Dave Mowry: The "Democrat" who is wholly owned by Kevin Mannix

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

It's a seemingly-minor mystery that's gone mostly unexplored in this election cycle -- but given the events of the last 24 hours, may become a huge political controversy. At least, if Kevin Mannix has his way.

You see, Dave Mowry is running for the State Senate against incumbent Senator Rod Monroe. But here's the rub: He's running in the Democratic primary. In 2004 and 2006, he was the Republican nominee against Rep. Mike Schaufler. In 2008, he ran unsuccessfully for Clackamas County Commission - and was supported by the usual cluster of right-wing groups (Oregonians in Action, Crime Victims United, Taxpayers Association of Oregon). He's also served as a legislative aide to right-wing Rep. Linda Flores.

Why did Mowry change his party registration? The Oregonian says he was "seeking more independence and more impact in the Senate." Willamette Week said they "suspect the switch is because of Mowry’s desire to find work representing a heavily Democratic district."

OK, that's the background. Here's what happened in the last 24 hours.

  1. Kevin Mannix's Common Sense for Oregon PAC sent out a mailer attacking Rod Monroe and promoting Dave Mowry. View the mailer.

  2. Kevin Mannix's Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance PAC sent out a letter also attacking Rod Monroe and promoting Dave Mowry. View the letter.

  3. There's a cable TV spot up in the district attacking Monroe and promoting Mowry. (Still working on who paid for it.)

OK, why does this stuff matter? Isn't this sort of thing that happens in all campaigns? Yeah, but check it out: Dave Mowry hasn't raised a single dollar for his campaign in 2010. He's essentially outsourced his entire campaign to Kevin Mannix -- the former chair of the Republican Party, and two-time GOP candidate for Governor. That's why this matters. Dave Mowry is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kevin Mannix.

I think one thing is clear: Dave Mowry hasn't had a change of heart. Mowry and Mannix are trying to pull a fast one on the voters of Senate District 24. It's sleazy and it's wrong.

Here's hoping that Democrats in SD 24 don't get fooled. Otherwise, depending on how the rest of the fall races turn out, we may have ourselves a very difficult situation in the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Update: Jeff Mapes at the O has picked up the story. Mowry denies everything:

[Mowry] said Saturday that he didn't even know about the mailings sent out on his behalf until they started popping up in mailboxes in the last day or so.

"It's not a stealth Republican campaign," said Mowry, who added that he would be an "independent voice" in the Senate who would be "a little more conservative" than the Democratic caucus as a whole.

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    Good post Kari.

    If people want to help out the Senator - easiest thing to do is canvass with us Saturday May 15 at 10am or Sunday at 12 noon. Knocking is going to be our best way to counteract the Mannix TV buy.

    Call me if people want to come - 503-351-8833.

    If you can't canvass, help us with some last minute cash at http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/15404

    Be sure to spread the word. Ben

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    Thanks for sharing Kari. Very sneaky indeed...

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      So I was trying to visit his campaign website... but he doesn't have one, does he? Couldn't find it after several Google searches. Anyone else have better luck?

      I guess communicating with potential constituents isn't as high on the "to-do" list.

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    Thanks for posting the information Kari. The 'end-run" by Mannix doesn't surprise many of us who have campaigned for candidates who've run against him. The sheer dishonesty of Mowry is morbidly fascinating and represents the dark side of politics. False narratives really tick me off!

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    The other piece that Blue Oregon has not properly discussed is the Independent Redistricting Commission Amendment that "Common Sense Oregon" is attempting to get on the ballot and that the Oregonian endorsed today. This is a Ross Day-Kevin Mannix organization designed to push the issues of the Republican right wing.

    There are good arguments for non-partisan redistricting, but anything that is written by this group is automatically suspect. I am sure that they would oppose the same measure if the Republicans controlled the legislature. In the form of non-partisanship this is partisan trickery in the extreme.

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    Why wasn't the information about Mannix's man circulated sooner?

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    I can't believe that Mannix would support anyone against Mr. Wheeler, the legitimate presumptive Republican nominee. So I suspect Mannix saw an opportunity to see if he could steal the Dem. Nomination in a three way race, then if Mowry actually gets the nomination, he won't campaign, won't raise money and throw the election to Mr.Wheeler.

    This could be very very bad for Mr. Wheeler if he has any fingerprints on this. Maybe he, and the leadership of the Republican party, should publicly disown this dirty opportunistic and cynical action by senior Republican operatives.

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    Now you know how progressives feel when blue dogs try to appropriate the label.

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    Seems as if this is an attempt to soften up Monroe for the general election rather than a belief that Mowry has a chance in the Democratic primary. If Republicans can convince less politically sophisticated Democrats that Monroe is fiscally irresponsinle and soft on crime in relation to others in his party, it could provide a huge boost to the R candidate in November.

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