Pack of Wolves

Carla Hanson

..and how the minor parties are naderizing the Oregon SOS race.

It happened in 2000, and we know the results - in the death-by-1000-cuts election, Bush oozed by Gore with 537 recorded votes. Ralph Nader played a role in drawing from Democratic Presidential candidate Al Gore's base in Florida and the result was a George Bush selection to the Presidency. Nadarites will argue that it wasn't Ralphie's fault - there were many other issues with FLA 2000. Sure there were, but everything Ralph Nader DID do in 2000 worked against Gore; had Nader not been engaged in his usual high-level ego stroking, we would not now be suffering the legacy of Bush.

Fast forward to Oregon 2012. In the SOS race there is a small force of minor party candidates and the 2 traditionals: incumbent Dem Kate Brown challenged by wealthy GOP orthopedic surgeon Knute Buehler. Buehler, a candidate with no legislative record, portrays himself as a moderate, and has the charisma to pass. Much discussed initiative activist Bob Wolfe entered the SOS race with the nod of the Progressive Party in late August. Also running is Seth Woolley of the Pacific Green Party, a GP activist and officer who received his own Party's nod. These 3 fellows in the race seem to be engaged in a nuanced dance with one another with the sole intent of unseating Brown... which would, in a most Nader-esq fashion, elect Knute. A third minor party candidate, Libertarian Bruce Knight, seems to be making little noise and has not even filed any campaign finance reports.

The Progressive Party, according to latest records available (Sept. 2012), boasts less than 2000 registered voters. PP nominee Wolfe, of course, is the most notorious of the minor party candidates; his schlocky signature gathering operation on behalf of IP 24 came under scrutiny when he self-reported apparent forgeries done by a couple of individuals on his team. The SOS signature examination process found significant problems with the IP 24 signature sheets - duplicate signatures, non-extent or inactive voters, signatures that didn't match those on file, and the alleged forgeries. IP 24 failed to obtain a sufficient number of verified signatures, did not make the ballot and the SOS levied a hefty $65k fine against Wolfe's operation. Wolfe cried wolf, got lawyers, filed suits, lost a restraining order to put IP 24 on the ballot, and easily slid himself on to the ballot via the Progressive Party. He's been busy purchasing ads on metro radio, including Portland's progressive station KPOJ, via Coast Campaign Group. Financial backing for of Wolfe's campaign is from the Foundation for Constitutional Protection, the out-of-state group which supported his initiative.

Seth Woolley, Pacific Green Party Candidate came to the ballot by way of Nominating Convention. The Green Party online features minutes and notes of past meetings and Conventions. A 2010 Nominating Convention nominated a US Senate candidate with 9 attendees. "Draft" minutes submitted at the time by Secretary Seth Woolley noted that the 9 attendees nominated Candy Neville as their Senate nominee-to-be as soon as she registered with the Green Party. 2012 Convention minutes do not seem to be available, but Woolley has stated on this blog that he was nominated via Convention, and additionally stated that it was pretty easy and that he'd had no competition. Wooley ran for SOS in 2008, and is also listed as a Co-Director of Oregon's Green Party, which has 11,000 voters statewide. As in 2008, Woolley appears to be entirely self funded.

Enter Dan Meek, longtime activist, local attorney and co-founder of the Independent Party of Oregon. Meek has teamed up with conservative attorney and activist Ross Day to represent Bob Wolfe. Meek, of course, adamantly defends Wolfe and defends the integrity of "our membership" in the Progressive Party nomination processes (Blue Oregon, Day of the Wolfe, comments 10/24). To be fair, Meek's name is no longer among the listed contacts on the Indy site, and as an attorney, he is certainly not limited in who he can represent, but the cross pollination between the Progressives and the Indies certainly merits attention. Meek had been a driving force behind worthy progressive causes in the past; campaign finance reform, for one, but since the founding of the Indy Party, Meek's focus has/had been the paternal care-taking and development of the Indy Party. The Indy's major issue is its own existence, which it bolsters through a clever nomination system that has candidates from all levels and various parties scrambling over one another to obtain an Indy nomination, which brings us to Knute.

Knute Buehler successfully attained the SOS Indy nomination with a whooping 348 votes statewide. In this top-of-the-ticket race, the Indy's cast 661 votes, less than 1% of their total registration at the time (July, 2012). Under Oregon's quasi fusion voting law, candidates can seek the nomination of multiple parties. If successfully nominated by a particular party, that party's moniker appears by the candidate's name on the ballot - up to 3 can be listed. This is a particular boon to the Independent Party, which rarely offers it's own candidates. In this year's process, 47 candidates appeared on the Independent Party nominating ballots, apparently attracted to the thought of "Independent" being printed next to their names on Oregon General Election ballots.

During June and July, the Indy's contacted their 76k registered voters, received 1264 ballot requests and had just the 661 ballots returned - a rate of less than 1%.

Both Meek and Indy Secretary Sal Peralta have vehemently defended their nomination process AND "their" candidates, but trying to find a cohesive theme or philosophy that unites the candidates is futile. Generally, the Indy nominee reflects the flavor of the particular District, the amount of effort a potential nominee puts into attracting Indy votes or simply reflects the fact that a potential nominee's opponent did not apply for Indy nomination. They are Dems, Republicans, liberals and conservatives - oh, and there IS one Indy. One candidate actually received the Indy nomination with one vote - her opponent didn't apply.

So how does all of this tie together with the SOS race? Woolley, Wolfe, Meek and Day are spoilers, and in the political world, the defeat of Brown would give them chops. The biggest winner in a Brown defeat (other than Knute) could potentially be conservative Ross Day. While Meek is out and loud along with Woolly and Wolfe, excoriating Kate for the terrible wrongs of invalidating non-signatures, Day can happily and quietly watch progressives pave the way for a new GOP SOS. It's rather brilliantly Rovian.

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      If all of you people want to do anything besides arguing with yourselves about who has the truest heart you are going to have to learn the principle of KISS (keep it simple stupid). Third party-ites always spend way too much time arguing about the proverbial how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Major party-ites always over-react to third party attacks as in contradicts their theory that they really do own the system.

      Kate Brown is not the incarnate evil but is merely continuing a trend fostered by frankly our friends in education, labor, Democratic party and civil liberties which is anti- democratic attack on initiative rights. A lot of this is the back lash from these seeds which they have sown out of fear that the right wing could muster majorities via the initiative. Instead of meeting them in the streets they chose to go into the secure forum of the legislature where any type of anti-democratic process can usally find sympathizers.

      Blame your own legislature for this so-called Fusion voting- an error IMHO that invites endless game playing and manipulations that have little to do with reality except who can pick the best party names- I am all for 3rd parties but at the same time if a candidate falls below 50% I think the voters are due a run-off election.

      I said before I am not an enemy of Kate Brown as she seems to have good points but I did vote Green Party. When several of us in Wasco Co. wanted to refer a county ordinance we had to establish a state PAC and were not allowed to function until we had a bank account even though we intended to spend all funds out of pocket and take no contributions. There are tight time deadlines and this really set us back. If this is the law it is wrong- why should one be required to have a bank account to exercise you constitutional rights?

      You have to remember these third party people and petitioners are going to have a history of interacting with the SOS so it is natural there will be conflicts with the incumbent. Sow and reap- get it?

      Knute Buehler is the best those looking to retro-tool the Oregon statewide GOP can come up so they will do their best to use him to paint a smiley face on it even though he has really never been on track to win- like a lot of professionals that come to politics they think all they need are slogans and commercials- nice try Greg but he is a weak one.

      I should use KISS myself huh?

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      Christ. A round of Kumbaya, anyone?

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      Indeed there are.

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          ...and I meant work WITH us. I know your Platform. There are more issues on which we agree than disagree.

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            Yeah, but where are you guys on Drug policy reform? That's my deal-breaker issue. And I haven't seen ANY kind of "willing to work with you" in a lot of areas: with the exception of the last Session, for the last 6 years there have been more than 30 bills at the legislature attempting to weaken the OMMA - many of them sponsored by Dems. And last Session we got our fees doubled to crippling heights for many patients in the dead of the night. I've been reaching out to the Healthcare committees, trying to show them that our goals are the same - medical marijuana reduced my Healthcare costs by more than 85% - but I have not seen any indication that they see me as anything but a crazy pot-lady screaming in the wind. Maybe getting involved in elections will make a difference. Welcome to the Mosh-pit of cannabis politics.

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              FYI - while Mult Dems did not endorse M. 80, our endorsement bar is high- 67%. As it was, 60% favored M. 80, and I happen to be a personal endorser. I also fully support the OMMA and strongly believe that its necessary for states to take a stand - even with initiatives that are often accused of being imperfect. I also think that it IS important for electeds to take on this "third rail," even if it is still hot, it is the right thing to do.

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        Please explain how the IPO and progressives "simply serve to eat up Democrats," starting with Kitzhaber in 2010. He won the IPO nomination, giving him the valuable IND label on the ballot. Both the Pacific Green Party and the Oregon Progressive Party declined to nominate candidates in that race, while the Libertarian and Constitution parties did nominate candidates, each of whom took about 1.4% of the vote (almost certainly from Dudley). I think it is fair to say that Kitzhaber would not have won without the support of the IPO and the lack of opposition from the Oregon Progressive Party and Pacific Green Party.

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        What secret knowledge of his positions did he bestow upon you that has not been brought up in the rest of the campaign? How do you get a recording of this and how would one be invited in the first place?

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      I have heard too many right-wingers state that they want Knute Buehler as SoS so that he can vote to cut down our forests much more aggressively than Kitz, Brown, and Wheeler have allowed. In my opinion, the blood is on your and Wolfe's hands if Buehler wins.

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      To my knowledge no Naderite (I presume this is a term of endearment for anybody advocating a politics of courage) has ever endorsed Knute. I believe they are supporting other candidates. Do you have evidence to the contrary? I do know that long time Democrat Harry Lonsdale did endorse him.

      That being said, I presume your point was to paint Knute as an extremist in the Republican Party. If that is the case, what evidence would you have for that and is there any evidence that might work against that claim that you have knowledge of?

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      It drives me crazy that Dems in Oregon think they're entitled to label anyone that doesn't unquestioningly agree with them as supporting the forces of darkness, and they act as if they are entitled to rule. When the objective is for Dems to prevail no matter what means or cost, they will ultimately lose because they become out of touch with voters. Principles matter, name-calling of anyone disagreeing with your party is just childish..

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    Thanks, Carla. My web site traffic jumps whenever you do this, and a whole lotta new people become aware of Kate's efforts to supress voter signatures in the initiative system.

    But why are you attacking me instead of talking about the initiative system, the big important issue I've raised? I've made a clear and convincing factual case that Kate Brown has purposefully and in violation of statute imposed arbitrary directives that are broadly disenfranchising voters. This has had a negative impact on every initiative campaign this year -- not just mine. It's a second ugly head on the beast of voter suppression, being enacted other places by right-wing zealots - but being imposed here by a supposedly Democratic office holder.

    I have assembled a legal team, experts from the left and the right, to lead a bi-partisan coalition of plaintiffs in an effort to repair the damage Kate Brown has done.

    Frankly, the Democrat's unwillingness to openly discuss what Kate has done means they think it's good, or are at least willing to accept it -- and that shows a shocking lack of regard for the voters of Oregon.

    If Kate loses, however, don't blame me.

    Blame Kate. She's a weak candidate who has trashed the initiative system, screwed up elections, and refused to act like a Democrat and work for campaign finance reform of any kind.

    Blame 12 of fourteen major newspapers in Oregon, including Willamette Week, who endorsed her opponent.

    Blame Knute Buehler for being so moderate that he is far, far better than Kate on campaign finance reform, voter participation in the initiative system, third party participation, and other key Democratic values.

    Blame Mark Wiener for running an expensive campaign of lies and smears -- if Kate loses, it will be just one of several very expensive, negative campaigns that Wiener will have torpedoed this year. Casinos, Dwight Holton, Kate Brown -- when will Democrats stop being in thrall to this master of the smear campaign?

    The fact is, after 20 years of being in the "raise money and get elected at all costs" business, Kate Brown has gone so far down the road of being a toady to her funders, that she is no longer a true Democrat.

    Robert Wolfe Secretary of State Candidate Oregon Progessive Party

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        What do you mean by work together? From the sound of your dialogue it sounds like working for your conservative candidate with a D for Democrat next to their name.

        Most of the donors to our campaigns are registered Democrats and Republicans. I attend organizing meetings and do not check registration of those attending.

        You issue a challenge that makes no sense to me. How about you start working with us on campaign finance reform, ranked voting, redistricting reform, public financing, increased transparency, ending coal exports and selling water rights to Nestle. How about you work with us to improve direct democracy rather than stifle it? Bob did not violate the rules and signatures were thrown out while ignoring voter intent.

        Why are you so averse to evaluating our rules in light of voter intent? That is all Bob is asking for. Right now voter intent is not the basic measure. That means the will of the voter is being suppressed.

        Bob is fine rejecting duplicates and forgeries, too. If you remove those cases, his measure still would have qualified. Ballots are not thrown out when signatures appear to not match. They contact the voter to double check. Petitions could do that too. Further, whole sheets are discarded due to minor pen slips or minor errors by the circulator in the current regime.

        Bob proposed a number of solutions. If you would work with us as you ask us to work with you, we could come together and fix these problems. But you are in stop-at-nothing campaign mode to save Kate's stranglehold on elections.

        Kate told me that after the election she would work with me. It was all a lie. Your challenge is nonsense. The Bend Bulletin's editorial says whoever wins would do well to work with me on reforms. Kate did not this time. What makes you think your party will work with us in the future?

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        Every initiative has problems with duplicate signatures and unregistered voters. I have no issue with that.

        Every signature drive deals with forgers. I did that, too. But when we turned in a forger, Kate KEPT the forged signatures in the mix, denying my request to remove them! Any policy that retains signatures from a known forger and then uses them during the validity process is a bad, bad policy.

        But I'm really not talking about those kinds of things when I say "disenfranchise." I'm talking about Kate's policy of tossing entire sheets of registered voter signatures without even checking them!

        She does this by using temp workers to identify minor clerical errors on the signature sheets. For example, if the circulator changes "2011" to "2012" (who doesn't do THAT) then the entire sheet of ten voter signatures is tossed without recourse.

        Another example is when the circulator signature fails to match an exemplar on file, according to a temp worker. When that determination is made, the entire sheet of ten voter signatures is tossed, without even checking them!

        I had one cirulator who signed her name on more than forty sheets at one time, on the same day. Her signature varied a bit as she went throught the stack (ever try to sign your name exactly the same forty times in a row? Can't be done). The temp workers retained perhaps ten of those sheets, but threw the other thirty out without regard to whether the voter was registered or not -- because the circulator signature was supposedly not a match.

        We lost 6,000 signatures this way. Other signature drives lost even more.

        Trashing signatures from presumably registered voters based on minor clerical errors as determined by temp workers when there is zero evidence of fraud is disenfranchising voters -- and it happened to tens of thousands of voters whose signatures were not even checked during this cycle.

        How did these policies come to be? in Wolfe V. Brown, I state that Kate imposed these policies by fiat, failing to follow formal rulemaking as required by statute. That lawsuit is ongoing, and is being joined by a bipartisan coalition of chief petitioners.

        There are more ridiculous examples like the two above. Check out "How Kate Brown Trashes Voter Signatures" on my web site.

        Robert Wolfe Secretary of State Candidate Oregon Progressive Party

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          Every signature drive deals with forgers. I did that, too. But when we turned in a forger, Kate KEPT the forged signatures in the mix, denying my request to remove them! Any policy that retains signatures from a known forger and then uses them during the validity process is a bad, bad policy.

          If every signature drive deals with forgers, then how do they get on the ballot? Are you saying that the Elections Division did something different with your signatures than all the others? Or are you saying that your problems were unique?

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

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          Also, by laying all this at the feet of Kate Brown, are you asserting political shenanigans in the operations of the Elections Division?

          In my experience, the folks in the Elections Division are serious professionals who wouldn't hesitate to blow the whistle if a partisan elected official - even their nominal boss - was putting his or her thumb on the scale.

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    I got my ballot, but no pamphlet ever came. Really, these ugly attacks against Bob Wolfe are not the way to change my mind. I've been a staunch Democrat for more than 20 years. I'll be supporting Avakian, Rosenblum, Holsticka, Reardon and Barton, but I am voting for Bob Wolfe in this race.

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      In these days of campaign finance reform discussion, the fact that Knute can bring in his own wealth - and that of his friends does have bearing. Besides, I'm not going to apologize for an accurate adjective.

      Additionally, Brown offered to Knute the opportunity to honorably agree to limit their campaigns to $1,000,000 in expenditures each. To put it mildly - he rejected.

      "Getting Big Money out of politics" is apparently relative.

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          You should apologize for an "accurate adjective" because you use it in a pejorative way - and that is not OK in the 21st century.

          Really? Getting pejorative is passe? Who knew?!

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        Check out Brown's funding by attorneys. If you examine the grouping by employer we see a lot of bundling happening here as well. Where Kate doesn't get gigantic sums from PACs, she has support from wealthy "friends" in her field. Knute's breakdown has more corporations than PACs but has individual support did come from plenty of wealthy doctor friends. The type of money raised aside from corporations vs PACs is mostly similar. Knute has more grassroots money in the under one hundred and even under two hundred range. If you want to point fingers here the data shows that both sides are similarly matched. Both want to claim they are the least influenced by big money. Both are exposed to corruption. Who will transcend it? Definitely not Kate. Perhaps not Buehler. But really, to use the wealthy friends card is laughable Just look at the donation reports.

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    Interesting. As exemplified by this post, Blue Oregon is no longer about electing the most qualified progressive candidate for a position. It apparently is about electing the candidate with the (d) behind their name. Had Brown, a career politician done even a mediocre job as SOS would she be facing the number of diverse candidates today? I suggest not.

    Carla is both divisive and lacks credibility for attacking a bootstrap young doctor from Bend with a (r) behind his name who is so similar in background as a certain emergency room physician from Roseburg with a (d) behind his name. That the opponent is a successful doctor who now would like to become an elected public servant versus a highly partisan career politician will prove interesting in the next week and a half.

    The time of the democrat machine dictating who is next in line for statewide office may well be ending.

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        Measure 9 is no record? County Clerks virtually never run for this office. They are usually high up in party leadership recently, and that has not worked out well. We need people with a record of going after big money, not Kate's record of defending it citing absurd speech issues that the AFL-CIO and others argued similarly in court briefs as they supported Citizens United. I could paint the war on campaign finance limits as a bipartisan thing, which it was and is. No action has come out of Congress to address it. Here in Oregon the legislature has similarly failed to act.

        Knute's record versus Kate's is thus precisely why he has more credibility among progressives for actual election reform. That is what this election is about. While you may think he is dishonest about his intentions, looked at how we feel about Kate's dishonesty. Maybe your argument would have had some weight with a better Kate. But unfortunately for you, we know Kate's SOS record, and it is not good. She is great on gay rights and women's issues. But so what? This office doesn't control those issues. Even the recording officer clerk marriage license connection to gay marriage cannot be influenced from this office except as a pulpit.

        The real issues in this race are about the actual job description, and Kate doesn't deserve to be re-hired by Oregonians to the position. Simple as that. I have not seen anything she has done in this office as well done. Even her latest archiving project was bungled. It sucked to watch this the last four years. It really did. I had higher hopes.

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    Carla, I would like only to take issue with your first paragraph, wherein you speak of the 2000 election and assert that the votes the Green Party candidate for President Ralph Nader won, gave us the war in Iraq and all that has followed.

    Carla, we just elected a Democrat four years ago. We have drones taking out US citizens with no charges, no trial, no conviction in a court of law. The Democrats have given this country the same corporate rule that the Republicans have.

    Both the gay-rights movement and the abortion-rights movement have made steady, incremental progress by nonpartisan demands for progress from whoever is in power. The Greens will be entirely justified in causing the defeat of Democrats -- I would suggest that Brown has not helped third-party participation in state elections -- who have neglected their cause.

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        Registration versus voting-eligible population is down (so it isn't any easier, or it would go up). ORESTAR is only basic filing data without linking the data together coherently and it does not include independent expenditures. Regarding Ballot Access I'm suing Kate's office: so yes, it's actually laid on her door.

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        The "easy" minor party nominations require first creating and maintaining the minor parties. If that is so easy, why are there so few of them?

        Carla wants to talk about disclosure. Good. With independent expenditures increasing (including those for Kate Brown, not included in her $1 million limit pledge), it is important to note that the Corporate Reform Coalition's report, “Sunlight State by State After Citizens United” (June 2012), found that only 5 states have reporting systems for disclosure of independent expenditures that are worse than Oregon's. See Kate Brown has not put independent expenditure reports on ORESTAR.

        Kate Brown's website touts that she introduced a bill in the 2011 session "to require financial reporting [of contributions] every 48 hours in the closing days of an election. Unfortunately, Republican legislators did not support the bill and therefore, it didn’t pass during the 2011 legislative session."

        The bill, which I testified against, would have opened a large loophole in campaign finance reporting. It would have increased the delay in reporting contributions during the 6 weeks prior to election day from 7 days to 14 days, except for individual contributions exceeding $5,000 each (which would have to be reported within 48 hours). This would allow anyone (or any corporation or union or other entity) to make an unlimited series of $5,000 contributions during the last 13 days, with no disclosure of those contributions until after election day. Sound good?

        As for the claim that Republicans killed the bill, it got a hearing in a House committee on February 14, 2011, and was immediately dropped. There were no votes on it.

        It was reintroduced in the 2012 short session as HB 4152, with the threshold for 48-hour reporting reduced to $1,000. My testimony showed that the bill was so poorly drafted it would have accomplished nothing at all, except to increase the time for reporting of contributions made within the last 6 weeks of the election cycle to 14 days instead of the current 7 days. Even the League of Women Voters was against it, stating in their 2012 Legislative Report #3 ( "The League and others testified in opposition of HB 4152 on the grounds of the public's right to know and transparency."

        Kate Brown also refused to oppose SB 270 (2011), a bill that would have given any committee a free pass to disregard all campaign contribution and expenditure disclosure laws in exchange for a $5,000 "fine" per month. I managed to get the Legislature to defeat the bill by publicizing it in the Oregonian. See

        Next topic?

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    Honestly, after having read through this thread--I'm less likely to vote for Wolfe (which was admittedly unlikely) than I was before I started. The tone here toward Carla Hanson is petulant and bordering on mean spirited.

    True leadership doesn't come from people running around hammering people over the head with their opinions. It comes from showing the way and ASKING people to come along with you.

    I'm not a party person. In fact, I registered as a Democrat to vote in the primaries--and I'm not wed to the D candidate in any race if someone else can prove their mettle.

    But frankly, the opposite is happening in this thread.

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        Yeah, that's it Seth. Pound me over the head with your smartypants-ness and do talk down to me some more. That'll win me over.

        I appreciate you going out of your way like this do make my point for me. That's awfully handy.

        I don't get the sense that you're terribly interested in reform. I get the sense that you're terribly interested in Seth Alan getting to beat people over the head with how above everyone and everything you think you are.

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          More personal attacks. I'm not trying to win you over, by the way. We already know where you stand and it's not moving.

          Kate definitely isn't interested in reform (otherwise she would have done something), but we're the ones going around talking about reform all day. Again, absurd personal attacks.

          If you are supposedly interested in reform, how would you go about doing it? I have a plan, disagree with it and let's go back to discussing the actual long term strategy so we can then discuss tactics and come to agreement on them.

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            From the looks of it, you're not trying to win anyone over. That's my point. If that's a personal attack, then so be it. Deal with it.

            You talk down to people, Seth. You treat the rest of us like we're stupid children who can't possibly know anything. That's not leadership. That's plowing over the top of people.

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              Who is plowing over whom here? I'm being accused of supporting the Republican when all I'm doing is running for the office myself at the behest of my party because I'm qualified to do it. I'm the only one with any software experience which is a huge amount of the job. I have security experience. I have auditing experience. I have elections experience and have administered more alternative election systems than any other candidate. I've participated electorally and through petitioning and have filed with the corporations division. I'm even a notary if that means anything (probably not although the office is the chief of the notaries). Certainly being a divorce lawyer and a doctor aren't directly related to this position.

              And definitely taking big money from special interests who have a specific goal for elections or the office to promote their own interests should disqualify people for this elections administration office as essentially a form of "quasi-legal" bribery.

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                I offer solutions laid out in some detail and even newspapers as major as the Bend Bulletin want to see some of them considered. I'm serious about this campaign and it's not about trying to unseat Kate, although that might be a desirable outcome for progressives. I'd rather be in the office than Knute and my party believes this too, which is why I was nominated and we did not cross-nominate Knute. That was looked into and rejected for various reasons I've mentioned. He's not the best on forests (although another comment here outlines why Kate sucks on them too) and he's taking big money despite his past work, so that leaves corruption doubts. Kate has worse corruption doubts and actively worked against us on virtually every issue related to the office, so she was right out from the beginning.

                It's not like we just let anybody run for office. We have a none of the above option that we have used in the case of Kitzhaber's recent race against Dudley. Candy mentioned in the article came to us wanting to run for Governor. We told her no, do Senate instead, it's less risky. Again, we're not just a debate society, we are strategic. Also as the only state-wide candidate, if I get 1%, it helps us maintain ballot access.

                In 2008 my primary goal was 1% and to discuss issues. This time we have enough registrants that I could have sat it out. But no, I decided to campaign hard to inform people about Kate and spread the word. I didn't try hard enough last time, was the message I got from Kate. So this time it is different.

                I don't mind your personal attacks, I'm just pointing them out as flawed arguments. I'd rather discuss with you about solutions you will work with the Democrats to implement, if you are up to it, like IRV, which would make it so this entire article on "Naderizing" would be moot. When we tried to get that passed, the Democratic leadership stepped in and blocked it. Filling the hearing room didn't matter. Blocked. That tells me it isn't about incorporating progressive values, it is about keeping special interests in power. Tell me that isn't what it is about and lay out a plan for how to get it passed if you think it's possible. We've been to Salem and seen how bills get stopped by special interests and we believe we know why. Argue against that and that may help inform us as to how to strategize better. I'm honest. Raise the level of discussion here toward solutions.

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                  The thing is--I don't think you want to sit down with me to discuss issues. I don't think you want to work with me or hear me out, either.

                  I've watched on this thread and others how you rebuff the ideas of others and talk down to them. That's not the way those willing to collaborate conduct themselves, Seth.

                  Carla Hanson offered upthread to work together and was rebuffed. I don't see how I wouldn't be set up for the exact same treatment.

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                Having experience is a great thing, Seth. But what you've outlined isn't leadership. And frankly, that appears to me to be missing.

                You've been all over this comment thread (and this blog at large) conducting yourself just as I noted upthread: bludgeoning people over the head with your notions of how you're right and the rest of us are wrong (and inferring that we're too stupid to know better).

                There's a lot more to holding office, especially statewide, than what you've articulated just above. You can't get people to follow you just because you say so--and certainly not by talking down to them and conducting yourself the way you have here.

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        Not really. I'm an outside observer in this one, Tom. I've not been involved in any of the campaigns. So I think I have a bit of an objective eye here. Seems like there's a lot of effort to steamroll people who don't agree with Wolfe.

        I've read Wolfe's manifesto against Brown. He makes a lot of accusations, but provides no third party source material or evidence. And it comes across as righteous indignation rather than a factual telling.

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          Bob Wolfe was speaking as a direct witness and first person participant. You don't need references for that. However, much of (nearly all of) what he points out was public data.

          For example, the signature validation rates can be confirmed by calling up the Secretary's office. The rules he pointed out can be found by looking at OARs and the ORS on these subjects. That he is the first to report such instances and publish the information shouldn't count against him.

          Then again, I don't for a moment believe you're sincerely saying you just don't believe him and didn't want to do any research to confirm or deny what he wrote since you're supposed to be a ferocious blogger that writes well-researched articles on your own.

          You just come off as a political hack trying to cast doubt on clear facts. What did you not believe that he wrote? We can look up the facts in more detail right now if you are sincere. Point out one fact you disagree with and we'll work from there.

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            However, much of (nearly all of) what he points out was public data.

            For example, the signature validation rates can be confirmed by calling up the Secretary's office. The rules he pointed out can be found by looking at OARs and the ORS on these subjects.

            All true. And yet when you post on a blog, it's your job to provide links to those source materials - rather than insisting the reader does the work for him or herself.

            That's one key difference between a blog and a newspaper column. A blog is ON THE INTERNET. And the internet has these amazing things called LINKS - y'know, the blue text that you can click on that gets you more information.

            We were happy to publish Wolfe's column, and merely asked him to provide sources and citations for his fact claims. He declined.

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    With everything that has become known about the Republican/Tea Party, how can any fair-minded moderate person accept to have an R next to his/her name? These so- called "moderate" Republicans in 2012 are no Hatfields or Paulus- let us face that fact and act accordingly. We have to look at the macro picture and vote against them because they have accepted being part of that monster we are struggling with on a state and national level.

    To equate Kitzhaber to Beuhler because they are both physicians is a travesty. I hope the Naderites will get REAL, and stop their fantasies about our political world.

    I agree with Carla 100% and even consider her too soft-spoken in her comments.

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      I don't say Democrats are evil for supporting Obama because he's assassinating US citizens without due process. In the same vein, we recognize that not all Republicans are vile "legitimizers of rape".

      Do you have evidence that Knute is an extremist in sheep's clothing?

      Even if he were, we still have a right to run as candidates. I've pointed to IRV and other election reforms to eliminate the spoiler effect from our elections for years. With no action from Democrats nor Republicans in leadership positions, we have to make our case directly to the public to educate people on the issue in order to make change. Trying to shush us up with these kinds of attack articles and casting people outside your in-group as universally evil is extremely unfortunate and how society can actually destroy itself.

      Voting for the lesser of two evils has gotten us to where we are today. It's not a viable strategy.

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    Once again Seth and Dan dream to be seen as Steve Novick wrote in 06' "Diogene's one honest man. Tempted by the poisonious fruit of self-righteousness - quixotic and uncompromising."

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      Rather than personal attacks, do you have solutions?

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    "Naderizing" the SoS race? Is that anything like "Bradburying" the Presidential race?

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    The Naderites are like Nader (who gloried in the election of GWB), they would rather rule in the hell of their own marginalized self-righteousness than govern in coalitions of common public interest in a universe of the rational. Their only hope is a victory of spite where they inflict harm on the people of Oregon by helping elect a RW Republican to state office.

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    Again like Halloween 6 they are back. And with the same flawed argument of Ralph Nader, that electing a RW Republican will make Democrats bring leverage to the LW fire baggers whose sole aspiration is to bring harm to election hopes of Democrats. That worked so well in 2000. Let's see, if we elect a GOPer who is against early and easy access to registration, who will do everything possible to reduce the number of voters who can vote, then that will be a "reform" to our electoral system?? Really bright, really intelligent. You call that progressive??

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    It's pretty obvious from reading some of the comments and the original post that there are quite a few folks who have lost faith that moderate Republicans exist. There is so little trust and folks seem to see this thing as a battle between one side and another. It's too bad for Oregon because if we can't let go of our party loyalties at all, ever, we are just stuck in a permanent political war.

    The truth is that Knute is a moderate, reasonable guy. I know this because I know him well. Knute would make a fantastic SoS and is in the race for the right reasons. He is an honorable and thoughtful guy. Most of the folks here, I imagine, have not met him or had a chance to talk to him. But Knute is not the most important thing.

    The important thing is that moderate Republicans come back. We need that for the good of the state. We need two parties that offer substantive solutions and that each can command the support of the majority of Oregonians from time to time. I suppose Dan, Seth, and Robert would say we need more than two - and they would be right - but at the very least we need two credible parties that offer good ideas to choose between. We need this to be about Oregon and it's future and not about trench warfare.

    If we are unable, as a state, to elect a moderate Republican, we contribute to the extinction of the moderate strain in the Republican Party. If we can elect a moderate, perhaps we will see a rebirth of the tradition of Mark Hatfield.

    Those of us who personally know Knute, know that he is no extremist and he is worthy of the office. I am Democrat and have been for nearly my entire life. I support our President and I support Knute. I hope folks give at least a little bit of thought to what I have had to say.

    It's not about a pithy comeback. It's about the future of our state.

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      I might believe that Knute could be a moderate if he publicly dissociates himself from the extreme positions his party has taken on a number of issues. Personally, I don't think he can do that because he will be run out of the party. Let's face it- Republicans nationally and locally have thrown their lot in with what was called the extreme wing in the past, but now is the mainstream Republican path.

      Romney is trying to wiggle out of that position since the Denver debate but assuredly will revert back once the election is over if he wins. Luckily for all of us it does not look like he will win.

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      If Knute is in the tradition of Hatfield/McCall, would he please take public policy positions consistent with that. And why in the world would he support the Romney/Ryan ticket and their extreme positions on defunding FEMA, Planned Parenthood, criminalizing abortion, contraception coverage, privatizing Soc. Sec. and Medicare, eliminating Medicaid and a whole host of other policy issues. He has no credible claim to be a "moderate" Republican.

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          Tom McCall and Mark Hatfield would have no problem with those policy positions. They supported Soc. Sec. Medicare and Medicaid. They supported the EPA (creation of Richard Nixon). They supported contraception access and family planning. Mark Hatfield supported Planned Parenthood even though he was opposed to abortion. You prove my point. Knute Buehler is no moderate in the McCall/Hatfield tradition. He is a phony who claims to be moderate.

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            So whom did McCall and Hatfield back in presidential elections?

            I'm looking for clips showing McCall endorsing McGovern or Hatfield on a stage with Clinton, Dukakis, Carter or Mondale but damn if I can't find them.

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            Bill: You obviously feel very strongly about this, but I sure wish you wouldn't throw words like "phony" around so willingly. If you look at what Knute has actually done and what he has actually said, it is obvious that he is a reasonable guy. You and he may not agree on all issues, but that does not make him a phony. Your endless list of litmus tests is impressive. But the issues you raise are not relevant to the Oregon SoS race. It seems to me that the position you have taken is that in the current Republican party, there cannot be a moderate or anyone you can support no matter what. That's fine, but that doesn't make your targets phony.

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      Given the meanness and nuttiness of the present GOP, it will be difficult for any [R] to get support from Democrats. Rather than run for statewide office, Hatfield/ McCall Republicans should fight to take the party back to compassion and reality.

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        Tom, I agree, but I think that's exactly what Buehler is doing by running for statewide office.

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          That may be his hope, but parties are more often changed from the bottom up. Even though their was big money behind the fundie and Tea Party efforts to take over the GOP, the change built from the bottom.

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            It seems like if the highest ranking elected Republican was a moderate, that would go quite a ways to changing the perception and makeup of the party. You need both leaders and followers for change.

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        Ding! Ding! Ding!

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    There are two "War Parties" supporting drone bombing children in foreign countries, and they are called the Democrats and Republicans.

    Vote for Peace and vote for the Green Party.

    Anyone voting for a (Democrat/Republican) candidate has blood on their hands. <<

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      There's some truth to what you write. One can also claim, with some justification, that anyone paying federal income tax, buying gasoline, or saying the Pledge of Allegiance has blood on his hands. We all have some responsibility for what goes on.

      D's and R's are war parties for two reasons: public opinion and the power of the war lobby. In the end, it all comes down to votes. D's and R's play to win. Some minor parties stand up for their principles, as opposed to playing to win. They will not win under the present system. It they decide to play to win, they will become war parties.

      You might argue that the differences between the major parties are engineered to reduce the chance of most voters looking for alternatives. If correct, the engineers are skilled. As a progressive who cares about many issues, including use of the military, I feel the need to limit the power of Republicans wherever I can. They do real damage wherever they serve in government. Democrats do less damage.

      I would prefer to see Jill Stein's favored policies put into practice, but voting for her is very unlikely to accomplish that. Voting based singly on foreign policy for a state government office is even less likely to make a difference.

      I respect third party people of principle. I am glad that progressive issues ignored by D's are given voice by folks in these parties. I might even vote for Stein if I'm sure Romney will not win Oregon - just to make myself feel less bloody. But generally, principled politics cannot win in an unprincipled system. Let's work to change the system.

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