Let's Draft Pete DeFazio for Governor

By Ben DuPree of Portland, Oregon. Previously, Ben worked for Jeff Merkley's U.S. Senate campaign, worked for then-Commissioner Sam Adams, consulted with the SEIU, and serves on Metro's Committee for Citizen Involvement. Ben previously blogged at Witigonen and now blogs at Preemptive Karma.

Oregon needs Pete DeFazio to run for Governor. To help this along, I have started a blog devoted to the effort: Draft Pete DeFazio.

From a purely political perspective, he is the strongest realistic candidate we Democrats can field. By far. Without reading any specific polling, it is fair to say that he has strong name recognition up-and-down Oregon. This will serve him well off-the-bat. Beyond this simple metric, however, DeFazio represents a crucial area that every Democrat must win to compete statewide. If a Democrat does well in the Portland metro and through most of DeFazio's district, he or she wins. Period.

And, if a big-name Republican like former Senator Gordon Smith jumps into the race, it will take a candidate like Pete DeFazio to keep the Governor's office squarely in Democratic hands. It's just that simple. Smith alone could open the floodgates and raise upwards of $10 million. We need a candidate who can raise his or her share of money and who doesn't enter against a big-name Republican with any deficits in name recognition or favorability.

But let's keep the electability discussion to a minimum for now. There will be plenty of months to churn through that ball of wax.

Simply put, Oregon needs Pete DeFazio to run because he speaks with the progressive, populist voice that we need right now. And he has the record to back it up. From his initial vote to oppose the Iraq War in 2002 to his recent, principled stand against the watering-down of President Obama's economic stimulus, DeFazio has spent his career standing up for everyday Oregonians and progressive values. He's willing to ruffle feathers and stand on principle - a valued asset, to be sure.

In fact, just to show you where his values lie, he is a charter member of the Congressional Populist Caucus and a former chair of the Progressive Caucus. If that isn't telling about who he sides with, then I don't know what is.

Moreover, his work on the House Transportation Committee (he chairs the subcommittee on highways and transit) is just the sort of wonkish experience we will need in the coming years. With the economic stimulus being recently signed into law, Oregon needs a progressive voice with public sector transportation experience who will best enable our state to get back to work and best utilize our share of stimulus dollars.

Pete's a passionate man, a tried-and-true progressive and populist who will help our state move forward. Please join me in helping draft him to be our candidate for Governor in 2010. Join the Draft DeFazio Facebook group. Join me on the Draft Pete DeFazio blog.

We need to start strong to retain the Governor's seat in 2010.

Comments

  • Bobby (unverified)
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    Nice job, Ben

    DeFazio is at the top of my list for who I'd like to see run.

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    Thanks man. It's an important effort - one that we cannot overlook (even this early).

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    I like Da Faz, but we are much better off with him and his seniority in the House on the Transportation Subcommittee, and with Kitzhaber running for Governor (again).

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    Nuts! I like Peter as a congressman with seniority. He scares me as a governor. I do not think he understands today's global economy and what it will take to make Oregon competitive. He seems to be against all forms of trade bills and seeks to take Oregon economy back to some better (his view) and protected past. There are lots of other good Democrats to run for governor. We have a very deep bench that we need to put into play.

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    Novick is running and Bradbury might run. Why would we need to draft DeFazio? Any of the three can beat Atkinson or Alley.

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    Well, who else would you see run from our bench? I'm not saying we don't have other prospects, but I'm curious as to whom you'd see as a stronger (or better) candidate.

    And, yeah, his seniority is nice. But I think a near-lock run at Governor is a better.

  • JJ (unverified)
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    Ben..I have no doubt that Defazio would be a very strong candidate and would be heavily favored to win..but the notion that the Democratic party needs Defazio as the candidate in order to keep the Governor's office securely in Democratic hands is crazy. No matter who wins the Dem primary, he/she will be the next governor...no Republican in Oregon can win that office..none...period. Surely you remember last fall when Gordon Smith was defeated by Jeff Merkley..I mean seriously man..Jeff Merkley! Come on, no one actually thinks that guy belongs in the US Senate..not even Merkley..but he's there because he's a Democrat and he decided to run...that's it. The fact that the voters in Oregon would replace a guy like Smith with Jeff Merkley clearly demonstrates that it has nothing to do with the individual at all any more..it's simply about party. This is not just a solid Democratic state...it is an only Democratic state..meaning that only Democrats can win statewide here. Defazio can keep his House seat..he won't be needed to lock up the governor's office..it's already a done deal..

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I like Da Faz, but we are much better off with him and his seniority in the House on the Transportation Subcommittee, and with Kitzhaber running for Governor (again).

    Ditto

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    I'm just saying he's our best, strongest candidate (IMO). And, to me, he's the best person, policy-wise, to lead us.

    I know that we can with a good number of other Democrats, but I prefer Pete.

    But I doubt it's already a done deal. Sure, Republicans haven't won for awhile and the state's trending blue, but we can't take this for granted.

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    Like most people, I think Congressman DeFazio would make a good candidate, I however suspect that his voice would do far more good in Congress than it would as Governor. There are plenty of people in Oregon right now that could be governor, but not many can fill Congressman DeFazio's shoes in DC.

  • Cap (unverified)
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    We don't need Peter DeFazio as the de facto 2010 democratic gubinatorial candidate, but we sure need to look for someone like him. I think if you were to ask him, he would tell you that he is very effective in his current position, and it would be hard to see Oregon's overall clout diminished by his leaving his present post.

  • Jack Coleman (unverified)
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    Peter is a good congressman but he has NO experience with state government. Congressional aide, county commissioner, congressman. Zero, zilch, state level experience. Just as soon keep his seniority in the house and promote someone with detailed knowledge of state government to the gov's office.

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    I'm unsure as to whether I buy the clout argument as a game-breaker. It's all Gordon Smith used in his campaign endgame - he claimed electing Jeff Merkley would honestly diminish Oregon's clout (but this is a different situation, I suppose).

    While we won't be replacing a Republican here, true, and while Pete does have some good experience in Congress, I think he would do a fantastic job as Governor.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I have great respect for DeFazio, Kitzhaber, Courtney. Any would be a good nominee for Gov.

    I also have great respect for voters. They have the right to see which candidate talks about issue they care about, which one builds a great grass roots organization. They have the right to see if one candidate does Wyden-style town hall meetings (remember the publicity he got in Jan. 1996 for serving ice cream in January during the special election?) as Kitzhaber did in 1994 while he others concentrate on TV ads or other paid media. Any voter has the right to attend a speech by any candidate and say afterwards "he was OK, but deserves someone running against him in the primary" as a young friend did after I took her to a primary event last year.

    Currently I am agnostic in the case of 2 friends running against each other for school board. There is a major issue in our district and I want to see which candidate is more outspoken on that issue. So why would I choose a Gov. candidate so early, even before this legislative session is over with? Do campaigns never end and give way to governing?

    One thing I will say right now: I intend to support a candidate for Gov. who has already been elected to public office. I have known Courtney for over 3 decades (he was in local government here in Salem before the legislature), Kitzhaber for more than 2 decades, DeFazio since 1986. Have I agreed with any of them 100% ? No. Do I respect them all? Yes. Will I stand quietly by if any candidate tries to attack any of them in what I believe is a mindless fashion? NO.

    I believe a candidate for Gov. who is willing to show up in all 36 counties like Wyden does, who builds a grass roots operation, who appears in town hall style meetings to answer questions (in public venues, not just the homes of supporters), who runs a campaign ordinary folks view with the respect many give the Wyden town hall meetings, and is more concerned with solving problems than with mocking an opponent is a candidate worthy of my support.

    I also believe that 2006 Kulongoski vs. Saxton was an insult to our intelligence. In these times we deserve more serious, thoughtful debates than we saw in 2006. Westlund ran a more intelligent Gov. campaign (until he dropped out) than Kulongoski and Saxton put together.

    If someone here doesn't like my attitude, not my problem. My vote is my own and it should be clear by now that no one insulting me on a blog will win my vote.

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    I have to say that whether or not someone has been elected to another office will have little to no bearing on my choice for governor. I've seen excellent elected officials in higher office who were never elected to anything. And then I've seen Dems who have been elected before and were terrible at the job.

    To me, it's about the issues, how they're going to handle the office, etc. I want a hands-on governor again.

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    LT - you make a fine point about campaigning across the state. That's one reason why I like DeFazio so much - he's got a voice which can truly speak for all of Oregon. So do others, sure, but Pete's in good shape here.

    Either way, it will be exciting. I can't wait to see the field materialize.

  • SCB (unverified)
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    Ben, who wrote this blog, describes DeFazio as being known "up and down the State". That's about right.

    But the problem is this. Oregon is just over 300 miles north to south on I-5. But Pacific Ocean to Idaho border, Oregon is about 400 miles wide. The Cascades run about 1/3rd of the way from the Pacific to Idaho. 2/3rd's of Oregon has never seen DeFazio. Well, not quite true, he has made an appearance at Sunriver for the Democratic Party meeting held there every other year - but the general public can't see him there. I suspect it's worse than that. Has Astoria and the north coast ever seen DeFazio? Has east Multnomah County ever seen DeFazio? How about Sandy and Oregon City?

    In the media center of Oregon (Portland) it might be easy to think that "everyone" knows DeFazio, but really, sorry to say, it just ain't so.

    In Central Oregon, Democrats without name recognition will get about 20% of the vote. With name recognition they will get about 35% of the vote. Only with intensive working of the area, like Wyden's annual visits, can a Democrat approach 50% of the vote.

    I fear that DeFazio will not get over 50% anyplace that is more than 10 miles off of I-5. While there is a majority of Oregon's population within 10 miles of I-5, it's not enough. For every area that votes in the range of 20 to 35%, you have to have a balancing area voting 65 to 80%. Sure Portland is big, but will even Portland get to that range of voters for someone who isn't well known even in Portland? I doubt it.

    Having said all that, I like DeFazio. I like his backbone. I like that he voted against the recent "stimulus" package on principle. I think he'd make a good Governor. I just don't think he could win -

    Unless - perhaps if DeFazio started right now with a 36 County listening tour, do it again between the primary and the general election - then maybe. Only if DeFazio has a real town hall in each Oregon County, and maybe some extra ones in the over-populated parts of the State like east Multnomah, then maybe, maybe.

    So, the real question is - does DeFazio really want this job, and is he willing to work for it?

  • SCB (unverified)
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    Ben, who wrote this blog, describes DeFazio as being known "up and down the State". That's about right.

    But the problem is this. Oregon is just over 300 miles north to south on I-5. But Pacific Ocean to Idaho border, Oregon is about 400 miles wide. The Cascades run about 1/3rd of the way from the Pacific to Idaho. 2/3rd's of Oregon has never seen DeFazio. Well, not quite true, he has made an appearance at Sunriver for the Democratic Party meeting held there every other year - but the general public can't see him there. I suspect it's worse than that. Has Astoria and the north coast ever seen DeFazio? Has east Multnomah County ever seen DeFazio? How about Sandy and Oregon City?

    In the media center of Oregon (Portland) it might be easy to think that "everyone" knows DeFazio, but really, sorry to say, it just ain't so.

    In Central Oregon, Democrats without name recognition will get about 20% of the vote. With name recognition they will get about 35% of the vote. Only with intensive working of the area, like Wyden's annual visits, can a Democrat approach 50% of the vote.

    I fear that DeFazio will not get over 50% anyplace that is more than 10 miles off of I-5. While there is a majority of Oregon's population within 10 miles of I-5, it's not enough. For every area that votes in the range of 20 to 35%, you have to have a balancing area voting 65 to 80%. Sure Portland is big, but will even Portland get to that area for someone who isn't well known even in Portland? I doubt it.

    Having said all that, I like DeFazio. I like his backbone. I like that he voted against the recent "stimulus" package on principle. I think he'd make a good Governor. I just don't think he could win -

    Unless - perhaps if DeFazio started right now with a 36 County listening tour, do it again between the primary and the general election - then maybe. Only if DeFazio has a real town hall in each Oregon County, and maybe some extra ones in the over-populated parts of the State like east Multnomah, then maybe, maybe.

    So, the real question is - does DeFazio really want this job, and is he willing to work for it?

    (forgive me if this gets posted twice, but it seems that my first post just vanished)

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    (forgive me if this gets posted twice, but it seems that my first post just vanished)

    Please read the little purple box next to the "post" button.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    I'll happily vote for The Faz for any office he wants, but I'd prefer he remain as Representative For Life from my district, using his increasing seniority to whip the other 434 into shape and get things done for South Oregon, Oregon and America, in that order.

    We'll get a decent Democrat as Governor anyway. Novick, Castillo, Bradbury, Edmundson or any of half a dozen State Senators or high-population County Commissioners could win easily.

  • Josh Reynolds (unverified)
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    I am glad you are all optimistic about DeFazio's "clout" in DC. When the reauthorization of the transportation bill is finished what is left? It looks to me like he has alienated the leadership as well as the administration with the criticsm of Larry Summers and the "loud" no vote of the stimulus bill. Where will that leave us? I like Blumenauer's "clout" alot better than Peter's in DC.

    Frankly, this is the kind of attitude we need from a Governor in Salem right now.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    It looks to me like he has alienated the leadership as well as the administration with the criticsm of Larry Summers and the "loud" no vote of the stimulus bill.

    That's one of several things I like about DeFazio. We need more people in Congress to express what people want to have said, not what the leadership wants to hear. The first version of the bailout bill was written by a former CEO of Goldman Sachs for the benefit of Wall Street and was greased in Congress with the complicity of committees headed by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. DeFazio and other who opposed this scam caused the bill to be less of a disaster for the taxpayer. Keep DeFazio in Congress. Integrity is in short supply there. DeFazio is one of few in Congress who can remind people what integrity is. If only we could get rid of Greg Walden in District 2.

    As for Larry Summers, for those who are not aware or have forgotten, he (and Robert Rubin and Tim Geithner) was a key player in promoting the deregulation that helped to get us in this mess.

  • Tyler (unverified)
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    DeFazio for governor? Why? That would only marginalize him. He has far more influence in Washington and nationally than he could ever have as governor of Oregon. We want more people like him on the national scene not fewer.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    The only thing I would ask is that we not start another year of "Draft X" and "Draft Y" blog postings for governor like we did for last year's Senate race. Merkley was at least 2nd tier (if not 3rd) in those lists, and I think it hurt him early. He wasn't my first choice, but he was obviously a strong enough candidate to beat Smith once things got going. However, he had to overcome the stigma of being the last person Dems turned to once all their "top" candidate bowed out.

    Why not just let the field develop naturally? DeFazio knows the governor's race is coming, I'm sure he's thought about it and talked to his consultants, and he'll decide whether he's in or out at some point. Declaring him the "strongest candidate we can field" has the unintended consequence of declaring the rest of the field weak.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Jenni---what do you think of the Wyden-style town hall campaiging in all 36 counties SCB describes? Do you think that is a good idea for anyone running for Gov., esp. someone who lives in the Portland end of the state?

    As Wyden says at the end of his town hall meetings, "You may disagree with me on some things, you may think this guy doesn't know anything, but I hope you will go away from here thinking this is what the Founding Fathers have in mind".

    Anyone here have a problem with that sentiment?

    Call it the difference between the Dean frame of mind and the McAuliffe frame of mind. If there is a candidate I disagree with strongly on one issue, agree with on some other issues, and have had the opportunity to question that candidate in a Wyden-style town hall meeting here in Marion County, I would be inclined to vote for that person. Esp. if the opponent has brought in famous consultants who design clever ads but never get the candidate out in all 36 counties because polling has told them "what Oregonians believe" without asking them.

    We need problem solvers in public office. I'm speaking as the woman who voted for the city council candidate sitting on a traffic comm. who was able to get a 4 way stop at the corner with all the bad accidents over the "popular" candidate my friends voted for.

    We had a hotly contested Congressional election here a couple decades ago. An Oregon pollster and the folks working on the campaign sensed it was going to be close.

    DCCC had a pollster they knew (not an Oregon resident) do a poll to see if they should support the Oregon nominee. The poll said "doesn't have a chance". After the recount shwoed he lost by 707 votes there was an apology letter, but many of us didn't trust consultants and the "professionals are the ones who know how to win elections" crowd after that.

    This is what was meant by "Dean not only inspiring young people but bringing back burned out activists from the past".

    It is possible that there is someone out there, never elected to public office, who can do the hard work SCB describes, "So, the real question is - does DeFazio really want this job, and is he willing to work for it?".

    Maybe it is someone who is as inspiring as Kitzhaber was in 1994, and as able to stand in front of a town hall audience and answer any question asked. Maybe it is someone who outshines Kitzhaber, DeFazio, Courtney or any other big name Democrat.

    But the point is that every individual makes that voting decision. We had a test case last year of the power of bloggers to tell people they should vote for X or else the bloggers had the right to call them names. Didn't work.

    Jenni, if you hear of a candidate never elected to public office considering running for Gov., I hope you ask the tough questions. Will that candidate follow the 36-county strategy SCB describes? Will that candidate ask voters what they want in a Gov., or tell them what is important? Will that candidate speak out on revenue reform and the Revenue Restructuring Task Force? Will that candidate be able to discuss any major legislative effort that we see in the next several months and give an informed opinion? Does that candidate believe school administrators deserve to earn more than the Governor? Why or why not?

    Does that candidate have a vision for the future and a plan to carry it out? Or only a negative campaign focusing on something an opponent did years ago which all of us are supposed to consider the most important issue because the candidate has the right to decide for us what our most important issues are--we can't be smart enough to do that for ourselves?

    We deserve a more intelligent Gov. campaign than we saw in 2006. Ted's first campaign manager being arrogant enough to say "The governor of Oregon is doing what the people of Oregon want done" as if anyone who disagreed was not a person in Oregon. That could have cost him votes had Saxton not been such an unappealing candidate. Ted's "I'm running against 2 Republicans " crack against Westlund is a remark I hope he repents.

    Any indication of that sort of arrogance from any Gov. candidate in 2010 will cause me to distrust such a candidate. Period. Even if everyone at BO thinks the person is the best Gov. candidate ever.

    So let's use peer pressure to force Gov. candidates to run the sort of 36 county campaign SCB advocates. What we do not need is a brainless "all we need are Portland area voters" strategy that could lose if the Republicans got smart and nominated a serious candidate who understands the wisdom of a 36 county strategy.

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    I'd argue that running for - and being - Governor would not marginalize DeFazio in the slightly. It's hard to marginalize the top executive position in your state... unless you live in California right now...

    As for the field developing naturally, that's exactly what this is: a grassroots movement to support someone to run. This doesn't preclude a competitive primary, after all.

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    I like DeFazio's politics, but I'd rather he stay in the House. As has been noted above, we need more people like him in Congress. If he runs for gov then CD4 will be competitive, and even if we win it's not going to be with a candidate as unabashedly liberal as DeFazio. On the other hand, if he stays put, he'll be in office as long as he wants. We have an absurdly large bench in this state. There are other candidates in the same ideological mold as DeFazio that could win the Governor's race, I'm not so sure that holds true for CD4.

    All of that being said, it's pretty obvious that he's going to run for Governor, and he'll be pretty much guaranteed to win. He'll have a geographical base in Southern Oregon and an ideological one in Portland, meaning an easy primary win. The general will be similarly easy, people are getting bent out of shape about name id. First, I think he has more than they give him credit for, and second, Merkley didn't have any and still ended up beating a 2 term senator. Plus DeFazio doesn't even have the Portland stereotype holding him back. Like every other Democratic candidate, DeFazio will win big around Portland, the suburbs, Eugene, and the North Coast, and then he'll do better than most D candidates in the Southern Counties where he's well known. The Republican's don't even have a good candidate to run against him.

    This race is already over, it's DeFazio's to lose.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    ---what do you think of the Wyden-style town hall campaiging in all 36 counties...

    It depends mostly on the content. I attended one of Gordon Smith's "town hall" meetings and walked out when I couldn't take any more of his BS.

    To repeat a point I've made before, prior to the vote to go to war on Iraq Wyden had a meeting in Deschutes County. I and others got the impression Wyden was in favor of going to war, but he got an earful from some of us at that meeting who were opposed to the war. I suspect he had similar experiences in other parts of Oregon. He voted against the war. Whether those meetings and the reactions he got were the deciding factor is hard to tell, but they could have been. In such a case, these meetings can be worthwhile.

  • Joe Hill (unverified)
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    If Nick Wirth is right and DeFazio wants to be governor, then yes, I agree, the race is over, and DeFazio will probably be very good. I hope though, for reasons already stated, that he stays in the House where he will do more for Oregon in a district where he seems to be irreplaceable.

    If he does not run, then Novick is the obvious choice. He would have been a better senator than Merkley (I know that is not a popular point of view among some here) and he would be an infinitely better governor than the measured Kitzhaber or Bradbury. He will be much more supportive of education than Ted "let's have teachers work for free" Kulongoski, who seems to have forgotten the theory of what economic stimulus money is for. (Hint: you have to actually spend it in order for it to stimulate the economy.)

    Again, the questions to ask are: who will move us toward single payer health insurance? Who will lead the repeal of measure 5, measure 11, and the galactically idiotic kicker plan? (That gurgling sound you hear in the distance is hundreds of thousands of Oregonians trying in vain to cry out, "Where's my kicker?!!" as they go under the waves for the last time.) Seven times seven curses are not enough for every dumbkopf who fell for that one.

    But I digress.

    As always, progressives should follow the advice of John Kenneth Galbraith and vote for the leftmost credible candidate. If DeFazio is not the candidate (and I agree, he can have it if he wants it), then that is Novick.

  • LT (unverified)
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    All due respect, Joe Hill:

    In order to be Gov., a person must first be elected.

    Will that person be someone who says "The kicker, M. 5, Measure 11 were stupid"?

    Will that person be someone able to explain an alternative revenue vision, perhaps based on the work of the Revenue Restructuring Task Force?

    Will that person be able to listen to constituents, as Wyden does, or tell them what they should believe?

    Much as I love Peter DeFazio, he would not be Gov. if voters did not choose him. I have more respect for the intelligence of voters than to tell them more than a year before the election who should be Gov. as if they have no right to debate that issue next year.

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    I'm not sure where folks are getting this idea that if Peter DeFazio runs it will be a lock. Peter has many hurdles if he decides to run, for instance has he learned anything from his last statewide campaign? There are probably plenty of people my age that don't even know that he has tried for a statewide victory before and was bested by now Senator Wyden.

    It's still very early and this is pretty much anyone's race.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)
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    He'll have a geographical base in Southern Oregon and an ideological one in Portland, meaning an easy primary win.

    I disagree. I think DeFazio is a candidate who is somewhat the opposite of Novick -- stronger in the general than in the D primary.

    Be wary of those who underestimate the Republicans' chances in 2010. The electoral waters will be very different indeed.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    As for the field developing naturally, that's exactly what this is: a grassroots movement to support someone to run. This doesn't preclude a competitive primary, after all.

    You've already declared DeFazio as the "strongest" candidate for Governor. So if it ends up being someone besides DeFazio, that candidate is by default a "weaker" candidate -- whether true or not.

    I found the whole "drafting" movement leading up to the Senate race idiotic and potentially self-defeating. I don't want to see the same thing happen for Gov. Can't you just wait until next February and see who is in and who is out?

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    "And, if a big-name Republican like former Senator Gordon Smith jumps into the race, it will take a candidate like Pete DeFazio to keep the Governor's office squarely in Democratic hands. It's just that simple. Smith alone could open the floodgates and raise upwards of $10 million. We need a candidate who can raise his or her share of money and who doesn't enter against a big-name Republican with any deficits in name recognition or favorability."

    Is there any substantiation for either point, or it this out-of-the-hat analysis? Just checking. Smith raised $10 million over six years as an INCUMBENT. He is now a LOSER, and sold out weakly to the middle in order to do it. It's not at all clear to me Smith would win a GOP primary against Atkinson and/or Alley (maybe Alley alone)--and I'd be willing to bet the right wing bloggers here would say the same thing.

    And if he were to run as the nominee, what makes DeFazio the only one to beat him?

    I hear these things being said, but I don't hear reason to be persuaded.

  • (Show?)

    "I found the whole "drafting" movement leading up to the Senate race idiotic and potentially self-defeating."

    I helped push the DeFazio for Senate movement, and if I recall right, it all happened even before Novick got in, much less Merkley. How is it self-defeating to attempt to get a candidate where before there was none?

  • LT (unverified)
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    I agree with Miles.

    It is a little early to talk about the 2010 Gov. election other than individuals stating "this is what I will be looking for". And if out of every 10 people there are folks looking for 10 diff. things, it will be an interesting primary.

    Wise words from a Republican consultant on one of those CSPAN panels dissecting the 2008 election:

    Obama won because he never listened to anyone telling him "you can't win", and implied a comparison between Kerry 2004 and McCain 2008---the "he can win" scenario used to downgrade all other candidates.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    How is it self-defeating to attempt to get a candidate where before there was none?

    I think it looks desperate. I suppose if I thought that "drafting" ever actually changed the decisions of those in a position to run, I might change my mind, but it just seems like it's a pointless exercise that potentially weakens the eventual nominee. But I'll admit that I'm much less fond of campaigns and more fond of governing, so I get irritated when only 3 months after the biggest election of our lifetime (mine, at least) we're already talking about the next election. Can't we just declare 2009 a campaign-free zone and focus on the major issues that our ACTUAL governor is dealing with?

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