Why does the Oregon GOP tolerate Dennis Oliver Woods?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Dennis Oliver Woods is a political consultant to several committees associated with Republican committees in Oregon. And, as Willamette Week's Nigel Jaquiss has reported, he's got some interesting views. OK, let's not go with the euphemistic adjective. Let's go with insane, unbelievable, and offensive as the adjectives.

The Rev. Chuck Currie points out just how outrageous Dennis Oliver Woods is:

It is disheartening that today's GOP in Oregon has moved so far away from the ideals of tolerance and community advanced by [Tom] McCall and [Mark] Hatfield. No example demonstrates this better than the relationship GOP leaders have with Dennis Oliver Woods, a man who has advocated the death penalty for gays and lesbians, written that slavery in the American South was akin to kindly "overseas adoptions," and who objects to letting women have the right to vote. Mr. Woods bases his views on his understanding of the Christian faith. How we read the Bible matters and as an ordained minister, I would argue that Woods perverts the Gospel teachings.

What's even more insane is that Oregon Republicans are using him for political advice. Jaquiss notes that Woods' firm, Target Market Strategies, is a major player:

Filings with the state show groups including Oregonians In Action, the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, Oregonians For Immigration Reform, the Oregon Family Farm Association and the Leadership Fund have paid the Damascus firm Target Market Strategies nearly $135,000 in the past three years.

Now, Senator Ted Ferrioli - the leader of the Senate GOP caucus - says he won't impose a "litmus test" on consultants. Now, when it comes to typical political positions, sure. You wouldn't want to insist that every consultant agree with every candidate on every issue before hiring them. That's just not practical. But as Rev. Currie points out, "Some views are so extreme, however, that they must be condemned."

Either Dennis Oliver Woods' views are so offensive that they must be condemned. Or they're not. If the Oregon GOP won't condemn them, there's only one conclusion: They don't think his views are outrageous.

It's possible that Ferrioli and Company didn't know anything about his views. A little odd, since he wrote a book, but fine. But now that they know, it's time for them to condemn his outrageous views. If they don't? They own 'em.

Update, 9/30: The Senate GOP has announced that they're no longer doing business with Mr. Woods.

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      And it could get worse. These right wing extremists are pouring money into Dudley's campaign, outraising our beloved Dr. John by a 2-1 ratio and Dudley now leads our progressive hero, 44-40% in the latest AP poll.

      At this rate, it's only a matter of weeks before Dudley dons his white hood and robe, raises the swaztika flag over Mahonia Hall and begins the Dennis Oliver Woods agenda of killing gays, enslaving Blacks and disenfranchising women.

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    lol Ann Coulter's column last week touched upon the issue of the moderate republicans and liberals always trying to dictate to conservatives who's opinions are too radical or too insensitive...she said

    "But any evidence of principle in a Republican is always treated by the elites as if it's an embarrassing eccentricity best kept under wraps"

    The reality is Kari that the tea party is successful and principled conservative candidates are successful (win elections)

    She compared the huge defeat of gay and abortion loving Goldwater to the landslide wins by Reagan (the only sitting President to write an anti abortion book while in office) as evidence that when conservatives run as conservatives guess what? They win! I don't know about this man or his personal belief's. You guys are the master's of guilt by association when it comes to people you don't like and can't find anything real to criticize them for. Where were you when Obama was running for office the over the top radicals and America haters he ran with could have provided you with a lifetime supply of guilt by association ammo. Don't you think it's possible for people to separate their professional lives from their personal lives?

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      Abortion loving? America haters? I'm just going to say it, even a Republican would tell you you have no place in politics. Again, YOUR rhetoric is the kind that embarasses moderate conservatives. You can't defend the party against extremism using hyperbolic language. You should know this. Woods' comments are not connected to his personal life- they are explicitly political. Cmon.

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      Wait, I want to take a moment to admire this astounding and bizarre statement: "She compared the huge defeat of gay and abortion loving Goldwater to the landslide wins by Reagan..."

      So she's maintaining that Goldwater lost because he wasn't conservative enough? That is about the dumbest thing I've heard. You do realize that neither abortion nor gay rights were even nascent issues in the 64 presidential race, don't you?

      As far as D. O. Woods' positions are concerned, they're readily available on the net and his book's for sale on Amazon. He's a post-millenarian Calvinist, and a theonomist (which means he believes the US should institute sharia, um, I mean biblical, law.

      Unlike many on the religious right, he doesn't believe that the Founding Fathers were particularly religious and he doesn't believe that we will be a Christian nation until we amend the Constitution to cede to the dominion of Jesus Christ.

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      Are you saying that a lunatic racist, homophobe is a "principled conservative"?

      I have principled conservative friends who would disagree with you.

      I'm not one to speak for conservatives, obviously, but William F. Buckley is the guy who made it possible for the conservative movement to attain majority status -- by throwing the crackpot racists and lunatics (John Birch Society) out.

      Buckley is gone now, and it look like crackpots are getting back in. That's the fastest way to minority status.

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    Here is the link to her article. she does a better job than I do.

    BTW Ann Coulter will be speaking in Portland on October 1st maybe you guys could all go and at least hear first hand what you spend so much time guessing at


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      I think you just confirmed everything I said about Dennis Oliver Woods. He is just like you and Ann Coulter. There are no moderates in your party so I take issue with your criticism of them.

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      It goes without saying Coulter's anecdotal evidence references races 20 years ago. To insinuate it has modern day relevance in the current D/R landscape is just delusional, and fiercely in denial of political developments since that time. As long as Republicans continue to look to idols who are literally not with us any more...they will struggle in today's system.

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      October 31st would be more apropos, no?

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      Chester, you do understand, don't you, that Human Events is the house organ of the John Birch Society?

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    Ooohh! Red Meat for BlueOregon. Looks like someone took the bait before me, but I'll bite anyway.

    The reason Oregon Republicans tolerate this guy is because everyone knows that Oregon Republicans are nothing but a bunch of homophobic, racist, sexist wing nuts who:

    1. Believe gays and lesbians should be executed.

    2. Slavery was a good thing.

    3. Women shouldn't be permitted to vote.

    There, that was easy. Next topic...

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      They more than tolerate him.

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      Incorrect. They believe that these beliefs are not worth explicitly disavowing. Small differences in policy approaches are normal. Woods' views do not fall under this category- no one honest would claim they do.

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        "I never heard of this Woods guy. He isn't mainstream party."

        Fair enough. Are you wondering why at least $135,000 of GOP money has found it's way into his hands -- and why GOP leaders are taking his advice?

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    I don't know why this question would come as a surprise. This IS the kind of thing that gets touched on during campaign season, particularly because Republicans have themselves spearheaded an ostensibly values-based "war for the soul of America." If they choose to frame their own campaign strategy in those terms, then it's on.

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    Hmmmm.....never heard of him. Nice try though, attempting to make the race about the consultant and not the candidates. The consultant's name isn't on the ballot, nor will he or she ever be accountable to the voters. That's the role of the candidate. If you are castigating consultants (not exactly a new tactic on BO) I guess that means the GOP has a pretty solid crop of candidates and a better-than-average chance. Don't worry, though. When Congress flips and all those democrat committee staffers get fired and come home, there will be plenty of new "consultants" competing in the local market...and they will be all yours.

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      No, the campaign is not about consultants, it's about the extremist and hateful values of the Republican party. This joker simply made the mistake of putting them where they could be read. You want to get rid of social security, medicare, the veteran's administration, persecute gays, put women who get abortions in jail (even if they are the victims of rape and incest), and not the least of these is the GOP wants to make global war on Islam. So this guy is one of you, and represents your values. And your "solid crop" of candidates are out there advocating for precisely these values.

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        Bill...do actually believe the stuff you are typing, or is this just campaign season hyperbole? If it's hyperbole, well...it's sad but not unexpected (or even restricted to one party.) If you really believe that's what Republicans to a person want...I think your cheese has slid completely off your cracker.

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          Inform yourself about this wonderful crop of candidates: Miller of AK Angle of NV Buck of CO Paul of KY O'Donnell of DE

          Agenda: Phase out Social Security, Privatize/phase out Medicare Privatize/phase out Veteran's Aministration No legal protections for gays Criminalize abortion for all women, even those who are raped or girls who are the victims of incest. Some want to eliminate Americans with Disability Act Rand Paul has expressed his opposition to portions of the Civil Rights Act. These are your values, the values of your party, Dan. They stink.

          Inform yourself, Dan! All this is a matter of record.

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            Your chain of logic is...well...stunning. Clearly, if four or five candidates believe something...it must apply to everyone, especially if you want to think the absolute worst of a particular party and use whatever it takes to justify your extreme statements.

            Pick up your cheese, Bill.

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              Those are the "stars" of the tea party, fella!

              My dad was a life long Republican, an elected official in a town in Oregon. When the city council of which he was a member voted to support legislation to protect discrimination from employment for gays, a mob of your party's goons paraded through Medford with a banner "Impeach the city council sodomites!" Those are the values of the Republican party.

              Two weeks before he died my dad got out of his sick bed to change his registration from Republican to Democrat out of total revulsion at what has become of the Republican Party he used to know. There's a reason why there are no more Mark Hatfields or Norma Paulus's or Tom McCalls, or Dave Froehnmayers. They are no longer welcome in your party, and they no longer want to be in your party.

              You are a party of hateful extremists. And many of them, and I, find your values offensive and repugnant. Dennis Oliver Woods is in the mainstream of the Republican Party today. Go wave your confederate flag somewhere, that seems to be the flag your party most worships.

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      I think you should re-read the post. The criticism addressed Woods' employers- the candidates themselves. There is no need to castigate Woods- he wrote his own book. Candidates are defined by the consulting that shapes their campaigns and issue positions- the connection is a very clear one.

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    Just in case someone else thinks what I am saying about Dennis Oliver Woods being in the mainstream of the GOP, let me give a quick exhibit. Rand Paul,the same Rand Paul who doesn't like the Civil Rights Act, the darling of the tea party and now the GOP establishment, apparently is also the darling of the white separatist movement in Kentucky, and Rand Paul is welcoming of their political donations and refuses to return them when confronted about it. That was a major topic on Hardball yesterday. It's amazing, these people. When Joe McCarthy in Senate hearings was confronted about his behavior and values with the question, "Have you no shame?" That was something everyone at the time understood, and it was the undoing of Joe McCarthy. These modern extremists are utterly shameless.

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    In an earlier comment you asked "...why at least $135,000 of GOP money has found it's way into his hands -- and why GOP leaders are taking his advice."

    Like most others, I had never heard of this guy before this week, either. Chuck Adams (Adams & Co.) has been the traditional consultant for Republican legislative candidates - and still is. Bob Moore has been the chief GOP pollster, often working with Adams.

    But your two-part question is a bit mis-leading.

    First, $135,000 of "GOP money" hasn't been paid to Woods. The Senate Leadership Fund paid this guy $17,500 to conduct a poll. The rest of the $135k (over three years) came from other conservative groups, but not the party itself. Nigel made this clear; you did not.

    As for "taking his advice," Ferrioli made clear that Woods has never had any direct contact with candidates other than polling data. Woods doesn't "advise" candidates. But according to some die-hard BlueOregonites, his advice is unnecessary since they know in their tolerant hearts that Republicans are homophobic, racist, sexist wing nuts who secretly or openly share Woods' outrageous personal views.

    So, Kari, to answer your question, $17,500 of GOP party money made its way to Woods as a vendor to pay for polls, never as a campaign consultant (and I know you know the difference).

    As a vendor, Woods shares something in common with you. You both provide services to campaign consultants, but neither of you set the strategy or policy positions for the candidates themselves.

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      So let me get this straight, if the Democratic Party of Oregon, was hiring an ACORN Kenyan Separatist New Black Panther vendor, you and the tea party (aka the rebranded GOP) would not be frothing at the mouth 24/7, with siren bleating graphics on Drudge and breathless chalkboard diagrams by Glenn Beckhole on Fox news about how evil liberals and Democrats are?

      Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

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        You assume I support or endorse Woods' ideas or that the Senate GOP paid him $17,500 for a poll. I don't on either point.

        I realize you and some BlueOregonites actually believe Woods' published ideas about killing gays, enslaving Blacks and disenfranchising women represent Oregon Republicans - which by extension means me. Thankfully, you are a minority even within your own limited gene pool.

        Hiring this guy was a dumb move and I doubt if he has much of a career as a campaign vendor.

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          Re-read what I said. What I was saying is that I know that your crew would be screaming this guilt-by-association schtick to the rafters and would be a never-ending "outrage" on Fox and crew if the roles were reversed.

          So go cry me a river for getting just a small whiff of the crap Lee Atwater wannabes of the GOP have been flinging for decades now, only now with your party has its own cable-news channel to catapult the propaganda (Bush's own words BTW) with.

          And any complaints about how this is degraded politics from the fright-wing or the media is about as sincere as an arsonist burning down his house then complaining about being homeless.

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            I'm glad you concede this was a "guilt-by-association schtick."

            Or are you one of those open-minded, tolerant progressives who believe anyone who differs from you is a homophobic, racist, sexist wing nut?

            Never mind. You've already answered that question many times over.

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              I guess you don't read what I actually said yesterday in my first comment in this thread where I stated "I personally find the six-degrees of Kevin Boogeyman somewhat absurd on both sides of the political divide, but please spare us the feigned outrage over getting a very small taste of your own brand of modus operandi."

              And of course I don't think that everyone who "differs from you" is a homophobic, racist, sexist wing nut. But if it makes you feel better about yourself to imagine that I do, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do to get by in life.

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    Why does the GOP tolerate these hateful nutbags? I liked Bill Ryan's answer: Because hateful nutbags are the GOP.

    But let us turn the spotlight upon ourselves, as a nation, and ask a question that might be more useful as regards foment of real change: Why do we Americans tolerate a government (our own) that is the lone holdout in the vote on the UN Human Rights Committee report on the attack on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmura, as part of the Gaza aid flotilla? Why do we tolerate a government (our own) which denies (lies) about having received autopsies performed by the Turks which prove that 5 Turks and one U.S. citizen on the Mavi Marmura were killed execution-style, with shots coming at very close range, some in the back of the head?

    It's all good and easy to point up the lunacy of the GOP, but there will be no real change until we realize that Pogo was right: "We have met the enemy, and it IS us."

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    Some of that could be what Michael Pingree was getting at- let's go with no more easy targets (the insane, current GOP)- let's get on with the tough stuff.

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    I suppose any suggestion Woods speaks for the modern GOP could go away if he said he speaks only for himself.


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    Today's Willie Week has as Rogue of the Week are Senators Bruce Starr and Larry George, chosen because they funnel they're doners money to a print shop owned by a guy who agitates for the assault, sometimes deadly, on physicians. Coupled with the revelations about Dennis Oliver Woods, we see that the Oregon Republican Party, like the national GOP, is less a political party than a patronage machine and support network for extremists and wing nuts. It's hilarious seeing GOP hacks sanctimoniously proclaim that they don't impose litmus tests on their vendors. It's just a happy accident that donor dollars go to folks who advocate the stoning of homosexuals or placing targets on doctor's photos along with their home addresses... Listen, the GOP is the party of litmus tests. You don't heel to the right of the John Birch Society, you're out. You talk to a Democrat, then you get accused of being gay like Lindsay Graham, or they run some tea party idiot against you in the primary and get their Fox echo machine in over drive. The spot light on our own home-grown crowd of extremists receiving financial support from the Oregon Republicans is a reminder that the Republican Party as a whole has become a support system for extremists and wing nuts.

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