Writings and observations

The Independent Party of Oregon, having conducted its online voting among members (just eyeballing it, maybe around 5% of the membership took part), and the results are in.

It’s an eclectic group they voted for. Whatever else you say about it, this is clearly not a group in the pocket of any one political party.

A few thoughts on the results released this evening online.

If the biggest vote-getter was “none of the above,” does that mean no endorsement in that race? There were a bunch of those. In state House 22, incumbent Democrat Betty Komp and “none of the above” each got 12 votes.

The endorsement for governor clearly went to Democrat John Kitzhaber, but a little context is necessary too. Republican Chris Dudley didn’t seek the nomination, so his name wasn’t listed. So: Kitzhaber got 850 votes, but two little-knowns, Jerry Wilson and Richard Esterman, got a total of 738. Were some of those de facto Dudley votes?

In the 4th congressional district, Republican Art Robinson, who’s probably a longshot against incumbent Democrat Peter DeFazio, got most of the votes – 418 to 288. And in the 5th, Republican challenger Scott Bruun took 237 votes to incumbent Democrat Kurt Schrader‘s 211, in a race that could be close indeed.

The legislative races were a deeply split mix. Hard to imagine what single mindset would come up with results like this. (Not an argument that any particular results are irrational, just that some of them seem to run up against some others.) If the original concern was that the process might be rigged, the actual results seem to fly in the face of that idea.

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Oregon

In fairness to candidates for office, quite a few actually are (putting aside philosophical points of view) reasonable contenders and worthy of consideration. And then there are those who just make you shake your head.

Leading 2010 contender for the bottom rung in the Northwest may be David R. Fox, an attorney. The factors that may give him that distinction are recounted in a new blog post on the Spokesman-Review‘s Spin Control.

Start with the filing choice: Fox lives and works in Port Angeles, on the far west side of the state up in the Olympic Peninsula. He is running as one of four Democratic contenders for the U.S. House in 5th district, on the far eastern side of Washington, based around Spokane. (The incumbent, very strongly favored for re-election, is Republican Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.) Maybe 300 miles away. That’s not legally disqualifying, but why would you do it? Maybe the legal issues he’s had with law enforcement out in Clallam County – which Spin Control describes – is a factor. Call his Port Angeles phone, which is listed in the voter guide, and (Spin Control says) the person who answers says “I really, honestly don’t know” how to reach him.

He has spent time in Spokane this summer, but that has not improved matters. There, he has been accused of walking out on a bar tab and writing a bad check. And, one night on a downtown Spokane street, asking a man he encountered for sex. The man slugged him. Then Fox ensured that the incident would go public by filing a complaint with Spokane police against the man.

So . . . how many votes does this guy get next month?

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Washington