|Gomez. Running unopposed.|
Republicans have no other choice, but it is OK. Gomez is a Republican
I thought for a while she was actually sort of a Democrat, but she isn't.
[Tomorrow I will write about the Democrats].
There is some buzz going around that since Jessica Gomez is new to the Republican Party, that she might really be a Democrat. After all, she doesn't sound like Trump, or talk radio. She introduced herself to voters with talk about harmony and community, not Mexican rapists. She spoke about improving education, not cutting taxes to pay for education. She didn't seem angry and there was nothing about "carnage." The video suggested inclusion and people working together, not white identity and firm borders. America isn't under siege.
She was hitting Democratic notes, not Trump notes.
But the Republican Party is bigger than Trump, and there is an older tradition of good government, civic minded Republicanism, and we have intimations that, really, she is a Republican of that older style. A Mark Hatfield-John Dellenback-Bob Packwood Republican. That makes her Republican-enough.
Plus, she is on the Republican team, even if the team in general sounds more like Trump than Hatfield.
She is writing about fixing PERS. There may in fact be little to do that can change PERS other than to do what has already been done: stop new damage by changing the formula in 2003 to something realistic, and then prepare ourselves mentally to pay for the obligations we incurred under the formulas of the 1980s and 1990s. Still, she did a Republican thing by bringing up the subject. Anti-tax and anti-public-employee GOP voters want to hear that "something will be done about PERS" and maybe pre-paying some of the obligation will save some money and be constitutional, both.
She lined up with Republican legislators in wanting to give a tax discount on Oregon taxes for "small business", and stuck to that story, even though the beneficiaries are pass-through entities, not actually "small business," and the vast majority of federal benefit goes to people with incomes in the top 2%, especially incomes of people making over $1,000,000 a year. Jessica Gomez lined up with the GOP team. If it is a tax cut, it must be good, even if it is hit and miss, and even if it disadvantages some people in order to advantage others, and even if it mostly helps millionaires.
Both Pam Marsh, a Democrat, and Alan DeBoer, a Republican have told me that Salem politics is all about party. Democrats act like Democrats. Republicans act like Republicans. Few dare cast independent votes or break ranks. Both Marsh and DeBoer are sick about the situation but they both describe it the same way. Salem is tribal.
Jessica Gomez is demonstrating the most important thing for the Republican caucus: that she is a loyal teammate. She has adopted the tribe. This means she will get hundreds of thousands of upstate lobby and party money to secure the vote for a Republican--any Republican--so long as she votes with the team, and she has communicated that she will.
Republican voters can cast a vote for Gomez, knowing she is will be a Republican when it counts.
Do Republican voters have a choice? No. Earlier blog posts here had mentioned a primary election alternative to Gomez, and I posted a summary of that candidate's thinking. I then received a series of comments and emails from that candidate. I considered them of such a nature that I consulted an attorney, and was advised to stop writing about that candidate or communicating with him. I deleted his name and expunged all references to that candidate beyond the fact of his expungement. I now consider Gomez to be running unopposed.
There is no alternative to Gomez in the Republican primary, but GOP voters need not be dismayed. Gomez is a Republican.