Live from the Stone Age: The Oregon Senate Democrats

Carla Axtman

During the 2009 Legislative Session, the Oregon Senate Democrats launched a legislative blog, which basically reconstituted press releases and news articles. I think that one is defunct now tho..and they've moved over here. Not exactly scintillating stuff..but at least they dipped a toe in the water, I guess. They've since expanded to Facebook and Twitter, where they sometimes update stuff. Mostly, it's a big snooze.

Its pretty clear that the online efforts of the Oregon Senate Democrats isn't exactly at the top of their "to-do" list. It's generally been my personal belief that constituent relations and communication is a pretty crucial piece of being a legislator..but hey..what do I know? I'm just a constituent, right?

So imagine my non-surprise when I discover not only do they not want me to really keep track of their work online, they don't want my money either.

I wouldn't expect the site that updates on legislative stuff to have a donate button or link--that wouldn't be cool. So where is the campaign site/page?

The Democratic Party of Oregon links to the Senate Dems here,which is the second site I linked above. No campaign info tho and no donate I'm guessing this is strictly legislative. It's an okay site--nothing really flashy or interesting--but it seems mostly up to date and has good photos.

But no campaign stuff. And after surfing around, I can't find a single website or page run by the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund that includes actual campaign information. Not even a basic donate button.

All is not lost, however. There's always ActBlue, right?

Bzzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong.

We're not exactly talking about cutting edge stuff here. This is basic. Yes, I know the Oregon GOP is the local version of the keystone cops right now, but that doesn't absolve the Senate Democrats from putting together (at least) the rudimentary online operation to inform voters and constituents so we can..y'know...actually work to help elect them to office?


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    Carla, I have heard that Sizemore actually runs these sites under contract to the Oregon Senate Democrats. OK, that is probably a very bad joke.

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    To me, "Stone Age" is a phrase really more appropriate to be used for certain attitudes that Oregon State Democrats are not known for. Insofar as the Senate caucus goes, I think it's fair to judge whether the handful of donations one might get out of a pretty site is worth the cost.

    Online website development isn't cheap, so you need to judge whether something makes sense or not.

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    A well-timed article, indeed! DPO Data Services ( is working a site for the Senate Dems right now and we expect to have it live this week. The delay in getting this launched comes in part from privileging candidate websites--including Senate candidates Peter Courtney, Dan Rayfield, and Chuck Riley--above caucus websites in terms of launch order. For those interested, those sites can be found here:

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    Carla: They're going to go with C&E Systems for payment processing. Lower fees, faster disbursement, Oregon business ...

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      Local HOUSE District Rep sites for elected Reps who have all or portions of Multnomah County turf: both their Legislative and Campaign websites are posted on

      We'll be adding Cheryl Myers campaign site to our list as she is our SUPER Dem candidate running in HD 51 for the open seat (vacated by Brent Barton, who's working to head to the Senate.)

      HD 51 is mostly Clackamas County w/ a small portion of Multnomah.

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        For the record: Here is the Oregon House Democrats PAC (Future PAC) campaign site. The donate tab is easy to find:

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    I am the campaign manager for Travis Comfort, candidate for State Senate and in a primary race against Chuck Riley.

    Please visit to see the difference you are looking for. We have videos, comments allow on pages, and a Paypal donate button the in corner.

    Everything your looking for, right? :)

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      Every candidate should have all this stuff on their website, sure. Glad to see it.

      That's a little bit different than what I'm talking about--which is the legislative campaign PACs. Note that Future PAC (Oregon House Dems)are fired up and going..and one can actually contribute online to them.

      From my point of view, this demonstrates an oddly low priority for online engagement by the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund.

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    Maybe it is time for candidates to take control of their web presence. It's the only true way to promote a message, if ya got one.

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