Let's help a few Oregon progressive candidates earn an extra $50,000

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

We've been talking a lot about the Governor's race, but just as important is the fight over control in the Oregon legislature.

In 2010, the fight for the legislature is more important than usual -- since the 2011 will, among other things, do redistricting of legislative and congressional races. (And Oregon has a slim possibility of picking up a sixth congressional district.)

For that reason, a national organization called Progressive Kick has offered to match up to $10,000 in donations for each of five Oregon candidates. That's a dollar-for-dollar match, doubling your donations.

Which candidates are supported by Progressive Kick? First, their criteria:

We’ve vetted our candidates very carefully, consulting with multiple experts in each state, to assure that only genuine progressives made our list. Both polling data and experienced, local election observers agree that each of these races is close but winnable, and that control of Congressional redistricting in their state is at stake.

So, who did they choose? Which candidates can you support - and double your impact? Here's the list, and Progressive Kick's candidate summaries:

Dan Rayfield (OR-SD-08)
Dan Rayfield is running against Sen. Frank Morse, who was named as one of the 12 most anti-environment state-level candidates in the nation by the League of Conservation Voters. Dan's big focus is on creating meaningful, decent-paying jobs in part through his strong support for higher education in Oregon.


Nick Kahl (OR-HD-49)
In his first term, Rep. Nick Kahl worked to hold big banks and lending companies accountable, so they've targeted him for defeat. His opponent, Matt Wand, is a local city council member who opposes raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy - but balanced his town's budget by raising water and sewer fees on low-income families.


Susan Sokol Blosser (OR-HD-24)
Susan Sokol Blosser is one of the founders of Oregon's world-renowned wine industry where she’s a leader on environmental sustainability. Her opponent, Rep. Jim Weidner proposed a bill taking away health care for 80,000 of Oregon's children.


Will Rasmussen (OR-HD-37)
Will Rasmussen is focused on great schools, protecting farm and forest land, and growing our economy. His opponent, Julie Parrish, is closely aligned with shadowy right wing outfit Americans for Prosperity and styles herself as Oregon's Sarah Palin.


Doug Ainge (OR-HD-30)
For over three decades, Doug Ainge has been a teacher, mentor and coach in Oregon's schools. His opponent, Shawn Lindsey, tries to fake moderation but in fact campaigns with right wing fringe groups.


Are there other candidates worthy of your support? Of course. But these five will receive a dollar-for-dollar match for anything you donate between now and October 10.

Each of these five candidates is running strong in a tough, winnable race. They're worthy of your support - and your money.

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    Full disclosure: My firm built Nick Kahl's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

    Also, I was one of several Oregonians that Progressive Kick consulted with regarding their choices.

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    Oh great... more out-of-state money seeking to influence Oregon legislative races. And I thought only Republicans did that...

    But it's probably a good idea for Democrats to focus on the legislature, considering Kitzhaber's dismal performance so far.

    I'm sure East MultCo voters in HD-49 will be thrilled to see Nick Kahl passed the litmus test to qualify as "a genuine progressive" who needs out-of-state help against Matt Wand, who earned not only the Oregonian's endorsement, but also the public endorsment of the mayors of every city in East MultCo.

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      If you really believe Matt Wand isn't getting money that originated out of state, I've got some lovely ocean front property in Redmond to sell you.

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        Does that property come with a zero-down, low interest VIP mortgage loan?

        Of course, candidates are free to accept out-of-state money (hence the red lettering on Orestar).

        My point is that Kahl is in trouble in semi-conservative East MultCo and having to prove he is "a genuine progressive" to get out-of-state help won't help him anymore than lying about Wand supporting a 30% sales tax.

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          I suspect even in "semi-conservative" East Multnomah County (and that's pretty relative, frankly), Kahl is more in step with the voters as a genuine progressive than Wand is as an Oregon Republican--especially those like Wand attempting to woo the folks from AFP.

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            We'll see. You may be right and the only thing that may save Kahl is his party registration edge. But Kahl is the only incumbent Democrat in all of MultCo to lose the Oregonian's endorsement. That is telling, as is Wand's public endorsement by all four east county mayors.

            As you know, once you get East of I-205 in MultCo the politics get decidedly more conservative compared to ultra-left Portland. There is a long-standing dislike of Portland in East MultCo and those Democrats successful out there have been careful not to align themselves too closely with "Portland liberals."

            In other words, I believe there are more than a few Portland Democrats that could not get elected in HD-49 despite the registration edge. By tauting his "genuine progressive" credentials, Kahl is going for broke.

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              Bruce: I live in unincorporated Washington County--the dynamics are virtually identical to East Multnomah. The further out from the Portland core, the less on the left edge of the spectrum.

              Yet still vastly progressive in general--and generally not at all in line with the kind of stuff that Oregon Republicans articulate, especially those trying to go after the AFP vote.

              I suspect that "genuine progressive" trumps "GOP conservative" in both of these places.

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                This data is a little old now, and it is from my district HD-47, which is actually more left-leaning than HD-49.

                In May 2003, MultCo voters approved a 3-year county I-Tax. But voters in HD-47 rejected the I-Tax, 55%-45%.

                About the same time, Oregonians rejected that whopping income tax hike (Measure 30) by a 59%-41% margin. But HD-47 voters rejected that tax hike, 72%-28%.

                In 2004, Measure 37 (property rights) passed statewide 61%-39%. But HD-47 approved it 67%-33%.

                Same year Measure 36 (defense of marriage act) was approved statwide 55%-43%. But all those right-wing, homophobic Democrats in HD-47 approved M36 by a higher 62%-38% margin.

                My point is that often "Multnomah County" is viewed by outsiders as a monolithic, liberal voting bloc. But there are two MultCo's. Left of I-205 is ultra-Left Portland, while Right of I-205 are legislative districts that vote more like Southern Oregon than Portland on many issues.

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                  Like I said, similar dynamics to unincorporated Washington County. I'd be more interested in seeing how Kahl's District voted on M66-67.

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      Actually, Bruce -- not sure if you noticed: But the whole point of this campaign is to incentivize LOCAL donors to these campaigns.

      Yes, it's a national match, but a matching program necessarily means that local donors will drive the decision-making process.

      If local donors decide not to support these guys, they get no money. If local donors are largely weighting their contributions in favor of one candidate (as it appears is happening thus far, for Nick Kahl), then that's where the match will go.

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        I know, Kari.

        It's just gets tiring when each partisan side accuses the other of taking out-of-state money while they're busy cashing their out-of-state checks.

        I actually like the match idea which indeed incentivizes donors. Works all the time in charitible fund raising.

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    The smear against Frank Morse, one of the finest people in the Oregon legislature, is absolutely shameful. Rayfield should be ashamed of himself for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is his participation in that kind of hatchet job on one of Oregon's truly great legislators.

    If you want to kick in some money to help any of these candidates, give it to Susan Sokol-Blosser who (unlike Dan Rayfield) has actually earned the support of progressives through her work over the years and is running against easily the least effective legislator in Oregon.

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