Will OEA's PAC switch spending from TABOR to Kulongoski?

Last week, the AP took a look at the ad war between Kulongoski and Saxton:

Fueled by the millions of dollars he’s raised so far — a shower of money that shows no sign of slowing down, with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani due in Portland Oct. 9 to headline a $2,500-a-person private reception — Saxton has virtually owned the airwaves for the past month.

The Kulongoski campaign, meanwhile, is off to a decidedly slower start in the TV wars, and has kept its spots strictly in the warm-and-fuzzy category. A new ad, released Tuesday, touts new rules designed to crack down on meth cooks. The previous spot focused on children’s health care, school reading programs and early childhood education efforts that the governor has championed.

The AP also noted that OEA is considering pumping ads into the governor's race:

The wild card is outside interest groups, which have remained quiet in the governor’s race. That might not last. The Quality Education for Oregon political action committee, funded with $300,000 from the state’s largest teachers’ union, has been prepping broadcast ads and has reserved time with local network affiliates, said Oregon Education Association lobbyist Chip Terhune.

“We are watching and observing right now as Saxton continues to do negative campaigning,” Terhune said.

The group will need to decide where to place its bets, since it’s also opposing a state spending limit ballot measure. But with that effort losing in the polls, and the gap narrowing between Saxton and Kulongoski, the PAC is “ready for anything,” Terhune said.


  • (Show?)

    The Kulongoski campaign needs a major shift in stategy to combat the thousands and thousands of dollars dumped into Saxton's lap to run his untruthful ads. Not only does the Kulongoski campaign need money from groups who traditionally support Democratic candidates, his campaign needs to seriously rethink the kind of ads they produce. The only Kulongoski ad running on TV in Southern Oregon is the sweet little lady praising Ted for fighting the meth problem. Sadly, the sweet lady is difficult to hear and understand, a very soft understated ad..not the kind of ad that will swing voters.

    Speaking of swing voters, of the registered voters in Jackson County, by party affiliation there are 37,744 registered Dems and 47,850 registered Republicans. Drum roll please....there are 23,478 non-affilated registered voters!!! Swing voters should be targeted in every county in Oregon by the various campaign committees working for Kulongoski.

    The "biggies" in the Kulongoski campaign should get on their phones this morning and check in with every campaign committee.."Do you need more lawn signs? More bumper stickers? Are there events where the governor might be able to gain more exposure in your area coming up?

    It's time to rock and roll. Remember if Democrats and un-affliated voters don't vote, the Dems won't win.

  • I just had to (unverified)

    "Do you need more lawn signs? More bumper stickers?" is not how you win campaigns. Lets hope the "biggies" are calling for cold hard cash. Thats what Ted needs now, and I hope you all make a visit to www.tedforgov.com and give some I know I did.

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    Agree with you. We all need to dig down and donate what we can. There's a front page story in the Medford Mail Tribune today featuring the zillions of Saxton signs all over the county and how the Kulongoski campaign just delivered lawn signs on Monday, October 2nd to the Jackson County Democratic HQ's. Lawn signs and bumper stickers don't win elections..getting out the vote, personal contacts and really good TV and radio ads do as well as donating to the Kulongoski campaign! Lawn signs can't hurt. We have ours up among the sea of Saxton signs that have been up for around 3 weeks now. My point is really about effective support for the Kulongoski county campaign headquarter's across the state.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)

    Kulongoski is sadly reaping what he sowed: and that's a bunch of smug little seeds that sprouted tiny anti-green shoots and did pretty much nothing. Do I want him to win? Sure. Will I do anything to help? I won't lift a finger.

    Strange that the "13 environmentalists" are praising K as a "progressive".

  • Small Donor (unverified)

    Peter -- sadly, that's my sentiment exactly. No way I'm going to break my pick on this guy while there are chances for so many Democratic pickups in the House and Senate.

    I hope the story above isn't indicative of big-time Democratic donor groups as a whole... that the down-ticket items such as ballot measures and legislative races are going to be torpedoed so that Kulo can grab some more bucks. All my donations this cycle are to legislative races.

  • LT (unverified)

    Peter Bray is right.

    Some of us have been saying for months that Ted had to make people want to make his race a priority, rather than legislative campaigns. Ted had his chance to motivate people this summer (as some of us who have known him for years were saying then, "when are we going to see the Ted we've known for over 20 years, the charismatic guy?"). But before Westlund's withdrawal Ted's attitude of "I'm running against 2 Republicans" didn't do much to win the support of those who admire Ben Westlund and his discussion of issues important to ordinary folks.

    And when has Ted actually told anyone publicly "I did _last year because------------"?

    Or didn't he think he needed to explain himself because people would vote for him regardless of what he had done or what he never explained publicly?

    Kulongoski is sadly reaping what he sowed: and that's a bunch of smug little seeds that sprouted tiny anti-green shoots and did pretty much nothing. Do I want him to win? Sure. Will I do anything to help? I won't lift a finger.

    This has been explained face to face to some people who work for Ted. They sounded like they understood there were those who voted for Ted in 2002 who were unhappy with him for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with PERS (where he was publicly during the session, some of his appointments, etc.).

    Ted couldn't be bothered to debate his opponents more than once during the primary--were they beneath him? He couldn't find a way to stand up in front of groups of interested people (like Jim Hill did at Marion County Dems.) and answer questions. But that night Hill spoke and answered questions, the person then Ted's campaign manager said to the group "The governor is doing what Oregonians want done". We were just supposed to accept that because hearing candidates in person doesn't really matter when we are told how to vote? Whatever happened to "we the people"?

    And now Ted's supporters wonder why people spend their time and energy on local legislative campaigns instead of the Gov. campaign? This imperial "we're in office, we know what we are doing" attitude hurts both parties and may be the reason for this year's anti-incumbent mood.

    But that sour mood is also sour on those who can't discuss issues without attacking the opponent.

    This is part of a letter to the editor in the SJ today:


    After hearing Ron Saxton speak at Chemeketa Community College, I know more than ever that I want to vote for Ted Kulongoski. Not that Ted has been spectacular, but rather I have grown tired of the negative campaigning by the entire Republican party. Mr. Saxton spent more the 50 percent of his time and money attacking the governor, rather than telling us how he will change Oregon government................................ Laying blame on Ted for every problem this state has is wrong. Hey Ron, how about that leadership in the House these last three sessions taking its share of blame or several past ballot measures that took away local control and their effect is finally hitting us. Ron, it's time for a change and the biggest change you can make is tell us your plans, how you plan to accomplish them and what they will do for us. Otherwise you have lost my vote! As history has taught us, "united we stand and divided we fall." Negativity divides people very quickly! ~~~~~~~~~

    I do talk to my friends about why I support Ted over Saxton (nasty ads, no clear plan, does he even realize that if elected Gov. "the governor proposes and the legislature disposes" or does Saxton think being elected will give him some sort of power to make things happen without 31 votes in the House and 16 in the Senate?).

    And this year there is a serious crop of 3rd party candidates, incl. my old friend Joe Keating and Morely the Libertarian. They have talked in more serious detail about issues than the major candidates.

    I saw Ted give a great speech in Salem at the St. Cent. Comm. But will that be his only appearance in Salem? At a recent legislative candidate canvass I was talking with a friend who is a state employee. She asked that question. Ted didn't carry Polk Co. in the primary. He carried Marion by just over 500 votes. But somehow the events listed on his campaign website are all outside of Salem.

    What this boils down to is that for all the professionalism of politics, all the discussion of whether broadcast ads or going door to door is more effective than phone banks or mailings in getting votes, it all comes down to this: Votes come from individual decisions.

    In 2002, I knew people here in Salem who said "I know both of them, and if it is a choice between Kevin and Ted I will vote for Ted ". There were those this summer after Westlund dropped out who were sad about that but said in a resigned way "well if the choice is Kulongoski or Saxton, I will vote for Kulongoski." Decision made before the ads started.

    And though it may seem like heresy to some here, that is the whole point. If a friend of a candidate has a conversation with someone which results in the other person saying "Thank you for this conversation. You have won me over. I was going to leave the ballot line blank, but you have convinced me to vote the way you are going to vote." then that is a vote gained. Someone attending an event where voters ask candidates questions and get responsive answers may very well vote for that candidate.

    This should be the lesson learned from 10 years ago January. Gordon Smith ran the "we're all real tired of career politicians" campaign and the joke became that what we were all real tired of was those ads.

    Ron Wyden decided that attack ads weren't doing the job and shifted strategy. The 100% positive ads plus the "ice cream in January" events where people could come and engage in Q & A with Ron (backed up by phone banks where "if you are uncertain, come meet the candidate next Thursday at..." was part of the script) led to events where friends of Ron marveled at how many people attended who they had never seen before at any event.

    It is a question of campaign philosophy. There was a large 3rd party vote in Jan. 1996, but Ron was elected and became Sen. Wyden. That sort of thing may well happen this year with Kulongoski. But if it doesn't, then the people who were Kulongoski partisans from day one should examine the actions of earlier this year. Previous hotly contested primaries have been followed by unity events where everyone mingled and socialized. But that means treating supporters of other candidates as potential supporters, not stupid people who voted for the "wrong" candidate.

    Maybe it would have been wiser to reach out to those who didn't support Ted in the primary and run a more people-oriented campaign. And to have listened to those of us who suggested after the primary that Ted take issues from Westlund's website and discuss them rather than dismissing anyone who took Westlund seriously.

    As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

  • (Show?)

    AP's underselling the ad buy. As this chart (Excel file) indicates, in October and November the PAC will run approximately 800 spots costing $450,000. If they push any more towards Ted from TABOR, they'll be running nothing but commercials on TV from now to November.

  • frank carper (unverified)
    <h2>Please stay on topic, folks This post is about OEA's ad spending -- not Kulongoski's environmental policy.</h2>
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