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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Peter vs. Ted

A reader writes:

I've read your recent posts about the Gov., I have to say, I couldn't agree more. He's has done a terrible job with his first term, and I'm certain a second term would be just as bad. There has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the 2006 Governor's race, and who wil run. The only thing scarier then another 4 years of Ted is the thought that we might not be able to keep Kevin Mannix out of the Governor's Office. Needless to say this has really been bothering me. He's anti-environment, anti worker, and a right wing freak. After thinking about this for a while I came to the realization that there is only one Democrat who has shown interest in being Governor in the past, has the statewide name recognition needed, and would do a good job in getting Oregon back on track -- Cong. Peter DeFazio.

While Cong. DeFazio showed a lot of interest in running in 2002, there have only been a few rumors about his interest in running this time. In this vein, I have begun a grassroots campaign to let Cong. DeFazio know how much Oregon wants and needs him in the Governor's office. I have had decent success so far in getting people to write letters, but I don't have the ability to reach out to the Progressive base. I was hoping you could help me with this by mentioning it and encouraging your readers to contact the Congressman.

While he is not commonly thought of as being a likely candidate to run I think the evidence overwhelming points towards him. His statewide name recognition would make him an instantly credible candidate, he has the contacts to set up the fundraising and grassroots program needed to run, his legislative record is beyond compare. I think we would be hard pressed to find a better candidate anywhere.

In 2002, he was interested in running but was unfortunately convinced by fmr. Gov. Goldschmidt to stay out of the race so the party wouldn't have a costly primary. Now that our current Governor is showing little support across the state, is doing a terrible job, and has still yet to decide whether to run again or not, this seems like the perfect opportunity for Cong. DeFazio. I believe that if we show him how much support he has across the state that he will surely decide to run.

Comments (6)

I'm surprised no one has commented on this, so here goes:

DeFazio would probably be the strongest candidate politically in either party, but I think he and Ted are fairly close and I don't see him challenging Ted in the primary. It also isn't clear that an executive post like governor is as much to Peter's liking as his legislative role.

A lot of people don't realize how much seniority Peter has built up back in Washington. Not only is he the longest-serving congressman in the history of Oregon's fourth district, but at the end of his term he will have tied Edith Green as the third longest-serving representative in Oregon's history--and the only two people ahead of them (Willis Hawley and Al Ullman) were both chairs of the Ways and Means Committee.

Peter is the fourth highest-ranking Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (formerly just called Public Works), and the ranking Democrat on the Highways, Transit and Pipelines Subcommittee. He also sits on the Aviation Subcommittee (where he was previously the ranking member).

To some, this just means pork. Actually, if you think of Oregon's unmet needs for roads, bridges, transit, air transportation, sewers and water treatment, there are few more critical places for a senior congressman than on this committee.

Oregon's clout in Washington took a double headshot when Senators Hatfield and Packwood left within an 18-month period. A few years earlier, Les AuCoin gave up his prime seat on the House Appropriations committee when he launched his unsuccessful challenge to Packwood in 1992.

For DeFazio to give up his seat in Congress to run for governor would, I believe, be a net loss for Oregon. If he were tired of serving in Washington and planned to leave anyway, it might make sense. I don't think that's the case, and I expect him to keep representing the 4th District for years to come.

Congressman DeFazio would make an excellent governor. And there is one additional benefit from his moving to Salem - he no longer would be spouting his protectionist nonsense in the U.S. House of Representatives - such as voting against NAFTA and demanding a return to the days of Smoot-Hawley tariffs and import bans.

With DeFazio in Salem, only David Wu among Oregon's Congressman would continue to ignore and flout Economics 101.

Jack R,

Are the Rs going to let you run again? And if so, is there any way you can keep Mr. Sexton from running? If just one of you ran against Mr. Mannix, I am convinced that not only would you beat Mr. Mannix in the primary, but that you would beat any Dem (except maybe the aforementioned Mr. DeFazio, and I agree with your opinions regarding the chances of him running).

Go Springfield, whoop whoop!


The problem with all of the seniority DeFazio has built is Washington is two-fold. First, all that seniority isn't getting him much now, and still won't when the Dem's take the majority because he's not willing to play nice with leadership.

The second problem is that being the 4th highest D on a committee is nothing compared to the prestige of Governing a state. I've heard a lot of Senator's talk wistfully about their good old days as Governor, imagine how a Congressman must feel.

Also, for years DeFazio has mentioned retirement, and he's shown interest in the Governor's office before.

As for how close he is with Ted, I don't really know. But I have seen him blasting him in the news a lot over the past couple of years. Besides, Ted is not very popular across the state right now. He barely won in 2002 and that was when he was well supported on the left, now that he's fallen out of favor he's a sitting duck for whichever candidate wants to finish him off. Right now Kevin Mannix is the only one in line.... *gulp* The thought of that is enough to make me call Peter's office right now and encourage him.

Anybody notice how quiet it's gotten in the Sorenson for Governor camp? I know that Pete is close to Pete...in fact, the way he tells it, he was encouraging DeFazio to run last yr. and only decided to announce after he was convinced no other D was taking Ted on. Could there be a revision in those respective positions? I'm not sure, but I'll stay tuned. Frankly, I would have preferred DeFazio in the Senate, but will be happy if he stays politically active anywhere.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Peter vs. Ted:

» *Groan* Gimme A Break, Jack from Just Some Poor Schmuck
Jack Bog's Blog: Peter vs. Ted Jack himself is not suggesting my Congressman, Peter DeFazio, run for Governor, but he is putting it forth for one of his readers. Geez, haven't the firm of Goldschmidt, Roberts, Kitzhaber, Katz and Kulongoski... [Read More]

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