Secretary of State race is heating up

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Oregon Republicans would love to defeat Secretary of State Kate Brown. After all, the self-proclaimed party of "fiscal responsibility" and "law and order" couldn't manage to field a single candidate in the May primary for Treasurer or Attorney General - but they did manage to convince orthopedic surgeon Knute Buehler to run against Kate.

And now that we're seven weeks from election day, the Republicans are getting desperate.

As reported by the O's Jeff Mapes, Buehler's even gone so far as to hire the guys who made the Swiftboat Veterans ads that smeared John Kerry back in 2004. I have a fairly high tolerance for attack ads - but that was an outright smear. And the folks who made it should be ashamed of themselves. And anybody that hires 'em is just getting down and dirty, too.

In addition, Buehler ally Jack Roberts (the last Republican to win a statewide office - way back in 1994 and 1998) penned a silly attack on Kate Brown in the Oregonian. He complained that, well, in a county party appearance four years ago, Kate called a bunch of progressive groups "just special" (as opposed to "special interests"). It's the kind of trite line that should be forgotten as soon as it's uttered. The fact that it's the crux of some metaphysical argument from Jack Roberts is bizarre.

Meanwhile, Governor Barbara Roberts - a former Secretary of State herself - came to Brown's defense in the pages of the O:

In his partisan attack on Secretary of State Kate Brown last week, columnist Jack Roberts got one thing right: Brown does believe that those who fight to protect our environment, support our schools and ensure that our basic American rights are available to all Oregonians are special. I believe that most Oregonians would agree. I certainly do. Roberts' curt dismissal of those thousands of Oregonians as "special interests" was telling.

I'll keep you posted on when Knute's attack ads hit the air. Probably going to be a doozy. If you're inclined to help Kate fight back, chip in here.

(New around here? Barbara Roberts and Jack Roberts are no relation.)

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

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    What's the "Mary primary"?

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    Kari, Honestly, this is a pretty lousy smear tactic. The firm you refer to has has a very large number of clients, including moderate Republicans, companies we all shop with and organizations like the American Nurses Association. Of course the Swift Boat ads were a shameful chapter in American politics, but to link them to Knute is a really lousy thing to do. It's the sort of tactic that makes so many of us cynical about politics.
    If you feel strongly about Kate Brown being the better candidate, that's great, but it would be best to talk about her strengths or critique her opponent on the issues. Trying to smear Knute using a far-fetched and imagined association with ads he has nothing to do with is just a dirty political trick. If you look at what is happening in this campaign seriously and objectively, Knute has proposed serious policy initiatives and Kate is slinging mud and trying to pin things on Knute that simply are not real. C'mon. We can do better than this.


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