Dirty Lowdown Politics in Oregon Governor’s Race

By Rep. Bill Post

Once again, dirty lowdown politics is alive and well in Oregon.  I am ashamed that some in my party have out of desperation, stooped to these kinds of attacks.  I have been very clear that I am not endorsing a candidate in the Oregon Republican Governor’s Primary.  I have been very careful to be fair to all, even having all of the major candidates on my show when I was on the air.  I have posted/Tweeted their major announcements as well as pointing out equally their possible missteps but tried to stay as neutral as I can.  This weekend that all came crashing down.  So here’s the story:

It started with this post on Facebook from Jonathan Lockwood of Jonathan Lockwood and Associates.  Here is the post from Facebook:

Of course as a Republican (and hard core “right wing” Conservative Republican at that) I immediately wondered what Jonathan was doing.  So, unlike others, I called him: “what the heck are you doing?”  Let me answer this by first describing Jonathan as best I know.  He is openly gay.  For those who know me well, I’ve never had an openly gay friend before…Jonathan.  I’ve gotten to know him VERY well the last couple of years.  I truly consider him a friend and a brother.  He did unbelievable work for the Oregon Senate Republicans, helping them to message things they’d never done before.  He helped Oregon Right to Life get out the word on bad abortion bills and end of life bills (Advanced Directive) including such effective messaging on that bad abortion bill that it was picked up by national media. He was instrumental in communications for Republicans previously in Colorado as well.  Then he went to work for another campaign but eventually was released by that campaign because in my estimation, he was “too toxic” (and it’s the kind of “toxic” a moderate Republican candidate might not want).  I then, because of mutual friendships, suggested he reach out to the Greg Wooldridge for Governor campaign and he eventually signed on as an independent contractor as Communications Director.  He is NOT a “staffer” for the campaign.  He has his own company as the link above shows.

Back to the picture above: I am well aware of Kim Sordyl who has been an outspoken critic of the Portland School District and in fact, because of her criticism there and the fact that as a Democrat she openly endorsed, supported and helped Dennis Richardson win as Secretary of State, she was targeted by House Democrats with a bill to remove her job position: see story HERE.  Kim is the one who invited Jonathan to the fundraiser for Maria Garcia who is running for Multnomah County Commissioner as pictured above.  He did not go as a “staffer” for Garcia or for the Wooldridge campaign but as an interested person with his own company.

Here are some interesting facts that Republicans don’t know about Garcia and most Democrats don’t know either.  She is a staunch “anti public employee-labor union” advocate.  If elected commissioner, she wants to audit Portland Public Schools, the county jail system and other county agencies.  It is true, she is a supporter of the “Sanctuary state” law (which I wholeheartedly disagree with) and yes she WAS endorsed by Bernie Sanders.  As a Republican, who would like to see Republicans elected everywhere, I also understand where that’s NOT going to happen.  Multnomah County is such a place and Maria Garcia might be one of the Democrat’s biggest fears.  Do I support her?  No.  Do I support Jonathan’s willingness to go find out more about her and what she plans?  Yes.  That’s just smart politics!  He went, he learned, he did not contribute funds nor his own help.

Now why is the above post/picture important?  Well this takes us to the title of this blog post: dirty politics.

The campaign manager for the Sam Carpenter campaign found that post and rather than reaching out to the campaign or to Mr. Lockwood, responded with his own post (using both his own personal FB page and the Carpenter campaign FB page) (footnote: he will claim that “Make Oregon Great Again” FB page is NOT affiliated with any campaign, yet the Carpenter campaign website is, by coincidence: “Make Oregon Great Again” see HERE):

Calling Jonathan a “known LGBTQ activist” was completely uncalled for.  I would offer that the campaign manager wrote this full well knowing what he was doing and by writing that FIRST statement in the post (ie: making a “thing” about LGBTQ “activism” which would then knowingly cause great alarm amongst “social conservatives” as a “buzzword”) .  That the campaign manager chose NOT to go to the source of the “questionable” behavior, Lockwood, was his first mistake.  It’s VERY easy to reach out now with email, social media and text. This man has on multiple occasions, including the 2014 US Senate race, shown a considerable amount of inconsistencies and has previously caused huge fractures in the Oregon Republican Party.  In that 2014 campaign, by supporting a well known “pro choice” candidate in Monica Wehby over a well known “pro life” candidate in Jason Conger, he showed that we don’t really know where he stands on this so very important issue.  He was also very clearly “pro same sex marriage” in that campaign which is even all the more confusing to attack Lockwood for being a “gay activist”. I do not necessarily defend what Jonathan did by lending his support to that Progressive candidate as pictured above (though I admit, after talking to him, I understand his tactics) but the campaign manager here went far above “questioning” Jonathan’s choices. Which brings us to the next attack.

Late last week, Oregon Right to Life endorsed Greg Wooldridge for the primary race.

Here is their official statement:

We are proud to announce that our PAC has officially endorsed a candidate for Governor. Greg Wooldridge is the strongest pro-life challenger to pro-abortion governor Kate Brown. This campaign is crucial so get involved early. 

The campaign manager for the Carpenter campaign was not surprisingly, unhappy, so he launched another attack, this time on Oregon Right to Life:

I am a HUGE supporter of Oregon Right to Life and they have been HUGE supporters of me.  This attack on them is an affront to me.  If you support Oregon Right to Life, you should be insulted as well. Now some in our party are going after me for my defense of Jonathan (I’ve blacked out the names and identities of these other folks because they are not the ones I’m concerned about):

(Remember, Lockwood is an “independent contractor” and does NOT work “for the Wooldridge campaign” nor did he “raise funds for” Maria Garcia)

Folks, you can decide what you want and that’s the great thing about primary elections.  I hope that if you are reading this, you’ve known and or supported me for a while and you know where I stand on just about every issue we have in Oregon.  You can choose to trust me on this or not, I leave that up to you, but, what I do NOT like is the “attacks” on a campaign, rather than telling me why your “candidate is great”.  And, when you go after my friends you have gone after me as well.  After 4 years in the Legislature I’ve learned a lot and yet my bedrock principles remain intact and unwavering.  I know that I have friends in different places politically.  I don’t put my party politics above my friendships.  Jonathan Lockwood is one of the brightest lights in Oregon politics and the fact that he is doing the most “Republican” thing…..running his own business…makes me very happy.  I am proud to stand by and defend my friend Jonathan as he has taught me much about his personal beliefs and his political beliefs and I greatly enjoy learning from him.

As for the Wooldridge campaign (again, Lockwood does NOT work for the campaign) this was their official statement:

“The Oregon I love doesn’t stand for intolerance and hate, and I’m saddened that someone in this race would sink to such lows”.

You can read more on this story from Paris Aachen at the Portland Tribune HERE.