A Turning Point for Oregon

by Bill Bradbury of Bandon, Oregon. Bradbury is formerly Oregon's Secretary of State and currently a candidate for Oregon Governor. His campaign website is Bradbury2010.com.

Yesterday, I took part in one of the largest canvassing efforts in Oregon history to urge people to vote yes on Measures 66 and 67! It was truly inspiring.

I gathered at the Yes on 66 and 67 campaign headquarters with over 500 Oregonians of all stripes. Young and old alike decided to honor Martin Luther King’s legacy by taking 4 hours on their day off to fight for the future of our state.

After rousing speeches by Majority Leader Mary Nolan and Senate President Peter Courtney and instructions from campaign director Kevin Charles Looper we all headed out on a glorious day (for January in Oregon).

Even though my legs don’t work so well these days I wanted to do my part and knew I could use my Segway to talk to voters so I took my assigned turf and hit the streets.

And as I canvassed on Mississippi Ave in North Portland (interesting side note, dogs have very strange reactions to Segways) I had an opportunity to talk to one family with a young daughter who was about 2 years old.

And the mother, who was undecided, asked me why I was supporting these Measures. And here is what I said:

I believe these are moderate, sensible, long overdue Measures that are essential to the livability of our state.

I would like to believe that our economic opportunities increase over time not diminish, that our children's future will be brighter not dimmer, that they will have a better education than I had, a cleaner environment than I had, and live a healthier and longer life than my own. I believe I share this dream with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which is why I've chosen today to walk and talk to voters about these Measures.

For the last 20 years special interests have used the ballot box to veto legislative tax increases, but this time the conservatives have asked too much. If Oregon voters choose to pass measure 66 & 67, it could mark a paradigmatic shift in Oregon politics. It would indicate the reversal of 20 years of cuts in our spending (spending that is directly correlated to the ability of our state to provide its most crucial services). These cuts have completely transformed our states capacity to fulfill its purpose. Without property tax increases, we have been unable to keep up with the demands of growing classrooms that require new technologies and more teachers. Mandatory minimums have funneled spending away from Colleges towards prisons, taxing our students ability to afford rising tuition.

All the while conservative voices have rallied against Democrats and liberals, challenging us to find better ways of spending our revenue. This challenge, once a healthy exercise in fiscal responsibility, has become bent by the worn ideas of a combative right. Our state can simply no longer bear more cuts, especially in this, our most dire economic hour. Passing 66 & 67 could be the beginning of the end for the fear-mongering conservative tactics that have plagued our state for too long.

It is time we start paying for the state we all say we want and this starts with a yes vote on Measures 66 and 67.

Okay well maybe I didn’t say it like that word for word but I am proud to say she was a yes vote when we left her door!

Accusations have been made that these measures have drawn out the worst of Oregon politics – that is not what I saw yesterday in the Yes campaign’s crowded room. I saw a campaign that drew hundreds of both the young and the young at heart, ready to work towards that common brighter future we seek.

Please join me in not just voting Yes on 66 and 67 but doing your part in the next week to make victory a reality. I will be phone banking at the campaign headquarters the Wednesday and I invite you to join me. Every call, every door and every dollar helps.

Comments

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Thanks, Bill, for all you do. It is a turning point. We have a future or we turn into a bankrupt failed state like California that can't educate its young, care for its sick, or keep criminals in jail.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Great post, Bill. Contact with actual voters is the best way to campaign.

  • westside (unverified)
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    Canvassing N. Portland is like handing out "NO on 66 & 67" flyers at a Tea Party.

    I believe everyone did work hard and I can't fault people for putting effort behind what they believe in - even if I disagree.

    But I have noticed this trend on the Left to only fish in their own pond. Getting on buses (or even light rail) to canvass in more independent Washington County or Clackamas County would have been more productive if you were looking to sway undecideds (vs. just feeling good about yourselves surrounded by folks that already agree with you).

    Another example is that you guys keep posting scathing editorials to Blue Oregon, while the thought leaders on the NO side are doing it in the Oregonian. Everyone on Blue Oregon are already passionate one way or the other.

    Maybe I shouldn't say anything. It serves my position very well for you guys to stay enshrined in your echo chamber while we take our case to the people.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    2% of Oregon's top producers pay for a third of it's public sector expenses.

  • Zarathustra, Oregon Leopard Party (unverified)
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    It's been heartening how Oregonians "of all stripes" have come together. It would be even better if there were more of those spotted Oregonians as well.

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    westside, at the Bus, we get out & work almost entirely outside of Portland: not much for us to do here. but we went to Bend 3 times (got Judy Steigler elected), worked Mollala/Silverton for Jim Gilbert (alas), East County a lot (swept Van Orman, Matthews, Kahl) and other places.

    but for this election, it's all about turnout. prior to ballots being mailed, people were busy all over the state; in their own areas, they still are. but this is about turning out the vote of those who are likely to vote Yes. that means a big-ass turnout in Multnomah and other high-Dem/blue counties. it's not about changing & educating right now; we'll getback to that Jan 27th. but now this is about numbers, and the massive canvass here in Portland yesterday is about that.

    winning hearts & minds is vital; so is winning elections. they both have their time and place. once we win this election (that was foisted upon us by a tiny group of corporate interests) we can get back to persuading more Oregonians to support "our" views -- and, i hope, make elections like this one less necessary.

  • Jason (unverified)
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    "All the while conservative voices have rallied against Democrats and liberals, challenging us to find better ways of spending our revenue. This challenge, once a healthy exercise in fiscal responsibility, has become bent by the worn ideas of a combative right. Our state can simply no longer bear more cuts, especially in this, our most dire economic hour. Passing 66 & 67 could be the beginning of the end for the fear-mongering conservative tactics that have plagued our state for too long."

    Gosh, I keep forgetting the Democrats are perfect and have ALL the right ideas. What was I thinking?

  • anon (unverified)
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    Bradbury will certainly get plenty of public union money for his gubernatorial campaign now.

  • Stephen Amy (unverified)
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    I plan to vote for Bill Bradbury for governor. While it's true that John Kitzhaber did expand a single-payer health program, Mr. Bradbury's positions on the environmental issues are more solid (no CRC bridge, no LNG, for example).

  • John Silvertooth (unverified)
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    While the headline is "This is a turning point for Oregon" the article really does not explain why... During any campaign it seems the whole fate of the western world hinges on the results I hardly think this is "our most dire economic hour."

    Bradbury is trying anyway- have I missed it or is Dr. John sort of a no-show in the special election?

    I'm voting yes because these a progressive taxes, as many of the defeated legislative proposals of yore have not been progressive least of all the regressive sales taxes. Also I can't stand the GOP opposition.

    BB says "All the while conservative voices have rallied against Democrats and liberals, challenging us to find better ways of spending our revenue. This challenge, once a healthy exercise in fiscal responsibility, has become bent by the worn ideas of a combative right."

    Well it's true. There are better ways of spending our revenue and there is plenty of excessive waste today- hide your head in the sand like that but it's not going to help-

  • Stephen Amy (unverified)
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    Could be that Mr. Bradbury realizes that Heatlh/Human Services will be very much affected if the measures fail. I work in the care of disabled people and our chief exec tells us that all Alternative-To-Employment programs, for disabled people who've not been able to procure wage-jobs, will be cut. A very real and dramatic effect on the lives of thousands.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Reversal of 20 years of cuts in our spending?

    It is time we start paying for the state we all say we want and this starts with a yes vote on Measures 66 and 67.

    And if the majority votes no on Measures 66 and 67, it's time for the Legislature to start making the tough decisions to pay only for the state those who have to foot the bill say we can afford.

  • LT (unverified)
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    " those who have to foot the bill say we can afford."

    Gee, is that a group with regular meetings which has written a list of "what we can afford"?

    If so, I'd like to read it.

    But maybe "those who have to foot the bill" describes people of a variety of political persuasions? And at least some of them don't want an anonymous blogger telling them what they believe?

  • lance (unverified)
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    I find it insulting that bill bradbury and the rest of the oregon state employees say that a cut in an INCREASE in spending is the same as a cut in spending. any increase is an increase no matter how you spin it. I lost money in 2009 with my business due to the economic downturn and I cut my spending to survive. now I am faced with a tax increae (based on my GROSS income)that will force me to close down. in the meantime the state spending budget only goes up year after year regardless of economy. i find that completely irresponsible, but irresponsible spending is standard operating procedure for oregon state goverment. I also have a question since the state thinks it is ok to retroactively tax me is it ok to contact all my customers from 2009 and demand additional money for the products they purchased from me to cover the taxes the state incerased after the end of the year.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    I smell astroturf! If "lance" is forced out of business by the tax increase on corporations, it must be a large C-corp., and doing so badly it was on its last legs already!

    More posturing from irresponsible businessmen... you can take that show on the road! (elsewhere)

  • chris #12 (unverified)
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    Sorry to go off topic, but where is the thread on the Massachusetts race?

    Early returns look pretty bad for the Dems: 52-48 with 52% reporting. Win or lose, I fear that the centrists in the party will use this to push further to the right--and more defeat.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Chris--is this your source?

    http://www.mahalo.com/massachusetts-election-results

    I have yet to find results on either a news website or the official Mass. Sec. of State website.

  • jj (unverified)
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    No matter what your registration is..there is no question that this is a big win for America tonight..all Americans owe Scott Brown a big thank you...even for the liberals out there who are upset tonight..you should rest easy knowing that we all won tonight...if you don't see it now, in time you will. Bye Bye BarryCare.

  • chris #12 (unverified)
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    AP and CNN are calling it for Brown.

    I'm scared shitless of the Republicans, but the Dems deserve to lose. They've been blowing it big time, more defeats to come.

  • jim (unverified)
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    "If Oregon voters choose to pass measure 66 & 67, it could mark a paradigmatic shift in Oregon politics. It would indicate the reversal of 20 years of cuts in our spending (spending that is directly correlated to the ability of our state to provide its most crucial services). These cuts have completely transformed our states capacity to fulfill its purpose." So why is it bad to have budget cuts when times are bad, families have income issues and make budget cuts, why shouldn't government also do the same. You cant tax your way out of poverty/recession. When will politicians understand, leave the money in the peoples pocket and let them spend it. You dont have money in your pocket, well stop feeding at the various government trough's and step up and get a job to support your needs.

  • MaryBeth (unverified)
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    Thank you Bill for your leadership on this important issue. Obviously, if we are to achieve even further tax reform, it will require leadership from Oregon's governor. My question is, where is your opponent on these issues and this campaign? What did he ever do during his eight years in office to address tax reform? What leads us to believe he will do anything if given another chance when he is the invisible man in the 66 and 67 campaign? Maybe he is out raising money from his "friends" in the business community instead of out talking to voters and showing leadership like you. Good job and thank you for your leadership in support of maintaining crucial services and getting Oregon back to work!

    MB

  • marv (unverified)
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    Yes, Brown has won. Democrats have squandered a year putting together legislation that is a huge subsidy to the Insurance industry. And yet the Republicans have a victory because there will continue to be sky rocketing premiums as thousands more lose insurance and tens of thousands die. So what is to be learned from this?

    Even if 66/67 passes, as they should, the ability of employers, public sector and private sector, to provide insurance coverage will cost jobs and reduce services.

    The Democrat contnrolled Congress might have a commission report on what caused the financial meltdown...by the end of the year.

    Another commission will study what to do about debt.

    Billions more will go to fund the Taliban. Yes the Taliban. We tax payers fund the Taliban. And Obama has done what exactly to stop eighty billion in medicare fraud. Oh he is glib. And a total failure.

    A United Nations report indicates that 359 billion dollars in profits from the heroin trade helped the worlds banks from failing even worse than they have. The retail value of one years heroin from Afghanistan is five trillion dollars.

    So what have we learned in the last thirty years? Nothing that will change any of this because local progressives have been speculating, "Obama is playing chess and everyone thinks he is playing checkers." Oh, and all we have to do is rescind the Reagon tax cuts. Purely delusional.

  • anon (unverified)
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    Well, have fun all you BlueO's. Your going to get your head handed to you in November.

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    Health Care was the primary factor in Brown's victory.

    Let's be clear:

    No one in America is denied health care. If you are ill and you show up at an emergency room you are treated. I know this first hand because my older son, a few years back, had a lung embolism. He had no insurance. He went to Good Sam and underwent surgery and spent a week in intensive care. He came out fine.

    Now, he didn't have insurance. He has a big bill as a result. But he was treated.

    So when we say some Americans have no access to health care, that is not true. Some Americans do not have Health Insurance.

    Catastrophic health insurance policies are cheap. I bought my younger son a catastrophic policy for several years while he was without insurance. It was a $5000 deductible, but it would keep him out of bankruptcy if he had a major health problem. It cost $200 every three months.

    When did we get to the place where we figure we should be able to go to the doctor for any little sniffle and pay nothing, or next to nothing? Catastrophic policies have not been part of the health care debate, at least not so far as I have heard.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    Yeah, I voted for the measures of course.

    I'd do more, except that my private, for-profit health insurance got raised again this year, and I'm busy trying to scrape the money together to pay it. Too bad no one in the government managed to take care of that problem.

  • Irony is ... (unverified)
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    An Democrat from the flake wing of the party thinking he's really making a mark by convincing a undecided voter in the gentrified section of PDX that this about "a turning point for Oregon".

  • Irony is ... (unverified)
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    Health Care was the primary factor in Brown's victory.

    Let's be clear:

    No one in America is denied health care. If you are ill and you show up at an emergency room you are treated. I know this first hand because my older son, a few years back, had a lung embolism. He had no insurance. He went to Good Sam and underwent surgery and spent a week in intensive care. He came out fine.

    Lister, so do you think it makes better economic sense for your son to have a big bill then do what smart investors do and share the risk by buying insurance? And if it does make better economic sense, why do you think it doesn't make better sense to have even a bigger group of people in the insurance pool to drive down costs? Just what is your "logic" in your position against increasing the size of the risk pool to drive down costs for everyone?

    Your strawman argument about people running to the doctor for every sniffle is not the reality of the situation. By a huge majority people pretty much wait until they are sick or have an emergency condition, it's just that the total cost to the system would be a lot less if everybody was insured --- by a public health insurance system --- for reasons that clearly are beyond your "logic" (it has to do with maximizing buying power for medical services.)

    You are completely right, however, that Brown's victory had to do with health care. But poll after poll shows it is because an elitist, pro-corporate Democratic faction that includes Ron Wyden and Merkley (he owes his seat to DSCC money and he has not bit the hand that feeds him yet) rubbed it in our face by passing a bill that has a mandate but no public option. People supported reform and a public option. As soon as reform became forced support for welfare for the insurance industry with no public option, Ron Wyden's original Health Care for America formulation support dropped like a rock. Tea Party lunacy was joined by independent populism and progressive disgust. It's that simple.

    Gordon Smith or any Republican who wasn't an utter lunatic (which excludes all currently announced GOP candidates) would beat Ron Wyden this fall going away because the same situation is in play here in Oregon. Wyden is dumber than Coakley and more arrogant when actually confronted by people who know something. There's a reason he scheduled all of his town halls during the work day so no working people could come to them.

    Anybody know if Bradbury is with the wing of the Oregon party who still defends Wyden or the wing whose disgusted and had it with him?

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    Well, "Irony Is"... thanks for the anonymous comment and your personal courage in being unable to put your name to your post...

    I have no problem with increasing the pool to help more people. But the American people, by a 60/40 percent, do not want a Euro Socialist style of health care.

    But you just keep posting as "Irony Is". You'll convince a lot of people to your way of thinking. Expecially if you remain anonymous.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Irony, the man who had the "furniture ad" and the "hot dog ad" run in his name, but was rarely around where ordinary citizens could ask him questions would beat Ron "town hall meeting in every county every year" Wyden?

    Somehow, I don't think so.

    Brown won because he was street smart and Coakley was clueless. But 52-47-1 is no landslide.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    In the next few days we will find out what the Dem. Congress is made of. With a 59 seat majority in the Senate and an even larger majority in the House, do they go ahead and pass a decent health care bill or do they turn and run with their tails between their legs. There's an easy path forward, ping-pong the Senate Bill, amend it with Reconciliation. If they don't, there will be no compelling reason for any of them to ask for our votes in the fall.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Jason said, "Our state can simply no longer bear more cuts" Then why am I laughing at that? Honestly you haven't a clue but instead whallow in the left's perpetual BS.

    I can find $250 million in one place. Take back the $250 million lottery dollars (plus interest) the legislature promised to spend on Milwaukie Light rail. There isn't a public vote that would ever approve that spending. So why won't the Democrat controlled legislature take it back?

    You see, even in a fiscal crisis you blues can't get fiacal sense.

    Bill R said "do they go ahead and pass a decent health care bill or do they turn and run with their tails between their legs."

    What "decent health care bill"? The only two bills are horrible according to both sides.

    Why do you seem to think they'de be made of something good if they pass this kind of bill?

    I say, please do pass this worst bill in history. No one will notice. Go ahead.

    After that pass an amnesty bill and a cap and trade and/or carbon tax bill.

  • Irony is ... (unverified)
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    Lister, last I checked, elected officials campaign for votes without any names attached to them and no one cares whether Dave Lister is a legend in his own mind. Most people are just trying to make sense of the double, triple, quadruple dealing in the politics and what it means for them, they can judge information for themselves on it's own merit.

    And LT, the fact Wyden was too much of a coward to schedule town halls at a time when working people could attend says all that needs to be said . It's a long way to November 2010, and the Republicans aren't going to give up even in Oregon without the kind of bare knuckles fight that sends the kind of people who make up too much of the Oregon Democratic Party and elected leadership running away, whimpering about how unfair and mean everyone is to them.

    Bill R. - Exactly what is "a decent health care bill" to you? Did you not read the memo from MA voters in the bluest of blue states that they don't like their recently reformed state health insurance system that incorporates virtually all of the key points of the Senate bill --- including a mandate, no public option, and increased costs to middle class taxpayers? Do you think politicians from states that are a lighter shade of blue are going to repeat that? (Well they might because insanity is repeating the same pathological behavior and expecting a different outcome, but that has nothing to do with courage.) And here, in case you didn't get the memo, is the update from MA:

    Massachusetts Union Official for Brown: 'Kerry, You're Next'

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Lister "No one in America is denied health care. If you are ill and you show up at an emergency room you are treated."

    The deception that the right wing promotes here is that if you can get emergency treatment in an emergency room for an medical emergency, that constitutes no denial of health care. If you have onset of cancer symptoms or other life threatening but non-emergent condition, no physician will see you without insurance. When it comes time for you to die of your metasticized tumor, and you have an authentic medical emergency, you can receive emergency care for pain at the emergency room, but you are already on your way to death, and emergency rooms don't provide ongoing cancer treatment or any other sort of ongoing treatment for a serious medical condition that is not a medical emergency.

  • Irony is ... (unverified)
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    Bill R, I know somebody who that happened to, at least to the point that others raised money for emergency cancer treatment. This person would be in the same situation under the Senate bill because this person made just enough to still have to pay an significant amount for the unsubsidized portion of a high (age-penalized) premium, and probably would have chosen to pay the penalty instead. The Senate bill is a hoax and people like you who pretend to care are part of the problem when you in essence argue it's better than nothing, rather than shaming the Democratic sellouts to the insurance industry into doing the right thing or promising to work to replace them starting in 2010.

  • Lawrence Rajotte (unverified)
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    ... Hehehe, the former 'Mr. Secretary' lost me when he used the term 'moderate.' Moderate, centrist, triangulating politics is like kryptonite to this Democrat. Ask Mrs. Coakley how that's working for her... ... Walking the middle path might be fine if you're a Buddhist -however, it is a tired and stale weigh station to nowhere if you would profess to rally a populous to anything beyond the uninspiring 'pragmatism' of our disfunctional status quo... ... Take the middle ground if you want it -I know I don't... They don't call it 'no-man's land' for nothing...

  • chris #12 (unverified)
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    Strange that there is still no thread on the Mass Senate defeat...maybe Blue Oregon doesn't want to deal with it.

  • steve (unverified)
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    Just a thought, fwiw. Probably the only people that pay attention to Oregonian editorials are elderly (like my parents). Canvassing senior centers may well be productive.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    steve commented: Probably the only people that pay attention to Oregonian editorials are elderly (like my parents).

    And selected BO contributors (one with a magnifying glass...) - ESPECIALLY on the rare occasion when The Oregonian has the temerity to take a position on a political race or issue counter to that mandated by BO to all media and news outlets in Oregon:

    The Oregonian is wrong, again.

    The Oregonian Crosses A Line: The "Small Business" Fiction and Measure 66

    What is the Oregonian Pushing For? What the Business-Backed Tax Plans Would Mean for Small Businesses and Middle Class Oregonians.

    So apparently whoever is writing the editorials at the O isn't paying attention.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    chris #12 commented: Strange that there is still no thread on the Mass Senate defeat...maybe Blue Oregon doesn't want to deal with it.

    Probably just waiting for the calls for a recount...

  • Richard (unverified)
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    "Canvassing senior centers may well be productive."

    Especially when you can "help" them fill out their ballots?

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    "Well, have fun all you BlueO's. Your going to get your head handed to you in November."

    With nearly half the republican US Senators not running for reelection next year and the deep team of talent that the GOP in Oregon is offering in the governor's race, I just wanted to thank you personally for your moronic observation of the day.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Scott in Damscus commented: With nearly half the republican US Senators not running for reelection next year...

    eh... 6 is 'nearly half' of 18 (6 retirements plus 12 incumbents)?

    If so, then 5 of 19 (5 Democratic retirements plus 14 incumbents) is nearly a third or what?

  • chris #12 (unverified)
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    Again--I'd rather post this on the non-existent thread on the Brown victory.

    I hope that progressives can break their addiction and stop enabling the Democrats. The party is broken, the system is broken, and it should be clear to all that any meaningful change cannot come from the party as it is now. We need to stop enabling them and build something independent--most importantly, a progressive movement not connected to a broken party and broken system. But we also need an independent vehicle for moving an agenda. I'm not sure whether that should be a third party, something like the Working Families Party, or something else entirely.

    I fear though, that the analysis adopted by leading liberals, party strategists, and Blue Oregon types will be more of the same: rally behind the Democrats, even the crappy ones, because there is nowhere else to turn. The party knows that the party faithful, unions, enviros, liberals, etc. are unlikely to go elsewhere so there is no need to do much beyond lip service.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Write your own. Probably gets dissed and tossed, but at least you take the moral high ground!

    Oh, and for those that will remind us that it's not your goal to be objective, I think chris' point is that it would actually help you to have the discussion.

    I don't know though. Awful lot of steps between the cause and effect there...

  • Robert Collins (unverified)
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    Hey, Scott in Damascus, last report today was six Democrat reps were going to hang it up and not run for re-election. I think anon was right. You are going to get your head handed to you in November. Enjoy!

  • LT (unverified)
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    Robert, I hope you go out and campaign for a candidate who stands for something.

    <h2>It would be nice to see a Republican stand for something and not just attack.</h2>
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