Recently defeated state representative Shawn Lindsay (R-Hillsboro) is not just chewing sour grapes over his loss, he's gone public with a verbal mastication splayed out in today's Oregonian:
Every two years, after yet another loss, the Oregonian editorial board writes that "Oregon Republicans must rebrand themselves." We're already at work on that. But, respectfully, it's time that Oregon rebrand itself. Oregon is no longer "independent" or "bipartisan." No, to its detriment, Oregon is a one-party state.
If Oregon wants to find a path to relevancy in the United States and foster debate and compromise that will lead to better legislation for all Oregon residents, it must accept hard facts and rebrand its politics.
I agree that it's useless for Republicans in Oregon to "re-brand" themselves. That's merely a superficial exercise in PR that attempts to paint lipstick on a pig. But rather than looking inward to actually see if perhaps Republicans like Lindsay are out-of-touch with their constituents and pushing policy that they disagree with, Lindsay lashes out at Oregonians as being irrelevant to the rest of the nation.
And this "one-party state" canard is a steaming pile as well. In Lindsay's own county (Washington), the highest level of county government is run by an iron fist of conservative Republican authoritarianism. Further, that authoritarianism extends to 2 other members of the County Commission who goose step happily along. We need look no further than Lindsay's own backyard for the results of the GOP ruling a key part of Oregon. And how could we forget the mess that went down in Cornelius when Republicans ran things? Taxpayers in our county are casting a skeptical eye toward your party for a reason, Mr. Lindsay. Take the cotton out of your ears and pay attention.
Not to mention the fact that Clackamas County is about to be up to their gills with Republicans running things.
Oregonians demand bipartisanship in the Legislature, but reject it at the polls. My re-election campaign is a prime example. The Democratic mayor of North Plains and the Republican mayor of Hillsboro jointly endorsed me because of my competency and bipartisan problem-solving skills. Stand for Children endorsed me, a rare feat for a Republican. Every single newspaper, including liberal newspapers, endorsed me over my opponent essentially because of my diplomatic and substantive skills. As for accomplishments? I supported the bipartisan education and health care reforms and co-chaired the committee that delivered a historic bipartisan redistricting plan, something the Legislature failed to do for more than 60 years.
I worked hard to make myself publicly available to voters, knocking on more than 11,000 doors, holding dozens of town halls (my opponent held none), appearing at every joint forum to which we were invited (my opponent attended only one), and participating in the only districtwide debate (my opponent refused to participate). Even my political opponents heralded me as one of the most available and responsive legislators.
Jeez, man. Have some pride for crying out loud. Hand wringing over thinking you're accessible while systematically pushing stuff that is out-of-step with your constituency is pathetic, douchebag behavior.
Voters claim they want Republicans and Democrats to work together, and they claim to hate partisan and negative campaigns. I ran a positive campaign that focused on my bipartisan skills and accomplishments, while my opponent ran a negative campaign and even cited votes on bills that didn't exist. Yet, despite my bipartisan support and active involvement, another candidate was chosen. I fully respect that decision.
Until Oregon voters can bring themselves to vote for the person instead of the party, you'll see fewer qualified Republican candidates running, which will result in fewer qualified Democratic candidates running, because there will be no competition. This is damaging to Oregon.
If you want legislators who put policy ahead of party affiliation but in turn you do not vote for the most competent candidate because of party affiliation, then you are demanding a result you do not support. If you are unhappy with the status quo, you cannot continue voting the "party ticket" year after year, all the while expecting a different result.
So Joe Gallegos (the articulate, smart man who is deeply engaged in the community) is unqualified to serve in the state legislature, Shawn? Seriously? And a positive campaign? Does that include this hit piece video against Gallegos on your campaign YouTube channel? And the "call to arms" event you held in your district?
As long as Republicans in Oregon continue to take their cues from national Republicans via ALEC when it comes to policy, they'll continue to be unsuccessful here. That's just shoving national GOP policy priorities down our throats instead of making the people that they serve the priority. And when you do that Shawn, you deserve to lose.