Chris Dudley: 6'10" Pull String Doll

By J. Graber of Portland, Oregon. He is a former journalist and a graduate student in strategic communications at the University of Oregon, Portland campus.

When I was a little tike my sister had a doll with a string in her back. Pull the string and the toy would utter some reassuring little message like, “I love you.” That doll was her favorite toy. She kept it propped up on her bed like it was the real thing … for awhile. It wasn’t long though until this flashy little toy (it was pretty neat in the early 70s) ended up at the bottom of the toy chest. The problem was, the four or five little phrases the doll was programmed to repeat got old pretty fast.

I just can’t help but wondering these days that if you were to get a quick glimpse at Chris Dudley’s back, you might find a similar string.

What’s even sadder still is he’s not even singing a new tune. Tug Dudley’s cord and you get the same old tired song Republicans have been singing for years:

“Create jobs!”

“Lower taxes!”

As a reporter I developed a surefire system for separating the real thing from the posers with a sound bite: keep asking “How?”

Candidate: When elected I will create jobs.

Reporter: How?

Candidate: I will lower taxes.

Reporter: How are you going to cut the revenue stream when the state budget is already facing a $1 billion shortfall?

It doesn’t take too long before the sound biters start running out of answers.

I suspect Dudley hasn’t shared his opinions with us yet because he hasn’t been told what they are. When he figures out what he thinks everyone wants to hear, I’m sure he’ll come out on stage twirling a basketball on his finger and repeat it.

Case in point: After ducking numerous opportunities to discuss the issues in order to be do things like be groomed by current Republican governors … er … I mean, spend quality time with his family, Dudley has finally agreed to a debate with John Kitzhaber.

The golden date is Oct. 7th. That’s exactly eight days before ballots are mailed out. Eight days! How is anyone really going to have enough time to digest Chris Dudley’s stance on difficult issues like school funding and truly make any meaningful sense of it?

Where as John Kitzhaber has had all of his card laid out on the table since the primary election, it’s going to take Dudley’s handlers until Oct. 7th to program him with the right responses.

This election is turning out to be John Kitzhaber versus the Republican candidate. Normally I would say it’s never as simple as that, but the only argument Chris has made for himself is, “Vote for me, I’m a Republican.”

He’s been running some pretty slick television commercials since right after the primary and he just trotted out a brand new one last week trying to blame John for the recession (WTF?!). If you notice though, there no real substance to these ads. They might as well be narrated by Charlie Brown’s teacher, “WWWAAHHH WWWAAAHH WWWAAAHHH WWWAAAHHH.”

What’s that ma’am, vote for Dudley because he’s a Republican?

No thank you ma’am.

That’s not to say Dudley’s strategy hasn’t been effective … so far. With less than 80 days to go to the election, pollsters are calling the race a dead heat. Dudley and his right-wing pals seem to think that if he can scream his name the loudest at the voters, they won’t notice he’s not really saying anything else.

It’s the old strategy of trying to buy the election by outspending your opponent to get your face out there more than him. Dudley’s has out fund raised John nearly 2-to-1 so far.

As Attorney General John Kroger told a group of volunteer canvassers Saturday before heading out to talk to voters about John’s stances on everything from economic recovery to education funding, “The other side isn’t going to have a grassroots effort because they don’t believe in grassroots support. They believe in raising a lot of money from huge corporations.”

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    I guess if you can't give any reasons to vote for Kitz, all that is left is to bash Dudley.

    I have never understood why these types of sites constantly bash the political opposition. What percentage of readers of BO would ever consider voting for an R? 2% maybe 3%. All you are doing is preaching to the choir.

    It's starting to look like a high school pep rally here. GO BIG BLUE! GO! FIGHT! WIN!

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      I guess if you can't give any reasons to support Dudley, all that's left to do is bash the guy who writes critically of him?

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        First off, I never said a word about the author or the article and I certainly didn't "bash" the author by any reasonable definition of that term.

        Secondly, I am guessing you can't come up with a reason to vote for Kitz either.

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          Oh please. So who where you referring to when you wrote:

          I guess if you can't give any reasons to vote for Kitz, all that is left is to bash Dudley.

          You just wrote that in a vacuum did you?

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      I think this comment by Michael Pingree is right-on (or, "spot on", as is the currently fashionable phraseology).

      We all know the 21st century GOP party is for simpletons and crazies. Therefore, a certain redundancy ("preaching to the choir") happens with the reiteration.

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    Touche, Erik. Well said, IMO. While I agree J Graber's preaching to the choir and hasn't said anything I wasn't already thinking myself, I believe this is a site that gives everyone a chance to voice opinions and commentary. If there is suddenly some litmus test of posts must always persuade the majority of the public/likely readers, this would be a very barren, boring site.

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    Lower taxes, end the budget deficit in Oregon, fully fund the budget, return Oregon to a pro-business state, make sure all kids learn, stop crime, be environmentally sensitive, increase recycling, use solar energy, have more environmentally sound cars, health care for everyone, a chicken in every pot. VOTE ME.

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    The problem is not preaching to the choir. This blog preaches to the people who are demanding more information from ALL media.

    We DON'T know Dudley, and the point you make about the October debate versus the ballot drop is relevant. The mythology that people have built about him has already reached the point of being ridiculous and it's predicated on very little.

    If you look at his biography it looks like the "Wealth Strategist" title at his most recent company was a vague role. The SEC doesn't list him as an Independent Investment Advisor as it does his partners and the CFP Board lists him as current but that he is not practicing. He's not a controlling partner. His firm is hardly Fortune 500 stuff. My own business makes about as much as his does. I guess that qualifies me to be Governor too.

    He's a "story", one crafted to charm wealthy people into investing with his firm (handled by other people, not him) or investing in his campaign. It's almost as if he needed to gin up his resume for a political run.

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    I agree the timing of the debate and ballot mailing is 100% relevant. It appears, so far, the strategy is to "dazzle" voters with the usual talking points and prepared speeches and hold out as long as he can, to avoid a debate. This lead me to think about what question I would ask if I could.

    I checked out the youdontknowdudley website. It states he maintained a home in Camas while he was an NBA player to avoid paying OR income taxes on his income. (Nothing illegal about that...) Also that he has no voting record prior to 2004. So, I checked his (Dudley's) site to see if it said when he did became an OR resident. Does not say. At all. Does talk about his wife being a 5th generation Oregonian but nada about his status. That leads me to conclude that he didn't become a resident until 04. So, he was only an OR resident 5 years before deciding to run. Again, nothing illegal. But, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Makes him appear to be a carpet bagger, to me...

    I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, ask and not make assumptions. But I would be willing to bet I wouldn't get a straight answer.

    IMO, I'd much rather have someone with deeper roots. Kitz has lived in OR since he was 11, did his residency in Denver and returned to practice in Roseburg. That shows committment, to me, to this state. He's had ample means and opportunity to move to say, the state of WA, since he left office...But he hasn't.

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    I can write in support of Dudley - Clearly he isn't Kitz. He didn't already get a chance to retry his tired routine. Dudely will, I hope be as invigorating for Oregon as John Y Brown Jr was for Kentucky 31 years ago.

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      Kitzhaber was a very good Governor, and held the line against a crappy GOP controlled Legislature.

      So you think that Dudley not being Kitzhaber is a good thing, I have to ask why?

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