Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BONUS Spanning the State--Campaign Roundup Edition!

As kind of a mid-week, humpday get-you-by treat, here's a special Spanning the State that focuses only on candidate news and endorsements. Alone with my thoughts, I call it the "news whiparound," but we call it Spanning the State, and that's what we'll do...

  • Starting with the big race, the goobernatorial event, we have two editorial entries that don't make an endorsement, but try to stack up the candidates and compare them. The Statesman-Journal in Salem, which fittingly has provided the best political coverage in the state, has a solid rundown of the two big horses, with sidebar profiles of the minor candidates. Ashland's Tidings does sort of the same thing, but in more of a throw-up-the-hands-and-harumph way, essentially calling the whole process a worthless exercise. I guess it is when you put out a newspaper and you think your Governor spells his name "Kulongowski."

  • The S-J also has a fine article on the money angle of the HD 21 race between Brian Clem and Billy Dalto, and also Senate 10 where Paul Evans has outraised and spent Jackie Winters. And oh yes--they like Clem in the 21st.

  • The news is good for Democrats in the swing areas of Tigard and Stayton. Republicans hold a registration advantage in both, but Democrats are being seen as favorable change agents, whether it's incumbent Larry Galizio in southwest Portland Metro or challenger Dan Thackaberry in the north Santiam area. Note in particular the way in which the Tigard paper correctly dopes out challenger Shirley Parsons' fronting of a slash and burn candidacy that Chuck Adams is literally running from his own offices with at least half a dozen other candidates, all paying big sums to Adams and Gateway Communications. To us, this is the story of the state elections: has anyone in the traditional media (besides the Tigard Review) figured out that the Republican Party has put a bunch of robots into candidacies, all being controlled by a smear merchant supermanager who is making a fucking killing on the deal, win or lose?

  • Another smaller paper making the big boys look bad on state politics is the McMinnville Register. They cover both the money angle in HD 24 (Peralta's got $12,000 and incumbent Nelson plans to spend less than $2,000--take that, Minnis and Brading!), and a recent community forum in which, wonder upon wonder, "differences emerged."

  • The Oregonian likes the power structure*, and it's no offense to Jeff Merkley, who really is all the good things they say about him--but here's their unsurprising endorsement of the man who could be the new House Speaker or Majority Leader, the four term incumbent. They're right; they're just predictable.

  • What was I saying about predictable? They also give the thumbs up to all five current federal Representatives, in varying stages of non-competitiveness for their races. The O does manage an attempt to inject more life into Earl Blumenauer's race however, giving him Republican Bruce Broussard as an opponent when Broussard was actually disqualified, as their own staff reported in March. For reporting of substance on one of the races, the Roseburg News-Review covers a Feldkamp-DeFazio debate where they "duke it out." Apparently Feldkamp is trying to paint DeFazio of the landed gentry for his successful means--when Feldkamp is a freakin' trustafarian, for heaven's sake! Believe me, nobody likes a guy who is on an inheritance and whines about money.

You're up to date! Now go do the work to get your candidates elected.

*Don't believe me? It took someone living here a single month to figure out The O's incumbency bias...