Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

November 7, 2006. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2006.

Election Day '06. Exactly one year from now.

One of two things is going to happen: Either the House Republicans will keep control of the House - or the Democrats will take over after 16 years of GOP control.

Karen Minnis and her right-wing Republican friends have run the House like their very own banana republic - stopping good legislation and sponsoring bad legislation. They've ejected the moderates in their party. They've done the bidding of their corporate masters. They've threatened good Democrats with retribution for following their conscience and their constituents.

It is time for them to go.

When the story of the 2006 election is written one year from now, the question will be: What did you do to win back the House? Which candidate did you help? Which right-winger owes his or her loss to you?

Over at the Oregon House Democrats' blog, the Democratic Leader - Jeff Merkley - has issued a challenge: Will you volunteer 10 hours for an Oregon House Democrat? They're looking for just one hundred leaders to take the challenge - 1000 hours of action to lead the way.

Will you look back at 2006 and smile proudly? Or will you sheepishly shrug, wishing you had done more?

Take the challenge. We've got a year.

[Disclaimer: I built the House Dems website, but I don't speak for them and this post wasn't reviewed by them.]

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    You can count on many hours of work from the team at DFO Action to bring down the failed, anti-democratic GOP cabal in the Oregon House and start restoring our great state and bringing a brighter future for working families and ordinary people. We hope everyone joins the effort no matter where you are in Oregon. Share your ideas and comments on the progressive and Democratic forums and blogs out there, and start right now to work for the change we need. Look forward to our DFO Progressive Leadership Summit next spring on May 20 & 21st when we will host a two-dayDemocracy for America Training Academy to help fine tune your citizen advocacy and campaigning skills. We're working hard to bring a national speaker to town to complement our outstanding local experts, activists and renown progressive techno-wizards and self described political hacks such as Kari Chisholm as well as Thom Hartmann, Jeff Smith and other expert local progressive framers and leaders.

    Another goal of ours is to endorse candidates for the DFA-List to make certain the right wing is challenged by strong, supported candidates all the way up and down the ticket.

    Get set! We are going to remove the blight of radical corporatist right-wing control from our House, depose the the Mad Queen Minnis, and restore our state legislature back into the hands of ordinary citizens again --- yay!

    If you know a motivated progressive candidate running for a state House seat against a right-winger who you'd like us to support, please ask the candidate to apply for the DFA-List here. Also go to our forum at DFO Action and let us know about the campaign and how we can help.

    For fun, check out Jenni's blog post on the inspiring party over at Rob Brading's house last Wednesday. The people of HD 49 and Oregon will be SO much better served by Rob Brading, than by the power abusing, corporate welfare Queen currently inhabiting that seat.

  • Winston Wolfe (unverified)

    FYI for all you Portland liberals,

    Walking 10 hours doesn't mean walking Downtown P-town. To make a real difference you actually have to leave the city and walk big and scary rural Oregon.

    Also keep the medal in your face to a minimum.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)

    Winston writes:

    "Walking 10 hours doesn't mean walking Downtown P-town. To make a real difference you actually have to leave the city and walk big and scary rural Oregon."

    Right On! Too bad it'll never happen.

    If the DFO post is any indication, Urban Progs will never listen to rural folk. Why should they? Too busy hob-nobbing the elite and obsessing over "Queen Minnis." Never mind all of the battleground districts are well outside P-town. Uniting our issues and addressing our concerns with theirs is the last thing they want to do. Or care to do.

    It's their experts, their plan, their obsessions. Not ours.

    Like the last election, and the election before that, and the election before that, etc..., we will be left to fend for ourselves.

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    FYI - a major part of the House Dems Challenge is trying to drive folks into swing districts. For too long, candidates have had to fend for themselves - now, with the power of the net, we can push people quickly into key districts.

    Take the Challenge.

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    What -- only 10 hours!? I'll be giving lots more than that.

    And gee thanks Kari. Now I have Seasons of Love stuck in my head.

  • Varner (unverified)


    HD 49, where the DFO people had their party, is in Gresham/Fairview land. That isn't downtown Portland.

    There are many people living in areas of the state which are neither downtown Portland or Rural. For instance, Bend isn't rural. Neither is Meford. Or Albany.

    Given that, I don't really understand your post.

  • dmrusso (unverified)

    The Oregon Summit was one of many attempts to reach out to rural Oregon.

    I question whether or not Independants and Dems in rural Oregon really want to join together in this fight or if they merely want to complain and vote for the status quo?

    The tent is big enough for everyone, farmer and urbanite alike. It is time that we stopped playing games and start thinking as a team.

  • Skeptic (unverified)

    I just wonder: once the Dems take back the House, what will they do? What is their policy agenda? (Beyond the same empty rhetoric about fully funding schools and not cutting social services.) I mean, seriously, what on earth did the Senate Dems do once they took control this year? Hell if I know. I didn't see any ground-breaking environmental reforms pass out of the Senate only to be stifled by Karen Minnis. I didn't see any "out of the box" education thinking. I just saw foi gras, Les AuCoin, and civil unions. Whoopee.

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    Kari, you know what would be handy for would-be volunteers--to understand what kind of help Dems need. Particularly for potential new volunteers, the idea of canvassing or calling--often the only thing we can imagine--sends them packing. The call is for rather abstract volunteer work (providing on-the-ground intel, giving ongoing feedback), which always makes it harder for people to take that leap. What's the work of a grassroots volunteer look like?

  • dmrusso (unverified)


    I am wondering why you didn't attend the TownHall meeting last month hosted by Senator Kate Smith and Rep Diane Rosenbaum?

    The Senate actually voted to invest in bio-fuels, only to have Minnis and House Republicans add on an amendment to give bigger tax breaks to corporate polluters. Minnis left no room for negotiation on this point, so the bill was dropped.

    The Senate also voted for maintaining education spending, while Minnis and the House sought to serverely cut spending.

    The Senate also voted with bipartisan support for Civil Unions for gays and lesbians as a comprimise proposal. 60% of Oregonians said that they supported Civil Unions over same-sex marriage last year. A majority of the Oregon House supported this measure, but Minnis used her power to shelve it. (If you think that Civil Unions are not a big deal, then perhaps, you should take time to understand the nature of discrimination and how it is wrong to limit rights to tax paying citizens in our state.)

    These are only the few that I can remember from memory.

    My question to you is: Are you complaining because you do not have time to research these things OR do you not care about the responsibility of all Americans to be informed in their democracy?

  • dmrusso (unverified)

    Lest I forgot one of the victories that did pass both houses, parity on mental illness benefits!

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    Skeptic... You want to know about specific things that the House Dems would do differently? You want to know what-the-hell the Senate Dems did once they took control?

    Look no further than the Undone Dozen. A stack of 12 bills that the Senate Dems passed but which were stalled by the House GOP.

  • dmrusso (unverified)


    Contact the DPO Volunteer Cordinator: [email protected]

    Or call the DPO: 503-224-8200 x260 He is located in Multnomah County. You can also get on to and look up your direct county contact if you do not live nearby.

  • dmrusso (unverified)


    Thanks for the website. You have successfully revised my memory with some facts! :)

    Much appreciated.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)

    Kari writes:

    "a major part of the House Dems Challenge is trying to drive folks into swing districts."

    I understand what is trying to be accomplished here and I appreciate that. Problem is that ain't enough.

    Bussing urban canvassers into rural districts is meaningless if there is no attempt to connect with and listen to the voters there. Haven't the last two elections proven that to us?

    Varner writes:

    "There are many people living in areas of the state which are neither downtown Portland or Rural. For instance, Bend isn't rural. Neither is Meford. Or Albany."

    True. But Republicans still hold those towns, don't they? What does that say about the urban progressive-based party message when we can't even convince our own in Bend, Medford, Albany, et. al. to vote Democratic.

    The assumption here is that all Democrats are "Progressives" or specifically, the brand of progressivism you find in Portland, Corvallis, and Eugene. The assumption is false. And when the P-town based progressives venture out to the hinterland, they assume they are carrying the message that the people will embrace. Again, another false assumption. Even with saturation canvasses and bussing urban progs to rural areas and an over 95% democratic voter turnout, we still come up short in the vote tally in Bend, Medford, Albany, and yes, even Gresham.

    The "Queen Minnis" message may be targeted to Gresham, but the message was developed in Portland out of an urban-centric philosophy and embraced by a party who long ago retreated behind the ramparts of urban progressivism. It will not motivate Dems outside of our urban bastions who are hungry for a party that will finally listen to them and a message they can believe in.

    I understand the good intentions by all who are trying to engage Democrats and former Democrats throughout the state. But you cannot unite the party under the current banner of urban progressivism. It does not work.

    Again, the answer lies in a complete overhaul of the state party structure and message. In order to do that, we have to discard the current progressive box that has yielded us nothing and build a new, all-inclusive structure from the ground up. A sort of revolution, if you will.

    And developing that message requires going out to the rural constituents with a clear mind, an empty slate, and the ability to see things outside the urban progressive box.

    Oh, and a closed mouth doesn't hurt either.

  • LT (unverified)

    And developing that message requires going out to the rural constituents with a clear mind, an empty slate, and the ability to see things outside the urban progressive box. Oh, and a closed mouth doesn't hurt either.

    Isn't that the purpose of the Rural Caucus which had that meeting last weekend?

  • Skeptic (unverified)

    I would hardly call the "Undone Dozen" list a collection of big ideas. Look, I'm not saying that Democrats don't do ANYTHING right -- of course they do. I'm just saying that we controlled the Senate AND the Governor's office, and were just a few votes away from controlling the House. Yet the Session was a paragon of missed opportunities.

    Sure, the Senate passed the civil unions bill, but not until the final weeks of the Session. By then, it could only be a symbolic gesture.

    Sure, the Senate passed the bio-diesel bill, but why didn't the Senate pass a much more aggressive environmental agenda?

    Why didn't the Governor come out with his school funding stability plan until the final weeks of the Session? If it was good public policy at the end of session, why wasn't it good public policy at the beginning of session? We might not have won in the end, but at least Karen Minnis would not have been able to control the school funding debate for the whole session.

    Democrats have been talking about stabilizing school funding in Oregon and overhauling the revenue system for a decade. That’s what we said we’d do when we took control. Well, we did control two-thirds of the law-making part of government, and I didn’t see a single school funding stabilization or big idea tax structure bill pass the Democratically controlled Senate.

    And where was campaign finance reform? Particularly after the Dan Doyle fiasco.

    Look, I understand that blaming Karen Minnis for everything is good PR for us -- and it's a good strategy for galvanizing our base and increasing campaign contributions. But come on -- we've got to look in the mirror just a little bit and realize that Democrats share as much blame for the debacle that was the 2005 Legislative Session as Republicans.

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    Stan said:

    The "Queen Minnis" message may be targeted to Gresham, but the message was developed in Portland out of an urban-centric philosophy and embraced by a party who long ago retreated behind the ramparts of urban progressivism.

    You are 100% wrong on this. I happen to be the person in DFO who brought up the queen image. I'd been referring to her as such for a while, but said it to others (besides my hubby and mom) on the way to/from the DPO's State Central Committee meeting in Pendleton.

    I stated that Minnis reminds me of the Queen in Disney's Alice in Wonderland-- all things are her way and off with their (political) heads if they disagree.

    Do I live in Portland? No.

    Have I ever lived in Portland? No.

    Where do I live? Gresham.

    Where did I live before that? In a small, rural town in Texas called Santa Fe. It was a Christian Coalition town and was about as far from "liberal" and "urban-centric" as you can get-- we had more cows than people and was the town in the school prayer case in 2000.

    This idea that all of this is coming from Portland is W-R-O-N-G. There are a lot of us in House Districts 49 and 50 that are working to oust Minnis (as well as John Lim, the rep for Dist, 50). The two districts are "sister" districts, as they are the two pieces to Senate District 25. They are made up of Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview, Wood Village, and some unincorporated areas of the county.

    People have got to stop thinking that all of this is coming from Portland. Are there groups from Portland working on this? Yes. But much of the strategy and planning is coming from people right here in Gresham, Fairview, Wood Village, and Troutdale.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    If the Democrats put up any decent candidates in or around Yamhill County, I will be out working for them 'til the cows come home. A clique of right wingers have a headlock on the county now, but I think they are vulnerable at least around McMinnville.

    If nothing else, I'll get on the bus. The Bus Project was instrumental in putting the Democrats back in charge of the Senate.

    People seem to forget that even in the reddest of counties, there are Democrats. In fact, usually 30 to 40% of the voters in red counties still vote for Democrats, or for progressive issues. I suspect also that among Republicans, there might be some old timers with a "live and let live" philosophy, which was very common among rural Rebpublicans before the social conservatives took over. These people might vote for a good Democrat over a stupid Republican.

    I'm getting a little tired of the whining naysayers belittling Portland liberals who supposedly run the party. Urban, rural or suburban, most of us are in the same boat with the same pocketbook issues. Let's start looking for ways that unite us rather than divide us.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)


    You said:

    "People seem to forget that even in the reddest of counties, there are Democrats."

    Thank you for making my point. In fact, when you add up the Dems and former Dems who left the party to become independent, you get majorities in just about every district in Oregon.

    And we still lose.

    I do not know how instrumental the bus project really was in all three Senate wins, but I suspect that for every Senate success we failed in two or three House races and countless council, commission and school board races.

    But then the P-town based bus project was designed not to develop a rural-based message for rural Dems, but to foster urban progressivism onto rural voters. Don't believe me? Just read their slogans, motto and message. It all screams urban progressivism. Other than one senate and maybe one house race, none of the victories have taken place outside of the bastions of urbania.

    Ms Simonis, you may have developed the "Queen Minnis" message on your own, but the P-town based DPO embraced (stole?) it as their own. That is as far as that message has resonated, fortunately.

    How do I know this? I saw Minnis on OPAN test your message outside of HD 49, and I can say that it had absolutely no impact whatsoever on her ability to win over crowds with plenty of sympathy.

    She has already made herself immune to your district plan of "Queen Minnis" by immunizing herself outside of the district where people do not vote for her. Cleaver guys, those Republicans.

    Nobody outside of Gresham and fortress Portland has connected to that message, and except for a handful of urban desciples, nobody ever will. Two presidential elections nationwide and one senatorial election in Oregon didn't teach you that demonizing the opponent only gets us defeated?

    Hating Republicans will not do it. Been there, done that, didn't even win the tee shirt. Give the voter a reason to embrace the Democrat, irrespective of the Republican. That is what wins elections, my friends.

    I fully expect to be tarred and feathered by the urban progressives for saying it, but the voting record in Oregon is very clear on this one. The urban progressive message is killing the majority of Dems outside of urbania. From 53% in 1974 to 47% in 1990 to 39% today, Democrats in mostly rural areas are leaving the party in Oregon faster than the rain.

    Again, the crux of my message is simple. Others here have said it:

    Stop trying to adapt the urban progressive message on the majority of Democrats and independents who are not urban progressives. Re-structure the party. Go out into the political hinterland of rural and small town Dems and Indies and re-write a message of unity that they can believe in and call their own. Listen and learn.

    Or lose another round of elections. The choice is up to you.

  • LT (unverified)

    Why must "the Democrats" (and not local residents) decide who runs for the legislature? Some of the most worthwhile and successful campaigns I was ever involved with were local residents, known in the community, deciding to run for the legislature.

    Yamhill County includes District 25 (maybe a third of the district is in Yamhill County and the rest in Marion County). There is no viable (as in being convinced this person would be a great legislator) candidate in District 25.

    So if Gil knows someone who might be a good legislator, now is the time to start talking about what it would take to run for House. I was just talking yesterday with the first Democrat ever elected in our House district--about how he wasn't recruited by the caucus, had local campaign manager and treasurer, didn't do lots of mailings but did do a lot of voter contact (door to door, coffees, etc).

    That is a lot of work (which might concern someone without a lot of free time or a lot of energy) but nowhere is it written that the only way to be elected to the legislature is to hire a consultant, send out lots of mailings, take orders from a caucus, etc.

    There are those who think our state senator was elected for sending out fewer mailings than the opponent--they had both been state rep. in the district and were equally well known.

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    "But then the P-town based bus project was designed not to develop a rural-based message for rural Dems, but to foster urban progressivism onto rural voters. Don't believe me? Just read their slogans, motto and message. It all screams urban progressivism.

    So, Stan, what are these "urban progressivism" messages? What policies do you want the Democratic legislators to change?

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    Yeah, I'm curious about the issues that are best.

    (And by the way Stan, you're absolutely right that the website, etc. is aimed primarily at urban youth, I think you'd be surprised at the motivations/urges of the folks involved. Many of them have rural roots themselves. And when they'[re out on the doorstep, they're driving messages OF THE LOCAL CANDIDATE. Not any portland-based message.)

    But I would check out and see whatcha think.

    Best, JS

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    You said: Ms Simonis, you may have developed the "Queen Minnis" message on your own, but the P-town based DPO embraced (stole?) it as their own. That is as far as that message has resonated, fortunately.

    Actually, the DPO has not used the Queen message in anything I've received. It's the DFO that has used the message (Democracy for Oregon as opposed to the Democratic Party of Oregon). I'm a member of Democracy for Oregon (and a steering committee member), as are many people outside of Portland. It was to members of DFO that I told the message about Queen Minnis. We then decided to start a PAC, with goal #1 being beating Minnis. Goal #2 would be painting the house blue.

    And the message has resonated fairly well. We have a mail list of over 4000 people that we have mailed out to using this message. We've had people from across the state write us back about it. We got some sizable donations based on it as well. The comments we've received have come from all over the state-- and not from people who were Portlanders, but moved to other parts of the state.

    The message has also done well with people out here in the district that I have spoken to. But we don't just call her a queen-- it's the ice breaker, in a way. We then go on to explain how she ran the state house like a monarch, deciding what we best for the district and the state based on her contributors. That over her years in the legislature she's done almost nothing for her district.

    But the fact is, it's the people in her district that matter the most. They're the only ones who get to vote. We'll be able to more than match her in volunteers coming out to talk to voters. And Brading showed last time that money doesn't matter that much-- he was outspend something like 8-1 and he came VERY close. With a little more money to spend in contacting voters, and some more volunteers to help him, he could've won. So she can get her money from around the state all she wants (although a huge chunk comes from out of state), but it's not going to help.

    All that's going to matter is getting out and speaking to the voters-- letting them know that she hasn't done anything for the district. That the district is having all kinds of trouble (schools, crime, transportation, etc.) that she is doing nothing to help with. That she's been a foe to minimum wage, which the district is heavily for.

    We aren't demonizing anyone. We're talking about her being a "queen" because that's her leadership style-- she acts as if she is in charge of a monarchy as opposed to a democracy. Calling her fat, stupid, a bitch, a purveyor of pornography to children (as she did to Brading last year), etc. is demonizing someone. Classifying her "leadership" style as that of a monarch is not.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)

    John & Jefferson

    Read the first post to see what is meant by urban progressivism.

    But just in case you miss the point, let's take the subject of environmentalism. Urban progressives support preservation to the exclusion of almost all else (BM 64, BM 34, etc), and are quite nasty to those who do not share that narrow view. Those outside of the urban centers support conservation: a mix of preservation, resource management and in some cases resource exploitation for the common good (recreation, harvesting, etc).

    The same can be said for state issues such as land use, economic development, transportation, taxation, state resource allocations, educational priorities, health care allocations, firearms, local control, and a host of others. In each case, urban progressives have one particularly narrow view, and the rest of the state, including rural and small town Democrats, have a slightly different yet broader point of view.

    More important, urban progressives believe their point of view is right, and everyone else is wrong (including the majority of Democratic voters who refuse to support them). To them, it is a jihad.

    I've heard the presentations that urban progressives have made regarding the outreach to rural voters. It is not one of observation, reflection and inclusion. There is no listening, no understanding, no attempt to accomodate their views and hear their problems. It is more like the missionery who goes out into the wilderness to convert the "heathen" and force them to become believers. The view of the native is irrelevent.

    And Jefferson, are there no youth in rural and small-town Oregon to get excited? If the goal is to truly reach out to the rural voters, why only urban progressive youth exclusively? Is the intelligent youth only to be found in Portland, Corvallis and Eugene, and that rural youth are just a bunch of neo-con yay-hoos, not worthy of your time? Is that why the rural outreach project is based deep inside the walls of fortress urbania, rather than at the battlefronts in Bend, Medford and Albany?

    Or is the goal of urban progressivism not to reach out, but merely to preach to, like the missionaries do?

    I bet if you looked at all of the employees of the Bus Project, the DPO, and everything else associated with the Democratic Party and Progressive movement structure in Oregon, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who does not live outside of the Portland Metropolitan area, even though most Democrats live outside of P-town.

    Talk about your group-think.

    To Jenni, who said :

    "Actually, the DPO has not used the Queen message in anything I've received."

    Really? The DPO didn't use this slogan as their recent house party theme?:

    "Win Back the House - Send Minnis Home!!

    As most voting Democrats outside of Portland and Gresham don't know who Karen Minnis is (something like 96% according to recent polls) and who could care less about someone they will not be able to vote against, I don't understand why the DPO would develop or adopt such an insignificant strategy. Unless it appeases your obsession to make her a statewide issue.

    So the strategy of the DFO and the DPO is not to go after the Republican record, district by district and voter by voter, a record that begs to be exposed for the fraud that it is. No, why should we? That would be too simple. Besides, we haven't done it in any of our previous elections. Why set a precedent now?

    Instead, we'll elevate all that is wrong with the Republicans in the persona of one individual from an obscure district way up north. We'll demonize her for our past failures to capture the legislature and blame her for why we refuse to connect with the majority of rural and small-town Dems and indie voters out there who are tired of the blame game and are starving for leaders who will actually lead and get things done.

    But then there is a bright side to all of this for urban progressives. When you lose yet another round of winnable seats and fail to capture the House, you can always blame Queen Minnis for your shortcomings right?

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    Really? The DPO didn't use this slogan as their recent house party theme?:

    "Win Back the House - Send Minnis Home!!

    How is saying "Win Back the House - Send Minnis Home!!" using the Queen message? It isn't.

    Many organizations are working to get rid of Minnis during the next election cycle. But just because they target her doesn't mean they are using the Queen image/message.

    And apparently you've only been reading headlines and single quotes and aren't paying attention to what we're actually doing. It's quite evident from what you say about Democracy for Oregon (DFO) that you have no idea what we're doing, what we're working on, etc. Just the fact that you continually tie DPO and DFO together shows that you're uneducated in this area.

    DPO is the Democratic Party of Oregon. DFO is Democracy for Oregon.

    The two groups are in no way tied together. We do have some members who are involved in both their county party and DFO, but we have even more who are fed up with the Democratic Party and are looking for an alternative way to be involved in progressive politics.

    Saying that DFO is not going after the Republican record is 100% false. We've been pointing out what R's did (and didn't) do during the past few sessions while the state fell apart. We've been collecting voting records of various electeds from around the state. We've ordered copies of this information several times from the state legislature, but thus far they haven't arrived. This means a lot of digging on our own, which can take hundreds of hours since the state leg website is in no way organized to be user friendly.

    DFO even has one of its own running for a state legislature seat down in McMinnville-- not just a supporter, but one of our steering committee members.

    We're looking for seats all over the state that we can target-- after all, this is about more than just unseating Minnis. That's one of our goals, but not the most important. The most important goal is painting the house blue, which we need to take 4 seats to do. We'd like to take even more, making it even easier for bills that are good for Oregonians to make it through both branches of the legislature and then signed by the gov.

    And you can't say what DFO has/hasn't done in past elections-- this is our first election cycle. We just started our PAC during the summer.

    And from what I've seen & heard so far from the DPO, it looks like their action plans may be different this time around as well. But that doesn't matter, since DFO isn't required to only do what the DPO approves. DFO is a separate entity, started in part because of our frustration in not enough being done in regards to tying electeds to their records, what they did in the legislature, etc.

    I think before you make assumptions about groups like DFO that you need to do some research and find out the facts first. Otherwise, you just end up looking like an idiot.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)

    Jenny writes:

    "DPO is the Democratic Party of Oregon. DFO is Democracy for Oregon."

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

    You both are going after Minnis in a very personal manner, thus the Queen Minnis strategy. It matters not that you coined it first, you both are pursuing the same identical strategy. Most elected Democratic leaders already know that and are referring to them collectively as the "Queen Minnis Strategy." They also see it as an impending failure and most want nothing to do with such lunacy.

    I think the research on that is very clear. Maybe if you studied a little campaign history here in Oregon instead of sucking up to national politicians who lost the last time around, you would see that.

    You can preach all you want about how you are different from the P-town crowd, but the more you whine and insult those who have been around the block a time or two for being "idiots," the more you expose yourself as being just another one of those urban progressives attempting to reinvent the wheel for a car that broke down long ago.

    It is that kind of arrogance that has cost us 25% of our party membership since 1990. Look it up.

    Most outside of urbania know nothing of you and the DFA and couldn't care less. That is fortunate. You can't give them what they want anyway, that is a reason to believe. You and the rest of your urban progressives don't know how.

    Before you go off and call a fellow democrat an "idiot,' you may want to heed these words: A true idiot is one who tries the same plan of failure over and over again in the hopes of getting it right.

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    Once again you're showing that you don't know what you're talking about.

    I never talked about sucking up to national politicians. DFO Action does not work on national elections-- it is a state PAC and therefore will only be working on state/local elections. I spend very little time on national elections (or politicians for that matter) because local and state electeds are much more important and have a greater impact on things like education, livability, etc.

    And I've been involved in campaigns and politics here in Oregon for several years now. I'm no newbie to this scene. And I've watched how the DPO and Portlanders tried to run campaigns out here in Eastern Multnomah County. And I've watched them lose time and time again. I've spoken with many, many people out here in regards to what they think their legislators are doing, what they wish they were doing, what issues are important to them, etc.

    I don't know why people seem to assume that people who come up with ideas, campaign messages, etc. that they disagree with must be newbies, don't know the scene, etc. I've been involved in politics and campaigns for more than half my life. I've served as a party officer more than once, was a delegate to the state dem convention in a state where there is fierce competition for those slots, have worked as a campaign manager, and have run for office myself.

    And yes, I know all about the people who have left the Party-- Eastern Multnomah County is filled with them. I know many people who have done exactly that. We've also been talking to those people over the past weeks. Our message is working well with them-- and these are the people who will be voting on the race next November.

    It doesn't matter if the Minnis message resonates all that well in the rural areas of Oregon-- they don't vote on her. The only place the message has to work is in her district. And so far things are going well. You have to target your message to the people who are the ones doing the voting-- trying to run a state-wide message just won't work in Eastern Multnomah County. That's why the Party has been so unsuccessful in winning this seat-- this is an area that wants to be paid attention to. You have to spend time to find out their needs, their wants, their issues, etc. It's the same thing in the rural areas of the state. They're areas that have been historically ignored, and as such will need extra attention in order for them to trust you and listen.

    Once we have other targeted districts and candidates, we'll craft messages for those areas. But right now the only district we've targeted is District 49-- which is Troutdale, Fairview, Wood Village, a good sized chunk of Gresham, and some unincorporated areas of the county.

    There are plenty of people outside of "urbania" that know about DFA. We have plenty of members in both DFA and DFO who live in rural areas across Oregon and the nation. During the Presidential election cycle we had meetups going in rural areas all over the state of Oregon. We still keep in touch with those people via our e-mail list. You can try to say it's not true, but I've seen the mail list-- I set it up and administer it. I've also spoken with DFA/DFO members across the state. There are plenty of them out there-- a lot of them are people who were fed up with the Democratic Party and left years ago. We've been helping to bring them back.

    We are not going after Minnis in a "very personal matter." We're going after her record, her blocking democracy from happening in the House, the fact that she's done almost nothing for her district, etc. While we may call her "Queen Karen" and have an image of her with a crown, that's about 2% of our entire message. It's what grabs people's attentions and gets them looking further. But our message focuses heavily on what she's done, what she hadn't done, who her contributors are, etc. We're working to show that in all her time in office she's done almost nothing for the district. That while Laurie Monnes Anderson has been in there fighting for bills that would bring in more state dollars to the area, Minnis hasn't. It isn't that hard to sponsor a bill, yet you never see her name on bills that would have brought money and services into the area. The state senator and "sister" house district's rep are typically both sponsors, but goings back to 2001 you can't find her name on any of them. Bragging that you voted on an item that passed almost unanimously is not an achievement..

    I didn't call you an idiot. I said that if you continue to preach on items that you claim as fact that are indeed completely untrue, it will make you look like an idiot. That's typically what happens when you spout items that many people know to be untrue.

    As I said above, it's obvious from what you say that your "facts" are based on assumptions on your part or on second-hand info that is incorrect.

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    What she said!!!!

    Jenni, you rock.

    Stan, your commentary is laced with grand, sweeping, venomous generalizations born of frustrations that we are not responsible for. You seem to be so intensely attached to your unhappiness with your targeted group to hate 'urban progressives' that you seem incapable of discussing the positive actions and strategies you would like. Maybe if you did that, you could then take the next step and start acting on your plans and vision? Go for it. Get your email list fired up and go for it. Action is the cure for this non-stop carping and complaining you are doing. Go out there and unite the progressive movement in this state under your shining, positive, attractive message, and we will watch in awe. Good luck!

  • LT (unverified)

    true idiot is one who tries the same plan of failure over and over again in the hopes of getting it right.

    Yes, and the true idiocy is not people in Minnis's area (her district or a neighboring district) saying they don't like her voting record and her attitude which some equate to the "Good to be Queen" merchandise from Mary Engelbreight. (I caused a young female staffer for a Republican member to go into gales of laughter by suggesting someone with money should buy the Speaker a gift--the ME website has a whole page of the "good to be Queen" merchandise.)

    By the end of the 2005 session, there were Republicans who had gotten really tired of the Imperial Speaker.

    True idiocy is people who don't live in a district telling the people who do live in a district how to run their election. AND, people who are on a payroll as political staffers telling Democrats something other than what Rep. Buckley has been saying. If Buckley represents caucus policy, then any staffer who says something different than Buckley to any candidate is not following caucus policy.

    THAT--and not attacks on Mme Speaker--is what has been tried over and over and over and over until many of us are so disgusted we don't know who to trust anymore.

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    Great post. That's exactly right.

    Since I don't live in Minnis' district-- I live in the "sister" district that's represented by John Lim-- I don't tell people here how to run their election. However, I do work together with them since the issues, people, etc. of the two districts are very much the same. I think that's an important way those of us outside the district can help-- give those in her district the resources, info, etc. they need so that they can win their district.

    And I agree about the problems with people from other areas telling people how to run an election in their district or contradicting people who are supposed to represent the group. Too often groups try to come in here and tell us that we need to run our elections based on this statewide message-- it doesn't work and it loses elections.

    <h2>Hopefully with those of us in east county starting early, we can work together to put a democrat into the house district 49 and 50 seats.</h2>

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