Chris Dudley -- No More Mr. Nice Guy

Kristin Teigen

With the selection of Chris Dudley as the Republican candidate for governor, it seemed as though the GOP was continuing the Ron Saxton strategy. You know, find an affable nice guy who doesn’t conjure images of a dark lord (Kevin Mannix) or, uh, well, a criminal (Bill Sizemore). Dudley, to be sure, seemed like a nice guy who would come over for a beer and to teach your kid about zone defense. With his lack of experience, policy knowledge or significant leadership credentials, his nice guy image was perhaps one of the few things going for him.

After this week, I’m not so sure. Does a nice guy, after all, talk about cutting the wages of our lowest paid workers? Does a nice guy refuse to answer questions, and refuse to give voters the most basic clue about his ideas? Probably not.

First, let’s review his minimum wage comments. This week, he stated that he thinks that Oregon's wage is too high, and while he wants to cut it, he will deign to let it slide. Wow, thanks. He not only got his facts wrong when he said Oregon’s minimum wage was the highest in the country, he delivered a kidney punch to all of those working so hard for the lowest paycheck possible. And who are those folks?

Well, think about it. While, sure, they’re the teenagers working to save for their first car, more frequently they’re college students trying to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of tuition or parents working more than one minimum wage job, trying to support their families.

Nearly everyone I know, myself included, has at one point in their lives, earned a minimum wage. Apparently, Chris Dudley has no empathy for us. He has no empathy for those that wait tables, pick crops, take care of children and the elderly, and clean up after the rest of us. How friendly.

His comments reflect something more, though – derision toward what is an Oregon tradition and history of protecting and supporting minimum wage workers. We are one of only four states that tie the minimum wage to inflation, ensuring that low wage workers get a cost of living raise like so many of the rest of us. What’s more, Oregon legislators, in 2005, fought back against an Oregon Restaurant Association attempt to remove minimum wage indexing for food service workers. Finally, Oregonians have voted repeatedly and as recently as 2002 to increase our minimum wage. Dudley rejects our history as well as the will of Oregon voters and legislators. Nice guy, huh?

Now, as to his stonewalling. Not a week goes by when we don’t hear about how John Kitzhaber has shown up for a debate that Dudley refuses to attend. Then, this week, the Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes published a story that detailed Dudley’s refusal to be interviewed regarding his environmental views. Mapes said that it was essentially unprecedented in his years of experience covering gubernatorial electoral politics.

Given Dudley’s NBA past, it doesn’t make sense that he’s debilitated by performance anxiety or a fear of being in the spotlight. No, instead it seems that he just doesn’t think that we, as voters, deserve the answers. While he had seemed like one of the guys, a man of the people, he is now acting as though talking with the rest of us is just below him. His pure dismissal of a voter’s desire to be informed sure doesn’t fit with the gee shucks image.

So, let’s review. No governmental experience. No innovative policy initiatives. Very little experience in a formal position of leadership. And now, what is appearing to be a distaste for the rest of us. Remind me, what does this guy have going for him? Certainly not my vote.

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    Well said. For my part, I've been trying to keep an open mind about the candidates and listen for specific details of plans on both sides. And have heard little original or specifics from Dudley's camp. His failure to answer (verbal) questions from the Oregonian about the environment and instead request them in writing and take his time answering, adds to my discomfort with his ability to lead this state.

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    What's more than sickening to me is that he is up in the polls, beyond the margin of error now. The tea party has proven that they will vote for a sock puppet, as long as it parrots the "government is too big" or "cut taxes" mantras. It's more than I can stomach some days.

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      A vote for Chris ("free college for highschool grads that can spellcheck their way to a 3.5 GPA") Dudley is a vote against Tea Party FREEDOM. Where are all the Winter Soldiers who dared to express their loyalty to the Tea Party movement, not to a lesser-Socialist, 'nice guy' Elitist?

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    Agreed. Dudley has set the stage for his characterization as disconnected and uninspired- the work then for Democrats is to proactively fill the identity vacuum he left by characterizing him ourselves. This is an area we have historically struggled with, but posts like yours help very much. Thanks.

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    When I called the Dudley campaign HQ's to ask about upcoming debates - I was told they had no idea and would call me back. I'm frightened to think how closed his administration would be once he is elected given how scary closed off they are now.

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    So you guys have given up on trying to sell the voters on Kitzhaber and are concentrating on attacking Chris?

    Don't give up on your candidate so easily. If you saw the candidate forum at the League of Oregon Cities convention in Eugene today, Kitzhaber was focused and on message. The issues they were addressing were right down his alley. It was by far his best performance of the campaign so far.

    Kitzhaber isn't my choice for governor but, really, he's not as bad as you guys think. Maybe if you had a little more confidence in your candidate and concentrated on building him up instead of tearing Dudley down, he might surprise you.

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      Uggg. You're right of course. Speaking for myself, I guess I feel resigned because anyone who is an incumbent or running again as in "our" candidate, they are being drowned out by this crazy, loud, shrill, tea party crowd and I feel Chris Dudley is getting ready for his coronation. He's up in the polls and it's based on little that he has shown us voters. He's well-funded and some very powerful special interests are lobbying for him. All elements that make me feel... hopeless. Not only am I fearful for my individual candidate choices, I fear this movement of Glenn Beck following nuts leading us back to the days of McCarthy. They're ostracizing ANYONE who so much as TALK to a Democrat. Dudley is riding in on this tide and I guess that makes me dislike him even more because I don't think he's extreme, but he's courting the extremists.

      Kitzhaber does excite me, but I feel like he's a mere mortal (and a very good mortal) running against a cartoon superhero. And before anyone makes that inevitable leap and compares this situation to Obama and the Left, at least Obama debated. Three times, in addition to that Saddleback Forum, if I remember correctly.

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      Jack, Kitzhaber is selling himself, but Dudley is selling smoke-and-mirrors. Should we ignore that?

      Tell me, if Dudley is such a good candidate, why has he been actively avoiding debates? If you're qualified for a job, aren't you eager to have as many job interviews as it takes? If you know your qualifications are sketchy, don't you hope for as few opportunities to be found out?

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      To give up implies they ever tried to.

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    Here is some research on Dudley that I posted on FB about a week ago. I actually think we DO need to concentrate on each of the GOP candidates. RECOVERING FROM SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS: You analyze these facts: Person is born in early 1965; completes Yale in 1987; plays professional sports from 1988 to 2001. Meanwhile in 1998 person starts a foundation for children with the same disease as this person has. It does not incorporate until 3-20-08. The person is MIA between 2001 and 2005 but then becomes a volunteer assistant coach at his local high school between 2005-2007. In 2006 he joins M Financial Wealth Management, Inc. the implication being for his contacts more than his acumen. The managing partner was M Financial Holdings Incorporate and the linking people were David W. Schutt and Gerald Graves who both appear to come out of Charles Schwab. Whatever the circumstances Graves, Ian Crawford and the person then leave Schutt behind and start Filigree Advisors on 1-1-08. (There are two other corporations, one started in 4-18-07 and one 4-21-09 which have this person as a manager member. They are mystery corporations with no internet footprint.) I invite you to see the eyebrow lifting link below. The person self describes himself as a financial advisor. That’s it. Sometime in late 2009 this person decides that he is qualified to be governor. Daniel Fegan, an NBA agent gives him $100K; something “S & G Properties” gives him $70K and of course, Phil Knight gives him $50K. I have heard but can’t yet verify that Tim Boyle was also on board with a contribution. These two are the perennially annoyed about M66-67. Our subject refers to himself as having conservative political views and is a Christian. When he was running against him in the primaries, Allen Alley pointed out that this person lacked the experience to be governor. But now all that is patched up and Alley is his first key endorser; second being Kevin Mannix which speaks volumes about this person’s views on abortion and law and order!; but virtually no endorsers from Portland or the Metro Area, except Bruce Starr and former sheriff, Bob Skipper. His stated plan is to create private sector jobs and stimulate the economy through “job-creating tax relief.” He also wants to ease up “zoning laws” so communities can grow. There was no information at Project Vote Smart but he did get an A endorsement on gun issues from the NRA. Chris Dudley deserves an emphatic NO vote. Filigree

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      I've also done similar research and write about it on my blog

      Chris Dudley also "turned off" his CFP license and isn't even seeing clients. So, one starts to wonder what he does for Filigree. The SEC does not list him as an adviser as it does for Crawford and Graves, so Duds is a hand shaker. Someone who just uses his celebrity to get clients for his firm. He's doing the exact same thing for his campaign. None of it is illegal, but given that he has no legislative record to run on since he's held no office and since he won't debate, we're left to glean what we can. And it's truly special interests that are behind this candidate.

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