TV spot: Kate Brown for Secretary of State

Senator Kate Brown is on the air with a TV spot focusing on election protection.

Discuss.

Comments

  • Different Salem Staffer (unverified)
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    Meh. I see what she's doing, including Bush in the spot. It's designed to produce an effective visceral reaction... But in practice, it's academically worthless and tells us nothing except for the few endorsements.

    There's going to be a Democratic Secretary of State in 2009, and it's disingenuous to suggest that this is a valid issue in a Democratic primary.
    (As if one of Brown's opponents actually opposes counting votes?! To date, Brown is the only candidate that still supports disenfranchising Democats, a la 2614.)

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Nothing personal against Brown, but this ad doesn't do anything for me. Counting votes seems like a minimal pledge for an SoS to make, while Florida 2000 and gas prices don't seem like the most pressing issues in the race.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    It looks like I'm not alone in my sentiments.

  • Brian (unverified)
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    I disagree. From a pure tactical perspective, this is a very effective ad. 90% of the voting public have no idea of the role of the SOS other than overseeing the elections so "counting the votes" is a very relevant issue. Also, the flashback to the 2000 election in Florida and the indictment of the Bush administration will appeal to most democratic voters.

  • JHL (unverified)
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    Brian, I agree that the ad is effective. Dangling George Bush in front of Democratic voters is like dangling meat in front of a rottweiler.

    But like DSS said, it's almost a scam to suggest that this is an issue that will pop up in this race. If she was running against a Republican, it would make sense. But is Kate Brown suggesting that Rick Metsger or Vicki Walker would somehow throw the election to a Republican? I don't get it.

    James X hit it on the head: Counting votes is indeed the "minimal pledge" that a Secretary of State candidate can make... and while she's done a lot of good as Majority Leader, her record has shown that "counting votes" isn't really all that important to her after all.

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    Anyone know if "counting the votes" has any implication at all for how we "count the signatures" on initiatives and candidate ballot access by petition?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Brown's ad increases her name familiarity. What's she got better to do with all that campaign money?

    No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Actually, the more I think about the ad, I actually feel insulted by it. It basically just opens with a big red herring of "Bush! Booga-booga!" expecting I'll have the Pavlovian response that JHL refers to.

  • Just A Suggestion (unverified)
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    Kate it is OK for you to blink when looking into the camera.

    Other than that it was a good ad.

  • Jack Sullivan (unverified)
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    Kate it is OK for you to blink when looking into the camera.

    She tried that already. It didn't work out as well.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Having been under hot video lighting, I know that over-blinking is sometimes not easy to control. The eyes protect themselves from dessication.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    Someone tell me what 30 ads are intellectually stimulating and challenging. They obviously are about trying to introduce the candidate to voters in a positive way, often featuring one key issue (counting votes) along with endorsements. That's what this ad does.

    I walked for Kate and several other candidates in The Dalles yesterday, and a lot of people said that they had seen Kate's ad. It would therefore have to be called a successful and effective ad.

  • JHL (unverified)
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    Grant, of course it's sucessful. It dangled George Bush in front of Democratic voters. How could it not be successful?

    My concern (which I think is shared by James X) is that the "one key issue" in the ad is a strawman that bears no relevance to the race. It cheapens the dialogue and disrespects the voters.

    Especially since the issue, as you say, is "counting votes," and Kate Brown is the only candidate in the race who supports the idea of keeping Democrats out of the primary election if they sign an independent candidate's petition.

    It's a well-made ad... it just bears no resemblance either to the race in question or to Kate Brown's actual record.

  • KneeJerk (unverified)
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    The experts in Oregon in "counting votes" is the Oregon Voter Rights Coalition, which has endorsed Vicki Walker.

  • in the building (unverified)
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    The Mail Tribune has one of the best explanations I've seen as to why to vote for Brown over Walker:

    Secretary of state: Kate Brown Metsger has an unfocused approach; Walker's crusades have alienated many May 1, 2008

    Oregon's Democrats will have their hands full making decisions on a number of very competitive statewide primary elections. The secretary of state's race is no different, as three experienced legislators compete for the nomination.

    Our choice is Kate Brown, a Portland state senator who has been in the Legislature since 1991 and the Senate majority leader since 2004. She brings a resume packed with experience and a reputation for dealing fairly with both sides of the aisle.

    Brown faces two other Democratic candidates with considerable experience: Rick Metsger and Vicki Walker, both of whom began their legislative careers in 1999. On the Republican side, Rick Dancer, a Eugene TV journalist, is running unopposed.

    Metsger says he sees the secretary of state taking a greater role in everything from transportation to education. It seems to us an unfocused approach to a job that requires very concentrated attention on elections, state lands, audits of state agencies and, potentially, redistricting.

    Walker has earned a reputation for taking on sacred cows in state government. She challenged the SAIF workers' compensation insurance agency for its use of high profile lobbyists— including former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt — and its overly cozy connections with various legislators. She sponsored legislation that ended "golden parachute" severance packages for school administrators and helped push through a bill that ensured that taxes collected by private utilities were actually paid out as taxes.

    That kind of dogged determination and willingness to buck the power structure — even her own party's power structure — makes her an appealing candidate. But along the way she has managed to alienate people throughout government, the good and the bad alike. She is widely considered a loose cannon whose focus on her crusades prevents her from effectively dealing with other issues. The secretary of state, who is first in line to succeed the governor in case of death or an early departure, must be a multi-tasker who can work well with all kinds of people on all kinds of tasks, often almost simultaneously.

    Brown has proven she has that ability. She was a leader in shoring up safeguards for the state's initiative system after a variety of abuses were uncovered. She pushed through a law creating an online public system that details political campaign financing. She says a priority for her would be to focus more effort on performance audits of state agencies, to ensure that programs are administered properly and services delivered efficiently.

    She was a chief architect of the current congressional districting plan for Oregon, which she points out created a safe Democratic seat in the U.S. House, a safe Republican seat and three seats that are currently up for grabs. She says if the task falls to her in 2010, she would create a bipartisan citizens panel to give her a recommendation.

    The question mark hovering over Brown is her role as a leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus and the concern that the complaints of partisanship raised against current Secretary of State Bill Bradbury would continue under her watch. But Republicans who have worked with her describe her as fair and say they feel she made an honest effort to include them in the process when they were in the minority.

    Brown has proven her leadership capabilities and we're convinced that she will put the best interests of the state ahead of any partisan interests. We encourage Democratic voters to send her on to the November general election.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    in the building,

    I'd say that Walker's "crusades" that have "alienated many" are good reason to make her secretary of state. If there is any ongoing concern about that office in Oregon, it is that partisanship might effect the administration of election law. Vicki Walker has demonstrated that she is the antithesis of a party hack. Her "crusades" demonstrate that she is more concerned with the law and the interests of the people than she is with the satisfaction of entrenched economic and political interests. The last thing we need is a secretary of state overly concerned with stepping on political toes.

  • Jerry Adams (unverified)
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    The Oregon Voter Rights Coalition has worked primarily on advocating for independent validation of machine counts of votes in Oregon and nationally. Since our votes in Oregon are counted only by software programs, we need a sample of hand counted ballots to ensure that computer or human error did not change the outcomes. The particular software programs used to count the votes in Oregon have been a problem in other states.

    The Oregon VRC sent the candidates for SOS a questionnaire to determine their approaches to gaining valid outcomes in Oregon. Sen. Vicki Walker revealed that she clearly understood the problems and expressed a strong commitment to solutions. The other candidates did not.

    When legislation backed by the Oregon VRC was "gutted" by a member of the current SOS's staff in the House, the Oregon VRC appealed to Sen. Brown to not pass the gutted version in the Senate because it would supplant a valid method of validating outcomes. Instead, Sen. Brown pushed the gutted version through. Sen. Brown's answers to the questionnaire placed before her by the Oregon VRC did not suggest that she understands the problem with relying totally on a computer-generated count of votes in a democracy--especially when the proprietary (trade secret) software has been written by a private company with strong partisan ties. The vote count in Oregon is currently "faith-based."

    Sen. Brown's stated commitment to counting every vote is ironic: neither she nor we will ever know if the outcomes are correct if she becomes the new SOS (unless a tie requires a full hand recount). If a contest is less than a tie, we will never know the correct outcome since she has not committed to gaining an independent hand-counted sample for validation. (Legislation she did pass to sample ballots was to "spot check" precincts and does not help much with validating statewide outcomes--even though the procedures she got passed will cost about as much as those necessary to validate outcomes.)

    Jerry Adams Oregon VRC

  • Louise (unverified)
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    Read about the most comprehensive study of the the 2000 election at: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html. The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago conducted the six-month study for a consortium of eight news media companies, including CNN, the NY Times, and the Associated Press. The study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president. Kate Brown does a real disservice to Oregonians by claiming otherwise, and making them believe that our elections aren't fair. I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I also believe that our system works. We need to GET OVER IT!!!! Better to focus on teaching people how to operate a voting machine successfully, especially since the ballots in question in Florida were designed and approved by Democrats!

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