Clackamas County Clerk uses "Democrat Party" epithet on official primary ballot

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Sherry Hall strikes again. On the official Clackamas County ballot for the primary election, it reads, "Official Primary Nominating Ballot for the Democrat Party".

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That's right: Democrat Party

Dear Sherry, that's not the name of any political party in Oregon. Here in our state, like the other 49 states, the party is called the "Democratic Party".

And that's not a distinction without a difference. In fact, "Democrat Party" has been used as an epithet by right-wing loons for over 50 years now.

But don't take my word for it, listen to the late William Safire -- the conservative columnist and Nixon speeechwriter. Writing for ultra-right magazine National Review, he wrote:

I have an aversion to 'Democrat' as an adjective. Dear Joe McCarthy used to do that, and received a rebuke from this at-the-time 24-year-old. It has the effect of injecting politics into language, and that should be avoided.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz told the New Yorker that "Those two letters actually do matter", which is why he had advised Newt Gingrich to go all-in on the "Democrat Party" epithet.

Just last week, for example, Congressman Steve Stockman (a lunatic, truly) used the phrase -- in the midst of libeling -- thusly: "The Democrat Party group MoveOn should apologize for hosting supporters of kidnappers and terrorists."

This is hardly the first time that Hall has had her thumb on the scale. In fact, Hall seems to screw up more times than she gets things right.

Last year, the Clackamas County Clerk put the wrong date on the voters' pamphlet. In 2012, there was a ballot tampering scandal on her watch. In 2011, she "directed her staffers to do a do-over" in counting signatures for a Tea Party -backed initiative, changing the outcome of an initiative drive.

The good news is that Hall is on the ballot this spring -- and faces four primary opponents in the nonpartisan. At least two opponents have been endorsed by prominent Democrats: David Robinson (by Brad Avakian and Jim Bernard) and Mark Meek (by Dave Hunt).

The end of Sherry Hall's reign of error can't come too soon.


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