"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

The Paul factor

There’s a temptation to just sort of forget about the Republican presidential primary in Oregon. All the main party organizational backing has either coalesced behind Arizona Senator John McCain, or at least isn’t standing in the way. McCain has, among other things, the newspaper endorsements and something more powerful: Enough delegate votes to essentially ensure his nomination for president. He will sweep the Republican primary in Oregon; that is not in doubt.

All a given. But.

Traveling around the Willamette Valley last Friday, we noticed just two presidential candidates with signage along the highways and some of the far-flung residential areas we saw. We spotted some signs for Democrat Barack Obama. But those were heavily outnumbered by the front-running sign-placer in the region: Republican Ron Paul.

Paul’s supporters seem not to be giving up, even if their guy obviously isn’t going to be the nominee. You ee the indications all over; a news story from Nevada today, for example, led with this: “Outmaneuvered by raucous Ron Paul supporters, Nevada Republican Party leaders abruptly shut down their state convention and now must resume the event to complete a list of 31 delegates to the GOP national convention.”

So, what of Oregon . . .

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