New US House Seat Predicted for Oregon

So far it hasn't drawn much attention, but Oregon may be due for another US House seat in 2010. The Polidata company released projections for the 2010 Congressional Apportionment based on 2006 census data, and Oregon stands to gain another US Representative if their projections hold true. A map is available detailing the projected changes across the country(pdf). The company discussed the predictions:

As to the ‘probable changes’, there could be 13 seats shifting amongst 19 states, 8 gainers and 11 losers. All the gainers are in the South and West and all of the losers are in the East and Midwest except Louisiana.

Based upon these projections, the biggest gainers are: Texas, up 4 to 36 seats and Florida, up 2 to 27 and Arizona, up 2 to 10. The other gainers are: Georgia, up 1 to 14; Utah, up 1 to 4; Nevada, up 1 to 4; and new to the list: Oregon, up 1 to 6 and Washington, up 1 to 10.

The losing states losing the most would be New York, down 2 to 27 and Ohio, down 2 to 16. The other losers are: Massachusetts, down 1 to 9; Pennsylvania, down 1 to 18; Michigan, down 1 to 14; Illinois, down 1 to 18; Minnesota, down 1 to 7; Iowa, down 1 to 4; Missouri, down 1 to 8. New to the list of losers would be New Jersey, down 1 to 12; and Louisiana, down 1 to 6.

Regionally, the Northeast would lose 5 seats, from 83 to 78; the Midwest would lose 7 seats, from 100 to 93; the South would gain 6 seats, from 154 to 160; and the West would gain 6 seats, from 98 to 104 seats. This would result in a loss of 6 seats for the 27 states (inc. DC) East of the Mississippi River from 258 to 252 and a gain of 6 seats for the 24 states West of the Mississippi River from 177 to 183

The projections could also affect future presidential elections:

From an Electoral College standpoint, the top ten states following 2010 (CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, OH, GA, MI and NC) would total 256 electoral votes. The split on these 10 states in 2004 was 5 for Bush and 5 for Kerry. The overall break for these 10 states in 2004 was 145 votes for Kerry and 111 for Bush. Based upon the 2010 projections, the break would be 140 for Kerry and 116 for Bush. Overall, given a 2004 Electoral Vote of 286 Bush to 252 Kerry, the vote count based upon these 2010 projections would have been 292 Bush, 246 Kerry, a gain of 6 for the Republican ticket.

If the state were drawn into six districts, rather than five, how would/should/could it be done? Would a sixth seat necessarily be Republican? Or not?

And remember, the 2008 election for Secretary of State and the 2008 and 2010 elections for the Legislature (and Governor in 2010) will be critical in determining the outcome of the 2011 redestricting process.

Discuss.

Comments

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Well, I have commented on this before.

    Due to the intransigence of the Oregon Democratic Party, which I have addressed here before, no investment of significance has been made in working with rural Oregon. A large part of any new District will be rural.

    It is highly likely that a new Congressional District will have a Republican Representative.

    Perhaps in the next two election cycles, the Democratic Party will rethink it's resource allocation priorities?

  • John-Mark Gilhousen (unverified)
    (Show?)

    There are already (admittedly slim) Democratic majorities in Hood River and Wasco Counties, so carving out a new district in which Democrats have a decent shot is certainly not impossible. But Steve is right, the DPO's neglect of Oregon's Second District has long been a burr in my saddle. We don't even have a challenger to Walden yet this cycle, and given how little resources were made available to Voysin, it's not difficult to understand how difficult recruiting is.

  • Brent (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The Democratic Party of Oregon is just as active in rural areas as it is in urban areas. The DPO has a 36 county strategy that fights for votes in every part of the state. In addition, the new neighbor-to-neighbor program allows anyone to get the resources they need to talk to Democrats in their area; email [email protected] to get involved.

    Every Oregon county has a field representative, not to mention the active Rural Democrats Caucus and Gun Owners Caucus. The DPO has held regional trainings throughout the year in Deschutes, Josephine, Union, Benton, and Washington Counties.

    DPO Chair Meredith Wood Smith recently came out strongly against Greg Walden for his stubborn stance against children’s health care.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Brent -

    I love your ideals. But ...

    I'm the current Vice Chair and past Chair of the Crook County Democratic Central Committee. I helped Carol Voisin with her run for the Second Congressional District. My good friend Karole Stockton was the last Democrat to run for our local State Representative District 5 years ago. It has been my privilege to meet Ross Carrol, who was our last Democratic candidate for the State Senate from our area. I am the original organizer of the Rural Caucus and was an early supporter of the Gun caucus. I know what has happened on the ground, e.g. reality, versus words, concepts, and titles.

    How much support have we received for our local campaigns from the Democratic Party of Oregon? Well, in the last two weeks of her campaign, Voisin got some left over money (I think it was around $10,000) from the Democratic Party. Compare that to Walden's millions. And Karole, well, Karole got nothing. Ross got less than nothing. In a complete sell out, even the Education dollars when to the Republican candidate, in spite of Ross being an educator. Support? Nada.

    There is a lot of lip service around concepts like the 36 County strategy. In fact, we have access to the Voter File provided by the DPO, and we are going to do sign work and have a few events going into the Presidential election cycle. But the 36 County Strategy really is this in my County: A field organizer spread between 15 other Counties, and a small and rather burned out group of Democrats who somehow manage to rouse themselves each election cycle to help out a little. We have a local treasury with around $700. We receive no actual material support from the DPO other than the voter file, and I suppose if I were to call our Field Organizer, she would come a running. No money.

    So Brent, those are big words you throw around. They sound truly great don't they? If only there were reality behind this stuff. It is so bad over here, we can't find people to run for these offices.

  • rural resident (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The Oregon Democrats' problem in rural Oregon isn't a lack of energetic people. It's urban-centric policies and a lack of regard for rural communities as anything but a playground for wealthier urbanites. Democratic leadership fails to acknowledge that, like urban Oregon, rural communities need to be thriving, dynamic places.

    Virtually every rural school district in the state is losing students. Some have lost 6-8 percent per year. The lack of good jobs forces families to break apart. People who want to come to these areas to start businesses, usually nonpolluting ones, often can't, or at least can't do so without ridiculous amounts of red tape. Even in the (seemingly) upscale communities, health care is a crap shoot at best. It's becoming increasingly unlikely that one can find three-, four-, or five-generation families in rural Oregon. The average household income in the Portland metro area is nearly twice that many counties on the coast or in Southern and Eastern Oregon.

    Legislators from Portland and the Willamette Valley have little or no interest in the long-term condition of smaller, rural communities. As long as Oregon Dems think the answer to rural Oregon's problem is more land use and environmental regulation, it will continue to lose support in the "hinterlands."

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Brent, are you aware of Steve's role in founding the Rural Caucus?

    Is Neighbor to Neigbhor supposed to help in situations when the nearest neighbor might be half a mile away? Would neighbor to neighbor have gotten more help and attention to the almost-won 2006 House races in Dist. 24 and Dist. 59?

    Brent, do you live in Portland or the Metro area or Eugene?

    Not everyone has the time needed to be a "Jerome" or get involved in the "neighbor to neighbor " program. That is a great program to bring grass roots back to the Democratic Party.

    How often does the "field representative" visit the county? Is it a person who works for DPO and sometimes travels to the county? If I were to go to the local county party meeting and potluck on Monday to hear a couple of statewide candidates, would the "field representative" be there? What are the duties/ powers of the field representative---helping local candidates find campaign managers and set up fundraising, liason to DPO?

    In 2008, will DCCC send any help to the 2nd District, or will the head of DCCC get into an argument with Howard Dean about targets vs. "show up everywhere"?

    I belong to a local Yahoo Group currently discussing the next state rep. election. People from 2 different 2006 House campaigns have talked about "promises made and not kept" regarding support from Democrats for their campaigns. Each district involved both city and rural voters.

    When people talk about "support from Democrats", are DPO and FP on the same team? Or is FP a private entity of Oregon House Democrats and only the 31 members are allowed to understand their priorities and actions? Can we have discussions about clarifying that relationship, or is it "they are in the same building but are different entitites--next question" something not to be discussed publicly and we should all just accept that and not ask questions? Do we elect Democratic legislators to be accountable only to each other? Too often, people from DPO act as if FP is an outside entity, responsible to no one who is not an elected Democratic member of the Oregon House. I guess those of us who have been volunteers in countless House races (and in some cases believe a better quality of legislators was elected prior to the establishment of FP in 1993) don't really matter.

    Not to mention where the Democratic Party stands on the issue of "pass through" as a legal and campaign finance reform issue.

    Howard Dean believes grass roots are more important than what consultants think is best. But does that discussion ever go on in the established Democratic Party? And if so, does it filter down to staffers of various sorts who act as if anyone who knows anything is on a political payroll somewhere and volunteers should just take orders because "money is all that matters and only professionals know how the game is played"?

    Steve and John-Mark are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to anger among those who have been active Democrats but don't think the party really cares about their concerns.

    Brent, you mention regional training. Are those individualized for the county where they take place? Or was the one in Washington County the same as the ones in all the other counties, as if they are all alike? Do you, Brent, have any awareness of the differences in campaigning in Deschutes, Josephine, and Union counties?

    There was a time in Oregon history (prior to the days of FP, but not that long ago) when there was a black Democrat serving as State Senator and a Hispanic Democrat serving as state rep. here in the Salem area; a House Democrat from Hood River and from Baker City, and another from Klamath Falls.

    That was before the days that staffers for/ supporters of FP would say things like "sorry, can't help your district--it has a lousy R to D ratio and your candidate hasn't raised enough seed money". Those days had darned well better be over given the results in 2006.

    By the way, when the 5th Congressional District was created, those of us involved had a great experience. Yes, the incumbent Republican congressman had chosen that half of the old district to run in and won, but those of us involved thought that was the fault of individual mistakes of the candidate, who only lost the race by a handful of votes per precinct.

    And a note to those involved in current primary campaigns. That first 5th Cong. District primary was a real treat. All the campaign supporters were a tight knit group, whatever their differences. There were friendships made on that campaign which lasted for decades, and one of the primary losers in 1982 would end up being the "giant killer" who took down Denny Smith in 1990--a year when only about 5 incumbents running for re-election lost.

    The 1982 primary winner had more political experience than the "4 young men" as she sometimes called them (a legislator who was a grandmother ran against up and coming politicians of a younger generation who got tired of that line very early) but there was a lot of positive political energy on all the campaigns.

    We were treated to more serious issue debates in that primary (closest thing in this century might have been the 2006 primary in the 2nd Cong. Dist. from what I have heard) which make the 2008 primary debates for so far seem shallow . There were many debates/joint appearances, and in some cases candidates who had argued vigorously on stage were very friendly off stage. The only thing that could be called negative was near the end of the primary campaign when 2 candidates were "going after each other like cats and dogs" and suddenly in the mailboxes of some of the supporters there was this anonymous attack mailer printed on a distinctive color of paper. The same color one campaign loved to use. Those of us who got them went to the candidate attacked and told him we had nothing to do with it---and later they would be connected to a particular primary candidate who used the distinctive color of paper. That kind of nonsense is just stupid.

    The campaign manager for the winning candidate in that primary later said of the 2 who went after each other (and came in 2nd and 3rd) "when they act like that, you know they know they are losing". She and I are old friends and still believe in that saying. Look at how shrill Saxton got at the end of the Gov. campaign if you don't believe me.

    The bottom line is that the organized Democratic Party (county, cong. district, state central committees, the folks working in the DPO office, the legisltive caucuses, the DNC, DSCC, DCCC, etc. ) has to decide if it is a bottom up grass roots party or a top down hierarchy.

    Not everyone who has campaigned or intends to campaign for Democrats can fit neighbor-to-neighbor or Jerome into their schedules. But they might be able to be helpful in other ways.

    Is DPO equipped to help legislative candidates get organized, or is that on an organizational chart for FP to do and only with the candidates they choose to help? What about other campaign (like local government)?

    There are those of us who thought the Democratic Party of Oregon was more attuned to the whole state (not just the Portland area) when the Party Office was in Salem.

    Brent's comments don't convince me that he has more of a clue than Steve and John-Mark. Brent's language sounds like the language of a press release, not the language of conversation.

    By the way, the Gov. in 1981 when the 5th District was created was Vic. Atiyeh, the Sec. of State was Norma Paulus, the Sen. Pres. was Jason Boe, the Speaker was Hardy Myers. As I recall, one of the hot debates that year was the role of the Cascades. Legislators found it impossible to represent districts on both sides of the mountain range so someone got the idea to draw a line down the middle of the Cascades and not have any legislative districts on both sides of the line. What that ended up doing was creating "the helicopter district" which, as I recall, led to a state senate district with the northern end in Clackamas County, the southern end in Lane County, and a long thin district in between--"one would need a helicopter to visit the whole district in one day!" it was said.

    Those may have been intelligent or unwise decisions, but that concrete debate is better than "it was all Bradbury's fault" from 21st century Republicans!

  • (Show?)

    I can't imagine the new seat would be a rural seat; Walden's area is big geographically but doesn't have any more people than before, generally speaking. Districts are drawn by population. I would imagine a district that splits out Wu and Hooley, or some combo of Wu/Hooley/Blumenauer--where the growth is.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thanks TJ, I almost forgot the point of the post, reading the comments above you. I agree with your theory--the new district will probably be mostly urban. It's all about the population. Although, Bend has been growing like crazy--could their growth tip the balance for that county being part of a new district?

  • A. Rab. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Because gerrymandering is relatively easy, it is very difficult to know how reapportionment will affect the partisan balance in Congress. For example, North Carolina’s delegation is 7-6 in favor of Democrats, Indiana is 5-4 for Democrats, and Michigan is 9-6 for Republicans. Barring an extreme partisan imbalance, it is fairly easy to make a new seat favor (at least mildly) ether party. The only controlling factor is where the population is found (the rule is one person, one vote, not one acre, one vote).

  • (Show?)

    I thought of that, but you couldn't just do Deschutes, not enough people. And if you went with the surrounding areas, you'd likely be taking Lane Democrats away from DeFazio's 4th, making that more problematic to win. You could avoid Lane and go north into Linn and southern Clackamas and probably not hurt Hooley. But you wouldn't get a very Democratic district.

    Obviously the greatest room for safe drain is in Earl's district. But how to carve it?

    What if you cut into Wu/Hooley a little bit on the west part of Multnomah, shifted Blumenauer that direction, and made a new district of East Multno/Clackamas, Hood River and perhaps part of Wasco and Jefferson Counties. Wouldn't it be sweet to pull HR out from under Walden?

    This is all back of the napkin thinking; clearly the counts by precinct would be necessary to best redraw the districts....

  • Finngall (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The current CD2 is everything east of the Cascades plus Jackson County and just enough of Josephine to cover Grants Pass. If this district were to shrink anywhere, regardless of whether or not a 6th District comes into being, it would make the best geographic sense to start by cutting out the areas west of the Cascades. If that's not enough, then maybe you can start talking about digging into Hood River County, but I doubt that this would be necessary.

    As far as political considerations go, it seems to me that this combined with other changes would likely make the 4th a little redder, which is probably not a problem for Defazio but might be relevant for a successor if Pete steps down in the coming decade. But I should probably leave these calculations to those with deeper knowledge of the demographics and the trends therein.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
    (Show?)

    torridjoe writes, "I can't imagine the new seat would be a rural seat; Walden's area is big geographically but doesn't have any more people than before, generally speaking."

    Err, Mr. Joe: Three of the five fastest growing Counties in Oregon, for the last decade, have been Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson Counties, otherwise known as Central Oregon, all in the Second Congressional District. The population decline that was previously noted in some of our more rural eastern Counties such as Wheeler and Sherman, has been reversed. If you haven't seen a map of the Second CD I'll tell you it is roughly 2/3rd's of Oregon, including everything east of the Cascades, and a good part of Southern Oregon - north up to the edge of Grants Pass.

    To be sure, the rest has grown too, after all that is why we are discussing a new Congressional District. My guess: the Grants Pass/Medford/Ashland corridor becomes the heart of a new CD. Probably would include Curry, Klamath, and Lake Counties in addition to Jackson, and Josephine Counties.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Steve- I agree with your assumtion above but I have more questions.

    Could Coos and Douglas counties be a part of your new CD too? or is that too many counties? Usually, those two counties are more in line in a lot of political ways with those Counties you mentioned. In fact, weren't those counties (along with Coos and Douglas) once part of the movement to create the State of Jefferson years ago? It would be ironic to have a CD with those counties in it.

  • (Show?)

    Point of clarification that may have already been covered in comments:

    If the legislature and governor fail to agree on a state legislative redistricting plan, it falls to the Secretary of State. There is no such provision for congressional seats.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Jesse--is that why, in 2001, the Republican redistricting plan (if one went to the extra effort to find and loot at it) only had Congressional and not legislative districts?

    Seems to me that a valid question for legislative candidates in the next 2 cycles could be "do you favor a redistricting process where the maps being debated are easily accessible to the public"?

  • verasoie (unverified)
    (Show?)

    This whole discussion is ridiculously premature.

    Last week, when this was being reported on swingstateproject.com, I looked at the polidata report and saw that OR is only barely projected to meet the population growth that would constitute a new congressional district, by about 25,000 (I can't find the link right now but this should help anyone who wants to look: http://www.polidata.org/census/est006dl.htm).

    That, 3 years out, is a trifle to be basing things on. All it will take is a very slight deviation from projected demographic movements (more people into TX, FL, etc., slightly fewer into OR) and this is all moot.

    Also, I heartily agree that the new CD will not be rural, it will involve the Portland metro suburbs--- this is easily confirmed by looked at population growth in counties (and % means nothing, as too many Eastern Oregon counties have such small populations that the addition of a couple thousand souls makes for a big percentage increase).

    In a word, this new district will have to account for burgeoning Washington and Clackamas counties.

    And doesn't anyone else find this brazen discussion of partisan gerrymandering rather disturbing? Can't you guys at least pretend that the redistricting should NOT be done in a partisan way? I mean, if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd all be screaming bloody murder. Isn't partisan redistricting a large part of what has led to the hyperpartisan legislative deadlock that keeps this country from enacting needed legislative reform?

  • (Show?)

    Steve, while you are correct that those three counties are the "fastest growing" 35%, 39% and 15%, that is really missing the actual numbers though. Washington County alone for example, in the same time period has grown by almost of 90% the total population increase of those three counties COMBINED.

    If you look at percentage of growth in each county as a percentage, and actual people count (which is all that counts), of total growth in the state you will find that (in order) the biggest total growth in number of people:

    Washington County, 20.3% - 65,733 Multnomah County, 15.3% - 49,539 Deschuttes County, 14.0% - 45, 443 Clackamas County, 10.45% - 33,879 Marion County, 8.1% - 26,236 Jackson County, 6.5% - 21,041 Lane County, 6.23% - 20,181 Yamhill County, 2.5% - 8,093 Benton County, 2.2% - 7,147 Crook County, 2.1% - 6,703 Josephine County, 2.1% - 6,664

    The rest have either less than 2% growth vs. total state growth, or negative growth.

    Not trying to belittle eastern counties, but nearly half of the entire growth (45%+) of the state's population grwoth took place in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

  • (Show?)

    Agreed verasoie, though we do have better economic growth here in the Northwest than most other regions nationally, so while I agree it is premature, it is trending our way towards another seat.

  • (Show?)

    All of the CD's are important. The sprawling geography of the 2nd CD adds an extra challenge. Chairs and Vice Chairs from across the state are attending a 2 day retreat in early December. I will make certain the issue is discussed fully. When the 2010 census comes through, the landscape will change for the better in terms of campaigns snd candidates.

    I urge the DPO to take a day and focus on strenghtening their 2nd CD leadership. The new officers and the EX Director are open and receptive to improvements in the DPO's performance. The good ol' days are long gone and it's refreshing!

  • (Show?)
    Err, Mr. Joe: Three of the five fastest growing Counties in Oregon, for the last decade, have been Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson Counties, otherwise known as Central Oregon, all in the Second Congressional District. The population decline that was previously noted in some of our more rural eastern Counties such as Wheeler and Sherman, has been reversed. If you haven't seen a map of the Second CD I'll tell you it is roughly 2/3rd's of Oregon, including everything east of the Cascades, and a good part of Southern Oregon - north up to the edge of Grants Pass.

    Err, fastest growing is great, but they still total fewer than 200K residents, which is about half the necessary size for a district. What I said was that 2CD has not grown GENERALLY. You can certainly find strong pockets of growth within, yes. I've seen the CD map, thank you. :)

    My guess: the Grants Pass/Medford/Ashland corridor becomes the heart of a new CD. Probably would include Curry, Klamath, and Lake Counties in addition to Jackson, and Josephine Counties.

    Not a chance. They're not going to make a new REPUBLICAN district!!

    verasoie, all signs seem to indicate that population is growing faster than earlier estimations. I don't think there's much doubt that by 2011 we'll be over the hump. (and likely means no redistricting in Oregon until 2013).

  • Bruce Cronk (unverified)
    (Show?)

    LT, I read your whole post and never figured out what "LP" stood for. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of posting if no one knows what the Hell you're talking about. ID the acronyms if you please. Thanks

  • (Show?)

    Thank you Bruce, I thought it was just me trying to figure out the acronym. Maybe it means something before our time. Liz does provide an historical perspective in the majority of her posts.

  • (Show?)

    TJ, reapportionment occurs every year ending in "1", the year after the decennial census, so this will fall on the state legislature in the 2011-2012 Leg.

    As a backgrounder, here in Oregon the legislature is responsible for drawing up the redistricting plans and the secretary of state is responsible for a plan if the legislature failed to meet its deadline and the governor has veto power over any plan put forward.

    In 2000, a joint interim committee was set up by the leg. for the last round of redistricting, but in 2001, the house and senate developed separate redistricting plans. Several plans were produced and discussed with the one that passed doing so along political party lines with the then GOP majority passing it and Gov. John Kitzhaber vetoed it. The Republicans, with a majority, tried to pass a resolution overturning the veto, which required a two-thirds vote but the Democrats refused to come back for the vote. The veto held, and since it was almost at the July 1 deadline, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury took over the process.

    Bradbury was handed the redistricting job and submitted a final version of the state's redistricting plan to the Oregon Supreme Court, where it underwent several challenges from state Republicans. Thirteen challenges were offered to the Secretary of State's plan, but the court sustained only one. That problem was minor and corrected by Secretary of State's office during the process. It occurred because the prison population in Sheridan was mistakenly put outside the city by the federal census. When the boundary of the legislative district within the city was moved to include the prison, then the district did not cross the city boundary was thus cleared by the court and went into effect.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Nov 15, 2007 3:42:40 PM but they still total fewer than 200K residents, which is about half the necessary size for a district.

    Actually, according to the latest estimates, as of 2007 those three counties total 208,725 people, and currently House seats represent roughly 650,000 people each. Though your larger point is valid, it is the actual increase numbers of people not percentage of growth.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bruce, can't find LP in my comment.

    FP means Future Pac.

  • Mike (unverified)
    (Show?)

    What about creating 6 districts that are as close to 50/50 as possible instead of trying to set up a new district that guarantees a D victory.

    Then you could let the candidate with the most appealing ideas win. What a concept.

    I know, I should shut up and take my crazy ideas somewhere else. I know, I know....

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    What about setting up districts with rational boundaries (trying to let rivers or other geographic markers, for instance) which keep communities of interest together?

    What about debates which talk about the role of voters not registered to a major party (as I understand it, the fastest growing party is no party at al).

    Sometimes intentions are not borne out in fact--a "black" district elects a white legislator, a "Hispanic" district elects Anglo legislators, etc.

    For all the screaming Republicans did about Bradbury's redistricting plan, it took from the 2001 redistricting to the 2006 election to get a Democratic Oregon House. Surely that means more than the demographics of a district determine who wins the election.

  • (Show?)

    It certainly seems that to mirror the population Oregon should, on average, send 3 or 4 Democrats and 2 or 3 Republicans to Congress (that is, slightly more Democrats than Republicans, but not four times more).

    The fact that we've had a 4-1 split for a while is testament to Hooley and Defazio, and to a lesser extent Wu (and the work of their campaigns), and to Jim Bunn.

    The line drawers could do many interesting things -- create a coastal seat (plus more, of course), split Portland even more (as the concentration of liberal Democrats tends to undermine our representation, what without proportional representation), and so forth.

  • (Show?)

    "TJ, reapportionment occurs every year ending in "1", the year after the decennial census, so this will fall on the state legislature in the 2011-2012 Leg."

    The census is taken in decennial years, but takes time to process. However, now that you mention it the estimates for reapportionment come out first. I tend to think about the final estimates released in the STF files, and those are typically spring/summer of the following year--which is why I was thinking it might be too late for the '11 session. But the President has to get the apportionment figures by December 10, 2010.

    Thanks for the correction. On the other figures, I was referring to voters, since they are voting districts and I was thinking in terms of how many votes we're talking--but of course you're also correct here, that the defining metric for creating the divisions is full population.

  • (Show?)

    Personally I would like to see the creation of a non-partisan electoral commission that would handle reapportionment and perhaps a number of other things -- such a body could meet LT's point about the disfranchisement of NAVs & also minor party members.

    Communities of interest can form along different lines depending on the question, and cut across one another.

    Personally I think the DP has an opportunity in following up SB 329 to put a real focus on the rural healthcare crisis, in a way that could be genuinely meaningful to rural people and also mean living up to our supposed ideals about equality and justice in basic human services and conditions of life. A lot of rural areas went D during the New Deal & after because of things like rural electrification & CCC employment for rural youth.

    Having something concrete to work on like making sure that rural health is a key part of healthcare reform is probably the best way to start to mend fences and educate PDX metro/burbs & northern W. Valley Ds about things they don't know about, and perhaps convince some of the rural folks that not everyone from those places is arrogant, ill-motived and the various other bad things we so frequently get accused of in these discussions.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Disclaimer: I speak for myself, not the DPO.

    I like Steve Bucknum. He's smart and he understands rural issues and rural electioneering as well as anyone in Oregon. But we disagree on the role of the DPO (Democratic Party of Oregon) in rural elections.

    I don't believe the DPO provides cash contributions (in any meaningful amounts) to any candidates. That's not the DPO's job, and the DPO doesn't have the money to do it. The $10,000.00 to Carol Voisin in 2006 was out of the ordinary.

    At the state legislative level, FuturePAC (for Rep. seats) and SDLC (Senate Democratic Leadership Fund -- for Senate seats) are PACs that raise and spend their own money. They are not the same as the DPO. They are PACs for the Democratic caucuses in their respective chambers. At the federal level, the big money comes from the DCCC (Democratic Campaign Committee) and the DSCC (The Democratic Senatorial Campaign COmmittee). None of these PACs reports to the DPO.

    It's important to understand which group is responsible for what. The DPO is responsible for organizing the party -- setting up meetings, training volunteers, helping local activists come together, etc. FuturePAC and SDLF are responsible for raising money to give to candidates. FuturePAC and SDLF are responsible to their caucuses (either the House Democrats or the Senate Democrats). If you don't like how FuturePAC chose to give it's money, don't complain about the DPO. The DPO didn't make the decision.

    Growing up in Prineville, I love Central and Eastern Oregon. And I believe the 36 county strategy means doing some "catch up" work in CD2 to make up for years of neglect. But big checks from the DPO is not the way to do it. Providing candidates with tools they can use to raise money, run well-organized and effective campaigns is a start. Providing county parties with tools, training, organizational help is a start. Directing official DPO communication with an eye on how it plays/sounds in rural Oregon is a start.

    Angrily demanding money from an entity that doesn't have any is not a start. It's just bad fundraising.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thanks for your comments Bert. I actually agree with you, and you really shouldn't be surprised by that.

    Idealism gets in the way of reality. Brent wrote what I hear so often - That the DPO is doing so much for rural Oregon. You and I both know that this is empty, because that isn't what really goes on. The DPO doesn't provide funds for candidates. The DPO doesn't instigate media campaigns that would inspire rural voters to vote for Democrats. The DPO doesn't do direct mail to rural voters. -- What the DPO does is train volunteers to use the meager resources of the DPO.

    So Bert, we are on the same page about what is ....

    What should be ....

    I do not support the status quo. We do not have a level playing field in politics. In rural Oregon, and I suspect in rural places across America, the Democratic Party has abandoned rural Candidates. Can we say the same about the Republicans?

    Somehow now State Sen. Whitsett ends up with a campaign where he can totally misrepresent who he is to the voters. He has money as a new candidate running for the first time for direct mail, money for TV and radio, money for travel, and staff to help. Whitsett, when running for what was then a vacant seat, had more resources (2 years prior) than Carol Voisin had to campaign in the entire Second Congressional District that has about 6 State Senate seats in it. And Whitsett's opponent Ross Carrol had - as I stated before - less than nothing because even the education money went to anti-education Whitsett. -- I pick this one example, but the same is true of just about EVERY race in rural Oregon.

    If the Republicans can support their candidates why can't we? Why don't the Democrats work to create a level playing field? Short of moving Statewide to taxpayer support/payment for elections, it is up to the Democrats to do something - if not the Democratic Party, then who?

    The reason I'm saying this here on Blue Oregon Bert is that you are a member of the DPO's campaign committee. You and your committee appear bound by tradition, rules that aren't printed, a paradigm of failure, and a bureaucracy that will eat your soul. Isn't it time to break out of all that? Isn't it time to do something different?

    I want to win in rural Oregon, and I don't want to be told why that is impossible.

    So, DPO campaign committee - where is the plan to win? Where is the plan to get the resources? What sort of media campaign do you envision? What sort of candidate support do you envision? Where is the plan? If you need to coordinate with Future PAC and the like, where is the coordination? If you need a Rural PAC to house money for rural candidates, why haven't you taken the lead?

    Repeating the same mistakes, expecting a different result, is after all the definition of insanity. When it comes to rural Oregon, will the Democratic Party maintain its insanity?

    Once you have a plan to win, not a plan to fail, I am available to help out.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    When people yelled at Harry Truman, "Give 'Em Hell, Harry!", he'd yell back "I just tell the truth and they think it is hell!".

               GIVE EM HELL, STEVE!
    

    A lot of dumb things happen in the name of internal politics--party politics or organizational politics.

    Steve said, And Whitsett's opponent Ross Carrol had - as I stated before - less than nothing because even the education money went to anti-education Whitsett. -- I pick this one example, but the same is true of just about EVERY race in rural Oregon.

    Long before anyone ever heard of Whitsett, that sort of thing happened a couple decades ago. There was a wonderful Central Oregon Republican member of House Education Comm. He was a moderate Republican who had once been a teacher, was married to a teacher and had previously served on a school board.

    When some teachers from his district came to the Education Comm. to testify on the success of their teacher-designed staff development plan, he backed them up and said as a board member he had seen how well their plan worked. He was a man of strong beliefs, and more willing to engage in discussions with ordinary folks than most current House Republicans.

    Then in 1991 he got fed up with Speaker Larry Campbell's bullying and left the GOP caucus. In 1992 he ran as a Democrat for State Senate. He didn't get the OEA endorsement (could that have been organizational politics because he thought for himself and didn't take orders from the OEA lobbyist --- and by golly they were going to "teach him a lesson"?). The only 1992 election result I was really sorry about was this one. It was Wed. the day after the election before it was clear he had lost (close, not the stunning loss some would expect E. of the Cascades).

    Worse than that, the very slippery winner of that race went on to co-sponsor the end of teacher tenure bill. There are those of us who have been skeptical of OEA endorsements ever since.

    Steve said something profound. The reason I'm saying this here on Blue Oregon Bert is that you are a member of the DPO's campaign committee. You and your committee appear bound by tradition, rules that aren't printed, a paradigm of failure, and a bureaucracy that will eat your soul. Isn't it time to break out of all that? Isn't it time to do something different?

    I want to win in rural Oregon, and I don't want to be told why that is impossible.

    So, DPO campaign committee - where is the plan to win? Where is the plan to get the resources? What sort of media campaign do you envision? What sort of candidate support do you envision? Where is the plan? If you need to coordinate with Future PAC and the like, where is the coordination? If you need a Rural PAC to house money for rural candidates, why haven't you taken the lead?

    Repeating the same mistakes, expecting a different result, is after all the definition of insanity. When it comes to rural Oregon, will the Democratic Party maintain its insanity?

    Steve's questions deserve answers, and I have some responses to his statements.

    1) "Rules that aren't printed" are a vexation to many of us and a reason some for some people to quit politics. Just in this county and the neighboring county (mixture of urban and rural Willamette Valley local districts) there are people who have run for office and been given the royal run around, been given promises of help that never materialized, told they had better have a (sometimes shifting )amount of money raised --hard to do for an inexperienced candidate with friends of modest means and no organizational support--and had better be able to turn in documented voter contacts ridiculously early (like before Filing Day) or they are "not serious candidates". And then even if someone jumps through all those hoops they don't necessarily get serious help. Not that many years ago, a local candidate was told by someone from FP "we've decided that we'll send someone down next Thursday to help you canvass pct xxx because we have decided that is the pct. you need to canvass that day".

    Except the candidate had a large map of the district on his dining room wall and anyone who looked at it knew it was a largely rural district and in that pct. someone would have to drive, rather than walk, between houses. The staffer didn't realize that until arriving at the candidate's home and seeing the map on the wall.

    My point is that, as some of us have been saying for years, there is wisdom among residents of the actual districts (legislative or Congressional) which can't be replicated simply by being on the party campaign committee or working for a caucus.

    As far as tradition, it seems to some of us that the Democratic Party of Oregon was more attuned to grass roots Democrats outside the Metro area before the party office was moved to Portland in the early 1990s.

    But the current campaign committee would not be the first to decide something among themselves which didn't pass grass roots scrutiny among activists in the rest of the party. Over a decade ago, I went to a State Central Comm. meeting in the summer of an odd numbered year. When it came time for committee reports, the campaign committee announced they had decided all Democratic candidates were supposed to agree on 5 issue positions. Problem was, one was a social issue, one was a regional issue where they sided with inland Democrats vs. coastal Democrats. On those 2 issues, there was a wonderful state senator who had presided over a portion of a Platform Convention session in a previous year, and this report was seen as an attack on that senator. "So, you don't want a Democrat in that senate district, is that what you are saying?" and stronger language were directed at the campaign committee.

    The point is this: Democrats need to decide--- either the party is top down or grass roots bottom up. If the former, the local Democrats here who set up a Yahoo Group discussion shouldn't be talking about potential local legislative candidates, we should just trust the campaign committee and caucus staff to choose those candidates for us---and if we get no more support for our local legislative candidates, that is just tough luck because the caucus and the party have more important targets elsewhere.

    If this is the sort of grass roots bottom up party which Howard Dean envisions, there are some people at certain levels of responsibility who are going to have to admit it is not all about them, they don't have the revealed truth, and the 2006 election proved that "impossible" districts can come very close to winning with little or no help from Democrats outside of their district.

    Also, there are many who believe the fastest growing party is no party at all. If it appears parties are playing games about who has a chance to win and who doesn't, expect more serious discussion about one of the proposals of the Public Comm. on the Legislature---nonpartisan legislature.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Steve/LT:

    I am very open to suggestions about how to improve the campaign committee. Our major focus in 2008 is providing help to non-targetted campaigns. Most of those campaigns will be in rural areas with heavy Republican advantage.

    The main caveat is this: We're a grass roots organization. We aren't made up of campaign professionals or powerful party elite -- whoever they are. We have no stick with which to approach FuturePAC or the OEA. We can only develop carrots.

    I would like to hear ideas from both of you, though BlueOregon may not be the best forum. LT, if you follow the link on my name, you can get my contact info. Steve already has it.

    I agree that non-targetted races need more help from the DPO. Let's talk and see what we can come up with.

  • Garlynn -- undergroundscience.blogspot.com (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Wouldn't it be interesting to re-jigger all of the U.S. Congressional Districts to follow watershed boundaries? There are certainly enough sub-watersheds to make this happen equitably. Willamette might be broken into a few (Tualatin, Upper Willamette/Clackamas/Sandy/Johnson Creek etc., Lower Willamette/Umpqua), then Coastal, Rogue, Deschutes & Eastern Watersheds.

    <h2>I like this proposal because it gives people a greater connection to the environments of the state that we all deem so important. And running political boundaries along ridgelines and other watershed divides would tend to make a lot of sense, since it groups population groups with one another within the valleys.</h2>
open discussion

connect with blueoregon