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WIPING OUT ONE BAD VOTE

Last week we told you that our goal during this election cycle is to keep pressure on Speaker Karen Minnis and jeopardize her return to the Speaker's seat. Putting the pressure on Minnis is a key part of our election effort, but removing her from the Speaker's seat isn't enough to bring pro-equality legislation to a Vote in the Oregon House in 2007. Even though we have the bipartisan votes needed to pass our bills with the current make up of the Oregon House, extremist Republicans dominate the current legislative leadership. Because of this dynamic, the only way to pass our legislation in 2007 is to change the balance of power in the House of Representatives. That means wiping out at least one bad vote, making sure that one of the four anti-equality candidates running for reelection does NOT come back to Salem.

What kind of difference can we make?

  • If we can replace 1-2 legislators with fair-minded candidates, we would be able to override the anti-equality leadership and pass favorable legislation in 2007. Losing even one seat could also mean's the Speaker loses her job and a more new, less powerful speaker could take her place. This would give us room to maneuver in Salem.

  • If we can replace 3 legislators with fair-minded candidates, then leadership in the House would be split among Democrats and Republicans, allowing fair-minded leadership on the Democratic side to successfully negotiate a favorable leadership structure with moderate Republicans who support equality.

  • If we can replace 4 legislators with fair-minded candidates, then anti-equality legislators would no longer control the House of Representatives and a strong supporter of Basic Rights Oregon and equality would be Speaker allowing us to ensure passage of our nondiscrimination and civil unions bills.

  • Of course, for these legislative changes to make a difference we need to reelect our pro-equality Governor: Ted Kulongoski.

    Let's be realistic: It will be a tough feat to pick up four pro-equality seats in just a single election. (House Democrats have lost seats in every non-Presidential election for more than two decades. Even holding the line would be victory.) Our effort to move to an equality majority in the House will likely continue over the next two election cycles, but knocking off even one bad vote will substantially improve our opportunity to pass our pro-equality legislation in the 2007 session.

    How do we do it?

    We can block one bad vote and shift the balance of power in the Oregon House by doing two things:

    First, actively campaigning for pro-equality candidates. They are taking on vulnerable anti-equality candidates running for reelection in the Oregon House. Get involved in your local House race. To find out who is running in your area and to get involved, visit www.VoteEquality.com.

    Second, we must force Speaker Minnis to spend tons of money defending her own seat. Typically it is the job of the sitting Speaker, who has the greatest access to deep campaign coffers and political connections, to use her time to campaign and raise money for those who elected her Speaker. It is the Speaker's responsibility to maintain the political majority -- that's what keeps her in power. But each dollar that gets spent in Karen Minnis' East County fight for her own seat, means that her candidates in tough races won't have the funds they need to return to office.
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  • By Anonymous Kate, at October 07, 2006 9:15 AM

    I think this is a great strategy--but there are no details as to how we can help defeat Minnis. And, who is her opponent? Is he pro-equality? Any info. there? This is not my district, but I would contribute to his campaign if I know his policies. . .    



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2006 1:28 PM

    Kate-

    His name is Rob Brading. His site is www.RobBrading.com.    



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