OR-1: Everything old is new again

Carla Axtman

The longest primary campaign EVER is rolling along in the First Congressional District. Miles and miles to go, my friends. But a couple of newsworthy items pinged my radar as this race sloooooowly starts to take shape.

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury endorsed Brad Avakian for Congress today noting, "It's pretty clear to me we'd have a real challenge holding onto that seat if Mr. Wu winds up winning the primary because I think he really has some significant electoral problems these days,". Ouch.

On a more bizarre note, former Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse, who held the seat in the First from 1993-1999, says she's considering jumping in.

My initial reaction: she can't be serious. First of all, the district is WAY more politically liberal than when Furse held the seat. Second, she went out of her way to endorse Gordon Smith for U.S. Senate (twice). Not only is that absolutely horrible judgment on her part, it's flat stupid politics in a district that went in the other direction.

Furse also told the Oregonian that she didn't know how many activists would resent her support of Smith. Here's a hint for her: A LOT. Expecting progressives and Democrats to back her when she showed such lousy judgment is an exercise in delusion, in my view.

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    Carla -- I couldn't agree more with regard to Furse. I can't imagine she'd be taken seriously at this point by anyone as a viable candidate, even without her endorsements of Republicans for state-wide office.

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    Carla is absolutely right about Furse. You cannot endorse Republicans against the state's senior national Democratic officeholder and not expect serious consequences. For a long time I was the only self-identified Democratic officeholder in Clatsop County (other than our state legislators, including Oregon's best state senator - Betsy Johnson) and I have served on the Democratic Central Committee for over 14 years. Being loyal to Democratic candidates is no small thing.

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      "You cannot endorse Republicans against the state's senior national Democratic officeholder"

      I don't recall Furse endorsing a Republican candidate against Wyden.

      I agree that Furse's chances are very slim.

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        Michael, try a bit of google if your memory fails you. her endorsement of Smith was a big deal & got a lot of media attention -- and, as you can tell, activist anger. she's got zero chance in this.

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          i'm a dumbass; i admit it. brain not working; you were referring to 2010, and i wasn't paying attention. sorry. ugh. (where's the "delete my dang comment" button?)

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            Actually I believe Michael was pointing out that the times when Furse endorsed a Republican at the Federal level was for her endorsements for Gordon Smith, who was never Oregon's Senior Senator (that being held by Wyden the entire time Smith was a U.S. Senator).

            Furse endorse Smith (the Junior Senator) twice. In 2002 and 2008.

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            I don't recall Furse ever endorsing against any Democratic officeholder, much less the states senior national one.

            It was still a big (and, in my opinion, bad) deal that she endorsed against a Democratic challenger in a national race.

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    Bradbury's endorsement of Avakian has made my incipient voter's remorse on the 2010 gubernatorial primary all the more solid. On the other hand, Furse is farce made manifest.

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    I am 1000% in favor of a woman joining the congressional delegation, but Elizabeth Furse is not the one for the job. Sad, as I used to be a huge fan...some things you just can't look past, though.

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      I am more in favor of the best public servants we can find joining the congressional delegation, regardless of their genitalia.

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          I suspect a lot of progressives do not have such a nuanced thought process as you do. One must be awfully charitable to Ms. Teigen above to avoid concluding she is biased against male candidates.

          Female candidates do seem to enjoy some buzz and excitement simply by virtue of their gender, and wile it's great that voters are motivated to create diversity in elected government, Mr. Gore's point has merit. Elections are about choosing a good leader -- they shouldn't be seen as just another chance to settle old scores.

          It probably isn't good for voters to be overly focused on a candidate's gender.

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        Mitch, to a point I agree, but women have long been far, far under-represented at most levels of government, and are certainly under-represented in Congress.

        There are life experiences that women share that men just can't (and vice versa, of course), and adding that diversity improves the body, just as adding racial and ethnic diversity also improves our legislative and judicial bodies.

        Tell me, would your view be different if 84% of Congressional seats were held by women, and that was near an all-time high?

        Here's a little bit of perspective: Since Jeanette Rankin was the first woman in Congress in 1917, a total of 273 women have served in Congress, barely more than half of the number of people who serve in Congress at any one time.

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          Statistics show there is no gender effect in elections. Women who run for office are just as likely to win as men. Women are just a lot less likely to run for office.

          The solution is not to encourage voter bias toward female candidates, but to encourage more women to run.

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    I am not a body-part or skin-color voter. I care not one whit what sexual organs a candidate has. I actually don't care about anything someone was born with, although I do understand that some people do have a preference.

    I do care that for no particular reason, Ms. Furse tried to damage the ability of Americans to return to sanity. And for that reason alone, I could never support her.

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