Shawn Lindsay: It's not me, it's you. And you're stupid.

Carla Axtman

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.

Lindsay continues:

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.

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      Unfortunately, Kari, I have to disagree with you about the intelligence of voters. It is evident that many voters are not able to figure out who is on their side. Look at Clackams County for an example. The level of propaganda used in Clackamas County was simple-minded and completely unveiled in it's contempt for the intelligence of the voters. Yet they just walked to the polls and voted in right wing goose steppers.

      Look at national politics. Granted we have hideously gerrymandered congressional districts in many states. Given that, we still have a ludicrous majority of Republicans in the House who have consistently shown a gross contempt for the American worker. We still only outvoted them for house seat by half a million. Half a million? out of around 100 million votes? That tells me we still have a depressingly large number of voters who would willingly walk into the slaughterhouse with no idea that the blade was going to come down on their neck.

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    This is lame on the whole but the "Call to Arms" looks entirely innocuous to me. It's not any more militaristic than the idea of a campaign, and its a metaphor progressives use for entirely positive purposes.

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    So, next up: faux attempts at "meaningful reform" of Republicanism, in order to appear kinder and gentler. So you'll vote for 'em. Good golly Miss Molly.

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    So my impression from Multnomah of Lindsay prior to this election is that he is a partisan Republican, but not a wacko. At the same time he was hardly an independent. What is the view from those who live in Washington County?

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      ..that is was an arrogant, out of touch Republican who tended to come late and leave early at public events, esp. if they involved the presence of esteemed figures of state such as Senators Merkley and Wyden.

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    Thanks for a spot-on rebuttal, Carla. I would just add that the fact that Lindsay is a card-carrying member of ALEC is ample proof that he and his ilk are out of step with HD30 constituents. I would also bring out the evidence of his near total party-line voting that belies his "bi-partisan" claim.

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    The bigger problem for Republicans in Oregon is that they are working with a damaged brand. Unless the moderates are willing to do a sister souljah moment and denounce the wackos in their party and their positions, the rest of us should not expect them to be independent. Party representation does mean a lot since it determines who is in charge of the agenda in Salem and DC. Unless the voter wants the Republicans in charge it is silly to say they should vote for a Republican for their representative.

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    I'm just proud and happy that we now have people of intelligence and integrity now representing most of Washington County's legislative districts. I know how if feels to lose an election, but losing doesn't entitle one to whine in public.

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    Blaming voters, the sure way to get the support of voters.

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    Let me play Devil's Advocate for a moment (and I preface this by saying that as a Republican, I have a supreme dislike for the tone and premise of Lindsay's article).

    Kari, on a district-by-district basis in Eastern or Southern Oregon where Republicans traditionally dominate, would you maintain that Democrats "need a better product" to secure a win? And likewise, is there the same respect for the views of those voters...or is it written off as the choices of a backwards, out-of-touch electorate...instead of an out-of-touch candidate?

    Being a numbers game, it's really not an issue. You guys have the numbers and we don't. It's simple math. But I'm curious if your status as the dominant party in Oregon allows for this kind of self-examination.

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      The Democrats sustained some pretty serious losses in Oregon in 2010. I can tell you that in fact, a serious examination of what went wrong and why occurred, at least in the places near me where it happened.

      You guys actually do have the numbers. You have managed to win before, in the not too distant past.

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        True...although I see those gains as very transitory. We may manage to win, but we rarely seem to enact realistic plans to secure and expand upon those gains. Let me ask another question: When Republicans lose, there is always the loud voice within the party that says it was because we weren't conservative enough, or that we tried to compromise too much. When Democrats lose, do you face the same questions? How do you usually answer them?

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            I basically agree with Sal's points except one: Unlike the national Republican party, I didn't see any evidence that Oregon Republicans shifted their emphasis after the 2010 elections to "appeasing increasingly rigid constituencies of social conservatives and tea partiers."

            I do believe that much damage was done to the Republican "brand" by Republicans in more conservative states, particularly but no exclusively in the south, that promoted extreme policies regarding subjects like reproductive rights and immigration. But I don't think the Oregon Republican Party or Republican elected officials generally were guilty of this.

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              I must respectfully point out that a significant amount of money from out-of-state was generated to oppose actions taken by the elected officials regarding expansion of "light rail." Furthermore, the same source of out-of-state money overwhelmed the funds available to the Commission Chair and one incumbent Commissioner in their quest to retain their seats.

              These actions blatantly resemble tactics funded by supported by those claiming to represent the will of the people via the "tea party." Furthermore, the stimulus for this political activity came from the privileged community of Lake Oswego, Oregon was traditionally has opposed attempts to improve the traffic along State Highway 43.

              Clackamas County is now a prime example of the modern "golden rule" which states "those with the goal to get to make the rules."

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            Sal, when you state "Much of the money and the apparatus that the unions built to deal with Sizemore is now going into candidate races" I must respectfully disagree at least where the largest in public employee union in the state SEIU Local 503, OPEU is concerned. The funds for political candidates are scrupulously kept separate from those funds used for the purposes of supporting or opposing ballot measures. The bylaws of SEIU Local 503, OPEU prohibit the funds earmarked in the dues structure for the purpose of opposing or supporting ballot measures to be used for ANY other purpose.

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              Barney - I think you are saying that ballot measure committees dont spend money on candidate races. I dont disagree with that. What I am saying is that OEA and SEIU spent millions in the early part of this decade and the 90's fighting Sizemore measures and contributed heavily to organizations like Our Oregon that were created to fight right wing ballot measures. Now that he's gone those resources are freed up for candidate races. I don't see that as a terribly controversial or provocative statement.

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            Are you really claiming, Sal, that the Republicans are losing because they're being outspent?

            I'd love to see the evidence of that.

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    Take heart, Carla. Clark County, WA now has a Republican majority of county commissioners, too. And promises to withdraw county support of the CRC. Whoops---there goes the "30,000 jobs" that Kitzy and Chrissy said we would have. But in it place, hopefully, something that make sense. That is unless you think spending billions in transit projects to reduce our CO2 by a whopping one percent is good policy.

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      Ron: I've been pretty vocal about my resistance to the CRC. And I've also been pretty vocal about not being thrilled with the Democrats supporting it.

      In fact, I was very supportive of the position of Rep. Katie Eyre (R-Forest Grove)when she came out against it, too.

      As far as I know, Eyre hasn't been talking to the press about how the voters are just too stupid to keep her in office--as opposed to Lindsay.

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    Lets see Anti Education, Anti Labor, Anti Retirement for workers, Anti health care, Anti science, Anti woman, Anti immigration reform, Anti LGBT, Anti job creation. What else can Repugs do to get elected. Learn to get their message out better???? The problem that escapes Mr Lindsey is that more voters in his district finally understand how bad the Repug agenda is for all but the 1%.

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