Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bradbury's a partisan hack, but the judiciary is fair. No, really...

Today's Oregonian editorializes about the conflict of partisanship in the job of Oregon's secretary of state, Bill Bradbury, particularly the appearances of partisanship in the recent hubbub over Mary Starrett's place on the Fall ballot. The editorial asks if Bradbury's decision to keep Starrett on the ballot -- which would certainly help Democrat Ted Kulongoski because Starrett will take votes from Republican Ron Saxton -- is a political decision.

The answer? There's no way, short of an admission by Bradbury, to know. In the process of exploring this question, however, the editorial makes one key admission and one key omission.

The key admission was admitting that Bradbury -- a left-wing Democrat who chaired Howard Dean's 2004 Oregon campaign -- has used his office to deliberately help Democrats and hurt Republicans, which was no more apparent than in the 2000 redistricting process:
Republicans have been furious at Bradbury ever since he sketched an overtly partisan redistricting map that helped Democrats reclaim the state Senate.
Read that again. It didn't say Republicans "accused" Bradbury of sketching such a map; it said he dunnit, and that it was done to help his party take control of the state Senate. Thanks to the Oregonian for confirming what the rest of us have been saying for six years.

The key omission comes when the O laughably ignores its own evidence to proclaim the independence of the judiciary.

In exploring the best way to run elections in Oregon, the O notes that "Oregon could make its secretary of state a nonpartisan job, but whoever won the post would presumably still have a political background, and political leanings."

In other words, making the position nonpartisan doesn't change the politics, it just tries to hide them a little better.

But in the very next next paragraph, the O concludes (emphasis mine):
Attorney Kelly Clark, a former Republican legislator who filed the election complaint for his clients, said he may ask a judge to examine Bradbury's decision. At least there is one place in Oregon to go in search of a nonpartisan elections ruling.
My question is, how come a nonpartisan secretary of state would "presumably still have a political background, and political leanings" that could color his or her judgment, but a nonpartisan judge -- who presumably also has a political background and political leanings -- is believed when he says he can ignore those leanings and issue a nonpartisan judgment?

Much like a reporter who says he doesn't have biases, a judge who claims he can issue a ruling without bias is a judge who should be watched very carefully. Just like Bill Bradbury.


  • At 8/26/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger RINO WATCH said…

    Yes, we've been saying it for 6 years that Bradbury was a partisan hack.

    But when it came time for the Republicans to step up and do something about it, we nominated Betsy Close, (Fred Grannum would have been a better choice) and didn't support her financially.

    Consequently she ran a very weak campaign.

    I've seen firsthand how Bradbury, Lindback, & McGuire operate, have done numerous posts on the SOS and have drawn little to no reaction.

    The R's, US, have no one to blame but ourselves...

  • At 8/26/2006 3:05 PM, Blogger I am Coyote said…

    Yes and now many R's are shooting Rselves in the foot by not backing the nominee.


  • At 8/26/2006 3:30 PM, Blogger RINO WATCH said…

    Rather be 0-2 this year, maintaining my integrity, rather than back the "R" ino.

    Two different strategies (as discussed prior)aiming for the same destination...

  • At 8/29/2006 12:13 PM, Blogger jeff said…

    Yep, I'd say the state judiciary is as non-partisian as the former chief justice is.
    FYI - his name is Ted Kulongoski.


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