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Posts published in “Day: July 14, 2015”

Money hardball ahead

harrislogo1 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”


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.

First take

Good history often has resonance today, and so it is with a piece today in the Daily Beast, which concerns the Confederacy and how people - especially the British - saw it at the time, and some of the lessons we might draw from it today. The battle flag defenders do have one point, that the past isn't entirely gone ("it isn't even past," as that southerner Bill Faulkner said). But what points should be taken from it?

Writer Christopher Dickey, who notes that he's not only a southerner and a war correspondent but the father of a soldier, discusses a new book about the British secret agent situated in the South as the Civil War unfolded, who was horrified at what he saw.

"One of the most shameful aspects of the American Civil War," Dickey wrote, "is that hundreds of thousands of men and many women in the Confederacy gave their lives in a fight to defend the interests of a small slave-holding elite that had used its money, its control of politics and the press, the exploitation of racism and fear, and a shrewd if sickening appeal to status to mobilize the masses and then lead them to destruction."

What did the British really think of the South (with whom they often were said to have some sympathy)? Agent Robert Bunch wrote, among other things, "The frightful evil of the system is that it debases the whole tone of society — for the people talk calmly of horrors which would not be mentioned in civilized society."

Dickey concludes with the Civil War in mind, "Let’s remember that almost all wars are launched by ambitions, miscalculations, and grand illusions cherished by a few at the expense of the many. Perhaps the Confederate monuments will remind us we should be wiser about what wars we fight in the future." One can hope. But the chances don't improve with the still-large number of people deluded about what the Confederacy was.