I’m Betsy Johnson: This is why I want Oregon’s vote in the midterm election.
We had just finished dinner with friends who were preparing a birthday meal for their son.
I’m Betsy Johnson: So we’re all sitting around talking and we all agree that Oregon deserves a Republican governor and senator, and we have to do everything we can to protect our state.
And then we got to talking about what happens if the Republicans take over the Senate.
We were talking about it and I brought up the possibility the vote-for-Oregon system we use today could just go down in flames.
In fact, I brought up a scenario where you actually would lose your vote.
If the Republicans took over the Senate.
And that’s a scenario the Democrats say they have to be ready for.
This is what’s happening now: You have the Senate in Republican hands.
Democrats in Oregon have been preparing for this since the 1970s.
They have a whole series of plans in place to try to keep their Democratic votes.
In the ’70s, they decided to change the voting system from winner-take-all to multi-member districts, which is similar to what Oregon uses today.
And in the ’80s, they tried to make it harder for Republicans to gain seats with the use of the “Redeem” system, which makes it harder for candidates who are perceived as being weak.
In the early ’90s, they added on a number of amendments to the state constitution, which now basically makes it more difficult for candidates who say, “Vote for me, but I’m for the things you don’t like.”
And in the last few decades, they’ve developed a whole series of procedures that make it harder for candidates who are perceived as being weak.
So, let me give you some examples of what I’m talking about.
In the last couple of years, we have had multiple instances where Republicans who were running for Senate seats were forced to step aside because of the perception that they were on the wrong side of the issues.
And in most of these recent examples, what we’ve had is Republicans who were running for Senate seats saying basically, “Well, you know, it’s not like I’m trying to get votes.”
Then they get a little bit of help from Democrats, like Jeff Merkley