As the union leadership lines up behind Teddy K, we ran across another, seemingly unrelated post by the National Journal's Chuck Todd:
...it's probably the biggest mystery of the cycle. It's not clear who is funding get-out-the-vote efforts for the Democrats this year, or more important, who is running them. Is it a coordinated state-based campaign with a loose connection to the Democratic National Committee? Is it labor, and if so, which part -- John Sweeney's the AFL-CIO or Andy Stern's SEIU? And where did all the money from America Coming Together go? Will even half of it make it back into Democratic coffers in some capacity? There are still lots of unanswered questions, and Election Day is less than five months away.
Todd brings up an excellent point, does labor have solidarity now that the break-up of the big guys is filtering down into the states. What happened to all of the national money that helped keep oregon blue in 04? How is the national split affecting Oregon? Will AFL-CIO and SEIU kiss and make-up with the threat of Saxton looming? And, even if they do, do they have the capacity, or desire, to pull it out for the d's? Some say no after the purple haze failed to kill the king in the primary.
The r's have some conservative ballot measures and their first real shot in years at Mahonia Hall to drive their base. But what do the d's have?
Without sexy progressive ballot measures, D insiders are in a tizzy over what will turn out the vote they need in the house and senate. One insider even confided that legislative candidates were wary of hitching their horse to TK's wagon (is any candidate in this state polling worse than a 55% disapproval except Ted?)
Usually in these circumstances, the campaigns turn to good old-fashioned fear to mobilize a base, but is Saxton scary enough (if you say yes, see the T-shirt section of the PurpleOregon store)? It almost seems like the same campaign play book is being used against Saxton that was used against Mannix, "too extreme for Oregon" I believe it was titled. That play almost didn't work as mannix, who was extreme, closed the 16% lead Ted had during the summer months and labor and the d's had to sacrifice 5 house seats to pull out a win. Can they/ will they do it again? Will the base bite? Will the voters buy it?
Update: A clue from one side of the split, from the afl-cio 7/26 email newsletter seeking interns:
Interns will help implement our aggressive grassroots campaign to register, educate, and turn out more than 100,000 union voters across the state. Among our top priorities are sending a pro-worker legislature and governor to Salem, and defeating a pair of ultra-right ballot measures designed to strangle state spending on education, public safety and health care.
Duties will include: research, working with state labor leaders, recruiting and organizing volunteers, member outreach through canvassing and phone-banking, working with our activist database, and assisting staff in planning rallies and other volunteer activities.