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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Voter-Owned Democracy, part 2 (Interviews and Endorsements)

Portland, Oregon-- In this series of posts, I will review several of the special interest and PAC interview and endorsement encounters and processes that have taken place in order to provide voters with a better understanding of what they mean in this vitally important race for Senate District 23.

First up, the Oregon Nurses Association, which is recorded in its entirety in this string of emails:

-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Amy Ferguson"

January 28, 2008
Sean Cruz
PO Box 30093
Portland, OR 97230

Dear Sean:

Monday, February 11, 2008, the Oregon Nurse Political Action Committee (ON-PAC) will be holding endorsement interviews for the 2008 elections. Interviews will be twenty minutes long and start at 4:40 p.m.

These interviews will be held at the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) building located at 18765 SW Boones Ferry Road, Tualatin, OR 97062 in the 3rd Floor ONA Conference Center. If you have difficulty finding or entering the building, contact Amy Ferguson at 503-701-7132.

Representatives of Oregon Nurses Association will be meeting at 4:30 p.m. for a pre-interview briefing.

These times are not based on confirmations from candidates and are subject to change. We will work with the utmost flexibility to accommodate the schedules of the invited interviewees. The tentative agenda is as follows:

4:30 - 4:40 p.m. ONA pre-interview briefing
4:40 - 5:00 p.m. Jefferson Smith (D) HD 47, Outer East Portland
5:00 - 5:20 p.m. Ed Glad (R) HD 24, Yamhill County
5:20 – 5:40 p.m. Sean Cruz (D) SD 23, SE Portland
5:40 – 6:00 p.m. Rep. Jackie Dingfelder (D) SD 23, SE Portland

Candidates have been asked to bring 12 copies of their completed questionnaires to the interview to be reviewed by the interviewers.

Please feel free to call Martin Taylor (503) 804-7395 if you have any logistical questions or by e-mail at:


Chris O’Neill, RN
ON-PAC President

Please confirm attendance with Martin Taylor 503-804-7395.

Thank you,
Amy Ferguson
Government Relations Program Assistant
Oregon Nurses Association
18765 SW Boones Ferry Road, Suite 200
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-293-0011 ext. 306800-634-3552 (OR only)503-293-0013 (fax)
Register Now for ONA’s 2008 Convention, “New Directions: Nursing’s Future in Oregon.” April 9 – 11, 2008 at The Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center in Bend

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 5:53 PM
To: Amy Ferguson
Subject: Re: Monday, February 11 Candidate Interviews


I will be working in the Capitol in February in my capacity as Senator Avel Gordly's Chief of Staff.

I can't predict what time I'll be able to get away from work, and it's about an hour's drive. How flexible are you for interviewing sitting legislators during session?


-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Amy Ferguson"

Message sent on behalf of Martin Taylor:

Sean, both you and Rep. Dingfelder have expressed a similar caution about your ability to predict your schedules that day.

Our group is meeting from 4:30 – 6:00 for candidate interviews and from 6:00 – 8:00 for ON-PAC business.

Please try to make the interview time of 5:20 – 5:40 pm.

If you need to be late contact us (503-701-7132) so we know you are running late and we will find a way adjust our schedule.

It takes 35-45 minutes to go from the front door of the capitol building to the ONA elevator depending on traffic and your driving style (assuming you know where you are going so you may need to plan a few more minutes of “where the heck is this time”).

Rep. Dingfelder is a sitting legislator and we presented her the same response we just presented you. I hope I answered to your question.

We will not be contributing money to any candidates… sitting legislators or others… until after the Supplemental Session and after the March Filing Deadline.


From: []
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:08 AM
To: Amy Ferguson
Cc: Martin Taylor
Subject: Re: FW: Monday, February 11 Candidate Interviews


Thanks for your reply. Senator Gordly serves on JWM, which is scheduled 3:30 to 5:30 Mon-Thurs.

There is no way to predict what time the hearing will actually end until it does. We have been alerted to be prepared to meet into the evenings. I will not be leaving the Capitol before our work is done for the day.

In five years of legislative service, that has never happened. The public business comes first.

This is the only interview for legislative races that I am aware of that takes place during the legislative session. My availability during the session is completely subject to Senator Gordly's schedule. My priority during the session is the session itself, not campaigning.

I hope the ONA's flexibility takes these circumstances into account. Since my intention is to serve on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee upon Senator Gordly's retirement, and access to quality health care is the core of my legislative agenda, I hope we can resolve the scheduling conflict so I can meet with your organization.


From: "Martin Taylor"
CC: "Chris O'Neill"
Subject: RE: FW: Monday, February 11 Candidate Interviews
Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:19:00 PM

I will forward your reply to our PAC chair.

From: "Martin Taylor"
To: , "Amy Ferguson"
CC: "Chris O'Neill"
Subject: RE: FW: Monday, February 11 Candidate Interviews
Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 3:08:17 PM

-We are canceling the candidate interviews for SD 23 on Feb. 11’th.

So Sean, you don’t need to worry about coming late or not at all… we will not be interviewing either yourself or Rep. Dingfelder that night. Martin


I never heard from them again.

Apparently, the Oregon Nurses Association decided that they didn’t need to invest the twenty minutes in determining their endorsement for Senate District 23 after all.

I learned yesterday that they had endorsed my opponent, and I did not learn this from them.

How this “process” is a benefit to the constituents of Senate District 23 or to the state of Oregon is a mystery to me.

Things are not always what they appear to be.

--Sean Cruz

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't lose your activist streak if you are elected Sean.

I've done similar things on my blog regarding some people you know, and they've decided to ignore me.

When stuff like that happens, you find out how willing one is to "be nice".