Writings and observations

trump

A little over a year ago, July 19, 2015, Donald Trump spoke of one of his fellow Republicans, Senator and former presidential candidate, and former five-year prisoner of war John McCain: “He’s not a war hero.” Later, responding to a ferocious counter-blast, he backed off to the point of saying, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

McCain, remember, became a prisoner of the North Vietnamese in 1967 after his plane was shot down; he was not freed until 1973. He was terribly injured in the plane crash and was tortured by his captors, but refused an offer to return home, insisting that he would not go home if his comrades did not.

Trump’s comments deserved all the heavy criticism they got at the time, which many people speculated would end Trump’s career. (The fact that Trump dodged service in Vietnam, although having attended a military school, by using a series of deferments, does not help.) On its own it speaks to a lack of concern and loyalty to the troops he is hoping to lead.

McCain himself seemed to shrug it off, but his granddaughter responded this way: “Trump’s statement, in my view, is unforgivable, and speaks to the kind of man he is: a coward who has never faced danger in his life, an insecure brat who shirked duty for comfort, and a man who is wholly unfit to serve as commander-in-chief.”

All of that is true, but a close look suggests it still represents only part of a problem even larger: Trump appears to express no concern or regard for anyone he doesn’t class among life’s “winners.”

Anyone in trouble, anyone who has had a reversal, anyone needing the help of the government – or of the president – is easily dismissed as a loser who deserves what they get. In the quote “I like people who weren’t captured,” substitute the words “weren’t captured” for almost anything else unfortunate that could happen to a person. Those – most of us – are life’s “losers,” in Trump’s book, and unworthy of serious consideration, much less help.

Imagine how much help a prisoner of war would get under President Trump. Now extend that point out to most of the rest of us. –rs

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For the next 100 days, beginning today with the next post here, this site will provide 100 reasons Donald Trump never should become president of the United States.

This is an unusual break for this site, but this is an unusual situation.

In delivering last week the first major newspaper presidential endorsement this year, the Houston Chronicle said, “the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not merely political. It is something much more basic than party preference. … Any one of Trump’s less-than-sterling qualities – his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance – is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, “I alone can fix it,” should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.”

In my lifetime, 15 presidential contests have been held, featuring 30 major party nominees for the high office. They have been a widely varied group, and some have been better than others. Until now, until this year, none of those candidates has struck me as so dangerous to this country that our national future, the America we have known and celebrated for a quarter-millennium, was at actual risk. I believe it will be now, if the voters of the United States make the terrible mistake of electing Donald Trump.

Through four decades of writing about politics I have avoided flatly recommending for or against candidates. But: As Edward Murrow said of Joseph McCarthy – a true precursor to Donald Trump – “This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent – or for those who approve. We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.” If men like Trump, or McCarthy, ultimately prevail, there will one day be no independent journalism to practice.

I do not argue that the candidate on the other side of the ledger arrives without problems of her own. But the nature of Donald Trump is so broadly and deeply flawed, so very dangerous, that the specific risks he poses to the country numbers into the dozens, into the scores. Those various risks have been noted in many places by many people, by Republicans not much less than by others. Those risks should not be forgotten as people begin to consider their voting options. I hope that in its small way this list will serve as a reminder of what we have seen that may hang around just a little bit longer, after one day’s Trump outrage has been replaced by the next.

This is not intended as a list of statements or actions or incidents that I consider disqualifying; most such events taken in isolation could be considered not so terribly serious. This is intended to be a list of aspects of Trump, his character and persona and projection, as illustrated by those incidents, that would lead to a disastrous presidency and a very bad stretch for the United States.

What kind of human being is Donald Trump is the question animating this list.

These 100 disqualifications (not legal disqualifications, of course, but rather what should be voter disqualifications) are numbered, but they aren’t placed in a strict rank order – how could they be? While I have reserved some of what I consider the most overwhelmingly worst of them for the later entries, the serious problems he would evoke start right from the beginning with number 100.

One further note: If you have suggestions, comments, questions, or just want to get in touch, write me at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

Randy Stapilus

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The state Department of Labor last week released a statistic that policy makers might want to wrap their minds around, as a significant broad-brush indicator about Idaho and a question to ponder as they consider what sort of state Idaho should be.

Consider the people who graduate from Idaho colleges and universities, one year after graduation. (The study was conducted of graduates from 2010 to 2014.)

Of those former students who were in-state residents, about 77 percent stayed in the state, “working in Idaho jobs.” The report said “The other 23 percent of in-state graduates either left to work in another state, took a federal government job, joined the military or worked in some other kind of self-employment category. In some cases, they may still be looking for work in their field, continuing on to graduate school or to another educational program.”

Five years later, about 67 percent still were in the state.

Of those who were out of state students, just 39 percent stayed in the state after one year, and just 28 percent five years later. (“Out of state” students were those considered non-residents at the time they entered the college of university, whether or not they became Idaho residents during the time of their studies.)

That’s a big gap, about two to one. What would account for it?

As an out of stater when I first came to the University of Idaho, but who stayed in Idaho long afterward, the question and the results hit home.

The department speculated that family or other ties may be part of what keeps many of those in-state students in place. That may be about right. The study added, “Other factors include types of degrees and programs offered. Some degrees and programs are highly marketable all over the country and the world, making those students more mobile and attractive to employers outside Idaho. Geographic location of the institution is another factor. Some colleges and universities are located in college towns, closer to bordering states where students are more likely to take their degrees to other more economically viable cities outside of the state. And, some postsecondary institutions are already located in thriving and growing economic urban hubs, creating local and immediate job opportunities for graduates eager to enter the workforce.”

The fact that Eastern Idaho Technical College and the College of Southern Idaho, both located in areas relatively far from metro areas and where the student population may be especially based from the local area, tends to back up that idea.

What the institutions aren’t doing as much, which probably is happening in other places and might be useful in Idaho, is not only drawing in but retaining talented students from other states. The students are coming – lower costs at the Idaho institutions may be one reason – but they’re not staying.

Why isn’t Idaho keeping those students? Is it a lack of jobs, or is there some other major consideration?

That might usefully be the subject of a future DOL report: For that large majority of students who come but don’t stay in Idaho, why aren’t they sticking around?

Idaho might benefit from the answer to that question.

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Idaho Idaho column Stapilus

carlson

There ought to be an amendment to the Constitutional amendment that limits the terms of a president to two consecutive terms which would require each major political party’s nominee for President come only from the ranks of that party’s governors.

There simply is no substitute for executive experience, in particular government executive experience; and, while we are at it, let’s ban that asinine phrase usually uttered by members of the United States Senate, that they’re going to run the government like a business when they become president.

If ever there was an ignorant phrase, that’s it. Government is not a business as any governor will tell one.

Think how much better off we would be today if both party’s nominees for the presidency were governors. As a nation we would not be despairing over the Hobbseian choice we are facing in the fall with a narcissistic, egomaniac billionaire who claims he alone can change the federal government and run it like a business (Ignore his three bankruptcies please) on one side.

On the other side we have a U.S. Senator who, like most senators, has run nothing larger than a Senate staff, if senators run their own staff at all, and after 30 years of government service still demonstrates a lack of judgment and a tendency to let staff run her instead of the reverse. The net effect is the electorate has little confidence in her abilities, not to mention her ethics.

One need look no further than our current president for an example of how difficult it is for one to master the levers of power and move the bureaucracy when one has had no previous executive experience. It took six years for President Obama to begin to command the office and run the government.

Looking to the past is a good guide for almost all of our good presidents were first governors. The most notable exception of course was President Lincoln. Examine the list of presidents who were governors: Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Thomas Jefferson are just a few names that leap out.

The list of duds who were senators but thought they saw a president in the mirror every morning include Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy (Yes, JFK – his record of accomplishments was thin, and having sex with an underage intern during the Cuban Missile crisis was inexcusable), Richard Nixon, and Warren G. Harding.

If each party would have to have nominated a governor today we would be weighing the merits of Ohio’s Governor John Kasich or former Florida Governor Jeb Bush against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, or California Governor Jerry Brown¸ or Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Just think how much better we’d all feel, knowing that there was competency, skill and ethics on the part of both party’s nominee and that no matter the outcome the nation would still be in experienced hands.

Idaho voters over the years have shown an uncanny ability to choose as governors people who have already been vetted by the voters in other government roles and thus have a record that can be reviewed. The Idaho Republican party in particular has figured this out much better than the Democrats.

Idaho Democrats in recent years have shown a distressing tendency to put up candidates for major offices people who have no record and have never run for anything else. Not surprisingly the Idaho electorate has rejected folks like Keith Allred, Jerry Brady, and AJ. Balukoff who sought to be governor.

One need look no further than the upcoming 2018 election. The Republican primary will see former state senator and current Lt. Governor Brad Little, former state senator Russ Fulcher, and former state representative and current congressman Raul Labrador squaring off.

Democrats are expected to nominate A.J. Balukoff again who may have no primary opposition as Boise Mayor Dave Bieter is expected to stay where he is.

Democrats should take a page from the Republican play book and start cultivating a farm team of young Democrats who they can bring along by providing support (such as a political job that pays more than minimum wage).

Here’s a list they could start with: Mike Kennedy¸ former Coeur d’Alene City Council; State Rep. Matt Erpelding; Lewiston City Councilman Jesse Maldonado; Latah County Commissioner Tom Lamar; Boise City Councilman T.J. Thomson; former American Falls Mayor Amy Wynn; and, North Idaho College Young Democrat president A.J. Konda. Add two young members of the state party staff to that list—Tom Hamilton and Shelby Scott.

The bottom line is there is no substitute for experience whether at the state level or the national.

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Carlson

trahant

Joe Garry was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 1957. He was, of course, the first American Indian to serve in that body. A decade later he moved up to the state Senate and later ran for the U.S. Senate in 1960 and again in 1962. Also a first. He also was a member and later chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council and president of the National Congress of American Indians.

A few months after he died in 1975, I was covering the Idaho Democratic Party convention for the Sho-Ban News. The party chairman that year was Leona Garry, a Lakota woman, and Joe’s widow. I recall her passion for the political process and for the importance of adding new voices.

One of Garry’s nieces, Jeanne Givens, was elected to the Idaho House in 1982. She was the first American Indian woman to serve. And, like her uncle, she challenged the status quo with a bid for Congress in 1988.

Four years ago another Coeur d’Alene tribal member, Paulette Jordan, ran for the House seat and lost. But what’s cool is that two years later she ran again. And won. (Previous: Paulette Jordan takes a step toward re-election.) This proves what may be the most important lesson: You gotta run to win. Sometimes more than once. Jordan describes Givens as a mentor who has taught her much about politics.

Rep. Jordan already has influence that travels far beyond her district. Last week, for example, in Boise she stood in solidarity at Boise Pride. “Standing together in a sea of love, it was clear Idaho’s citizens demand far more than what they have been drawn,” she wrote on Facebook. “Life is too short to let ignorance rule society, and far to precious to be overcome with threats and fear. … I stand with those who have been victims of hate crimes here in our own state and I will continue to stand with those who face discrimination in their daily life.”

In the southern part of the state, Larry EchoHawk successfully ran for the legislature in 1982. After serving two terms he ran for, and won, election as the Bannock County attorney. Then another first. In 1990 he was elected Attorney General. (One of the few Native Americans to win a statewide office anywhere.) Four years later he ran for governor of Idaho and lost.

So Idaho has a long history electing a Native Americans to public office. What’s remarkable about that history is that Native Americans barely register a blip in terms of demographics. In the first congressional district, for example, Native American votes are two-tenths of one percent. Statewide there are only about 21,000 Native Americans, roughly one percent of the population. So any winning Native politician must figure out how to build a coalition of voters. (Especially if that candidate is a Democrat. Idaho may be the most Republican state in the United States. Not a single Democrat holds statewide office.)

But in 2016 Jordan will not be the only Native American candidate for the state legislature. Louis Archuleta, Shoshone-Bannock, is running for the state House from the Pocatello area. He was a late entry, winning the May primary as a write-in candidate. He has an extraordinary background as a designer and engineer. He helped some of the ground support systems for the Space Shuttle and was a co-director of Idaho State University’s Young Explorers in Space program.

Archuleta’s Facebook page also promotes his Latino roots, part of an important coalition in Idaho. Archuleta says his “education is the cornerstone of my campaign, my passion is helping Idaho children be the smartest and best prepared pupils in the country.”

There are 105 members of the Idaho legislature. So two Native candidates is a big deal. Why? Because if both get elected that would be double the state’s percentage of Native American people. And why not? As I wrote above: Idaho is not a state with a large Native American population. But there is a history of success.

Mark Trahant is the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. He is an independent journalist and a member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. On Twitter @TrahantReports

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Trahant

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I can’t remember whether I watched the 1964 national party conventions – I was eight at the time – but probably I saw pieces of them. In 1968, I watched most of both of them; I specifically recall sitting down with big bowls of popcorn to watch, and both were rewarding entertainment.

Every four years since, I have made a point of watching at least most of the two conventions, including the acceptance speeches and the keynote.

I watch them on C-SPAN, so I can get them clean, no talking heads informing me minute by minute what I should think about what I’m seeing.

Probably most people don’t find these things entertaining (but then, reality shows are the depths of boredom for me). I still do, to some extent. But the main reason I watch them, and I’d urge other people to watch them, is this: The conventions are the place where each party, without interference, gets to make its best case for why you should vote for them and not the other guys.

Too many people contain themselves in little media bubbles, absorbing views and messages and information from one side or the other. Watch both conventions, and the debates in the fall (I like to watch debates from around the country on C-SPAN too), and you can fairly say you’ve heard from both sides, that you’re not just listening to one.

This year, some Republicans might complain about that. Donald Trump took over that party and its convention, and many long-time Republicans, elected officials and others, were not part of the mix. Their voices weren’t much heard (the main sort of exception being Ted Cruz). That’s true. But it’s also true that Trump has taken control of the Republican Party, for the next few months at least. And what emerged from the GOP convention was what he and his people wanted to say and wanted Americans to know about them. watch the convention, and you’ve heard their case.

The same is true on the Democratic. If you know someone who maintains that the Democrats want this, or oppose that, tell them to watch the convention, and that will give you a fair idea of what they and their presidential nominee do and don’t support. Not all of it will match up with the bubble on the right, just as not all of Trump’s convention matches up with the bubble on the left.

Day one of the Democratic convention went, from the viewpoint of a remote watcher, generally better than most media reports seemed to indicate. Bernie Sanders backers, understandably infuriated by what the DNC leadership has been up to in trying to undermine their campaign, made their views and occasional displeasure known at the beginning of the day, and after Sarah Silverman’s challenge to them in the evening. (That wasn’t such a wise move.) But the speeches mostly moved fast, strong, and varied. Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Sanders finished the day effectively, and my guess would be that after the vote today, the convention calms down.

Most do.

And then, both conclaves under our belts, we can go on and absorb the next 100 or so day, and vote.

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Stapilus

rainey

So, the GOP national convention is over. Thank god!

Now, I’d like Democrats to call off their planned Philadelphia get-together. Everyone just stay home. I think the National DNC should collect the millions to be spent on the show and donate every penny to half a dozen deserving charities. Every cent.

Crazy idea? O.K., tell me this. Repub or Demo. Even if the Dems put on a bang-up show, lit up your old flat screen with fireworks, paraded the best speakers, made the most honorable promises, would it change anything? Would it change your mind? Would you suddenly be a more loyal member of the party? Or, would you run screaming over to do all you could to get Trumpy promptly installed in the oval office?

In sum, no matter what happens in Philly, at a cost of ten or so million dollars, would it change anything? Would the country be a better place to live? Would your mind be changed in any meaningful way? Even in a small way?

I sincerely doubt it. Nothing – absolutely nothing – will change at our house as a result of a second convention. The whole business and those millions – will have gone just to give all those out-of-town delegates a few days away from home and a chance to eat a real Philly Cheese Steak sandwich made with real Cheesewhiz. Hillary and Tim will be declared the “official” nominees, a few thousand balloons will be dropped, the cleaning crew will go to work and the convention center staff will go on to other business. At a cost of another ten million or so.

National political conventions – especially those staged before the time of the TV camera – used to be special events They were the epitome of flag-waving Americana, where everyone came away with good feelings of renewed pride in their citizenship, They offered seminal moments of what political conventions – and this country – were supposed to be. We were informed, entertained and proud!

Rigged? Most of the time. Predictable outcomes? Certainly. But staging – speeches – the presentation of patriotic spirit – the entire extravaganza – everything – all designed to re-baptize delegates, crank up their enthusiasm for the selected candidates and send them home to work their hearts out. Conventions used to be – almost always – successful. And, to the public, filled with positive messages and images. The “fix” may have been there from the beginning but the exercise served an honorable purpose.

So, tell me. When the Republican show in Cleveland ended, were you re-energized, newly filled with the spirit of citizenship, ready to go out and work hard for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence? Did those four days personally change anything for the better in your life or as part of this big nation? Did you witness a life-altering experience? Or were you just mad the whole event caused the network to cancel four nights of “Walker, Texas Ranger?”

To our great national shame, both conventions will affect life in this country even less than those that came before. We already knew who the nominees would be, had already decided who we would support and who we wouldn’t and had our minds made up months ago.

One other thing we knew even before the GOP gavel came down – the divisiveness and anger of the citizenry at-large will remain unchanged regardless of what happened in Cleveland and what will happen in Philadelphia. What ails us – what’s causing chasms in our national relationships – what’s concerning other nation’s about our future stability and dependability – we knew none of that would be resolved by either party gathering.

What we need most to start healing this nation won’t be found on any convention floor or in either party’s machinations. It won’t appear as special programming or in-depth articles in our national media. We will not get up one morning and feel “healed,” “renewed” or find a special kindness and acceptance of people with whom we angrily disagree.

What we need most urgently is a huge one-on-one effort from each of us to stop rejecting new thought, end disbelieving in science and education-based fact, accept the humanity and personal worth of our neighbor as ourselves. And, we must reject – in the strongest possible way – demagoguery and the anti-intellectual fervor driving wedges in our country from border to border. We must demand – also in the strongest possible way – personal accountability and responsibility from leaders in every form of government under which we live.

But, even more necessary than all of that, we must each become more involved – more personally educated about the city, county, state and the entirety of this nation in which we live. Our national mess can be traced to two factors: personal ignorance about how this country is structured – how it functions – and a loss of a simple demand that people wanting to lead be educated, informed and able to work with others in the conduct our national affairs.

So, do we really need another convention? Or, do we need to just admit we need each other and start working on that?

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Rainey

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Six months ago, and six months from now, the Idaho Legislature was and will be getting into gear, reviewing budgets and rule and bill proposals.

And while that will look like the busy season, a lot of what they do actually has its origins in work being done now, in the quiet time, in the middle of summer. When our political attention is drawn mostly to the national party conventions. When it would seem, to judge from most headlines, that little governmental action is really ongoing.

In fact, a stroll around the Capitol Mall about now probably would give you the impression that the times in state government are fairly sleepy.

But not really. A good deal of legislative prep work is underway, for example, in legislative interim committees. The Public School Funding Committee (discussing one of the biggest topics in almost any legislative session) met on July 12, the committee on health care alternatives (as hot a topic as any) met July 21, the panel on state employee benefits will meet August 3 and the children at risk committee meets August 4.

These committees and a bunch of others will shape some of the key legislation in the 2017 session. A lot of interim legislative activities are held in the summer (they’re being set up in the spring, and fall meeting dates are often a problem in campaign season).

July 1 is an important state government date. It is the default date for new laws to take effect, which means switching over and evaluation in a number of areas. It also is the dividing line between fiscal years, the point when the books are closed on the old year, and revenue analysis has to begin for the new one.

Partly for that same reason, budget work starts to get underway in midsummer. State agencies are supposed to receive a budget manual in July, and submit their requests either this month or in August. You won’t see the results, not publicly, until after the new year, but the groundwork is beginning to be laid even now.

You’ll hear more about state administrative rules when the legislature reviews them in January, but a lot of the crunch work is underway now – in the period well after the legislature adjourns, but well before (allowing for publication and other schedules) the legislature returns. Because of the legislature’s intensive review of the rules, the window for actually developing and reviewing them is relatively short, at the other end of the year.

And many state boards and commissions hold summer meetings, which in some cases are among the most critical meetings of the annual cycles; partly because of those budget and rulemaking considerations. The Fish & Game Commission met July 6, the Idaho Workforce Development Council on July 14, the state Land Board and Board of Corrections on July 19, and the Water Resource Board and Oil and Gas Commission on July 21 – just to cite a few examples from so far this month.

Of course, regional and local governments continue on through the year as well, and they too have budgeting and other considerations that keep them busy over the summer.

It may be vacation season for many people, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening. Quite the contrary.

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Idaho Idaho column Stapilus

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The quote is one of the classic statements attributed to the great New York Yankees catcher, the late Yogi Berra. Known for his malapropisms, his twisting of words and talent for stating the obvious, Berra’s comment on redundacy will forever be part of his legacy.

The television commercial he made for AFLAC that left the AFLAC goose shaking his head will also be an immortal classic on YouTube.

The Senate Democratic candidate, Jerry Sturgill, running for the seat now held by incumbent Michael Dean “Mike” Crapo, is circulating a two-page memo summarizing a poll conducted by Celinda Lake from July 5th through the 10th of 500 registered Idaho voters. The polling firm, Lake Research Partners, has polled for many Democratic candidates throughout the west for many years.

The memo is somewhat of a sale piece designed to show that Sturgill, who is virtually unknown statewide, has a real shot at upsetting Senator Crapo. Of course he just needs money to get Crapo’s record known to the voters.

Lake’s memo highlights the fact that Crapo’s support is below the magic 50% number, though only by 1%, well within the poll’s margin of errors of plus or minus 4.4%. The memo states Crapo has a poor job performance ranking with 48% rating his work at fair to poor. However,the memo also admits his good to excellent number is 41%.

Lake further states her data indicates that 25% of the voters are undecided and that Senator Crapo in particular has a problem with independent voters. She also says Crapo’s re-election prospects will suffer because of Donald Trump leading the Republican ticket.

Lake says Sturgill is not a “typical” Democrat and cites as evidence the fact that Sturgill is a former bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is a return missionary. Crapo, however, is also LDS, a former bishop and return missionary. That and a couple of bucks will buy one a decaf Americano at a nearby Starbucks.

Lake ends her memo by saying that Crapo is vulnerable and she calls it a tie race right now. That is quite simply a wish and a prayer. Perhaps if Sturgill had $3 million to spend on ads tagging Crapo as a career politician who is part of the reason our Congress is so dysfunctional and also portrayed the senator as a creature of Wall Street who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from the major banks, Sturgill might have a shot.

Crapo, for his part, is taking nothing for granted. By election day he will have been to every incorporated city, town and village in Idaho. He also will spend most of the $4.5 million he has accumulated in donations making his case that he is a working senator.

The end result will be another slaughter of a Democrat by a Republican in a statewide race. A brief look at the record of recnt senate races drives home the reality: In 2010 Crapo received 319,953 votes to Democrat Ted Sullivan’s 112,057 votes, a 71% margin; in 2004 Crapo was unopposed; in 1998 Crapo received 262,966 votes to Democrat Bill Mauk’s 107,375 votes, a margin of 70% to 28%.

Idaho’s most recent Senate race in 2014 saw former Governor Jim Risch easily defeat Democrat Nels Mitchell. Risch polled 285,596 votes to Mitchell’s 151,574 votes, a margin of 65% to 35%.

Bottom line is Sturgill doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating Crapo who probably will win by a 75% to 25% margin.
.
Reporters and contributors have seen memos like this from Celinda Lake before in other Idaho Senate races. Most have not had the resources to act on her interpretation. Ask one who did, though. In 1996, Walt Minnick, at the last minute believing a Lake poll allegedly showing him within two percentage points of Senator Larry Craig, put $500,000 of his own money into additional tv advertising.

He lost, garnering 188,422 votes to Senator Craig’s 283,532 votes, a margin of 57% to 40%. Facts are facts and the Lake memo is deju vu.

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Carlson

harris

(Information about icitizen From their website):

“The icitizen Oregon Poll provides a non-partisan, representative read of public opinion on pressing legislative and social issues in Oregon. This installment of the Oregon Poll examines November general election matchups, key ballot measures, as well as attitudes towards the state, the economy, and personal finances.”

Presidential Race: Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump: It’s 46% Clinton, 32% Trump, and 22% undecided. Clinton has held her base, and is outperforming voter registration by 3%. Independents are split.

Governors Race: While statewide, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 11%, Governor Kate Brown leads Dr. Bud Pierce by just seven points. It’s 42% Brown, 35% Pierce, and 23% undecided. However, if you take leaners into account, Brown leads 47% to 37% with 17% undecided. Dr. Pierce beats Brown among independent voters by 10 points but that won’t be enough. If Dr. Pierce is to win he’ll need to change some Brown leaners around because it’s highly unlikely he can win 85% of the undecideds. Brown is weak but at this point Pierce is either going to have to hope for some scandal, or come up with a better reason for his candidacy.

Oregon Secretary of State: Democrat Brad Avakian leads Republican Dennis Richardson in the race for Secretary of State 36% to 32%, with 32% undecided. Avakian is under performing and Richardson is over performing in relation to voter registrations. A full 15% of Democrats, 15% of Republicans and 46% of Independents/Others are undecided. However if the leaners all vote as they lean, and the Republican and Democratic undecideds all vote their party, Richardson would have to win 85% of the independent undecided voters to win.

State Treasurer: This is the big surprise in that it’s anybody’s race. In a three-way race it’s Democrat Tobias Read with 26%, Republican Jeff Gudman at 19% and Independent Party candidate Chris Telfer at 14% with 43% undecided. Adding in leaners and it’s Read with 31%, Gudman with 23% and Telfer with 17% with 29% undecided. Gudman seems very week based on the fact that a full 31% of Republicans are undecided. Assuming those undecided Republicans are considering Telfer, not Read, Telfer could be poised to vault over Gudman and challenge Read if she can establish herself as the Democratic Alternative.

Initiative Position 28 (IP28) which would impose a 2.5% business gross receipts revenues on Oregon sales in excess of $25 million, shows 65% in favor, 19% opposed, and 16% unsure. When voters were provided with messaging in support and against the measure, support went down to 55%. So that should be considered the initial voter support level. Common wisdom is that a tax measure needs 56-57% support initially to have a chance. IP 28 has a chance. If its as close as it appears it could be, this race will suck up a substantial portion of available Democratic donor dollars. Meaning if any of the State wide races becomes more competitive, the Democrat may not be able to count on a late influx of Public employee union funds.

The Race to Watch: State Treasurer. It appears to be the most unpredictable, the highest number of undecideds. There are three viable candidates, and Republican voters could shift support to Independent Telfer unless Gudman gets some traction. Because of the largely non partisan duties of Sate Treasurer, many moderate Democrats may be willing to support a qualified Independent candidate. And, if the anti establishment anger of the electorate continues, it could be a race that voters choose to vent their frustration.

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Harris