A new hat (maybe) in the Governor's race ring: Brian Clem

Carla Axtman

Jeff Mapes:

Oregon state Rep. Brian Clem let his money do a lot of the talking Monday when he signaled his interest in the governor's race by reporting a $500,000 campaign loan from his mother-in-law.

I called Clem after seeing the report, and the Salem Democrat told me that he is launching an exploratory campaign for governor. He said he plans to hire staff and travel around the state, and he sounds like he is committed to the race except for one caveat.

Clem said he probably would not run if former Gov. John Kitzhaber decides that he wants to try to reclaim his old office. "It is very close to contingent, if not contingent" on whether Kitzhaber runs, Clem said of his own candidacy.

Kitzhaber has said he would decide whether to run again sometime after the end of the legislative session. Clem said he expected to make an announcement about his own candidacy by Labor Day.

Besides the hefty contribution Mapes cites, Clem has what I guess is the official exploratory website all fired up and ready to go.

Are Oregonians prepared to pass the torch to a new generation? We'll see.

Clem is young, energetic and smart. But nobody outside his district (and probably even in his district) knows his name. He's never campaigned at this level before that I'm aware of, so I suspect he'll have some serious polishing to do.

Clem would certainly add some needed new blood into this level of Oregon politics. I like seeing some fresh faces begin to make the leap. The Democratic Primary for Governor has the potential to be fascinating. I'm very curious now who else will stick a toe in the water, following Clem's lead.

The conventional wisdom that I've heard on Rep. Clem is that he's relatively moderate and has built good relationships on both sides of the political aisle. He should have good support in the agriculture-political world, which will surely help him in rural Oregon.

An additional peek into where Clem might go as Governor also comes from a Mary Pitman Kitch piece in today's O. There's a revelation there worth noting.

Comments

  • Boats (unverified)
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    So the middle class kid from the flats of Coos Bay married into money? Color me shocked.

    I wonder if his M-I-L voted for Measure 5 and if this exploratory committee is the beginning of Brian's Revenge Tour.

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    Boats...I'm shocked..SHOCKED..that you'd be the one to talk smack about Clem.

    That must mean he's worth keeping an eye on and perhaps supporting. Thanks for the head's up.

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    Not that I agree with Boats on any occasion, but I'd like to see some folks who run for higher office raise money the old fashioned way. Nothing personally against Clem, but folks who want to do good get scared out of politics in so many ways and I think money is close to the top.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    I just find the irony of him raising taxes on his own M-I-L (presuming she lives in Oregon) and then asking for a loan to be rather tasty if accurate. Where does Brian Clem have half a million laying around to repay a loan? That's right, he doesn't unless his "unintentional class warfare" floor speeches are 100 percent hypocrisy.

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    I noticed that Rep. Clem touts his support for the NRA as an attribute. As I said in my sermon yesterday about gun violence, the NRA has opposed background checks, worked to allow assault rifles that are essentially weapons of mass destruction to be put on the streets, and has even opposed back ground checks for those on the Terrorist Watch list attempting to purchase firearms. Over the years the NRA has ceased to be an association of legitimate hunters and instead become an organization that protects killers and terrorists. Their anti-government rhetoric in the mid-1990s led former President George H.W. Bush to resign from the NRA but since then their reach and influence has only increased. The result is a less secure America. My church, of course, will take no position in the governor’s race. As an individual, I might.

    God, Guns & American Violence: Turning Weapons Into Ploughshares

    http://chuckcurrie.blogs.com/chuck_currie/2009/07/god-guns-american-violence-turning-weapons-into-ploughshares.html

  • (Show?)

    Karol:

    I'm no fan of the money situation..but you have to play the hand you're dealt. It's likely that the Dem primary alone will go well past $1 million, depending upon the participants.

    Unless there's a fundamental change in the game, candidates hafta get the money where it is. I suspect that Clem and everyone else will go to the people with money that they know and raise it in chunks as big as possible.

    And you know where it's coming from, at least.

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    I just find the irony of him raising taxes on his own M-I-L (presuming she lives in Oregon) and then asking for a loan to be rather tasty if accurate. Where does Brian Clem have half a million laying around to repay a loan? That's right, he doesn't unless his "unintentional class warfare" floor speeches are 100 percent hypocrisy.

    Boats..your sense of irony is interesting, if not bizarre.

    You're assuming that Clem's MIL has a huge problem with her taxes being increased (she is in Oregon, based on the info at the SOS website). Warren Buffet and Bill Gates seem pretty good with it much of the time. Perhaps she's more like that than say...you.

    I suspect (and I haven't talked to Clem about this so I don't know for sure) that he'll have to pay it back just like most any other campaign does, by raising the money to do it.

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    Great! Brian Clem is a solid, thoughtful legislator and could make a good governor. We need some new energy and youthful visions. It's time for a new generation to lead. I'll look forward his campaign and to considering the issues he presents.

    Tell DeFazio and Kitzhauber that we don't need them to run for governor. Let's open the race up.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Clem is young, energetic and smart. But nobody outside his district (and probably even in his district) knows his name. He's never campaigned at this level before that I'm aware of, so I suspect he'll have some serious polishing to do."

    As someone who has known Brian since shortly after he finished college, I think that is a slam.

    Carla, you think those who followed the debate you live blogged have never heard of Brian Clem?

    http://www.blueoregon.com/2009/06/in-our-opinion-on-the-metolius.html

    Brian Clem was a Bus Project candidate when he ran against Dalto (I was there that day in Bush Park and remember well the jokes about how Dalto lived just up the street.)

    Brian worked for Ron Wyden way back (when he was Cong. Wyden?). He knows agriculture, he knows state issues, he lives in Salem but has roots elsewhere. He is a passionate advocate for issues he cares about.

    Brian did not defeat Dalto solely with a "money is all that matters and only professionals know how the game is played" outside consultant type of campaign. He hired staff from people he knew, he had many devoted volunteers.

    Any young Dem. legislator would be wise not to run against a former Gov. But it would be really nice to have a Dem. candidate who is from somewhere other than Portland.

    Money is an ingredient, folks (some won't take a candidate seriously without looking at their money raised). But organization, ideas, and volunteers are also important.

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    I'd like to see some folks who run for higher office raise money the old fashioned way.

    From labor unions and corporations?

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    LT: It's not meant as a slam. I believe it's a realistic look at Rep. Clem. I think he has a lot of work to do to get his name ID up around the state and probably even in his district.

    You're much more politically engaged than the average person so of course you know all that other stuff. The vast majority don't. They'll need to learn it and if Rep. Clem is to win, he'll have to have the resources and the polish to do it.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    What an interesting turn. Well then, Clem can't be all bad if he is not Ginny Burdick in BVDs.

    A few questions of the Rev. if I may:

    For literally most of its history, Oregon had no other check on the purchase of a firearm other than ability to pay, and yet there was no widespread mayhem, so what's changed to make a background check "necessary?"

    What is the functional difference between a so-called" semi automatic "assault rifle" and a normal semi-automatic rifle save for the cosmetic differences?

    Liberals bemoan people being place on a do not fly database when they are on some sort of secret terror watch list. Why should people who have had no due process afforded to them be disqualified from purchasing a firearm?

    The NRA didn't start as a hunting organization. It was started by former Union Army officers who were appalled by the lack of shooting skills among the young men they had trained to preserve the Union. The NRA has always been playing a rearguard action against unconstitutional firearms legislation. They were shaping it in 1934, 1968, 1994, and they continue to shape it today. They no more protect "killers and terrorists" than does the ACLU.

    A prudent government should be afraid of the public, for we are the masters and they are the servants, though most often the perception these days seems to be reversed.

    [Copyrighted material deleted -editor.]

    Maybe, just maybe, the shepherds have been failing their flocks?

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    This is a post about Rep. Brian Clem possibly running for Governor of Oregon..not about the NRA or guns. I would appreciate it if folks would please stay on topic.

    Thanks.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    We can embed images now?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    His stance on guns makes me more predisposed towards voting for him despite other policy difference we may have. I believe the totality of a candidates views are germane.

    On this one point alone, I'd register Dem just to vote for Clem against Kitzhaber in a primary.

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    I like Brian, but he has to go a long way to convince me he is ready to be governor. However, this will certainly make the race more interesting.

    I note that Kitzhaber said that he would announce his decision on running after the end of the session. Well its over and the party needs to know his decision. It will be really harmful if he repeats his public indecision that made it so difficult to run a senate campaign against the Republicans in 2002. Why does he need to wait until September to signal his intentions.

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    I like Brian, but he has to go a long way to convince me he is ready to be governor. However, this will certainly make the race more interesting.

    I note that Kitzhaber said that he would announce his decision on running after the end of the session. Well its over and the party needs to know his decision. It will be really harmful if he repeats his public indecision that made it so difficult to run a senate campaign against the Republicans in 2002. Why does he need to wait until September to signal his intentions.

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    Carla, with respect, the governor's race is about Oregon and the issues our people face, and Rep. Clem's positions on issues ought to be fair game in a discussion about his interest in the governor's office. Mr. Boats can listen to my sermon if he wants to know more about why churches and other faith groups have taken strong stands in favor of gun control.

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    Chuck:

    With respect, I have no problem with you discussing Clem's POV on any issue. What I have a problem with is the discussion devolving into a pro-NRA/anti-NRA battle.

    Carry on.

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    Well its over and the party needs to know his decision. It will be really harmful if he repeats his public indecision that made it so difficult to run a senate campaign against the Republicans in 2002.

    John, I'd guess that this would be a good time to remind yourself not to hold your breath while awaiting...er...August pronouncements from our own State Demigod.

    The guy has never demonstrated much concern for facts, strategies, or efforts of any kind that lie outside his own narrow interests. He's only looked me square in the eye and talked to me once, and that was to gleefully brag about having "stuck it to".......some group with which he disagreed.

    Since it was a Bus Project gig, I can only assume that the fact that he was unloading this info onto a stranger was sufficiently useful to provide him with a temporary internal ego boost.

    Maybe just reminding yourself of your superiority to .......well.....everyone doesn't require even the illusion of feedback. If after all, you are superior all, there's no need to dscriminate when it comes to an audience.

    I went out canvassing for Clem, and may well support him, but this waiting for Godot crap doesn't advance his cause with me......

  • Cafe Tomorrow (unverified)
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    If Kitzhaber and DeFazio don't run, then there is a long list of potential candidates we should go after who are stronger (both as candidates and as potential Governors) than Brian Clem after his mere two and a half years in office.

    A few good options for Governor: Secretary of State Kate Brown Senate President Pro Tem Rick Metsger Senate Deputy Majority Leader Laurie Monnes Anderson House Speaker Dave Hunt House Speaker Pro Tem Arnie Roblan House Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gelser House Majority Whip Tina Kotek House Deputy Whip Tobias Read House Ways and Means Co-Chair Peter Buckley

    Your ideas on other good prospects?

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    C-la, Playing the hand we are dealt is why we constantly complain about the same things and new folks can't make it. You know what I mean. I'd like a little shakey-shakey from time to time. But I take your point. :)

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    "Not that I agree with Boats on any occasion, but I'd like to see some folks who run for higher office raise money the old fashioned way. Nothing personally against Clem, but folks who want to do good get scared out of politics in so many ways and I think money is close to the top. "

    It depends. On the one hand, we're right to be concerned that millionaires might spend all their time in the millionaires' fishbowl, without a clue about things that matter to working class Oregonians. On the other hand, there's not as much danger that an independently wealthy candidate will be bought by special interest lobbyists who want political favors in exchange for their contributions. Raising money "the old fashioned way" often means spending a lot of time begging for contributions and promising who knows what at the public expense in return, and even a good-hearted officeholder is going to pay attention to what the important patrons want.

    All else being equal, it is still the character of the candidate, and not where the money comes from, that counts. Senator Kohl from Wisconsin is an example of a decent independently wealthy Senator who prides himself on being un-buyable. Our own DeFazio is not wealthy, but manages to vote on principle regardless.

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    Cafe Tom, Kate Brown has repeatedly said that she will serve out her full term. It's important enough to her that she said that in her announcement, again in the City Club debate, and many times since.

    I take her at her word. I can't speak to the rest of your list.

    Full disclosure: My firm built Kate Brown's 2008 campaign website, but I speak only for myself.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "I think he has a lot of work to do to get his name ID up around the state and probably even in his district."

    That is likely true of any legislator. Next time you are a social event, ask people if they can name their legislators.

    However, I hope the Gov campaign is about more than name ID.

    What was Saxton's name ID in July 2005, given previous campaigns and the KATU commentary gig? How did that help him?

    One would hope that this Gov. campaign is about more than name ID.

    Clem has been in the news these last several months, but that doesn't matter? Who officially measures name ID--pollsters who are always accurate regardless of sample size, demographics, etc.?

    Remember what that Republican pollster said should be the lesson of Obama's election--he won because he never listened to those who said "He can't win".

    On Cafe Tomorrow's list, I'd say Buckley and Gelser showed the most leadership.

  • I4tubby (unverified)
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    Clem is pro-life.

  • Cafe Yesterday (unverified)
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    Hunt and Metsger would be significant steps back for Oregon's environment - welcome to sprawl and clearcuts 101. Read would be a small step back. Monnes Anderson would make me fall asleep.

    And so... huh. Buckley's sharp and thoughtful, Gelser is passionate and dedicated. Roblan's honest and kind. Kotek is a hard worker but I don't see her as Governor. All of them would be decent, as would Clem, who cuts through the crap unlike most folks in politics.

    But a laundry list of people taken off some website that lists obscure leaders does not make a good pool. Clem's got passion. He's got enough funding to be a serious candidate. And he's got an interesting profile: downstate, timber background, farmer, business owner. It's pretty good for Oregon politics.

  • Katie (unverified)
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    Being pro life will be a serious hurdle in capturing the Democratic nomination.

    It will take more than simple lip service from him that he's "open to supporting a woman's choice". He will need to show a history of strong words and actions that support advocacy groups and legislation displaying a true commitment to pro-choice beliefs, candidates, elected officials, and law.

  • Anti-Choice? (unverified)
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    I am a big fan of Brian Clem and could potentially vote for him, but not if he opposes a woman's right to choose. We really need the truth on this one ASAP.

  • Todd Foster (unverified)
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    Brian Clem is 100% Pro Choice.

    How do I know? NARAL endorses him and they only endorse 100% Pro Choice candidates. How do I know that? I serve on the PAC Board who reviews candidate questionnaires and his is always 100% Pro Choice.

    Need more than a comment on a blog?

    Check out NARAL's website for their 2008 Endorsement List:

    http://www.prochoiceoregon.org/instate/political.shtml.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Posted by: I4tubby | Jul 6, 2009 7:26:24 PM---you neglected to list a source: RTL rankings, legislation co-sponsored, public statements, etc.

    I just did a web search and couldn't find anything (except election news rundowns which put Clem's campaign and an abortion measure--both hot 2006 news--on the same election news page. Hardly evidence.

  • LT (unverified)
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    THANK YOU TODD!

    The comments here sure sounded like rumor-mongering to me.

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    Hey, for once Kari's disclaimer makes sense! ;->

    Northwest Republican is raising an issue about OSHA violations relating to pesticide exposure at an orchard (Suzuki-Tambara) they say Clem has some sort of ownership stake in with / via his wife. Their links don't clearly show the tie. They are raising a comparability issue to Gordon Smith hiring undocumented workers. Following out the OSHA link provided, one finds:

    OSHA classifies violations as Serious, Willful, Repeat and Other, which presumably means less than serious, not willful and not repeated.

    From 1998-2008, Suzuki Tambara had 2 "Repeat" violations in 1999, plus 6 "Other"; 1 "Other" in August 2000; 1 "Serious" violation for which it was fined $180 plus 9 "Other" in Sept. 2000; 1 "Serious" violation for which it was fined $165 plus 1 "Other" in 2003. Then there is a gap until 2007, when there were 3 "Other" violations.

    In sum, they had 24 violations from 1998 to 2008, of which 19 occurred in 1999 and 2000, 2 in 2003, and 3 in 2007. Of the 24 violations, 20 were classified as "Other" (i.e. not serious, willful or repeat), 2 as "Serious" and 2 as "Repeat." The "Repeat" violations and one of the "Serious" were in 1999 & 2000, and the other "Serious" violation was in 2003. The only 3 violations found since 2003 apparently were minor in OSHA's eyes.

    One could of course be skeptical as to how rigorous OSHA inspections are, the criteria of seriousness aren't stated on the form, and they are woefully understaffed after decades of Republican budget cuts. Also the orchard is stated to be non-union, whether there have been any organizing efforts I couldn't say.

    And, of course many of the cases of undocumented workers a Smith Frozen Foods were a long time ago too, some even longer ago if memory serves.

    Still, seems like something that would be waved away pretty easily, unless other issues like substandard housing or personal testimonies of undetected occupational health threats to workers emerged (absolutely no evidence that they might).

  • Spray king (unverified)
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    Wow!! A campaign funded by polluter (mother-in-law). At least he can promise to crackdown on pesticide abuse. What if Madtoffs son-in-law was running for Gov.

  • Jason (unverified)
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    Chuck,

    I can't stand it when pastors or church leaders use their titles in public. Why does it matter?

    Why not just post as Chuck? Comes off quite conceited to make sure everyone knows you're a pastor and where you stand. As if your opinions hold any more water that the rest of ours.

    And as for the governors race...Clem has no chance whatsoever.

  • LT (unverified)
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    OK, Jason, who is your favored candidate for Gov? Or are you just tearing down someone you don't like?

    Chuck, about this:

    "why churches and other faith groups have taken strong stands in favor of gun control."

    I know all the arguments for gun control, but I also know that hunting in rural areas makes the issue different there than in big cities. Telling every voter that there is only one "good" attitude towards the NRA (love or hate) does not strike me as wise politics.

    So, Chuck, did you oppose Gov. Howard Dean and earlier Cong. Mike Kopetski because they didn't share your views on gun control?

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    First, politics is not my central concern. "Smart politics" is a concept often at odds with the Biblical principles I that put first.

    Rep. Clem has earned an "A" rating from the NRA, a group that supports cop killer bullets, opposes back ground checks, and wants assault rifles that are essentially weapons of mass destruction to be put on the streets.

    But I am not a single issue voter. I take into account many issues and the values held by offer seekers.

    I look foward to talking to all those seeking to be Governor and learning about their platforms.

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    I hate when candidates or people who want to be candidates do that....well if this person doesn't/does run I won't/will run. Just run if you want to run. Don't wait for others to pick up the torch, light it yourself and run with it.

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    Rep. Clem was kind enough to call me this morning and has graciously accepted my invitation to visit Portland and meet with gun control advocates. I hope that we can schedule that meeting soon and have a dialogue about these important moral issues.

  • Cafe Insider (unverified)
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    Hay....I finially get to beat Cafe Today to the punch with my breaking story. Clem is position himself to run for Defasio's seat when he runs for Gov. Clem can't use the 500K for a federal election, but he can use it to raise his profile in a "gov. exploritory effort" then switch to FEC rules in October (new reporting period). I finally did it. I got you Cafe Today. September Defasio makes his announcement and Clem jumps ship to the congressional seat.

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    Uhhhh...

    Clem is position himself to run for Defasio's seat when he runs for Gov. Clem can't use the 500K for a federal election, but he can use it to raise his profile in a "gov. exploritory effort" then switch to FEC rules in October (new reporting period).

    Except Clem doesn't live or represent constituents in DeFazio's district. Unless I'm mistaken, Clem lives in the 5th Congressional District--Represented by Kurt Schrader.

    This theory makes no sense, under the circumstances.

  • Fact bot (unverified)
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    Clem lives in Salem which is in the 5th CD and is held by Congressman Kurt Schrader.

  • Cafe Insider (unverified)
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    He will be moving 3 miles to Defasio's district. Already in the works.

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    He will be moving 3 miles to Defasio's district. Already in the works.

    Proof..?

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Clem is position himself to run for Defasio's seat when he runs for Gov. Clem can't use the 500K for a federal election, but he can use it to raise his profile in a "gov. exploritory effort" then switch to FEC rules in October (new reporting period). I finally did it. I got you Cafe Today. September Defasio makes his announcement and Clem jumps ship to the congressional seat."

    Cafe Insider: Study geography! In order to run in the 4th District, the Clem family would have to move south. Salem is squarely in the 5th District, ably represented by Kurt Schrader.

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    Gracious of you in turn, Chuck, to share that information about Rep. Clem's open-mindedness to dialogue, which distinguishes him from the national NRA leadership, however they may rate his votes.

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    It's DeFazio, NOT Defasio!

  • Connor Allen (unverified)
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    Clem's district DeFazio's district

    That's a bit more than 3 miles.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)
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    I believe that legally, you do not have live in a particular congressional district in order to run to represent it, as long as you live in the state. Could be wrong--anybody know?

    I'm not suggesting it's a good idea, just that it might be possible.

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    "His stance on guns makes me more predisposed towards voting for him despite other policy difference we may have. I believe the totality of a candidates views are germane."

    I can contradict myself in just two sentences! It's difficult to simultaneously believe the totality of views are germane--and to make his position on gun control a litmus test for your vote.

  • katie (unverified)
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    You do not need to live in the actual congressional seat to represent it in Congress. You only have to live in the state.

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    I believe that legally, you do not have live in a particular congressional district in order to run to represent it, as long as you live in the state. Could be wrong--anybody know?

    That is correct.

    But I still highly doubt that's what's gonna happen here. After all, it was only last year that the 5th District in which Clem lives was an open seat race. I imagine he would have jumped in the primary there if he wanted to run for Congress rather than carpetbag down to DeFazio's district.

  • DanOregon (unverified)
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    I'm proud to have voted for Clem. I'm pretty sure he shares my view that Teddy the K has performed more like a lieutenant governor than a governor in the last few years. Kulongoski hasn't done poorly, but for a guy with his resume, I expected much more. I sometimes think Jack McGowan of SOLV has a higher profile than recent governors.

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    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!

    There's absolutely no way that Clem is running for Congress.

    Anybody that knows him personally has heard him say repeatedly, for years, that he is "allergic" to Washington DC. He doesn't even like visiting there. There's no way he's living there.

    People, please. Enough with the bullshit rumor-mongering.

    Full disclosure: My firm built BrianClem.com. I speak only for myself.

  • katie (unverified)
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    you only have to live in the state. no requirement to live in the district. 3 miles...30 miles...not very far from where he currently lives.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    I can contradict myself in just two sentences! It's difficult to simultaneously believe the totality of views are germane--and to make his position on gun control a litmus test for your vote.

    There is nothing contradictory about my statement read in context. First of all, it was Carla saying Clem's NRA bona fides were not on topic about Clem's gubernatorial aspirations and I disagreed.

    Secondly, if a candidate is not a mincing gun control pansy, he can't be all bad. As Oregon is unquestionably ruled by Democrats at the executive level, I'll take the one who will tell Ginny where to shove her one trick pony.

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    "Secondly, if a candidate is not a mincing gun control pansy, he can't be all bad."

    Hello, litmus test!

  • LT (unverified)
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    Hello, litmus test!

    If someone has strong views on an issue, that is fine. But don't tell the rest of us that issue should be our top priority.

  • Telephone script (unverified)
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    Ring ring

    --Hello?

    --Hello, registered Democrat with a history of giving, this is Brian Clem.

    --Who?

    --Brian Clem.

    --Who?

    --I'm running for governor.

    --Uh-huh.

    --I'd like to talk to you about my campaign.

    --That so. How much money have you raised so far?

    --Well, my mother-in-law loaned me half a million bucks, and I was hoping you might make a contribution today to help me pay her back.

    --D'you say half a million bucks?

    --Yes, sir, that's right.

    --Damn. She get ahold of one of Gordon Smith's golf clubs?

    --Ah, no, sir. She just likes to garden.

    --I see. Well, I'd sure like to help you, but, you know, my sales are down, and I lost 40 percent of my retirement account last year. Say, what'll happen if you don't pay her back?

    --There won't be an orchard big enough.

    --What did you do with the money she gave you?

    --I let everyone know who I am.

    --Hmmm. What did you say your name was, again?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Yes, no one here has a litmus test, like on abortion rights or gay marriage. No siree. All of Clem's views on public policy are fair game for discussion, such as between me and the Reverend.

    In a choice between two donkeys, I'll take the one who is not irrationally afraid of inanimate objects. Litmus test? Well, okay. Everyone has a deal breaker issue as regards the analysis of candidates. Mine is gun control.

    I actually applaud the Blue Steel Democrats here in Oregon. They are not the usual Democratic Party false flag effort on the politics of gun control.

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    First of all, it was Carla saying Clem's NRA bona fides were not on topic about Clem's gubernatorial aspirations and I disagreed.

    No, in fact I didn't say that at all. I asked you to stay on topic about Clem and not go off on some rant about the NRA and guns. Clem's positions on issues are fair game. The other is not in this thread.

    Secondly, if a candidate is not a mincing gun control pansy, he can't be all bad. As Oregon is unquestionably ruled by Democrats at the executive level, I'll take the one who will tell Ginny where to shove her one trick pony.

    I don't know what a "mincing gun control pansy" is and frankly I don't care. But if not being one gets you to vote for Clem over say...Jason Atkinson...fine by me.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Telephone script:

    There are people who live in the same pct. with their state rep. and can't name their state legislators.

    There are also people who don't follow politics the way people here follow politics but may have followed the Metolius debate or the Farm to School bill--people interested in specific issues.

    There are other ways to get name familiarity, like friends of friends (incl. neighbors, other young parents, etc.), or social networking technology (Facebook, etc.).

    But I would hope in July that any state rep. is spending more time with family just weeks after Sine Die than dialing for dollars using cold calls.

    There are other ways than dialing for dollars to raise awareness. Given his experience, how he ran his first legislative campaign and defeated an incumbent, how passionate he is about issues, Brian should understand that.

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    Posted by: Telephone script | Jul 8, 2009 3:10:27 AM

    People loan themselves money, or get money from family all the time. The first thing any potential candidate should do is call all of their relatives and ask for a donation. Merkley and Schrader loaned themselves substantial amounts last year. We all know how badly that turned out for them...

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    Legislative Democrats are back in the saddle because we have reps. like Brian Clem who can relate to rural voters and win in swing districts. In the 90's the perception in rural areas seemed to be that Democrats were anti farming, anti logging, anti building, anti gun, etc... and it showed in R control of the legislature. Before Brian and Betty Komp, I don't know when Marion had a D legislator other than Peter Courtney. The main reason I wouldn't want Brian to run for governor is for fear that we would lose his house seat. However, Brian could be a strong general election candidate in 2010, when the climate for D's probably won't be as hospitable as it was in '06/'08

    I was at OSU when Brian was student body president and it was clear then that he was a natural politician who was going places. He was a superb house candidate and could be a great candidate for Governor, as well.

    He would be bucking tradition , though, for primary winners for governor are typically statewide officeholders, and sometimes State Senators (Atiyeh, Kulongoski (’82) and Kitzhaber). I know of only one incumbent state rep. who has even run in the last 40 years, Roger Martin in '78, and he lost big to Atiyeh and McCall, who were much better known.

    However, state reps. Merkley and Packwood did win their primaries and took out incumbent U.S. Senators.

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    In a choice between two donkeys, I'll take the one who is not irrationally afraid of inanimate objects.

    Boats, that may be the best one-liner on the whole gun issue that I've heard in a couple of years....

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Before Brian and Betty Komp, I don't know when Marion had a D legislator other than Peter Courtney".

    Jeff Gilmour was a long time Marion County state rep. Kevin Mannix was once a Dem. state rep.--we loved him his first term because he had taken out a right wing legislator. Jim Hill and Rocky Barilla held the S. Salem district (then 31) which is now District 20.

    This has something to do with why folks here always got so angry at the FP "lousy R to D ratio" nonsense.

    When Jim Hill first ran, there were locals who said "a black Democrat winning in that seat, you must be nuts!".

    Jim did not campaign the way "political professionals" now advise. Actual talking to people in the district was more important than dialing for dollars. Rather than fundraising targets to "get name ID and get the message out", Jim started early and that first election reached all but about 60 houses. He had lots of neighborhood coffees, and when there was one where a nonpolitical friend of his family hosted a coffee and 45 people showed up, we knew he would do well. Whether a poll taken that week would have registered the same result, that turned out to be a good predictor.

    This is why I don't think name ID in July of an odd numbered year, or money loaned by a relative, will determine the final result. I once knew a statewide candidate who did not have a campaign manager in November of the odd numbered year, and lost the primary in a recount.

    Let's give ordinary voters some time to think about this, instead of making snap decisions this early.

    The first Democrat elected in Oregon's 5th Cong. District had ties to the NRA. Would the folks who are gung ho about gun control rather have had Denny Smith than have that Democrat win?

    Gov. elections are supposed to be about a Gov. for all the people: Democrats, Republicans, NAV, minor parties.

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    LT, I can remember some other Marion County Democrats as well: Rep. Chuck Bennett (Gates), Rep. Bob Vian (Keizer), Rep. Peg Dereli (Salem) and Sen. Keith Burbidge (Salem) come to mind. I remember Vern Faatz running, but I don't remember if he won.

  • Sept 17 news cast (unverified)
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    September 12, 2009 -- Salem, Oregon Today on the capital a game of political musical chairs took place and Congressman DeFazio made his announcement that he is running for Governor. Standing next to him was the already announced candidate State Representative Brian Clem. In an odd turn of events, DeFazio and Clem discussed the importance of strong leadership at the State Capital and nation’s capital. DeFazio then announced that he will run for Governor and that he has asked Clem to return to his childhood home of Coos Bay to run for Congress in DeFazio’s District. Clem stated that the decision to step aside for DeFazio was an easy choice since they share many of the same values, but the decision to run for Congress in his former hometown was more difficult. “All of my friends and supporters will tell you that I loathe congress and Washington, DC, but after Congressman DeFazio convinced me that Washington needs young blood that wants to make change happen, I said I would reluctantly attempt to fill his shoes.” Clem’s start in the Governor’s race was met with controversy after he was loaned $500,000 from his mother-in-law. According to finance records he spent $300,000 on media to raise his name recognition state wide (including $100,000 this week alone). This effort will help him in any contested Democratic primary. However, he will be unable to convert the remaining $200,000 into his congressional campaign due to Federal restrictions. Clem would not comment at this time how his gubernatorial campaign would repay the $200,000.

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    Posted by: Sept 17 news cast | Jul 8, 2009 11:06:31 PM

    Two things:

    1. It's not gonna happen
    2. You don't know squat about campaigns if you think it's controversial for a family member to loan a candidate a substantial amount of money.
  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    I should have remembered Jim Hill who was relatively recent and was a respected legislator. I just thought of the late Bryan Johnston, who won a big upset in '94 to represent Salem in the house.

    Regarding the loan, it's perfectly legit. and often times family money is the only way a candidiate can run for office. This is especially in a statewide when PACS often sit on their money for a long time and then tend to favor the same candidiate, ie Kulongoski in '02. The alterantive is spending hours a day calling for money, still not having enough, and going into debt in the process. Brian will still have to raise much more if he does in fact run. There are legislative races that have cost $500,000 in recent years.

    When Lyndon Johnson first ran for congress, Lady Byrd's family loaned him $10,000 to finance his campaign. Kurt Schrader's family money gave him a strong advantage when he announced for congress. Most candidates would do the same.

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    One more time: There's absolutely no way that Clem is running for Congress.

    Anybody that knows him personally has heard him say repeatedly, for years, that he is "allergic" to Washington DC. He doesn't even like visiting there. There's no way he's living there.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Dave and Grant, you put me to shame! We went to Bryan's funeral last summer, yet that name slipped my mind?!

    I worked on the Vern Faatz campaign. A really wonderfully run campaign given that no Democrat had ever won since the district had been created. I worked hard on that campaign. It had an excellent model for canvassing, in some ways like how the Bus Project does things now.

    I recall one canvasser in Vern's neighborhood, a very nice S. Salem neighborhood, who decided to hit every door on the street that fall, even though some were known to be Republican households. The house at the end of the street belonged to the Paulus family. He told a great story afterwards of saying, "I understand who lives here, and that this is a Republican household, but since Vern Faatz lives in the neighborhood, I thought I would stop and leave this literature."
    And whoever had answered the door was very polite.

    <h2>We used to say (gee, was that over 30 years ago?) that Vern was the last Democratic candidate in Dist. 30 who lost before Jim Hill showed how the district could be won.</h2>

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