Did Everett Curry lie to David Reinhard?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

So, I was traveling last week - and just got around to checking out my Sunday paper. There's a very curious column in there from conservative columnist David Reinhard.

Edwards_and_curryApparently, there's a bit of a dust-up going on in Washington County's HD 30 - a race between David Edwards (D) and Everett Curry (R) for the open seat currently held by Rep. Derrick Kitts (R). Most of the year, we've known it would be a hotly-contested one, since it was the only open seat currently held by a Republican (until Jeff Kropf declined to run for re-election late this summer.)

Anyway, Everett Curry claims that the Edwards campaign conducted a "push poll" accusing him of being part of the "radical religious right". The Edwards campaign denies the allegation. Of course, David Reinhard just takes Curry's word for it -- and doesn't demand proof.

But here's what raised my eyebrows:

"This has been a very strange thing," Curry said. "I have not made religion an issue in any way -- until now. I am proud of my service to my church, I by no means want to hide my relationship to my church. I believe it reflects a strong leadership pattern. David Edwards has stepped over the line in this campaign and is attempting to use my religion to scare voters."

You see, last March, I got an unsolicited email from a woman named Becky Curry, who lives in Kelseyville, California. I just talked to her tonight, read her the above quote, and she laughed out loud. She's given me permission to share her email with you here:

I just got an envelope in the mail from my husbands wingnut uncle. Everett Curry, running for rep in House Dist 30. Because we are family, we get the fundraising letters first! Uggghhhh. God and the Christian voters, prayer and and God's will are mentioned over and over again. Who is the opponent? I want to send him some money... Becky Curry

That's right, Everett Curry's own family knows that he's been making his religion an issue in this campaign. Becky Curry even mailed me the fundraising letter, dated March 6. Here's the key paragraph, which Everett Curry includes after extolling his own record of community service:

While these things were on our plate none were done alone. They were accomplished by a team of people. While all of these are community programs, we were clearly identified as Christian people who did them as a part of our call to serve God. Our Christian call to service in congregations, organizations, and in support of issues and candidates flows from our Christian faith.

Now, read that Curry-to-Reinhard quote again:

"I have not made religion an issue in any way"

Clearly, a falsehood.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I don't have any problem with people of faith running for office. In fact, I think it's a good thing. For many people, including me, faith is the cornerstone of our value system. I happen to think the radical right has hijacked Christianity to pursue an anti-government, anti-family agenda that is neither conservative nor Christian - but that's neither here nor there.

The very simple point is this: Everett Curry has been making his religion a central part of his campaign, at least since March. And it was so strident, it caused one of his California relations to send an email to a complete stranger (me).

Personally, I don't understand why Everett Curry is now ashamed of his faith - so much that he would tell David Reinhard a little white lie. And I don't understand why David Reinhard would fall for it.

And what's more: Now that Curry's propensity to lie is exposed, should we really trust him when he claims - without proof - that some mystery "push poll" was used against him?


Update: Finished this post, started surfing around, and discovered that Loaded Orygun is on this story too. Turns out they've found another little white lie from Everett Curry:

In September, Curry told Oregonian reporter Holly Danks that he he has not been a pastor since 1986. But in the Oregon Voter's Pamphlet, Curry lists his occupation as an "ordained minister" from "1967-present". Further, The American Baptist Seminary shows Curry as finishing an interim pastorate in Oregon City in May 2005.

This guy is unbelievable. Why is he afraid to talk in public about his background? Nothing wrong with being a minister, so what's he hiding?

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    Why'd he lie? It's a genetic thing with "r's" not to be confused with "R's" who have to work at it. Maybe he figures Heaven's too crowded. C'mon, it's simple enough, he get's his cake and to eat it too. Bang the religion drum, then claim to be persecuted, you know, the War on Christianity. (or was it Christmas, or Values, or ...)

  • (Show?)

    Don't forget lie #3 that Carla shared: he claims he never said George Bush is his favorite Republican, yet saved pages from the WashCo GOP Forum show him saying exactly that.


  • Worldwide Pablo (unverified)

    And I don't understand why David Reinhard would fall for it.

    Er, might it be that Reinhard's actually not a real journalist?

  • Jesse Cornett (unverified)

    The Oregonian just changed their endorsement from Edwards to Curry!

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)

    Between Curry and Edwards, I'm not sure which is the kettle and which is the pot.

    This morning the Oregonian withdrew its endorsement of Edwards and now backs Curry after a dirty trick pulled by Edward's campaign manager, Seth Prickett.

    • Wes
  • james caird (unverified)

    The Oregonian editorial board: Duped again!

    They showed the same kind of skepticism in this case as they did in supporting the run up to the invasion of Iraq.

    Did you know the world gullible isn't in the dictionary?

  • JHL (unverified)

    Holy crap -- using a fake name in an e-mail asking a candidate for office their views on issues is a "dirty trick"?

    What kind of infinite-politeness fantasyland are the Oregonian editors living in? Sounds like Prickett's only mistake in that case was not doing it with some finesse... like a Yahoo e-mail account set up and checked from a local library computer.

    And why was Curry so offended? Are we to take it that he gives different answers based on who's e-mailing him... one answer for anything that might be made public and a different secret answer for people he can trust to not forward the e-mail?

    Weak, Oregonian. Totally weak.

    Go Edwards!

  • (Show?)

    David Reinhard just may set a new big "O" record for switchin' endorsements. With the additional information provided by Kari, Curry's relatives and LoadedOrygun we just might see another switch by Reinhard. The use of a fake name by to elicit information about Curry's political stance is just plain sophmoric. Edwards needs to have his young campaign staffer apologize and resign. The seperation of church and state can be handled a lot more elegantly in a campaign..the staffer's attempt is well..right out of Middle School. However, it hardly rises to the level of a "dirty trick" as Reinhard contends. Let's hope the Edwards campaign hits back hard with accurate factual information about Curry and nothing else.

    Something smells in the Curry quest for election to the House and it ain't his religious activities. What's he really hiding? Dig deeper and dig fast.

  • sasha (unverified)

    Can't you be an ordained minister without being a pastor. How is that a lie?

  • (Show?)

    read closer, sasha. Pastor, Oregon City, 2005.

  • LT (unverified)

    I agree with JHL and Paulie. And let me take this conversation in a new direction.

    Why is either side resorting to tricks? Where in this whole debate do we get any sense on how either candidate would vote on improving the ethics process in this state (Maui-gate, Karen Minnis just now reporting the trip to Israel and who paid for it, etc.)? There may be big money on both sides in their race, but are the campaign finance measures on the ballot the answer? And what is the answer for other legislative races where the incumbent my have an ending balance in 5 figures but the challenger only has an ending balance of 4 figures?

    How would either candidate bring the State Police up to the strength they need? What are their views on education? What does either think about the way the biofuels bill died last session? Or the article in today's Oregonian on Saxton's ties to the Texas Pacific bid to buy PGE?

    It is October, when ordinary folks start paying attention, and this is the debate? Sounds like maybe either or both is more concerned with campaign games than with why anyone would want to vote for them.

    And the staffer who started this should grow up! In some hotly contested races there's actual discussion of issues. If I was on the fence in such a district and heard about this kind of stunt by a staffer, I'd contact the candidate personally and ask "what are you doing about your staffer?". I know I'd do that because I have done it in the past.

    This shouldn't be about whether the R team or the D team gets the majority, it should be about making Oregon all it can be. Anyone who doesn't understand that probably doesn't understand that independent voters are often the margin of victory. Last time there were 7 state rep. races decided by less than 1000 votes. Most/all state rep. districts have many more than that number of voters registered outside major parties.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)

    Lyin' 'bout religin. That the best mess'ge you slick party boys can come up with?

    Lyin' to figgr' out what them elephants think. That the new way we beats them?

    Good ta know we're spendin' our money wisely. Thought maybe we'd wast'd it on a bunch o' mess'ges 'bout things o' value, like kids, fam'lies and th' future.

    Yup, new Dem-o-crat strat'gy. Same as 'ol Dem-o-crat strat'gy.

    Can't wait fer Novemb'r. Party house cleanin's in order. Got my broom ready!

  • (Show?)

    Regarding the alleged push poll. There was none. Not by Edwards and not by Future PAC. Not only that, the Oregonian was given a copy of the Edwards poll so they know the truth. The fact that today's editorial doesn't touch the Reinhard claim of a push poll says that the rest of the board doesn't have faith in his claim either.

    The truth is that only Curry used a poll that asked about his religion (in a non-slanted way). Isn't it ironic that an "independent" voter may have been polled by Curry and claim a push poll by Edwards?

  • Jesse O (unverified)

    Luckily, Oregonian endorsements are worth about as much as... well, I can't think of much that's worth that little.

  • anon (unverified)

    Stan: Why do you pretend to talk like Snuffy Smith?

  • J. Smalls (unverified)

    Where DID Edwards' get his picture taken anyway? Glamour Shots?

  • davidwendell (unverified)


    Being the devil's advocate, I think you are making a big deal about nothing. It seems to me that when Curry states that he did not make religion an issue during the campaign he was saying that he was not going to raise the issue in the dialogue that occurs between the two candidates and the general public at large.

    There are issues and points that one may raise to specific groups of supports (as an aside, the family member who would speak so poorly of another family member to a stranger has a questionalbe character in my book) that they would not raise to the public at large.

    I assume that Curry was not going to use his religious faith (that most liekly is shared by a majority of the voters in that district) and the perceived lack of religious faith of his opponent (something voters might disapprove of) as issues when seeking votes for the general public.

  • davidwendell (unverified)

    "Arguably the far and even not so far [Democratic Left], driven by the genius of [Kari Chisholm] and his ilk, have succeeded in making the idea of a "loyal opposition" appear ludicrous and nothing more than an oxymoron, for to oppose [liberal agenda] verges, for them, on [stupidity]. That is why the [left] will not be satisfied until the last remnants of [conservatism] are eliminated." - modified from article posted today.

    I think lefty's are more mean-spirited than righty's. Look at the board sweeping statements to see what I mean. Also comapre the posting on the Democratic Underground to Free Republic. Civil disucssion is necessary, but both sides are to blame.

  • Harry (unverified)

    Speaking of Glamour Shots, shouldn't this have had a title of "Big Hair vs No Hair"?

    Or do we only make fun of women and their hair?

  • DifferentSalemStaffer (unverified)

    David: Way to poke fun. Book yerself some open mic nights. Democrats are mean-spirited because they point out when a candidate lies... and when Republicans do it, it's called a Special Prosecutor, right?

    Meanwhilst, re-read that e-mail of Mr. Curry's that Kari put in the post. It's a thinly-veiled assertion that Edwards is not a True Christian, and thusly, it's a service to God to vote for Curry. That's not only making religion an issue (albeit for one particulat segment of voters), but it's a very un-Christian thing to do -- to use one's faith for political gain.

    Now perhaps some voters would be attracted by this tactic, and others wouldn't let it enter into their decisionmaking process... but I think that all voters deserve to know what a candidate is selling himself as.

  • (Show?)

    Being the devil's advocate, I think you are making a big deal about nothing. It seems to me that when Curry states that he did not make religion an issue during the campaign he was saying that he was not going to raise the issue in the dialogue that occurs between the two candidates and the general public at large.

    Next on Blue Oregon, davidwendell will give us the definition of "is".

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    LT says what I think -- the loser-est is that neither D. nor R. writes a position paper and which expresses their own thinking on issues, as they see them.

    LT: :Where in this whole debate do we get any sense on how either candidate would vote on ...?"

    Where it used to be was in Q.& A.-type sessions ... wait for it -- with the editorial board! And was why candidates even crimped their campaign schedule to talk to the inky dinks.

    Used to be. Before mass media corporate ownership rolled their fascism downhill onto their local properties's figureheads, and the word was love Bush and his war criminal Republicans and Liebermans, or be incinerated.

    So Curry lies to Reinhard. Bald-face lies. Reinhard does not ask his positions for any of LT's list of relevant issues.

    Reinhard prints the lies, and bald-face prints the reader-slapping voter-crippling absence of information Reinhard is privileged to obtain.

    Fred Stickel publishes Reinhard's lies and vapid fascist antisocial hurt-hate.

    Then, Kari, for example, one example of tens thousands, posters-up somewhere, (BlueOregon, for instance), the 'gotcha got yer liar Reinhard, right there.' And what happens?

    Nothing. Stickel keeps Reinhard. Reinhard keeps lying and hating community and damaging Oregon. And Kari keeps buying the paper and BlueOregon keeps quoting it.

    Boycott The Oregonian. To make them fire Reinhard, with prejudice.

    Boycott advertisers in The Oregonian. All of us together, boycott; else, see, none of us matter.

  • lin qiao (unverified)

    "And I don't understand why David Reinhard would fall for it."

    Uh, "fall for it"? If it came outta the fax machine from which he gets an RNC slow drip, he writes it.

  • Drew Sheldon (unverified)

    I sat in on an endorsement interview with Edwards and another with Curry. At the time Curry came across as a nice, decent person. Later I read a description of Curry in the paper and I remember thinking, 'this isn't what he said about his occupation in the interview.' Then just now I opened this site and saw the report and I'm realizing he tells a very different story to whoever he's talking to.

    Why does this matter? Character.

    If Curry is this slippery on who he is now, do we really want him in office? I personally believe he is a very hard right extremist who would be awful for Wash Co. and our state. I think he knows that his views are more extreme than the voters so he's conciously twisting himself to squeak through.

    That is not character.

  • lw (unverified)

    Kari, from your post and what is in the media, I find it hard to see that Curry has lied about claiming to make religion not an issue. Raising money with written solicitation noting his religion is different than making points in his campaigning using religion which he claims he favors not doing. If my opponent or media asked questions bringing in the "religion" aspect, I would answer/respond with pride to that belief I may have. I think you and all of us would and do.

  • (Show?)

    LW - What exactly is the difference between "raising money" and "campaigning"? The former is part of the latter.

    Seriously, people, we're getting into nano-splitting of hairs.

    I suppose one could make a silly argument about that, but Loaded's catch is an even better one. To recap:

    In September, Curry told Oregonian reporter Holly Danks that he he has not been a pastor since 1986. But in the Oregon Voter's Pamphlet, Curry lists his occupation as an "ordained minister" from "1967-present". Further, The American Baptist Seminary shows Curry as finishing an interim pastorate in Oregon City in May 2005.

  • lw (unverified)

    Kari, the difference between "raising money" and "campaigning" is that "raising money" is usually solicitation from those a candidate would think supports their candidancy. "Campaigning" is usually taking your message to all the voters as best you can and taking questions about your positions. I find that as not nano-splitting.

  • LT (unverified)

    I agree with lw.

    I live in a district where the challenger is being grossly outspent but is a serious challenge to the incumbent in other ways--questions the incumbent's ideas and voting record, has more lawn signs out than the incumbent, has won the support of some people (incl. business owners) who might have been expected to support the incumbent. Doing all that the old fashioned way--door to door, talking with people at events, giving speeches, doing joint appearances, etc. THAT is campaigning, even if very little money is involved. And when a newspaper article about the campaign presents them as equals of the same age and with some other similarities (both care about education, etc.) that isn't about fundraising.

    I predict at least one underfunded candidate either wins in November or comes darned close.

  • (Show?)

    Sure -- there's lots of campaigning that isn't fundraising. But raising money is part of the campaign. Let's not pretend that it's some kind of "other".

  • Michael M. (unverified)

    I'm hoping Kari is being disingenuous with "not understanding" why Reinhard would automatically parrot right-wing, uh, falsehoods. When OPB had their Friday nite political discussion a few years ago (hosted by Alison Frost, I believe), Reinhard was one evening verbatem listing, in his opposition to "right to die" legislation, the horrendous list of all the painful experiences of those who had chosen to take the end-of-life meds reported--he said--in a Danish study. It was the same list that wingnut Eileen Qutub had spouted on the Senate floor more than a week earlier. Only problem was that the author of the Danish study had contacted the Oregonian, which had printed information stating that Qutub's assertions were completely false. And here Reinhard was, AFTER his own paper had essentially accused Qutub of lying, repeating the same lies. He writes off the Rove script. A reader who chooses to believe him is one who would believe Limbaugh or O'Reilly. He is about as much a "journalist" as they are.

  • Carol D (unverified)

    I live in this district where the Edwards/Curry race is going on. Today I got a recorded call from Curry's wife talking about The Oregonian switching their endorsement because Edwards' unethical methods. I was shocked and just had to know more, so I Googled Dave Edwards in Oregon and got the link to Reinhard's editorial. WHAT A FREAKING JOKE! I've received 2 phone calls from push pollsters in the last 2 weeks and while they refused to tell me who was paying for the poll, I could tell within 2 questions that they were Republican pollsters! The second one from this week was the most shocking and it did involve at least 2 questions about Curry's religion. The first question was about whether my voting would be affected if I knew that David Edwards was making an issue of Curry's Christian affiliation and if he was making it sound like a bad thing. The second question was if it would affect my vote if I knew that Curry was a Christian who lived by his values or something like that.

    The push polling was SOOOO obvious I actually laughed and told the person... "You know, in the real world, we call that Push Polling and it's dishonest." I repeated that every time they came up with another leading question and the guy on the phone actually started to stutter a little.

    So YES, there was push polling, but NO it was not from the Democrats... I'm pretty sure it was just some flunky low level strategist who idolizes Karl Rove who thought this one up, but we cannot let them get away with this. There are a lot of evangelicals in this district and if they think Edwards did this it could be very ugly for Edwards.

    Is there any way to track down the poll? Or pollster? If they call again, I'll be sure to write it down.

  • Casey (unverified)

    I was not inclined to vote for Curry from the first time I read his campaign literature and then followed up in the voter's pamphlet. But, last night he sealed the deal for a vote for Edwards.

    How? His supporters were putting these "baseball cards" with a picture of Curry on the front and the words to the Star Spangled Banner on the back in my kids' candy baskets as they trick or treated.

    <h2>That just offends me no end.</h2>

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