Thursday, February 23, 2006

WA County Dems: Rev Sorenson preaches to the choir

Last night I attended my very first Washington County Democrats Central Committee Meeting. I'm usually not one to participate in this kind of stuff because to be honest, normally its boring as hell. But since I knew goobernatorial candidate Pete Sorenson was planning to speak, I set my Ti-Vo to record American Idol and ventured out to the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue building in Aloha for the meeting.

First impression: great turnout. I'm terrible at crowd estimation so I'm not going to venture a guess at the number. But it was good sized room, butts in every available seat with almost all the available standing room taken.

After a quick going over of business, Chairwoman Lupita Maurer introduced Sorenson.

Pete Sorenson

Pete is a very mild mannered looking guy. His look kind of reminds me a little of Clark Kent--subdued and even a little brainiac. But then he started speaking to the crowd..using an inflection and tone reminiscent of a fire and brimstone preacher giving the business to the Sunday sinners. Pete is an unabashed liberal who loves Oregon. He speaks with a fiery passion about our state.

Sorenson was given just a brief time to speak and then answer questions. He really only managed to cover one main idea: tax reform. After rattling off a laundry list of negative statistics involving the current goobernor. He clearly had at least partial support with the crowd for his anti-Kulingoski rhetoric. With a caveat however: If not chosen in the primary, Sorenson vowed to support the Democratic candidate.

Also on the speaking docket last night was attorney Dan Meeks. Meeks showed up to advocate for Measures 8 and 37. Meek is an eloquent speaker who makes very sound points about campaign finance issues here in Oregon. However after having read the list of groups concerned about these measures, it will take a lot more convincing by Meek to get me on board.

Finally, Sarah Thompson of the SEIU Make Health Care Work Campaign addressed the crowd. SEIU wants Metro to create a Community Health Care Needs Board that would create a Comprehensive Community Health Plan to assess regional health care needs. The Board would also generate a Health Care Impact Statement before new facilities are built or existing ones closed.

This meeting was full of the kind of passion and energy that large groups of progressives tend to generate. Unfortunately I had to jet out early before the meeting was completed. But I left with a sense of spiritual uplift--the good guys really do have great ideas. Most of all though, they have an amazing passion for their liberal beliefs.