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Conservative PAC Launches Anti-Salem Democrats Website

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


On Monday, the conservative Promote Oregon Leadership PAC launched a website and ad campaign “highlighting the scandals and pay-to-play style of politics of Salem Democrats.”

The website, found at SalemDemocrats.com, includes a digital advertisement that features scandals surrounding ex-Governor John Kitzhaber, former First Lady of Oregon Cylvia Hayes, Governor Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek.

“Salem Democrats control every aspect of Oregon’s Capitol, yet feign surprise when members of their own party are forced to resign and their own state agencies face federal investigations,” said David Huguenel, Executive Director of Promote Oregon. 

“Instead of cleaning up their act, they’ve done nothing but double down on a partisan agenda, pandering to their out-of-state-donors and special interest allies so they can line their pockets with millions of dollars in campaign donations.”

The website features information on the Kitzhaber scandal, Gov. Brown’s donations from a wealthy California hedge fun manager in 214 and 2015 and four other federal investigations, ranging from corruption to fraud to incompetence.

It also attacks leaders for their role in Oregon’s grade of an ‘F’ in the Center for Public Integrity’s 2015 state integrity report card. 

As GoLocal reported, the Center cited Oregon as a state “where ethical behavior is assumed rather than regulated,” and “where good behavior is taken for granted rather than enforced.” 


Related Slideshow: Slideshow: Five GOP Leaders to Follow in 2015

As the Oregon GOP works to build their place in the state after their heavy losses in the 2014 mid-term elections, they will look toward members who can help lead the party. Check out five Republican politicians who are becoming the new faces of the GOP. 

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Knute Buehler

Buehler is new to the Oregon House, winning by a wide margin in the Bend district over his Democratic opponent Craig Wilhelm. He took 54 percent of the vote in the district left open by Republican Jason Conger. 

Buehler, a knee surgeon, is not new to politics, however. He ran for Secretary of State in  2012, getting 43 percent of the vote and losing to Democrat Secretary of State Kate Brown. 

Bergstein said Buehler’s statewide campaigning experience makes him a potential player for Republicans. 

Lee said Buehler is on the moderate side of the party which could cause rifts with some members but that he has potential to lead in the Oregon GOP. 

“He’s, I think, obviously someone for the future,” he said. "Buehler is an advocate for finance reform and touts himself as someone who can cross party lines to get things done."

Photo credit: ballotpedia.com.

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Dennis Richardson

Though he lost his run for governor, some say Dennis Richardson’s political future could still be bright. 

The race between Richardson and Kitzhaber was much closer than expected, likely in large part because of the scandal surrounding the governor’s office that broke just weeks before the election. 

“I would certainly support Dennis Richardson in another run. He would win with proper funding and coordination of campaign resources with the state party,” Currier said. 

Lee said the best thing Richardson did when campaigning came from an answer to a debate question about what he would say to a recently wed gay couple and he responded “congratulations.” 

Lee said it’s important for the Republican Party to move on from issues when they are already determined. “When law is the law then let’s worry about those things where we can make difference.” 

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Mike McLane

State Rep. Mike McLane was re-elected last week as the Oregon House GOP leader. 

He has served the role since 2012 and has gone unchallenged in his leadership. McLane was elected to the House in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. He then rose to leadership. He represents District 55 in Central Oregon. 

 McLane has served as a leader in the House in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 sessions as well as the 2013 special session. He gets ready to lead again in 2015.  

Photo credit: courtesy of the Mike McLane Facebook page

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John Davis

State Rep. John Davis was recently appointed assistant House Leader. 

Bergstein said Davis is “as good as they get in the legislature.”

Davis was elected in 2012 and was noticed for co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill in the last session that cemented the Urban Growth Boundary.  

Davis bumped state Rep. Julie Parrish’s out of her position in House leadership earlier this year. But Lee says don’t discount Parrish, who was re-elected last week to a third term in the West Linn district. 
“She gets a lot of non-affiliates,” Lee said. 

Photo credit: courtesy of the John Davis Facebook page.

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Tim Knopp

State Sen. Tim Knopp was elected in 2012 with nearly 60 percent of the vote in the Bend district 27.

This summer he moved into a leadership role, serving now as deputy caucus leader of the Senate Republicans. Knopp has a long history in Oregon politics. He served in the House from 1995 to 2005, serving as House Majority Leader in 2003. 

He’s oft-quoted in the media, works on recruiting candidates and is often in the forefront of public issues. 

“Knopp can come across as neo-conservative, but his reputation inside the Capitol would be better described as a business conservative. His manner is direct and his approach to issues leans more toward getting something done than toeing an ideological line,” Oregon Insider, a blog for state lobbying firm CFM, stated in July. 

“When he was elected to the Senate, there was little doubt among political insiders that Knopp would ascend in the GOP leadership. Some speculated he might try to elbow out Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli. Instead, Knopp has bided his time and accepted a role — recruiting candidates — that usually is rewarded with the top job if your candidates win,” the blog statees. 

Photo credit: courtesy of the Tim Knopp website


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