Rarely do I agree on anything with Ted Piccolo, a right-wing activist and political consultant who blogs under the alias “I Am Coyote” on the NW Republican site. But he’s posted an analysis of why Chris Dudley lost the governor’s race that I think is spot on – and refreshingly candid.
Piccolo’s central point: Dudley wasn’t qualified to be governor, and the voters knew it.
“Now that the election is over there are many people beginning to murmur some of the concerns that many of us had said publicly about the Chris Dudley campaign,” Piccolo writes. “That it was irresponsible to run Chris Dudley for governor. He was convinced to run by a handful of political establishment guys who's [sic] livelihoods depend on having influence in high places.”
Piccolo lambastes two of those “establishment guys” in particular: Dan Lavey, president of Gallatin Public Affairs, a Portland-based PR firm, and Kerry Tymchuck, a former staffer with Republican Sen. Gordon Smith who's now with Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, another Portland PR firm.
Dudley, Piccolo continues, was the “perfect DL/KT candidate. A blank slate politically and a blank slate philosophically. … It did not matter that he was not prepared for the job. Because he could raise money and DL/KT believed that they could run a campaign that sequestered their candidate and flooded the airwaves with campaign ads. …
“It was cynical and destructive to convince a person who had no business running for anything above the legislature to run for governor just because he could be a good vehicle for fundraising.”
Pretty brutal – but it gets worse. “Dudley knew almost nothing about the state of Oregon and Lavey/Tymchuck did nothing to prepare him,” writes Piccolo. “Why? Because that would have meant bringing in other talented people from Republican circles to tutor him, help him define policy positions, and have input with the inner circle.”
The “outsider’s” envy of the “insiders” is palpable in these comments, of course, but Piccolo makes a valid point: It was cynical – and irresponsible – to pick an unknown with almost zero credentials and nothing going for him but a slight touch of celebrity as a former Trail Blazer and try to foist him on the voters of Oregon. Fortunately, in the end, those voters didn’t fall for it.