The Oregon House is in reach.

Jon Isaacs

By Jon Isaacs of Portland, Oregon. Jon is the campaign director for the Oregon House Democrats.

This is a call to action. We are on the cusp of taking back the majority in the Oregon House.

I'm a professional - and raising expectations goes against every rule of political spin, but we're laying it all on the line. The insiders and lobbyists still scoff, thinking that we're going to hit 29, or maybe 30 seats, but we're becoming more confident every day that a majority of 31 or 32 seats is a real possibility.

But it can only happen if every single BlueOregon reader helps make it happen. This means you. This isn't the usual "come help us" campaign bluster -- I'm deadly serious. There are at least a half dozen seats that may be decided by less than a hundred votes.

The Oregon House Democrats, and our campaign arm Future PAC, are doing everything we can. We're pulling out all the stops. Over the past two weeks we've made significant NEW financial investments in the following races:

- HD 10 Jean Cowan
- HD 14 Chris Edwards
- HD 21 Brian Clem
- HD 24 Sal Peralta
- HD 25 Charles Lee
- HD 30 David Edwards
- HD 49 Rob Brading

Tens of thousands of new dollars have been or will be spent on these seven races during the final eight days - all pick-up opportunities for Democrats. Internal polling shows each of these candidates either leading - or trailing within the margin of error. We only need to win four to take control of the House.

In addition, our key incumbents continue to run strong campaigns to retain their seats. We feel very good about the strength of incumbent Representatives Larry Galizio, Chuck Riley, Arnie Roblan and Betty Komp. Newcomers Tobias Read and Suzanne Bonamici in the Democratic seats in HD 27 and 34 have done a superb job of withstanding Republican challenges in their campaigns.

In addition to the top seven pick-up opportunities listed above, we have several races that have emerged late as a result of great campaigns being run by Democratic candidates and a favorable political environment. With the national mood being decidedly anti-Republican, any of these great candidates could pull off upsets. They've each run a top-notch campaign. Don't be shocked if one or more of these candidates comes out on top:

- HD 17 Jim Gilbert
- HD 18 Dan Thackaberry
- HD 19 Brian Grisham
- HD 37 Bev Backa
- HD 39 Mike Caudle
- HD 52 Suzanne Van Orman
- HD 59 Jim Gilbertson

Its hard for me to imagine a harder working, more principled, and values-driven class of candidates. And that goes for the entire class - not just those are listed here.

There's a lot at stake in this election. Our motto during this campaign has been, "As goes the Oregon House, so goes Oregon."

If you want to see the Oregon House actually work on a pro-active agenda that helps Oregon families... If you want to see an end to extreme partisanship and backroom deal making... If you want to see the Oregon Legislature who will work with Governor Ted Kulongoski to help him pass his agenda... If you want to see Oregon moving forward again instead of backward...

Go out and work for a Democrat running for the Oregon House. Do it now.

  • sasha (unverified)

    Does anybody know why exactly Brading changed his name? I mean, that is a pretty unusual thing to do for a middle aged guy. Has he answered the question anywhere? Or has it been asked?

    Not sure it means all that much, but I am curious - what motivates a guy to change his name?

    Just asking.

  • (Show?)

    Don't be stupid, Sasha. His name was "Robert Dick". As soon as he could, he changed his name. Wouldn't you?

  • GA (unverified)

    Really Kari? As soon as he could? Are you sure about that? Check your facts (although I realize facts are tedious little annoyances for you). Robert Dick was well into middle age before his name change became legal, if it even did at all. His girlfriend (who later became his wife) was the notary. Sorry to confront you with facts Kari. I'll move along now and let you continue to distort and deny.

  • (Show?)

    Whatever. Go away, trolls.

    I just made another donation to the House Democrats.

  • sasha (unverified)

    [off-topic and crude comment deleted. -editor.]

  • Zoe (unverified)

    Last call Bus Trip of the season!

    This is absolutely your last chance to kick it with the fine folks at the Bus Project for one final frolic of vote-finding.

    We'll be meeting up at Grant High School at 9am on Saturday, November 4 for a send off from the State Labor Commissioner, then driving off to Salem where none other than Bill Bradbury will give us his words of wisdom and inspiration.

    As always, the Bus will provide transportation, food, directions to doors, and an always entertaining cast of characters. You just provide your self and a love of democracy.

    Check out for the details.

    This is our last call effort to scare up record numbers of Oregon voters this election, come out with us for a full day of democracy-loving action and excitement. The bottom line? Meet up with us on Saturday and bring a friend. It'll be a raucous good time.

  • Scott in Boring (unverified)

    [response to off-topic and crude comment deleted. -editor.]

  • A Little Left of Left (unverified)

    Whatever. Go away, trolls.

    Kari - I would expect more from you than "Whatever.". Regardless of why he changed his name (and I agree with you that it was probably because his last name was "Dick"), the fact remains that a good question was raised: Why did he wait so long to change his name?

    I mean, if my last name was Dick, and I was going to change it, I would think that in college or right after you would do it. Maybe he changed it because he was getting married or some other innocent reason, but has anyone ever asked the guy?

    I'd like to know the answer. It may not a big deal, but in this election in this race, it seems like everything needs to be questioned.

  • JB Eads (unverified)

    As it is extremely last in the cycle, I'll contribute a phone bank shift in leiu of a donation to the troll fund. Anyone else who wants to volunteer can make calls at the DPO at 232 NE 8th Ave in Portland (double check that address though).

  • Gary Adamsek (unverified)

    So sorry for offering up a bit of truth, Kari. I know how much you liberal bloggers hate dissenting views on your blogs. I have noticed that Loaded Orygun has even gone as far as to turn off the "anon" option. I have also noticed the dramatic decline in number of comments on her blog as a result. So I must ask. What is the point of censoring comments on your blogs or merely offering up a "whatever go away troll" in response? Wouldn't it serve you better and strengthen your views to respond to opinions different than your own, instead of just sitting around congratulating one another all day? Just a thought, Kari.

  • JB Eads (unverified)

    Shouldn't the trolls get busy planning their big victory party for the 7th? They're gonna have so much to celebrate....

  • sasha (unverified)

    Gee, Kari, you deleted my comment. You have no sense of humor, especially when it is about yourself! You really should lighten up. Can't stand someone making a little fun of your name in an off-color way?

  • (Show?)

    LO has not turned off anonymous comments to stifle dissent. We believe we have a concern troll trying to spread crap on our site, and the only way to check it out is to stifle anonymous comments.

    You're free to post almost anything you like--you just have to sign up a handle, free and nearly anonymous, with blogger.

    In any case, we're either going to allow them again after the election, or more likely address the situation with a platform move.

  • TrollMonger (unverified)


    That's a great question. I heard his last name was "Dick," so he changed his name once he started working with troubled youth.

    Probably similar to the reason that Gaylor Tucker Minnis (the one who apparently sexually assaulted the poor young girl, and then tried to cover it up with Karen and John's help), went by Tuck.

    Thanks for the insightful question though.

    I may have to doante another $50 to future pac.


    Troll Monger

  • Gary Adamsek (unverified)

    Kari, aka Trollmonger

    What is wrong with the name Gaylord? Are you suggesting there might be something wrong with having the word "gay" in a person's name? You heard it here progressives. Kari Chisholm has issues with the word "gay." A ridiculous statement to make perhaps, but is it anymore ridiculous than your willingness to repeat an accusation that you know good and well to be false? If you can prove one illegal act committed by John or Karen Minnis than by all means litter your blog with it. If you can't, will you shut up? Can you do that, Kari? Do you have enough of a conscience to not blatantly lie to the people that read this blog? I challenge you to have the integrity to stop spreading slander and outright lies.

    See Kari, isn't this more fun than having people pat you on the back and agree with you all day?

  • (Show?)

    Hey Gary... I post over my own name -- not "TrollMonger", whoever that is.

    Sasha wrote, You have no sense of humor, especially when it is about yourself!

    You clearly don't know me, do you? I just spent Saturday at Reser Stadium, surrounded by ecstatic Beaver fans. A fun place, to be sure, for a diehard USC alumnus.

    Here's the deal: This thread is about whether the Oregon House Democrats can take back the majority. It's not about Rob Brading's last name, and it's not about Karen Minnis's little ethical problem.

    Future comments on those subjects are going to be deleted as off-topic. If you want to debate Jon's assertion that a 31 or 32 seat majority is within reach, go right ahead.

  • (Show?)

    p.s. to Gary Adamsek: I responded to your post about Karen Minnis where it's on-topic, over here.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, you were at Reser and didn't come to the CHS Band concessions stand? wtf??? do you really hate schoolkids that much??? we would have sung the BlueOregon theme song to you and everything!

    i wish i'd known you were coming. dang.

  • (Show?)

    Phone banks are at 232 NE 9th (not 8th) from noon to 9 every day.

    Nov. 2 is a special phone dual-purpose phone bank. Women calling women and phoning for Brading. Senator Wyden will stop by.

    Earl Blumenauer stopped by today. It's easy and fun.

    Sign up.

  • (Show?)

    Jon, thanks for the help to Dan. he's a great guy and if he wins, it will be one of the high points of this year. i'm just so proud to be a small part of the race with the website.

    and i know why HD15 is out of play; it's a sad fact, but i hope Dems and indies in that district realize that Sam Sappington is one of the finest candidates we have in Oregon. that he has taken on such a bleak district (in terms of his chances) speaks to his courage and character. he's run a smart race, he's been diligent, and this with his father being so ill all summer. we got some late money, so we have lawn signs at last! go to Sam for HD15 and request a sign, read his issue statements, send a few bucks — make that waste-of-space incumbent work a tiny bit for the victory he and the Rs believe to be their god-given right.

  • (Show?)

    we would have sung the BlueOregon theme song to you and everything!

    We have a theme song? Sorry I missed it....

  • LT (unverified)

    Thanks, Jon for including Brian Grisham and Chuck Lee. They deserve to be noticed.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Sasha, I have had a comment for being off topic and crude relating to Gordon Smith deleted and I'm ok with it so quit crying about it you big baby.

    On topic...look I'm not much of a big volunteer because every time I do all they want is for me to make phone calls which I make pretty clear when I volunteer that I do not want to do. The Bus Project is awesome! I'm really happy with what they do and it's fun. If you've got time do it. Your smiling face can really help because honestly people just don't know what scumbags these Repugs in the Oregon house are. It took me literally 2 hours and showing 1 picture of Saxtonville to get 3 votes for Ted. The decent Repugs are unfortunately supporting the dirtbags like Minnis. They need to go.

  • je (unverified)

    torridjoe,639: Sorry, but it was even more basic than not putting up with dissent. It was an inability to answer logic and reason with better logic and reason. Also, there was an egotistical need to have the last word even when it was obvious who had the better argument. I can only assume the quality of argument is not the primary purpose on LO, but rather, to promote the ideology espoused by its authors, even in the face of superior reasoning offered by others with an opposing view.

  • (Show?)

    Have any of you guys that are always bashing Kari ever spent any time on Democratic Underground or Free Republic?

    Please do that, even though it's a really nauseating experience to anyone who strives for usefule political discourse.

    With all respect to Jesse and Jeff, it is Kari who has his butt hanging out the farthest here, in his effort to propmote civil discourse. To argue that he deletes based on his own idology or interests is complete and utter bullshit.

    This guy makes his living in the political areana and (having watched this crowd in action over the past half dozen years) he incurs real personal financial risk every day while he promotes civil discourse in this venue.

  • (Show?)

    je, logic is not qualitiative. Either something is logical, or it is not. One cannot have "better logic." It is simple rhetorical mathematics: if A = B and B = C then A = C.

    Here's an example: one cannot, logically, be accused of simultaneously squelching dissent and responding to it repeatedly. If we were squelching it, who have we been arguing with for 57 comments?

    ObTopic*: As I mentioned over at Squelch/Berate Central, Jon's analysis is largely backed up by Ted Piccolo over at NW Republican. He's more optimistic about GOP gains in the Senate, but his insiders are as worried about the House as Isaacs is confident. And it's nearly a matter of LOGIC that a building Democratic wave evident from nearly all recent polling, will wash at least partly over Oregon, up and down the ticket. Don't stop working--how bad can we make it for the Republicans? Let's find out.

    *short for "obligatory note on-topic"

  • je (unverified)

    torridjoe946, When talking about politics, logic and reason are not mathematical equations. Rather, they are based on an understanding of human nature, the circumstances involved in the particular context, and a reasonable definition of terms for purposes of communication.

    To say one side can not have better reasoning or argument than the other is ludicrous. If that is true, why have discussion or dialogue?

    Actually, torridjoe you make my point about an egotistical need to have the last word. Of course, you have had topic posts with a large number of comments, but that does not exclude issues or positions where you have an inability to answer effectively, yet comment on, determined to be the last comment on the subject, and even change your rules for commenting when you can't win. Actions speak louder than words, LO actions speak for themselves.

    Kari is right, turnout will determine the makeup of the Oregon House, election night will reveal which side was more effective.

  • Garlynn (unverified)

    Are there any tools set up for people to phone-bank from home? I've done some work with, hosting phone parties where a bunch of folks get together and call a specific district in another stat,e to help win back Congress and the Senate at the national level for the D's.

    Are there any tools that could allow people to do the same sort of thing, right here in Oregon, for the Oregon House and Senate races? That is, print out a list of potential progressive voters and a script for a particular district, pick up their cell phone, maybe invite a few friends or activist colleagues over to do the same thing, and get to work?

    Just curious. I'd love to help out in this manner, and think it could be a pretty powerful tool at the scale of an individual Oregon legislative district.

    (contact me off-line if you have any leads on ways to do this in the next 7 days)

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    Wow, there are so many intelligent and mature comments on this post, especially in the early comments. I guess I haven't missed much in a month. Regarding names changes, Gary Hart changed his name from Hartpence because his fellow high schoolers called him "hotpants". He should have kept his old name, I guess.

    I have been helping Jim Gilbertson's campaign in Dist 59, which Jon mentioned as a potential pick-up. Jim was outspent 8-1 in 2002, didn't do any mailings and still won 46% in '02. This time, he has kicked in his own money, and, combined with 120 donations, has spent $25,000, nearly all of it in the last month. This is half of what Dallum raised, but Dallum has wasted most of his on non-advertising and we have outspent him 3-1 in the last month. Jim is a farmer and former mill worker who is a great fit for the district. I think Jim could be the first Democratic legislative candidate to win in Eastern Oregon in a decade (Bob Jensen was the last in '96,a nd he switched parties.)

    If anyone wants to help, we could use help calling voters. Contact us at [email protected]

  • Gus Frederick (unverified)


    Farmers got mixed up: "Farmer Dan" is actually in HD17 while "Farmer Jim" is in HD18.


    Gus Frederick

    <h2>"Remember Remember ... the Seventh of November"</h2>

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