Zogby: Kulongoski leads Saxton, but race tight

A new poll released today by Zogby and the Wall Street Journal shows the gubernatorial race rather tight, but with Governor Ted Kulongoski leading. Per the Oregonian blog:

Zogby, in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal online, shows Kulongoski at 40 percent, Saxton at 38 percent and Westlund at 10 percent. Without Westlund, who is still collecting the signatures needed to qualify, Kulongoski leads, 49 percent to 42 percent.

More details here, but ya gotta click on "gubernatorial" and then "oregon".

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    Although we don't know who Westlund's voters will ultimately be, I guess this clears up one question: right now, anyway, more potential Kulongoski voters have gotten interested in Ben than Saxton voters.

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)

    You're right, Jeff. But unlike Ted, Ben was actively involved in the last legislative session and actually (gasp!) showed up to work. I'm less terrified at the thought of Governor Westlund than four more years of Ted Kulongoski not doing his job. And say what you will about Saxton, but he has yet to prove his failure of leadership. Ted has spent the last three years doing exactly that.

  • Jonathan (unverified)

    Isn't another pretty important thing about this poll that it shows there are not many people who are expressly undecided?

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    Former Salem Staffer: ...say what you will about Saxton, but he has yet to prove his failure of leadership. Ted has spent the last three years doing exactly that.

    If you want Saxton for Governor, why don't you come right out and say so?

    What is it about extremists/conservatives that they constantly feel they have to lie? "Yes, yes, I've always been one of those Democrat, seriously, but if they would only open their hearts to Rush Limbaugh, they'd realise he's right!!!"

    FSS? Go jump in a lake.

  • DifferentSalemStaffer (unverified)

    Rowr! Such anger in the kool-aid drinkers. And for what? Doesn't sound to me like FSS wants Saxton for guv.

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)


    First off, I'm not an "extremist." Second, I simply stated that there would be worst things for the state than to have Ben Westlund as governor. I don't come out and say I want Saxton for governor because I wouldn't mind having Westlund either. I know him, and I like him. What did I lie about? Ted Kulongoski is a lousy governor, and was nowhere to be found during the last session. Ask anyone who was actually there. I might, however, take some of your advice. But instead of jumping in a lake, it might have to be a river. I missed a chance to go rafting this weekend, and wouldn't mind beating the 100-plus degree heat. As for you Steve, I would suggest smoking a bowl, drinking a beer, or following some of your advice and jumping in a lake--whatever it takes to get you to chill out.

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    Hey, FSS and DSS, can you guys disclose whether you're working for any of the candidates for governor? I'm picking up a strong whiff of self-interest in a number of your recent posts.

    That's one of the guidelines 'round here - disclose your affiliations.

    (As for me, I built TedForGov.com in 2002 and 2006, but I don't speak for the governor or his campaign.)

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    With the exception of his military funeral attendance (War is the answer?) Ted has done nothing that will excite the voting pubic on either side of the electorate. There are a lot of people like me who would rather put an ice-pick in their eye than vote Republican, but I can't say I am a supporter of Ted. I think he is as dead as a piece of liver on the sidewalk in SE Portland, but maybe I am wrong. I hope so.

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    Mr. Staffer,

    The question is not a choice between Ted and Ben. It is a choice between Ted and Ron. This poll shows not only that Ben's support comes from more Dems than Repubs, but surprise, surprise, he has only 10% support. Yes, that can grow, but it would take a total collapse of one or both of Ted and Ron's campaigns for Ted to get to the 40% necessary to win. It is always possible that the Oregonian will report that one of them has been arrested as a child molestor between now and November. Short of that, one of them will win the election. Ben will make the ballot, but he will not have the funds or the organization to play a roll other than spoiler.

    Both Ted and Ron are rallying their bases now and will have strong party support by the end of September. Then it will be fighting for the last two percent to win. As this becomes clear, Ben's support will drift down as many realize that they are "wasting" their vote by voting for someone who will not win. This happens in virtually every election to 3rd party candidates in spite of the claims each time that this time it is different. The only times that this scenario does not happen is when the 3rd party candidate is as well known as the other candidates, not true for Ben, an organization has been set up in advance, Ben started too late, and both of the major party candidates imploded. I know because a classmate of mine became the independent governor of Maine this way. So I know it can be done, but this is not the year and Ben is not the guy to make this happen.

  • torridjoe (unverified)

    Couple of things-- this is a Zogby interactive poll, not a random sample poll. They solicit respondents over the internet (I'm one of them), so they're not getting a pure scientific snapshot of the electorate. At this stage of the game, polling over the internet is kind of like phone polling the FDR/Wilkie race.

    Even Zogby's random sample polls aren't that great--both SUSA and Rasmussen were clearly more accurate in 2004.

    Lastly, it's not at ALL clear who Ben helps or hurts in this race, ultimately. #1, he's not even on the ballot, and most of what people know is what they read in the media, as opposed to what they actually hear Westlund say (and what Kulo and Saxton will say about him). #2, look at the spreads. Kulo loses 9 points from 2-way to 3-way; Saxton a little over 5 points. HOWEVER: The undecided vote jumped from 9 to 12. Hypothesize that most if not all of that is Kulo bleed, and you now have a 6 point loss to Ben, 3 points to undecided, with Saxton losing his 5 points again.

    With a 3.8% margin and the still-untenable measurement techniques, my conclusion is we should wait until Rasmussen and SUSA start running 3-way comparisons.

    Speaking of SUSA, no one has mentioned that Kulo picked up 7 points of approval since last month, up to 39. Not great, but out of the crazy-danger zone.

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)


    I'm not working for anybody running for governor, though I have met Felix Schein and Stacey Dycus on separate occasions. In terms of affiliations, I am a member of the press, and will be at least until the end of the year. I hope this clears things up. I'll be more forthcoming in a few months, but I'm working on things right now that prevent me from complete disclosure. I will proudly say, however, that I spent the 05 session drinking all the Democratic staffers under the table every night. 'Nuff said.

  • DifferentSalemStaffer (unverified)

    As for me, I'd be fired for expressing my personal opinions. I am not employed by any gubernatorial campaign. (Though I have gotten friends and family to sign Westlund's petition on my own time.)

    ... and I think I know who FSS is now, though the memory is hazy on account of the booze.

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    No, I don't think it's "'Nuff said".

    Anyone who bills himself as any form of Salem staffer, whether former or current should explicitly say whether they were/are staff for a Democrat or a Republican in every thread touching on politics in Salem.

    If you want to brag about being a lush that's fine too but it's not necessary information. I do, however, want to know from what political perspective you concluded Ted Kulongoski has been a do-nothing governor.

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)


    I conclude Ted Kulongoski has been a do-nothing governor from the perspective of somebody who was actually in the damn building every day, staring at the governor's empty parking spot! And yes, I did work for a Republican. A huge asshole of a Republican. That isn't any indication of my true beliefs, thoughts or opinions, though.

  • torridjoe (unverified)

    FSS--where was the parking spot? Mahonia Hall? Is he obligated to participate in a legislative session?

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    Okay kids, the vitriol is getting pretty high in here so I thought I would post and see if we couldn't crank it up a notch or two.

    First these numbers are about the same as last month which showed In a 3 way race, the Governor at 39.6%, Ron Saxton 36.6% and State Senator Ben Westlund at 10.1. And are improved compared to the Zogby poll conducted at the end of March, Westlund received 10.3 percent of the vote, while Gov. Kulongoski pulled in 32.5 percent and Saxton received 33.7 percent.

    What is important with these numbers is that since March, we’ve made the biggest gains while support for State Senator Ben Westlund and Ron Saxton is flat.

    This should be disheartening for the Westlund campaign because they have spent upwards of $300,000 during this period of time including significant television buys. Westlund has no traction at this point in the campaign and this is a very bad sign for him ever gaining any real momentum.

    Anyway, I need to get back to work but I thought I would stop by and say hi. By the way I find who is posting attacking the Governor very interesting, a bunch of disgruntled Republican, ex-legislative staffers with nether the wit or skill to make a real difference. But who see politics as frat party.

  • JHL (unverified)

    Yes, Kulo has bounced. That's generally what happens when you hit bottom.

    But whether it's simply the physics of falling objects or that Mr. Ross is an exceptional manager remains to be seen. It'll certainly be interesting!

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    Live in Multnomah County and want to make sure Ted's elected in November? Come out and help us drop literature on voters' doors this Saturday.

    As we'll be cutting turf according to where people live (you'll be working in your own precinct), we need to know in advance who will be coming.

    It'll be quick and easy, and a great way to inform the voters in your precinct.

    You can click on my name above, or go to http://www.multdems.org/reunion to sign up.

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    Over here at the Westlund campaign, we are thrilled to be at 10%! We're not even on the ballot yet- although now that we are turning in the over 36,000 signatures we have collected, that won't be too long.

    BTW Jim, you and anna should synch your message because she was just slamming the same zogby results to a reporter that you are touting here.

  • red (unverified)

    Jim Ross said: "By the way I find who is posting attacking the Governor very interesting, a bunch of disgruntled Republican, ex-legislative staffers with nether the wit or skill to make a real difference. But who see politics as frat party."

    Who the hell are you to say that? Why does being a staffer make us have "neither the wit or skill to make a real difference"? What are all us staffers supposed to do to bring us up to par in your book - turn into a hired gun like you? Or be a Democrat?

    I don't think any staffers think of politics as a frat party. Yes, there definitely is a party circuit, but we all show up to work on time and we work our asses off for our candidates/legislators. And there's plenty of legislators who travel in this group too.

    I'm not going to complain about the Governor, but ask anyone who was there last session - Ds and Rs - and you'll find out that Teddy K really was missing. If he would have stood by the Ds and pushed back against House Republicans, maybe the Ds could have accomplished something. But he was gone. Ask anyone.

    But I guess we shouldn't expect you to know any of this, considering you don't really know Oregon or care about it. You're a hired gun, albeit a supposedly talented one.

    Granted, this isn't my site - I'm a troller that ya'll like to fuss about - But don't come on here and dismiss staffers for no subsantive reason. We do a lot of work, and legislators/candidates would have a hell of a hard time doing thier job without us.

    Oh yeah. That paragraph that I quoted above has probably the worst sentence structure and grammar as I've ever read in my life. Hope you have someone else doing your writing for the campaign, because yours sucks.

  • anony (unverified)

    Doretta, I hope you were joking...because I was ROTFL. What a riot! Good joke!

    I too worked as a staffer in the last legislative session...oh, yes, and I worked for a (liberal) Democrat... I can safely say that a vast majority of staff for Democrats AND Republicans were frustrated and disgruntled by Ted's lack of leadership and do nothing administration. Believe me, it wasn't just Republican staff referring to the Governor as "sleepy Ted"...it was staff from both parties. Queen Minnis released her education plan before Ted did. Remember? Staff from BOTH parties were calling it the "Karen Minnis Plan +1" Oh, and the Guv sent the first lady to testify on SB 1000...(he was hiding out across the street at Willamette University). HELLO! If Ted thinks he has been working "hard" on gay rights for the past "30 years"...perhaps he might want to start showing up for the “hard work”. I saw Sens. Kate Brown, Alan Bates, Frank Morse, Ben Westlund, Charlie Ringo, Jason Atkinson and the rest of the Rules Committee sit through hours and hours of testimony on SB 1000...and the Guv didn't show up for 1 minute of it.

    I think that some (in Salem) were waiting for the Governor to come out from the back room and announce that he had been working on this grandiose solution to all of Oregon's problems that had required his full and undivided attention for the previous 7 months, forming the necessary coalitions and getting the votes...well, it never came. So I guess we're all left wondering: what was Ted doing? He wasn't leading budget negotiations. He wasn't brokering deals....

    Was he gone fishin'?

    Torrid- Ted has a parking space in the Capitol garage…which was commonly empty. And maybe the Guv isn’t “obligated” to participate in legislative sessions, but I’m also not obligated to support someone who doesn’t show up for work.

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    This is one of those elections where we loyal Dems are being asked to hold our noses and vote for Ted. I have lived through a few of these before in my life. The most memorable was when Dixie Lee Ray (the psychotic queen of nuclear power) was running for re-election in Washington as governor. She got her ass kicked and I think Ted will too.

    By the way, I went to Ben W. site to donate a few bucks and the only way to use a credit card is PayPal? I thought that was only for porno or Ebay? But as noted, I am old.

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    Blue- There is also an option to print a donation form on our site. You can also mail in a check to Ben's campaign the old-fashioned way to P.O. Box 1379, Bend OR 97709.

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    "Doretta, I hope you were joking...because I was ROTFL. What a riot! Good joke!"

    Always happy to make someone laugh even if it's because they didn't quite get it.

    My comment wasn't about Ted (or Ben, or Ron).

    It was about the minimum information I want to know from anonymous self-professed insiders on BlueOregon.

  • torridjoe (unverified)

    anony--exactly my point. The Governor doesn't work at the Capitol. It's not his gig. You might as well ask why George Bush never goes to sit in on Supreme Court cases.

    Your gripes about SB1000 are pretty laughable to me. First of all, even if Ted never set a foot onto the Capitol to fight for the bill (while making very public pronouncements of support for it), he remains a ways ahead of someone who signed off on material supporting Measure 36 and then claimed he was out of his head sick when he did. What will he sign if he becomes governor and--god forbid--remits or develops some other illness? If you want to compare Ted to Ben, only one of them had to switch sides recently to get on the right one. Did people have to sit through hours of testimony to figure out which way to vote on the Civil Rights Act in 1964?

    What exactly were people expecting on 1000, I wonder? The chamber he had any influence over put up 19 Yea votes (by his help or not). What could he possibly have done in the House? Changed the rules so Minnis couldn't bury it in the budget cmte? Shown up at precisely the right time before lunch when she called a quick cmte meeting and thwarted a minority call to bring it to the floor? Do you honestly think Ted could have shamed Minnis? Please.

    All that aside, watching Jim and Stacey trade barbs on BO makes me want to go pop some popcorn... {munch}

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)

    These polls, including the ones cited by Jim Ross, confirm the inevitable outcome of this race: the winner may not reach 44%.

    These polls (understandably) did not ask about the minor party candidates, but Starrett (Con) and Keating (Pac) will peel off the ends of the far right and left, repectively. That tidal gravitational pull, combined with Ben "Al Mobley" Westlund's effort, will guarantee either Kulongowski or Saxton will succeed Barbara Roberts as a sitting governor who assumed office with more total electors choosing someone else.

    With either Speaker Minnis or Speaker Scott running the House, and Kate Courtney ruling the Senate, Governor KulonSaxton will likely fare no better than Babs.

    • Wes
  • anony (unverified)

    So torrid...if the Governor doesn't work at the Capitol, why does he have an office there? If you missed it...it's typically called "the center office" around the Capitol, it has "Governor" chiseled in the marble above the entrance...and last session there was this horrifying silence within the doorway. It echoed silence it was so bad.

    Re: Ted’s absence during SB 1000…so you concede that Ted didn’t threaten to veto budget bills until he got what he wanted. Kitzhaber did that during his administration and he was a real Democrat. And you concede that Minnis had Ted by the balls…and that the Speaker of the House is more powerful than the Governor? Shit, why even elect a Governor if the Legislature has all the power (God help us all). Yeah, I don’t think Ted lifted a finger on SB 1000…and I was there.

    So, what if you’re right. Maybe Ted could have fought harder when he held a position in one of the other “more powerful” branches of government…say the legislature? Oh yeah, he did. The Supreme Court? Did that too. So basically, you’ll settle for a track record of 30 years of ineffectual leadership, just because Ted happens to have a (D) after his name. Pathetic.

    The point about the sponsors of SB 1000 (Brown/Bates/Morse/Westlund) sitting through testimony on the bill was that they were actually engaged in the process. Ted was (literally) out to lunch. So in November I can’t wait to say (in my best Donald Trump voice) “YOU’RE FIRED, TED!”

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    Hey Wesley... There's still no dubya in Kulongoski.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)

    Hey Kari... neither is there any "dubya" in Saxton! But we all knew that . . .

    So, when will Typepad offer spell check for those of us who type on the fly without importing a sanitized Word .doc?

    • Wes (dubya eeeee sssss)
  • listensecond (unverified)

    As noted on oregonlive, but not disclosed by Westlund's manager, Zogby is also Westlund's pollster.

  • LT (unverified)

    Disclosure of affiliation:

    I remember 1982 Ted K. race for Gov. and 2006 campaign reminds me more of that one (which failed) than the 2002 successful race for Gov. (was a Ted K. voter primary and general 2002).

    In 2005, a friend who worked for a state senator (and has since moved on to a job where he is involved in issue--not candidate--politics)said he refused to endorse anyone then running for Gov. because he sought a candidate with a vision for the future and a plan to carry it out and he hadn't seen that in any candidate. I think that's a pretty good thing to seek in a statewide candidate.

    Contrast that with those who claim anyone making a nice remark about Westlund really has something else in mind. Why on earth would my friend who was a st. sen. staffer (or anyone else looking for an issues based Gov. campaign) be impressed by an exchange like this?

    "Former Salem Staffer: ...say what you will about Saxton, but he has yet to prove his failure of leadership. Ted has spent the last three years doing exactly that.

    If you want Saxton for Governor, why don't you come right out and say so? "

    I saw a slogan the last time I visited Westlund's site, "Vote hope rather than fear".

    I've known Ben Westlund and his staff for just a few years--since the 5th special session. I've known Ted K. for more like a quarter of a century. If I say that in recent years Ben treats me like an old friend when he sees me and I can't remember the last time I saw Ted K. in person, how does that make me someone who would be OK with a Gov. Saxton?

    Not everyone places a premium on common courtesy or friendship from candidates, but I have voted for the more positive, friendly candidate numerous times and telling me that shouldn't be important won't get my vote!

    I am, by the way, undecided on everything in the Gov. race except that I know the decision on how to vote need not be made until October.

    What a radical notion Westlund has--talk about the future you want instead of what is wrong with a current candidate!

    When I was involved in the Democratic party, I was told numerous times I was "not a real Democrat". Which is why I was an Indep/NAV for awhile.

    I reserve the right to admire people dep. on what they have said and done, rather than based on party label.

    That said, I think the Salem Staffers make a good point.

    I happen to agree with this statement: "You're right, Jeff. But unlike Ted, Ben was actively involved in the last legislative session and actually (gasp!) showed up to work. "

    Much of my life has been spent working with children (who can sometimes be more mature and more interesting than adults).

    I just think anyone supporting Ted K's re-election would make better use of their time urging him to address live audiences with provision for Q & A, and to talk about specific accomplishments (not the generalities like improvement in average income or "he brought Amy's Kitchen to Medford" as if that solves unemployment in other parts of Oregon) and why they are good for the state.

    Claiming anyone who has a nice word for Westlund really wants Saxton for Gov. (or saying that about anyone who question's Ted's performance in office is helping Saxton win) won't help re-elect Ted.

    Try questioning Saxton supporters about his MIA status in the 2003 PERS debate. I spent quite a lot of time at the capitol that session as an observer. As I understand it, the system which passed the legislature (and also court muster if memory serves) competed with a 401k proposal and prevailed. Does Saxton even know who sponsored the 401k proposal? Why so many members voted against it? Or has he just discovered that issue again now (after his brainless 2002 ads he disappeared from public advocacy after the primary except for those TV commentaries) the way my state rep. now wants a deposit on water bottles but wasn't one of the people who signed a voter pamphlet statement when the bottle bill expansion was on the ballot a decade ago?

    There are those of us working outside politics and volunteering on legislative campaigns who are not actively involved in any Gov. campaign. There are those of us who watched the last legislative session on the news or from the 3rd floor gallery and didn't like what we saw--and how little the Gov. spoke in public about what was going on. There is a joke which resonates with folks like that:

    "Do you know why she was called Queen Karen? Because there was no king in the capitol".

    Whatever one thought of Gov. Kitzhaber, he more publicly stood up to Republican legislative leadership than the current Gov.

    This election will not be decided by bloggers. It will be decided by the adults in a family expecting a child this summer, people moving into new homes or changing careers, people working temp jobs and looking for permanent work, the grocery cashier and the person who sold you fast food or a soft drink or the people working in health care or the nonprofit sector or just now completing summer school. In short, people who have other concerns than politics.

    If Ted K is as smart as I always thought he was, he'll drop the attitude that he is entitled to re-election and actually fight for it. He could begin by looking at all the issues on Westlund's website and commenting on them--"that sounds interesting, we tried this earlier and it didn't work, this one here is against my value system, the other idea wouldn't have passed because Minnis would have blocked it but if the Dems. can defeat Minnis and take control of the House...".

    But that would mean engaging the general public in the conversation rather than just "speaking to the base". Don't ever forget there were union workers outside the city limits of Detroit, MI who were considered loyal Democrats. But when they voted for Reagan they were called Reagan Democrats. When Clinton won many of them back, it was part of the reason for his success in 1992.

    Bill Clinton worked very hard for that 1992 election. If Ted were willing to work that hard, the intelligent debate between him and Westlund (Saxton not shown himself capable of intelligent debate with an 8th grader that I've seen) would provide the "free marketplace of ideas" which JFK talked about in the early 1960s.

    But if Ben works harder than Ted, and voters are looking for hope and solutions this year rather than "inside baseball " politics, telling anyone who says a nice word about Westlund that they are helping Saxton won't gain any votes for Kulongoski. Remarks like that might inspire an attitude of "I'll show you who decides my vote, and it is not some sarcastic partisan" and create new volunteers for Westlund. Or it could generate the attitude "why vote if everyone in the process is so rude?".

    Yes folks, many of us realize most BO people are supporters of Ted K. Fine with me--spend all your spare time on his campaign.

    But anyone who thinks verbal potshots at those considering someone outside the major parties help their party nominee should ponder when was the last time they talked with Sen. Bruggere.

    That is why I am so strong on this. The "hold your nose and vote the party nominee without asking questions" attitude didn't work in the US Sen. contest a decade ago, it just drove many of us (incl. me) to 3rd party candidates. What a novel idea--that candidates who put their names on the ballot are responsible for engaging voters in conversation and not just bomarding them with commercials!

    Had Bruggere actually talked about issues and run intelligent commercials rather than his attitude that he had money and powerful friends and people were supposed to vote for him for that reason, we might not be looking for someone to run against Gordon in 2008. As it was, those who had been active in the primary were told the primary was over and all questions about the nominee must cease. That's why I became Indep/NAV 10 years ago--to ask questions without being told what loyal Dems. were supposed to do. A friend from the primary campaign I supported described the nominees as "the slick one and the chinless one". He chose to vote for the Dem. nominee but one of his relatives introduced me to the 3rd party candidate I was proud to have supported--a person who actually talked issues. What a concept!

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    Why on earth would my friend who was a st. sen. staffer (or anyone else looking for an issues based Gov. campaign) be impressed by an exchange like this?

    One more time, LT, and listen up this time: THIS WEBSITE IS NOT DESIGNED OR INTENDED AS A MASS MEDIUM FOR VOTERS. You should not expect our commenters to write as if they are writing for mass consumption.

    BlueOregon is not the Oregonian. It's not even the Heppner Gazette-Times. It's a water cooler around which a small number of people who are highly politically aware are chatting.

    It is 100% perfectly appropriate for people here (on all sides of the issues) to engage in strategic discussions, tactical debates, and even pointed remarks between the campaigns and their supporters.

    If that's not the level of debate you would prefer, go somewhere else. Better yet, start your own blog with your own preferred approach.

    But your 1500-word screeds about how everyone should always focus on the issues - and never, ever, ever discuss strategy, tactics, or insider gossip - are getting tiresome. Take it somewhere else.

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    I have to agree with two comments, then I'll shut my trap.

    First, Torrid brought up a good point the new poll is not very accurate (Joe, I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth). The media would do themselves a favor by not reporting polls that are more of a bias.

    Second, LT does have a point about Bruggere. I volunteered quite a bit for his campaign and was very disappointed to see him lose. Back then I would say I was probably a bit less informed about how campaigns are run. It is easy to say things in hindsight though.

    I am a supported of TK, but I do agree he needs to get fired up about this campaign. In addition, if Westlund makes the ballot, I think TK's campaign would be stupid not to debate him. Simply ignoring him will not make him go away. I can see the arguement (and I think someone might say this) if you acknowledge him it could help him, but simply ignoring him also can hurt.

    Finally, here is my disclosure (please note this is just me being sarcastic):

    I am an Oregonian living overseas and supporter of TK. I read Blue Oregon, and a liberal Democrat.

  • torridjoe (unverified)

    anony-- unless I'm mistaken,the provision of an office and a parking space is attendant to merely ceremonial duties, no?

    Your supposition that I think the Speaker of the House is more important than the Governor's office is off base--she's not more important, but in our setup she is equally important, as one half of the legislative branch--at least insofar as bills becoming law go. Yes, I suppose Ted could have threatened a government shut down to get SB1000 passed, but I think civil rights is supremely important and not even I would have suggested such a disproportionate response. As much as I hate to admit it, experience has shown that trying to force the issue of same sex relations is a quick ticket to defeat.

    As for engagement--what was to engage in the Senate? As noted, it passed easily. What was he supposed to say? And in the House it never even got the chance to be addressed at all.

    I sense the effort to blame gridlock in Salem on an absent governor, when the fact is that it's overt partisanship--and not a lack of goobernatorial intervention--that is stifling progress. Adding another fractious, partisan voice to the process would have solved nothing, IMO.

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    Where in the heck is that parking space? I've got an old beater of a car I could park there 24/7. I'll even paint a message on it that says. "The Governor is in the building wasting his time watching the inept Oregon Legislature gut good ideas for the citizens of Oregon." PS Minnis is holding the machette.

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    Unfortunately, the ballot measures so far are the type that increase conservative turnout. And this race will likely depend on the GOTV effort, so at this point, Ted's at a disadvantage.

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    One thing Ted Kulongoski's done that wins my respect (and vote, but--full disclosure--I always vote for the Democrat) is to stand up to Donald Rumsfeld by refusing to let the NW's air defense forces be diluted. As commanders-in-chief in miniature, our nation's governors are in the best position to protect our citizens when the national leaders go down the rabbit-hole in pursuit of ideology. In Rummy's case, his one-note song about a smaller, leaner military in all cases has been shown to be a ridiculous obsession that's needlessly prolonged the war in Iraq we could have ended in a year with proper troop levels. At home, the same obsession would have left whole regions of the country without air defenses had not our governor refused to go along. Kudoes, Ted!

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)

    For a sitting incumbent to be within the margin of error this early on does not bode well for him, regardless of what his paid spin doctors may say. I do find it quite amusing that Jim Ross has such "vitriol" of his own, seeing as how he spent as much time at the capitol in 05 as the governor did. You've really got your work cut out for you, Jim. And once you're done either losing the election or carrying Ted across the finish line, you should go back to wherever you came from. And I wouldn't describe myself as "disgrunted" the way you did, Jim. I'm just a citizen of this state (unlike yourself) who is tired of watching jerkoffs make bad decisions or make no decisions at all and try to take credit for things they had nothing to do with.

  • Kevin (unverified)

    I happen to think that LT made some very relevant points if you step back and look at them as commentary on campaign strategy rather than as harping about how BO regulars ought or ought not to post.

    Torrid, as usual, is a whiz with numbers and I found his analysis of 2-way versus 3-way interesting.

    Me... I don't work for anyone even remotely related to politics. Collected a handful of signitures for Westlund but have yet to mail them in. Mostly just because I keep putting it off 'till tomorrow.

    Lastly, Zak mentioned K standing up to Rummy and someone else mentioned his regular attendance at military funerals - both of which have always impressed me. Someone, LT I think, drew a parallel with Kitzhaber and I must say it was a spot on comparison. Not only was (is) Kitzhaber's politics well to the Left of mine, but until the last couple of elections I'd voted GOP about 2/3 of the time. But I am proud to say that I never once voted against Kitzhaber. I very much admired his guts and willingness to duke it out with all comers for his principles. Therein lays a lesson for Kulingoski should he deem to learn it.

  • Young Oregon Voter (unverified)

    Thank you Jim Ross for guaranteeing a vote for Westlund or Saxton. Former Salem Staffer is right, you need to go back to you came from, Jim Ross Political Consulting based in San Francisco to be exact. Kindness towards the electorate whether you are a candidate, staffer or paid for out of state political consultant goes a long way and you have shown very little in branding us posters as disgruntled, Republican ex-staffers.

  • (Show?)

    Kevin, Even though we have over 36,000 signatures, we still need yours! Mail them in today, or drop them off at our Portland office- 1935 NE 39th, or one of our other regional offices- heck- I'll even send someone to pick them up and save ya the stamp.

    And kids, give Mr. Ross a break, he's a stranger in a strange land and doesn't know of the bonding that happens at the Magoo's Kids Table among staffers of all stripes.

  • LT (unverified)

    One more time, LT, and listen up this time: THIS WEBSITE IS NOT DESIGNED OR INTENDED AS A MASS MEDIUM FOR VOTERS. You should not expect our commenters to write as if they are writing for mass consumption.

    One last time, Kari.

    Among the political activists I know, even where there is no one in the conversation except people with many election campaigns under their belt (places where there are no ordinary voters) we still discuss which campaigns are smart and which campaigns are doing stupid things. We have said things to each other like "gee, that campaign would be so much more convincing if they would only....".

    I am an undecided voter when it comes to Gov. election. I have been around politics since Ted K. was a state legislator. I think Ted is making mistakes this election year. My perception is that Westlund really wants my vote (assuming he gets on the ballot). My perception is that Saxton is an idiot and Ted K is capable of a better campaign than is being run this year. I work in a setting totally outside of politics. I think my friend Cathy was right many years ago (about the time she totally burned out on politics) when she said maybe 5% of the population were really into politics (the way most BO people and political staffers of any stripe are) and this 5% thinks they decide elections. But the folks who really decide elections are the 95% who are thinking about something other than politics in July.

    Kari, as I understand it, you are saying my friend Cathy (a volunteer, campaign staffer, campaign manager and staffer to an elected official before she quit politics and got a job in the private sector) is totally wrong and how dare I be guilty of the heresy of repeating her idea on your blog. It is your blog, and if you want me to go away that is your right. In office water cooler conversations, do you say to people's faces "go away, this is a private conversation and you're not our kind"? A friend has been telling me I should ignore BO and you seem to be telling me that friend is wise.

    I think an incumbent who got 54% of the vote in the primary and doesn't start doing things very differently is in for a tough re-election fight. Even if Ben Westlund were to disappear off the face of the earth and Ron Saxton were to say and do things even stupider than he has done in the past, I think Ted has a hard road ahead of him for one simple reason: people who voted for him last time who are disappointed.

    If Ted wants to run as "Saxton is bad and Ben is no progressive, so re-elect me without asking me tough questions" then I think he has a long hard slog ahead of him. I say this more in sorrow than in anger. I really liked Ted for many years, but I refuse to allow anyone (even close friends) to claim they deserve my vote without my asking any questions or saying they'd be wiser if they would campaign differently. I was one of those people in Dec.-Jan. 1996 saying Ron Wyden should be himself and not the attack dog some of his (out of state?) staff told him to be (one of them, and old friend, said to me over the phone "but no one has laid a finger on Gordon"). I believe to this day that Wyden is our senior senator because he decided to become 100% positive and talk about issues (and appear in public to answer questions) rather than just bombarding us with nasty commercials. I think Ted should take a page out of Ron's book and run the same positive, people oriented campaign. He has the right to continue the sort of one-way campaign ("this group endorsed me, my opponents are people you don't want to vote for"), and I have the right to say that is no way to win my vote.

    But it appears you don't want a real world dissenting opinion here--your "water cooler conversation" is only supposed to be between people who see the world as you do.

    Kari, I am guessing you are too young to recall campaigns from a quarter of a century ago. I suspect (just as in 1982) that there will be people who give Ted maybe another several weeks to turn the campaign around. But if he can't do a more people-oriented (dialogue with voters) and issue oriented campaign, there will be activists who decide legislative campaigns are more worthwhile than the Gov. campaign.

    I certainly have better uses for my time than Blue Oregon if you consider my comment above beyond the pale. And the next time you see Ted, you tell him that someone who was thrilled when he announced for Gov. in 2002 is disappointed in him. And that unless Ted K. can explain publicly Ted K's actions in the 2005 session, I will wait until the end of October before deciding how I will vote for Gov.

    That's not about "a mass medium for voters". That is one person with 30 years experience in politics unhappy with the choice for Gov. --neither major party candidate appears to want my vote because I have the "gall" to ask tough questions.

    We have some excellent candidates for Oregon legislature here in the mid-Will. Valley. I have volunteered in the past, present and probably future for multiple camapigns of good Democratic candidates in the area. They actually meet with voters, have social events and local canvassing, and actually discuss issues rather than just what groups have endorsed them and what is wrong with the opponent. Too bad we can't see that in the Gov. campaign.

    But I read you loud and clear, Kari--if I am not willing to give unquestioning support to Ted, and I commit the heresy of saying political operatives can be out of touch with the general public, I am not welcome here.

    It would be interesting to know if anyone other than Kari believes my statements here are so beyond the pale. And if they think political operatives should only talk to other political operatives and never consider what the general public might be thinking.

  • listensecond (unverified)


    Brevity is golden. You should rethink posting another 1K word comment -- and that's something that I'm guessing could find bi-partisan support here.

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    But it appears you don't want a real world dissenting opinion here--your "water cooler conversation" is only supposed to be between people who see the world as you do.

    No, dissent all you want.

    But allow other people to have their own opinions. You're stomping all over conversations suggesting that people have no right to discuss strategy, tactics, polling, etc. As if the only things that should ever be discussed here are policy treatises.

    One thing you've got right:

    But the folks who really decide elections are the 95% who are thinking about something other than politics in July.

    Exactly. Precisely. And absolutely ZERO of those folks are here at BlueOregon - by definition. So don't pretend that the conversation here needs to be targeted to them.

  • KT (unverified)

    Kari your ted fo gov website spins Its not true that ted signed leg. to give vets free hunting and fishing licenses. It would give licenses to DISABLED VETS. Quite a big difference

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    I am not the world's biggest Ted fan, but Saxton is coming off as right of Mannix, which is a scarey thing. Ben may be a great guy, but with his popularity and recognition at the beginning of August, as an independent, he is no more than a spoiler siphoning votes from the incumbent. Come on, progressive voters. Realize that Ted is the only game in town. Perfect, he may not be, but he is not ready to jump on the nut-job RPO bandwagon, as is Saxton.

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