocery store worker, both of her parents were union workers. Her first job was delivering newspapers at the age of eight. She put herself through college, married and like many couples at the time watched her husband leave to fight in Viet Nam, the war both of them had protested. Their marriage didn't survive the war. She earned her Masters and doctorate and worked at Duke University administering programs. She's been a small business owner, sold real estate and now teaches Ethics at Southern Oregon University.

    Through the eyes of the many County Democrats she met during her campaign she resolved she would do all she could to help those who helped her. That is just one of the reasons she is running for Chair of the DPO. Listen, read and get to know Carol Voisin. Then make up your mind.

    Paulie Brading Chair: JCDCC

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    Meredith has worked hard the past few years, going around the state, listening to people, trying to improve the party, and more.

    She's done about as much as she can as vice-chair -- at some point you need to move up to chair to continue the work.

    If I'm lucky enough to get to vote (I'm an alternate, and only vote if a certain number of people are missing), I'm giving my vote to Meredith.

    Carol Voisin sounds great and all -- why doesn't she run for the vice chair position? Get to know the inner workings of the party as only a person on the inside can? Before she then makes a later run for chair?

  • Fmr. Campaign Staffer (unverified)
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    I haven't worked with all the people listed but if the rest are anything like Pat Ackley and you want more of them in the Democratic Party leadership, then pull out the chair and get me a freshly painted wall to watch dry while Republicans take back the state.

    I can't think of anyone in politics or any part of my life who is ruder and produces so little. No thanks!

    I coordinated with the DPO field staff and while we battled over priorities, they did a great job in getting county parties to actually do something for a change. But I also encountered party people like Pat who threw up obstacle after obstacle why they couldn't help the campaign, spend all their time saying why the campaign should do something different and are regularly rude to peons like me who apparently don't know anything because we're younger.

  • Jules Kopel-Bailey (unverified)
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    I worked with Mac during the grassroots effort for Dean and during the Kerry race, and I was continually amazed not only by his ability to be effective and deliver more than anyone thought possible, but also by his personal ability to connect with houseparty hosts across the state. He helped put Oregon on the map in the presidential race and made us matter even though we had a late primary. This cycle he's putting us on the cutting edge again with the Faith Caucus.

    Mac has proved he can raise money, he has proved he can work statewide, he has strong connections with Dean and the DNC, and frankly, he's a heck of a nice guy. I have tremendous resepect for the effort Carol made against Greg Walden and the unending amounts of service Meredith has given the party over the years, but Mac has my support.

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    Hey Jules! Long time no see. : )

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    Will all start getting the recognition that they deserve. After all, recognition of outstanding activists is first and foremost a tool to inspire more involvement by the grassroots.

    Amen, Pat, and thanks for putting a shout-out together. Grassroots shoe leather is the only way we can put together a national team that can building a lasting majority, not just one based on the hatred of a bungled war. Inspiring to hear that we have such talent in Oregon.

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    Former Campaign Staffer,

    I can't speak to your experience with Ms. Ackley as my interactions with the Deschutes County Party have been limited by my residence in Sandy.

    However, when you say of the Dean Kidz (And yes I love every one of them, even though I've yet to meet Autumn) they did a great job in getting county parties to actually do something for a change. I'd say that's a little bit unfair to a lot of County Party folks all over the state that have spent multiple cycles trying to introduce some sanity into the general election mess.

    As you mentioned, there're always turf battles and establishment of priority in the general, and there has been plenty of blame to portion out to various party ops at both county and state levels in times past.

    First commenter Josh Balloch did the honors for us here in Clackamas County in '06. Working with Jill, and everyone who had a campaign going in our area (well, except for Ted) he was a huge asset, just by dint of getting us all to lift our heads from the hand-to-hand combat and look for big picture efficiencies once in a while.

    <hr/>

    An aside on ageism: In general, you're dead right. As a welder/fitter I've felt this thing from both sides. I've also met many people who were younger and paid less, who could flat kick my ass at my chosen trade.

  • Teri Mills (unverified)
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    I am 100% behind Mac Prichard in his race to become the next Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon.

    I first met Mac when he co-hosted a house party with Chris Beck in Lake Oswego for Governor Howard Dean. Over 75 people attended and hundreds of dollars were raised. My first impression of Mac was positive. Mac was approachable, he gave an excellent speech, and I could tell immediately that he is one who pays attention to detail.

    A few months later, Mac and I were asked to be co-chairs of Howard Dean's house party committee for the state of Oregon. I had little experience or expertise in this area, but with Mac's leadership and guidance, we proved to be a formidable force. In fact, Oregon hosted more house parties than any other state except for Vermont and California!!

    Mac easily transitioned into chairing the Kerry House Party Committee in Oregon, and again, with his organization and communication skills, he was instrumental in raising over $500,000 and helped to ensure a Blue State for John Kerry.

    Of course, most of you know that Mac went on to become one of the most successful DPO State Finance Chairs, and once again Oregon was the beneficiary of many BLUE races because of his efforts.

    Mac also has considerable expertise when it comes to dealing with the press. He has shared several tips with me that have made a huge difference in the Campaign for a National Nurse. I know one area he hopes to work on when elected Chair is improving the relationship the DPO has with the media, and increasing the number of press releases so that the public will see first hand that the Democratic Party is the People's Party.

    However, as gifted as Mac is in the money raising and media departments, I believe his integrity, his honesty, and his desire to include others are crucial at a time when Democrats around the country are focusing more and more attention on the grassroots.

    If Mac wins, every Democrat in Oregon wins.

    Please VOTE MAC PRICHARD!!

  • LT (unverified)
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    As a former State Central Comm. member, I no longer have a vote. But here are the questions I would ask of any of the abovementioned candidates:

    1) What do you see as the role of state party officers in the event there is a contested presidential primary in 2008? What do you see as your role at the 2008 delegate selection process and the Denver convention?

    2) What do you see as the DPO role in other elections.

    3) Please clarify how you see the current role of DPO in relation to county parties, legislative caucuses (esp. Future Pac as that group seems to be in the same building as DPO and FP mentioned DPO on their C & E ), grass roots volunteers who worked their hearts out for candidates which seemed forgotten by the state party, FP, etc. (see discussions on "how does a campaign earn national support?"). With regard to legislative campaigns, what are your views on Sal's DO and DON'T list under the "campaign earn national support" topic? Is that the way you see current reality, and is current status quo the way things should be?

    4) If he were talking with you, how do you think DNC Chair Howard Dean would react to your answers to 3)?

    5) Do you believe in 36 county strategy, or a strategy that targets certain races/ counties because "no one will ever win" in Yamhill County, in House Dist. 59, in Sen. Dist. 10, and so many other areas of the state?

    6) Do you understand there are not only young people but veteran activists who don't have a lot of trust in the current DPO structure?

    7) Aside from Rules, Organization, Platform, which state committees do you believe are important and why? What is the division of labor between the Exec. Comm., the standing committees, the county and district level central comm. especially those outside the Portland metro area ?

    8) 2006 was a great year for Democrats, but do you think any mistakes were made in the way campaigns were treated by any organized Democratic group or any Democratic official which need to be corrected before 2008? For instance, should someone from either the caucus or the party personally meet every filed candidate by some time in the Spring of an election year so that they don't find themselves in situations where a candidate has an army of volunteers or is otherwise doing well in the fall but leading Democrats have never met that candidate?

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    To reiterate a comment of mine from a previous thread, I want a Chair who can deliver results. I want someone whose calls Howard wants to take, and who can thus effectively advocate for our programs. I want a Chair who is articulate, honest, and fair.

    I won't be taking a public position on this race, because I think it would be too easy to confuse my personal opinion with my position in the Party. Any SCC delegate or alternate who wants to know, however, is free to call me at 971-404-7294. For those who want to make up their own minds, I'm glad to talk just about my own direct personal experiences of the candidates.

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    IMPORTANT CORRECTION: We've just posted a note from Jim Edmunson that corrects some information contained in this guest column.

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    I think that all three candidates for Chair of the DPO have great qualities and will support the winner of the election 100%. I have worked with both Mac and Meredith over the past three years and have great respect for both of them.

    Having said that, I feel that it is time to have someone from outside of Portland and Eugene leading the Party (I say that as a proud Eugenian). The 2nd CD, with the leadership of Pat Ackley and the help of many others, showed how Democrats should work together by organizing the 2nd CD Candidate Road Show. Carol Voison won the primary, ran a great race against Greg Walden and got people excited about being involved with Democrats in a pretty darn red area of our State. She is highly qualified and will bring a perspective to the leadership of our Party that is sorely needed. Out of all of the candidates, I think she will be best able to help us bridge the rural and urban gap within our Party.

    As you can probably tell, right now I am heavily leaning towards voting for Carol Voison. However, I will listen to each of the candidates to see what goals and plans they have for the DPO over the next two years, then make up mind.

    Also, I think Jill Thorn is a Rock Star and I am thrilled that she is running for VC. She will be a great asset to the officer team. She has my support 100%.

    Val

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    If what we want to do is not stand still, but forge ahead, then we have to study what the candidates will bring.

    All of the candidates are talking about working with the Counties. Really? Over half of the Counties are in the Second CD. Meredith has been here, well visited here. Carol worked her heart out here. Mac Prichard - Hmmm, the name sounds vaguely familiar (I have a cousin married to a Prichard, but not this one.), but Mac I don't think you've been east of the Cascades.

    -- The greatest weakness of the DPO is its lack of honoring what goes on at the County level.

    I was bemused by the post above talking about how Pat Ackley was such a poor example. Here is a clear example of the thinking of a political insider/DPO Central type. I saw the other side of that - a Central Campaign office that wouldn't honor the County, and inane phone calls from the new people thrown at those of us in the Counties. When local people suggest, sometimes strongly, that what is proposed will not work well locally; perhaps its time for campaigns to listen and change their ways. What we typically get is the bulldozer approach. -- Pat Ackley is a fine person who did well for Deschutes County. Pat Ackely, and little old me, were frustrated beyond our personal limits by the senior leadership of the DPO.

    So, the insiders are suspect. I know Meredith, I like Meredith, and she is an insider. I don't envision much change for the good from her, perhaps some for the worse.

    Mac Prichard in the letter that arrived in my mail today projects himself as an insider who is really good at getting money. He claims, "I've led volunteer-run house party programs that raised more than $625,000..." Well good. If you raised that kind of money, why did the DPO only find $10,500 to spend this election cycle in the 20+ Counties in the Second CD? If elected, Mac, do you suppose that this CD over here with 20% of the State population and 70% of the land mass could beg for more than the 1.68% of the money you raised that came our way? Or, are you another machine politician who will only play the targeted race strategy during election cycles and talk building up the Counties between elections when there is no money on the line?

    I'm voting for Voisin unless or until Meredith Wood Smith or Mac Prichard convince me that they will lead the DPO in a new and different direction that actually BUILDS THE PARTY even during election cycles. Carol Voisin is already there. So, its up to you others to prove yourselves better if you want my vote.

  • Marshall Runkel (unverified)
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    I'm an outsider to insider Democratic politics, but have had the pleasure to work with Mac Prichard on local, albeit Portland, politics. I don't know the other candidates in this race, but trust that they are also intelligent, diligent people willing to dedicate themselves to this relatively thankless job.

    Simply put, Mac is one of the most thoughtful and committed activists I've ever met. He's a big thinker who can clearly articulate complex ideas. He's good at working with people because it's obvious he really cares.

    I'd love to see our party reach deeper into the latent wells of support it has throughout the state. 2008 could be a great cycle for us. To do that, we need to continue to tap fresh talent and make sure that we don't get to wrapped up in our endemic internal squabbles.

    I know Mac would do a great job, he's got that rare combination of a great big brain and a great big heart.

    Cheers to all my friends out there...I've been preoccupied recently with my new favorite person in the world, my six month old daughter, Ramona Meriwether Runkel!

  • PSjackson (unverified)
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    I am familiar with both Mac Prichard and Meredith Wood Smith. From what I read here I would like to meet Carol Voisi. But until then I am supporting Mac Prichard. Over the five years I have worked with him as a Precinct Committee Person I have gained respect and trust for him. He is a man of integrity and does what he says and is in no way self-serving. He always returns my calls and e-mails promptly. Mac's communications often have constructive advice that he has gained in his 26 years of political work in the trenches (found out just the other day he worked with my older brother in 1980 in Iowa on a Senate race). Mac’s work with Kerry was impressive and he delivered. He is an asset to our District, our County Party and our State Party. I have absolute trust in Mac Prichard and he has my endorsement of State Chair.

  • PSjackson (unverified)
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    oops, he has my endorsement FOR State Chair.

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    The DPO is fortunate to have several dedicated and energetic candidates for its leadership ranks. Mac Prichard was one of the first Democrats I met when I moved to Oregon eight years ago. I've rarely met someone who is so bright, hard-working, and well respected by everyone who works with him.

    Mac has taken on a number of thankless jobs for the DPO and other Democratic causes. He isn't too proud to do scut work when it is needed, but he has also shown tremendous imagination and great organizational skills in developing new ways to raise money and organize events for the party. He is also a top notch communicator. Mac's advice and counsel are sought after by Democrats across the nation. He'll keep Oregon Democrats on the cutting edge.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Pat Ackley is a personal friend and a hard working Democratic colleague, I will stand for both her character and her committment.

    I have worked on Platform and Resolutions Committee with Jill Thorn, attended many Exe Committee meetings with her, and she is one of the most accomplished managers and concensus builders I have ever seen. Jill has my absolute support in any endeavor she undertakes.

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    Steve,

    Thanks for the questions above about the statewide house party programs I led for the Dean and Kerry presidential campaigns, how they helped folks in the Second CD, and what I think we need to do to help strengthen county parties.

    The Dean and Kerry house parties brought Democrats together in almost every county in Oregon. During the 2004 general election campaign, all house party revenues stayed in Oregon and paid for Carry Oregon staff and offices across the state, including extensive field operations in the Second CD.

    Our house party teams were made up of grass roots activists. We worked out of our homes, met in coffee shops, and used our own computers and phones. We had no budget and minimal direction from the Dean and Kerry campaigns.

    I strongly believe in a 36-county strategy and think the DPO can do much more to help strengthen local parties. One way to help make this happen is to expand fundraising – and revenue sharing – year in and year out.

    That’s why after the presidential campaign ended and I volunteered in 2005 to chair the state party’s Finance Committee, I helped introduce a program that let counties share in money raised at DPO house parties when they recruited hosts. I also helped change Grassroots Democrats -- the DPO’s monthly donor program – to allow givers to dedicate a portion of their gifts to county parties.

    Keep those questions coming!

    Mac Prichard

  • Larry Skidmore (unverified)
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    I've had the good fortune to work with Mac Pritchard on the Dean-Kerry campaign and, more recently, on Lew Frederick's run for county commissioner. Mac combines wisdom and insight with great organizational and people skills. He's proven, over and over, his capacity for organization and execution.

    I've also been fortunate to work with Meredith Wood Smith and have great admiration for the water she's carried for the DPO. I guess the good part of a hard decision is that the DPO can't lose. Nevertheless, I'm enthusiastically endorsing Mac for party chair.

    While I'm at it I also commend Jill Thorn for Vice Chair. As an activist PCP in Clackamas, a House District Co-chair and now briefly Vice Chair, I have had a close-up of the skill, effort and productivity that has breathed new life into the county party.

    Pritchard and Thorn - what a team!

  • Lisanne Pearcy (unverified)
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    I have not had the opportunity to meet Voisin or Pritchard; however I know Meredith fairly well. I think she's been a fantastic Vice Chair for DPO, traveling all over the state and working with county parties such as ours (Polk) that desired her help in getting organized and becoming effective. Meredith has given a number of trainings here for PCP's, officers, and canvassers -- just because we asked. Thanks to her, our Central Committee has a strategic plan, and we are putting it into action.

    Meredith is a grass-roots Democrat who understands where the real politics takes place -- on the doorstep or over the back fence in your own neighborhood. Yes, she is "city folk," but she has has attended Rural Caucus meetings and become familiar with the tougher rural landscape.

    Meredith has the experience and proven leadership... and I daresay the loyalty of those of us who have worked hard to bring our county parties into the new millenium. She has been volunteering her energies full-time as Vice Chair, and the progress shows at the state level... Two years ago we didn't see anyone from DPO around these parts -- ever.

    As Chair, Meredith would have an even greater opportunity to move us forward. She knows the DPO's strengths and weaknesses. When I asked her what she would change if she were chair, she said she wants to make DPO's committees more relevant, improve communication at all levels of the party, and put more emphasis on building effective county parties across the state.

    Meredith has a "can-do" attitude. She is a true listener and a uniter. She is a leader with heart and appears to have no "higher agenda" (like running for public office). She just wants to facilitate our state growing the best Democratic Party organization in the U.S. She is with the Party for the long haul.

    I like the idea of having representation from outside of Portland, including 2nd CD, on the Executive Committee. I hope that Carol Voisin will run for Vice Chair if she doesn't make it as Chair. Ditto for Mac Pritchard.

    Meredith has earned the top spot in my book.

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    C'mon everybody, it's "Prichard" - not "Pritchard". No T.

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    I've been around the DPO for nearly 20 years, though I have not been involved of late because I was working until recently in the Secretary of State's office. I was brought in by the DNC to help to resurrect the party in preparation for the 1988 campaign and stayed on as ED until the beginning of the 92 campaign when I went to work for Bill Clinton, but enough about me...

    The perspective I'd like to bring to this discussion is how what we do here will be seen in DC by the powers that be there and what that means for us back here. I know a lot of people in DC and the fact is Mac Prichard has a stellar reputation there as a person that gets things done and delivers on promises. Politics in Washington are all about relationships and Mac is well-known and well-liked. So what? What do we care what Howard Dean thinks of the person that we (and I use that term advisedly since I don't have a vote) elect?

    The fact is that the process that Paul Kirk began in the eighties of sending people like me (and Paige Richardson, my cohort at the time) to the field to help state parties has been resurrected and expanded by Howard Dean, so that there are substantial resources flowing from DC to the states. In addition, when the presidential campaign rolls around, much of the success of a field program on the ground is the national resources (that means money folks) that come to state parties. All of that is built on trust. Mac Prichard will command that trust because he has earned that trust by delivering on promises.

    What I want as a State Chair is someone who commands respect and gets things done. A big part of getting things done on the ground here (including on the ground in the 2nd Congressional District) is connections in DC. I can assure you that if Mac is Chair of the DPO, no one who matters in DC will wonder if money and staff are going to be used well and efficiently and that is a huge hurdle to get over in the field. I can also tell you that if Howard Dean has phone messages from 10 state chairs, Mac's name is going to be at the top of the pile--and that will be good for all of us.

    Oregon Democrats will be very well served is Mac Prichard is elected to lead the party. I sincerely hope he gets the chance.

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    i am so glad to see that Mac is running for DPO Chair. i think Meredith is terrific (hell of a kid she raised), and Carol sounds terrific. but i know Mac as a deaniac and he is the person we need as Chair. Howard Dean's approach to grassroots politics, supported directly by the central party, is what we need in Oregon and the nation. Mac is the one person i know will support the Dean approach wholeheartedly. DPO needs his leadership to make sure we hold on to the House and Senate, that we make inroads into the red areas, and that we dump Gordo.

    go Mac go!

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)
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    Thanks to Pat Ryan for the update on the DPO Chair and Vice Chair candidates.

    Thanks also, to Jim Edmunsen for his great service and clarification as to his non-candidacy for Vice Chair.

    I was very happy and excited, when I received Mac Prichard's letter over last weekend, announcing his candidacy. I had not previously heard of that possibility and was having a difficult time deciding which candidate to support.

    I emailed Mac immediately with my support.

    I first met Mac during the early 2004 Democratic meetups, when he and Lew Frederick were still doing such great work for Howard Dean. Mac was leading the Dean house party fundraising concept in Oregon, with great success.

    After the media and Republicans destroyed Dean with his amplified primal scream, Mac didn't miss a beat in bringing his considerable talents to the Kerry campaign.

    He is a gentle but effective politician and manager. He convinced me, my sister Lynn Bradach [who also supports Mac's current DPO Chair Candidacy] and our family and friends, to have what was a very successful summer backyard house party for Kerry. He also got me on board as one of the house party speakers, bringing my perspective on the Bush gang through the prism of our family's experiences and the death of Lynn's son Marine Corporal Travis Bradach-Nall in Karbala on July 2, 2003 (the very day Bush spouted, "Bring them on!")

    Mac does not deserve all the credit for the monumental success of the house parties, but he does deserve a lot of it. Their impact is not just the money (important as that is). The house parties make active Democrats more active and draw a steady stream of previously dormant activists to the fore.

    I have since encountered Mac regularly as a PCP, at MultDems, in Lew Fredrick's campaign, at State Central Committee meetings and at varous political fundraising and peace functions.

    Mac is a Class Act. He is does not grab the lime light, but persistently and effectively works on the important issues of the Party and people. When he is recognized, he is almost embarrassed.

    He is smart and able. His personality is collegial and noncombative. I expect that Mac will be a uniting and activating force, as DPO Chair.

    I urge the support of all State Central Committee delegates, and their vote, for Mac Prichard as Chair of the Oregon State Democratic Party.

    John F. Bradach, Sr., Delegate DPO State Central Committee and member DPO Executive Committee.

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    I'd like to second Lissane's comments in support of Meredith Wood Smith's candidacy for DPO Chair.

    I had the privilege of first meeting Meredith back in 2002 and was instantly drawn to her kindness, strength, and fierce loyalty to the Democratic Party and process.

    Meredith was inspired to become active in politics by JFK and has fulfilled his dream of asking what one can do for their country through her tireless service to others.

    I am proud to call Meredith both a friend & a role model. I urge everyone here at Blue Oregon who belives in the power of the grassroots and the idealism of our party to join me in supporting her for Chair.

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    "All politics is local" - Tip O'Neill

    Meredith Wood Smith lives this. She not only knows we need to reach beyond our "comfort constituencies" and "comfort counties", she's actually doing it.

    As DPO Vice-Chair, she's been all over our State (27 of 36 counties, so far) connecting people, listening, and empowering new activists. She knows we need the counties. All of them. She has also co-founded the DPO Faith Caucus, doing the work to reach out to voters traditionally dismissed as "red". All this, and she has a depth and breadth of DPO organizational experience umatched in this race.

    If we want a 36 County Strategy, reaching from the left all the way across the center, Meredith is the candidate who is already doing the work to make this happen. With all very considerable respect and appreciation due to Mac Prichard for his experience and connections with the current DNC leadership, and to Carol Voisin for her hard-won "from the roots" campaign experience, right now our party needs Meredith's vision, drive, and experience to solidify our recent gains.

    We are already a winning team. Let's give this woman who has been centrally involved in getting us this far the chance to lead. I urge the SCC to give Meredith the Chair.

    Leo Schuman, PCP Mult. Cty. 2002 / St. Johns

  • kevin guinn (unverified)
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    An amazing thing about Mac Prichard is the way he enlists your support without twisting your arm. You're having a pleasant conversation with him and the next thing you know you're on the finance committee. He gets a lot out of people without exhausting them. For me, it's a hallmark of a great organizer. Mac will be a great party chair, please support his candidacy.

    Kevin Guinn

  • Sunshine Sam (unverified)
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    Elizabeth Leventhal, are you speaking here as a delegate from the 74th Assembly District in California?

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    For those who don't know, Elizabeth is very involved in politics here in Oregon. I tend to see her at just about every big event, including opening day at the state legislature.

    She's likely put in just as many hours here in Oregon as have many of the other volunteers I know.

    There are a number of people speaking up here who don't have a vote at the SCC, but still know the people involved, how hard they have worked, etc.

  • Cheshire Cat (unverified)
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    What I want to know is whether she's speaking as an Assembly District delegate, or as a Bus Project volunteer. Which is it?

  • Ellen Klaastad (unverified)
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    Ugh! Everyone on the that list, except for Carol, is from Portland tri-counties (Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington). Rural Oregon leaders, please file your candidacy. I'd like to have a choice of balance of urban versus rural needs.

    What I think as urban is Portland tri-county area. The majority of counties in Oregon are rural. Why the need for balance? Messaging. We need a leadership team that understands that the messaging in Portland tri-counties is not going to work in rural Oregon (minus Eugene city proper).

    Jim Edmunson from Lane brought rural + urban knowledge. Meredith from Multnomah brought urban knowledge with rural understanding. Thank you Carol for filing candidacy.

    Could we see more Rural Oregon candidates filing?

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    Now, now Mr. Cat, let's not be so elitist here in this discussion where someone not in our fair state can't state their opinion about a candidate. Elizabeth has more than paid her dues here in Oregon party politics and its more than appropriate for her to give a long distance endorsement to her candidate of choice. And its more than obvious that she's a good Dem from your google search.

    Props to Ellen for making the point about the need for more rural Oregon candidates. The challenge for rural Dems is the financial committment to be an officer in the party. Its a long drive to all the meetings, especially when you are in a volunteer position. You really have to have a passion for the party to even think about being involved and not make comments from the peanut gallery.

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    Carol Voisin will build a foundation that creates partnerships between rural and urban centers of political activities.She regognizes there should not be a competition, rather a strong joining of hands. Governor Kulongoski nearly lost his first election because the rural counties did not have the benefit of the kind of knowledge and organization Carol brings to electing Democrats in every County of Oregon. Isolated activism is a thing of the past. We have to organize to defeat Gordon Smith is a prime example.I urge delegates to make an informed vote. Wait until you read her positions, heard her speak and then vote on which of the fine candidates you believe should lead the DPO.

    When voters consider B.Obama as a possibility to become the next Democratic candidate for President, many voters like the fact that he is a fresh face, has a different vision and of course, the audacity of hope.

  • Angela Boone (unverified)
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    Mac Prichard would make an outstanding chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. I was on the campaign staff for the DPO in 2004 and worked closely with Mac and the House Party Team. He led a team of volunteers that built an amazing grassroots operation from the ground up, reaching out to Democrats in every county of the state in just a few short months. He will work non-stop and he will deliver. Vote for Mac!

  • Gail in JxnCo (unverified)
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    As past Chair of Jackson County, I think I can speak with some knowledge of the qualities that will benefit the DPO if you choose Carol Voisin for your new chair. We watched Carol develop as she took on Greg Waldon in her bid for the 2nd CD, and she is a huge asset who should not be lost to the state party. First of all, she is highly intelligent, focused,and committed to her goals. She does her homework, is not afraid to ask questions, has broad experience in executive decision-making, is courageous and highly ethical.

    People from other "down state" counties (which I gather includes "east side" counties as well) have expressed their frustrations with the DPO's lack of attention. Until Howard Dean and the DNC included Oregon in it's sights and provided funding for the field staff, and we were blessed with the positive linkage provided by Autumn Wilburn, Jackson County was on its own and can take credit for the organizational growth that we now enjoy.

    It is time for the DPO to shift its attention to include ALL of the counties, no matter how far away or limited in population. The best way to do that is to bring in a new Chair from outside of the larger metropolitan area, to shed fresh perspective on the overall state.

  • Matt Reed (unverified)
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    Mac Prichard is a tireless organizer, a throrough and articulate communicator and one of the most talented networkers I've ever met. He's got a demonstrated ability to raise money and engage the grassroots. He's hardworking, collegial and good at bringing people together. I can't think of a better candidate for chair.

  • tim massmann (unverified)
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    The past several years I have become more active in the Democratic Party and have had the opportunity to get to know Mac Prichard. His assistance and guidance was crucial to the success of a fundraiser I pulled together for Kerry/Edwards. Mac is a visionary and effective leader and his excellent communication skills will help him move seamlessly in working with Bus Project people, Faith Caucus folks, labor, environmental groups, etc. While the other candidates are also excellent- we have a deep bench locally and nationally- we have the opportunity to bust a major move and put Mac in the DPO Chair role and get ready for the 2008 and beyond cycles..Go Mac!!

  • Ashley Henry (unverified)
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    I'd just like to reiterate all the positive things people have said about Mac Prichard. I met Mac back during the primaries for 2004 when Howard Dean was running strong. Mac has an exceptional combination of skill, perserverance, and kindness. He is a strategic thinker with an open mind. His thoughtful and dilligent approaches to service would be a great asset to the Democratic Party of Oregon.

  • Ashley Henry (unverified)
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    I'd just like to reiterate all the positive things people have said about Mac Prichard. I met Mac back during the primaries for 2004 when Howard Dean was running strong. Mac has an exceptional combination of skill, perserverance, and kindness. He is a strategic thinker with an open mind. His thoughtful and dilligent approaches to service would be a great asset to the Democratic Party of Oregon.

  • Steiny (unverified)
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    I have known Meredith since before I was a Delegate to the State Central Committe of the DPO, and now I wish I was a Delegate again, instead of Delegate to 1st CD...oh, well! But I CAN say that I would give her my vote and my 100% support- at least I can still do the last part!

  • Kim Alfred (unverified)
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    I can only echo so many of the wonderful comments already made about Mac Prichard. I worked with Mac in 2004 on the Kerry presidential race and was so impressed with the job he did fundraising for the state party with the House Party program. His leadership and vision helped raise an outstanding sum for the campaign and serves as a model for future campaigns. Mac has the ability to keep his cool when problems arise and always seems to have a solution at hand. And I remain in awe of his commitment to positive change. Good Luck Mac!!!

  • Chris Dearth (unverified)
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    I would like to second the support of so many here for the candidacy of Mac Prichard for DPO Chair. I have known Mac for over 15 years and watched him very capably take on more and more responsibility working for the Democratic cause. We worked together during the Kitzhaber for Governor campaign and later during the Kitzhaber Administration. Mac worked with me as Deputy Legislative Director during the 1997 legislative session in Salem. He proved to be extraordinarily hard working and reliable during that session and later moved up to the press office where he wrote speeches and drafted the text for the state budget among many other duties.

    Mac will bring a wealth a strong experience, extraordinary abilities and a lifetime of relationships built working selflessly throughout the state. The DPO and all Democrats will benefit from his dedication.

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