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Posts published in “Harris”

Guns

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I was in Salem at a meeting in the State Capital at 10:40 AM Thursday October 1st when the Umpqua Community College shooting occurred. All of the cell phones of the elected officials and their staff went off. They announced the news to the rest of us at the meeting. My heart sank and I got a bit nauseous. The meeting went on. Though some electeds did come and go during the next hour.

This shouldn’t be happening on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be happening at all. There are things we can do to try to stop or at least reduce these horrible incidents from occurring. Whats stopping action? Several things I think.

Some small percentage of the American people truly have psychosis when it comes to guns. I’m not talking about gun aficionados who I believe would accept reasonable laws if they believed they would reduce gun violence. I’m talking about those gun supporters who are divorced from reality. They believe it’s necessary to have guns, a lot of them, to fight off the government when “they” come to impose a one world order and the UN’s agenda 21. These people vote on one issue. They give money and will show up and protest. They start recall drives. They picket, write letters, interrupt speakers and act….crazy….because of their psychosis. Candidates are afraid of the chaos they rain down on them, and other voters don’t want to deal with them. Because when you argue with psychotics, or even try to point out their lack of reality, some become extremely disagreeable. Basically, the gun psychotics make civil discussion of guns and violence so disagreeable that normal people simply wont engage in the issue. So they win. We can’t let them. You can’t dissuade them from their fantasies, just tell them they’re wrong.

Another major hurdle to changing the way America treats with guns is the gun industry. This is a 3 billion dollar per year industry. They manufacture over 8 million guns per year, and import another 3 million guns per year. Guns don’t really wear out very quickly, and the number of gun owners in the US is in decline. That means one of the best ways to assure the continued expansion of the gun industry is to sell more guns to fewer people. Why would someone need 13 guns instead of 5 guns? Well if there were ever more powerful and exciting guns. Guns that were smaller, or larger, or evaded detection, or had higher magazine capacities. Or, if one had psychosis and believed that Obama and the UN were about to confiscate all guns, or come and register them, or if there were to be a great breakdown in civilization, it would be great to have a whole arsenal to protect you and your family. The gun industry funds the NRA and directs its policies to inflame and motivate gun owners and specifically encourages psychosis. It creates and supports hysteria about “gun grabbers”. Any proposal or bill to require expanded background checks, or magazine limitations, or any type of gun regulation is just more evidence to stoke the fires and that creates yet another run on guns at the local gun store. Polling shows without a doubt that about 75% of Americans, and a large majority of gun owners, support universal background checks.

Responsible gun owners need to quit the NRA and make sure that politicians know the NRA doesn’t speak for them, it speaks for the gun industry and people who have gun psychosis.

We also can’t forget the social and mental health problems that cause mass murders. Today social isolation can be a lot more damaging than it used to be. It’s a tragedy that people are lonely, mentally fragile and sad. Today at risk people go online and alienated from peers and family, angry at the world, and goaded on by the idiots who also habituate the internet, become time bombs. And if they or their families have a gun arsenal at home a tragedy can occur. This is exactly what we’ve seen in some of the most high profile mass murders. Mentally unstable and ill people, living on the internet, with a household full of guns. That is not a coincidence.
We have to be more individually responsible and proactive when we we see someone who needs help. Particularly family members. If you have someone like that living with you, get rid of the guns. And call out cyber bullying or cyber stupidity whenever you see it.

And its absolutely true and a contributing factor to violence that we uncritically tolerate- and sometimes celebrate- violence in our culture and art. Through movies, video games and television particularly, but also comic books, artwork and other mediums of communication and entertainment. Shooting, dismemberment, glorification of fighting to the death, is ubiquitous. This can’t be healthy for people already at risk for violent outbursts. No one is saying ban violent content. Just like few are saying ban all gun ownership. But take some responsibility for what you put out there. Just like gun right defenders must take responsibility for their policy positions. Quit being hypocrites Progressives.

So what actions can we take to reduce violence with guns.

Politicians have to be brave and support laws that have been proven to reduce gun violence. Or a more likely possibility is that gun law proponents need to identify and motivate people to make opposition to effective gun laws a disqualifying factor when casting their vote. That may seem impossible, but just a few years ago, who would have thought that single issue voters for gay rights would outnumber anti gay rights single issue voters in much of the US. If gun aficionados would join that effort, we could quickly have effective gun laws that would reduce gun violence.

We as families, friends, and neighbors need to engage the mentally fragile and not let them get absorbed in an electronic world of violence, pettiness and hate. We also need to be advocates for mental health funding in criminal justice, public health budgets and in requiring mental health treatment coverage in private health insurance.

We need to verbally disagree with gun psychotics publicly. Its no use debating, because logic and reality are lost on them. All you need to do is say. I disagree.

The media and cultural leaders have to take responsibility for what they publish and support. And consumers need to hold them accountable through patronage, or lack of patronage.

There is no magic answer. And there will be future tragedies. We can reduce the incident of tragedies, but not if we listen to the gun manufacturers and those with gun psychosis. But the 98% of Americans who do support reasonable gun laws need to decide. Can we let the gun industry make policy. I don’t think so. They’ve done a lousy job of it so far.

How he went IPO

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My intention to write a straight forward candidate profile piece turned into a more interesting story of how David Taylor, Independent Party Candidate for Oregon House District 30, ended up affiliating with the Independent Party.

The issues that David is focusing his campaign on are:

Assuring K-12 education funding meets the needs of students and teachers
Assure that veterans received their earned benefits and help them with employment and health care
Protect consumers, increase transparency in government and reduce special interest influence over the political process
Grow small businesses and expand larger businesses in ways that benefit the public and reduces unemployment.

Several weeks ago, when he was first considering a run for elected office, David set up a meeting with the leaders of the Democratic Party of Washington County. David was a registered Democrat and sought their counsel and advice. David recalled, “(The) Democrats told me my issues were not their issues and instead they were solely focused on keeping Dems in power”. He told them he was interested in running for his House District (30). This presented a problem for the Democratic leaders, since the incumbent Joe Gallegos was a Democrat. However, the word was out that Gallegos may not seek re-election. David thought there was a chance for him to get the party support, or at least their commitment to be neutral if there were a contested primary. He was wrong. “I was told they needed to keep a hispanic in the District 30 seat and I met the other candidate they planned on taking Gallegos seat should he leave office“

And it got worse.

“I was told my wife and me were not welcome with them in the 4th of July Parade (simply because I wanted to carry a banner Saying “Let’s make Oregon work for our Veterans”).

And then“The husband of the former Chair of the County told me that I needed to leave the party.” David was told, perhaps with the intent to actually give him good advice, that he may want to become an independent since his agenda was not the same as the Democratic Party.

Dejected, but not discouraged by the Democratic Party leaders shunning, David decided to approach the Washington County Republican Party. He figured, since HD-30 is seen as a safe Democratic seat, perhaps the Republicans would be interested in a socially moderate former Marine combat vet with a Masters Degree in Administration challenging The Democratic Candidate in a general election.

He was wrong.

“When I met with the republican chair (of Washington County) I was told that my veteran, unemployment and education issues weren’t the republican parties issues and instead Gay Marriage was the only “frontal assault” that they intended to use. I was told that unless I would ‘carry that flag’ I would be asking their party to set aside their beliefs and they wouldn’t. He then tape recorded my defiance to his position as I reiterated that a government that taxes equally better give civil rights equally.”

David then decided to re-register as non affiliated and reconsider his candidacy. It was then that he discovered the Independent Party of Oregon. He did a little more research and found out that the Party platform matched his views. And, fortuitously, the Independent Party of Oregon shortly thereafter achieved major party status and would allow him to campaign for the IPO nomination and appear on the May Primary ballot. So on September 10th, 2015, the first day to file for office, he was the first Independent Party candidate to file. He will be opposing Joe Gallegos – or his heir apparent who will likely not file until 5 minutes before the filing deadline which is standard operating procedure for Washington County Democrats as a way for Democratic insiders to select the Democratic nominee themselves. There may or may not be a Republican on the ticket. I guess it depends if they can find someone to “fly the anti same sex marraige” flag in Washington County.

But at least David is giving voters a real choice. A choice that both the Democratic and Republican parties in Washington Country tried to silence.

Davids experience mirrors that of voters as well. The Democrats need to limit their nominees to known insiders who can be trusted to vote with the financial interests of their donor base. And Republicans maintain a strict social litmus test for candidates they will support, losing election after election in socially liberal districts then blaming the voters for returning Democrats to office.

Come to think of it. Davids story could have been told by the many voters who have also found their way to the IPO.

How the IPO went major

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Yesterday IVN.US one of the most popular news sources for the independent voter movement, published an essay about the origins, emergence, and future of the Independent Party of Oregon.

While the IPO was founded on the more modest goal of assuring that any non affiliated candidate would have access to the Oregon ballot, it turned out that voters of all ideologies started joining the party to achieve much greater goals.

One thing that undoubtedly accelerated the IPO’s growth was that it’s formation coincided with the growing unhappiness with the two major parties. Specifically how they conducted elections, and especially the role that money plays in our elections and within the two major parties internal machinations. However this large influx of members with broadly represented political persuasions caused a bit of a dilemma for the leaders of the IPO who were at heart more progressive and democratic than not. From the essay:

The rapid growth of the party was not fueled by massive voter registration efforts, but merely by the presence of the Independent Party being an option on the ballot and the voter registration card. Democrats and Republicans claim voter confusion, but the reality is that voters *want* an Independent Party option. 11 percent of Oregonians identify as Independent Party members, even though only 5 percent of voters are currently registered with the party.

For the people who formed the party, this created an ethical dilemma: Could a relatively small number of officers claim to speak for a much larger number of people unless they asked members what they actually thought about candidates and issues? The answer is “no,” obviously. So the party opted for democracy.

Yet, the decision to find consensus among party members paid off. Maybe not for all of the leaderships progressive ideals, but certainly for the disaffected voters in Oregon who hungered for reasonably moderate candidates who were interested in the peoples business and not the Democratic versus Republican ideological battles . Because even though party members came from all parts of the political spectrum, it seemed there were policies that most people – regardless of ideology- supported. And that was a bit of a pleasant surprise.

The Agenda has been set and the Party is poised to become a broader movement supporting Independent candidates that are now emerging to challenge the current large donor dominated politics in Oregon.

GOP and IPO tickets

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The GOP’s state office dry spell makes this summers weather look like a monsoon. Nonetheless, the GOP is still considered the opposition party in Oregon. Even though it hasn’t put up much opposition in statewide races in the last 10 years. In fact, it’s been 30 years since there has been a Republican Governor.

But could the Democratic favorites be challenged in statewide races this year? Possibly, but it may not be the GOP that presents the Democrats biggest challenges.

For Governor, the only GOP candidates who have announced an intent to run for State offices are Dr. Bud Pierce a medical doctor who has never held elective office who has announced for Governor. And Jeffrey Gudman, a Lake Oswego city councilor who announced his interest for the office of State Treasurer and has started raising money(though less than $10,000 so far).

No Republican has announced their candidacies for Secretary of State or Attorney General. And, given the last several election cycles, serious GOP candidates may be hard to come by given the dominance of the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile rumor has it that Sen. Betsy Johnson (For Governor) and Bend City Council person/ former State Senator/CPA / Lottery Commissioner Chris Telfer (For Treasurer) could end up at the top of the ticket for the new major Party – Independent Party of Oregon. A moderate experienced current State Democratic Senator and a moderate experienced former Republican State Senator is an impressive ticket.

Ms. Telfer has already registered as an IPO member so doesn’t have to announce her candidacy until March, 2016. However, Sen. Johnson is (as far as I know) still a registered Democrat. She would have to register with the IPO by September 10th to be eligible for the IPO nomination so she needs to make a decision in the next two weeks. If she does re-register as an Independent it would be a pretty good indication that she is going to seek the IPO nod for Governor. Though she could re-register but not announce her intent until later. But de-registering from the Democratic Party is a serious matter. You don’t leave fight club.

Another possible sign that Sen. Johnson is going to run as an Independent would be Ms. Telfer’s announcement of her candidacy for Treasurer. Having Johnson and Telfer at the top of the IPO ticket would provide more gravitas to the IPO nomination so would benefit both. And since it would be an historical event, and both Ms. Telfer and Sen. Johnson have a plenty of history here in Oregon to mine, an IPO ticket of Johnson/Telfer should provide the media with a lot of story lines and content. Because frankly, there is little GOP news to cover and little DPO intrigue (Except in the Secretary of State race, which according to The Oregonian Editorial Board is shaping up as a race involving Valdemort, Darth Vadar and Marie Antoinette.

(more…)

A ‘top one’ primary

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In Oregon and nationally the independent movement continues to gain momentum which, here in Oregon with its closed primary, presents a real challenge to democracy.

In 2014, some voters rights activists got the Top Two primary Measure 90 on the ballot, which if passed would have changed Oregon’s closed primary to an open top two primary. It failed after the Democrats and Republicans joined forces to argue it was an infringement on their right to have their members select their own nominees.

But Oregon could have a primary system that protected a political parties right to select it’s own representative, allowed minor parties to preserve their place on the November general election ballot and still gave independent voters an equal vote and meaningful participation in the state financed May primary elections.

The Top One Primary wouldn’t replace Oregon’s closed Democratic and Republican Primaries. It would supplement it. Democratic and Republican party members would be allowed to vote for their party’s nominee in a closed primary with the winner moving onto the November ballot as their party nominee. Democrats and Republicans should be satisfied.

However, along with the closed major party primary, the state would also conduct an open Top One election.

Who would vote: The top one would be open to all non affiliated voters, and to any minor or major party voters whose political party opted into the top one election. So all voters in Oregon would be able to participate in the Democratic or Republican closed primary, in the top one primary, or in their minor party’s nomination process. All Oregonians pay for the primary election. All get to vote. An equal right to participate for all voters, without having to join a party they don’t want to belong to. And party unity is preserved for those major and minor parties who decide to hold their own nomination processes.

Who Could be candidates: Any registered voter would be able to run in the top one primary. Regardless of party affiliation or lack of affiliation. While there is a valid argument that a party should be able to decide who gets to vote for their nominee, there is no valid reason for a party to be able to say which of their party members can stand for election before the voters through an alternative nominating process. And, an optional provision would be to allow a candidate for their own party’s nomination to be a candidate in the Top One open primary as well. This would provide for cross nominations that are now allowed in Oregon. So, the winner of the Republican Primary may also be the winner of the top one open primary if they chose to opt into their party election and the Top One primary.

The benefits:

All voters feel like they have an equal voice and equal vote.
All taxpayers who finance the primary election would be able to fully participate
It may be less expensive and more predictable to run elections with a Top One than under current law which allows each major party to open or close their primary.
Political parties could protect their right to nominate their own candidates
A Democratic or Republican who felt they stood little chance of winning their primary (a pro choice Republican, an PERS reform Democrat), could opt to run in the top one primary without having to re-register.
If we also allowed a candidate to be included on both their party closed primary ballot and the top one open primary, then they couldn’t just run towards their base. They would have to appeal to the moderate independents if they wanted both their party and the top one nomination.

Imagine a Ballot in November that included the Democratic nominee, representing 38% of Oregon voters preference, a Republican nominee representing 29% of Oregonian voters preference, and the Top One candidate representing 29% of Oregonians preference. Imagine if major party candidates were allowed to be on the open top one primary ballot as well as their party closed primary ballot. In a swing district where the predominant party nominee generally wins by 8% the primary campaigning of both the dominant and less dominant party candidates may change because both would have to campaign and communicate with the independent voters in their district, not just their partisan bases.

Preserve Party prerogatives and rights. All voters have meaningful participation. Encourages consensus campaigns, not just campaigns to the partisan base. Provides a path for moderates from both major parties a chance at securing a major nomination, major media coverage. Most importantly, it provides real options in November for not only independent voters, but for Democratic and Republican registered voters who prefer consensus to confrontation.

Whats not to like?

(For purposes of this article, my reference to major party includes only the Democratic and Republican Parties and not the Independent Party of Oregon which just recently reached major party status)

A Johnson candidacy

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The East Oregonian reported yesterday on the speculation that Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) may be preparing to run for Oregon Governor.

The long time Democrat however is taking a different path. Understanding the difficulty of running as a centrist/conservative Democrat in the Oregon Democratic primary against a sitting liberal Democratic she is reportedly thinking of running as a candidate of the Independent Party of Oregon.

One meeting the East Oregonian didn’t mention in it’s list of hints that Sen. Johnson may run as an IPO candidate was an August 4th presentation to the Bend Chamber of Commerce. There, Sen. Johnson appeared on a political panel that included Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) and two leaders from the IPO, Party Secretary Sal Peralta, and Party Counsel (and Oregon Outpost Editor) Rob Harris.

For the record, Senator Johnson stole the show and thrilled the main street business audience. Her connection to small and medium size town business interests can’t be denied. While she wouldn’t stand a chance in the Democratic primary, a Betsy Johnson / Kate Brown race for Governor would give Oregon voters a real choice in November.

Much more competitive than a race between Kate Brown and a (Pierce / Alley / Wehby) perennial losing GOP candidate. In fact, in a Brown v. Johnson race, the GOP nominee would be the “spoiler”.

Moderate Rs go Independent

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The Independent Party has had plenty of good press the last 6 months. And as the August 16th, deadline for finalizing major party status nears, there’s been a bit of excitement.

In May and June the IPO had lost membership due to the post off year primary election purge of inactive voters, and at one point was within 72 members of losing major party status. Then the Democratic and Republican Party leadership teamed up to attack the IPO. But most recently a check with the Secretary of State revealed that the IPO is several hundred voters over the major party threshold and should qualify to be on the May 2016 primary ballot as a major party.

And, this week, the IPO had two members join that some readers may recognize.

On Tuesday August 4th, the Bend Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel on the IPO, featuring IPO Secretary Sal Peralta, IPO Counsel Robert Harris, Rep. Knute Buehler and Sen. Betsy Johnson. During the presentation Bend City Councilperson and former Republican State Senator Chris Telfer casually mentioned from the audience during the Q and A session that she was now an IPO member. In 2012 Telfer was beaten in a contested primary by social conservative Republican Tim Knopp. One of the many recent moderate Republican casualties to the GOP’s rightward drift.

Also this week, 2008 GOP nominee for Secretary of State Rick Dancer (He faced Kate Brown in that election), announced on his blog that he had joined the IPO. Dancer’s 2008 platform was relatively moderate and included making the Secretary of State position non partisan and open primaries. Making him an early proponent of election reform and Democracy protection.

Voters say they want a third party, but are very wary of third parties since historically most have been more radical than the Democrats or Republicans. So credibility for any party claiming to be that mythical “Third Party” is crucial. There are two reasons to believe the IPO may be that mythical Third Party. First more independents, Democrats and Republicans are joining the IPO, so it stands to reason that the party will become relatively centrist as more people join. There just aren’t 110,000 radical voters in Oregon. All other minor parties combined together only number less than 43,000. Those are the more radical thinkers. Meanwhile the GOP and Democratic Party continue to drift right and left respectively. So most voters who join the IPO are clearly not far left or far right, nor feel well represented by the GOP and Democratic Party. Who does that leave? Moderate centrists. And now more well known community leaders are joining the IPO which imparts a stamp of approval to voters. So voters are coming around to the realization that this time, just maybe, there really is a realistic third party choice for Oregon voters and independents.

The IPO as a nascent party that will need care and attention from it’s members. But it is showing great signs of promise.

Transpartisan

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I was putting together one article, and stumbled on this topic instead. And I think it describes beautifully what the Independent Party is attempting to bring to the political table.

The term “Transpartisanship” has emerged to provide a meaningful alternative to “Bipartisanship,” and “Nonpartisanship.” Bipartisanship limits the dialogue process to two political viewpoints or entities, striving for compromise solutions. Nonpartisanship, on the other hand, tends to deny the existence of differing viewpoints in exchange for cooperation. Both the bipartisan and nonpartisan approaches can discount the multiplicity of viewpoints that exist, which often results in incomplete and therefore unsuccessful outcomes. In contrast to these, transpartisanship recognizes the existence and validity of many points of view, and advocates a constructive dialogue aimed at arriving at creative, integrated, and therefore, breakthrough solutions that meet the needs of all present.

The IPO doesn’t reject ideology or attempt to ignore the fact that ideology will always exist. In fact ideology is the root of many good and novel ideas and solutions. However, an idealogue – whether conservative or liberal – accepts that political critique must take place on the enlightened grounds of the search for human happiness needs based on the use of reason.

On the other hand, a politically orthodox person may reject compromise and even debate and discussion because they believe there is a transcendent order based on some higher moral authority, and to compromise that order – despite the well reasoned arguments of others – is not possible because reason can’t trump their belief and faith. There can be little compromise with a politically orthodox person.

Bi partisanship relagates the search for better government to a binary argument, where unique solutions are set aside as the two sides coalesce around the most common position. (or the position of the largest and most powerful within the coalition.) Regardless, it results in only two viable solutions.

Non partisanship must fail because it refuses to acknowledge that there are consequential ideological differences within our political system, and without honoring, acknowledging and making provisions for those differences, honorable compromise is unlikely.

The Independent Party, knowingly or not, seems to be a transpartisan political movement. Member surveys have identified four areas that have widespread support among it’s membership. Membership that includes voters from the liberal to conservative ends of the traditional spectrum.

Government has a vital role to play in the marketplace in protecting the little guy from the big guys (consumer protection)
Government has a vital role to play in economic development, but any government benefit to a business must return as much to the taxpayer as it costs. (Taxpayer Return on Investment)
We must reduce the power of money in politics. Campaign finance reform
We should increase job training and education to meet the changing needs of our economy.

By refusing to adopt positions on hot button issues, the IPO has rejected orthodoxy from the political right and left. The IPO doesn’t deny those are important issues to some of the politically orthodox. It just accepts the ideological divide on some issues and that enlightened reason won’t solve a disagreement based on political orthodoxy. But the IPO acting as transpartisan still understands our need to work together on solutions that we do agree on. The IPO doesn’t limit itself to exploring the Republican or Democratic solutions, goals, or ideology only. Campaign finance reform is more of a Progressive Party issue than a Democratic priority. And Taxpayer return on investment is closer to Libertarian model of refraining from interfering in the market through government action, than it is to the Republican platform of granting tax breaks to any big business that asks.

The IPO is an emerging major party. There should be no expectation that because it hit major party status in February 2015 that it also has the same funding, infrastructure and candidate pool that the other major parties have. Developing membership, local member infrastructure, candidate recruitment, and a political bench will take some time. So chillax for a bit and let things develop.

But, if the IPO is transpartisan, you should eventually expect to see non orthodox IPO candidates that span the ideological spectrum *. Candidates pledged to working together for the common good using enlightened reasoning. You should expect to see right of center IPO candidates in the red districts, and left leaning candidates in the blue districts. In fact, you could see a far left candidate as an IPO candidate in a deep blue district if the Democratic candidate there was seen as a TPP backing, CRC spending, Tax Break giving traditional Democrat.

Money hardball ahead

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GoLocalpdx.com is a startup online news site. Every Friday they publish a who’s hot and who’s not column by Douglas Fasching.

In todays column Senator Richard Devlin is skewered as a “not hot” because Devlin has signaled his intent to run for Secretary of State and:

“The speculation is that he is not giving up his Senate seat while he runs for higher office. He intends to hold onto his leadership role whilst campaigning. While it is not required to give up one’s seat, it is still poor form. Lastly, the rumor has him intending to dip into his campaign war chest to finance his campaign. A war chest that now stands at about 272k. Money he raked in by being the 3rd most powerful person in the Senate chairing the most powerful committee in the legislature. Money that should be going to help get other Dem Senators elected not financing your own aspirations. Using your position and a shit-ton of money to deter others from jumping in a race really isn’t fair. Nobody likes a bully”

Bam!

Who could have “speculated”? Who could whispered to Mr. Fasching the “rumor” that Devlin’s dipping into his campaign war chest to conduct his campaign? Who would have the motive to do that?

The Devlin spot ends with “Cheer up, Val, at least you don’t have a recall to deal with.” So apparently Someone named Val who was recently facing a recall was on Mr. Faschings mind when he wrote the article. For some reason.

This story could have been suggested to Mr. Fasching by someone partly as a response the Oregonian article about Hoyle’s announcement. That article tells the story of Hoyle starting well behind potential rivals for the SoS office Devlin and current Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian in the money race (Hoyle has only $30,000 on hand versus Devlin’s $272,000 and Avakian’s $133,000)

If there’s one thing you need to have in Oregon’s no holes barred campaign finance and spending anarchy, its a boatload of money. And money attracts money. Anyone starting with a real and significant deficit of money may quickly fall behind in a race. No one wants to be on the losing team. And while one way to compete is to raise money, the other way is to see if you can keep your opponent from raising – or using – money, by for instance shaming them into limiting the use of their campaign treasury.

So, while we don’t know who planted the seed for the GoLocalPDX story, we can draw reasonable inferences.

With the real meaningful political races in Oregon now being waged in the Primaries, we can expect some real hardball between Democrats. And some players are more willing to slide hard into second with their spikes up.

IPO on the edge

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The May, 2015 voter registration statistics were posted by the Secretary of State, and because of the IPOnormal May off year election inactive voter purges, the IPO numbers shrank. The IPO is now only 72 members above the Major Party status mark. Another month like May and the IPO will lose the right to be on the May 2016 primary ballot. Remember, the IPO opened it’s primary to non affiliated voters, so that means that if the IPO loses 72 members between now and August 15th, 2015, over 640,000 oregon voters, or about 30% lose the right to vote in the May primary.

Are The Democrats and Governor Brown, who passed the Motor voter law to get more voters registered concerned? Yes the are. They are concerned that the IPO will maintain major party status and are doing everything they can – even making league with their Republican Party opponents – to kill the IPO. And in effect, take a vote away from 640,000 Oregonians.

First the Oregon House Rules committee, chaired by a State legislator who thinks she should in charge of all Oregon elections, ambushed IPO leaders when she called a hearing – with less than 48 hours notice to the IPO – to examine major party organizations and how they engage their members. You can bet the Democratic and Republican party leaders were given plenty of notice of the hearing and subject matter.

That hearing was followed within 24 hours by a joint Democratic and Republican press release that claimed to prove that the IPO was a fake party. A March 2015 (!) poll paid for by the Democrats showed that over half of IPO members know they are IPO members. This actually disproves what Democratic operatives have been claiming for YEARS; that almost all IPO members mistakenly joined the IPO when they thought they were registering as not affiliated with any party. The Poll actually shows that only 24% of IPO members thought they were registering a non affiliated. No wonder the Democrats didn’t release this poll in March. The timing of the poll also shows it was commissioned shortly after the IPO reached major party status. No coincidence that.

The Democrats in particular are very concerned that the IPO could shake things up. Because right now things are working very well for them, and change brings uncertainties and unkowns. But IPO leaders and Democratic operatives have been aware of the dynamic the IPO could bring to Oregon elections for some time and how it could threaten the Democratic party’s special interests grip on power. Particularly the Public employee unions grip. And It’s why for the past few years as the IPO has grown, it’s the DPO that has become it’s main adversary.

Todays (July 3rd, 2015) Oregonian Editorial Board praised the IPO and encouraging non affiliated voters, and disenchanted voters of all parties to join the IPO in order to preserve the IPO’s major party status. It recognized that given the current state of the law, and with Democrats in control of the legislature, the IPO offers the only way independent voters can participate in the May primary. And make no mistake, in Oregon’s highly gerrymandered state, in 90% of al legislative races, and all of the statewide races, and all of the federal races, t’s the primary elections that decide who will be elected in November.

In fact, the OEBs argument on the importance of the IPO maintaining major party status was so compelling that several people who commented after reading the opinion volunteered that they had just registered with the IPO. And not one to ignore his own advice, the presumed author of the opinion, OEB Editor Erik Lukens, also posted that he had registered with the IPO to help preserve its major party status.