Blumenauer for Senate?

EarlblumenauerpodiumThe Oregonian's David Sarasohn covered the search for a Democratic candidate for the US Senate (including a mention of the Draft DeFazio blog).

Here's how Earl Blumenauer is approaching the race:

Earl Blumenauer, who can be very methodical about things, recently sat down and wrote out two long lists next to each other.

One column was a list of reasons why he should run for the U.S. Senate against GOP incumbent Gordon Smith if Rep. Peter DeFazio doesn't make the race; the other explained why Blumenauer shouldn't.

Weighing the two lists, the Portland congressman explained judiciously, "Both were very persuasive. I'm in no hurry. I hope Peter does it."

What happens if Peter DeFazio decides against running?

DeFazio is clearly considering the race more seriously than a few months ago. But DeFazio also spent much of 2001 talking about running for governor, before deciding to stay in the House.

If that happened again, Blumenauer would find Schumer on the phone.

"If it reaches that point," says Blumenauer, "we would look at it, take a poll and talk to some people."

And, he points out, as someone first elected to the Legislature in 1972, he's been traveling the state longer than anyone else in Oregon politics.

Of course a Senate race won't be a walk in the park:

Meanwhile, "Gordon is out of his comfort zone. He's confusing his base, he's repositioning himself. Gordon has some serious problems."

But as inviting as he might think the race is, and as pressing as Schumer might be, Blumenauer, like DeFazio, is in no hurry to get started. The race, he notes, would be "a 500-day mud bath." He recalls that during last year's campaign, Sherrod Brown's wife found people going through the family garbage.

You can imagine which of Blumenauer's two lists includes "having garbage examined."


  • 6 of Peter, Half Dozen of an Earl (unverified)

    DeFazio would be a great candidate, but Blumenauer is in some areas an even more dangerous candidate. While attending to his House district, he has barnstormed the country on a livability platform, quietly amassing a rolodex of potential national donors (and progressive ones, at that). He also had the foresight to run ads statewide last cycle. And he has a capable team of smart folks around him. If he applies his legendary focus to the unique challenges of running as a challenger, Oregon will get major support from the DSCC, and a likely Democratic victory.

  • verasoie (unverified)

    Political calculus: DeFazio would likely win due to his base outside of PDX, but we lose his very important leadership in the House on the transportation subcommittee and possibly his House seat.

    Blumenauer would stand a 50:50 chance of winning, slightly more or less depending on your perspective, but we don't lose a subcommittee chair and we retain his seat. Earl is a leader in the House on progressive issues, but his successor would almost certainly espouse those same issues (though they couldn't replace Blumenauer's leadership).

    My choice: Kitzhaber, so we don't lose either, but if forced to choose, I would keep DeFazio bringing home the transportation money for the state and have Blumenauer win a tough race against Smith. Don't say it can't be done, Wyden did it after representing the same seat (urban Portland) and Democrats in Oregon would really turn out in this Presidential cycle.

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    Verasoie: Kitzhaber's not running. Really. Zero chance. Yes, he'd make an excellent candidate, but he's not going to do it. This has been covered here many, many times.

  • verasoie (unverified)


    Two points: 1)I acknowledged the possibility that Kitzhaber wouldn't run and proceeded from that standpoint.

    2) I've spoken to the Kitz personally on this topic recently. Face to face. Mano a mano. He told me point blank that he was thinking about it and wouldn't make up his mind until this summer. So that trumps any damn thing I read on this website or any other by a mile. Even if you say it many, many times.

  • PleaseNotBlumanauer (unverified)

    Blumenauer has demonstrated little leadership in real terms on issues of national importance. He has been great and pushing the goofy Portland agenda for the benefit of Portland: For example, he helped get a local choo-choo, that a big enough percentage of people really like. His brand of politics does have the advantage it keeps a segment of the population distracted and contained so they can't alienate too many more people.

    verasoie's statement: "Earl is a leader in the House on progressive issues, but his successor would almost certainly espouse those same issues (though they couldn't replace Blumenauer's leadership)" is more than a little disingenuous semantics.

    For the most part he is a reliable vote for formulaic progressive positions. However, he has exhibited virtually no real leadership I can see to actually vitalize progressive politics in this country. He has demonstrated little ability to reach out to folks who don't self-identify as progressive, but who actually do have progressive values, and help them recognize and vote on that. He's not even listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (DeFazio, Conyers and Sanders all are):

    This obviously reflects some kind of thinking on his part. Unfortunately, the few times I have heard this brought up seem to degenerate into incoherent ramblings on his part or the part of his supporters. They have no clue how obnoxiously their particular dystopian, over-weaning, "liveable community" agenda comes across to a lot of folks who have much more pressing, real-world concerns they want their genuinely progressive members of Congress to address.

    Maybe the first two things people who attach the label "progressive" to Blumenauer can do is explain 1) Why Blumenauer has not affiliated with the single largest caucus in the Congress, particularly since it is devoted to advancing meaningful progressive values? 2) What in the heck is even actually progressive about that provincial slice of self-centered Oregon politics centered on Portland and Blumenauer?

    We can and must do better than Blumenauer in this golden opportunity to grab a Senate seat. Since Kitzhaber's not running, and in all likelihood neither is DeFazio, we should be focusing our efforts and hopes on someone besides these three. Who?

  • PleaseNotBlumanauer (unverified)

    I note Wyden is not a member of the CPC, either. That may explain why he voted for the Bankruptcy Bill and introduced his regressive "Insurance Customers for All (Companies)" plan, rather than sign on to the genuinely progress Conyers/Kucinich "Medicare For All" bill supported by the CPC.

  • roxanne bruns (unverified)

    I have a question for pleasenotblumenauer. Can you name a single piece of legislation supported by the CPC that Earl didnt also vote for? Caucuses are stupid and end up having no functional value on the Hill.

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    Great point, Roxanne.

    Another important question: How often has Gordon Smith voted with the Congressional Progressive Caucus -- and is that more or less than we could expect a Senator Blumenauer to do so?

    Methinks the answer is obvious.

    (Full disclosure: My company built Earl Blumenauer's website, but I don't speak for the Congressman or his staff.)

  • Project Vote Smart Fan (unverified)

    "roxanne bruns" might want to tell Rep. Blumanauer that "causes are stupid and end up having no functional value on the Hill". According to Project Vote Smart, he is a member of 17 Congressional Caucuses and Non-Congressional Committees:

    Co-Chair, Army Corps Reform Caucus Chair, Bike Caucus City/Suburb/Rural Transit Caucus Congressional Arts Caucus Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues Diabetes Caucus Governor's Commission on Higher Education Greenscissors Caucus House Sustainable Development Caucus Co-Chair, House Trails Caucus House Vice-Chair, Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Congressional Caucus New Democrat Coalition Co-Chair, Public Broadcasting Caucus Co-Chair, Task Force on Livable Communities Sustainable Development Caucus Task Force on Livable Communities.

    The issue may not be whether he votes for Congressional Progressive Caucus supported legislation, but whether he votes for legislation generally opposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Project Vote Smart also reports he voted along with Sen. Wyden for the Bankruptcy Reform Bill that hurt working folks. A quick scan shows that at least 8 prominent Congressional Progressive Caucus members voted against (Conyers, Lee, Woolsey, Miller, McDermott, DeFazio, Waters, Waxman).

    According to the Thomas Register, he also is not a sponsor of Conyer's "Medicare-For-All" bill, H.R.676, co-sponsored by a very large percentage of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Unfortunately, neither is DeFazio. Anybody know why?

  • Tamerlane (unverified)

    I actually asked a staffer from Blumenauer's office one time why Bluemenauer isn't a member of the Progressive Caucus. I liked the answer quite a bit. He explained that Blumenauer wants the freedom to look at each issue on a bill-by-bill basis, and so doesn't join up with caucuses with an open-ended agenda. As someone above pointed out, he is a member of a number of other caucuses -- generally, those addressing a single issue, on which the Congressman has taken a clear stand. In any case, caucuses are not very significant in the end.

    I really hope that Blumenauer chooses to run, and feel that he would make a more compelling nominee than Defazio. There are both practical and political considerations. On the practical side, the third district is so heavily Democratic that no serious effort will be made by the Republicans to grab it in lieu of a (massively) popular incumbent; on the other hand, should Defazio give up his House seat, the ensuing race would likely be bitter, exspensive, and could potentially end in a Republican pick up. I might add that Blumenauer is a more charasmatic politican, better known throughout the state, with a more formidible base.

    On the political side, Blumenauer is clearly the more energetic, visionary, and progressive choice. Keep in mind that Defazio voted FOR the Sensenbrenner Bill (to make felons out of all migrants, and so on). Although Defazio is a good reprentative, Blumenauer has consistently brought new and exciting ideas to the fore. In particular, it seems likely that America is poised to take some bold leaps in such areas as energy sustainability -- Blumenauer is just the sort of pragmatic policy wonk to figure out how that might actually be done.

  • LT (unverified)

    The original (100 or so years ago) definition of PROGRESSIVE was the opposite of keeping track of someone's politics by noticing the caucuses that person joined. Caucuses as used here are basically collections of powerful people. In this context, candidates with many small donors (Obama vs. Clinton, or Howard Dean 4 years ago) are more progressive than candidates who have mostly corporate and big donor supporters.

    Teddy Roosevelt was a Progressive, as were LaFollette and others. Such things as primary nomination rather than political machines, direct election of senators, votes for women and others, pure food and drug laws, weakening the power of corporations, bankers, and other powerful people in order to allow ordinary folks (farmers, store clerks, etc.) access to the political and economic system. The Progressive Era was generally 1900-1915 (WWI changed things). Any good history book can provide more detail. It is a fascinating period and in some ways quite like our own. That is why for years some people have been saying "turn of the century politics is turn of the century politics".

  • PleaseNotBlumenauer (unverified)

    "He explained that Blumenauer wants the freedom to look at each issue on a bill-by-bill basis, and so doesn't join up with caucuses with an open-ended agenda"

    it's about time we started calling out this kind of dishonest statement for what it is because variants of it are so common in Oregon politics.

    He ran as a Democrat didn't he? What could be more about joining up with a political faction with an open-ended agenda than identifying with a political party (or declaring as non-affiliated)? By defining his party affiliation, he self-identifies with a group that fulfills the legitimate role in our system of defining a set of values and an agenda that promotes those values, and he willingly accepts the benefits that come from associating with a party that is popular in the 3rd. If anything, identifying with the Congressional Progressive Caucus would further circumscribe the set of values he represents over just being a Democrat, and in that very real sense would not be signing up to support a more "open-ended agenda" than that he signed for as being a Democrat.

    Every legislator looks at issues on a bill-by-bill basis with some mix of self-interest and commitment to principles. That his staff apparently thinks they could get away with this vacuous statement of the obvious doesn't speak too highly of them or Blumenauer. You'll have to decide for yourself, Tamerlane, what that means about how they and Blumenauer regard you. Unfortunately, you provide some evidence on which to draw our own conclusions about that when you assert Blumenauer "clearly is the more ... progressive choice". In fact, his voting record indicates he is pretty much just is an uninspired reflection of the provincial politics of the district he represents --- good and bad --- that really aren't progressive in any substantive meaning of the word.

    Finally, Tamerlane, let's be clear: My view is that we need someone other than Kitzhaber, DeFazio, or Blumenauer to run as the Democratic nominee. So I throw back the false choice you assert we have in your comment that we should consider Blumenauer over DeFazio based on a particularly bad vote by DeFazio. As further proof of that, I draw attention to the fact you point to what you claim are Blumenauer's supposed skills on the energy issue, rather than on the very immigration issue at stake in the vote you cite, an issue which looks to figure at least as importantly in the 2008 Oregon Senate race as energy, as proof that Blumenauer has something to offer. Beyond that, he has given no reason to believe he even has the knowledge or skill to address energy sustainability in a way that has any applicability outside the fantasy world of his supporters.

    We need a strong candidate to capitalize on this opportunity, and Blumenauer just hasn't demonstrated the depth of real-world intelligence or the leadership skills required.

  • verasoie (unverified)


    Your comments genuinely leave the impression of dissembling, that you have zero intention of advocating for a Democratic candidate but rather simply want to attack (with hopelessly unsubstantial arguments) the strongest candidates the Democrats have.

    I smell "concern troll," most particularly because your criticisms are so specious: somehow you attack Blumenauer for advancing issues that are important to his district (isn't, rather, that the job of a Congressperson?), which you label as "provincial" even though it is the most urban in the entire state.

    I could go on and on pointing out the fallacies in your comments, but my point is made: your criticisms are shallow and the work not of someone concerned with supporting the best Democratic candidate, but rather one, as would be expected of a right-wing troll, intent on attacking with baseless arguments all Democratic candidates, even the very admirable ones.

    My donation to Defazio is on its way, thanks to your feeble attempt at undermining his candidacy-- I encourage anyone else who responds to PNB to do likewise.

  • LT (unverified)

    OK Please, who do you want? Or are you just saying you don't like the choices but don't have one of your own? I've known Earl for more than 20 years. Why should I trust your blog comment more than my own experience?

  • PleaseNotBlumenauer (unverified)

    Sorry LT, you seriously misrepresent the argument when you assert Blumenauer is being judged by the caucuses he has or hasn't joined. The point is that Bluemenauer has not consistently demonstrated a commitment to a defined set of modern progressive values through his votes. (One would also have to question the superficiality of anyone's historical knowledge if they would assert Roosevelt would have supported the bankuptcy bill Blumenauer supported that we got from the credit card industry.) Nor has he made a visible commitment to support a defined set of modern progressive values by self-affiliating with a group of Congress members who have specifically committed to an agenda promoting those values.

    Beyond that, the particular set of values that defined politicians of the Progressive era are not totally the set of values most would accept as modern progressive values. I would like to think that many progressives today would have a bit of a problem with the moral purity crusading by the self-defined progressives of that era. As one example of that overblown moral superiority, mixed in with no small amount of racism, progressives of that era allied with religious fundamentalist to give us the anti-narcotics legislation which forms the foundation of the regressive approach to drugs and addiction we have today. The populist reforms of the era tend to be mixed bag too. The failures of our modern initiative system being the legacy of the shortsightedness of some of the expedient solutions devised by Progressive Era reformers to genuine problems of the day.

    In my view, you are correct that the Progressive Era, as the end of the Gilded Age, has some similiarities to today. But the progressives of that era are not the totally enlightened figures some might like to imagine, just as a disturbingly large proportion of self-interested NW progressives are not. That tends to cast folks like Blumenauer and his supporters, who seem to want to assert he is a progressive even as he refuses to public associate himself with his peers who advocate much of the best of progressive values, in an even less flattering light.

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    As I said before, I'm not totally comfortable with DeFazio. I can see both the advantages and disadvantages of Blumenauer running. I think Blumenauer is far more likely to get slapped with the liberal tag then DeFazio, which is exactly what Smith and his minons would like. However, I'd like to see him enter the race if Defazio didn't.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)

    Please Not,

    Nice. You managed to work in a reference to the Gilded Age along with the rest of your very impressive vocabulary. Are we really supposed to take you seriously?

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    PNB, who is your preferred candidate? Or are you merely a concern troll?

  • PleaseNotBlumenauer (unverified)

    verasoie - knock off the moronic accusations about "concern trolls". I have told you exactly what is wrong with Blumenauer: He is well suited to the 3rd district and that's where I, as a Democrat, wish he would stay. I agree with you he is supposed to represent his constituency, and the constituency he is well suited to representing is the goofy, somewhat provincial 3rd. And by the way: Provincial is a state of mind, and my personal experience is that, by choice, Portland is far from having a mature, urban state of mind.

    How my criticism of Blumenauer convinces you to send money to DeFazio is beyond me. But it is fascinating. The job of our party is to give us someone to vote for: Kitzhaber and DeFazio fill the bill admirably for me and most of the Democrats I know. Unfortunately, I do believe Kitzhaber and DeFazio when they say they won't run. Who are any of us to selfishly demand that they run?

    LT - That's great you know and like Blumenauer. That gives me absolutely no reason to support him. I can only judge him by his actions in office and I find those actions, including his lack of leadership, to be at odds with what I want in a progressive, Democratic Senator.

  • (Show?)

    Unfortunately, I do believe Kitzhaber and DeFazio when they say they won't run.

    You appear to have missed the news. DeFazio's considering it now.

    Of course, if you think Blumenauer isn't up to the job, and you believe that Kitz and DeFaz won't run - then, who is your pick?

    We're waiting on pins and needles here.

  • PleaseNotBlumenauer (unverified)

    Hawthorne - Since my comment was in response to LT's seemingly overly idealistic comment about the Progressive Era, I wonder what is the real reason my comment bugged you more than LT's comment?

    Kari Chisholm - One can be a Democrat that doesn't want Blumenauer regardless of whether they have someone else they like in mind. The problem is that most of us have not heard about anybody but Kitzhaber, DeFazio, and Blumenauer from those who fancy themselves as political players. Who else can you suggest that might throw their hat in the ring regardless of their apparent chance of winning right now?

    Anybody from outside the Portland metro area would be very interesting to me and I imagine to a lot of other people. (Except Westlund, who seems to be searching for a political home that can accomodate whatever it is he believes, rather than actually embracing progressive politics.) DeFazio proves that progressives can come from, and get elected, outside Portland. I find it hard to believe he is so completely unique that there aren't any others who could do that in city government somewhere, or the state legislature, if Oregon progressives and the Democratic Party would get behind him or her.

    The Willamette Week has mentioned Steve Novick. He is reported to be a capable guy. I'd like to see more comments about his specific views on the host of issues one would have to address in a Senate race.

  • PleaseNotBlumenauer (unverified)

    "You appear to have missed the news. DeFazio's considering it now."

    I have heard and read the news. I think, to his credit, Peter is just going the extra mile to be polite and that is about it right now. He wants to let people down easily, and perhaps demonstrate there is serious support out here for commonsense progressive politics. If he runs, I'll be voting for him with enthusiasm (even as I criticize him for his vote on the Sensenbrenner bill). But right now I don't believe in the end he'll decide to run, in part because of his comments about the potential for fickleness and abandonment by the DSCC once he is irrevocably committed.

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    The problem is that most of us have not heard about anybody but Kitzhaber, DeFazio, and Blumenauer from those who fancy themselves as political players. Who else can you suggest that might throw their hat in the ring regardless of their apparent chance of winning right now?

    No, you don't get to play that game. You don't get to dismissively wave your wands and declare that some candidates aren't good enough for you - but you don't have an alternative in mind.

    Trust me, Paul Wellstone isn't rising back from the dead and moving to Oregon. Neither is John Kennedy. Don't compare particular candidates to some mythical personal perfection.

    The above is true ESPECIALLY because your criteria presuppose a national leader: "Blumenauer has demonstrated little leadership in real terms on issues of national importance."

    Well, we've got four members of Congress, one Governor, and several living former members of Congress and Governors. That's probably it in terms of people who have "leadership in real terms on issues of national importance."

    So, which one is it? Or are you just going to sit here and be concerned and wring your hands and wave your arms and, well, golly... guess we don't have a candidate.

    I'm going to have to be convinced that you're not just a concern troll or GOP sockpuppet.

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    ...especially since you won't use your real name. Coward.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    Kari, LT, et al.:

    PleaseNotBlumenauer is the same guy who periodically takes over threads under various names (HalfTheStory, etc.) Sometimes he pretends to be progressive, other times he types things like "you have be as stupid as the other readers of this site not to..." You can recognize him by his writing style.

    Here's his shtick. He tries to set himself up as the rational, intelligent, well-versed authority who will determine which arguments ultimately prevail and which should be dismissed out of hand. He uses a moderate grasp of logic and juvenile debate techniques (ever argued with a 14-year-old?). He almost, but not quite, crosses the line to direct ad hominem attacks (e.g. "you must be stupid...if you insist that blah blah blah").

    His type is common in freshmen classes at liberal arts colleges -- think Napoleon Dynamite with a turtleneck. Here's how liberal arts freshmen get trained out of it and go on to become worthwhile members of society.

    1.) They tire of losing debates.
    Since Napoleon is offensive and arrogant, impartial judges always side with the opponent because, even when Napoleon is right, the judges can't bring themselves to agree with him.

    2.) They realize no one cares what they think. Napoleon sets himself up as a gatekeeper. If he can find a flaw in an argument, he shouts it out and expects the flaw to be addressed before the argument can continue. What acutally happens is everyone ignores him and the conversation continues out of ear shot. And, what's worse, the really cute girl from Boston didn't even notice how smart and clever Napoleon was; in fact, she thinks he's a jerk. Ouch.

    As a recovering sufferer of "Intellectual Napoleonic Complex," I can offer advice to those who find themselves saddled with a Napoleon. Don't directly engage him. It does neither you nor he any good. He'll end up acting in an even more embarrassing way and you won't change his mind. And here's the real key:

    You don't have to change his mind because no one cares what he thinks.

  • PleaseNotBlumenauer (unverified)

    Kari - I'll say it short and sweet again for frustrated folks like you. The kind of Democrats I know find Blumenauer to be well suited to representing the idiosyncratic, but provincial, goofy 3rd district and find him unappealing as a Democratic candidate for Senator for precisely that reason.

    Kitzhaber and DeFazio would make great candidates, but they aren't running as far as most of us can tell from an honest reading of the media we get. Peter is being nice out of respect to his supporters by saying he would consider it, even as he told us why he is storngly disinclined to run. We should just thank him for the forebearance and be glad we will be benefitting from his contribution in the house. That is genuine pragmatic politics that a lot of folks profess to practice here.

    After paying attention to all the media I can find, (how do you think the rest of usworking people find out about politics and make decisions who to vote for), I haven't heard of anyone, YET, who has put themselves forward as a Democratic candidate on the progressive side of the party. I'm confident there are some good individuals out there who have chosen to make politics a career choice in their lives and who would make good progressive Democratics candidates (By the way, most of the major elected officials you cite do not self-identify as progressive Democrats, much less spend their political energy pursuing a progressive Democratic political position on the issues, so why would I jump to advocate for them at this point either?)

    It's becoming apparent that one of the biggest obstacles those folks actually would face is that a lot of folks here would spend time arguing why they couldn't win rather than actually mobilizing the supposed power of the grass/netroots to support them. Let's see an up-to-the-moment thread discussing why some of the people who Blue Oregonians in their false pragmatism write off might actually make compelling candidates. What about this Steve Novick? Let's hear why he and others might make a good candidates, and that has nothing to do with wonkish policy positions on idiosyncratic issues that have been offered as Blumenauer's supposed strong point.

    It's actually quite eye-opening, and sadly hilarious, how folks react so childishly in this thread to serious analyses, narrowly focused on Democratic issues and referenced to the relevant specifics of the topic at hand, as somehow evidence of right-wing sentiment.

  • ellie (unverified)

    Regarding the original post, I would support Blumenauer for Senate. Of the "bigger" candidates often suggested for this campaign, his positions most align with mine, but I don't pretend to strictly support only those whose beliefs perfectly reflect my own. (And I really don't want to get into some tedious debate about what "progressive" is - and I don't give a damn about caucuses either). Basically, I'll support whomever has the best shot at defeating Smith. I just wish that someone would step up already -- be it Blum, DeFaz, Novick, Kitz... Even though I'm not a huge Kitz fan, I do see him as probably the most likely to win among the present pool. The point was made about DeFaz being from outside Portland and, thus, having some kind of non-urban appeal, which I completely agree with. While we can sit around and debate who we want, none of it really matters until someone steps up to the plate.

    I would like to say something about the comments here. I don't have a problem with PNB's rhetoric, unlike some readers apparently do. If there is a concern I share, it's that I don't recognize that "handle" (another reason to have semi-anonymous registration here). What bothers me is the "concern troll" label. I think it is perfectly acceptable for progressives of various stripes to disagree with one another in civil conversation, but using that term the minute another person doesn't agree with you amounts to an ad hominem attack IMO. But that is part of the reason I've stayed away from BlueOregon in the past -- because there is often this sense of "you're not blue/progressive/Democratic enough" which is self-defeating to the cause. It smacks of the "if you're not with us, then you're against us" attitude that only serves to divide, not unite.

  • roxanne bruns (unverified)

    PNB, just what is it that is so "idiosyncratic, provincial, and goofy" about the 3rd district? On the one hand you say that nobody is "progressive" enough, and then you make fun of the most progressive congressional district in the state -in fact, one of the most progressive CD's in the nation. You're a troll. Own it.

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    OK, I'm taking Bert Lowry's excellent advice upthread, and encouraging others to do the same.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Caucuses are stupid and end up having no functional value on the Hill.

    How about acting as a badly needed conscience for the rest of the House and maybe keeping them from submerging completely in their cesspool of corruption? Or, how about the Black Congressional Caucus with a little help from Michael Moore protesting the denial of votes in Florida and Ohio. They may not have succeeded in their primary purpose, but they did wake up a few people to the problem of vote rigging. No support from the Senate in 2001, three senators on board in 2005. Who knows? Maybe there will be enough senators some day who will have the courage and integrity to live up to their oath to defend the Constitution.

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    Yeah, and how about the Black Caucus Institute doing that deal with Faux News to sponsor a debate among the Democratic candidates?

    Edwards has pulled out. I hope he won't be the last.

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    My opinion on the 2008 Senate race can be translated into dog training language as follows:

    Run Earl, Run!

    Stay Peter, Stay!

  • James (unverified)

    Just to make a minor point, Blumenauer voted against the 2005 bankruptcy bill. See here:

  • Burl Doomenauer (unverified)

    Hi there. I'm Burl Doomenauer. You can't miss me. I'm the one with the bow tie standing in the middle of the road. We must support our troops and the war on terror.

    My opponents say that my opposition to impeaching war criminals makes me opposed to law and order. Nothing could be less true. I am in favor of law and order for the more than two million mostly black, brown and working class people who inhabit our prisons. We must support our troops and the war on terror.

    My opponents say that my vote to give US-Israel the "green light" to destroy Lebanon and Gaza last year, and to oppose a cease-fire, was evidence of moral turpitude. They even say that policies such as these endanger us all, since they make recruitment of terrorists easier. The truth is that I voted in favor of the slaughter of terrorists only, and the fact that civilians and their buildings got in the way was evidence of the irresponsibility of those civilians and their buildings. We must support our troops and the war on terror.

    My opponents say that I failed to oppose $100 billion in additional funding for the occupation of Iraq. That is a lie. I failed to oppose an additional $125 billion in funding. We need that in order to support our troops and the war on terror.

    My opponents say that I voted for the original authorization for Bush's unending war against anyone he wants to attack. They say that someone named Barbara Lee voted against the authorization and now has some amendment for defunding the occupation. I don't know who this Barbara Lee is, but she can't be as much in favor of supporting our troops and the war on terror as I am.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Granted I only have a couple of friends working on the hill these days but I can say that Blumenauer has a reputation of being kind of a blow hard among the house reps. I'd support him if he was the candidate but I would probably prefer DiFazio or Kitz...if either ever decides to make up their minds.

  • bridgehome (unverified)

    It is time for Peter and Earl to stop pussyfooting around. Things can apparently be nice and cozy in secure House seats but blue state Oregon deserves two democrat senators in Washington, DC. Prior to 11.2006, Smith was a charter member in the republican Senate plantation club. When he is sent home packing--that is meat packing back to Pendleton, it remains to be seen how he will fit his republican rubber stamp in his luggage. Perhaps Walden can help him with this. It is time for Peter or Earl to step-up to the plate and do the right thing for Oregonians. With his strong following in the tri-counties and beyond I personally think that Earl is a slam dunk for the Senate.

  • neal patel (unverified)

    DeFazio's house seat could have retained in the Democratic collumn it is basically a purple district-similar to Ted Stricklands. when he gave up his house seat to run for Governor of Ohio.

    The problem with DeFazio is he less interested in sacrificing his seat in the US House of Representative- Are Their any credible local Democratic politicians- mayors state legislature in the 4th CD to replace DeFazio. DeFazio could have ran in 1996 (Open Hatfield seat)when it was an open seat.

    Bluemenaur is win win situation for Democrats One more Progressive vote in the US Senate Democrats wins the 3rd CD.

in the news 2007

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