I've been trying to wrap my brain around the Supreme Court race for a while now. After all, folks I trust have endorsed both Nena Cook and Dick Baldwin.
Baldwin's got Barbara Roberts, Ted Kulongoski, Chip Shields, Val Hoyle, Bob Stoll, OLCV, SEIU 503, OEA, AFL-CIO, AFT, and many more. Cook's got Darlene Hooley, Kurt Schrader, Sara Gelser, Gail Shibley, Serena Cruz Walsh,
Terry Bean, ILWU, Teamsters, Stonewall Democrats, and many more. And I've got friends actively working on both campaigns.
Update: I got a note from Terry Bean that he's endorsed Dick Baldwin for Supreme Court, not Nena Cook.
But the great thing about BlueOregon is that - unlike some other media outlets around here - our archives live forever. And with some 9700 blog posts over eight years, there's a lot of history in there.
And here's a bit of history that's not so ancient - and pretty relevant here.
To me, that tips the scale dramatically in Judge Baldwin's favor. You see, the "Democrats for Smith" were a bunch of folks (not all of whom were actually Democrats, mind you) who seemed to think that Oregon was a better place having "one of each" - that Gordon Smith's big smile and friendly demeanor was enough to qualify him as a non-scary Republican. But the fact is that Gordon Smith was a perfect representative of, by, and for the One Percent, long before that concept had crystallized itself in the public consciousness.
Any person that called themselves a Democrat - and yet supported Gordon Smith - was either deluding themselves or trying to pull one over on the public.
Now, I've heard second-hand that Cook is now telling people that she was on the Democrats for Smith list "by mistake". If she's calling it a grave error in judgment, I'll give her that one. But if she's saying that she never supported Gordon Smith, well, that's just not supported by the evidence.
In 2007 and 2008, the Democrats for Smith effort was a major public undertaking by Smith. It involved a standalone website, TV ads, print ads, and regular promotion for 18 months. And Democratic activists - including right here at BlueOregon - regularly called it out for attention. A number of individuals - including numerous small-town mayors and a state legislator - removed themselves from the list when they found themselves on it.
So, I'm sorry to my friends that are supporting Nena Cook. But if she's the sort of person who deluded herself into thinking that Gordon Smith was standing up for progressive values, then she's not the sort of person I want on the Oregon Supreme Court.
I'm voting for Dick Baldwin.