Sho Dozono and Ron Saxton

Ben at Witigonen takes a look at Sho Dozono's ties to Oregon Republicans, including his endorsement by the Multnomah County Republican Party:

Okay, so Sho Dozono has received the support of the Multnomah County Republican Party. The same party that vehemently opposes basic rights and equality. But, as the Willamette Week reports, Dozono is honored to have this support and says it doesn't color his record:

Although a life-long Democrat, I am pleased to receive the endorsement from the Multnomah County Republican Party for Mayor of Portland

Sam Adams has been severely vocal regarding my endorsement by the Republican Party and is proud of the fact that he refused their request for an interview. This is yet another example of Sam's narrow focus and inability to tolerate opinions different from his own...

I'm sorry, Sho. No. You don't get it. Even though you say you will "vigorously defend equal freedoms" as you have done in the past, equality and basic rights are not opinions. They are matters of constitutionality and basic moral ethics. You should not be proud to have sought (or received) the endorsement of a group that flouts these basic tenets of our society and seeks to actively discriminate against people in our community.

The post also examines Dozono's support for Ron Saxton in 2006:

In the same vein, the Willamette Week also revealed that Sho had given a sizable sum to the Republican nominee for governor in 2006, Ron Saxton. In the end, Dozono has given over ten thousand dollars to Saxton for his runs. It might be a drop in the bucket for Sho and his companies, but the money talks.

On basic rights, equality, and LGBTQ issues, Ron Saxton was as hawkish as it gets, wanting to run roughshod over equality in a desperate appeal to the worst in Republican politics. And Sho gave money and support to him.

Although Sho has been a committed advocate for LGBTQ causes, and working with people of all political persuasions is admirable and correct, the he's way off-base here. Working with individuals is one thing, but having the support of a machine that can churn out anti-equality thugs like Saxton and actively opposes basic rights is another. This was never about refusing to work with individuals; it was always about refusing to pursue an endorsement from a group that supports a terrible, regressive cause.

Read the rest at Witigonen.

Comments

  • dismayed (unverified)
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    I'm a democrat, but you seem to be saying here there is only one legitimate viewpoint on this issue and that there is no reason to respect any other. I thought we were the tolerant party.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    How uptight can you get? Sounds like someone is a candidate for a heart attack...

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    ...and I am talking about the article...not any person in particular..

  • draw the line (unverified)
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    Republicans have ruined this country for the last 8 years. I think at this point their party needs less of a voice, not more or equal. I'm dismayed that local politicians would say its a plus to have their endorsement. Sho is an interesting story but Amanda Fritz has been endorsed as well by the Republicans. I don't know how in good conscience you can trumpet the support of an organization that opposes a woman's right to choose, opposes basic rights for every Oregonian regardless of sexual orientation and stands firm with John McCain, George Bush and Gordon Smith.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    With the state of Oregon's Republican party I wouldn't want to have anything to do with them either. It's full of racists, thieves and morons. You can't reach across the aisle to Wayne Scott because he'll take a swipe at you with a machete. That is the Republican party in Oregon and I don't want to have anything to do with them or anyone that does. See ya Sho.

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    Yeah, I'm a little uptight about this. But I'm really damn passionate about those causes and I feel they've been continuously undermined by the Republican machine for a long time.

    If Sho wants to value the Republican endorsement, that's fine. But I vigorously disagree with what they (and people like Ron Saxton) stand for on this issue, and disagree with his framing of the issue.

  • (Show?)

    Ben is a nice guy, but doesn't bring much critical perspective to the table.

    Sho did not say he was "proud" to have received, Ben, he says "pleased."

    He did not "seek" or "pursue" the endorsement, he responded to a request from the MultCo GOP to attend an endorsement interview. Sam refused to do so, then immediately issued a press release trying to paint himself as the "Democrat" in this race. Here I thought this was a non-partisan contest ...

    This is the Rovian, guilt by association that I thought we rejected around here. You admit that Dozono has been an advocate for all the right causes through the years, but apparently all that goes out the window once you receive an endorsement.

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    I'd like to point out that we're talking about the Multnomah County Republican Party, as opposed to the Oregon Republican Party.

    Secondly, from what I've heard of the interview process, those asking the questions agreed to disagree on those social issues that people are so worried about.

  • Jack Sullivan (unverified)
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    This is the Rovian, guilt by association that I thought we rejected around here.

    Paul, if a party endorsement means nothing, then why are spending all this time arguing about open primaries, top-two primaries, closed primaries, and all that?

    Sho Dozono not only sought the endorsement of the GOP, he trumpets it on his website.

    Democrats are right to be skeptical of any politician that the Republican Party finds acceptable.

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    Paul- not at all. It's not merely guilt by association. He's been on the right side of the issues, but the endorsement and money to Ron Saxton raise questions. And, I disagree about him pursuing the endorsement.

    But I'm glad you think I'm a nice guy!

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    The problem is not so much that the Republicans endorsed Sho.

    It's that Sho has been funding Republicans for a long time - to the tune of $14,300, including funding to the National Republicans.

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    The link to the records is pretty informative.

    In 2002, Dozono gave equally to Kulo and Saxton, and no money to Mannix (Saxton lost in the primary).

    Every single one of the Republican donations I can find are "Dozono Enterprises," the corporate entity.

    The other family donations seem to be 100% Democratic. Even all of Sho Dozono's individual contributions look to be Democratic except for a $5000 donation to Saxton in the 2002 primary (which I dont think is crazy, given his opponent was Mannix).

    What we have here, then, is a wealthy, influential business that supports both sides (and does not support any of the right wing wackos in the GOP) but leans Democratic, and all personal / family contributions are 100% Democratic.

    Read that the way you will, but using these data to paint Dozono as a tool of the Republican "machine" is a stretch.

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    Jenni,

    Yeah, I sort of wondered about the "Republican machine". What machine is that, the one that can't muster more than about 25% of the vote in Multnomah County?

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    I never said he was a tool of the machine. I said that he's off-base about what he's saying with regard to this endorsement and what it means (with respect to basic rights, etc). It was more a post about basic rights than Dozono-as-tool.

    Saxton's a tool; Dozono just gave money to him (and Democrats, it's true).

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Sho is an interesting story but Amanda Fritz has been endorsed as well by the Republicans.

    Yup, Amanda Fritz is a secret Republican mole.

    Good Gawd.

    You're damn straight this is Rovian garbage. Who posted this item in the first place, and what is his/her connection to the Adams and Lewis campaigns?

    Blue Oregon's reputation is headed for the toilet with this sort of stuff.

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    joel dan walls,

    I never said Amanda Fritz was a Republican mole. You made that up. All I said was, "Republicans have ruined this country for the last 8 years. I think at this point their party needs less of a voice, not more or equal. I'm dismayed that local politicians would say its a plus to have their endorsement. Sho is an interesting story but Amanda Fritz has been endorsed as well by the Republicans. I don't know how in good conscience you can trumpet the support of an organization that opposes a woman's right to choose, opposes basic rights for every Oregonian regardless of sexual orientation and stands firm with John McCain, George Bush and Gordon Smith."

    My point being is that I wouldn't trumpet a Republican endorsement and I'm not sure if I would want a politician in office representing me that did.

    Do you?

  • redcellpolitical (unverified)
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    If Mannix is/was crazy, all the better that Sho should have given HIM money to ensure a democratic victory. Giving money to Sax the Axe is simply inexcusable for a democrat. He wan't even a sitting politician. I know democrats giving money to Smith, but at least he has the actual ability (perhaps) to give them something back. You don't give money to a longshot campaign unless you actually support the guy.

    Sho is, of course free to accept the endorsement, it is a non-partisan position, but he should say something more than "I am pleased" and then attack Sam for standing on principle to not even interact with a party whose core position planks are antithetical to Sam's identity.

    I am surprised ( or am I?) that this issue comes out now, almost a month after republican blogs started quoting Saxton's endorsement of Sho.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Say anonymous AKA draw the line, here's the list of Amanda Fritz's endorsers, cut and pasted from her website:

    • Communications Workers of America Local 7901
    • Laborers Local 483
    • National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 82
    • Oregon Nurses Association
    • Teachers' Voice in Politics/Portland Association of Teachers
    • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 (co-endorsement)
    • Multnomah County Democratic Party (co-endorsement)
    • Multnomah County Republican Party
    • Green Light from Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC
    • Green Light from NARAL ProChoice Oregon

    Endorsements from the county Democratic Party, the county Republican Party, NARAL, a gay-rights group, and a bunch of labor unions? Whaaaattt?

    I think someone needs to take the Rovian guilt-by-association bit farther. Let me try: Clearly if the Democratic Party, NARAL, Basic Rights Oregon, and those labor unions all support the same candidate as (gasp!) the county GOP, those organizations are highly suspect, to say the least.

  • Dylan (unverified)
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    Sho's candidacy offends me. How he thinks his rudimentary knowledge of city government qualifies him to be in charge is beyond me. The guy must be all ego or be surrounded by people who want power for themselves.

    I know little about Sam Adams, but I voted for him b/c competence and knowledge matter to me.

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    Here's a ForInstanace. Say you're an officer of the Multco Repubs, and you're pretty clear that whoever gets elected will be pro-choice and pro-gay rights.

    One of the candidates has a rather messy personal financial past which might indicate less than total competence in dealing with money matters.

    The other is a LibrulThatHatesMurica too, but he has a long record of running a successful business based in the city.

    Which would you endorse?

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    Pat, I think those arguments need a little more context.

    Sam has a personal bankruptcy, but it happened two decades ago because he didn't have health insurance and had big medical bills. He has voluntarily paid it all back, even though he didn't have to. Some people might be put off by that, but I think it shows he's developed a maturity about these financial and healthcare matters.

    As for Sho, yes, he's been quite successful. But there are lingering questions (at least for me) about aspects of his business ethics. Like when he borrowed a million dollars from a kid's trust fund that he was managing for his recently-deceased friend. And then the recent stuff about not paying his rent to the City of Portland... although he did pay both cases back eventually.

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    dismayed wrote "I'm a democrat, but you seem to be saying here there is only one legitimate viewpoint on this issue and that there is no reason to respect any other."

    Do you also believe there are two respectable sides to a discussion of whether Women and Blacks should have a vote? How about whether Black and White people can marry each other?

    Do you consider these questions open to debate, too?

    Why are GLBT citizens' basic civil rights open to public debate, when yours are constitutionally guaranteed? We were born and raised in America, and have paid taxes all our lives too.

  • redcellpolitical (unverified)
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    "One of the candidates has a rather messy personal financial past which might indicate less than total competence in dealing with money matters.

    The other is a LibrulThatHatesMurica too, but he has a long record of running a successful business based in the city."

    Well by rather messy you mean 1 bankruptcy twenty years ago caused by medical bills and which repaid with interest, right? For the last time (ha ha) even for Republicans this is a NON-F** ISSUE! Beside that no one has ever hinted of any "messy" background to Sam's abilities at financial management. He reined in the Tram and finally got it done, he has worked on at least 16 years of city budgets (in good years and bad).

    Sho Dozono? His firm has been barley solvent since 9/11. He has illegally and unethically borrowed money from a minor for whom he was a trustee and withheld rent and taxes from the city for bogus claims (beside there is a mechanism for landlord-tenant dispute and it doesn't involve non-payment of taxes).

    The Republicans endorsed Sho because he gives money to republican candidates (of course democrats as well) and is very chummy with Mr Charisma (aka Ron "Sax the Axe" Saxton. Plus I am sure Sho gets very chummy with Republicans at the Arlington Club, The Waverly and everywhere else the business elite gathers. The fact that one of Sho's employees happens to be gay and said employee has been very public in support of Sho, does not a "liberal" make Sho. Accepting the endorsement of a party opposed to same-sex domestic rights (if not outright marriage, opposed to a woman's right to choose... oh forget it. Wake me up when its 8:01 pm on the 20th.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    I voted for Dozono because I want to see a nice long period of airing the issues before a runoff in the fall. I voted for Dozono because I am appalled at the idea of an Adams mayoralty-by-coronation. I didn't vote for Dozono on account of his great credentials. (Sigh.) The county GOP endorsement was a matter of great indifference to me.

  • (Show?)

    Damn spam filter won't let me post about the facts that Dozono has given about four times as much to Democrats as Republicans since 2001.

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    And almost the only Republican he actually has given anything is Ron Saxton, and only in primaries vs. Kevin Mannix. Remembering too that Saxton ran as a moderate in 2002, and very plausibly so, in a very different campaign from 2006.

    My memory is hazy about just when in 2006 Saxton did his hard right tack -- was it there from the get-go?

  • Ted (unverified)
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    My grandparents are devout Republicans, but they don't like Bush (and didn't like Bush Sr). If they lived in Oregon, I'm sure they wouldn't like Saxton or Mannix either.

    My grandparents and many members of my family and many people I work with are Republicans. They go to church and regularly socialize with and befriend people of all race and creed. They support charities. They are good people. They do not "oppose basic rights and equality."

    I think they are delusional and swallow all that Republican propaganda about protecting America, tough on crime, small government, etc. However, I think in many ways mainstream Democrats are equally delusional about how the system really works and who the Dem leadership at the top is beholden to.

    Many average Republicans think they know the good guys from the bad guys, just like many Democrats seem to think they know the good guys from the bad guys. How convenient. Spy vs Spy. Cops and Robbers. The Jedi Knights and the Evil Empire. It makes sure that the masses remain devided so the real problems are never addressed in any real Democratic forum.

  • (Show?)

    Let's remember that Sho and Ron worked together incredibly closely on school funding issues for years. Who ever you back in the Mayoral race (and I've backed Sam from the beginning), let's remember any relationship between these two is NOT based on GOP vs. Dem ideas, but on a shared support for public schools and funding them adequately -- something I think we can all get behind. In a non-partisan mayoral race, I think it's fair to note that, and note that Ron's work in that areea was all any progressive could ask for.

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    joel dan walls wrote:

    You're damn straight this is Rovian garbage. Who posted this item in the first place, and what is his/her connection to the Adams and Lewis campaigns?

    I love the fact that the editorial board of Blue Oregon constantly gave me crap for posting excerpts and links to pieces elsewhere (even with my name on them) and that a piece like this can still go up with no attribution. I'm sure Kari has a very lawyerly or even philological explanation why, but it's this kind of double-standard on what is permitted in these "elsewhere" pieces that has caused me to lose a great deal of confidence in the transparency and impartiality of Blue Oregon.

    The editors should at the least provide very clear and impartially applied criteria - in a written document that anyone on the site can read, not in ever-changing background email threads - for what's permissible as an "in the news" or "elsewhere" piece. Or better yet, for the good of the readers and the accountability of the authors, get rid of these silly and inconsistently edited categories of post altogether.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Thanks for the support, Mr. Corbell. The least one can ask for is a name attached to a posting like the one at the top of this thread (and don't want to hear that it was just reposted from "Ben at Witigonen", which means nothing.)

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    Well, you'll be glad to know that the new BlueOregon 2.0 will allow any registered user to post an in-the-news or elsewhere item -- and it'll be tagged with their ID.

    As for Chris's complaints, I'm not interested in rehashing the arguments we had via email... but the bottom line is this: We want posts to be meaningful and interesting. ("Not boring" has been part of our mission from the beginning.)

    Anybody who is copying and pasting boring-ass talking points from a campaign is going to be asked to stop doing that. Anybody who is posting interesting commentary is going to be asked to continue doing that.

    It's really that simple.

    This is a site for news and commentary with a highly-educated and highly-motivated audience.

    It's not a place where points are scored by counting up the number of posts. (It ain't a lawnsign war, for the love of god.)

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    Marc Abrams,

    Thanks for filling in what can be inferred by anyone who takes the time (unfortunately it does take time) to follow out Willamette Week's "follow the money" link. The Saxton contributions are unique in the overall pattern, and the ones from 2002 in particular come so early in the process that it seems likely that Sho Dozono was instrumental in convincing Ron Saxton that a run was possible. What you say makes great sense & also fits with what I remember of Saxton's 2002 primary campaign. (2006 was another matter).

  • redcellpolitical (unverified)
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    "Anybody who is copying and pasting boring-ass talking points from a campaign is going to be asked to stop doing that. Anybody who is posting interesting commentary is going to be asked to continue doing that."

    Um... Kari, do you include yourself in that edict? Not that I am a Kari-basher like some but that comment just seems silly considering your consistent string of posts rehashing your client's talking points.

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    Yeah, I do include myself in that. And I'll be the first to admit that it's hard to get outside of one's one brain. But I work pretty hard to craft thoughtful and interesting material here. What's interesting is in the eye of the beholder, and my standards for our writers are pretty damn low (maybe you've noticed?). After all, they're doing it for the pleasure of writing -- it's an all-volunteer labor of love around here. That said, anytime we get talking points literally copied and pasted, I'm going to get cranky. (Just like our guest columns page says that press releases get trashed without review. Boring.)

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    Funny how those that disagree with the favored candidates here always bash the writers. I don't think the posts are advertised as unbiased. Take them for what they're worth (I think they're pretty darn good) and chime in, or find another blog that is more agreeable to you. But quit the damn whining.

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    Kari you forgot to mention the other points you made in your e-mail to me, viz: Blue Oregon is for "political junkies" and not for undecided voters.

    In other words, it is, in editorial policy and vision, an echo chamber for elitists who have already made up their minds and make snobbish decisions about what is "boring" to others. Or do you really think that all the videos and mainstream drivel you've posted for your candidates (many of whom I support) fascinated us all?

    Yeesh.

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    I have been reading this site since March without posting until now. I have never seen someone so defensive and childish at Mr. Corbell. He complains about it being one-sided here (I am and will remain a Clinton supporter)and throwing the term "elitist" around a lot. I am beginning to feel he is one of Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" peons trying to throw a wrench in with Dems. He definitely doesn't speak for me.

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