Standing up for progressive values and standing up for Dave Hunt

By Nick Kahl of Portland, Oregon. Nick is a former member of the Oregon House of Representatives. He is currently in private practice representing injured people and consumers.

I just watched one of the despicable and misleading TV ads that the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance is running against Dave Hunt. It's typical Kevin Mannix fear-mongering -- I don't expect any better from him. I do however expect better from the progressive community. And Dave needs your support.

Dave is getting slandered by Rob Kremer, Kevin Mannix, Loren Parks and the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance. They have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat Dave because of his willingness to stand up for our progressive values.

Check it out:

These despicable men remember that under Dave's leadership the legislature passed landmark legislation expanding the rights of committed gay couples, preserving and protecting Oregon's storied statewide land use policy, reforming the double majority, guaranteeing contraceptive parity, and raising the $10 corporate minimum tax. Yet, it feels like the progressive community doesn't remember. Well, we need to remember. And we need to support Dave in these final days of the election. Because if we don't the consequences will be dire.

If Dave loses, the Tea Party will control Clackamas County. I want you to think about what that means for folks struggling to make ends meet and who are reliant upon the social safety net that the Tea Party wants to destroy. Think about what it means to try to have a fair election with Sherry Hall at the helm and not one person on the county commission willing to stand up to her. Think about the next statewide race where Clackamas County is again the battleground county and we've allowed the Tea Party to shift the center to the far right. Think about the new so-called centrism that will dominate the debate if Tea Party rhetoric is allowed to shape our discourse -- OUR discourse!

If Dave loses, the next person will remember this fight and won't be as courageous. When future candidates think about sentencing reform, they will remember this ad and think better of moving reform forward. They will do the same on tough tax issues. They will do the same on marriage equality and reproductive rights. They will hew to the middle, not because they lack courage, but because they know that people who should know better will not be there for them when it matters.

When Dave was Speaker of the House he stood by me. He stood by us. And he stood up for our progressive agenda. Now we need to stand up for Dave.

Take a moment. Call some friends you know in Clackamas and educate them on the real Dave -- the Dave that stood up for us. Take a moment and make a donation here. Take a moment and call on Kevin, Rob and Loren to stop their baseless attacks on Dave.

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    Having worked very hard at the local level on land use issues, I've been concerned that Dave is very pliable when it comes to this topic. I was pretty disappointed with Dave when we were working so hard to protect the Metolius. And I'm concerned that he's taken campaign contributions from Chris Maletis, who has sought to further develop the land around Langdon Farms.

    If Dave eventually wins, I hope he proves me wrong.

    Dave has been progressive on lots of issues. But given that land use is one of the key things that county commissions do, I'm quite concerned that under his watch there will be a serious erosion of process and protections not only for Clackamas, but for the Metro region.

    I'm supporting Charlotte Lehan for Clackamas Co Chair because I've seen how dedicated she is to protecting the integrity of our land use system. This is a fundamental quality-of-life issue for our region.

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      All due respect Carla, but the choice here isn't between Dave and Charlotte. Charlotte is not a viable candidate in the general election. But even if she were, under her watch Clackamas County has become more right-wing. Look at the opposition to the Sellwood Bridge, Urban Renewal, and now Tri-Met. Dave is the only candidate in this race that can turn back the tide.

      This race is between Dave and the Tea Party. This race is between Dave and Kevin Mannix. In this race, you are either with Dave or you are with the Tea Party and Kevin Mannix. It's that simple.

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        Respectfully Nick, for those of us who've put our sweat and tears into local land use in this region, it's absolutely about Dave vs Charlotte.

        I find the "us vs the Tea Party" thing simplistic and unconvincing. If Washington County can manage to start organizing progressives to start pushing back on land use and other county level issues, then so can Clackamas. They'll need someone leading the commission that has their back. I remain unconvinced that Dave will be that person.

        Like I said earlier, should he win, I hope he proves me wrong.

        And believe me, when it comes to land use issues in this region--it's never "just that simple".

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        Nick -- your suggestion that Charlotte Lehan is unviable in the general election is laughable. She's been elected county wide once already.

        One of two Democrats is going to be in the top two in the primary -- Hunt or Lehan -- with an outside shot at both. Whoever that is will instantly have the Democratic donor base -- much of which has sat out the primary -- rally behind them.

        Personally, I think Lehan is a far more viable general election candidate because she doesn't -- for better or worse -- have Dave's baggage.

        With that said, like Carla said, if Hunt is the candidate in the general, I hope he wins. And I hope he proves to be a much stronger support of responsible land use planning than he was as a legislator.

        But for now, I'd urge Clackamas County voters to pick Charlotte Lehan in the primary.

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          Baggage? BAGGAGE! Man you just don't get it. Dave's "baggage" is a remarkable list of progressive legislation.

          The only universe in which Charlotte Lehane is a more viable candidate than Dave Hunt is the one in which so-called progressive's like you take potshots at Dave, while he gets savaged by the far-right. If Charlotte makes it through this primary, it will be because of Kevin Mannix, Rob Kremer, and Loren Parks. Your candidate may be the beneficiary of that effort on Tuesday night, but that is a shortsighted strategy and her victory will be short-lived.

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    The race is between Dave Hunt and the Tea Party?

    So, you think that 70% of Clackamas County is made up of Tea Party folks? (The urban renewal vote.) Or is it 63%? (The Sellwood Bridge vote.) Or is it 78%? (The Damascus and Estacada votes this last March.)

    LOTS of D's and NAV's voted for those measures. What is happening in Clackamas County is a broad rejection of the policies of BOTH Charlotte Lehan and Dave Hunt.

    There's a reason that a Google image search of "Portland Creep" returns these two's pictures as the first two results!

    Go ahead and make yourself feel better about it by trying to insult these voters, and trying to diminish the breadth of the movement.

    Really, please continue. It helps us grow.

    Thank you.

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      Thanks for proving my point Rob.

      I am not saying that 70% or 63% or 78% of Clackamas County are right-wing wackos like you.

      Rather, I am saying that you all are willing to spend tons of money lying to Clackamas County voters to effectuate your political agenda. And you benefit greatly from our inability to support our strongest candidate. Especially, as here, where the strongest candidate is a progressive champion.

      Also, you know you can say a lot of things about me, and some of them may even be true, which I know must be a strange feeling for you--telling the truth that is, but you'll never hear my name uttered in the same sentence as sexual hypnotist Lauren Parks. What's that like? Is he that good at his job? Has it helped?

      Warmest regards,


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