Daily Archives: November 18, 2010

Obama, "The God of all Things?"

The next cover of Newsweek magazine, November 22, 2010

The pose might look familiar to some as it was copied from the Hindu God Shiva the Destroyer in the “Dance of Death.”

Who is Shiva? The third god of the Hindu trinity who is entrusted with the task of destruction, thereby enabling regeneration.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bruce McCain on Election Scandal: Disenfranchised by Multnomah County

In the November 17 Oregonian, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown and her Washington counterpart Sam Reed penned an editorial lauding the superiority of vote-by-mail over our former system of going to an actual polling place, where we showed our ID, cast our ballot, heard our name read from the roll, and watched our ballot deposited into a locked ballot box.
Brown and Reed claim that, “Vote-by-mail is also transparent. Our systems provide a paper trail allowing recounts to verify any outcome, including a hand recount of every single ballot if a race is ultra-close.” The irony of reading that statement left me simultaneously angry and frustrated since as of November 17, the elections officials in Multnomah County claim they never received ballots from my wife or me.


DID YOUR VOTE GET COUNTED? CHECK HERE.

Our Multnomah County elections experience began on October 15, when the county mailed our ballots to our home, which happens to be in Oregon house district 47. The ballot I received from Multnomah County had the race for house district 42 instead. Our ballots also were missing several other candidates and entire races.
I called MultCo elections and told them about the defective ballots we received. They acknowledged the mistake and insisted new ballots would be sent out, along with a warning not to return the defective ballots because they would not be accepted. We later received new ballots which we completed, and signed. However, instead of mailing them, my wife dropped them off on Wednesday, October 27 at the 24-hour ballot box at the Midland Branch Library in East Portland. That was a mistake.
Beginning the next day and continuing through election day, I checked the “My Vote” website to see if our ballots had been received. They had not. So I called MultCo elections officials and the answers were incompetent at best and frightful at worse. The first person I spoke to repeatedly asked me where we dropped off the ballots. Midland Branch Library was the answer each time. “Is that in Gresham?” came the reply. I hung up and redialed, hoping to get a county employee who knows Multnomah County geography.
The next person was very polite and reassuring. Her assurance came in the form of letting me know the ballots are quite secure, since they are locked inside the library at night. When I explained the Midland drop box is outside in the parking lot, she went silent and put me on hold. I hung up again.
The third person I spoke with again assured me that the reason my ballot had not been received is that they only pick up from that 24-hour box when it is full, usually on Friday. When I asked if that meant our ballots were sitting unattended in a parking lot drop box a few hundred feet from a Max stop and next door to an adult video store, he also put me on hold. I hung up.
On Tuesday, November 2, I checked the SOS web site again, finding no good news. So I called MultCo one last time to ask if we needed to rush down to election headquarters and hand over yet a third ballot for this election. I was told not to do that, and all was OK at MultCo elections. If we dropped our ballots into the Midland box they would eventually be received and tallied.
I then asked the employee why our ballots were not already received and tallied under HB 3451 (discussed in another blog entry here). The employee had no idea what I was talking about, but asked me to wait while he put me on hold. I hung up.
It’s now been more than two weeks since the general election and three weeks to the day of watching our ballots disappear into the black hole of Multnomah County Elections. The incompetence of printing and sending out defective ballots was followed by an appalling lack of understanding about where the ballot drop boxes are located and their security.
So when I finished reading Kate Brown’s self-congratulatory editorial about the virtues of vote-by-mail, I had to check her own website one more time. Sadly, the last entry is the October 15 mailing of the original defective ballot. So just in case the SOS may have missed something, I called MultCo elections one more time.
The nice lady who answered took my name and personal info and said our ballots were flagged as a “house error.” I asked her what that meant and she didn’t know. She asked a co-worker who said those were the defective ballots which were replaced. I replied I know all that, but I wanted to know what happened to the good ballots we dropped into the Midland drop box. She said their records show they never received our ballots.
I finally told her that I planned to write this story for a media blog and she might want to give county elections director Tim Scott ample warning. She put me on hold. I hung up.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: Told Ya! Oregon Insurance Costs UP UP UP Due to ObamaCare

Plenty of huffing and puffing about the evil corporations over at Blue Oregon over United Health’s request for a rate increase. Those of us who were paying attention to the ObamaCare promises versus what the market told us would happen laugh and shake our heads over their faux shock. Filing here

Rate Request:

 Proposed rate increase: 16.8 percent from one year earlier.

 Effective date: 2/1/2011

 Oregonians impacted: 14,068 (actual membership as of July 2010)

This isn’t a news flash. See this story here. Apparently United Healthcare of Connecticut is United Health.  This is the same United Health that was cooperating with the Obama Administration to get Obamacare approved in the Summer of 2009. 
Remember article from Business Week from August 2009? (Here) The article extensively covers United Health’s involvement in lobbying for the bill.  The article suggests they were cooperating with the Administration with a two fold objective, greater numbers of insureds to generate more premium dollars and secondly to lower reimbursements to existing insureds (and accordingly United’s costs).  

Here: “A fundamental question about the health overhaul is what minimal standards will apply to the coverage all Americans will be required to have. UnitedHealth has been exchanging a high volume of information on the topic with members of the Senate Finance Committee and their staff. Stevens, the former British health aide, regularly scans Power Point presentations generated by the committee staff that attempt to calculate the actuarial value of proposed benefit packages. Senators stung by the projected $1 trillion price tag are winnowing down the required coverage levels to cut costs. (emph mine)

And the bottom line:

This is good news for UnitedHealth, which benefits when patients pick up more of the tab. In late spring, the Finance Committee was assuming a 76% reimbursement rate on average, meaning consumers would be responsible for paying the remaining 24% of their medical bills, in addition to their insurance premiums. Stevens and his UnitedHealth colleagues urged a more industry-friendly ratio. Subsequently the committee reduced the reimbursement figure to 65%, suggesting a 35% contribution by consumers—more in line with what the big insurer wants. The final figures are still being debated.

 Also remember that during the Fall, 2009, Obama turned against the Health Insurers including United Health to try to garner more public support for his bill and the honeymoon between the United Health and Administration grew more tenuous.

 
Oregon leftists/progressives’ shock over the price increases is about as convincing as those phony photo op doctor’s coats over there. 
Pete the Banker

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Part Two: Oregon Urban Renewal Rips Off Schools

As I reported here and as I told you on the show last week, Portland Public Schools, which now float a half BILLION dollars in bonds have been deprived of literally hundreds of millions of dollars because of decades of urban renewal. Over the next five years PPS will lose $163,000,000.00 in money from property taxes because the planner class has decided to steal it from them. Catalyst is on the story here.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Obama, "The God of all Things?"

The next cover of Newsweek magazine, November 22, 2010

The pose might look familiar to some as it was copied from the Hindu God Shiva the Destroyer in the “Dance of Death.”

Who is Shiva? The third god of the Hindu trinity who is entrusted with the task of destruction, thereby enabling regeneration.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bruce McCain: Overcoming the Multnomah Effect

This is the third of a three part series from local attorney, Bruce McCain, on the effect of Multnomah County on state wide politics. See his other offerings here and here and also at the NW Connection here.

It’s now been two weeks since Oregon’s general election left our “ungovernable” state with John Kitzhaber as governor for the third time. Now the question for Oregonians who do not admit Sam Adams is their mayor is this: How long will they tolerate Portland’s monolithic, liberal Democratic machine to determine almost every statewide race in Oregon?
As seen in the latest gubernatorial race, it matters little what Oregon voters outside of Multnomah County have to say when it comes to statewide races. The Multnomah Effect – led by deep blue Portland – is simply the Democratic Party’s ace-in-the-hole that has determined (and drastically altered) the outcome of most statewide races the past decade.
 As of October 2010, Multnomah County had nearly 420,000 registered voters. The bulk of those voters reside in Portland, whose 201,000 registered Democrats dwarf the combined totals of the 74,000 non affiliated voters and 46,000 registered Republicans. Of course, every votes counts (presumably only once). And for Democratic candidates running for statewide office, there’s no place like home – particularly for those officials who hail from Portland such as Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Secretary of State Kate Brown, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and reportedly Ron Wyden.
This year’s gubernatorial race clearly showed the Multnomah Effect in action and how Oregon truly is polarized between a Portland-centric liberal enclave and a much more moderate remainder of the state. John Kitzhaber went to bed election night smiling and confident, though he faced a 14,000 vote deficit. He knew Multnomah County would carry him to victory and he was correct. Kitzhaber finally emerged with a narrow 49%-48% victory over Republican Chris Dudley. The governor-elect lost to Dudley in 29 of 36 counties even though Democrats enjoyed a voter registration edge of more than 200,000 statewide. But Kitzhaber decisively won the only county and city that seem to matter in Oregon politics.
In Multnomah County Kitzhaber captured 190,000 votes to Dudley’s 74,000. Subtract those totals from each candidate and Oregonians would have elected Chris Dudley by more than 100,000 votes. The Kitzhaber-Dudley race was hardly an anomaly. In 2002, Oregonians not living in Multnomah County preferred Kevin Mannix over Ted Kulongoski by 52,000 votes. But thanks to the Multnomah Effect, where Kulongoski outpolled Mannix 159,242 to 70,745, the Democrat won the governor’s race.
In his 2006 re-election campaign, Kulongoski beat Ron Saxton 699,786 to 589,748 thanks to a huge margin of 177,797 to 65,488 in Multnomah County. Subtract those numbers from both candidates and Governor Saxton would have succeeded Governor Mannix and Oregonians would have been spared the past eight years of Ted Kulongoski.
In 2008 Democrat Jeff Merkley dared to go where every other Democrat feared. Merkley took on incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Gordon Smith. Riding the wave of Obama-mania, Merkley upset Smith by just under 60,000 votes statewide. But Merkley outpolled Smith 242,000 to 96,000 in Multnomah County. So again, other than Multnomah County voters, all other Oregonians preferred Smith over Merkley by more than 85,000 votes.
Multnomah is one of 36 Oregon counties. If Oregon was a dog, it would be a freakish creature that tries to walk forward, but always ends up being dragged backwards by its oversized tail.  What can Oregonians in the other 35 counties do to counter the effect of Portland and Multnomah County on the state’s political culture? The answer lies in the results and aftermath of the 2010 state legislative races.
Republicans destroyed the Democratic supermajorities in both chambers, ending up with a 30-30 split in the house and narrow 16-14 deficit in the senate. As noted earlier, Matt Wand’s victory over Democratic incumbent Nick Kahl in HD 49 replanted the Republican flag in Multnomah County and revealed something about Multnomah County that may surprise some outside its boundaries: voters in Multnomah County who live east of I-205 tend to vote more like the rest of Oregon than like their über-leftist Portland cousins.
East Multnomah County’s voting tendencies can be traced back to the Portland annexations of the mid-1980’s and early 1990’s. Many residents in mid-Multnomah County resented Portland’s annexation of their neighborhoods and do not identify with the politics of Sam Adams and the Portland city council. Meanwhile, the cities of Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview and Wood Village have long complained than the downtown governments of Portland and Multnomah County have ignored their needs for years. Just as the rest of Oregon feels helpless against Multnomah County, many county residents living east of I-205 feel helpless against the overwhelmingly liberal politics of Portland.
Oregon conservatives and independents must realize that Portland will remain a deeply liberal and powerful political influence on Oregon politics for the foreseeable future. The goal, therefore, is not to change Portland, but to limit its influence on the rest of the state. The 2010 legislative races laid a strong foundation upon which to improve in 2012, when Oregonians outside of Portland can send a decisive message that the dog intends to control its tail.
The key battleground areas in 2012 will be the metropolitan suburban areas of Clackamas and Washington counties, which saw key GOP wins in 2010. Visually, the objective is to surround Portland’s blue liberalism with a red quarantine wall built on the principles than propelled the GOP to its historic nationwide “shellacking” of Democrats in 2010.
Washington County in particular will see heavy action in 2012 as the GOP seeks to advance from its outlying areas while inner Democratic strongholds adjacent to Portland will fiercely defend their turf. Helping to lead this suburban effort will be Rachel Lucas, wife of HD27 candidate Dan Lucas, who defeated 2002 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Tom Cox for the chair of the Washington County GOP. This key internal GOP election was a battle over the direction of the Republican Party in Oregon’s second most populous county. For those who celebrate the stunning Republican legislative wins, Rachel Lucas’s election is great news.
In Multnomah County, Jeff Reynolds was elected chair of the Multnomah County GOP, defeating an incumbent whose politics were virtually indistinguishable from most North Portland Democrats. Reynolds inherits a county apparatus that has been historically irrelevant in a county where non affiliated voters outnumber registered Republicans. But Reynolds also has a great opportunity to help solidify and build GOP support in east county, where the next major battles will occur in 2012. Meanwhile, Republicans surviving inside Portland city limits often feel like those vastly outnumbered souls trapped at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers, wondering from whence comes their help. To them Reynolds’ answer should be the same as Gandalf’s to Aragorn: “Look to the East…”
Bruce R. McCain
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bruce McCain on Election Scandal: Disenfranchised by Multnomah County

In the November 17 Oregonian, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown and her Washington counterpart Sam Reed penned an editorial lauding the superiority of vote-by-mail over our former system of going to an actual polling place, where we showed our ID, cast our ballot, heard our name read from the roll, and watched our ballot deposited into a locked ballot box.
Brown and Reed claim that, “Vote-by-mail is also transparent. Our systems provide a paper trail allowing recounts to verify any outcome, including a hand recount of every single ballot if a race is ultra-close.” The irony of reading that statement left me simultaneously angry and frustrated since as of November 17, the elections officials in Multnomah County claim they never received ballots from my wife or me.


DID YOUR VOTE GET COUNTED? CHECK HERE.

Our Multnomah County elections experience began on October 15, when the county mailed our ballots to our home, which happens to be in Oregon house district 47. The ballot I received from Multnomah County had the race for house district 42 instead. Our ballots also were missing several other candidates and entire races.
I called MultCo elections and told them about the defective ballots we received. They acknowledged the mistake and insisted new ballots would be sent out, along with a warning not to return the defective ballots because they would not be accepted. We later received new ballots which we completed, and signed. However, instead of mailing them, my wife dropped them off on Wednesday, October 27 at the 24-hour ballot box at the Midland Branch Library in East Portland. That was a mistake.
Beginning the next day and continuing through election day, I checked the “My Vote” website to see if our ballots had been received. They had not. So I called MultCo elections officials and the answers were incompetent at best and frightful at worse. The first person I spoke to repeatedly asked me where we dropped off the ballots. Midland Branch Library was the answer each time. “Is that in Gresham?” came the reply. I hung up and redialed, hoping to get a county employee who knows Multnomah County geography.
The next person was very polite and reassuring. Her assurance came in the form of letting me know the ballots are quite secure, since they are locked inside the library at night. When I explained the Midland drop box is outside in the parking lot, she went silent and put me on hold. I hung up again.
The third person I spoke with again assured me that the reason my ballot had not been received is that they only pick up from that 24-hour box when it is full, usually on Friday. When I asked if that meant our ballots were sitting unattended in a parking lot drop box a few hundred feet from a Max stop and next door to an adult video store, he also put me on hold. I hung up.
On Tuesday, November 2, I checked the SOS web site again, finding no good news. So I called MultCo one last time to ask if we needed to rush down to election headquarters and hand over yet a third ballot for this election. I was told not to do that, and all was OK at MultCo elections. If we dropped our ballots into the Midland box they would eventually be received and tallied.
I then asked the employee why our ballots were not already received and tallied under HB 3451 (discussed in another blog entry here). The employee had no idea what I was talking about, but asked me to wait while he put me on hold. I hung up.
It’s now been more than two weeks since the general election and three weeks to the day of watching our ballots disappear into the black hole of Multnomah County Elections. The incompetence of printing and sending out defective ballots was followed by an appalling lack of understanding about where the ballot drop boxes are located and their security.
So when I finished reading Kate Brown’s self-congratulatory editorial about the virtues of vote-by-mail, I had to check her own website one more time. Sadly, the last entry is the October 15 mailing of the original defective ballot. So just in case the SOS may have missed something, I called MultCo elections one more time.
The nice lady who answered took my name and personal info and said our ballots were flagged as a “house error.” I asked her what that meant and she didn’t know. She asked a co-worker who said those were the defective ballots which were replaced. I replied I know all that, but I wanted to know what happened to the good ballots we dropped into the Midland drop box. She said their records show they never received our ballots.
I finally told her that I planned to write this story for a media blog and she might want to give county elections director Tim Scott ample warning. She put me on hold. I hung up.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: Told Ya! Oregon Insurance Costs UP UP UP Due to ObamaCare

Plenty of huffing and puffing about the evil corporations over at Blue Oregon over United Health’s request for a rate increase. Those of us who were paying attention to the ObamaCare promises versus what the market told us would happen laugh and shake our heads over their faux shock. Filing here

Rate Request:

 Proposed rate increase: 16.8 percent from one year earlier.

 Effective date: 2/1/2011

 Oregonians impacted: 14,068 (actual membership as of July 2010)

This isn’t a news flash. See this story here. Apparently United Healthcare of Connecticut is United Health.  This is the same United Health that was cooperating with the Obama Administration to get Obamacare approved in the Summer of 2009. 
Remember article from Business Week from August 2009? (Here) The article extensively covers United Health’s involvement in lobbying for the bill.  The article suggests they were cooperating with the Administration with a two fold objective, greater numbers of insureds to generate more premium dollars and secondly to lower reimbursements to existing insureds (and accordingly United’s costs).  

Here: “A fundamental question about the health overhaul is what minimal standards will apply to the coverage all Americans will be required to have. UnitedHealth has been exchanging a high volume of information on the topic with members of the Senate Finance Committee and their staff. Stevens, the former British health aide, regularly scans Power Point presentations generated by the committee staff that attempt to calculate the actuarial value of proposed benefit packages. Senators stung by the projected $1 trillion price tag are winnowing down the required coverage levels to cut costs. (emph mine)

And the bottom line:

This is good news for UnitedHealth, which benefits when patients pick up more of the tab. In late spring, the Finance Committee was assuming a 76% reimbursement rate on average, meaning consumers would be responsible for paying the remaining 24% of their medical bills, in addition to their insurance premiums. Stevens and his UnitedHealth colleagues urged a more industry-friendly ratio. Subsequently the committee reduced the reimbursement figure to 65%, suggesting a 35% contribution by consumers—more in line with what the big insurer wants. The final figures are still being debated.

 Also remember that during the Fall, 2009, Obama turned against the Health Insurers including United Health to try to garner more public support for his bill and the honeymoon between the United Health and Administration grew more tenuous.

 
Oregon leftists/progressives’ shock over the price increases is about as convincing as those phony photo op doctor’s coats over there. 
Pete the Banker

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Part Two: Oregon Urban Renewal Rips Off Schools

As I reported here and as I told you on the show last week, Portland Public Schools, which now float a half BILLION dollars in bonds have been deprived of literally hundreds of millions of dollars because of decades of urban renewal. Over the next five years PPS will lose $163,000,000.00 in money from property taxes because the planner class has decided to steal it from them. Catalyst is on the story here.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bruce McCain: Overcoming the Multnomah Effect

This is the third of a three part series from local attorney, Bruce McCain, on the effect of Multnomah County on state wide politics. See his other offerings here and here and also at the NW Connection here.

It’s now been two weeks since Oregon’s general election left our “ungovernable” state with John Kitzhaber as governor for the third time. Now the question for Oregonians who do not admit Sam Adams is their mayor is this: How long will they tolerate Portland’s monolithic, liberal Democratic machine to determine almost every statewide race in Oregon?
As seen in the latest gubernatorial race, it matters little what Oregon voters outside of Multnomah County have to say when it comes to statewide races. The Multnomah Effect – led by deep blue Portland – is simply the Democratic Party’s ace-in-the-hole that has determined (and drastically altered) the outcome of most statewide races the past decade.
 As of October 2010, Multnomah County had nearly 420,000 registered voters. The bulk of those voters reside in Portland, whose 201,000 registered Democrats dwarf the combined totals of the 74,000 non affiliated voters and 46,000 registered Republicans. Of course, every votes counts (presumably only once). And for Democratic candidates running for statewide office, there’s no place like home – particularly for those officials who hail from Portland such as Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Secretary of State Kate Brown, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and reportedly Ron Wyden.
This year’s gubernatorial race clearly showed the Multnomah Effect in action and how Oregon truly is polarized between a Portland-centric liberal enclave and a much more moderate remainder of the state. John Kitzhaber went to bed election night smiling and confident, though he faced a 14,000 vote deficit. He knew Multnomah County would carry him to victory and he was correct. Kitzhaber finally emerged with a narrow 49%-48% victory over Republican Chris Dudley. The governor-elect lost to Dudley in 29 of 36 counties even though Democrats enjoyed a voter registration edge of more than 200,000 statewide. But Kitzhaber decisively won the only county and city that seem to matter in Oregon politics.
In Multnomah County Kitzhaber captured 190,000 votes to Dudley’s 74,000. Subtract those totals from each candidate and Oregonians would have elected Chris Dudley by more than 100,000 votes. The Kitzhaber-Dudley race was hardly an anomaly. In 2002, Oregonians not living in Multnomah County preferred Kevin Mannix over Ted Kulongoski by 52,000 votes. But thanks to the Multnomah Effect, where Kulongoski outpolled Mannix 159,242 to 70,745, the Democrat won the governor’s race.
In his 2006 re-election campaign, Kulongoski beat Ron Saxton 699,786 to 589,748 thanks to a huge margin of 177,797 to 65,488 in Multnomah County. Subtract those numbers from both candidates and Governor Saxton would have succeeded Governor Mannix and Oregonians would have been spared the past eight years of Ted Kulongoski.
In 2008 Democrat Jeff Merkley dared to go where every other Democrat feared. Merkley took on incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Gordon Smith. Riding the wave of Obama-mania, Merkley upset Smith by just under 60,000 votes statewide. But Merkley outpolled Smith 242,000 to 96,000 in Multnomah County. So again, other than Multnomah County voters, all other Oregonians preferred Smith over Merkley by more than 85,000 votes.
Multnomah is one of 36 Oregon counties. If Oregon was a dog, it would be a freakish creature that tries to walk forward, but always ends up being dragged backwards by its oversized tail.  What can Oregonians in the other 35 counties do to counter the effect of Portland and Multnomah County on the state’s political culture? The answer lies in the results and aftermath of the 2010 state legislative races.
Republicans destroyed the Democratic supermajorities in both chambers, ending up with a 30-30 split in the house and narrow 16-14 deficit in the senate. As noted earlier, Matt Wand’s victory over Democratic incumbent Nick Kahl in HD 49 replanted the Republican flag in Multnomah County and revealed something about Multnomah County that may surprise some outside its boundaries: voters in Multnomah County who live east of I-205 tend to vote more like the rest of Oregon than like their über-leftist Portland cousins.
East Multnomah County’s voting tendencies can be traced back to the Portland annexations of the mid-1980’s and early 1990’s. Many residents in mid-Multnomah County resented Portland’s annexation of their neighborhoods and do not identify with the politics of Sam Adams and the Portland city council. Meanwhile, the cities of Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview and Wood Village have long complained than the downtown governments of Portland and Multnomah County have ignored their needs for years. Just as the rest of Oregon feels helpless against Multnomah County, many county residents living east of I-205 feel helpless against the overwhelmingly liberal politics of Portland.
Oregon conservatives and independents must realize that Portland will remain a deeply liberal and powerful political influence on Oregon politics for the foreseeable future. The goal, therefore, is not to change Portland, but to limit its influence on the rest of the state. The 2010 legislative races laid a strong foundation upon which to improve in 2012, when Oregonians outside of Portland can send a decisive message that the dog intends to control its tail.
The key battleground areas in 2012 will be the metropolitan suburban areas of Clackamas and Washington counties, which saw key GOP wins in 2010. Visually, the objective is to surround Portland’s blue liberalism with a red quarantine wall built on the principles than propelled the GOP to its historic nationwide “shellacking” of Democrats in 2010.
Washington County in particular will see heavy action in 2012 as the GOP seeks to advance from its outlying areas while inner Democratic strongholds adjacent to Portland will fiercely defend their turf. Helping to lead this suburban effort will be Rachel Lucas, wife of HD27 candidate Dan Lucas, who defeated 2002 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Tom Cox for the chair of the Washington County GOP. This key internal GOP election was a battle over the direction of the Republican Party in Oregon’s second most populous county. For those who celebrate the stunning Republican legislative wins, Rachel Lucas’s election is great news.
In Multnomah County, Jeff Reynolds was elected chair of the Multnomah County GOP, defeating an incumbent whose politics were virtually indistinguishable from most North Portland Democrats. Reynolds inherits a county apparatus that has been historically irrelevant in a county where non affiliated voters outnumber registered Republicans. But Reynolds also has a great opportunity to help solidify and build GOP support in east county, where the next major battles will occur in 2012. Meanwhile, Republicans surviving inside Portland city limits often feel like those vastly outnumbered souls trapped at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers, wondering from whence comes their help. To them Reynolds’ answer should be the same as Gandalf’s to Aragorn: “Look to the East…”
Bruce R. McCain
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com