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The semi-remembered past

I was involved once with a political campaign in which the candidate had a long history of newspaper columns. One of the first jobs out of the launch: Review them all. Who knew what ticking time bombs might await? In that case, as it happened, there weren’t any big ones; or at least, his campaign (and the opposition, which must have been doing some due diligence too) never came up with any shocking.

Already, though, Oregon U.S. Senate candidate Jim Huffman, who looks like the probable Republican nominee against Democrat Ron Wyden, seems to have some issues with writings from the past.

Word that Huffman might run has been circulating for a while, and no sooner had the deal been done than Democrats pounced. They posted a page called “Meet Jim Huffman,” with some strong opening shots:

“When the Wall Street and bank executives who caused the financial meltdown started taking billions in taxpayer-funded bonuses, Huffman defended them in an April 2009 Oregonian essay titled “Outraged at Those Bonuses? Get Over It.” . . . Huffman signed a FreedomWorks petition supporting President Bush’s risky scheme to gamble Americans’ retirement money on Wall Street – a plan that would have given investment firms an additional $240 billion in management fees. . . . Huffman believes the only way to reduce health care costs is to restrict patients’ access to care, stating in an Oregonian essay that the ‘rationing of health care is unavoidable.’ . . . Huffman joined a 2007 FreedomWorks letter arguing that federal action to avert the mortgage meltdown was unnecessary because ‘market corrections have already begun.’”

And so on. When the Oregonian‘s Jeff Mapes interviewed him, he was described as “disheartened” about the early shot and said, “I’ve got such a vast amount of stuff I’ve written, much of which, frankly, I don’t remember.”

He or someone on his campaign probably had better, quickly. Wyden is a very strong favorite for re-election anyway, but shots like this threaten to wipe out Huffman before he even gains a beach head.

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One Comment

  1. fortboise fortboise March 5, 2010

    Almost makes me want to run for office so someone will dredge up my old Argonaut columns and I can enjoy them all over again. (Because no, I don’t remember what all I wrote almost 30 years ago now!)

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