Mary Starrett Jumping in to the Senate Race?

Here's a juicy tidbit from Senate 2008 Guru (hat tip to Michael at Witigonen) about the potential entry of a new candidate in the Oregon Senate race:

On Saturday, the Guru mentioned that he had heard rumors that the Constitution Party candidate for Governor of Oregon in 2006, Mary Starrett, is considering a 2008 Senate bid. Well, I engaged in a little investigative journalism and simply contacted Ms. Starrett. I mentioned the rumor and asked if a 2008 Senate bid was something she was considering. Her response by e-mail:

Anything's possible...and let's face it Gordon Smith needs a spanking, don't you think?

First off, that certainly isn't a "Nope, not considering a bid."  And it certainly sounds like she's no fan of Gordon Smith. 


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    Oh please... oh please... oh please...

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    BTW, I emailed several people (the only contact email addresses given) from the Constitution Party of Oregon's website to see if they hoped to be running a candidate, but a week later, no response.

  • josh (unverified)

    Frohnmayer and Starett. Yawn.

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    of perhaps she really wants to spank Gordo. some people are into that kind of thing.

  • Holly Martins (unverified)

    Run, Mary, Run – Noting is more fun than to watch loony conservatives forced to attack loonier conservatives.

  • Brian (unverified)

    No way! Don't tell me the same third-party candidate wacko who opposed Ron Saxton in our last gubernatorial election is now lining up to "challenge" our moderate Republican Senator. Who could have seen that coming?

    You see (as if you weren't already acutely aware), Gordon Smith isn't terribly popular with v.2007 political conservatives. He's representing Oregon, so he can't be a Sam Brownback. Gordo understands the game and also recognizes the importance of appealing to the mainstream. Of course you know that. Anyone here care to put their money where their mouth is? I'll take any 1:1 wager that Smith defeats Merkley (or Novick...cough). Hell, I should probably give you 2:1 odds. Before you throw down the "troll" heresy accusation, let me make it clear that I'm not in love with any of the current candidates. DeFazio was the best name I had heard bantered about thus far.

  • rural resident (unverified)

    If she could pull enough votes away from Smith, it would be great to have her join the race. But even if all 37 members of the Constitution Party vote for her, it isn't going to have much impact.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    So Mary thinks Gordo deserves a spanking. Isn't that so right-wing kinky?

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    So Mary thinks Gordo deserves a spanking. Isn't that so right-wing kinky?

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    Brian wrote: "Don't tell me the same third-party candidate wacko who opposed Ron Saxton in our last gubernatorial election is now lining up to "challenge" our moderate Republican Senator." Really Brian, I'd hardly call someone who's aligned with Bush 90%, of the time, and served as Oregon co-chair for Bush's '04 campaign, a moderate. And Smith just endorsed John McCain fercrissake. I'm with Holly. I can't wait to watch the debates. Oh wait Smith doesn't do the public thing, does he?


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    The only way this would have a real and positive impact from my perspective (other than watching the right-wing eat their own) is if she pulled enough to offset the Frohnmayer spoiler candidacy of the NAV left.

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    Here is Mapes take on the rumor from

    One thing about Starrett: she has a good sense of humor. She could be just enjoying seeing the Smith camp squirm a bit. If she were to get into the race, she would join the Democratic nominee - presumably Jeff Merkley or Steve Novick - Smith and independent John Frohnmayer. Interestingly, all of them oppose Bush administration policy in Iraq. Could there actually be room for a candidate who supports the war?

    Not sure what assumptions Mapes is doing here, since the Constitution Party of Oregon is actually against the War in Iraq.

    I would see the divides as being everyone running against Iraq, though Smith would have thread the needle of actually not opposing it enough to keep the GOP "security" voters (i.e. warmongering idiots who have been standing in their own pee puddle since 9/11)... Frohnmayer attracing the "pox on both their houses" NAV left vote (i.e. Naderites and hardcore left Hillary haters).... and if she ran, Starrett bleeding off a chunk of the theocratic, zygote of living people vote who would otherwise vote GOP because they hate gays and women's rights so much. With the Democratic nominee running solidly in the mainstream.

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    Not only does the Constitution Party oppose the War, Mary Starrett herself was quite loudly opposed to it during her gubernatorial run in 2006.

    And more to the point, Gordon Smith supported the war from the beginning, questioned the patriotism of anyone who dared oppose it, gave one speech against it, and then promptly voted four times in favor of it.

    He hardly opposes the Bush policy in Iraq.

    C'mon, Mapes. You're smarter than that.

  • Michael (unverified)

    Huh. I read the Mapes quote as including Starrett in with "them" and questioning whether somebody with a pro-war position (like Gordo, if he's talking to the right person) could have a place.

  • Rose Wilde (unverified)

    Mary Starret might not be my political cup of tea, but she sure blew the socks off of this young reporter for the Willamette Week. Check out the YouTube video of their "blind date" as part of the Bus Project's Candidates Gone Wild event in 2006. Mary clearly is a more fun date than Joe Keating...

    You Tube: Blind Candidate Part I

  • Scott McLean (unverified)

    Everyone and his brother should consider running against Smith. He's out of touch with Oregonians and Americans in general. There is no reason for him to be reelected.

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    To add to what some folks are saying, Mary's entrance into the race wouldn't be a traditional far-right run. She's got a bunch of disparate views (almost all radical) that cleave to no particular party. She'd attract mainly righties, of course, but her rhetorical impact is less certain.

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    Just before the '06 election, I had a contractor out to remove a standing dead tree. He's a neighbor and I found out that he and his wife are both Constitution Party members and Starrett supporters.

    We had a few laughs at Starrett's opponents on the alleged "Right" shooting themselves in the foot attacking her, and then he asked me point blank: "What do you think of George Bush?" I tried to get out of answering in the interest of neighborliness, but his wife chimed in that by all means I should speak freely.

    My reply was: "I think he's a punk, bully, frat-boy." They both broke into huge smiles and were in complete agreement.

    Just becuase they're crazy, it doesn't necessarily follow that they're stupid.

    Run, Mary, Run.

    And be sure to tell all of your supporters to support The Huck. I'm selling him to every Republican that I run into.

    With a little luck the Religious Right will revert to fighting among themselves over obscure points of Dogma, while the corporatists/neo-con alliance, deprived of about 40% of their authoritarian followers chokes on its own vomit.

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    Mary Starrett is not going to pull any votes away from Smith. The only people that pay attention to her are the freaks that use to perv on her when she was an Anchor on AM Northwest and those guys would not vote for any of the other guys running right now anyway. You can say she is kind of a bring out the vote person.....the perv vote.

    I wish her well though.


  • LT (unverified)

    "Frohnmayer spoiler candidacy of the NAV left."


    Since when does the 21st century political debate revolve around a bipolar political spectrum from the previous millenium? I recall some Democrats talking about multi-polar politics at home and around the world a couple decades ago, even before the Berlin Wall fell. So why are we back to "right vs. left" as if when we go into an ice cream store our only choices are chocolate or vanilla? The book MEGATRENDS had a chapter titled "either / or vs. multiple option".

    The Constitution Party only appeals to right wing extremists whose views Mary S. so ably talks about. However, the fastest growing "party" registration in Oregon is "nothing at all" --NAV. Do Democrats want to write them off, or do they want to appeal to their interest in problem solving issues above ideology and maybe convince them to register Dem. for the US Senate primary and hope they will also vote Dem. in the fall?

    Originally, at least according to one history I read, after the French Revolution there was a meeting to organize new politics in a large auditorium. People of one particular view sat on the right, and of another political view sat on the left. Not every viewpoint was represented (for obvious reasons there were no monarchists or anarchists in the room, for instance).

    Half a century or so ago, people were saying things like "Socialism is where the train will take you going left if you don't get off at the station marked liberalism, and fascism is where the train will take you going right if you don't get off at the station marked conservativism". Other people argued that the political spectrum is a circle, not a straight line--Communism and Nazism were equally dicatatorial and people who want open debate don't go to ideological extremes.

    When I was young, Barry Goldwater was the leading conservative and Hubert Humphrey was the leading liberal. Neither of them would recognize politics today.

    NAV is often a haven for those who get fed up with the bickering by both parties insisting their way is the only way. Nothing "left" about that as much as just plain fed up.

    Gordon Smith was elected by 3rd party voters who, in a friend's phrase, "decided not to choose between the slick one and the chinless one", so it would be poetic justice if he got attacked from his own right flank this time.

    Just heard on the radio this morning that Frohnmayer has endorsed single payer health care. Does that make him "left" or does that mean he is forcing a wider debate than just "this is which senator's / presidential candidate's plan I support"?

    Great story, Pat. I delight in saying I knew people like W in college--they were the frat rats.

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    LT, the substance of your comments is, well, substantial, as usual, but this

    "The book MEGATRENDS had a chapter titled "either / or vs. multiple option""

    reminds me the old proverb:

    The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don't.

    Also, fwiw, as I read that quote, it wasn't saying NAVs are all "left", but saying that Frohnmayer would take enough of the NAVs who otherwise would likely vote for the Democratic nominee rather than Smith, but not feel happy about the choice. In other words, those NAVs who lean left in one way or another. That includes some NAVs who may be unhappy with the parties but don't share your views about the ideological spectrum, & are NAV because they don't think the DP is consistently "left" enough. Frohnmayer could have a chance of picking up some of them, as well as others who don't think that way, because of the issues he's chosen to focus on.

    Actually I wonder what his answers would be to the questions Stephanie V. posed to Jeff Merkley (discussed on other thread).

    P.S. can someone give me an html tip on how to make quotes indent so prettily as many of you make them do?

  • barb (unverified)

    Is Mary trying to hand the democrats a senate seat like she "gave" them the governor's mansion?

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    Posted by: LT | Dec 18, 2007 10:53:02 AM Since when does the 21st century political debate revolve around a bipolar political spectrum from the previous millenium?

    It doesn't and I didn't break it down that way at all. if you re-read my post I was pointing out four different generalized quadrants and how the non bi-polar political reality would shake votes into four different directions. You are reading FAR too much into using the label NAV left.

    The Constitution Party only appeals to right wing extremists...

    Since when does the 21st century political debate revolve around a bipolar political spectrum from the previous millenium?

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    Posted by: Chris Lowe | Dec 18, 2007 12:19:06 PM

    Exactly where I was coming from in my comment. Thanks.

    FYI... if you put

    around text it will do the quote level indent.

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    Crap.. Typepad screws up using the ASCI code for characters and went ahead and read it as the character itself.

    Here, this explains the html tag for blockquotes.

  • jeffmapes (unverified)

    I realize my blog post could be read either way. What I was trying to say is that every candidate - including Starrett - who has expressed interest in the race is a stated opponent of the war. My question was whether there is room for yet another candidate who would actually support the war. I shouldn't have assumed that people would know Starrett is an opponent of the war.

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    Well, Gordon Smith was gung-ho for it, until the GOP was waylaid in the 06 election, then he began mouthing platitudes abut being against but has done no heavy-lifting to end it and continues to vote to fund it.

    He ha made exactly one vote in opposition to the wear on a bill that was 100% guaranteed to be scuttled so he could claim to be against the war.

    <h2>His actions simply do not back up his weak tea CYA opposition. Question is Mr. Mapes, are you in the media going to make this clear to the general public when you write about this issue and Gordon Smith in the dead-tree version of your paper?</h2>
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