Thursday, September 27, 2012

Letters To Me From James Buchal Supporters

In what was probably not the most shocking political strategy move of the election season, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said this week that she would not debate her Republican challenger, James Buchal. Rosenblum won the Democratic primary in May and was appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber in June to fill the remainder of John Kroger's term. There were no Republicans on the primary ballot, but Buchal won the GOP nomination on the backs of write-in votes.

Buchal's supporters aren't happy that their candidate apparently won't get to debate Rosenblum. They're pressuring media outlets to hold such a debate. Or maybe they're pressuring media outlets to pressure Rosenblum to agree to a debate. Or maybe...well, I'll just let you read these letters for yourself. Here they are, verbatim.

Regarding debate between Harvard Debater AG candidate James Buchal and his opponent the interim AG Ellen Rosenblum. If you are a truly informative press you should find in newsworthy that a statewide candidate refuses to engage in debate on public issues. Please do your job. Carol Orr 


Dear Mr. Lehman:
   In order to make an informed vote for Attorney General, I want to see James Buchal debate with Ms. Rosenblum. If she won't do it, I can only conclude she's hiding something. Could it be her belief that she has unlimited powers to legislate from the bench?  Which enumerated powers in the Constitution give her this right? Unless she can answer these questions to my satisfaction, I prefer to vote for Buchal.
    I suspect that if a staunch conservative AG refused to debate a progressive opponent, you would become irate. The shoe is on the other foot, and to avoid looking biased I suggest you pressure Ms. Rosenblum for a public debate soon. Thank you.

Lyneil Vandermolen
Tualatin, OR
Rosenblum should debate with buckal so we  see what each has planned 

Bill Puntney 
Clayton-Ward Recycling Centers 
Oregon and Washington


Dear Oregon media servants,

Please urge a debate, or series of debates between the current/interim State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and her opponent James Buchal!

The public deserves to hear them together in a fair discussion of the issues to be able to calculate the choice they face.

Not only is this very important for Oregon, but would also make for a lively media event for your stations! 

From talks I have watched, James Buchal is a dynamic, enthusiastic speaker who would likely make for an exciting debate!

Thank you for considering this idea!

Vivian Ward
Larry Ward
Christopher Ward
Scappoose, Oregon

Dear Chris Lehman,
I am an OPB viewer and I have just learned that Ellen Rosemblaum, who is running for Oregon Attorney General this November, refuses to debate her opponent James Buchal who is Republican.  I am outraged that some candidates would feel there built in democratic lead gives them the right to decline a necessary vetting tool that voters rely on.  Please do all you can to encourage and sollicit a depate between Buchal and Rosenblaum on your TV station, after all, Kate Brown (the democratic incumbant) still feels the responsibility to debate Knute Buehler for the State Secretary Office.   Of all the candidates who need to be seen by Oregonians, James Buchal is the most dynamic candidate running for office in our state and perhaps the whole country. If you have not yet had the opportunity to see this brilliant patriot speak please treat yourself to a look at this short video:
Thank you for considering adding and encouraging this potentially exciting programming to your schedule,
Judy Morrise

Thursday, September 6, 2012

You're Just Not Going To Believe Where That Giant Cheeseburger Came From

Since I wrote about it yesterday, the current bid on that giant cheeseburger being sold by the state of Oregon has jumped from $8.48 to $38.37.  I just can't help but think that the story behind the cheeseburger is going to increase its value even more. As it turns out, the burger was used as a prop in a commercial for the Oregon Lottery. Take a close look at this video and see if you can spot it.

Apparently, the Lottery could think of no additional use for an 89-pound cheeseburger other than having five scantily clad women carry it through a meadow, so they shipped it off to the Oregon surplus division. Whoever posted the video on YouTube seems to think the commercial was "banned." Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann says to call it "banned" might be stretching things, but he confirms that the 2008 commercial was pulled early "after a number of folks expressed concern."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The State Of Oregon Is Selling An Enormous Used Cheeseburger

The state of Oregon is trying to unload an 89 pound cheeseburger. The description on the state's surplus auction site is priceless:   

Artificial cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato on a sesame seed bun. Used.

As of this writing, the current bid for this gem is $8.48 cents. Why is the state selling a giant shrink-wrapped cheeseburger? Trust me, I'd love to know. I have a call in to the Department of Administrative Services...

[UPDATE:  I discovered the origins of this behemoth burger and wrote about it here.] 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Obama Gets Top Billing On Oregon Ballot

President Barack Obama will get his name listed first among the six presidential candidates on this year's Oregon ballot. It isn't because he's the incumbent. By Oregon law, the Secretary of State's office conducts a "random ordering" of the alphabet prior to each election, and uses that order to determine the order in which the candidates are listed.

This year, the first letter chosen was "E." There's no one running for president with a last name starting with "E." The second letter selected was "O." That puts President Obama at the top of the list. As for Republican nominee Mitt Romney, he's number 5 on the list: Romney will follow Obama, the Green Party's Jill Stein, the Progressive Party's Rocky Anderson, and Libertarian Gary Johnson. Following Romney on the list will be Will Christensen of the Constitution Party.

Of course, it's unlikely many voters will sit down with their ballot and have zero familiarity with either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. So the ordering of their names will likely have little effect on their vote totals. But what about races further down the ballot? A few years ago, NPR interviewed a Stanford professor who concluded that being listed first on the ballot could boost a candidate's totals by as much as two percent. Whether that's true in Oregon is debatable, since vote-by-mail gives people a little more time to consider their options.

Interestingly, the two major candidates for Oregon Secretary of State this year both have last names starting with "B": Incumbent Democrat Kate Brown and Republican challenger Knute Buehler. In that case, the order of names is determined by the placement of the second letter of the last name in the random alphabet. Brown "wins" this contest because "R" is higher than "U" in this year's random alphabet. However, both Brown and Buehler's names will appear below three minor-party candidates.

To view this year's random alphabet, click here.