Oregon's Right-Wing Noise Machine

Just in case there's any doubt, the Oregon House Republicans are definitely not going to fade away quietly. From the AP:

House Republicans -- banished to the minority in their chamber after 16 years of being in charge -- have spent nearly $70,000 so far this year on campaign mailers, radio ads and robo-calls, all disparaging Democrats in key swing districts in the Portland, Eugene, Coos Bay and Salem areas.

Party insiders from both sides of the aisle say that there's no precedent within institutional memory of a caucus spending its money on castigating their fellow legislators during a session.

Of course, when the Oregon House Democrats are efficiently plowing through their agenda, keeping the promises that they made before the election, it's gotta be tough to be a House Republican.

The best part? It doesn't even appear to be working.

Rep. Chuck Riley of Hillsboro said that after an immigration ad went out in his district, he personally explained his position to every concerned voter who called his office.

"And mostly, they understood," he said. "I actually probably gained some votes."


  • LT (unverified)

    Someone needs to tell Chuck Adams that all the disparaging advertising in the world won't change the mind of independent voters who expect their rep. to answer questions and get stuff done.

    Not only that, but if the GOP challenger is less appealing to ordinary voters in a district than the incumbent (article mentions Brian Clem who won by an amazing margin--who would run against him?), it is hard to see how bashing Democrats wins the votes of independents.

    That said, this sort of thing is what turns ordinary people toward the idea of nonpartisan legislature, where the legislator has constituent concerns in mind rather than "my caucus right or wrong". Control of the legislature in the last few sessions has been determined by the votes of Independents, not the votes of partisans.

    If some news organization decides to do in depth reporting on the actions of legislative caucuses, there might be people asking why those caucuses exist and how they benefit ordinary voters.

  • (Show?)

    I would really like to hear a Republican talk about what it means to govern. Based on the legislative sessions of '05 going back into the 90s, it looks like Republicans mainly wanted power so they could thwart regulations, pay off cronies, and perpetuate their own power. This session stands in marked contrast, as the actual task of governing--left to initiative writers for over a decade--finally resumed.

    The GOP aren't trying to defeat Dems on the merits of good politics or good ideas--they're running a smear campaign merely to regain power. And to what end? Without ideas or an appreciable political philosophy, it looks more like power for power's sake.

    Anyone on the right care to defend these acts (from the same article:

    Up in a corner of the balcony that overlooks the House of Representatives, a photographer with a long, paparazzi-style lens can often be seen lurking, waiting to catch Democrats in an unflattering yawn or grimace. The photos usually don't surface until a few months before an election in the attack ads that clutter mailboxes and appear on TV.

    This is what the GOP stands for? Tom McCall would be proud.

  • Eric J. (unverified)

    It's all propaganda. The R's always do this. They are spewing cheap ubiquitous drivel in order to sideswipe unsuspecting innocent voters and keep those voters from thinking on their own. Resist the propaganda! Tell the R's you woun't sip from that sour fountain of misinformed and skewed truth. Think for yourself and don't listen to the tripe they spew forth!

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)

    Funny how they did not have much of a GOTV during the 2006 election season, yet they have $70k to blow on personal attacks on colleagues in swing districts.

    I have said it before and will say it again, the Oregon GOP has sold out to the lobbyists. The fact that they are pulling this crap in the middle of a session and the targets are in swing districts says a lot to how much they have sold out.

    It would be a whole hell of a lot smarter for the Oregon GOP to shore up support with the base in rural Oregon by playing the good minority role of blocking bills and voting in accordance to the views of those who have elected them. However, they want to sell out and vote for whatever lobbyist is putting money in their pocket and then employ a portion of that money in a smoke and mirrors game where their vote is not in accordance with the views of their electorate, yet instead of endlessly rationalizing it like sell outs do they run an ad smearing a Democrat.

    The entire Oregon GOP leadership has to go. Bunch of overweight, cigar smoking, sell out whores for the lobbyist dollar who don't know jack crap about politics other than selling out and hanging out with their "buddies" in Salem every other year.

  • poidog1909 (unverified)

    Great comments above concerning how irrelevant the republican dinosaurs are in Oregon and how they depend on cheep, shallow, propaganda for support. It still amazes me almost daily how devoid the right wing is from any kind of common decency or real ethics when it comes to the real world issues that politics is supposed to concern itself with. It's as though they think they have met every ethical obligation life has to offer once they have condemned Neil Goldsmidth and Bill Clinton for what they did with their little talley-whackers while in office. I am so sick of their shallow, poor excuse for real ethics. I know a very sucessful republican business man that loves to make the indiscretions of Neil and Bill the topic of any political conversation that comes up. Funny thing I have noticed though is that every time this moral crusader gets up on his high horse over these issues, you will see a large bulge in his pants. I think all the republicans, especially the talk show host like Oreiley and Savage that obsess over this really have some kind of penis obsession or closit homosexual fixations to deal with. Getting back to the real world, one of the best demonstrations I have ever seen of just how shallow and unscupulous(sp?) the republicans are is contained in the exchange between film maker Robert Greenwald and Republican rep. Jack Kingston on a U Tube video that can be watched at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsNM5zbe4Pk&mode=related&search=

    I think this short video adequately demonstates just how far removed from reality and decency the neo-con republicans are. One thing for absolutely sure is that this group of criminals in our government can not by any stretch of imagination, be branded as Conserveratives. These sick psychotic, deranged, leaders can only be called what they are: Criminals

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)

    Poidog 1909,

    As a conservative the failure of a Balanced Budget Amendment to materialize along with "using government for conservative ends" AKA Neoconservatism has really riled me up. Neocons of late such as Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Mort Kondracke, Fred Barnes and other shameless neocons have taken over the GOP by cozying up to Bush, being in prior administrations dating back to Ford I believe, and writing what some in the Beltway consider "Pulitzer prize" worthy crap (see Krauthammer).

    It is like what I say, "conservatives and liberal are two sides of the same coin, neoconservatives and neoliberals are perversions that need to be flushed down the toilet of history along with fascism, communism, and nazism."

  • (Show?)

    Going non-partisan won't change this from happening.

    What would happen is you'd break into two other named caucuses, such as progressives and conservatives. It would be the same caucuses under a different name.

    The change that needs to happen is we need to work even harder to make sure legislators like Scott get beaten next year and don't return to Salem.

  • LT (unverified)

    "What would happen is you'd break into two other named caucuses, such as progressives and conservatives. It would be the same caucuses under a different name."

    Jenni, What is the basis for that claim? If there was a nonpartisan legislature, do you really believe that Frank Morse and Avel Gordly (who were members of the Public Comm. on the Legislature) would belong to different caucuses, and there would only be 2 caucuses, set up immediately after the nonpartisan legislature was created?

    I think there would be a time of ferment when we would have a break from "my caucus right or wrong".

    Where is the evidence to back up your claim?

  • (Show?)

    LT - I agree with you that moving to a non-partisan legislature might weaken the caucuses somewhat, and I suspect that it would probably lead to more coalition building than is currently the case.

    I support it because at this point, I'm willing to try anything to encourage more coalition building to take on the challenges facing this state.

    But even so, it's unclear to me just how big an effect it will have.

    The real strength of the caucuses is not the party label, but the fact that leadership and the caucus staff have a considerable amount of control over the purse strings of legislative candidates.

    I ask this in all candor: Is there any reason to suspect that the financing of candidates, and targeting of legislative districts by leadership of the two parties would change significantly under a non-partisan legislature? I believe that was Jenni's main point, and I think it's a fair question.

  • Mike, Portland, Oregon (unverified)

    Non-partisan means going progressive vs. conservative?

    Don’t you mean liberal vs. mediocre?

    Republicans are not conservative. And Democrats are a bunch of liberal wackos. Progressive? In their dreams.

    Republicans are spineless weasels. Democrats want all your money so they can spend it on social programs like worthless public schools that don't teach anyone anything. Or welfare or any other number things at which government is completely incompetent.

    Until we finally wake up and make the switch in our minds we will get two sides of a very ugly, old, and worthless coin!!

  • Wayne Scott (unverified)

    What it means to govern? That's easy. Governing means putting money in my pockets.

  • Progressive (unverified)


    <h2>Progressive does not necessarily mean Democratic. However in the current system, the sole option you have is to pick between the lesser of two evils. The Republican legislators in this state, for the most part, are truly awful. So while I understand your point, you have to keep things in the context of reality.</h2>
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