Democrats take Bend and Medford; fail to get wins in Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Pendleton, and Baker City

Carla Hanson

By Carla "KC" Hanson of Portland, Oregon. KC is the Democratic Party Chair of Multnomah County.

Get my drift?

Let's get a grip here. While Wisconsin Dems didn't get the three needed or the six dreamed about to take back the Wisconsin Senate, there is some reality that should be inserted here, and it needs to be pondered and addressed as Oregon heads into the special election in the First Congressional District.

First of all, Dems in the Badger Sate and their friends nationwide did stellar work against HUGE odds. They were challenging and playing on Red-as-you-get Republican turf. They DID have an impact, and as long as the Dems hold on to the 2 seats next week (they should), the Dems have a 2 seat net gain.




"Candidates and registered interest groups are required to report their expenses to the state, but unregistered third-party groups are not, making exact spending difficult to track." - Green Bay Press Gazette

So, while most of the public is unaware that groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads spent scads of dough on the Walkerites, the Wisconsin GOP is claiming the the 30 million bucks shipped into Wisconsin is "Union money".


Democrats may not have beaten Goliath in this round, but the landscape has become much clearer in terms of what we face for 2012. Ohio will soon have a referendum to bust the union busting efforts of the GOP... and then there's Oregon.

We will be ground zero for that "toss-up race" that is the political litmus test. Will we see the necessary energy from the grassroots Dems? Can we inspire the voter engagement that will be able to beat back the wads of KOCH cash?

OR-1 will be the bellwether for 2012. It'll be the first true read on both voters and strategies. We should take some lessons from Wisconsin, the palatable and harsh ones alike, and be sure we create the read we want the nation to see and share.

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    One of the recalled Senators, Randy Hopper, was accused of adultery and of living outside the district with his mistress. His estranged wife was one of the recall petitioners and campaigned against him. So there is a good chance it wasn't all about the Unions, at least in that district.

    But I do love that Big Labor spent many millions in a losing effort.

    But you all go ahead and extrapolate these results into Oregon.

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      Ken, you're proving my point - that the GOP (you and your friends) is spinning this as if all the outside dollars came in from unions. But that's just plain false. And really, neither you nor I are naive enough to believe that Karl Rove and the Koch Bros are sitting this one out as spectators and calmly sipping martinis on their respective verandas, so please don't insult the intelligence of the readership.

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        Nothing in that link you provided contradicts what I said. Unions did spend millions in a losing effort. Sure, they funneled it through dummy organizations with names like "We are Wisconsin", as if we'll never be able to follow the money on that one. I also never said "all the outside dollars" was spent by unions. That is putting words into my mouth. Clearly Club for Growth and others put money in.

        But go ahead and (deliberately) misunderstand me. I enjoy it.

        This Wisconsin public drama was created, sustained and largely paid for by unions. It was about as grass-roots as the Democratic and Republican national conventions are. Of course, once this Union-created recall campaign took off, outside groups were going to put money in.

        Unions thought they would put the fear of God into those pesky elected officials who dare to question Government employee contracts. They backed the wrong horse.

        I hope the unions keep it up. They already have taxpayer's around the country comparing Government employee union compensation to private taxpayer's own benefits, which have to fit into real-world economics. The more the Unions bring this up, the more that taxpayers will scrutinize and fight back against these over-market compensation contracts.

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      And how much did the GOP/Koch brothers spend of the $30 million in outside money and losing two seats in very red districts?

      Please don't throw us progressives into that briar path again.

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      Some "wins" don't show up immediately, at the ballot box...

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    Thanks for this, KC. So much was made ahead of time about the idea of taking back the WI Senate that some are forgetting this wasn't a zero/sum game and that there were still significant gains made. Two seats in heavily R territory is huge and worth celebrating.

    As for CD1, not my district but I'll be there feet-on-the-street doing what I can to help keep that seat blue---and encouraging all the Dems I know to do the same.

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    Yes, CD1,which hasn't elected a Republican for 38 years, is now the bellwether race for 2012. If the Democrats can just win their 20th straight race there, then ovbviously the momentum is with them for the rest of the 2012!

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    “Red-as-you-get Republican turf” eh? Kapanke’s district gave John McCain 38% of the vote and Obama 61%, really Red as you can get there! And Randy Hopper’s district John McCain got 47%, another “Red-as-you-get Republican turf” I guess. And he lost to the person that he won initially by less than half a point, before the scandal about him leaving his wife to live out of the district with his mistress. And then after his own wife and housekeeper join the recall effort against him, he loses by 1,200 votes. Are you really claiming anything to do with Walkers policies changed anything about that race?

    Lets see if the democrats lose next week, that will be a real big slap in the face if the same number of democrats lose as republicans.

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      Exactly, Devin. DESPITE the Obama numbers, Kopanke STILL won in 2008. The Red hue held strong for Kopanke even then, as well as for Hopper.

      And Jack, you know as well as I do that while not the bulls-eye of target races, CD 1 is in the rings. If NY 26 can be in play, and Wisconsin clearly an ongoing argument between right and left, do you think there's not going to be play and attention given to the CD 1? What else does the media have, the race to fill Wiener's seat? (BTW what's WITH the NY Congressdudes, anyway?!)

      Anyway, the Ohio referendum timing may play in, but other than that, what's better for the nation than a good ol' holiday CD race?! (...By which all those of political bent will try and predict the future)

      Pass the eggnog.

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        Ah now that is a much stronger argument, that Kopanke won despite it being very democrat heavy district, and still lost in the recall. But he did only win by 3 points (compared to Wu’s 12).

        I am sure there will be plenty of people looking at Oregon CD1 (although probably not as much as Wisconsin). Yes with current lines, CD1 is a D+8 district, hard but far from impossible for the republicans to win. Robert Dold is a republican in a D+6 district. Democrats do have a 12 point registration advantage in CD1 for now. This all changes with the redistricting lines, if these are used in the special election. But defiantly by November that will all change.

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          Which is the better measure of whether it's an R or D district, presidential vote or state senate vote? You may have a point about this not being red-as-you get, but your efforts to reverse that are implausible. And, of course, the argument that it was all about the adultery and the argument that it's really a D district are at odds.

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    Thanks KC, this gives a somewhat different perspective than some others I've encountered. It's somewhat interesting that before the election pro-recall folks were not clear, in what I saw, about the eligibility for recall issue.

    What that implies is that these elections are muted in terms of what they could mean about the 2010 elections and whether Walker's program was overreaching in terms of what the voters wanted.

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    OR-1 is going to be a tougher race than most in Salem think.

    This may sound silly, but whomever has had the most yard signs and political ads out in 2008-2010 will probably have a significant advantage among the more apathetic voter base...which is significantly higher the past few years as a result of the recession. A guy like Dave Wu in part got re-elected because of apathy...there have been just enough jobs in OR-1 to keep people from being outraged enough to throw out their representation, but the overall political climate has been pretty depressing all over. A low vote count + a lot of people voting for the name that sounds the most familiar to them + a lot of Democrats mostly associated with Salem rather than their home districts could be a big problem for the Democrats in this one. I'm not trying to cast doubt, but the WashCo Dems had better start phonebanking and going door to door, planning rallies, and putting out the signs right now because it's going to be a tougher fight than they've had in a long time when it comes to OR-1.

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    my replies aren't coming through so .... let's see if this works

    In what world is losing two seats a win?

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