Live chat with Oregonian editorial board about future of state GOP
11:56
The Oregonian: 
Welcome to The Oregonian's live chat on the state of Oregon's Republican Party. Erik and Mark will join us in a couple of minutes, but you can go ahead and submit questions and comments now. Once we get started, there will be a short delay between submission of your question/comment and its appearance in the chat.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 11:56 The Oregonian
12:00
Erik Lukens: 
Hi, and thanks for joining the chat. Mark's editorial on GOP Friday received something like 380 comments, which is unusual for an editorial.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:00 Erik Lukens
12:00
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is there frustration among Republican bigwigs that Mult Co. views don’t represent rest of state yet GOP can’t win statewide office because of Mult Co.?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:00 Guest
12:01
Erik Lukens: 
There has to be. Take a look at what happened to Knute Buehler, the GOP's secretary of state candidate...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:01 Erik Lukens
12:01
Erik Lukens: 
Here's a very moderate guy running against a flawed incumbent, and he only got 20-something percent of the MultCo vote ....
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:01 Erik Lukens
12:02
Erik Lukens: 
Take out Multnomah County, and he would have won.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:02 Erik Lukens
12:02
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
It seems to me that the story line is "Republicans lose in Oregon" and instead you're running "How can we help Republicans become relevant?" Why is the Oregonian giving advice to ANY political party?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:02 Guest
12:02
Erik Lukens: 
Well, it's in the best interest of everyone to have to viable parties ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:02 Erik Lukens
12:03
Erik Lukens: 
and the structure of the edit - giving advice - is really just a way to talk about why it is the GOP isn't doing so well. It's partly to spur discussion ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:03 Erik Lukens
12:03
Erik Lukens: 
among readers, which is exactly what happened in this case.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:03 Erik Lukens
12:03
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
In states like Oregon and Washington, is the only real problem for the GOP its social positions? Jettison those and does the GOP become the majority party?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:03 Guest
12:04
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
But if one of the parties is completely out of touch with a majority of voters, why is it YOUR job to help them with their marketing?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:04 Guest
12:04
Erik Lukens: 
Guest: On the out-of-touch question, I think it's a good idea to discuss why the party didn't do so well for other reasons than to help the GOP with its marketing....
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:04 Erik Lukens
12:05
The Oregonian: 
All lines are open. While Erik and Mark are typing away, go ahead and send in more questions and comments.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:05 The Oregonian
12:05
Erik Lukens: 
Hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are GOP members, and the party - like the Democratic Party - has certain values and concerns ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:05 Erik Lukens
12:05
Erik Lukens: 
that cut across party lines. Fiscal restraint, in this case, is an important one, I think.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:05 Erik Lukens
12:06
Mark Hester: 
Guest: Social issues are a big issue for the national party. The problem in Oregon, much moreso than in Washington, is that GOP candidates with moderate social views have trouble convincing voters that they are different from the national party.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:06 Mark Hester
12:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Actually, this makes perfect sense, given that the only group of people more out of touch with voters than the Oregon GOP is the Oregonian Editorial Board.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:06 Guest
12:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Editorials have long been viewed as a place for opinion -- but I've never before seen it turned into an advice column. Do you think that's an appropriate use of this page?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:06 Guest
12:07
Erik Lukens: 
Guest: As for the difference between opinion and advice, there isn't much of a difference. We give Portland City Council and lots of other elected folks advice all the time. We don't even charge them for it.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:07 Erik Lukens
12:07
[Comment From Your MomYour Mom: ] 
What are the other reasons?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:07 Your Mom
12:07
Erik Lukens: 
Your Mom: What are other reasons for what? Thanks.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:07 Erik Lukens
12:08
[Comment From Your MomYour Mom: ] 
Erik Lukens: Guest: On the out-of-touch question, I think it's a good idea to discuss why the party didn't do so well for other reasons than to help the GOP with its marketing....
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:08 Your Mom
12:09
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What is the linkage between the Republican social agenda (abortion, etc.) and its free-enterprise economic agenda? It’s never made sense to me that the two go hand in hand in our politics.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:09 Guest
12:09
Erik Lukens: 
Your Mom: I think it's important do discuss the GOP's woes largely because I believe some of the things that the GOP candidates who lost (I'm thinking about Buehler here specifically) care about ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:09 Erik Lukens
12:10
Erik Lukens: 
are some of the same things that even voters in places like Multnomah County care about, from sound fiscal management of government to election reforms like the top-two primary ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:10 Erik Lukens
12:10
Erik Lukens: 
and even including the competent operation of the Secretary of State's office.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:10 Erik Lukens
12:10
Mark Hester: 
Guest. There isn't a linkage between GOP social views and its free enterprise positions. They are appealing to two different constituencies. That's not unusual. Democrats also have constituencies with conflicting views. However, in recent years the Democrats have done a better job of focusing on core issues and keep intreparty disagreements behind closed doors.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:10 Mark Hester
12:11
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
"Part of the party's problem is it does not have a coherent brand in Oregon. Absent an identifiable local brand, opponents can simply substitute the national brand -- which Democratic political action committees effectively boiled down to anti-choice, pro-rich." So, your argument here is that the Republican Party needs to stop being the Republican Party?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:11 Guest
12:12
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
You talk about voters in Multnomah County as if they aren't real voters. "Erik Lukens: Take out Multnomah County, and he would have won." In other words, "take out all of the people who didn't vote for Buehler, and Buehler would have won." The bigger question is this: When will the Oregon GOP realize that their platform alienates a majority of voters in Oregon?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:12 Guest
12:13
Erik Lukens: 
Guest: Re. Multnomah County. Well, Multnomah County voters clearly do matter - look at the results. I took them out as a way of indicating the incredible influence of Multnomah County at the polls ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:13 Erik Lukens
12:13
Mark Hester: 
Guest: No. The Republican Party needs to allow candidates to differ on some issues. It doesn't make sense for a Republican in Alabama and a Republican in Oregon to run on identical platforms. The states are quite different.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:13 Mark Hester
12:13
Erik Lukens: 
and also its divergence from the rest of the state as a whole. You could
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:13 Erik Lukens
12:13
Erik Lukens: 
argue that the GOP is at odds with the state, which is why it loses so often, but you could also argue that Multnomah County is at odds with the rest of the state.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:13 Erik Lukens
12:14
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Oregon GOP needs a fresh face for governor and/or senator. Buehler might have been it if he’d won. Who do you see coming up who could be GOP’s standard-bearer?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:14 Guest
12:14
Erik Lukens: 
Guest: Re. Oregon GOP. I don't think Buehler's done. What's so intriguing about him ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:14 Erik Lukens
12:15
Erik Lukens: 
is his moderation and his independent streak. He gave money to Kitzhaber in 2010 ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:15 Erik Lukens
12:15
Erik Lukens: 
supports - or supported - election reforms the major parties don't like, and as far as I know ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:15 Erik Lukens
12:15
Erik Lukens: 
he's not to wrapped up in divisive social issues.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:15 Erik Lukens
12:16
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
the GOP has struggled for 10-15 years advancing our free market economic message in Mult county.................we have lost most large corporate employers and have attracted very few new employers that did not have some agreement with local government........tough for the GOP to penetrate this local mindset
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:16 guest
12:16
Mark Hester: 
Guest: But the party needs someone in the Portland metro area. That's why the losses by Eyre and Lindsay were such a big blow to the party. I wouldn't write them off, either. Eyre could be a very could state treasaurer candidate if Wheeler runs for governor. Not sure whether she's interested, though.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:16 Mark Hester
12:16
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is it possible to make fiscal conservatism palatable to Oregon voters? Why has that been such a tough sell here?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:16 Guest
12:16
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Buehler lost by a bigger margin than Rick Dancer.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:16 Guest
12:17
Erik Lukens: 
GOP: Re local mindset. I have no answer to your comment but to agree. Eventually, though, everyone who owns a house and/or has a job starts caring about the cost of government. So you would think, anyway.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:17 Erik Lukens
12:17
[Comment From shonzberriesshonzberries: ] 
Do you think that people like Grover Norquist have hamstrung the Party as a whole?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:17 shonzberries
12:17
Mark Hester: 
Guest: Considering the votes on statewide tax measures through the years, I think fiscal conservatism already is palatable to Oregon voters. Other issues are the problems. In addition to social isssues, the environment.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:17 Mark Hester
12:18
Erik Lukens: 
shonzberries; I don't know if it's Grover Norquist who's hamstrung the party as much as its tendency, at least at some level, to cling to positions on divisive social issues that most people ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:18 Erik Lukens
12:18
[Comment From Outside MultnomahOutside Multnomah: ] 
I would like to see The Oregonian due a serious analysis of the two Oregon voting patterns. There is a lot of resentment in many parts of the state outside of Multnomah County toward matters that affect the entire state but which many people feel they can't influence due to the D-block voting in Multnomah. It has affects on taxes, social spending, legislation due to the resentment.
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:18 Outside Multnomah
12:18
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Multnomah County isn't at odds, it's just where progressives converge. What are you suggesting, that we should be voting by land mass?
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:18 Guest
12:18
Erik Lukens: 
don't support and that can easily be demagogued at the state and local level. Just look at Avakian's ridiculous charge that Bruce Starr might support the GOP's views ...
Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:18 Erik Lukens
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