OR-Gov: Chris Dudley is pro-choice except when he's not.

Carla Axtman

Knowing that Oregon is generally a highly pro-choice state, it's no wonder that GOP Guv candidate Chris Dudley has attempted to polish his bona fides on the issue.

Recently, the New York Times sports section profiled Dudley, saying "he supports abortion rights and civil unions." This is a statement I hadn't previously seen so blatantly laid out in terms of Dudley's positions on these issues.

This same revelation caused Sara Benincasa of Comedy Central to do the written equivalent of peeing herself:

Is this gubernatorial playa not quirky enough for you? Well, feature this: Chris Dudley is a Republican who supports civil unions and legal abortion. In this way he is maybe a non-crazy, non-Teabaggy, non-embarrassing Republican candidate! Who knew they even MADE those anymore?!

In a time where non-crazy people are watching in horror the whacked that is the Teabaggers, one can certainly empathize with Sara's excitement over the possibility of a GOP candidate that isn't aligned with their special brand of social-issue despotism.

But, Sara's excitement may be a bit premature.

During the primary campaign, Dudley's camp was doing quite a dance with Oregon Right to Life. They failed to turn in their questionnaire while making friendly overtures to the group. Eventually, ORTL became cranky enough that the Dudley campaign told Jeff Mapes :

"Chris has maintained an open and honest discussion with Oregon Right to Life and will continue to do so throughout this campaign and into the governor's office," said a statement e-mailed by campaign spokeswoman Brittany Bramell. "Chris would be open to looking at legislation such as parental notification and a ban on late term abortion." (emphasis Carla)

So Dudley is pro-choice--except when he maybe, might not be. And oh by the way, Oregonians roundly rejected parental notification in 2006 because of the very real dangers involved with it.

This may explain why the Oregon pro-choice community just gave their endorsements to Kitzhaber, who doesn't seem especially interested in the tyranny of ORTL.

Apparently, Basic Rights Oregon isn't buying the "civil unions" schtick either. Kitz has won their endorsement as well.

(H/T: Chris Lehman)

Comments

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    Having a far-right candidate sure would make your lives much easier.

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        I really admire those that have the ability to see the world as black/white. Congrats.

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        Oh Carla give me a break ... most rational clear thinking people pro life or pro abortion ..doesn't matter think parental notification and a ban to late term abortions are good ideas. You seem to try to (once again) create fire where there isn't even any smoke! I haven't ever seen a poll result on this exact question but my overriding common sense tells me that it is more than possible and in fact more than likely that a man can be both pro choice AND think late term abortions are an affront to humanity and that parental notification laws are good sound thinking. How can that be a bad thing? I could not imagagine Dr. Kitzhaber not being against late term abortions.

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    Oh boy, I can just see that nick following him around. Duds.

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    I'd donate to "I'm with Duds" T-shirts for the trackers...

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    OR Right To Life (sic) is not endorsing anyone. perhaps we can encourage them to take the next step & have their supporters not vote for Gov at all. that works for me.

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    and is anyone else picturing Duds back on defense trying to stop a 2-on-1 fast break? he can't figure out who to guard -- he's not got the skills for both -- oh noes! posterized again.

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    "I really admire those that have the ability to see the world as black/white. Congrats."

    You can't be "for abortion rights" and then be open to restricting those rights. This isn't about black/white thinking, it's about saying one thing to one group and then contradicting yourself to another group.

    Based on his statements, can you tell me where Dudley stands on abortion rights? Right now it's a jump ball...

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    So, do the wingnuts have a real anti-abortion candidate in this race? In Kentucky, Nevada, and Colorado they are fielding candidates who want government to monitor women and girls who are pregnant from rape and incest to force them to carry their rapists babies to term.

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    I heard him on Lars during the primary. Lars asked him and he fumbled through a distinction of "professionally, I think the government shouldn't blah blah blah," and then Lars held his hand and prodded him further, "do you care to say how you feel personally?"

    His response was, "I, uh, uh, I, uh, I, uh, choose life."

    Really standing up for his principles there. Oregon's comeback.

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    There are plenty of pro-choice people who support parental notification and oppose certain types of late-term abortion. However, I hope Democrats run ads attacking Dudley for these positions. No one that was going to vote for Dudley will be dissuaded but a lot of undecideds will see just how extreme and intolerant the Democratic party has become.

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      At this point it's more likely Dudley will face questions about his inability or unwillingness to articulate a coherent stance. It's nice of you to try to do so for him, Jack, but until I hear it from Duds I'm not convinced that's what he believes or he will govern.

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        it woulodn't change your vote or opinion if he did. I think it's more than a little bit ironic that it is the people on the left who are faced with the man no one has heard of this time ...lets just hope this one turns out to be a better pick than Obama was.

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          You're right, it wouldn't change my vote, but it could certainly change my opinions on Dudley as a candidate and a person. Campaigns reveal character. The turning point in the last presidential election was McCain's decision to grandstand at the beginning of the financial melt-down, so he could run down to WDC and sit like a bump on a log and hand Obama the opportunity to appear as a leader under crisis. That wasn't a left-wing conspiracy, that was McCain's doing. Duds' strategy to avoid face to face debates, and his whiffle-ball stance on abortion, add up to reveal his character as well. And they reinforce my opinion that my vote is going to the right guy.

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      It's laughable to hear a member of the Rescumlican Party call anyone "intolerant and extreme." I think the only voting demographic that GOP can count on these days is old white men. There's a very good reason for that Jack. Maybe you can figure it out someday.

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      "a lot of undecideds will see just how extreme and intolerant the Democratic party has become."

      You mean compared to the "Southern Strategy" race-baiting, attack Mexican immigrants (but not European immigrants, many of whom also are here illegally(, ban all or nearly all abortions, oppose marriage equality G.O.P.

      Jack, your "more moderate than thou" schtick wears pretty thin given your affiliation with a party that has become more and more extreme in the last 30 years.

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    "Chris would be open to looking at legislation such as parental notification and a ban on late term abortion." = I WILL BAN ALL ABORTIONS!

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      "Chris would be open to looking at legislation such as parental notification and a ban on late term abortion." = "Although it's politically impossible ban all abortions in pro-choice Oregon, I can appeal to my RTL base by nibbling away at abortion rights and limiting access. This way I can have my cake and eat it too!"

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        That's the take-away here. It's not that discomfort with late-term abortions implies opposition to all abortins - indeed, Justice Blackmon very eloquently articulated discomfort with late-term abortions in writing up the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade - it's that Dudley is so obviously equivocating... trying to pander to all sides.

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    Robert, could you clarify your two responses of "BS"? It is very clear that the strategy of saying "I am pro choice" and then adding exceptions is to confuse. It is why it is very hard to read some "moderate" Republican views because their lips do not match their words. If Dudley says, I am "pro life" with exceptions, then we, at least, know that he is generally not for choice unless forced by circumstances that he agrees make it acceptable. I see that is far more than a semantic difference.

    Finally, I disagree with people who label the views on Blue Oregon as extreme, let alone of Democrats. They are not at all. It is the GOP and the right who has gone back to the stone age and that is no BS, brother.

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