What's next for Jim Hill?

Jimhill_5In Saturday's Salem Statesman-Journal, former gubernatorial candidate and state treasurer Jim Hill discussed his future plans - or lack thereof.

Despite losing two statewide primaries, Jim Hill said it's premature to say "never again."

Hill, a former state treasurer from Salem, said his second loss to Ted Kulongoski in a Democratic primary for governor will not sway him one way or another -- for the moment.

"It's too soon after the election," Hill said. "One thing I have learned in this process is never to make a decision until some time has passed."

Hill also expressed support for an open primary - and opposition to a nonpartisan primary:

He still is a member of the Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature, in which he supported a proposal for an open primary election. However, he said voters should know the political affiliations of their legislative candidates if there is an open primary.

"I am a Democrat for a reason, and most people know the difference between Democrats and Republicans," he said. "I think it is important that people know what you stand for."

What's next for Jim Hill? Should he hang up his spurs - or seek another office? If so, which one?


  • (Show?)

    Now that the primary's over, I'd personally like to see him endorse the Governor publicly. Kulongoski's for higher fuel efficiency standards, Saxton's not. The Governor supported payday loan reform in the regular session, Westlund did not (although he voted for it in the special session). Saxton's still against the payday loan measure and he's all for going after illegal immigration as long as wealthy employers aren't penalized. And a Saxton election would be a Godsend to the next Republican Presidential nominee.

    Jim put together a remarkably solid effort considering his late start, but endorsing Ted's the right thing to do now. He started the race talking about who's the "best Democrat" -- now it's his turn to be a "good Democrat" and help prevent four years of Republican rule.

  • (Show?)

    That's interesting. Did Mr. Hill not endorse the Governor? He repeatedly said he would endorse the winner during the primary.

    If he hasn't, that's the last nail in the coffin for him - and his chances of ever succeeding the Governor in office. No one likes a sore loser.

  • (Show?)

    Not to my knowledge -- but I'd love to be corrected if I'm wrong about this. If Jim's not endorsed yet -- and again, I'm pretty sure he hasn't yet -- he really should because it's the right thing to do. I think Jim could run for office again, but by not endorsing quickly he seems to be setting up an unnecessary impediment for himself.

  • LT (unverified)

    Seems to me the smartest thing Ted could do is call Jim and ask if they could host some kind of a unity event in the next several weeks. That would be a gracious move from someone who didn't spend a lot of time debating or answering questions from other candidates or the general public.

    People may get tired of hearing me say this, but the election will be decided by voters who probably don't know or care if any primary loser has publicly endorsed the winner.

    And I know from experience that winning primary campaigns who reach out to those (esp. the volunteers) who didn't support them have a lot easier fall election season than the campaigns whose attitude is "we won, you owe us your unquestioning support ".

    Mannix is "toast" because he's not only lost multiple statewide elections but because he's lost respect--alienated people by the way he ran the state GOP, from what I hear.

    I would submit that one reason for the rising number not affiliated with any party can be partly due to comments like "He started the race talking about who's the "best Democrat" -- now it's his turn to be a "good Democrat" and help prevent four years of Republican rule."

    So how does that attract voters who don't care about party label, they care about issues and solutions?

    If Democrats can't win by convincing voters that they have better proposals on health care, tax restructuring, education, public safety, etc., whether someone is a "good Democrat" really won't matter in November.

  • (Show?)

    First, the "good Democrat/bad Democrat" party label thing is directly from Hill's own campaign announcement, LT. Also, what makes you think that Ted's campaign hasn't already reached out and called? Finally, as we have said on many, many occasions, blue oregon is not a voter contact tool -- especially for undecided or independent voters.

  • Ben Dover (unverified)

    From Jim Hill's campaign website:

    "I don’t know anyone who isn’t disappointed with our current Governor’s leadership. We have had more than three years of the current administration’s failures and a continued attempt to define an agenda and grabbing at Republican solutions."

    That sure doesn't sound like bridge-building to me....

  • (Show?)

    So, does this mean he's not endorsing the Open Primary ballot initiative?

    As far as I know (and somebody please clarify if you can), the Open Primary initiative wouldn't prevent anybody from running "with a party." Not sure whether candidates' party affiliation would appear on the ballot or not.

    It seems odd for him to go on the record about the subject, but declare no position on the proposal that is on the table.

  • J. Smalls (unverified)

    I wonder why Jim Hill didn't attend the Democratic Convention last weekend? That would have a perfect venue for a kiss and make up session, by, I don't know, offering to glowingly introduce the gov's dinner speech?

    His window's closed and it closed after relying on bad staff for his last two campaigns (not Jef, a notable exception), and by questioning all of our integrity by falsely insinuating there was an ongoing whisper campaign amongst insiders because of his race.

    Never say never, Jim, but just keep saying it forever.

  • David (unverified)

    I thought it was strange Jim wasn't there last weekend too. He was listed in the program as one of the Keynote speakers but simply wasn't there.

  • (Show?)

    I'm not sure if Jim has endorsed the One Ballot measure, but he said he supports an open primary - but opposed a nonpartisan primary... which is exactly what One Ballot is. An open primary with partisan identifications on the ballot.

  • Jef Green, Jim Hill for Governor Campaign I & II (unverified)

    I think there was an attempted back door compliment in that last post. If so thank you but as Jim's Finance Director for his first campaign and Manager of his second, I take responsibility for the highs and lows of both efforts. Efforts of which I am proud of because I worked my ass off along with the other talented supporters to elect an outstanding public servant, good friend and as solid as they get Democrat.

    Let’s clear a couple of things up. On one occasion did Jim bring up a whisper campaign in regards to the 2002 primary and that was as a very small part of his broad topic announcement this February. We didn't discuss it before or after but I think it was important for him to address it up front because there was a lot of talk within the Democrat establishment about whether Oregonians would elect an African-American governor and I know for a fact that it affected the support that was available to us in 2002 primary.

    I am not going to rehash the details or the arguments of the two primaries because like Jim I am turning my attention to finding constructive ways to elect Democrats in November.

    Jim has not made a public endorsement in the governor's race. When HE feels the time is right;

    1) he will 2) it will be meaningful 3) it will be in best interest of Democrats and the state of Oregon.

  • Clockwatcher (unverified)

    When HE feels the time is right

    Now seems like a good time, since silence implies that Ted is unworthy of his endorsement. Meanwhile, should-be Ted voters are hearing a lot from other candidates.

  • Jef Green (unverified)

    One additional note:

    The website has not been updated and reflects our effort to win the Primary. Don't read anything into the website in regards to Jim's post primary efforts.

  • (Show?)

    One of the things I've learned from hanging around the Party, is that there are plenty of things that could be going on behind the scenes nobodies like us don't know about.

    There are no idiots in the Governor's campaign, so I'd be extremely suprised if feelers hadn't been sent out to the Hill campaign by now. So if Mr. Hill hasn't endorsed the Governor, you can be pretty certain that it's intentional on his part.

    The best interpretation for Hill is my pure speculation. Perhaps Hill simply couldn't bring himself to giving more than tepid support, and Governor's campaign decided that silence would be better than a bunch of backhanded complements that could further inflame tensions in the rank and file. That would explain Mr. Hill's sudden conspicuous absence from the Oregon State Party convention, where die-hard liberal supporters of Hill might very well outnumber fans of Kulongoski. The last thing we need is a real, or perceived, split in the party - when we have a chance to pick up the Oregon House.

    I remember during Dean's speech, that our Chairman went out of his way to repeatedly call for support for Ted, while the latter stood behind him, looking for all the world like he was nervous to be in front of that audience.

    Certainly, I'm nervous. As Marcus Zuniga (Kos - of Daily Kos) has pointed out, 2006 is shaping up to be a "base" election. The last thing we need is for the GOP to yet again turn out their homophobic bigots while union supporters withold support because of what various Sizemore initiatives forced Mr. Kulongoski to do.

  • LT (unverified)

    Thanks, Jef. Glad to know at least someone believes Jim Hill didn't lose all his ability to make decisions on his own timetable just because he lost a primary.

    There has been some discussion in the Legislative Commission on why it is sometimes hard to recruit candidates.

    Seems to me that the message "if you run in a primary and lose, you not only lose the nomination but also lose the right to make your own decisions" might be a deal breaker for some people.

    A friend of mine lost a legislative primary in 2004, and was still unhappy about some of what transpired in the primary (esp. opponent tactics) and now has a good job outside of politics. Others I have known over the years grew sour about politics when they lost a close or nasty campaign and were told they owed their party something afterwards. Where is that written? Certainly not in the Constitution or election laws. And as far as "custom" there was a time when it was customary for white males to win elective office. There was a time when women were supposed to stay home and raise kids. There was a time when no one was supposed to register outside a major party. I have never subscribed to the "team" theory--that everyone had to choose R or D, never vote for the candidates of the other party or even have friends in the other party. Life would be really dull that way.

    So, "blue oregon is not a voter contact tool ". (But don't activists want to debate how to contact voters?) But supposedly it is "gather around the water cooler" conversation.

    I wouldn't engage in water cooler conversations where one group of people said someone's actions cost them the right to make their own decisions using their own time frame. I'd find people who were discussing books, or movies, or history, or something else which didn't involve peer pressure. Maybe that's because I have not spent my whole life backing candidates of the same party.

    Maybe that's why I am an Independent-leaning voter, and why I'd rather be involved with individual candidates of my choice than with party politics. And I'm not the only person who feels that way.

    Andy Kohut the pollster said on TV recently that while there is lots of talk about "the base", most general elections are decided by independent voters. That appears to have been true in the 7 Oregon House races decided in 2004 by less than 1000 votes. And in the 2006 elections, do Democrats want the votes of those who voted in 2004 for Bush and Hooley or Bush and Wyden?

    But there I go again quoting election results when someone else talks theory. Ten years ago in face to face conversations, some people I'd known in politics for years had that attitude--how dare I quote election returns to back up my side of an argument! (I was doing the "brilliant theory mugged by a gang of facts" which some people so detest.)

    I don't think most voters care whether every primary loser has endorsed the winner by the end of the first 10 days in June. If that makes me unwelcome at Blue Oregon, then I have better uses for my time.

  • LT (unverified)

    One more thing: Great remarks, Steven.

    I would just point out about this: " while union supporters withold support because of what various Sizemore initiatives forced Mr. Kulongoski to do."

    that if Ted wants another term, Ted needs to explain what he felt forced to do. If Ted can't explain what Ted did as Gov., maybe it is time for Westlund, who strikes me as the best on the current political scene at explaining his own actions.

  • J. Smalls (unverified)


    That wasn't a "back door" compliment at all. It was a full-fledged one. I still can't figure out how you managed to keep your head above water when working around the likes of Maria Smithson. By simply hiring her makes me question Jim's decision making ability.

    The whole "whisper campaign" thing, yeah Jim only mentioned it once, but it was heard from supporters over and over again.

    It's time for your guy to get to it.

  • (Show?)

    LT: If Ted wants another term, Ted needs to explain what he felt forced to do

    He has. Repeatedly.

    He came into office stuck with a 25% shortfall in State revenues - a number so absurd, I find it difficult to describe. Thanks to the "kicker", he had no rainy day fund to tap. So instead he managed to persuade GOP moderates to back a modest tax increase (Measure 30). The voters shot that down immediately, of course, because they prefer tax cuts to good schools and good jobs for their kids. So he did his best squeezing everything he could, while simultaneously trying to minimize the long-term damage. And - at the same time - went on a business recruitment rampage to get new jobs back into the state, at which he's been remarkably successful.

    Liberals have a lot of misplaced anger at Kulongoski. They really should be mad at Republicans and Independents who believe you can get something for nothing if you just put a law in the State Constitution.

    All I can say is - as it is with Bill Clinton - a lot of people may not respect Ted Kulongoski now, but they will once he's gone.

  • (Show?)

    Westlund, who strikes me as the best on the current political scene at explaining his own actions.

    Maybe that's just because he has a lot of explaining to do.

  • j.biddy (unverified)

    Ditto to what Kari said.

  • j.biddy (unverified)

    The newest post on BlueOregon is about Gordon Smith and the FMA. Maybe Jim Hill should run against Smith in '08. Though, admittedly, I'm secretly hoping for a Kitzhaber run.

  • (Show?)

    Couldn't agree with you more Steven Maurer, well said. Displaced anger towards Kulongoski is plain stupid because all Ted was forced to do was rescue Oregon, that's all. HE DID IT. We are the 5th fastest growing economy in the states after starting out in a deep hole when Ted took office. As for Jim Hill, his campaign divided Dems, besides he's so over the Hill, heh heh, his endorsement of Kulongoski is small potatoes. We should all be darned scared of a Saxton/Westlund win. It's time to put the primary behind us and move forward to re-elect Ted. It's time for Dems to deliver!

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    Kari should have been more explicit. Ben Westlund wrote an argument in favor of Measure 36. I must admit I'm disappointed.

    I realize it's common for people on blogs to write "I used to be for (insert candidate) until I found out (insert smear)" when they never supported that candidate. But I honestly was a Ben Westlund supporter.

    Not any more. Too bad.

  • LT (unverified)

    Paulie: if Hill had won, would you have supported him?

    You remind me of a primary which ended in a recount. Some people I knew thought it sad about who lost, but not just because of the identity of that candidate. Many thought it would have been amusing to see some of the "support the nominee" crowd's reactions if their candidate had lost.

    I know this is not a "voter contact site". But does anyone really believe the way to convince Hill supporters to campaign for Ted is to make fun of their candidate?

  • LT (unverified)

    Gee, how long has it been since a Democrat or even a moderate Republican won an election E. of the Cascades? If I were you, I'd check out who the Democratic nominee for St. Sen. District 27 was last time around.

    Ben Westlund favored 36 but unlike those who said gay marriage didn't outlaw civil unions and then opposed the civil unions bill, as I recall Ben Westlund got lots of praise for his support of the civil unions bill in the Senate.

    Is that (to steal a title from Gore) an "inconvenient truth"?

    Do Ted's supporters only want the votes of those who voted against 36?

  • Where's Jim? (unverified)

    Jim disappeared after 2002 only to resurface meaner and nastier and without any explanation of what he would have been differently that Ted. I'm not surprised he wasn't at the DPO convention. I would be surprised if we saw him until right before he decides to run again. I voted for him in 2002 and was so disappointed when we disappeared.

  • Pete Forsyth (unverified)

    Jef Green said:

    One additional note:

    The website has not been updated and reflects our effort to win the Primary. Don't read anything into the website in regards to Jim's post primary efforts.

    Jef, I'd suggest getting outdated messages off the web as soon as possible.

    You never know who might go to the web site and get the wrong impression. For a small effort, you can avoid all kinds of problems.

    I've been looking at a ton of campaign web sites this season, and can tell you that you're not alone...but that doesn't mean it's not important.

    FWIW, -Pete

  • (Show?)

    If Hill had won, I would have supported him in the general election.

    Enthusiastically. Walking my precinct and all.

    As for Westlund, I find it ironic, LT, that you go all pragmatic on us with Westlund's anti-gay vote, clearly implying that he only did it to stay politically viable.

    Too bad you won't extend that same understanding to our sitting Governor when he talks about economic issues.

    Of course, even with that point, Westlund still loses. The man didn't have to author a voters pamphlet piece. He could have simply kept quiet, or perhaps mentioned to a few of his friends he was in favor of it, if asked.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more I get disconcerted by your double-standard between Westlund and Kulongoski. It makes me wonder if there isn't something else that's motivating you. Did something happen between you and Ted that we all should know about?

  • Pete Forsyth (unverified)

    Kari Chisholm said:

    ...a nonpartisan primary... which is exactly what One Ballot is. An open primary with partisan identifications on the ballot.

    Thanks Kari, but I'm still a little lost in the jargon. Just to be totally clear, are you saying that:

    1. One Ballot is nonpartisan
    2. One Ballot allows for partisan ID's on the ballot
    3. Jim Hill opposes One Ballot, because (1) is what he was talking about, not (2).
    Did I get that right?

  • (Show?)

    Steven Maurer my guess it's a personal issue with LT...transparent anger amid many cogent comments on almost any topic except Governor Kulongoski.

    My conspiracy theory is a group of spoilers, probably Republicans got to Hill and convinced him to run in the primary to try to topple Kulongoski. As to the "whispering campaign, I spend a lot of time in Southern Oregon, folks didn't know who he was or that he was African American.

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    If Mr. Hill wants to run for Senate against Gordon Smith, I hope he announces it here, and I hope he asks me for my help.

    Give Early, Give Often


  • LT (unverified)



    Very interesting endorsement editorial written by people I have never met. So maybe my views are more widespread than some would like to believe?

    ~~~~~~~ Is this a left handed compliment?

    "Steven Maurer my guess it's a personal issue with LT...transparent anger amid many cogent comments on almost any topic except Governor Kulongoski."

    I'm old enough to remember the 1982 campaign. This campaign so far reminds me of that one. There's something wrong with saying that publicly?

    Because I don't say "Oh Great Ted, you are infallible and I will drop my involvement with any other campaign and use all my spare time to get you re-elected" I have "transparent anger"?

    More like "after 30 years of political involvement, I realize my spare time belongs to me and is not owed to any campaign except those I choose to support".

    Very interesting state legislative races in my district and nearby. I choose those over Gov. campaign.

  • (Show?)

    Pete -- Yeah, sorry, I guess I wasn't clear before.

    One Ballot is NOT a nonpartisan primary. One Ballot is an open primary, but all candidates will have their party ID listed after their names.

    I don't know if Jim Hill supports the ballot measure or not - but he said he supports an open primary, but opposes a nonpartisan one. That's exactly what I believe, too, FWIW.

  • Definitions (unverified)

    A note on jargon:

    Technically, an "open primary" is a primary in which non-party-members can vote with a party in the primary election. In many states, independents may show up at the polls on Election Day and vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. In some states, even a Democrat can decide to vote in the Republican primary. However, an open primary still involves a partisan ballot, and a voter is allowed to vote in only one party's primary.

    By contrast, a "blanket primary" is what is being proposed by the One-Ballot campaign in Oregon. This is a primary in which all voters receive one ballot with all of the candidates listed and they can vote for anyone they choose. A nonpartisan blanket primary is similar to the run-off system in Oregon nonpartisan races (e.g., Portland city council), in which party affiliations are not listed on the ballot. A partisan blanket primary is what the One-Ballot proposal seeks to institue: a run-off system in which there is a single primary ballot for everyone but party affiliations are listed.

    Partisan blanket primaries have nearly always been held unconstitutional because they try to have it both ways -- they permit party to be a factor in the race, but they do not allow parties to choose their own nominees. Courts have held that this violates the right of party members to freely associate an express themselves by choosing their own nominees.

    A major source of confusion is that the One Ballot folks have decided to call their proposal an "open primary," but what they are proposing is, in fact, a blanket primary. This may explain the confusion with Jim Hill's statement.

  • (Show?)

    Definitions and Kari:

    Thanks very much. That clarifies it perfectly.

    I looked at the Wikipedia entry for Blanket Primary. Apparently California, Alaska, and Washington have had versions of the Blanket Primary struck down by the courts. It survives in Louisiana.

    If I understand the Wikipedia entry correctly (and if it is correct), Louisiana is unlike those other states, in that the top two advance to the General Election regardless of party.

    Perhaps that is the aspect that makes it legal? Not sure how it worked in CA, AK, or WA.

    In my view, it's absurd that all taxpayers fund and conduct primary elections on behalf of the "big two" parties. And it's disgusting that a Democrat in a Republican district (or vice-versa, or an independent in ANY gerrymandered district) should have no voice in chosing his legislators.

    Almost anything that addresses those issues is a step in the right direction.

    And although it would be technically possible under One Ballot to cast a tactical vote, to do so successfully would require an extraordinary ability to call elections. Not something I'm going to lose much sleep over.

    The more I learn about One Ballot, the more I like it. Thanks for your help in distinguishing "open" vs. "blanket."

  • (Show?)

    Def -- Pete has it right, though. The CA/WA blanket primaries were thrown out because they didn't have the top two advance. They just had the top D and the top R advance (and sometimes the top one of any other party).

    The One Ballot measure is a hybrid of the traditional open and traditional blanket primaries. All voters can vote on a single ballot on which all candidates are listed with their party ID's. The top two - regardless of party - advance.

    Unlike the CA/WA blankets, the One Ballot doesn't allow non-party members to choose a party's nominees. It's just that the party no longer would select its nominees through the state-funded primary system.

    Pete, if you're liking the One Ballot idea, I'd head over to OneBallot.com, read more, and then sign up to get some petitions. They're in a last-minute crunch. They've got one month left and thousands of signatures to get.

  • Definitions (unverified)

    Actually, Kari, that's not totally accurate. After the Ninth Circuit struck down the Washington blanket primary system, the state changed its primary to a "top two" run-off system just like the One-Ballot initiative would do. A federal district court similarly struck this solution down (in Washington v. Logan) for the reason I explained above: you can't have it both ways by having a partisan election without a partisan nomination process, because the parties are deprived free expression and association.

    Kari, you seem to be saying that the One-Ballot initiative separates the party nomination process from the state-funded primary process. In other words, if I understand you correctly, parties will still nominate one or more candidates, but they will do so through the old-fashioned convention (or smokey backroom) method.

    Thus, the One-Ballot system simply creates two general elections based on a run-off model. I don't understand -- how does this increase voter participation? It seems that there is much more participation in the current system. (Unless you believe more voters will participate in the primary under this system than currently participate in the General Election, which I highly doubt.)

    It seems clear to me that the One-Ballot initiative is both bad public policy and unconstitutional.

  • Star Holmberg (unverified)

    As I recall, the question we are all being asked is, "What's next for Jim Hill?"

    Well, I have a hope in regards to what is next for this man of integrity that I supported and campaigned for -- Jim Hill. I sure would like to see Jim Hill invited on board by the Governor (if he hasn't been already), perhaps in a consultant capacity or with some other title appropriate to the skills he would bring to the Governor's office. This would be wayyyyyy outside the box and comfort zone of many who expect business as usual to be the order of the day.

    But heck, why not?! (I have no doubt some of you will have a response to this.) To quote an associate of mine, "If you keep doing things the same old way, and it keeps not working, maybe it is time to change the way you do things."

    By the way, I do believe I heard Jim Hill say (during one of the debates) that he would support whichever candidate won the spot on the Democratic ticket. I do not have expectations in terms of WHEN he makes some sort of official announcement. He is a human being, just like the rest of us, and he does have a life.

    Wow, what a concept!

  • (Show?)

    Kari and Def:

    re: getting involved, been there, been doing that...didn't know there was only a month left though. Guess I'd better start turning all those "sure, I'd sign that"s into actual signatures.

    re: all the good info, thanks again. I'm trying to use the leads you've provided to improve some woefully inadequate Wikipedia entries.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    Once upon a time, there were decent moderate Republicans like Hatfield and McCall. Today's "moderate" Republican, Ron Saxton, has esentially called for dismanteling state government and he ran what would have to be called a racist primary campaign on the issue of immigration. I hope and expect Hill, SEIU, and other disaffected Democrats and unions to get behind our Governor. I've been interested in Westlund's candidacy and admire him in many ways, but I think you have to say that Ted Kulongoski is the one who has most often been the friend of progressive Oregonians.

  • LT (unverified)

    Grant, Your idea is commendable.

    But Star's comment also makes sense to me (and not just the part that Jim Hill is a human being who has a life). I sure would like to see Jim Hill invited on board by the Governor (if he hasn't been already), perhaps in a consultant capacity or with some other title appropriate to the skills he would bring to the Governor's office.

    I was at a Democratic gathering tonight, and during the break an old friend and I were discussing the Gov. campaign. This person had been a Kitzhaber appointee on a commission but was not retained by Kulongoski. We also talked about why on earth Ted nominated AuCoin and Bryant to positions. One of a governor's jobs is appointments to boards and commissions. If someone has evidence that Westlund would appoint only right wingers, they should provide that evidence. But he seems to have been pretty bipartisan in his recent Senate actions--so much so I seem to recall some Deschutes County residents wanted to recall him. I think Gov. appointments should be a part of the public discussion--what sort of person would they appoint and why? Do they believe in cleaning out holdovers? And if they do so with explanation or unceremoniously? Let's hear them talk about whether they would appoint professionals with solid work in the field, or just "good ol' boys".

    I have a neighbor who thinks the current Gov. hasn't done much. Seems to me it is Ted's responsibility to say over and over what his proudest achievements are. He may have listed every one of his achievements umpteen times at venues attended by political junkies. But does the average voter spend 10 minutes a month thinking about politics? Didn't I hear there was a workshop recently talking about just that?

    Glad to have someone here compliment Westlund and not fall for the "just another Republican" spin.

    There is a lot of truth to the old saying "once burned twice shy". If someone has had a positive experience in the last year having a conversation with Westlund and only seen Kulongoski on TV, why shouldn't they vote for the person they've talked with in person if they were impressed?

    People who put their heart and soul into the 2002 election didn't sign a contract saying they'd never question anything Ted ever did. And if such people have questions, remarks like "...but I think you have to say that Ted Kulongoski is the one who has most often been the friend of progressive Oregonians" won't necessarily motivate them to become Ted for Gov. volunteers.

    Friends of legislative candidates do them a favor by critiquing their speeches ("make absolutely sure of that detail" or " look straight ahead when quoting a fact" or " is that number you quoted from the special session?").

    Call it heresy if you want, but I don't see Ted getting re-elected by his supporters claiming he's above all that. He was wonderfully outspoken on the kicker, but then his staff tried to dial that back. Which led to a friend saying Ted needs staff with guts.

    It may be, as one friend said tonite, that Starrett bleeds urban right wingers away from Saxton.

    But I still say Ted is responsible for Ted's campaign, and I'd rather re-register Indep. than be told all good Democrats give unquestioning support to the nominee.

    I think there is a future for Hill in Democratic politics. Why be involved in politics if someone with that knowledge base and speaking ability is "through in politics" just because he hasn't satisfied some partisans with his level of public support for the nominee?

    Maybe someone can answer this question: When did Pete Sorenson publicly endorse Ted? If he didn't, is that the "last nail in the coffin" of his political career as someone said above about Hill?

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