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Ballots are out. Who do you want in OR-1st?

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Rabblevox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 01:15 PM
Original message
Ballots are out. Who do you want in OR-1st?
I was initially leaning towards Bonamici, but after watching the recent debate and candidate forum, I thought Avakian clearly dominated.

He's probably the candidate that I would least like to have as a neighbor, but he's the only one of the three (or four, if you're feeling generous) that I think has a chance to beat Rob Cornilles in the general.

Though it hasn't gotten much play yet, this is going to be one of the "battle-ground" elections. The thugs think they have a real chance to win back the seat with Cornilles.

Make no mistake, I will actively support whoever the D nominee is, and I know Bonamici has the early name recognition and key endorsements, but honestly, after watching the recent debate, I really think it's Avakian who has the best shot at keeping the seat blue.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 04:31 PM
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1. For me, I've been trying to decide between Bonamici and Avakian...
Edited on Mon Oct-24-11 04:41 PM by cascadiance
Let me start by saying that if any of the three major candidates (Brad A., Brad W., or Susan B.) wins the general election I think we'll be in a better spot than we were with David Wu. I think each of them on balance will be a step forward. But here are my notes of the details of what I'm considering if it helps any of you. I earlier was also thinking of Susan Bonamici, but wasn't ruling Brad Avakian out and was trying to decide between the two fo them. After a while, like you, I think I'm leaning to Brad Avakian now. My notes as follows on the televised debate in the other thread and the campaign in general:

1) On Social Security question. I'm glad that all of the candidates didn't allow the questioner to "frame" their answer, and each of them recommended lifting the cap on payroll tax contributions instead of trying to choose from one of the "options" presented in the question that all would have worked against social security recipients.

2) On Medicare question. All good answers, and each of them properly went after Medicare Part D mess in it, but I wish at least one of them would have also recommended changing the Medicare Advantage program so that it didn't have as much gifts to the private insurance industry. Now perhaps for the debate, its easier to make clear and supportable stances on Medicare Part D, but I'd like to feel that whoever gets picked also looks at this option as well. We should try to get them to talk about Medicare Advantage if we get a chance to ask them questions to make sure that they are looking at that as part of what they are considering for Medicare reform, and therefore being more informed, will be able to fend off the righties notions of "reforming" Medicare that much more.

3) I'm glad that each of them didn't try to make issues of things like the question on Brad Avakian's finances or Susan Bonamici's husband's ties as the lawyer to David Wu. Don't let the right make these the primary issues of the campaign, but at some point they need to be prepared to answer such questions as you know the Republicans will try to focus their campaigns on them, as they have little else to run on.

I was push polled a week ago or so o this election, and they had these sorts of questions as well as a few more that were even more drawn out of left field (like trying to construe some of Brad Avakian's legislative efforts being directed to "repay" favors to some of his big contributors. I avoided answering those questions in some of them, as they just postulated "if this true, could you support him", which is kind of like a "Have you been beating your wife lately" type of question. Be prepared for more of that in January's election.

4) I liked Brad Avakian's response to the question on how he would work as a low senior member in a very divided congress. He sounded like he wants to work with those across the aisle, but that he made very clear that he's got lines that he won't cross and allow to be "negotiated" away. I like Susan Bonamici's stances and approaches on many issues, but I'm a title concerned about her overemphasis on "reaching across the aisle" and just "working together". That sounds a bit too much like the way Obama's been playing the last two years, which I think he's been recently learning just doesn't work with a Republican body there that is intransigent and isn't worth negotiating with unless you play hardball with them. Brad seems to be the one that would the most likely to stand up for our values and not bargain them away. That goes along with some of what I've heard talking to others in political circles here that he is more of a "fighter" in the bunch here.

I think the Oregon political climate isn't quite as divisive as it is in Washington, and both state bodies are pretty split down the middle with neither side having significant power over the other. I was encouraged that the redistricting efforts that went on looked to be more an effort by both parties trying to maintain the political balances in each district, and just adjust things to fit with the newer demographics and population trends from the latest census, not to just allow one party to really gerrymander things. In that kind of environment, its not too hard to see someone like Ms. Bonamici to want to work in a bipartisan fashion, as it seemed to have worked well here.

5) I liked Susan Bonamici's answer to whether she'd roll back regulations that the right keeps harping about. She seemed to show that she'd have more spine in this area to do the right thing than Mr. Avakian would the way Avakian answered this question. I think he kind of punted on this one.

6) On Charter Schools, I didn't care for Brad Witt's answer. I think Brad Avakian and Susan Bonamici answered this one better on their emphasis on working to help make public schools work rather than allowing the private sector to have more control and screwing up what should be the commons that all people should have equal access to.

7) On the free trade agreements, they all answered pretty well here, but I think I put both Brads ahead on this issue. I think the same question was asked earlier about renegotiating our trade deals and putting in place things like tariffs to help get us more jobs back, etc. I think both Brads have stated more clearly that these agreements need to be renegotiated, etc. and that we need to look at things like tariffs, where Susan Bonamici seemed to be more on the fence on this and not committed to a defined strategy in an area where I feel we really need to get the answer right in the coming administration if we want to get our working class back. Here are a couple of Oregonian articles from Jeff Mapes (who was one of the two debate hosts that asked that "ill framed" Social Security "options" question in the debate) that talks about this free trade issue, and how he feels it will be a pivotal issue in this district, and how both Brads are opposed to these agreements, and that Susan Bonamici "needs to study them". I think he's right that this is a critical issue, and is one big reason why I think I'm starting to lead to Brad Avakian now, as he seems a lot more firmer in standing up to the corporate lobbies on this one.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/mapesonpolitics/2011/10/oreg...

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/10/de...

Understanding that Nike and Intel both have a lot of say in this district in what they view as policies favorable to and against them, this will be a big one. Keep in mind that Nike is also part of the history of "corporate personhood", with this one significant case which Nike actually didn't win in their claim as a "corporate person" the ability to lie but even had the ACLU siding with NIke. If we can get the nominee here to be committed to overturning corporate personhood, though it might be hard to get them to publicly commit to it, that will be a significant win for us.

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/nike /

8) The debate didn't ask this question (timber question was about the only one that focused on the environment), but I wish they'd go in to green energy more. That is where Brad Witt I think needs to explain his ties to the natural gas industry a bit more, which is the initial issue where I started having my doubts on him. Read here more on how this should be of concern.

http://grassrootspeople.blogspot.com/2009/04/and-its-br...

9) Susan Bonamici's has had a good history as a civil rights attorney, and would do a lot of things that would help us with the mortgage mess and making sure that at a federal level this mess gets cleaned up. Not as clear how either Brad would do anything that I would disagree with. I think they likely also would take good stances in this area, but she has the most experience doing the right thing in Oregon for us. Would like to hear from both Brads what their plans are in this area to help me feel more confident on their abilities there too. Especially with Brad Avakian's questions on his personal finances, etc.

10) In another forum, they were asked about public campaign financing and Citizen's United. I think all supported it and supporting a means of rolling back heavy spending as "free speech", though they didn't really come out too committal about it. Susan Bonamici says that there are already limits on campaign spending, but kind of dodged the question on what specifics she would like to see happen.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 07:37 AM
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2. I can't vote, but if I did, it would probably be for Avakian.
Witt's charter school advocacy would lose him my support. Avakian and Bonamici seem pretty close on issues, but I prefer Avakian's more clear-cut stance on free trade.
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