Election Night in Kandahar (updated w/ video)

On Election Night, state senate candidate Paul Evans (D-Monmouth) won't be at a victory party. He won't even be in Oregon. He'll be in Afghanistan, in combat zone.

From the Oregonian's David Sarasohn:

So when voting starts [sic] in the mid-Willamette Valley 10th district, Evans will be either in or approaching an Air Force base near Kandahar -- possibly the only candidate in America this year spending Election Day on active duty in a combat zone.

At least it makes you appreciate the mail ballot.

Evans, a major in the Oregon Guard, does air battle management, keeping things in the air from crashing into each other -- a skill immediately useful at the state capitol. Both the Oregon and Wisconsin units involved particularly wanted him along, he was told, because many in the units "have never been overseas in a combat zone before. My job would be to make sure I get all my kids back with their fingers and toes."

Nobody, of course, can guarantee that in a combat zone, but Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell, deputy director of the Oregon National Guard, told the Salem Statesman-Journal, "Major Evans has unique skills that are critical to the safety of our troops. I'm grateful that he is willing to ship out to Afghanistan, even in the last few days of a close campaign."

Yesterday, Paul Evans was endorsed by former NATO Supreme Allied Commander (and 2004 presidential candidate) General Wes Clark.

"A candidate of the strong moral values and invaluable expertise such as Paul Evans comes along once in a lifetime. He will bring to Oregon the intelligence, experience and passion that will serve our country well in the days we face ahead. Paul’s life experiences as a solider, public servant, teacher and man of faith give Paul a perspective that is very much needed today in government."

On Saturday night, join Paul Evans, Governor Ted Kulongoski, Congresswoman Darlene Hooley, and many others at a Portland send-off - just before Paul boards a plane to Afghanistan.

It's at 6 p.m. at Kulongoski HQ - 128 NE 7th St., Portland.

Update: This ad is now airing in Paul Evans' state senate district:

  • Blinders (unverified)

    [off-topic comment deleted. feel free to post a guest column.]

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    [response to off-topic comment deleted.]

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    I heard Diebold is unveiling their new voting machines in Kandahar... unfortunately 80 percent of the Afghan women are illiterate, along with 55 percent of the men.

    So, since most of the country can't read the word "cat", it's thumbs up for your candidate, thumbs down against, and no thumb means you've been fighting W's dirty little war, haven't you?

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    But but but... Democrats 'hate the troops' and 'don't want to fight the "War on Terra"'.

  • Sponge (unverified)

    So, if Major Evans wins this election, does he get a ticket out of Afghanistan in time to take his seat in the legislature in January? Is there already a provision allowing that to happen, or will it require some special dispensation? Just curious.

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    Posted by: Sponge | Nov 2, 2006 1:27:24 PM

    It is my understanding that his assignment is scheduled to have him back in the United States in time for the beginning of the Legislative session.

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    Posted by: Sponge | Nov 2, 2006 1:27:24 PM

    To follow up, from his campaign website:

    Evans will be deployed November 5th, two days before he will know whether or not he gets elected to the Oregon legislature. The deployment was originally scheduled for November 15th. Evans was requested for this 60-day mission because of this experience as an air battle commander. As one of the more battle-tested members of the unit, his experience is of critical importance in an area where combat is intensifying. This will be his eighth time in a combat zone. He will return home in early January in time to serve in the State Senate, if elected.

    (emphasis mine)

  • travisdiskin (unverified)

    I don't like it when the Republicans used the occupation as a political tool, and I don't like it when a Dem does.

    I think the spot is in poor taste. Evans is a good man, but he took bad advice on running that ad.

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    I've got no problem with the Evans ad. It's an innoculation against last minute ads from his opponent--"Paul Evans won't even be in the country on election day. How is he going to represent you if he can't even guarantee to be here?"

    The Jackie Winters campaign has already proved they are perfectly willing to engage in such tactics.

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    Travis --

    Did you even watch the ad? He's going to be in Afghanistan - not Iraq. You know, where the real terrorists are hiding.

    In any case, the point is that as a soldier, he's not a policymaker. He was requested by other soldiers and airmen, because he's got a unique set of skills that will help keep members of the Oregon Guard alive.

    You and I may agree that George W. Bush and his policy has been foolhardy, but if you had friends going into a war zone and you had a unique ability to keep them alive - wouldn't you do that?

    Now, I'm one that wishes Paul well, hopes he returns home soon and safe - and gets into his civilian role of being a policymaker. The State Senate won't have much to do with this war, but if the predictions are accurate, we're going to be in Iraq for a long time -- long enough, perhaps, that Paul Evans might have a unique contribution to make at another level.

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    The ad isn't just good. It was necessary. Winters has been trying to demean Paul's military record throughout the campaign. She personally tried to spread the falsehood that she had a recording of Paul stating that he would refuse orders to go back into combat. She has also claimed that he would not be back in time to serve in the Senate. Lastly she touts a Bush appointment to the Air Force Academy board this past year as her military experience. Since she has no military or education background why was she appointed to the Academy board? Could it be because Paul is an Air Force Major?

    If the voters don't know the facts they can't make a fair judgement.

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    "She personally tried to spread the falsehood that she had a recording of Paul stating that he would refuse orders to go back into combat."

    Really? If that's true it's despicable--and backfiring big time under the circumstances, I would think.

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    <h2>Yeah, it's one of the most disgusting things I've seen in politics. Jackie Winters ought to be ashamed of herself.</h2>
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