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Posts published in “Day: April 24, 2009”

Early in, early . . . mulling


Allen Alley

In contrast to some other statewide offices last time around, Oregon Republicans actually do have a probable candidate for governor next year, one with some campaign experience and a professional background that gives the sense of a credible contender. And Democrats don't even have a clear, definitive contender yet.

And how excited are Oregon Republicans about Allen Alley?

A post and comments at Oregon Catalyst gives a fair sense of the mixed feelings involved. Some commenters point out that Alley is an intelligent, capable guy, an experience and articulate executive. Others note the areas in which he doesn't exactly line up with the Republican activist base, and how he isn't an especially charismatic contender.

Blogger Tim Lyman, who argues that a Republican running these days in Oregon has to be a sterling campaign to have a shot: "If anyone had told me there could be a less exciting candidate for Governor than Ron Saxton, I never would have believed it. But, over a year and a half out from the election, the Oregon Republican establishment is already lining up behind Allen Alley."

A commenter in reply: "Okay, Tim. If not Alley... than whom? I disagree with you that it is too early to line up behind a candidate. I think Alley is an excellent candidate. I just don't see anyone else emerging that can raise the enormous amount of money that will be needed to be competitive??? I'm curious to see who you are suggesting to line up behind?"

Allyn Dingel

Jeff Kropf

Allyn Dingel (left) with Daniel Eismann

Not every word approved by vote at the Idaho Legislature is necessarily apt, but these from Senate Concurrent Resolution 111 are: "his good humor, his prodigious memory of persons, times and events, and his unfailing courtesy, honesty and integrity.” Even the order fits well.

Allyn Dingel, an attorney and lobbyist - though that description seems somehow a little off - who died on Thursday, was a veteran of the Idaho Statehouse, an effective participant there and liked across the board. He was a Republican, but not entirely doctrinaire, just as - for an insurance industry advocate - he wasn't wholly doctrinaire about that business either. And he seemed to relish the fact that, by way of his son's marriage, being related to the Democratic Bilyeu family. He also relished the Bilyeus along with, it seemed, almost everyone he knew.

He was never elected to office though you suspect he could have been; he had the right skill set. He loved to talk, and not much was needed to prompt a great stemwinder of a story.

Dingel had a lot of stemwinders to share, and share them he did, and that's our primary memory of him. Over a span of half a century, he was in the middle of a lot of political events, and few of them seemed to escape his recollection. He enriched our understanding of the state that way. And he made the state a better placed in other ways too.