What Oregon races should be donation priorities?

Chris Lowe

Imagine you had $100 to donate to political campaigns in Oregon, and that you've already done your bit for Barack Obama and Jeff Merkley.

Where should the $100 go? What races are tight, winnable, but less funded than they need to be? Less visible than they ought to be?

Should some of it go to Kurt Schrader to hold onto Darlene Hooley's seat in the U.S. Congress?

Should it all go to Oregon House or Senate races? Which ones? Are there statewide offices of concern? Particular local or county races of special importance?

Should it be split up, or all given in one place?

Should a slightly less parochial thought be given to Washington state, e.g. Darcy Burner or Chris Gregoire?

  • Dean (unverified)

    i think this is the year we go for the gold and get aggressive. I'd be all about Merkley, I think Schrader has it in the bag, but i'd consider Burner, as well. Even though she doesn't represent Oregon, it's worth looking at that race as one of regional,even national importance.

  • East County (unverified)

    Carla Piluso could use your help! Carla is a great candidate but she is up against very deep pockets. Her opponent has already spent nearly $180,000 of her own personal wealth. You can read about it here: CLICK HERE We can't allow anyone to buy an election! A donation to Carla's campaign would go a long way and every little bit helps. Carla is running a grassroots campaign and has received over 500 donations of $100 or less. Lets help her get to 1000!

    Click Here to donate!

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    I'm most concerned about Kurt Schrader and Kate Brown.

    In Kurt's case, he's running against a candidate with nearly bottomless deep pockets. Mike Erickson has personal experience with the big surprise attack right before the election - so I won't be surprised if he tries a million-dollar hail-mary attack in the closing days.

    In Kate's case, undecided is beating both her and Rick Dancer - so it's a volatile situation. A big part of any Democrat's strategy in Oregon is winning big in Eugene - but Dancer is very well-known and well-liked there. If he can pull even with Kate in Eugene, she's in trouble. And don't forget: in Oregon's no-limits environment, Dancer could pick up a big chunk of change and change the situation late in the game. And the GOP just needs one win this year to call it a winning year.

    Admittedly, both Kurt and Kate are clients of my firm. I'm certainly paying closer attention to their races than some others.

    But just because it's going to be a good year, doesn't mean we can relax and assume the rising tide will lift all boats. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Better to invest now in winning these open seats than trying to unseat Republican incumbents later. Especially the likes of Mike Erickson and Rick Dancer.

  • East County (unverified)

    You can check out Carla Piluso's website here

    And her endorsements here

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    I'd put some money towards Richard Riggs in HD 20.

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    Let's not forget our opportunity to overturn Measure 47's supermajority requirement, which has been hobbling local school districts and other government initiatives across the state since 1997.

    Vote yes on Measure 56!

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    One race that really matters is the mayoral race in Eugene between Kitty Piercy our incumbent mayor and former mayor and former State Senate candidate, Jim Torrey.

    Mr. Torrey has put almost half a million dollars into a race for an $18,000 a year job. Almost 1.5 million dollars were spent in the Senate race between him and Sen. Walker and if we let him buy his way into this race, we will only have to spend more money supporting good Democrats in 2010 when he decides to run for State School Superintendant or Governor.

    Kitty Piercy has a balance approach to managing our city and is the right person for the progress we need. She is fixing the problems with public safety, transportation planning, jobs and the economy and community relations left to her by the previous administration of Jim Torrey. If you think this race doesn't matter, think again. It will impact the whole state as this is the only foothold that the Republican party can get in Lane County (although Jim Torrey has now decided it is more politically expedient to be an Independant).

    Please send what you can to support our mayor and a strong Democrat and long time progressive leader, Kitty Piercy.


  • LT (unverified)

    Yes, Richard Riggs is important, as are the federal candidates.

    I would also mention Hanten Day in House District 19 (against Cameron) and Bill Burgess, Marion County Clerk, being challenged by Republican county commissioner Randy Franke.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)

    Nick Kahl in East County--House District 49. Minnis and the Republicans held this spot for too many years and this year we CAN turn this district BLUE. Nick will truly represent East County residents and will be a team player in the House, as he truly cares about all of Oregon. Help Nick get elected! Donate or learn about volunteer opportunities at www.nickkahl.com. Thanks!

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    Help bring back integrity and intelligence to HD 51. Brent Barton will work tirelessly on behalf of his constituents and help the entire state in advocating for education, healthcare and jobs. He's the full meal deal and contributing to Brent will give you great satisfaction as you help to show Linda Flores the door and send her hot pink signs home with her.


  • Mike Caudle (unverified)

    Toby Forsberg HD #39 needs our help to take back tihs seat vacated by Wayne Scott! $100 bucks would go a long way in helping him win this seat.


  • Bugs (unverified)

    The best way to elect Obama, Merkley, and Schrader....is to give $$ to your favorite Oregon House candidate!

    By helping them communicate with and persuade voters, you'll help get vtheir constituents to cast a vote for State Representative -- and then those voters will vote up-ballot for the other candidates. You get a bigger bang for your buck!

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    Brent Barton. Brent Barton. Brent Barton.

    There are a lot of great candidates out there, but Brent is running a picture perfect race in a tough district and has what, in my view, is one of our best chances in the state of picking off a difficult incumbent.

    But to answer a slightly different question, Brent needs grassroots fundraising yes, but you can help just as much by going out there and knocking on doors. Voter contact wins races, and this one will be an amazing pick-up if we keep at the next few weeks!

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    As I prepare my post on Measures 57 and 61, I am becoming a little panicked that 61 will pass. It will be catastrophic. You could do worse than trying to defeat it or promoting measure 57.

  • neworegonian (unverified)

    Greg Matthews in House District 50! This seat has been held by Republican John Lim for two terms too many. Matthews has an unparalleled resume. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, a former police officer, and current fire-fighter in Gresham. His priorites are Our priorities. We need a leader like Greg in the legislature.


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    I agree with Bugs that money to a house seat benefits those up ballot, but the obverse is not necessarily true. My money is going to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters PAC, because its professional staff have a better handle than most anyone about which house races are the best to put resources into these last days of the campaign. You also get the advantage of letting politicians know that voters support the environment, because help from OLCV PAC sends a clear message about the strength of the environmental movement, whereas money from individuals sends no message at all.

  • Alan Locklear (unverified)

    I second Stephen Kafoury's suggestion. OLCV PAC knows what to do contributions and they're set up to do it right. My state office contributions have all gone to them. I want candidates to know that the environment (broadly construed, of course) is the most important issue.

    Here's a link to OLCV PAC's secure donation page:


    Furthermore, the national League of Conservation Voters has a donation service based on Act Blue, called Give Green. You can make sure your Obama and Merkley (as well as a slew of other deserving candidates with strong environmental records and platforms) contributions are seen as coming from an environmental voter.

    Here is their link:


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    I've got a better campaign than all the ones we have suggested thus far. www.paycarlsbills.com would be a great place to put down a bennie or two. In this uncertain economic times, carl needs to be certain he can pay his bills. Help him, help you.

    Money orders only please...in these crazy times I wouldn't want anyone to use what little credit they have left on me.

  • harry demarest (unverified)

    I'm voting for the coordinated campaign, Forward Oregon, where our donations help Merkley, Schrader, and other Democrats up and down the ticket.

  • RW (unverified)

    Just watched the Merkley/Smith debate. Merkley a poor, wooden speaker, but insistent upon at least talking points, not mere character assassination and maladroit spinwashing... Smith relentlessly and without charm flipping questions in a circle, attacking his opponent.

    Smith intensely alienating in his lack of intelligent delivery, lack of aplomb or musicianship. Merkley, well, I am for him, but I was not impressed by much more in the delivery than his willingness to answer the questions asked and not bullshit around with games.

    I went to school with Tracy Berry as a girl - we were both in Forensics together -- I have to say she got my respect back with her crisp, cutting slices when Smith behaved the absolute ARSE on that request for each candidate to just answer the goddarned question: "three nice things about your opponent's VOTING record"... Gwen Ifill might have taken some fearlessness lessons, and I've got to say it would be fun to watch her skewer even the next MR. President in the name of getting the job done that WE need her to.

    Overall a wooden, uninformative debate, Berry being the best part; Merkley's standup nature being a good part; and my dislike for Smith cemented.

    <h2>ON another note: has anyone noticed Smith's tortured ad campaign in this light - the Matthew Shepherd ad done in aesthetically pleasing, somewhat sophisticated greytones guaranteed to appeal to the museum and fancy martini crowd; and then comes the tabloid shrill and cheesy colour schemes of the "scare the working class goobers" ads?... or am I imagining things?</h2>

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