Is ‘non-partisan’ for Secretary of State a dirty word?

The Oregonian had an editorial this past Sunday arguing for a non-partisan Secretary of State. The source itself will make some want to toss out the idea before an even cursory examination, but I think it is worth a discussion, especially in light of Bill Bradbury’s unabashed servitude to the Democratic Party of Oregon and all of its underlings. Given the statewide record of Republicans in recent history, I can’t help but think a non-partisan Secretary of State office might actually play to our advantage, at least in the currently rocky political environs. A candidate with as much plausibility as a Bruce Starr or Jason Atkinson would be given the credit of their personas and records without all the preconceived notions that jump into voters minds when they see an “˜R’ in front of their name.

Of course, ultimately showing people that the values they hold dear are the values that Republicans stand on is the answer. But until we can do that effectively, maybe a non-partisan Secretary of State isn’t such a bad idea.

Should Oregon have a non-partisan Secretary of State? Would this help or hurt Republican candidates for the office?

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 15 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    I am not sure if a non-partisan position would make any difference. The dems would run some hapless sap like we have now to do their bidding – so what difference would it make?

    Might we worth a try, though, as the guy in there now is a total joke.


      Just wait for the next one, they all keep trying to be worse than the one before.

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  • William Neuhauser

    I can’t see that it really makes a difference. It doesn’t mean that candidates aren’t members of a party; I don’t think it prevents parties from making endorsements. It really seems to mean a version of “open primary” since there is no partisan contest before electing someone.

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  • E.P.

    Considering the fact that a Republican hasn’t been Secretary of State for 22 years, I’d say it’d help them. I’d also say that that’s the only motivation Republicans would have for arguing against a partisan SOS. Would we be having this discussion if Betsy Close held the position??

  • Steven

    Finally somebody is listening to the people. I have been pushing this for years and hope that it sticks. The poster boy for corruption billy boy himself is the best reason. When you have a set of clearly defined rules and regulations and you distort them to meet the needs of the party, now that is what we need to stop. Made up rules and random edicts plain criminal. We the people want the initiative process back so we can control the government. Remember kids less government is the best government.

  • rural resident

    The Republicans had a chance to have someone other than Bradbury in the 2000 election. They had a choice between the Lynns: Snodgrass and Lundquist. Snodgrass was a partisan destined to lose. Lundquist more of a moderate, and someone highly thought of by Dems and Independents, as well as by many Rs. It was very likely that he would have won, especially after championing higher funding for education (a popular position) in the 1997 legislature. The choice was crucial because it was obvious that the SOS was likely to draw the legislative districts for the next decade. The Rs knew this, and went with the idiologically pure choice — and got their heads handed to them. Bradbury is doing exactly what Snodgrass would have done had she won; he’s just doing it on the other side.

    Merely classifying the SOS position as “non partisan” won’t make it so. Candidates still have histories, party affiliations, and viewpoints on key issues. Given the current field, it is very likely that a “non-partisan” contest in 2008 will pit two Dems against each other.

    Again, this will be an important election (especially if the Rs can grab the governorship or one house in 2010), because that’s the assembly that will draw the next set of legislative boundaries. Again, the Republicans will have to decide: philosophical purity and watch the Dems hold the office for eight more years, or take a more practical approach by fielding a more electable candidate and maybe actually win.

  • devietro

    We had former SOS Phil Keisling as a guest speaker, he is a huge advocate of the open primaries or “Voter Choice positions” its not a non-partisan solution, but an interesting one. Have not made a real personal decision on if I like the idea.

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