Bradbury leads endorsement list for Mac Prichard

In a statement released last night, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury endorsed Mac Prichard for Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. Bradbury is the first statewide elected official to make an endorsement in the DPO Chair race.

His letter was co-signed by State Representative Jackie Dingfelder, former State Representatives Deborah Kafoury and Jo Ann Bowman, and former Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz Walsh.

It was also co-signed by party activists Paddy McGuire, former Deputy Secretary of State and Executive Director of the DPO; Gavin White, the chair of the Multnomah County Democratic Party; and Jesse Cornett, BlueOregon co-founder and 2006 candidate for State Senate.

The text:

We are writing to urge you to elect Mac Prichard as the state party chair. In a field of strong candidates, Mac stands out as the best choice. Each of us – current and former elected officials, state and county party leaders, and campaign managers and candidates -- has worked with Mac in different ways over the years. Time and time again Mac has shown us and our colleagues in Oregon state government and politics that he has the vision and the skills we need in our next party chair. He understands how to combine the talents of grassroots activists and candidates’ campaigns to win victories for Democrats.
With Mac’s leadership, we believe Oregon Democrats can beat Gordon Smith in 2008, keep the Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney General offices in Democratic hands, deliver the state for our presidential nominee and increase our majorities in the Oregon House and Senate. Mac will deliver a 36-county strategy, raise the money to mobilize voters in rural and urban areas, and communicate our Democratic message.

Mac offers a record of accomplishment that shows he can deliver on these goals. He is a Harvard-trained manager who chaired the DPO Finance Committee and led grassroots teams that raised more than $650,000 for Howard Dean, John Kerry, and the DPO. He set up a faith outreach effort last year which was so successful that Governor Dean asked for a personal briefing. He is also former speechwriter and deputy legislative director for Governor John Kitzhaber and a City Hall spokesman for Earl Blumenauer.

Because of Mac’s many years of work for Democratic elected officials and candidates he has excellent relationships with DNC staff and Chairman Howard Dean, the leaders of the Oregon Senate and House Caucuses, Democratic state legislators, and rural and urban party leaders and activists at every level.

The Democratic Party in Oregon is strong, but to win in 2008 and make our state permanently blue we need a state chair that can mobilize the grass roots and get results. We believe the person to do this is Mac Prichard and we strongly urge you to support him in this Saturday’s election.


  • nowhere (unverified)

    I noticed the endorsement list is full of Portland people. Does Mac have endorsements from outside the Metro Area?

  • random (unverified)

    I don't know about the other people on the list, but Bradbury is from Bandon.

  • Teri Mills (unverified)

    Mac Prichard will be an extremely effective DPO Chair and will work for the following in ALL 36 Oregon counties, just as he demonstrated when he was DPO Finance Chair last year:

    1. Mac will fundraise and distribute raised money in all 36 counties (he was instrumental in leading the Carry Oregon house party team in raising over half a million dollars, and this was because he communicated, encouraged, assisted, and led dedicated Democrats in rural, Southern, Central, and Eastern Oregon, NOT just the tri county area, as some would like you to believe.

    2. Mac will speak out and attend events in as many counties as is physically possible, and will also attend events critical to the DPO that occur in other states as well. Mac has proven he cares, he participated in the DPO Summit, and central committee meetings and also all the little meetings that took time, but added up to huge results. Mac doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk.

    3. Mac will be essential to getting the message out to the media about all Democrats' activities in the state, not just the Tri County area. Mac put together major press releases that went out to the media in Bend, Roseburg, Medford, and Hood River during the Dean House Parties and also for Carry OR and the DPO. I know, because I was right by his side the whole time. Mac has the expertise and knows exactly how to attract the media's attention.

    4. Mac spends time with everyone expresses a need and does everything he can to promote the values of the Dem. Party, not just in electing our future leaders, but in promoting issues we all care about as Democrats--END the WAR, health care for all, an education system second to none.


    It is always the right time to do the right thing. MLK

    Thank you in advance for your consideration, Teri Mills President, National Nursing Network Organization [email protected]

  • nowhere (unverified)

    Teri: That sounds great. I just wanted to know if he had any endorsements from outside the Metro Area.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: nowhere | Mar 7, 2007 12:46:56 PM

    Deborah Kafoury was the Rep for District 18, which is a rural district (Molalla, Silverton, Donald, Mt. Angel, Hubbard)

  • nowhere (unverified)

    lestatdelc, thank you. I know she lives in Portland now.

  • Jill Thorn (unverified)

    Rep Kafoury represented a district in North Portland and the Dist 18 number is before redistricting occured in 2000.

  • (Show?)

    Posted by: Jill Thorn | Mar 7, 2007 1:42:29 PM

    Mea culpa. Forgot about the renumbering.

  • pedro (unverified)

    so who all gets to vote?

  • nowhere (unverified)

    Delegates elected by County central committees.

  • (Show?)

    Ack. We had Jackie Dingfelder listed twice up there - and forgot to include former Rep. Jo Ann Bowman. It's fixed now.

  • nowhere (unverified)

    Kari, Jo Ann Bowman is also from Portland, right? Thank you for fixing it.

  • Portland's Guy (unverified)

    Okay, so now we know who the Official Multnomah County candidate is, brought to us by Gavin White, Deborah Kafoury, Serena Cruz Walsh, and Jesse Cornett.

    Nice way to slam that urban-rural split wide open.

  • (Show?)

    That's right. Portland isn't actually in Oregon. Phooey on Portland. Phooey I say!

  • David Sweet (unverified)

    I had the great good fortune to work with Mac Prichard on the Carry Oregon House Party Team. I came away vastly impressed with his leadership. I have been involved in hundreds of cooperative volunteer efforts over the years. Mac made this one particularly effective.

    He broke down a complex process into well-defined tasks that could be delegated, always provided clear direction, and followed up to ensure that everything was done with excellence. It was due to Mac's guidance that we were able to involve thousands of people and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from all over the state.

    We are fortunate to have someone of Mac's unique abilities offering to give his time to our party. I look forward to a dynamic DPO under Mac's leadership.

  • (Show?)

    Portland's Guy Nice way to slam that urban-rural split wide open.

    I think it's more subtle than Urban vs Rural. After all, Meredith Wood Smith, another leading candidate (perhaps the other leading candidate), is also from Portland. The difference is that people from outside Portland know her. She's earned many people's support because she's met them.

    Rather, it seems this election is more of a Look-Up vs Look-Down choice.

    What do I mean by that? Managers who Look Up are very good at pleasing their bosses, and other Very Important People who can help the organization they represent. They're usually very good money-men, exactly what you need when you're trying to win influence and support among established leaders.

    The weakness of managers who Look Up is that they often have no interest in (or clue how to) manage the actual organization they supposedly lead. At best, they delegate.

    Managers who Look Down identify with, and try to inspire great things from, the people who report to them. They build the organization, and hope that people of influence will be smart enough to recognize it, and sign on.

    Mac Prichard seems like a classic Look Up manager. He's great in person with VIPs. He's got endorsements from many of Portland's most important Democrats. His prodigous fund raising proves he's comfortable sweettalking major donors with money. He's probably a decent delegator. But clearly he's too busy to actually meet the volunteers who make up the bulk of the DPO, or else people outside Portland would know him.

    Meredith, on the other hand, is a classic Look Down manager. She spends most of her time on the road, talking to and inspiring the volunteers who make up the party. As such, she's not as practiced in the art of the Grand Visionary Speech in the Portland Ballroom as she is in just making sure that the shipment of campaign signs to the rural counties don't don't somehow get forgotten in the back room of the Portland DPO office for two weeks, which does nobody any good.

    As a practical matter, any successful organization needs both types. The question is, who should lead the DPO?

    I personally think the 50 state strategy is more of a Look Down type strategy, than what it replaced. So I prefer a DPO chair whose managerial style matches that. But others may differ. And no matter who wins, I'm sure the DPO will be well served.

  • (Show?)

    I am curious about the decision making process that led to the posting as "News" that Mac Prichard received some endorsements. Each DPO candidate has endorsements, yet one candidate was singled out. If I were Meredith, Carol, or Dan reading BlueOregon this morning must have been a real shock!

    The potential manipulation by BlueOregon of the DPO Chair race smells like freshly dumped manure. Granted, the race became very interesting when delegates realized that Neel and Jim were both leaving the DPO. Those resignations opened the door for all 4 candidates to realign their strategies if they wished to do so, given the abrupt change in the organizational climate of the DPO.

    I want to believe Mac was unaware of Kari's decision to flip the race rather than to just run impartial introductions to the questions asked of each DPO Chair here on BlueOregon. As a county Chair I am prepared to support the new DPO Chair whom ever is elected. I had hoped a straight vote by the 120 to 135 delegates. I had hoped delegates would vote for the most qualified candidate in their eyes, not based anything other than the proper skill set to help every county in Oregon grow their county organizations.

    I am incredulous after reading Kari's juvinile comment, "Phooey on Portland." The entire state of Oregon elects Democrats. The sterotypical reputation of "inside Portland thinking" simply does not resonate, even in Washington County or Clackamas County where I lived before relocating to Jackson County last June.

    This is a dark and shameful day for Blueoregon. Playing favorites so transparently is dirty politics plain and simple. Now we have 4 candidates pointing fingers at one another, all because Kari and his buddy Jesse cooked up one large self-important smeary vat of manure.

    Way to go BlueOregon.

    Paulie Brading

  • (Show?)

    His prodigous fund raising proves he's comfortable sweettalking major donors with money. He's probably a decent delegator. But clearly he's too busy to actually meet the volunteers who make up the bulk of the DPO, or else people outside Portland would know him.

    Steven, before you go making things up, you should get your facts right.

    From Mac's "Why I'm Running" post here on BlueOregon:

    Leading house party programs as a volunteer for Howard Dean, John Kerry, and the DPO that raised $650,698 at 969 events with 21,117 guests.

    The whole point of Mac's fundraising efforts was that it was grassroots and volunteer-driven. Just because you haven't met him, doesn't mean that thousands of other volunteers haven't.

    You owe Mac an apology.

  • (Show?)

    Paulie... I've been daily email contact with all four candidates for chair. So far, I've gotten exactly one press release from a candidate with endorsements. Here at BlueOregon, we can't report what we don't know.

    As far as I know, Bill Bradbury is the only statewide elected official to endorse in this race. Dan, Carol, and Meredith all know my email address and are welcome to send their news to me.

    I'm working very hard to be an honest broker here, not "flip" the race to anyone. Would you rather that there be no coverage at all?

  • (Show?)

    p.s. It's also worth noting that that GLBT Caucus endorsement of Meredith Wood Smith was previously reported here at BlueOregon.

    Bradbury's endorsement is newsworthy. As I told all four candidates this morning, if you make news, we'll report it. It's really that simple.

  • (Show?)

    One last comment, and then I'll shut up.

    I am incredulous after reading Kari's juvinile comment, "Phooey on Portland."

    Yeah, I was being sarcastic, and for that I apologize. But I do get tired of all the comments around here that seem to imply that Portlanders aren't entitled to also have opinions -- that Portland residents are somehow less worthy than non-Portland residents. Are Portlanders supposed to just keep quiet about their views? How does that help anyone?

  • (Show?)

    No, Kari. I stand by my statements. Mac seems like a stand up guy, and I'm glad he's on our side, but even the statement you copnsider a refutation merely strengthens my point. A Look Down manager would not say they Lead a "program". A Look Down manager leads people.

    I'd also point you to David Sweet's endorsement - written simultaneously while I was writing my letter - that states that Mac's chief role in the grassroots effort was that of delegation to the people who actually did the grass roots work. That is again to be commended, but it does nothing to change my opinion of his managerial style.

    In fact, I see absolutely nothing pejorative in what I wrote. Other than that I have a slight preference for a different candidate who would bring other skills and focus.

    Or is that what you really want me to apologize for?

  • (Show?)

    But clearly he's too busy to actually meet the volunteers who make up the bulk of the DPO

    This is pretty pejorative.

    But I'm probably reacting emotionally to the close parallel between your "Look Up, Look Down" phraseology and the more insulting "Kiss Up, Kick Down" phraseology, used elsewhere here at BlueOregon recently.

    I don't disagree with you that "Look Up, Look Down" is a valid way to look at management styles. I just disagree that describes Mac Prichard, who has been one of the most accessible grassroots leaders in this party.

    I'm staying neutral in this race. I think all four candidates are good people, and I'm personally interacted with all four.

    I'm just getting pretty pissed off that people here would rather have this race disappear quietly into the night (one reporter laughed out loud when asked if their paper would cover it) - rather than have BlueOregon report it as hard news.

  • Sheesh (unverified)

    Paulie beat me to some of what I want to say but I will post anyway. It needs to be said.

    Way to run a campaign post for Mac. Wow. A campaign letter is not news. It is advertising. I hope that Blue Oregon is not just a tool for the few like Chisholm's clients and Cornett's friends. The list is weird too. Not statewide. Not Willamette Valley. Not Metro area. Not Multnomah County. Not even all of Portland. But East Portland, and pretty much just inner N/E Portland. (Joanne Bowman represented NE Portland; Jesse Cornett ran to represent NE Portland, Serena Cruz represented NE Portland; Jackie Dingfelder represents NE Portland now; Deb Kafoury represented N/E Portland; Gavin White lived(s?) in E Portland, and I think Paddy McGuire is a NE Portland guy too. Portland's a great and important town, but doesn't represent all of Oregon. (Yeah yeah Bradbury, who should've stayed out of this, but that's just cause his two employees McGuire and Cornett and his good friend Dingfelder.) Funny.

    This would be an apalling use of lobbying effort by Blue Oregon, if it weren't such an apallingly narrow list.

    The most downstate crosstate candidate is Carol Voisin. Compromise candidates are probably either Meredith Wood Smith who has helped just about every county organize and used to be County Chair in Jackson County and now is in Portland, or maybe Dan Carol who is from Eugene and has national experience. This post suggests that this race is Portland plus the two guys who run Blue Oregon versus the rest of the State. Same with the unnamed hatchets of Meredith Wood Smith which hopefully backfired.

    I kind of like Dan Carol for the national experience and intelligence. But Maurer might have convinced me with the top down bottom up idea about Wood Smith. Great post by Maurer by the way. Mac seems like an able worker, but good post still.

  • (Show?)

    I'd like to correct one thing-- the area Jesse ran for this last election cycle.

    The state senate seat encompasses State Representatives Merkley and Schaufler's districts (47 and 48). It basically runs from I-205 east to the Portland city limits.

  • Kelly (unverified)

    A press release? This is a campaign letter sent out to all voters simply pasted on blue oregon. Of course Bradbuy endored him because of Jesse and Paddy. Shouldn't he have stayed out of this anyway?

    This is very strange.

  • Old Tired D (unverified)

    The running commentary on this race, and especially the paranoid accusations over the initial post, demonstrate why so few people actually get involved in the DPO or their local party. Look at how many empty PCP slots there are. How many people once were PCPs then said "never again" after wasting hours in pointless meetings? I know I'm not alone. Party politics provokes eye rolling more than inspiration. Blue Oregon shouldn't cover this race because it shows the world how out of touch the party hacks are with reality. The Multnomah Party endorsed Sorenson and Hill in the primary. That boneheaded process was emblematic of the entire party experience. Most activitists in progressive politics seem to stay clear of the party structure it seems...must be a good reason, and a reason why we still win. If the party mattered, organizations like meet-up, move on, the Oregon Bus project, wouldn't need to exist. They filled a vacuum, and a place to go for people who want to get involved without having to spend hours listening to crazy people revel in Roberts Rules of Order. Blue Oregon, stop covering this race.

  • (Show?)

    It might be strange, but it's news. There is no definition of "news" under which this doesn't make it - at least for progressive political junkies in Oregon.

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)

    I'm not up on the ins and outs of party politics, but I am supporting Mac Prichard, based on having worked with him during the Dean campaign and beyond.

    To my mind, Mac will be both an effective statewide leader who can work with the big-wigs (including Chairman Dean, natch) as part of the 50-state strategy AND a great grassroots leader who will motivate, organize, inspire, and involve the folks in the trenches such as myself. No matter where we live.

    Mac is a great leader and grassroots organizer, period. And that's what we need for our state party.

  • (Show?)

    Where's the outrage about the GLBT caucus endorsement of Meredith Wood Smith, also posted here as a news item? I don't remember seeing any. Nor should there have been any. It's a newsworthy fact, just like this item.

    I take Kari at his word when he says that he would post any similar item he received from Dan Carol or Carol Voisin. It's not as if he were posting Mac Prichard propaganda on a daily basis here.

  • (Show?)


    Yeah, um the district I narrowly lost this spring bordered Gresham, not inner NE Portland by any count.

    Also, by the way, Paddy doesn't work for the Secretary of State any longer and neither do I. In fact, I haven't since August. And I have never talked to him about this Mac. Mac got that on his own. On his own merits.

  • Eric A. Stillwell (unverified)

    I heard about Bill Bradbury's endorsement of Mac Prichard this morning well before I read it here on BlueOregon, and I certainly thought it was newsworthy.

    The Secretary of State endorsed a candidate for DPO chair.

    That's news.

    I live in Eugene and I support Mac Prichard for DPO chair, but then that's not news, because I'm nobody in Oregon politics. But that doesn't mean nobody outside of Portland has ever heard of him. I've know of him for quite a long while and he has been very encouraging to me as I gradually re-enter the world of Oregon politics after spending 20 years in California.

    Mac has always been generous with his time, and freely willing to correspond with me (nobody that I am). In fact, his candidacy for DPO Chair has inspired me to become a DPLC Precinct Committee Person down here in Eugene. I'm meeting with my HD14 chairwoman tomorrow.

    Thanks for all your support, Mac! And good luck this weekend.

  • LT (unverified)

    With all due respect, Mac, you've been endorsed by a statewide elected official (who I first met at a lunch at a State Central Comm. meeting maybe 20 years ago and respect) along with a bunch of people from the Portland area.

    You may have lots of friends, but what is your experience with Oregon Democrats around the state? FWIW, Meredith is a DPO officer known for showing up at meetings/ events outside the Portland area and Carol is a former candidate for the 2nd Cong. District seat, certainly a long way from Portland.

    A few decades ago, a reporter covering a multi-candidate primary said of one candidate "he is collecting many endorsements, which some people consider an excellent 19th century political strategy" and in the end that candidate came in 2nd.

    I would suggest that a good way to win over people outside the Portland area would be to address the very real concerns/ anger expressed by people in the "Neel Pender is leaving(updated)" topic here.

    And is anyone willing to discuss the "hot potato" a friend from outside Portland emailed me about?

    That now we will have totally new leadership, maybe "...we can explore the idea of moving our party to where the seat of government and all thing political are located..."

  • (Show?)

    Where's the outrage about the GLBT caucus endorsement of Meredith Wood Smith, also posted here as a news item?

    The GLBT Caucus endorsement of Meredith Wood Smith was posted here as a press release by Kristin Flickinger, the Vice President of that caucus. The Bradbury endorsement, on the other hand, was posted here as a "news" item written (presumably) by Kari, BlueOregon's site owner and moderator. The first source was a third party announcing a stand for a candidate, the second source owns the site and maintains a neutral stance.

    I believe this is the distinction some folks are concerned about. Likely over-concerned. The "rules" of online, multiple independently authored journalism are still being written. Kari says he would write a similar news item for any candidate sending him a press release, and I'm sure he would. I am also sure any serious third party endorsement announcement would be welcome here, as was the GLBT Caucus announcement (In the interest of full disclosure, I am also closely involved with the GLBT Caucus, and supported Kristin's posting here).

    BlueOregon is a valuable resource, no matter how we slice it. I think everyone involved, from Kari to all the candidates, are learning how to use it, and how it truly works.

  • (Show?)

    Thanks, Leo. Much appreciated.

    If it were up to me, I would have preferred that the GLBT endorsement be posted as an "in the news" item -- but only barely, and I really don't care very much.

    (Mostly because Kristin is a contributor to BlueOregon because she's the amazing Kristin -- not because she's the VP of the GLBT caucus. She should be posting her own voice, not anybody else's. But whatever. She's fabulous, and can post whatever she wants, whenever she wants to. Our contributors have earned the trust of our editors.)

  • Jules Kopel-Bailey (unverified)

    I'd like to add my 2 cents if I may:

    First, I want relate my experience working with Mac on the houseparty program. As Terri mentioned, I was very impressed with how Mac was able to raise money across the state. My family is from Coos Bay, and I know first hand how critical Democrats outside Portland are to winning. Mac had an amazing ability to engage folks who hadn't been engaged before and help them to raise money. I think he really inspired some of these people and it most certainly wasn't just in Portland. Also, I think his plan for revenue sharing shows his committement to make sure Democrats win across the state.

    Second, I think it's great that we have a forum online where we can discuss, no matter how the discussion goes. Thank you, Kari, and everyone else involved in Blue Oregon for making it a success.

  • Kelly (unverified)

    Yeah, um the district I narrowly lost this spring bordered Gresham, not inner NE Portland by any count.

    Congratulations Mac and Jesse for having a local candidate on the endorsement list who is as far from Portland as approaching the eastern border. Parry thrust Jesse! Well done! Brilliant rejoinder!


  • (Show?)

    Okay, I can't help myself. I've got to weigh in.

    Sheesh: Yeah yeah Bradbury, who should've stayed out of this, but that's just cause his two employees McGuire and Cornett and his good friend Dingfelder. So in your estimation, a statewide elected official has no business weighing in on who runs his party (but you do)? And he is clearly incapable of making up his own mind about this? Have you ever even met the guy? This statement isn't even laughable, it's pathetic.

    LT: "...we can explore the idea of moving our party to where the seat of government and all thing political are located..." Liz, for God's sake, move on. This was settled by the Central Committee 17, yes, 17 years ago. My daughter is about to go to college. She was born the year we moved the office to Portland. The fact that only one television station in Oregon has a full-time Salem bureau is all that needs to be said on this subject.

    Everyone: Let's review all the terrible things that come from Portland: Senator Ron Wyden, Governor Ted Kulongoski, Treasurer Randall Edwards, Attorney General Hardy Myers, Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner, Speaker Jeff Merkley, Majority Leader Kate Brown. Yeah, we suck.

    Since I came to Oregon in the late 80s, IIRC we have had 6 state party chairs (Judy Carnahan from Klamath County [though she did move to Portland while chair, becoming forever tainted], Wayne Anderson from Benton County, Jana Doerr from Coos County, Marc Abrams from Multnomah County, Margaret Carter from Multnomah County and Jim Edmunson from Lane County). Again, IIRC of the ten terms served by these chairs, two (maybe it's three) terms have been served by Multnomah County chairs. This is hardly domination. One could certainly argue, given where the Democrats live in Oregon, that Multnomah County has been well UNDER represented among the chairs.

    Finally, the group that signed the letter never said that we were anything other than people that support Mac. We did not claim to be broadly representative of anything. My two cents.

  • Jessica (unverified)

    I just don't feel like the chair of the dpo should be someone who's only endorsements come from Portland. It's not the chair of the multnomah county democrats, it's the entire state.

  • Frank Carper (unverified)

    OK, Jessica, then I guess you'll have to only chose between the four candidates then.

  • Jessica (unverified)

    Really? All four candidates have only won endorsements from Portland?

  • Jessica (unverified)

    Sorry, it posted before I was done. I just think it's interesting that the "press release" that was sent out listed endorsements only from Portland, that it was advertised as a good thing. It just seems like he should at least try to find some outside the metro area and the fact that he didn't do that, but advertised it anyway, seems like a big oversight. Maybe because they didn't realize how important it is to the rest of the state?

  • (Show?)

    I think Frank means that all four candidates have won endorsements from outside Portland.

  • Jessica (unverified)

    I see. But he was the only one who advertised only his Portland endorsements.

  • (Show?)

    You do know that Bill Bradbury isn't from Portland and doesn't live in Portland now? He represented Bandon in the legislature - and lives near the Capitol now.

  • Jessica (unverified)

    Yeah, I understood that. That's one of a long list of people. Why didn't he mention the other endorsements that came from outside Portland? Or was that the only one?

  • (Show?)

    Blue Oregon, stop covering this race.

    As someone who votes Democratic, but hasn't been involved in Party politics, I appreciate the coverage you're providing, Kari. Don't stop. I've been consistently impressed with your sense of fairness and fair play.

  • (Show?)

    Whatever, Jessica. Don't move the goalposts.

    I just don't feel like the chair of the dpo should be someone who's only endorsements come from Portland. It's not the chair of the multnomah county democrats, it's the entire state.

    And thank you, Frank.

  • Joseph Santos-Lyons (unverified)

    Please keep covering these developments, I find it newsworthy to see where statewide elected officials stand on internal party politics.

    I'm taken aback at the venom and the quick to judge urban-rural split. Whats the point here? If its to remind us that Oregon is not just Portland, okay, and I think we agree on that. They way it comes across though is as a smokescreen to attack a candidate who you don't like. Feels a bit misdirected to harp on the rural-urban piece, and no one seems to be saying that Portland-area endorsements (acknowledging that Bradbury as headliner is Coastal Man) are ultimately sufficient for a good DPO.

    Anyway, I'm not voting, nor deeply in touch with the candidates. As an outsider, I appreciate getting to know folks here and learn of their relations. Looking forward to getting back involved after my ministerial internship in the Philippines. Thanks Kari and Jesse for your hard work here.

  • (Show?)

    Silly me, all this time I thought the Democratic Party was the party of ideals and accomplishments, not the party of whiners who care more about where people live than what they have done and what they want to get done in the future (especially the whiners who post anonymously).

    I commend all four of the candidates (whom I think are all wonderful and dedicated people who have done great things for the party) for running positive campaigns focusing on what they have accomplished and what they want to get done in the next two years. I wish I could say the same for their supporters.

    If the whiners had spent half as much time campaigning as they have whining, maybe we would have won a couple of more seats in the legislature.

    And as for this "Look Up, Look Down" charge. Its just crap, as anyone who knows Mac and has worked with him will tell you. Let's stipulate for the record that all four of these candidates have paid their dues and worked in the trenches, stuffing envelopes, knocking on doors, and organizing at the grassroots.

  • Jessica (unverified)

    Kari, I wasn't trying to "move any goalposts." I was actually quite serious. Bradbury is the only person on his advertised lists of endorsements who is not from Oregon. If there are more then why did he not advertise that? When you brush aside this concern it only makes Mac and his supporters seem like typical Portland elitists.

  • Jessica (unverified)

    Of course, I meant "not from Portland."

  • Big Picture (unverified)


    Meredith Wood Smith, Chair Mac Prichard, Executive Director Carol Voisin, Vice-Chair with Candidate Recruitment and Training portfolio Dan Carol, Vice-Chair with Communications and IT/Infrastructure portfolio

  • Outraged (unverified)

    I for one am outraged--OUTRAGED--that there are no straight people in the GLBT caucus. How can they possibly endorse Meredith without straight people? Who do they think they are? What is Meredith running for, chair of the GLBT Democrats? This is an outrage. AN OUTRAGE!

  • Jackson (unverified)

    Sometimes we try humor and sometimes we fail miserably, eh?

    The difference is clear; the glbt caucus is a group with a particular interest and endorsed the candidate they thought was best for the job at hand. Mac's list of endorsements weren't from a particular interest but they include only Portland folks (I know, except for Bradbury, blah blah). GLBT is just one endorsement. I don't know Woods-Smith's entire list (because it hasn't been posted on Blue Oregon, haha) but I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest it doesn't include only the glbt caucus? It occurs to me that the longer this thread goes on the worse Mac supporters are making it. Why not address the concerns people are raising rather than mocking them with posts that are just an attempt at humor? Mocking people who live outside the area isn't gonna help your cause.

  • (Show?)

    Jessica, you said very clearly:

    I just don't feel like the chair of the dpo should be someone who's only endorsements come from Portland.

    Then multiple people demonstrated to you that Mac Prichard's endorsements include one very prominent person who is not from Portland.

    Then, you said:

    Yeah, I understood that. That's one of a long list of people.

    That's moving the goalposts. You set up a standard (it can't be 100% portland) and then changed the standard.

    We're done here.

  • Jackson (unverified)

    Kari, I get why you respond to the trolls when they log on but I'm having a hard time understanding why you're getting angry at Democrats who are raising concerns over this issue. What's going on here? Aren't we all supposed to be on the same side?

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    Portland "Elitists"...???

    I have never considered myself an elite anything, and I'm sure no one who knows me thinks I am either.

    I have lived in Portland for 17 years. I grew up in rural Lane County. I cut my first teeth in a political campaign in rural Lane County. I know what rural dems are up against.

    I go to work everyday, volunteer for the party like many others, show up for as many meetings as I can get to. I debate, I consider endorsements, I walk the precincts, been on a few bus trips, I dropped over a thousand dollars on various candidates both in and out of Multnomah county, but I'm an elitist???

    I just did a quick review the last election of the total number of dems who voted last November. Here's some stats:

    Approx 63% of all dems who voted in the state resided in five counties.

    Multnomah - 25% Washington - 11.5% Lane - 10.7 % Clackamas - 10% Marion - 6%

    The other 31 counties had the other 37% of the dems total vote. Of the top five counties, only Multnomah and Lane had more dems vote than republicans in November.

    So I'm back to my point, because Multnomah and Lane have actual democratic voting majorities, that makes us "elitists?" I'm sorry, but that is the same sorry framing brush that neo-cons use to paint all dems with, whenever they disagree with dems.

    I think some people in this discussion are suffering from being in the minority too long. There's only one way to change that, get a majority of votes for your candidate.

    For the record:, I'm a former Oakridge "ridge runner".. and I don't have any problems or major gripes with labor folks, gun owners, farmers,ranchers or city dwellers ...

    I'd still vote for Tom McCall if he were to run on any ticket...

    Live and let live folks.

    We can have a debate on who's the best candidate, but quit referring to us up here in Portland as elitists.

    Go Meredith!

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    Who's angry? I'm just pointing out the logical inconsistency in your demands, Jessica. You're moving the goalposts - which is classic troll behavior. (Trolls are NOT right-wingers, they're folks who don't participate fairly in the conversation.)

    Seriously, I'm done. There are four posts above this one now. I'm moving on.

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    Thank you Mark. Well said.

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    A number of observations, probably final unless I get an absolutely compelling response:

    1] Whether he admits it to himself or not, it's pretty obvious that Kari is leaning towards Mac.

    I deduce this from his selective outrage. Of the two potentially pejorative things I said about the candidates -- 1) Meredith is "not as practiced in the art of the Grand Visionary Speech" and 2) Mac "too busy to actually meet the volunteers who make up the bulk of the DPO, or else people outside Portland would know him." -- Kari chose only the latter, much more substantiated, claim at which to draw offense. (For the record, I have no idea if Meredith is talentless in delivering stemwinders, I just haven't heard one from her yet.)

    This is all fine, of course. As I've repeatedly said, this is a choice between four very wonderful and deserving people, and good people can (and probably should) disagree. But a little self-knowledge is in order.

    2] The Rural/Urban split is worse than a lot of people realize; it may even be harming progressive causes.

    I take this from the tone of a number of responses, which, while unfortunate, seem to be giving voice to a lot of usually unstated frustrations. I have sympathy for both sides. Portlanders should not be delegitamized simply because of where they live. On the other hand, we cannot allow State politics to become a mere extension of big city politics (this latter tendency was noted by the framers of our Constitution, and is a reason why capitol cities are never the largest cities in the State.)

    While Mark is absolutely correct in stating that rural areas in Oregon remain strong bastions of Republican support, we all need to ask ourselves - is this what we want? If so, we should all just keep what we're doing.

    For me, I say it's not unreasonable to ask that a candidate for a Statewide position present evidence of a serious statewide focus.

    3] Whoever wins is going to need to mend fences

    Admittedly much of the vitrol on this topic is coming from anonymous, or pseudo-anonymous, sources. But still, it's pretty clear that some people are so dead set on their candidate they're willing to tear into their potential rivals. That isn't good for the DPO or the State party in general. Whoever wins will need to work to win over the die-hards.

    More importantly, some die-hards are bound to be disappointed. They need to admit to themselves that if their favorite candidate doesn't win, the Party is not over. And anybody who walks out of next weekend's election feeling bitter, is not acting in the true Democratic spirit.

    I pledge to fully support the new DPO chair - no matter who it is.

    I challenge everyone else on Blue Oregon to make the same pledge.

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    I can only say from working directly with Mark (Mitch Gore here) when I lived in Multnomah County (Live in Washington County now), he is anything BUT elitist. He is a solid guy, working hard for the party and as low key and good natured as they come.

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    Posted by: Steven Maurer | Mar 8, 2007 11:42:45 AM

    An easy pledge for me to second and agree to. All four candidates have real strengths that will help the party, no matter which one wins the position.

  • Chris Matson (unverified)

    Hey folks,

    The fact that the Portland vs the rest of Oregon debate continues to be argued on both sides by respected (and sometimes not-so-respected) Democrats says something about the internal family problems we are having and continue to have since the decision was made to remove the state party headquarters away from the seat of state govenrment.

    The rural-urban division is real. Declining voter registration rolls among rural Democrats is clear proof of that, as is the fact that legislative districts once held by Democrats like Kitzhaber, Kulongoski, Eymann and Bradbury are now squarely in Republican hands.

    There is also a direct corelation between declining Democratic voter registration outside of Portland/Eugene/Corvallis/Ashland/Bend and the decision made 17 years ago to move the state party headquarters away from the seat of state power.

    Paddy, you wrote:

    "This was settled by the Central Committee 17, yes, 17 years ago. My daughter is about to go to college. She was born the year we moved the office to Portland. The fact that only one television station in Oregon has a full-time Salem bureau is all that needs to be said on this subject."

    With all due respect, no decision is cast in stone, and certainly this decision, above all others, warrants a revisit. After all, wasn't it 1990 when Democrats lost the majority in the House? And didn't the downhill slide in the Senate begin about that same time? I know that according to the voter rolls (of which you are definately aware of) there was a significant acceleration in the number of Democrats leaving he party in rural districts, a bleeding that continues to this day.

    As far as the old argument that the press and all the money is in Portland, well, that is true for us as well as for the Republicans. Yet for 16 years Republicans managed to hold on to the House and for eight of those years also held the Senate, all the while keeping their state party operations within a stones throw of the Gold Pioneer. Didn't keep o'l Kevin from getting his share of face time in the media when he ran things, did it?

    Only nine other states have their State Democratic Party outside of their state capitols or their suburbs. That means 40 other states, not to mention the DNC itself, chose to be as close to the seat of state power as possible.

    I can't help but think there must be some kind of reason for this.

    The fact is that since the decision was made to remove the state party headquarters from the state capitol, Democratic registration, power and representation outside of urban enclaves has eroded away at a freightening pace. Every single problem that has fallen on our party, from declining voter registration to the loss of working class support to the 3% to 5% overall Democratic legislative underperfomance in the last general election can be traced to that one single fateful decision when the party, in effect, told the Republicans we were surrendering the countryside to them without a fight.

    So if the percieved gains of removing the party operations away from the seat of state power to be closer to the press and the $$$ hasn't affected the GOP, who made the "dumb" decision to keep their party operations in the seat of state power (not to mention 40 other Democratic state parties and the DNC itself), and given us the advantage that it was supposed to have, but instead can be traced as the root problem for declining support in non-urban areas , the bleeding of voter registration rolls, and the lack of a coherent message that resonates among working-class and rural folk who even last election didn't get all that worked up and handed us disappointing and lackluster Democratic support overall (despite picking up 4 house seats), gee I would think that, if anything, this decision made 17 years ago would warrant at least a revisit and maybe a reconsideration.

    If the correlary evidence is clear that this decision has not worked for us (and the voter registration, voter support and Democratic performance evidence is crystal clear on this one), I just can't help but wonder why there seems to be so much resistance among Portland "Progressives" to moving forward on this.

    After all, doesn't Webster define a "progressive" as someone who supports "Progress?"

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    I pledge to fully support the new DPO chair - no matter who it is. I challenge everyone else on Blue Oregon to make the same pledge.

    Absolutely Steve. They've got mine.

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    If the blame for losing the House in 1990 goes to the DPO for moving its office to Portland, then credit has to go for the progress: pre-1990: 2 Republican US Senators 1997: Ron Wyden is elected pre-1990: 2 of 5 US Reps are Republican 1990: Mike Kopetski beats Denny Smith pre-1990: Republican Treasurer, Attorney General and Supt. of Schools 1992: Hill and Kulongoski elected, 2000 Castillo elected.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics.

    Describing Salem as "the center of all things political," as LT did is just idiotic. Challenge: name the last statewide D nominee top of the ballot campaign based in Salem. I can't, since it happened before 1988.

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    I pledge to fully support the new DPO chair - no matter who it is. I challenge everyone else on Blue Oregon to make the same pledge.


    As for Kulongoski's old legislative district, I believe it's currently held by Chris Edwards (D). Obviously, the lines have moved and the districts renumbered... but Kulongoski himself said during the campaign that one of his personal election goals was to "win back my old seat" - and he was talking about the Chris Edwards campaign.

  • Sadie (unverified)

    The thing I find most odd about this entire discussion is that most of us Democrats, no matter if you are a PCP, House District Leader, or a volunteer, don't have any say in who the next Chair of the DPO is.

    Steve Mauer, you're an alternate to the State CC for Washington County so maybe you'll actually get a chance to vote on this if somebody else can't make it.

    My point is that the Chair of the DPO is a very important possition to all of us. It doesn't matter if you live in Portland or Bend, or Yachats. Too bad those volunteers and Democrats some complain aren't being reached out to aren't going to have a chance to vote on this possition, maybe then we could really know who the candidate of the rural areas is.

    I love that most of the people discussing this issue are people from the Metro area who are determining what the Rural Democrats and the Urban Democrats would most like to see in the leader of our party. The reality is you don't know because none of you have asked them, and lets be honest nobody is going to.

    Now all that aside, please consider that all 4 of these candidates are people who should be running for this possition and would serve our party well (I am biased towards one of the candidates, but since I can't vote - I'll keep that to myself).

  • genie Uebelacker (unverified)

    We should all be very grateful that four very capable candidates are running for the chairmanship of the DPO and are willing to put in the arduous time it takes to blend all the counties of Oregon together. There was a time when it was difficult to get even one person to commit to the top position. I also would like to add my commitment with, I hope, all others that no matter who wins we will all come together and work as much as we can to get all our Oregon Democrats elected in 2008 and also wind up with a Democrat in the White House!

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    All areas of this state have the ability to vote on who the chair will be this weekend. The delegate positions are spread throughout the state proportionately. And believe me, there will be plenty of rural folks there this weekend.

    If nobody else shows up for a SCC meeting, you're assured the people from rural Oregon will.

    When we had a snowstorm in Portland, and the metro area people stayed home, the rural people were here and wondering where everyone else was.

    It's not like we've paired people in rural counties against people in urban counties for the delegate positions-- each county gets a certain number of male and female delegates/alternates, and their central committee elects them.

    The delegates are elected by the PCPs to represent them at the SCC. That is always something to remember when you elect people to serve as delegates and alternates.

  • Paul Motta (unverified)

    As the new Chair of Deschutes County, I find the debate here a bit confusing and slightly disheartening. However, I do like the fact that the run for the Officer positions is spirited and competitive.

    Of the four Chair candidates, I was only familiar with Carol Voisin. She worked tirelessly in her campaign against Walden, and I admire her efforts and her positions on issues. I have received calls and letters from the other candidates, and my conclusion from talking with all of them is that they are all expert, competent and committed enough to lead the DPO. Endorsements from public officials are fine, and they may reveal some extra information about the candidates, but I feel a bit suspect about those particular statements of support. Rather, the personal endorsements communicated here seem to carry more weight and insight about the candidates.

    As the Democratic Chair of the county with the most population pressure in the USA and a Republican stronghold for the past 10-20 years, I find it a great challenge -- and not impossible -- to build the Democratic Party here and get some of our candidates elected. I am not overly concerned about where the leaders of the DPO reside, but I do hope that they realize Central and Eastern Oregon need some attention in the coming years. I wouldn't say that I feel like General Custer out here in Central Oregon, but I will be extremely focused on winning some races here and, despite the odds against us, I will charge forward. My wish for the future is that the new DPO Chair and other officers will provide whatever help possible to us here in Deschutes County.

    I will be in Salem to meet, watch, listen and vote. It should be interesting, and, I hope, fun. And I believe that any of the four DPO Chair candidates will serve Oregon Democrats very well in the future.

  • Steiny (unverified)

    A couple of years ago, I was a Delegate to DPO and had the honor of voting to endorse Howard Dean for Chair of DNC. I greatly regret that I am no longer a Delegate, and am unable to vote for Meredith.

    Steiny, Washington County...almost Portland!

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    Really? All four candidates have only won endorsements from Portland?

    As someone who does not live in Portland, and who has been one of the most vocal critics of how the DPO has given more in lip-service than real resources to rural districts and non-targeted districts, I can say, without hesitation, that I would love to see Meridith become chair of the State central Committee and Mac become ED.

    I worked with Mac when we were both active with Democracy for Oregon shortly after Dean became DNC chair, and the programs that Mac helped put into place in 2003 and 2004 did more to energize folks outside of the Portland Metro area, and to raise money than basically anything that the DPO has done.

    In the entire nation, only florida raised more grassroots money for Dean than Oregon, and that was primarily thanks to Mac, and to Teri Mills -- both of whom live in or near PDX.

    Meridith has travelled end-to-end across this state and knows and respects the county structure better, and more deeply, than anyone I've met. I have found her to be a voice reason within the DPO. I have never seen her treat anyone with anything less than the utmost respect, and I trust her political instincts, and the work that she has put in, more than just about anyone I've met in Oregon politics.

    If the only case you have to make against either of these two people is that they have Portland mailing addresses, then I would like to humbly suggest that you need to re-examine your priorities for the direction that you'd like to see the Democratic Party take in this state.

    Do you really care about a person's physical geography if they are committed to spending more of the party's money on field with a commitment to do more for districts that are not legislative and/or upticket targets?

    Meridith and Mac both understand the importance of grassroots organizing. They have been tireless advocates for building capacity for the Democratic Party across the state.

    Both of them have my respect, even if they don't happen to live near my zip code.

  • Chris Matson (unverified)


    I'm sorry, but you are incorrect. 80% of that seat was formerly House District 39. The last Democrat to hold that district before Chris Edwards was Bob Ackerman. Before that, Kitty Piercy. And before that, Jim Edmunson. And before that, well, you get the picture.

    What Gov. Kulongoski was referring to was the Junction City portion of the district...his favorite part of the district and only 20% of HD 14. And while Edwards, Cowan and Holvey hold good chunks of Kulongoski's former district, so does Hanna (a Republican). And the precincts within the district, once solid Democratic in votes, continue to vote Republican.

    The premise of once Democratic districts going Republican still stands.


    If you base Democratic victories solely on the number of statewide offices Democrats have won, then you may have a point...up to a point. After all, there were two open Senate seats that were up for grabs in the time frame you mentioned. We only picked up one of them. Same for the Congressional seats (one out of two).

    The problem with your theory is that there is no correlation between moving the state party office to Portland and the slightly modest victories in stand-alone statewide political campaigns? In fact, a bigger and more legitimate argument can be made that it was Republicans who fielded right-wing nut-cases that cost them many of their non-partisan positions (or in the case of Stan Bunn, the perverbial hand-in-the-cookie jar manouver). After all, at the statewide level GOP strategy was anything but coherent (running Mobely against their own Frohnmayer, or running Sizemore, or Mabon, stc.)

    But under Larry Campbell's leadership, they did take the House. And eventually the Senate. You know, the "people's house of government." And at the time they did credit the Democratic retreat from Salem as a factor (among many).

    And how has a GOP-controlled Legislature benefitted Oregon during that time? Even with control of so many statewide offices? Are you willing to gamble that theory in the next election when the Secretary of State's office is up for grabs (and so is redistricting)?

    I see you quoted Mark Twain. I do often enough. But there comes a time when, like global warming, the data and the trends simply cannot be ignored. I postulated a theory and based it with solid data to back it up. I know you have seen the numbers too. As with any theory, it is, of course, subject to verification and scrutiny. I have done both. So have many others. And the conclusion is crystal clear:

    Both the downfall of Democratic control and the acceleration in Democratic defections in predominately rural precincts can be traced back to an origin point that coincides with the removal of the state party operation from the seat of state government. The correlation is crystal clear.

    If you have an alternative theory, I and many others would like to hear it. Absent that, it would be irresponsible for this party to pretend that revisiting the decision to remove the state party operations from the seat of state government does not warrant further discussion.

    Again, I do not understand the almost violent reaction and resistence from Portland "Progressives" on having this discussion. Especially in light of the data, the fact that 40 other states do it that way, and the fact that the GOP, whose media and financial base is also concentrated in Portland, keeps it's state party operations at the seat of state govenment.

    Is this our version of "Global warming denial?"

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    Until you made the claim that the GOP takeover of the House in 1990 had something to do with the DPO moving to Portland, I have never heard anyone connect those dots. If you have a cite for Larry Campbell or anyone else on the other side making that connection, I'd be fascinated to see it.

    It is interesting that you select some facts and correlate them and it's "crystal clear." I do the same and "there's no correlation."

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Kari writes, "That's right. Portland isn't actually in Oregon. Phooey on Portland. Phooey I say!"

    Kari, it isn't that Portland doesn't deserve an opinion, not at all - what the concern is about is what the focus of the DPO ought to be in the coming years.

    Does the DPO continue to focus upon electing Democrats in the urban centers of our State? Well, that would be the least demanding mission you can task the Democrats with. Relative to everything else, that is easy.

    Or, does the DPO change to focus upon being a true Statewide Party? It isn't there yet as I know personally. Our rural areas have only received token interest by the DPO.

    Ironically, the urban areas of Oregon cannot elect Democrats to State office all by themselves. It takes the rural Democrats year after year to push our Statewide Democrats over the top into office. We may lose our local elections, but our "minority" here merges with the urban Democrats to be the Statewide majority. So, many of us feel taken for granted by the Party, and seek a new level of interest and priority.

    So, it is very legitimate to ask where support comes from. Included in that question is the larger question of the vision of where the DPO is heading.

  • sara byers (unverified)

    I've been fascinated reading this long conversation and only have a couple of things to add: 1.)The Douglas County Democrats have been well served and supported by Meredith Woods Smith. She's done PCP trainings for us, she keeps in touch with us regularly, has great ideas and energy. We respect her work with the DNC and seems to me that she's the logical and best choice for Chair. And 2.) We've all gotten letters from the candidates listing their endorsements. I think we ought to let the candidates speak for themselves directly to us. BlueOregon ought not to list one candidate's endorsements as "news" just because there's one or a few "names" on the list. Not fair journalism. Give equal access to each candidate or don't go there.

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    The delegates are elected by the PCPs to represent them at the SCC.

    I swear this made me laugh. I don't know what a PCP or the SCC is. Sometimes this is a really hard conversation to follow...but maybe it's better that way. Sorta like being in Paris, when you overhear a conversation and it sounds cool and sexy, but its really about who's taking out the garbage that night.

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    Sorry, I was responding to someone who had used the same abbreviations. I didn't think about others who might read it and not know what they are. That's what happens when you're doing too many things at once. ; )

    A PCP is a precinct committee person. These are people who are either elected by Democrats within their precinct (in Multnomah County it's on the primary ballot in even years, it varies between counties) or is appointed by the county's PCPs to fill vacancies.

    A PCP is supposed to serve as a representative of their precinct to the Party. Their only legal duty is to help fill vacancies in the state legislature for their house/senate district. Their other duties vary from county to county, but include talking to their Democratic neighbors, supporting Democratic candidates, participating in the Party, etc.

    The PCPs in each county make up the county's Central Committee. The Central Committee then votes on delegates and alternates to the State Central Committee.

    The SCC is the State Central Committee. It is made up of all those delegates and alternates from all the counties. It is the body that makes decisions on things like platform, resolutions, party officers, the DNC Committeeman and Committeewoman (the state's representatives to the DNC).

    I bet that's about as clear as mud, right. ; )

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    capitol cities are never the largest cities in the State

    While that was overall a very thoughtful post, I have to step in here and mention the following:

    Little Rock, AR Phoenix, AZ Denver, CO Atlanta, GA Honolulu, HI Indianapolis, IN Des Moines, IA Boston, MA Oklahoma City, OK Providence, RI Salt Lake City, UT Charleston, WV Cheyenne, WY

    In other instances (Richmond, VA) the capital city was the largest at the time it was selected but later was eclipsed in size by another faster-growing city. So it is far from universal for the state capital / seat of politics to be removed from the largest population center.

  • Barney Gorter (unverified)

    As a Democrat, I feel fortunate to have four winners to choose from versus the lesser of two evils. Each of these four candidates has chosen to make themselves vulnerable to the elected delegates of the State Central Committee. Thank you!

    Each of them brings a different level and varied experience of commitment and participation within party politics. It's apples and oranges to me. I first me Mac when we contended for a slot as a delegate at large for the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Over the last three years I have found him to be an honorable and capable person. He seems to have boundless energy and commitment to do the right thing. Likewise, I have come to know Meredith Wood-Smith as a tireless advocate for the under-served. She is relentless in trying to get everybody to the table, where they can participate in the decision-making process. Both have indicated to me personally that regardless of the outcome of the election in their enthusiasm to work within the party structure will not diminish. I know the party will be well served by either.

    I have no personal relationship with the other two candidates. However, I feel that they are capable persons as well.

    It is easy for me to take the pledge supporting whoever wins the election for chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon.

    It is my hope that we delegates to the State Central Committee can rise above the politics of personal destruction and make our selection based on our beliefs of what would be best for the party.

    Barney Gorter

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    BlueOregon ought not to list one candidate's endorsements as "news" just because there's one or a few "names" on the list. Not fair journalism. Give equal access to each candidate or don't go there.

    Sara, that may be true. However, I have only received one endorsement letter/statement. I can only report what the candidates tell me about.

    And, btw, they know to reach me. For the last two weeks, they've gotten an email every other day from me.

    One more thing: Other than the "Why I'm running" guest columns (which all four did) and the open-questions posts (which all four did), there's been one post about Meredith's endorsement from the GLBT Caucus, one post about Mac's endorsement from Bradbury et al, and one post about Dan Carol taking on Gordon Smith on KOPT. Nothing "extra" about Carol Voisin, but she and her supporters haven't sent me anything except what I asked for. (Though, to be fair, she's the only one of the four that got LOTS of posts last fall.)

    This is just another example of someone seeing bias where none exists.

  • Jessica (unverified)

    Sorry, don't buy it Kari. A campaign letter is not news. The glbt endoresment came from a source other than the candidate.

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    Thanks Jenni for the explanation of the acronyms. As a city bureaucrat --and even neighborhood association activist-- I know how easy it is to use acronyms like everybody knows them...when maybe they don't.

    Jessica...if Kari were supressing something folks were trying to get posted here, or cavalierly eliminating partisan comments --and there have been quite a few, some pretty snotty-- I'd say you maybe had a case. But, c'mon...where's the beef?

    I don't have a dog in this fight, don't know the people involved, aren't voting in this "election"...and I just don't see, from my perspective, how Kari's been anything but open, aboveboard, and fair. If anything, turning the focus on "Blue Oregon" turns the discussion away from substantive discussion of the candidates themselves. Ultimately I think this is a disservice to it does a disservice to those of us trying to discern the real issues through all the smoke, mirrors and distractions.

  • Chris Matson (unverified)


    So your attempt to debunk this theory hinges entirely on me producing a quote from what everyone knows to be common knowledge among Republicans. Well, I guess you win this one. And I suppose the data, the voting trends, the GOP occupation of the Legislature for a decade, and all the rest are figments of everyone's imagination.

    Sorry, can't produce one. But I can bring in Republicans who said as much and Democrats who heard as much during the election nights of 1990, 1992 and 1994 (as I did). And I am sure there are enough people posting here on this blog who can attest to that.

    It's not statistical data, and it's not even the point of the discussion. But if it is what you need to get you through the night, I'm sure I can come up with one somewhere.

    However I can point to the data that covers the bleeding of Democrats in rural precincts and the surrender of Democratic districts to Republican candidates. And I can show the correlation between the decision to remove the state party operations from the seat of state government and the decline in rural Democratic support. That is, if you are at all interested.

    But that would require looking at the data, formulating your own opinion and backing it up with your own theory if you disagree. Again, if you are at all interested.

    Somehow I suspect you are not.

    You said:

    "It is interesting that you select some facts and correlate them and it's "crystal clear." I do the same and "there's no correlation."

    I'm sorry that you find a postulated theory supported by statistical facts and voting trends, to be "interesting." I always thought it to be the basis of legitimate arguments, the kind we Democrats always accuse the Republicans of ignoring.

    If you have an alternative theory as to why we bleed blue in the rural precincts, why districts that once gave us some of our most respected Democratic leader only see red at the ballot, and why this trend began it's steep acceleration at the same time you and the SCC made the decision to remove the state party operations from the seat of state government, I and all the downstate Democrats would love to hear it.

    The fact that someone, a 25 year veteran of political campaigning and precinct targeting, a person who has put together the numbers, as they are, and in the raw, has seen a clear pattern of bleeding and can trace it's point of origin, does not give you an excuse to attempt to write off a whole theory based upon the statewide precinct data by merely attacking one small and relatively insignificant statement. This is something peole like Lars and Rush do on a daily basis. I would have expected something more rational from you of all people.

    Unless of course you did not believe that the work put in by countless election division and county election clerks in the State of Oregon in providing the raw numbers to be relavent.

    Again, if you have an alternative theory as to why we bleed blue outside of the urban seats, I and others would love to hear it. And, of course, the data to back it up (no scientific/statistician process is complete without it).

    It seems to me that whenever someone brings this issue up, someone (usually a "progressive" but not always) takes it upon himself/herself to attack some relatively minor point, and thus dismiss the intire argument. They even go so far as to label the person a "crackpot."

    This "shoot the messinger and ignore the message" mentality does nothing to foster participation in the party or the Democratic process, and smacks of elitism.

    Fortunately, most Democrats, even the ones who call themselves "progressives," are willing to put the needs of the party ahead of their own personal egoes.

    Again, why the urgent need to quash this legitimate discussion. You clearly have no alternative theory, or else you would have said so by now (instead of attacking relatively minor points while ignoring the core argument)?

    If you need proof, look at the voter rolls going back to the 1980's. Look at the election results in legislative races. Hell, look at the local races and see how many GOP candidates hold councils, boards and commissions in Democratically-dominated voter districts. It's freightening how obvious this trend it.

    At the very least, this issue (and the data indicated) warrants a legitimate and rational discussion among all Democrats. I believe most are willing to have this discussion. It might not change anything, but then again, it just might.

    Given your resistence and the vocal resistence of a select few, I can't help but think that there is an alterior motive at work? Is there?

    Maybe the new leadership will be a little more progressive on this one.

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    Sorry, don't buy it Kari. A campaign letter is not news.

    "Newsworthiness" has no meaning in online media, whether any of us like this fact or not. It is a dying concept rooted in assumptions that reporters seek out the news, and editors decide what we get to read.

    Because it is so easy to distribute information online, the responsibility for getting the "news" into print has shifted from reporters and editors, directly to the information sources. For better or worse, these filters are gone. Each source must publish for themselves, and each reader must filter for themselves. Any "news" outlet pre-filtering for bias, rather than relevance (admittedly a subtle distinction) will quickly lose credibility and find itself bypassed over time by any but those with a shared bias seeking reinforcement.

    Kari has given zero evidence that he would treat any candidate's press releases differently, and every indication that each would be treated with scrupulous equality and fairness. If any given candidate appears to have less "news" than any other here on BlueOregon, that is no one's fault but their own.

    Does Kari have a favorite candidate? I should hope so. He's an intelligent, breathing, well-informed Oregon Democrat, all of which leads to forming considered opinions. However, to take this fact (opinions ... we've all got one) and assume bias must result shows a misunderstanding of online media, coupled with a terrible lack of trust in someone who has given every appearance of both integrity and contemporary media savvy.

    If anyone wants more "news" about a candidate, they should talk to them, ask for a statement, writing up a post, and send it in. Not sit there and wait for Kari, or anyone else, to do the work.

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    If anyone wants more "news" about a candidate, they should talk to them, ask for a statement, writing up a post, and send it in. Not sit there and wait for Kari, or anyone else, to do the work.

    Yeah Leo, this is one of the essential ingredients of the "flatter pyramid" model in the blogosphere. I actually applaud the evolution that has occured as response to the evisceration of the Fairness Docrine and the rise of the Wingnut Bloviators. It continues to evolve.

    I spend literally hours a day running the tubes and IMHO the way that Kari (and Jeff and Jesse) ride heard on this blog is one of the better examples of thoughtful evenhandedness to be found anywhere out there.


    Chris, Do you use the spellchecker? Not disagreeing with your points, but I would like to offer a couple more:

    Where were all of the self described activists when Paddy was running the party?

    I know where I was. I was riding around the western united states on my motorcycle, going to rock concerts, generally messing around and tsk tsking about the venal Clintons but doing not a goddamned thing. I have no idea of how good or a job Paddy did, because I wasn't caring enough to pay attention. At least he was there.

    When the religious Right and the Ayn Rand Libertarians formed an alliance, I did nothing. Maybe you did.

    In 2000 millions of us jumped in with elbows out looking for trouble and I feel like we have done useful things, but I remember when I was disengaged........

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    I am going to take one more whack at this dead horse.

    You are absolutely correct that we Ds are losing ground in rural America and rural Oregon. You and I disagree about the cause of this.

    We used to elect Democratic legislators from Klamath County. We don't anymore. If there are five people in Klamath County that care where the DPO office is, I'd be shocked. If there is one person in Klamath County that would return to the fold if we moved the office back to Salem, I'd be shocked. I believe that are problems are a lot more real than where the party office is.

    Like Oregon, there used to be Ds elected to the Washington legislature from east of the mountains. There aren't anymore (outside of Spokane). The Washington Dems have been in downtown Seattle for more than 20 years. What can we conclude from this? How about our declines in rural Idaho?

    You believe a set of facts (moving the DPO and D losses in rural Oregon) are related. I disagree. You choose to ascribe all sorts of motivations and assign all sorts of labels to me and that is your right. I'll just stick to the fact that I disagree with you.

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    My bad: 3rd paragraph should read "our problems are"

  • Charlie Burr (unverified)

    As co-editor here (and the least active of the group), I want to add my two cents that posting Bradbury's endorsement of Mac Prichard is a 100% appropriate, as was the earlier post on the GLBT endorsement of Meredith Wood Smith.

    Steven Mauer and Paulie are two of the most thoughtful commenters here; I am honestly surprised to see them level charges of bias about the posting of a legitimate news item.

    As for Jennifer's argument that it matters that one item came from the campaign and one came from an endorsing organization, that's really a distinction without a difference. Imagine if newspapers used that standard: nothing directly from a campaign can be considered "news." Readers would certainly learn less about the candidates, there would be less debate and less information.

    The amount of passion for these campaigns is great; it shows a hunger for wanting to make the party strong and successful. But people should turn down the volume a little -- this is a fight amongst friends after all -- and not make their passions lead to claims of bias where none exists.

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    Thank you, Leo, Pat, and Charlie.

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    Chris... as to the question about the rise of the Republicans in the early 90s...

    I'd point out that in the early 90s, two major things happened - one national, one Oregon.

    Nationally, we saw the rise of the religious right as an electoral force. Their strength had been quietly building through the Reagan years, got organized in the 1988 Pat Robertson campaign for president, and then exploded in 1994. I'm pretty sure all of that would still have happened (and had repercussions here in Oregon) even if the DPO was still in Salem.

    In Oregon, the 90s were a time when timber production collapsed. If I remember right, timber cutting in 1998 was at 10% of the level it was at in 1988. Rural folks lost jobs - and blamed environmentalists in general, and Bill Clinton in particular. That's a recipe for electoral collapse.

    I'm with Paddy on this -- I think there were vast cultural forces at work; not some kind of backlash against the Portland-ification of the DPO.

    (Which isn't to say that having the DPO in Portland is necessarily 100% good. It can be easy to get out of touch with the rest of state when you're living on Hawthorne, shopping on 23rd, and your idea of the "boonies" is Gresham. I'm with ya on that score - but just don't think the DPO has that much influence on the fundamental campaign dynamics.)

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    Charlie, I didn't level any charge of bias because of this article's topic. That was Paulie. I merely noted that judging by the way Kari was reacting, it seems like he has a favorite candidate in the race. That's an entirely different thing.

    Stephanie V, I stand completely corrected. I honestly believed that, at the time of their designation as capitals, each of the State cities were not the largest. I was going to go back into the historical record to attempt to prove it, but I suspect that I'm wrong about at least one of them. I bow to your superior research skills. Thank you for pointing out my error.

  • Charlie Burr (unverified)

    OK, Steve, after re-reading your comments above I stand (slightly) corrected. My apologies. I do agree with Kari that writing that Prichard doesn't have "time to meet with volunteers" is a perjorative statement; it's unlike the consistently thoughtful comments I've seen from you on other topics.

    Chris Matson: You're welcome to submit a guest post on moving the DPO back to Salem. Your comments above contain more than enough for a post, which typically are less than 250 words.

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