Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Let's Move Forward


Ron Saxton is going to be the next governor of Oregon.

This was a tough primary. People got bruised. Time to show that we are indeed a party, and while we can have a vigorous - even nasty - family fight, when it is over we all know who the opponent really is.

Had Kevin or Jason won, I would fight like hell to get him elected in November. I hope Kevin and Jason's supporters will do what both of them so graciously pledged in their concession speeches last night - to help get Ron elected.

I hope those of you who are skeptical of Ron's conservative bonafides will come to know him as I do, and understand the full measure of his core conservatism. There will obviously be times when I disagree with one or another position Ron takes. That is normal, and it would be scary if it were otherwise.

But if this Party gets behind Ron Saxton, we will break a quarter-century curse on the Republican party in Oregon.

Let's go!

33 comments:

Dare!PDX said...

I'm behind Ron Saxton the next Governor of Oregon.

Better to sit at the table with other republicans than sit on the curb with the alternative.

Better to have Ron Saxton appointing people to LUBA, LCDC, the PUC, the PERS board, and open political seats than the alternative. Better to have a new generation of talented young conservatives and moderates cutting their teeth inolved in a Saxton administration.

As Ron said: Oregon, change is on the way!

Rob Kremer said...

Totally agree, DARE!.

Lots of people underestimate the executive authority vested in the Governorship in Oregon. Having Ron Saxton appointing all the boards, commissions and agency heads rather than keeping the status quo (which Kulongoski would do) is of incalcuable value to conservatives, even if you disagree with Ron on one or more core issues.

That is why I just don't understand my fellow conservatives who say they want Ron to "prove" something to them before they will support him.

Mostly, these are people who spent the last six months attacking Ron in a relentless barrage of rhetoric aimed at convincing people he was a RINO in order to sway them to support Atkinson.

OK, fine. That's politics, and Ron is a big boy. He took it all fine, and posted a pretty impressive victory. He showed he can stand up to the heat, and dish some out himself.

But I find it a little ironic that it is pretty much the same folks who mounted the attacks are now saying that Ron has to prove something to THEM!

I'd say it is the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I'm more optimistic than ever for the prospect of having Saxton for Guv.

I'd love to see him clean house and change this state for the better.

Chris McMullen

johnjagosh@yahoo.com said...

I feel kind of like a moveon.org dork, or Howard Dean supporter. Blogs are great, but they cannot make or break a candidate yet. I think Lars's endoresement was massive, and that is fine. Count me in, we do have a chance this time.

Anonymous said...

OK I'm on board too. I was hoping Jason would win, but I see now, after the campaign, that he wasn't really a realistic candidate.

Don't get me wrong - -I still like Jason. But politics is not just ideas, it is also organization and fundraising.

Saxton showed he is up to the task. He can take a punch and hit back. He doesn't freak out when things get tough.

I read all the bloggers over the last few months (not counting you, Rob) constantly denigrate Saxton and saying he is a liberal. I sure didn't see that in him, and the way he took all those shots told me that he has some confidence in himself.

So, count me as one of the previously skeptical people who are now convinced.

I'll back Ron Saxton in any way I can.

Keeley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Keeley said...

Keeley said...
Hey Rob - how do I change my party so that I may vote for Ron? He was not even on my ballot.

Don't shoot me, but I was a bleeding heart liberal back in college. Times sure have changed.:0

Can I just write him in in Nov?

Ken said...

"But I find it a little ironic that it is pretty much the same folks who mounted the attacks are now saying that Ron has to prove something to THEM! I'd say it is the other way around."

It sounds like you're saying these "same folks" need to prove something to Saxton. What do you mean?

Rob Kremer said...

Keely:

I don't want to discourage you from re-registering as a Republican, but Saxton will be on all ballots in the general election. So you can vote for him even if you don't re-register.

But if you want to register as a Republican, just go to the post office and get a voters registration form.

And don't worry - I was a Democrat in college too! Then I got a job.

Rob Kremer said...

Ken:
That is exactly what I am saying.

Folks who spent six months attacking Ron now want him to prove something to them to get their support.

Why should Ron worry about trying to win over people who so obviously will start attacking again as soon as he takes any position that doesn't meet their ideological litmus tests?

They should prove that they are members of the Party, and that they understand that being a party member means accepting the judgement of the party's voters. Even if you have doubts. Accept the possibility that maybe, just maybe your party's judgement was right!

I'll be counselling Ron to go win the general election. He doesn't need to prove his conservative bonafides to anyone - he WON!

Now his task is to win over a broader electorate.

He certainly shouldn't spend an ounce of energy trying to placate a bunch of people who have made it clear that as soon as he wavers from their tight ideological straitjacket that they will ratchet up their attacks again.

Besides, in a Machiavellian sense, getting attacked from the right will help him win the general election.

If all the Saxton-naysayers prove that they want to be on the team, and they aren't going to throw a tantrum the first time he does something they don't like, then Ron should sit down with them.

Ken said...

Rob,

I am admittedly one of those people who has some doubts about Saxton. Whether it's from lack of clarity (compared to 2002) or lack of conviction, he has seemed like a political opportunist during this primary. Those who supported his opponents are hardly the only people who have pointed this out; I heard it more than once just on election night news coverage.

I don't necessarily agree that we need to "prove" anything to Saxton -- he is on the ballot and is seeking our votes, not the other way around. But I understand your point: he has bigger fish (the whole state, not just the GOP) to fry than a bunch of über-conservatives who he perceives as looking for the first available excuse to oppose him.

I want to quote from something I wrote the day after election day: While I'm not excited about Saxton's victory, I'm also not in despair. Saxton sounded some good themes in this campaign, and if he holds to those themes, I will support him. There are several people who supported Saxton who have my respect -- people like Rob Kremer and Dave Reinhard -- and I am willing to give Saxton further consideration out of respect for them.

I know you don't know me from Adam, but I mean it when I say I respect you. And that contributes to the idea that, despite my misgivings, I am less and less likely to vote for someone else. I know I said "if he holds to those themes," but that was barely 12 hours after election results. The more I learn about Westlund, the less likely an alternative he becomes, and I think the idea of voting for Kulongoski (or a third-party candidate, or sitting out the election) as a protest is lunacy. I have no intention of joining the take-my-toys-and-go-home crowd.

Again, I do hold the opinion that Ron Saxton veered to the right to win the primary, and I expect to see him veer back to the left to appeal to the non-affiliated third of the electorate. (I understand that you don't agree, and because of the respect thing I mentioned earlier, I take that into account.) If he does appear to shift left, the über-conservatives will be the least of Ron Saxton's worries -- the media and Democrats (but I repeat myself) will pound on the "political opportunist" theme ad nauseam.

But I agree with one thing: the voters have spoken. My guy didn't win. The alternatives aren't acceptable. I offer (for now) a meek "Go Saxton."

Ken said...

Keeley -- you can also download a fillable PDF file from the Secretary of State's office. Just enter your information, print it out and mail it in. Easy as pie.

Here's the link:
http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/votreg/vreg.htm

Rob Kremer said...

Ken:

I appreciate your thoughtful analysis. And thank you for the compliment.

I wouldn't say Ron "veered" right this time as much as he more forcefully stressed particular conservative issues that he believes in. Last time around he sounded the PERS theme for sure, but was much weaker on other issues.

This time he was the first one to stake out the illegal immigration issue, and that then exploded as a huge national issue that kept it on the front pages all through the primary.

In the general, I'd expect him to themes that have a broader appeal. I think PERS is one of those themes, so I don't expect much of a change there. Traffic congestion would be a good issue, expecially since Washington County is the key swing county.

I don't think you will see him doing some kind of pivot and all of a sudden start supporting liberal ideas, like talking friendly about a tax increase. I'd agree that would be veering left. But he won't do that because he doesn't believe in it.

What I've said from the start I still believe - Ron understands what is wrong with the way the state government is operating, and he knows what to do to fix it.

He can win this race talking about those things. Many of them aren't overtly liberal or conservative issues (although some are threatening to unions, which are indeed liberal).

Anonymous said...

Rob,

You oversimplify the problems with Saxton.

What has he ever done (not said) to help the Republican party, except try to get elected? Does it even compare with what he has done to support liberal causes and candidates (and I don't count what his law firm does against him). Answer? Complain.

And you cannot say that he just is nuancing things differently now.

If I came to you and said I had a candidate for you to back who:

-Started his activism chairing a campus OSPIRG group.
-Gave money to Democrats
-Hired and defended Ben Canada
-Hired Stephen Goldschmidt to PPS
-Hired Diana Goldschmidt to PPS
-Was neck deep in the Goldschmidts' state money for TX Pacific scheme
-Switched sides from representing the city to taking all that proprietary information to the other side and supporting TX Pacific the day Goldschmidt, who he says he hardly knows, was appointed to head the buyout
-Was the campaign chair for judge Leeson, who let out Scott Harberts on a technicality based on delays the defense requested and the judge allowed
-Supported the Mult Co Tax, even saying so in his KATU commentary
-Was shamelessly pushed by KATU, the Oregonian, and every paper in the state except the Statesman, to the point of being a recipient of a propaganda campaign
-said in 2002 (on tape) that he had no problem with partial birth abortion, where a fully formed baby is delivered kicking but the head is left inside and the brains are sucked out. Now he says he kind of has a problem with it.
-opposed land use reform, now likes it

Do I need to go on?

If I brought you this candidate, would you say "yeah, that guy is a conservative, and I can trust him?"

No you would not.

But you want Oregon Republicans to trust you that this guy, because you have looked in to his soul, is really a conservative Republican?

See my problem?

Rob Kremer said...

I understand being uncomfortable with certain positions Ron has taken in the past, but your list above overplays its own hand. It also has a few incorrect statements.

I'm not going to itemize each one and explain or refute them - that is what I mean when I say let's move forward.

We just HAD that fight. Ron's supposedly "liberal" sins of the past were brought out, trumped up, and paraded for all to see.

And more than 40% of Republican voters were apparently convinced that Ron is the best candidate. Way more than anyone predicted.

I see your problem - you don't trust him. But do you think Ron will govern more conservatively than Kulongoski? Westlund?

That's where I get puzzled. Even if Ron is only half the conservative you would like, he's still twice the conservative compared to the others.

Turning this state around will require reigning in PERS, dramatically changing the way each state agency operates (which means installing new agency heads who will uproot the "weeds" that have grown into sizeable trees in the state budget) and fixing Oregons land use system that makes us so horribly uncompetitive.

Who among the three probable candidates is most likely to understand this?

Anonymous said...

Rob,

The problem is that I have deep concerns about what a Saxton governorship would do to the cause of conservatism. He is the tip of the spear and we are not so dumb as to not see what happened.

When you have a liberal Republican, especially with an attempt to move the party to the left, you get a fight that depresses the base, both emotionally and in turnout.

When Republicans are disillusioned with what others are doing in their name, it causes severe, long term damage to the ability to elect real Republicans. We could have done it this time, but alas it was not to be.

Remember, 40% voted for Saxton, but 60% voted for someone else, and many who voted for Saxton did so without knowing what kind of Republican he truly is...they bought the new improved conservative Saxton line. Those people are going to have serious buyer's remorse if he starts governing.

You also have a lot more confidence in his picks for agency heads than I do. I have seen who he hired as a school board member, and his willingness to make important decisions based on cronyism. As his cronies are the downtown Portland establishment, that makes me wonder who he would pick to lead these various agencies.

Would he put Ross Day or Jason Atkinson at LCDC and DSL, for example? OR would it be more likely that Lane Shetterly stays where he is at, and a friend from Metro ends up at DSL?

See my problem?

And what can he do for PERS? The legislature gave us a 401K style plan for new hires, the courts said we can't monkey with the tier 1 and 2 people, so where do we go from here? Fire all the state employees isn't going to work, he doesn't have the authority or the legal right to do that.

See my problem?

What I think really happened is that people wanted "Team R" to get a governor, and didn't really care what he stands for so much as what he can "postiion" himself to stand for to get elected.

But in reality, he is a Trojan Horse.

I see the validity in your question of comparing the candidates we now have to each other and asking which is better. And frankly, I can't answer that question, because I don't know. If my party and movement is going to be held responsible for someone's decisions, I want to make sure that I know what that person will do. And I just don't know.

I am Coyote said...

Rob,
So what do you want? Do you want the conservatives to NOT support Ron because it will help him in the general?

Do you want the conservatives to follow lock step and get out there and bang the gong for Saxton?

Are you saying that one of the most fractious primaries (since Berkman Smith) should just be forgotten and that Saxton does not have to consider the mathematics of winning the primary?

I am just looking for the marching orders.

I am Coyote said...

It would have also been easier to fall quickly behind Saxton had he fell quickly behind the nominee last time.

However do you remember him not endorsing the nominee? Well until well after the election was decided and it was a very non-committal type of endorsement.

You have to give Mannix some credit for being quicker on the magnanimus draw than Ron was last time.

C'mon admit that part Rob... C'monnn... you know I'm right.

yip yip

Rob Kremer said...

Coyote:
Frankly I don't remember exactly when Ron endorsed Kevin last time. I'll take your word for it though.

And yes, I was very impressed by Kevin quickly standing behind Ron. That is the right thing to do, although hard to do after such a bruising primary. That showed a lot of class.

So you are looking for marching orders from me? OK, I want you to go raise $1 million from Loren Parks for Ron Saxton. :)

Charlie said...

You sore head far right losers need to get a grip. We did it your way several times and the result has been one liberal after another in the Governor's chair for the better part of 20 years.

We cannot win without a MODERATE Republican. Far right conservitism is stone cold dead in this state. If you can't live with that go to Idaho for crying out loud!

GO SAXON.....a TRUE REPUBLICAN!

Anonymous said...

Uh Charlie, we did it your way too. We had a liberal Republican named Norma Paulus. She lost.

We had another liberal Republican named Dave Frohnmeyer. He lost too, though we "far right losers" carry some of the blame for that, a la Al Mobley.

But this strategy of "take the middle ground and screw the right wing" hasn't worked and won't work. If its liberal you want, you want Kulongoski. He is at least honest.

And we don't need to have a "far right" candidate. Mannix wasn't. And he would have won this time by presenting a CLEAR ALTERNATIVE. Saxton does not.

And Rob, my questions from above remain unanswered. What would you do with that canidate? Are you at least willing to concede that the risk I outline is possible? How do we mitigate it?

Rob Kremer said...

Anon:

I think our disagreement comes on the question of whether Saxton is attempting to move the Republican party to the left.

I don't think he is. Can you give examples of issues he talked about on the campaign that show he is doing that?

I know you suspect Ron is a closet liberal and point to the supposedly liberal positions he took in the past. But that isn't enough to prove that Ron is trying to reshape the party and move it left.

I think you have to show issues that he ran on that are attempts to "moderate" the party. I just don't see it.

I fully understand the "trust" factor. You don't trust Ron because of the positions you think he took in the past.

But that is different than to say he's trying to move the party left. I see no evidence of that.

He ran a campaign that was NOTHING like Paulus or Frohnmayer. His message was decidedly conservative on fiscal issues and limited government principles.

Does that represent an evolution from the campaign he ran in 2002? Sure. So what? And Mannix was once a Democrat.

Ron will continue in the general to talk about fundamental change to the way state government operates, fixing PERS, and lowering the tax rate.

Hardly moving us left.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

You comment:

"I don't think he is. Can you give examples of issues he talked about on the campaign that show he is doing that?"

is clever. No, because during the campaign (this time) he, in his own words, "positioned" himself conservatively to win the primary.

There is no comparison with Mannix's former Democrat leanings. If Mannix was spouting liberal positions up through 2005, I would have been just as tough on him or Atkinson for that matter.

Leopards can change their spots, so to speak, but over time. Saxton does not appear genuine. Case in point, his issues page has been taken down on his website to be retooled. He has already backpedalled on positions he took on the corporate kicker (at the unity rally) and educating the kids of illegal aliens (on Lars). And this is just the first week! So it seems to me that we are not dealing with a newer, hawkish conservative Ron Saxton, but one who "took positions" in order to get elected.

As far as moving the party to the left, I know more than I can blog. But I can say that Ron is part of a cabal that is trying to move the party left, along with the country clubbers and, er, proiminent politicians current and former. It's not conjecture, its a fact. The resulting fight will likely get ugly (think of the OCA purge a few years back, or the country clubber purge when OCA people took over).

Ron even said in the Portland Tribune last year that the "party needs new leadership", and I am curious as to why he thought so and what kind fo "leadership" he would provide for it.

So believe me, he is the tip of the spear of a plan to move the party leftward. Watch and see.

And don't worry, I will forgive you for being wrong about Saxton when the time comes.

Rob Kremer said...

I think you are inventing a conspiracy.

First, I haven't seen any confirmation that Ron backpedaled on the corporate kicker at the unity rally. Second, he didn't backpedal on the illegal immigration education issue on Lars - I heard it myself. He said simply that he thinks we should not educate the kids, but the Supreme Court disagrees and it is their call.

Party needs new leadership? I totally agree with that one! Why does that mean he wants to move the party to the left?

You say you know this for a fact, but I don't see any facts in what you write.

To believe what you say, we would have to believe that Saxton has a grand scheme in mind to get the nomination running on conservative issues, and then do some kind of pivot, in an attempt to reshape the party ideologically.

To do what, distance the party from the social/religious conservative wing? Make it pro abortion? Make it less fiscally conservative?

Boy, if that really is his plan, he sure has me fooled.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he does have you fooled. That is my point.

I heard it at the rally. He said that he had just "taken a position" on the corporate kicker during the primary, then made some comment about how it needs to be on the table or something like that.

If you say I am mistaken on the Lars thing, I was going on heresay on that one, so I will take your word for it.

But look at his issues page on his website. It is taken down the day after the primary to be "updated"? Really? In what direction? The issues are the same, he should just add some with broad based appeal.

I can't lay out all the facts I know, but I see what is happening. It isn't a conspiracy, a loaded term, but it is a plan. You and I know that there are former and current politicians who have been talking about getting control of the party from conservatives and put it back in the hands of the country club set. Why is it so hard to believe that they would do more than just talk, but actually put in a plan? Saxton is their avant garde, their phase I.

But that is too much inside baseball. Again, I say that a candidate who has supported all of this left wing garbage and has had no intervening period where he demonstrates his taking tough stands on conservative issues (when not pandering for votes)even when it may get you disinvited from all the right parties, cannot be trusted with the reigns of power in our name.

Ron supported left wing causes right up into the heat of his primary battle this year. To suggest that he is really always been a closet rightwinger is incredulous. He has absolutely no history of support of conservative causes. You say he was good to work with on the School Board and did some good things, I believe you. I think if he had really been conservative, the rest of the board wouldn't have gone along, so it was probably more practical stuff that was easy to swallow, but that is your field and I leave it to you (though I can point to the cronyism in hiring decisions that apparently involved him directly).

Rob, I think a Saxton victory would be a real defeat for conservatism and you would end up having to apologize (think Arlen Specter as an example). But that may or may not be seen.

I don't think that the agency heads would be the panacea you hope for; the kind of Republicans he would hire are already in charge of Housing, Corrections, and LCDC. And nothing earth shattering has happened in any of those agencies (Shetterly is doing pretty good, but that is just Lane being picky about details in following the law).

The real corruption is in agencies headed by political officeholders (DOJ, Treasurer, SOS) and the governor can't appoint to these.

So I think this experiment will turn out to be a terrible failure. But I think it may not matter as Saxton, moving as he is to the left of his primary positions, will have trouble consolidating the base enough for a win. The only base he has consolidated so far is Kulongoski's.

Rob Kremer said...

I guess time will tell.

I respect your opinion, even though I disagree.

I sincerely believe that Ron wants to be governor to shake things up and do things differently. Things like I suggest in the above post on the Trust lands.

Imagine how this campaign is going to play itself out: The unions will give mega bucks to Kulongoski, and there will be a war. Kulongoski will have to tack toward the union, defending PERS, supporting the status quo.

They will run a nasty campaign painting Ron as radical and extreme, wanting to "fire all public employees."

Ron will continue to highlight the PERS problem. In the end, assume for a moment that Ron wins. He will have slayed the 800 pound dragon of the public employee unions in a head-to-head battle.

Imagine if it plays out in that way, the standing he will have to actually change the modus operandi of the state government.

Imagine the weeds he can pull out of each and every state agency.

And more to the point: why would he go thru all those attacks if he was really all about maintaining the status quo and moving the party to the left?

Doesn't make sense to me.

I'll accept the possibility that Ron has pulled one over on me. Nobody can be 100% certain of anything. But I would be damn surprised.

Anonymous said...

That's fair.

I can't answer the hypotheticals you pose, as I am not convinced he would do it when the heat was turned on. People like Ron have a tendency to need to be liked, to be seen as being enlightened, not a conservative neanderthal like me.

But you asked "why would he go thru all those attacks if he was really all about maintaining the status quo and moving the party to the left? "

Simple. 1, he wants to BE Governor. 2. He is part of the group that thinks our heyday was in the Atiyeh / Paulus / Packwood days. They like being Republicans, for whatever reason, but they don't like what the party has become. Their answer? Change the party.

The problem is, that the reason we are the significant percentage of voters in this state is because of the party's principled stands. Moving to what they call the "center" would only alienate a large bunch of people who vote based on a timeless and unchanging dynamic (such as pro-life, DOMA, etc, and even some fiscal issues). Because these people see things in black and white, many will seek ideological purity from a candidate. As such, they will bolt somewhere like a Constitution party and the electoral majority will be harder to get, not easier.

Yes, we could get a Republican governor at some point, maybe even this time, with a squishy blow in the wind Republican. But people who do get elected under these circumstances are more victims of circumstance, not elected based on core ideology. As such, it is hard to muster a governing mandate, and as soon as they do somethign somewhat unpopular, all hell breaks loose. The coalition that elected them says "we didnt mean do THAT! We thought you would do THIS!" This is what happened to Arnold, elected on a platform of I am Arnold, and I am NOT Gray Davis". When he tried to do middle of the road reforms like what you suggest Saxton would do, it all blew up in his face, and now he governs like a whipped puppy.

I don't want to see Oregon go back to the days when conservatism was wrapped in the blanket of OCA and people couldn't understand what we were saying because our feet were consistently in our mouth.

But a conservative that people can trust can win in Oregon. Kevin alsmost did last time, and, I am convinced, could have won this time. And he would have had a governing mandate from the people.

Wily Turtle said...

It is funny that you think that Kevin Mannix is actually a conservative. He spent the entire last year trying to moderate himself - cozying up to the unions and deemphasizing conservative policy positions he has taken in the past.

I think a lot of people voted for Saxton because they realized that Kevin Mannix just wants to be governor, and he would happily sell whatever remains of his soul to win.

I guess Atkinson was the most bonafide conservative in the race, but Jason was in way over his head. He convinced himself that he was a contender, but his candidacy in the final analysis was just a bunch of slogans. He's a smart enough guy, but he obviously has no clue what he would do if he actually won.

Besides running around telling people to believe, I mean.

Jason isn't anywhere near ready to run for governor, and his campaign showed it. The remarkable thing was that he had the arrogance to actually pretend that he was a contender.

I'm real nervous about whether Saxton is the real deal, but in my view he was the logical choice.

Mannix is a slimy phony, Atkinson is completely without substance. Saxton was smart enough to run emphasizing conservative issues and positions. I hope he's smart enough to govern that way, whether he believes in it or not!

Anonymous said...

He's not that smart, and neither are you if you beleive what you said above.

Jason has had some slips ups that would have made campaign fodder if anyone thought he was a contender, like voting for nonpartisan elections, cultural competency, etc. I don't know that I would call him the most "bonafide."

As for Mannix, he is no phony. He has demonstrated his core principles, not just run his mouth during campaign time. He actually makes things happen, which is how you distinguish the true believer from the phony.

I can talk about charter schools. But Rob DOES it. That makes him bonafide. Similarly, Mannix has worked on conservative causes, some before, but many after switching parties to Republican 10 years ago.

Saxton has always been a Republican, but Mannix was more Republican as a Democrat than Saxton is Republican now.

Again, what has Ron Saxton ever DONE to help conservative candidates or causes, save for give some money (wildly offset by his donations to the Dems).

See my point? And why yours is unfair?

Anonymous said...

I do see your point. It is true that KM has indeed done some great things on conservative issues, and I don't mean to minimize that.

However, he has also been very very slippery on Republican fiscal issues such as spending and taxes.

It is a well known "secret" that KM went into the House Republican caucus in 2003 and told them they should go ahead and approve a tax increase, and he would provide "cover" from the party chair.

Then, according the Mannix campaign, he "led the charge" to repeal the tax. Funny, I thought that Jason Williams and Russ Walker were somehow involved with that effort. Didn't know that it was all Mannix.

That is the type of thing that shows Mannix's real weakness as a candidate. Too clever by half, and nobody trusts him.

During the primary he wooed the unions big time, even once confiding that he had the unions "placated." What the fuck does that mean, Kevin?

What Republican principle did you give away to accomplish that?

Does any observer of Oregon Republican politics actually doubt that Kevin would compromise almost anything away to achieve some political advantage so he could one day become governor?

That is why he lost, in my opinion. Republican voters have learned over the years that Kevin cannot be trusted.

And so when he ran the campaign he ran.... at first pretending that nobody was gaining on him, and then, realizing he was behind, going so stridently negative with such personal attacks.... turned too many people off with the "yuck" factor.

Good riddance to Kevin. I think he would make a good judge. I hope Saxton appoints him to a Marion county seat. If he could not worry about politicking, he could do a lof of good.

Dan said...

So — thanks, all, for reminding me why my independent affiliation makes sense. You'all have spent 30 comments and A) rehashed the primary fight (Kevin? Or Ron? Hmm...) — that doesn't freakin' matter anymore — and B) failed to even mention Westlund. Hey, I'm not sold on the guy, for many of the same reasons I'm not sold on Saxton. But a running discussion over whom a conservative support, and the best we can do is rehash the primary?

How about, instead, setting out the several issues that are vital to Oregon, and discussing who will best tackle them?

Dan

Anonymous said...

Dan,

We are discussing who best to lead Oregon. Unfortunately, the best man didn't win.

And it is good to analyze.

As to the anonymous poster above you, you said

"It is a well known "secret" that KM went into the House Republican caucus in 2003 and told them they should go ahead and approve a tax increase, and he would provide "cover" from the party chair. "

It is a well known "secret", but it is also a lie concocted by legislators who voted for the tax increase. Talk to the legislators in that room, and what they will tell you is that Kevin said he would back the play of the caucus if they were unified in going forward. They weren't unified. Only a handful of them were traitors to the cause. What Kevin was saying was that if, in fact, we needed a tax increase, then the whole caucus would be behind it, and the party would back them up. Way different from saying he would support tax increases.

Second, you also said

"Then, according the Mannix campaign, he "led the charge" to repeal the tax. Funny, I thought that Jason Williams and Russ Walker were somehow involved with that effort. Didn't know that it was all Mannix."

Three people were recognized by the national Americans for Tax Reform for leading the repeal of M30. Jason Williams, Russ Walker, and Kevin Mannix. It is no stretch for him to say that he led the fight, as he was one of the three "generals".

He hasn't been slippery on taxes and spending issues. The issues brought up in Ron Saxton's ads are from 1989, 1991, etc, when Kevin was still a Democrat. He has atoned for those sins many times over.

He lost because of Jason Atkinson, the Oregonian backing Saxton, and the Grande Ronde tribe's making the Saxton people awash in money and misleading ads.
The most significant factor was Atkinson.

I don't see where Kevin went negative with "personal" attacks. He simply pointed out Saxton's record. A personal attack would be calling Loren Parks a "sex pervert" and saying that Mannix would sell out to him. But pointing out that Ron has flip flopped from liberal to hard right conservative in just a couple of months is a legitimate issue in a campaign.

It would seem that what information you get on the political goings on in Oregon are the stuff urban legends, just the filtered stuff that comes out in the perceptions of people. Unfortunately, that is what steers politics.

The trick now for Ron is to see if he can secure the base (the 60% that voted for someone else) and go after the middle. But there are a lot of people in the base that are going to distrust him.

Oh, and Dan...nobody is talking about Westlund because he is not worth discussing at this point. Too conservative for the liberals, too liberal for the conservatives. He will be a factor, but not a victor.

rthoward said...

I realize this is a little late: Starrett entering the race for Governor has given Saxon a good old fashioned whack in the 1990 re-make of Roberts,Frohnmayer and Mobley. Westlund, he might hurt Kulongoski. I doubt it. Westlund will be considered a vile Repulican, siphoning votes from Saxon. Plus you have the alternitives yet to appear (greens, Libertarians and such)they are going to get some votes.

So what is to be done? Let Sammy-the-whammy put parking meters in on Belmont, Hawthorne and Division. Maybe that'll wake up the socialists.