OK. I've been thinking about this all day. I have a builder that sold a house this week, and of course there are a ton of things that he's been putting off for months that now need to be done YESTERDAY! I had to work this morning instead of going to church. This gave me a chance to listen to all of the local political talk shows that are on KXL 750AM that I rarely get a chance to hear.
This morning all of the conservatives at the Dorchester conference were all gaga (and rightfully so) over the should be governor of Washington State Dino Rossi's speech about how he got approximately 179,000 democrats that voted for Sen. Kerry to vote for him. They quoted him as saying "be likeable, go to the voters that would normally vote democratic and make it harder to dehuminize you, and reach out to the various organizations that usually campaign for the dems.
Now, this is all well and good, but what they are leaving out is that Dino is young, very dynamic, naturally likeable, and a true conservative. Our likely candidates are not real dynamic, and for the most part, not real conservatives. The few true conservatives that we have, have a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot by talking about topics like abortion, logging, PERS, and gun rights, all of which are lead weights around Oregon Republican's neck.
While the Republicans are busy caving to the liberals on issues that actually effect Oregonians right now, and turning off moderates with the traditional right wing issues, the electorate are out busy passing initiative after initiative that the Republicans in the house and senate should be doing.
The voters have passed: property tax reform, ban on gay marriage, property rights reform, mandatory sentencing, and the list goes on and on. All without much help from their legislators.
Now, I just spent a year and a half in Texas, and I have said this before, but Democrats in Texas are more conservative than Republicans in Oregon. I understand that the political climate here is completely deferent, and many conservative ideals just won't fly here. So, why can't we run on the things that the electorate has demonstrated that they will vote for. We repeatedly turn down ballot measures that involve more taxes, so run on a no tax, or lower tax platform. We keep voting for property rights measures, so run on a property rights platform. Voters consistently turn down all kinds of government spending measures (like light rail) , so put that in the platform.
We need to stop taking the bait to talk about traditionally ""hot button issues," and steer the conversation to the issues that really matter. For example, when a democratic candidate or voter brings up abortion, the answer should be "Roe V Wade is the law of the land, and there is nothing that the governor of one state can do to change that." Then steer the topic to something that Oregonians need right now. When the occasional follow up question or accusation comes like "well, would you pass laws that would limit abortion rights in any way, like parent notification?" I would respond by explaining parent notification is not really about abortion, but parents rights and responsibility. By law, no one is allowed to take my fifteen year old daughter to a doctor for anything less than life saving measures without my written consent. Why should an invasive, traumatic procedure, with high rates of complication, be any different.
Another thing that needs to be done, is that at every town hall, every living room meeting, every speech, EVERY campaign stop, ALL of the republicans need to play audio and video of the crazy stupid things that the governor, Secretary of State, and all of the other key Democrats have said. Like "the wording of measure 37 doesn't do what the law was intended to do."
Basically, we've been given all of the information that we need to win a state wide election, we just need to use it. Kevin Mannix only lost by about 10,000 votes. With "Sleepy Ted's" dismal record, the state's economy not really in any better shape, and some careful targeting of issues, we can find a candidate to beet him. I'm afraid that Kevin Mannix is not that person. I like him, but he's not "likeable" enough for the majority of the mainstream. Jeff Kropf anyone?