Yes, we too saw the Earl Blumenauer Tv spots last week. That's not entirely a stunner. He does, of course, have an almost perfectly safe district - Oregon's 3rd (which takes in most of Portland and some surrounding area east of the Willamette) is about as secure for a Democrat as the 2nd (east of the Cascades) has been for Republicans.
Still, if he's going to raise campaign money (he has raised $354,743 as of the end of March), he'd better spend some of it 0n something. Even if he has no substantial opposition, which he doesn't (and no Republican at all to worry about in the fall). And the ads were nice, pleasing, good-government type ads. Nothing controversial.
Or could there be more to the story?
Tucked away in a column item, the Portland Tribune is reporting that "The most likely scenario, according to informed political observers, is for the U.S. Senate, namely the seat currently held by Republican Gordon Smith. There has been speculation over whether Smith will run for re-election in 2008; even if he does, he will be a major target for the national Democratic Party. This explains why Blumenauer’s fundraiser last week at the Oregon Convention Center had a statewide, bipartisan feel to it, focusing on issues like agriculture, popular votes on how to spend the kicker, and favoring the open primary that lets anyone vote in either main party’s primary election."
Unmentioned but possibly notable: Bluemenauer's predecessor as 3rd district representative was fellow Democrat Ron Wyden, who is now Smith's colleague in the Senate.
UPDATE: A reader in Bend notes that the Blumenauer ad is running on local stations there - quite some distance from his 3rd congressional district but smack near the geographic center of the state . . .