This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 9, 2006 1:41 AM. The previous post in this blog was Two thumbs up for "Varekai". The next post in this blog is Tax teaser. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, April 9, 2006

The party's over

The election's drawing near. The press calls it "the May 16 primary," but that's bogus, because here in Oregon, everyone votes by mail (even dead people, I suspect). The ballots will go out to the voters beginning on April 28, and lots of folks will turn them back in way before the May 16 deadline.

Which reminds me: Kulongoski? Hill? Zzzzz. I'd rather sign a petition for Ben Westlund. But if you want to make that signature count, as explained here, you have to either (a) drop out of any organized political party by April 25 (two weeks from this coming Tuesday) or (b) refrain from voting at all, on anything, in the primary.

Since there's no Democratic Party primary race that I give two hoots about this year (or most years, for that matter), I'm there:

If you're up for the same, you can go here and get the form.

Comments (40)

I couldn't tell you whether I am marked off as a Democrat or Libertarian or "Not a member of a party" because I don't know. If my own party affiliation is just a useless piece trivia to me does that mean I am apolitical?

I am partial to Ralph's characterization of the two-headed-snake party. There should be a radio button (a one and only one choice, in geek talk and Apple's user interface guidelines) for anti-two-headed-snake.

I am pro-individual-consent.
I am . . .
. . .

Have you seen the Westlund polling yet? I know it's way early, but he seems to hurt D's way more than he does R's. I know I'm in exile up here, but I'd still rather see four more years of Ted than four years of Larry Campbell.

Due to several factors, including this BLOG (my favorite), I switched to independant 6 weeks ago. My vote has been for democrats 99% of the time since 1980 when I was 18.

I agree that Kujo's record over the last 3+ years has been pretty weak, and I would like to see a stronger leader in the Gov's office. I plan on signing that petition for Westlund, but as Chris states above, I will have to think long and hard if it comes to voting in November if a vote for Westlund means helping a republican win the office.

Yeah, Westlund's pulling more from Dems right now because... let's be honest... they know who their nominee is going to be. So all of the Dems who aren't thrilled with Ted are low-hanging fruit for Westlund.

After the primary, the dejected second-place Republican supporters will be choice pickings.

I "declared my independence" a couple of months ago... I have voted Dem 100% of the time in tyhe past, but I think this year it's almost laughable to do so.

Westlund is flavor of the month...he'll be stuck at in the teens through November, never rising above 20%. But he'll help Mannix win. Frankly, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have an R in the gov seat for awhile - the D's have held it too long and have become complacent (and whiny - er, whinier). I want to see all the Dems who whined about Teddy K enjoy 4 years of Mannix. Make it happen, Jack! Pump up the Westlund!

I have been meaning to get to this; thanks for making it easy for us. And I would rather see a Republican in the Gov's office than anymore Goldscmidt machine shenanigans. I'll be independent for now and may consider a third party at some point, but it will take a miracle to bring me back to the Dems.

What the state needs is Atkinson for Governor. Hes alot better then the 2 other republicrat canidates who are just slugging it out with one another and would make a lot better governor then Teddy K.

It seems Atkinson is the only one in the race running a clean campaign... running on what he stands for not what the other canidates dont stand for.

What the state needs is Atkinson for Governor.

And put Perry in charge of the state? Atkinson will be toast once his social agenda and that of his mentor come to light.

You can print Ben's petition here.

what social agenda? That hes pro life? Teddy K is pro choice has he done anything for a womens right to choose... no. Will Atkinson do anything for the life... no. What Atkinson has a positive message!

Atkinson has been the canidate ahead of the fight for Jessica Law something Teddy K obviously doesnt care to pass. What will Atkinson be doing in the special session pushing Jessica Law.

What I like about Atkinson he has great leadership qualities. Something this governor doesnt have.

Jack - Thanks to your nudge, I dropped out as a life-long R a week ago. Certainly for more reasons than just the local (Oregon) political posture.

I too would like to vote for the Bendsman, but where are the petitions? Is it true that I cannot vote at all in the primary? Perhaps I'm not the only one who needs a little more clarification on the proceedures.

Jerry: You can get a petition on Westlund's site.


They don't care if you send back a petition with just one signature... it's pretty easy. Or spend a few minutes and get a few friends to sign, too. That's what I plan to do. I have plenty of friends who don't care enough to vote in the primary but trust my judgement enough to sign a petition I hand them. Maybe you do, too?

But even if not, just register and download a petition and send it back with a single signature!

Jerry, oh and as to the rest of your question: If you are registered to a specific party, you can not vote in the primary (or, you can, but it will invalidate your signature). You can not even vote in non-partisan races like city council. You can not even return a blank ballot. If you are registered independent, you are allowed to vote in the primary.

Those are the officials rules according to the Secretary of State.

So, wait a minute. Jack and others are going to spend the May primary signing for Westlund versus voting for Lister and Fritz?

That seems pretty contrary to what seems to get people around here most bent out of shape - city government. The gov chair is important, but fairly removed from the actual mechanics of policy - the legislature and ballot meaures are filters. Whereas votes for city council have DIRECT impact on spending and policy.

May could be the ONLY chance to vote for Lister and Fritz. If they miss the runoff by a few hundred votes, but Westlund gets on the ballot only to come in third in November, will it have been worth it?

No, Sirajul, you're missing the point -- actually, a couple of points.

All primary votes count, no matter what you do.

But if you vote in the primary while you're still a member of a party, your signature on a petition for Westlund doesn't count.

By becoming an independent, I still get to vote in all the nonpartisan races in the primary, just not the partisan ones like state representative (no real race where I live). And my signature on a Westlund petition will count.

It's a screwed up system, and likely unconstitutional, but that's what our leaders in Salem came up with last year.

Aaaaaa...that is really weird. But OK.

Westlund still won't win, but I wish him luck in draining votes from Ted. ;)

I hope he draws enough from Ted and enough from Saxton to win. Because either one of those two is four more years of Goldschmidt.

Word on the street is that Kevin Mannix is putting up the initial funds for Ben's run, because Kevin (and others here have noted) a run by Ben hurts the "D" candidate more than the "R" candidate. Like the Libertarian candidate Tom Cox did four years ago to Kevin's campaign.

Ben knows he can't win, him and Kevin voted alike for years, and Ben has been promised a cush job if Kevin wins.

I think Ted has awoken from his three year slumber this year, but he just does not do enough as Guv. He is the lesser evil of the Jason, Ron, Jim (hey what I have I been doing the last four years), Kevin, and Peter choices though.

Ah...Governor Mannix! That will be sweet... ;)

Interesting how the world turns. It wasn't that long ago (well, a couple decades) that Goldschmidt was our poster boy for liberal progressive politics in Oregon. For a lot of us he was the best reason we were Dems and then he became just another one of many reasons we fell from the partisan ranks. Kulongoski is a pale, actually transparent, imitation of the early Goldschmidt and it's hard not to see him and not
think about what his administration could/should have been.

Regarding Westlund, I'm starting to believe that he has a reasonable chance given the confusion and contention in both parties. For the Republicans Mannix is far from having a lock on the nomination - this mornings front page article in the O is just the start and I think the next few weeks will show that he's not particulary strong in either the conservative or liberal wings of the party. Between Ron and Kevin is Ben and there's a lot of comfort there for the mainstream Rs.

Will Atkinson do anything for the life... no.

Interesting. So you're saying if SCOTUS overturns Roe and sends the issue back to the states that Governor Atkinson won't advocate for a ballot initiative to outlaw abortion in Oregon?

Atkinson won't advocate for a ballot initiative to outlaw abortion in Oregon?

Of course he would. He was on Nick Fish this morning and he was very Christian fundamentalist in the values he was espousing.

Yeah, but then Oregonians will pass a ballot measure to overturn it, just like SD is doing. If by some miracle, Atkinson got elected governor (won't happen) and the legislature went along (wouldn't happen - GOP would kiss suburban legislature seats goodbye), it would send everyone hysterically (and rightly so) to the petition lines.

So, really, we're talking about a 0.00000001% chance of dealing with this.

First off that lost poll out had Atkinson as the best shot at beating Teddy K (12% behind) which isnt bad because people who dont follow politics like we do. Dont know who he is.

Its funny how liberals think Mannix is the closet to winning the nomination when its the farthest from the truth. Mannix placed 3rd at Dorchester, Saxton only beat Atkinson by a few votes. And Dorchester is a moderate convention. Atkinson just picked up the Oregon Farm Bureau endorsement. Well Saxton can spend millions of dollars he isnt gaining traction. If Mannix drops out of the race which he may, he will endore Atkinson and he will win the noimination in a landslide. All Im saying is dont rule out Atkinson he has the support nationally something the other two dont have.

Onto the abortion thing if it came to the desk... yes he would sign it, he is pro life. But will it come to his desk more then likely no. The people who are very pro choice wont vote for him anyways.

I still dont know a Republican who is supporting Ben. If you look at what he supports he is pretty left. IMO Ben will take more votes anyway from Teddy K then the republican nominee.

Lets just remember we have a worse economy then Louisana... and Teddy K deserves his job back?

Here's what I think:

If Mannix gets the nom, he's not so scary to Dems, a few of whom will then flitter away from Ted to Ben.

But if Atkinson gets the nom - whoa nelly. Westlund basically becomes a luxury Dems can't afford. You will see most Dems flock back to Ted.

I'm not saying I want Ted to get re-elected, this is just what I think will happen. We shall see. And we'll know who's getting that nom in a few weeks anyway.

I fuzzily recall that Oregon has an absurdly high indy political rate (I think its 22% of voters?), so a few factors might nudge that number to the point of being an exceptional factor in state-wide races (we already are to a point and we trend Demo, but we know a straight talker when we see one and Westlund certainly seems that way). Thats why I'm not discounting Westlund's campaign. I'm really pulling for the guy because, let's face it, the two major parties in this state have the same agenda anymore-- stay in office. Not good governance, not innovative government, just a central imperative to maintain power. (The initiative process has brought along any significant change in this state for many years.)

Once Upon A Time I registered as a Republican at 18. That was the early 80s. It didnt last long. The Repubs stopped being a fiscally conservative party way back during Reagan. I've always been socially liberal, so most people assume I'm a Libertarian, but those guys are a bit too optimistically dogmatic towards the perceived wonders of The Market. I'm realizing now that there are a lot of people like me in this state, but we don't have a political party here that articulates AND follows through on truly good governance. Westlund may be the first candidate we have seen in some time who appears to embody many of things we'd like to see supported. I could be wrong. He could become something else in office. Happens all the time. But with the known quantities of the Repub and Demo options, I'm willing to bet this guy is a better risk.

I've heard plenty of time how an Indy governor cant get anything done (see: Jessie Ventura) because he doesn't have a party using the machinations to get things done. True, he doesnt have that system. But I think its clear that such a system is the problem in the first place. An indy guv would put the spotlight on that situation. Who knows-- maybe it'd shake things up enough to get something, anything done in the legislature.

Probably not, but I'm voting my conscious with Westlund. I'd rather back an underdog than the two paralyzed parties in power.

I heard Sen Ben speak out here in The Middle Of Nowhere (tm) last week, and he was quite passionate. He is articulate and plain spoken. Kinda of the best of Bush and Kerry, without either one's problems. Bush is very like-able, but a simpleton. Kerry is very smart and nuanced, but grates on you like fingernails on chalkboards...such a pompous @ss. Sen Ben is smart (like Kerry), but you can actually like him (like some people like Bush, even while hating his policies).

Sen Ben is quick witted, with self deprecating humor, and yet he can spout details as well as the big picture. And credible, with his unbeatable slogan: I am the only one running who can reach across the isle and build a bridge that both Dems and Reps can walk together on.

Ask yourselves, can TeddyK do any better with a Rep House in Round Two? Can Gov Mannix sway a Dem Senate? Do we really want Four More Years of GridLock?

Sen Ben is like ExLax! If he wins, the power shifts to the moderate Dems and Reps in both houses, and the gridlock blockage is released, and things start moving again.

Uh, Harry, you're dreaming...

If Ben wins, there's no incentive for Dems or Reps to work with him. There's no incentive to compromise. The leaders (Brown/Minnis, or their ideologically sympathetic replacements) will try to placate their own people first. They have no reason to try to help an indy gov.

That's not to say you shouldn't vote for him. By all means, go ahead. Just don't expect Ben to be the magic elixir that suddenly causes people to let go of dearly held principles.

Thanks for the reminder and the link, Jack. This Democrat has been meaning to re-register as GOP in order to vote against Mannix, which the spouse and I just did with ease. We'll switch back to Dem after the primary.


So your a democrat registering as a Republican to vote against Mannix?

And Dorchester is a moderate convention.

Good one.

Robert, indeed so. In the context of elections this year, is the most I can do for my state.

Auggie, why would you do that? Why dont you let the republicans decide who they want and the democrats decide who they want. Then let the voters of Oregon decide. That isnt a very classy move. As much as I would like to vote for Pete Sorensen in the democrat party or as much as I would have liked to vote for Dennis Kuchinich in 04... it isnt my party. Show some more class!

As much as I dont care for Mannix and more then likely already dead in the water, I just dont think its your decision as a democrat to decide who the republicans should put up. Would be nice to rethink your position.


they did nominate the most moderate republican for governor. No matter how bad Saxton wants to run from it.

Good thing is the people who win Dorchester I dont believe have ever won the party nomination. Hopefully it stays like that. I really dont want to have to choose between Sleepy Ted and Saxton

People are free to register with whichever party they please, regardless of intent. I don't see anything wrong with Auggie's actions. I know plenty of other people who act similarly --- whether staunch partisans or independents.

Why is it not classy vote against someone rather than vote for someone? I think most people do feel it is a matter of picking the lesser of two evils when it comes to elections. I see nothing wrong with registering as one sees fit - whether it is with intent to vote for or vote against a candidate.

Just changed to "not affiliated" myself a couple of weeks ago, when I had to get a new driver license.

Started out as a Democrat when I was 18 ("Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart...") and switched to Republican several years back ("Any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains." -- Winston Churchill, the original flip-flopper...)

I've argued in the past for staying in a party structure to change it from within (the Republicans need change, and badly -- can't really speak to the other party) but at a certain point it just doesn't make sense to continue to associate with an organization that has drifted from your core values.

And perhaps that's the direction things are headed... where the traditional two-party system is less and less relevant to the population as a whole... though I'm not sure that's necessarily a good thing...

I sent mine in today.

Now I gotta get ahold of the Westlund campaign and see what the hell he's talking about in terms of tax reform.

It's a critical point with me.

My guest this Sunday on Outlook Portland is Sen. Ben Westlund.

We talk about his tax and health care proposals, civil unions, Julius Meier(the last independent governor), his campaign, his struggle to overcome cancer and substance abuse and much more.

Portland's WB, KWBP, 6:30 am, on Sunday April 16.

Nick Fish

Ben Westlund is building the campaign to win. At eight weeks on the campaign trail,contributions and pledges are over $350,000 in cash, in-kind and pledges, most since he entered the race eight weeks ago. And unlike some candidates, we have the support of lots of folks: 738 people and businesses.

Tuesday, we launched our first ad on TV! From the PR:

Gubernatorial Candidate, Ben Westlund (I-Bend) won’t be on the May primary ballot, but he hit the airwaves today with a positive new television commercial calling for Oregonians to “Declare Your Independence” and join him in rejecting partisan politics as usual. The ad, starting in the Portland market, features images and text about Oregon’s first Independent Governor, Julius Meier, who defied partisan politics to solve the state’s fiscal problems in the 1930s.

The ad closes with a call from Westlund to voters to “Declare Your Independence” by signing the petition to put him on the ballot in November. Watch the ad!

Westlund, who on February 14 of this year dropped his party affiliation and launched a run for Governor as an Independent, announced his Declare Your Independence Tour of Oregon during the primary season to meet with voters and work to gather the just over 18,000 signatures needed to secure his place on the ballot by August 29.

Upcoming events on the Declare Your Independence Tour include going door to door in Bend and Ashland and petition parties in Portland and Eugene. The campaign is seeking volunteer hosts around the state to help organize more events. See the calendar.

Under current Oregon election law the simplest way for voters to help get Westlund on the ballot is to drop their party registration by April 25 to sign his petition. This will allow them to receive a nonpartisan ballot in the Primary election to vote on important local issues and still have their signature count for Westlund.

To the tax reform question, see this March 5 Steve Duin column

You want tax reform? You want an end to this nickel-and-dime tinkering with a $1 billion problem? Then you best pay attention to Ben Westlund.

Westlund isn't listening to the consultants; neither is he interested in promoting a percentage of the state budget for education, which, Hass notes, is little more than a cynical ploy for political cover. Westlund has beaten the drum for serious tax reform for five years, ever since -- as chief budget writer in the House -- he oversaw the draconian budget cuts during the 2001 special sessions.

Westlund good luck... at least hes true to himself and sees hes not a republican. Better chance winning as an independent then in the republican primary.

I still say his shots are slim to win. Republicans will vote to toss Sleepy Ted out (voting republican nominee), Westlund will get a handful from everyone but will end up costing Teddy K his job.

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