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Brian, I think there are a few things you’re missing. The first is the timing of the AP call. Sanders and his supporters have consistently pointed out that the media has treated Clinton as the presumptive nominee. The timing of this call (the day before she actually did clinch the race with pledged delegates) only serves to suppress turnout and boost the AP’s profile. Announcing this allows AP to be the organization that called it first rather than waiting one day and letting the primary decide the race. This only benefits Clinton and the right. Primaries aren’t just about Presidential races but the Presidential races are important in driving turnout for down ballot candidates and issues. California uses a Top Two primary system so there have been cases of Republicans winning the top 2 spots and being the only options on the General Election ballot (and there are many cases of Democrats winning both top spots). Low turnout is bad for Democrats in general but it's even worse for progressive candidates. It also gives Sanders supporters another reason to believe that Sanders not only had to defeat Clinton but also the collective media apparatus and Democratic Party leaders. Sanders should absolutely be disappointed in the early call. Another thing is that many Sanders supporters are not actually Democrats and have no loyalty to the party. Supporters range from moderate centrists to far-leftists many of which despise the Democratic Party so the Sanders campaign is smart to not immediately concede and piss off the movement. If the Clinton campaign wants to have any success wooing these voters, it needs to recognize that many of them are not susceptible to the party loyalty/unity argument or the lesser-evil argument. One main counter-point to your overall argument is that Clinton didn’t concede immediately after Obama clinched either. It took her almost a week after the last primaries in 2008. Ultimately, I believe that Sanders will ultimately drop out and endorse Clinton just like she did with Obama. Sanders still has to caucus with the Democrats in the Senate and I doubt he’ll do anything to diminish his voice in that caucus. He knows that there is a movement behind his campaign and didn’t want to suppress the good that the movement could do in California by dropping out the day before the largest primary. One more thing: I am interested in why you, as a self described progressive, would prefer Clinton over Sanders? Have you written a post on this subject? And since you recently reviewed Thomas Franks recent book, I will leave you with his comments from a few hours ago at The Baffler: “For the affluent professionals who are the Democratic Party’s truest believers, what is unfolding today is a scenario of fulfillment and triumph. They have always suspected that politics is really just a battle between the stupid and the smart, the ignorant and the enlightened, and every morning for the next five months their newspapers will tell them how very right they are. This election will pit their kind of person against a snarling, porcine Republican who might well have been assembled from spare parts in an MSNBC laboratory. The affluent will get to shake their heads in disbelief at the dumbshits who don’t understand how foreign policy is done, or don’t know how well the economy is really doing. Every one of their right-thinking biases will be confirmed. Every stereotype will be fulfilled. Every straw man will be propped up for their smackdown pleasure. For them, this will be an election to celebrate and commemorate for decades to come.”
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You would think that Lattimer would look into the reasons that Courthouse Square had issues before using it as a basis to support overpaying for a Police Facility. Even though he wasn't with the County at that time, he's stating as fact something that isn't true. This is par for the course, it seems, with officials supporting the party line in Salem so it is hard for me to accept that it is just ignorance.
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Well thanks for the comments Jim and Brian. I plan on supporting the Progressive Salem endorsed candidates in general. I live in Ward 3 so I am stuck with Nanke. It would be a major victory if we were able to have a Mayor and a majority of council-members that shared a more progressive vision for Salem.
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I’m not sure that the Fortune Magazine piece you reference actually provides any evidence showing Liberal leadership has any direct correlation to the performance of the economy. It seems to be saying that it's just coincidence. I could be wrong… The Chamber’s political activity is a simply manifestation of the competing class interests at play in our city. As an advocacy group for the local ownership class they’re going to do whatever it takes to protect their class interests. While this may be shortsighted (for example, fighting the payroll tax for improved Cherriots service in the short term) it makes perfect sense. They are simply doing everything they can to protect business owners from increasing worker protections, environmental protections, and taxes that fund public services.I think Ashland’s Chamber is an outlier and reflects a much different approach to how to run a Chamber. Most local Chambers (and the national Chamber) are right-wing and politically active. The point about Salem being more left-leaning than appears, I think, is a good one. I think the problem is mobilization. That is something the Chamber does very well. They have built a very strong network locally, obviously with local businesses, but also with ideologically aligned groups and individuals. The other factor is funding. Looking at the Cherriots measure that failed last year, the Chamber outspent Cherriots supporters 10-1 and they lied the entire time. Setting aside Oregon’s awful campaign finance rules the financial advantage that the Chamber holds can only be overcome by actual community organizing. My understanding of 90’s and early 00’s Salem politics was that it was much more progressive. There was even a socialist councilman (Bill Smaldone). I don’t know what the shift was that led to a firmly entrenched right-wing majority but the fact that we had a progressive mayor and progressive councilmembers 15 or 20 years ago tells me that, with proper organizing, we can change the makeup of the City’s leadership. I also think the way the City currently runs elections favors right-wing candidates. The primary election is essentially where we choose our City Council and Mayor. Primaries have very low turnout which absolutely favors conservative candidates. I don’t know why we have that system but it sucks.
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There have been a couple of other big reasons to question Gov. Brown's progressive commitment: 1. her support for (and signing of) a watered-down minimum wage bill designed to undercut a truly grassroots, progressive movement and 2. her recent support for Clinton as the Democratic nominee. This bill, among many other things, is just another example of how the ruling class wields immense influence even within the Democratic Party.
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Mar 22, 2016