If my train goes off the track

I’m going to try to pick up the fundraising pace. Here’s an ask from reader JA:

This is a plea for money on behalf of Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a Democrat running in the November election to represent Oregon’s Second Congressional District, replacing long-time Republican Representative Greg Walden.

I have said here on Balloon Juice that I thought Greg has a lock on his seat. His R-majority constituents have happily returned him for ten terms, and during those twenty years no Democratic challenger has come close to unseating him. I bought the conventional wisdom that the 2018 election would be no different.

That was before I met Jamie.

Jamie has at least two game-changing factors in her favor.

First, she’s an appealing candidate — of any party affiliation — for the vast rural Second, twenty rural counties comprising nearly two-thirds of Oregon’s geography. Her approach and her message are intensely local. She has a knack for making people feel heard, and for building broad support for non-partisan solutions. She is fresh and energetic, with deep family roots in the same rangeland culture misrepresented by the Bundys and Hammonds. Jamie has the right mix of qualities to attract persuadable conservatives, yet, though she may not always make progressives 100% happy, she’s no Blue Dog. Plus, for the BJ audience, she is an unapologetic dog lover, whip smart and pleasingly opinionated, and an out, married lesbian.

The second game-changing factor is an emerging perception that Walden is vulnerable in this election in a way he hasn’t been up to now. Part of that is the broader Trump taint. But a more damaging element in this district is that Greg’s once-admirable record of close contact and effective representation has been eclipsed by his party loyalty and clear support for wealthy special interests. He has taken a lot of grief from all sides over his support for the tax bill and for his sponsorship of AHCA, both of which are called out in local, typically Walden-friendly media for harming large minorities of Greg’s constituents. There has been a well-established “raised middle finger” satisfaction for many of Greg’s long-time voters — by supporting Oregon’s sole Republican elected federal office holder, they are really sticking it to the liberal pansies in the more populous western third of the state. But some of those same Walden die-hards voted for Senator Wyden in 2016.

Greg is absolutely mailing it in so far this campaign. He’s currently getting yelled at for avoiding voter contact while making plenty of time for non-resident donors in distant, closed-door fundraisers. The sleeper bet for 2018 is that Walden is easily back-footed and that enough of his Republican constituents will vote for Jamie to make the difference. While Greg lowers himself further into the swamp, Jamie is meeting voters and attracting volunteers in numbers not seen for any Second District candidate, of any party, ever.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s campaign is at a critical phase in mid-August.

She has had a surge of fundraising lately, but she will need more heading into the final months before the election, when hard costs (ads, lawn signs, paid campaign staff) make the most difference, and when every contribution makes it easier to bring in even more.

Jackals, this is an opportunity to boost a campaign with a real shot at a seat few thought worth the effort just a short time ago. A win for Jamie is within reach. It’s the right move for the district, and it will be one of the biggest upsets in the Blue Tsunami.

If you have a few spare dollars, thank you for helping Oregon’s Second by contributing at the link. XOX

You know what to do.

Goal Thermometer

76 replies
  1. 1
    smintheus says:

    Her campaign is somewhat inventive in fundraising, and has raised at least $300K thus far:

    McLeod-Skinner handed the microphone to her campaign finance volunteer, who referenced a story McLeod-Skinner had just told of a woman who cut, stacked, and sold a cord of wood to get the money to donate to her campaign. The chairman asked this audience to give as generously, with the same relative sacrifice as that woman. “Please give your cord of wood.”

    I happen to be taking a break at the moment from cutting and stacking firewood.

  2. 2
    Mary G says:

    Well, I only have $5, but JA sold me, so I made it monthly. I think the reason that Republicans got so many state legislatures, etc., was that people who didn’t love Howard Dean went with not trying in red states, which is idiotic. Also, too I remember hyping Doug Applegate in June 2016, and a bunch of people said “Oh, you’ll never beat Darrell Issa in Orange County.” And, yes, we didn’t quite, but it was close. You never know until you try.

  3. 3
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Word is that the Nate McMurray campaign for NY 27 got a big fund raising boost. I know some is because of folks like the BJ pack.

  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    @smintheus: @Mary G: I like her style, from your link:

    She said the divide between red and blue was in large part an illusion. The big issue in Burns, she said, was the dropping water table, hardly a a Democratic or Republican matter. She said she related to rural people and that the Democratic Party, in its messaging and policies, had work to do. She said that her having a wife created less concern in eastern Oregon than did her saying she liked country music had in liberal Ashland.

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    It’s been an interesting election season here so far. There was a candidate forum at a local high school last week and all candidates were invited. But only the Dems showed up. Not one single Republican thought they should come and meet the voters. Conor Lamb is running against current rep, Keith Rothfus. Lamb has been just everywhere throughout the district, holding town halls, meet and greets, fundraisers for himself and other Dems, community events…you name it. No one here has seen Rothfus in public for at least the last two years, unless you are a donor or fundy with whom he meets behind closed doors without press access.

    I really don’t understand how they think they can win like this. Lamb is up by double digits in the polls I’ve seen and you can’t tell me that just being out there and talking to people doesn’t work. Apparently, they think a big Heritage money drop for tv ads will close that quickly widening gap. They are nuts.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @geg6: They think it’ll work because it’s always worked in the past.

  7. 7
    zhena gogolia says:


  8. 8
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    Apparently, they think a big Heritage money drop for tv adsRooskie rodent-fornicating blitz will close that quickly widening gap.


    The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.

    –I.V. Dzugashvili.

    – goddamnittohell.

  9. 9
    Mandalay says:

    @Mary G:

    “Oh, you’ll never beat Darrell Issa in Orange County.” And, yes, we didn’t quite, but it was close. You never know until you try.

    Here’s a vaguely similar story – underdog with no chance takes on the incumbent – with a happier ending. This victory is about as sweet as they come, even though it was against another Democrat!…

    Wesley Bell was not favored to win his race for the top prosecutor’s job in St. Louis County, Missouri.

    Not many people or polls gave him a chance. Robert McCulloch, 67, had held the position for more than 25 years. In 2014, McCulloch chose not to file charges against the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.

    On Tuesday, Bell won the race with nearly 57 percent of the vote.

    “This election was clearly a referendum on the need to reform the criminal justice system to make sure it’s fair for all,” Bell told NBC News. “The idea of reform has taken hold all over the country.”…

    …His victory came the day before the fourth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. With no Republican on the November ballot, winning the Democratic primary essentially means Bell has the prosecutor’s job.

  10. 10
    dogwood says:

    Sounds like a good candidate. Right now my money and time is going toward Lisa Brown in Washington 5. I really hate Cathy McMorris Rogers and hope that the leaked Nunes tape will tip the scales here.

  11. 11
    debbie says:


    Mike DeWine’s been invisible in Ohio too. Meanwhile, Cordray’s attorneys are threatening the RGA over their ad implying that Cordray secretly stole Americans’ credit card info while leading the CFPB. The RGA stands by the ad even as DeWine officials acknowledge there are no facts to substantiate the claims in the ad.

    Makes me think the GOP is about to drop some sort of bombshell in October in an attempt to destroy Dems.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Walden is a vile sack of manure who needs to be replaced.

  13. 13
    Ruckus says:

    I lived in OH for 11 yrs. I couldn’t pick out DeWine in a lineup of one.

  14. 14
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I can’t think of one republican that doesn’t meet that description.

  15. 15
    debbie says:


    You weren’t looking low enough. ;)

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Sadly, I lived in Ohio for 15 years, and I can instantly picture his face. You are the luckier person in this instance.

  17. 17
    Ruckus says:


  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Hey, you have to get lucky once in a while, just the law of averages.
    That’s my one.

  19. 19
    oatler. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I lived in OR for some years and assumed Walden was nailed to his perch like a late parrot.

  20. 20
    KSinMA says:

    I’m in.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @oatler.: Given the inherent butthurt that infests all of Oregon east of the Cascades, you’d think so, but Walden’s been ignoring local concerns for some time now to line up a good K Street job after he retires. Which will be this year, I hope.

  22. 22
    Noah Brand says:

    I have been phone-banking and canvassing for the McLeod-Skinner campaign, and yes to all of this. She’s a great candidate, and OR-2 is not a safe Republican district. Not this year.

  23. 23
    Yutsano says:

    @Noah Brand: This is still going to be a tough lift. But if she can get most of the larger towns in the district that might be enough to get her over the Bundy fundamentalist types that always vote Republican.

  24. 24
    Noah Brand says:

    I should add that I’ve had this exact conversation on MULTIPLE doorsteps:

    “Hi, I’m a volunteer with the Jamie McLeod-Skinner for Congress campaign. Are you planning on voting in this year’s election?”


    “Great! Do you think you’ll be voting for Jamie McLeod-Skinner?”

    “I don’t know, I haven’t really heard anything about her.”

    “Well, she’s running on the Democratic ticket, hoping to take Greg Walden’s seat in Congress…”

    [INSTANTLY] “Then she’s got my vote. That bastard needs to go.”

  25. 25
    HinTN says:

    “Unfortunately TouchWhiz home has stopped” ???

    In other news nym and email are populated.

  26. 26
    Tim C. says:

    I lived in OR-2 for about six years (La Grande and Ontario) It’s gonna be all about getting everyone over the age of 18 who lives in Bend and probably Sisters to the polls, it’s not out of reach, but it will be a hard climb. If we win it though It would be nice to turn Oregon 100% blue. And if nothing else, making that POS Walden earn it this time would be nice.

  27. 27
    Mary Green says:

    Here’s the outrage of the day: American couple living in Peru legally adopt a newborn baby, decided to move home to America, applied for citizenship for their daughter, could not get permission for the baby to enter. Mom got a job in CO, dad and baby had to stay in Peru. Finally baby gets a tourist visa and they are all reunited. Everything cool, right? No, baby’s citizenship denied and she has to leave the country when the tourist visa expires a month later. Kid is now 4 years old. Democrats need to run ads on this shit.

  28. 28
    Mary G says:

    Administration are monsters, part 10,000,000: Aurora parents fighting to stop legally adopted 4-year-old daughter from being deported.

    This is unbelievable.

  29. 29
    gene108 says:


    GOP has nothing to go on besides outrageous lies.

    Doing a little bit of door knocking Andy Kim , NJ-03,

    He’s trying to unseat crappy Tom MacArthur, the guy whose compromise (The MacArthur Amendment) got the AHCA through the House.

    Anyway, Andy worked as a national security advisor for Bush and Obama, and got laid off or quit (can’t recall, which one is right), after Trump took over. He was living in DC, and relocated back home to NJ, in Feb 2017, after losing his job. He was in DC’s system for a property tax rebate, so he got one for 2017. Per the campaign staff, it amounted to $687.93, which he returned to DC, shortly after receiving it.

    MacArthur has an add out that says Andy cheated on his property taxes to the tune of $72,000. People more senior in the campaign than the field organizers I work with are debating how to respond.

    But lies are all Republicans have right now. And white resentment.

  30. 30
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    I gave 5 bucks. I hope it helps MacLeod-Skinner win this November

  31. 31
    gene108 says:

    @Mary G:

    Glad Trump’s getting these bad hombres out of the country. There’s going to be one less MS-13 gang formed in a Colorado pre-K class thanks to this decision.

    Snark aside, I have no idea why USCIS would deny and adopted 4 year old permanent status. I know dealing with immigration is like dealing with a black hole, where no light onto why they do things can emerge, but they should have at least gotten a Request for Evidence (RFE), instead of an outright rejection.

  32. 32
    sukabi says:

    @Mary G: JFC what is wrong with these aholes?

  33. 33
    smintheus says:


    “Tom MacArthur wrote legislation intended to financially wipe out patients with pre-existing medical conditions. Tom MacArthur’s pre-existing condition is that he’s a congenital liar.”

  34. 34
    Calouste says:


    Snark aside, I have no idea why USCIS would deny and adopted 4 year old permanent status.

    The girl is Hispanic and one of her parents is Hispanic. That’s enough for the racists now running USCIS. And they pretty much stopped doing RFEs, or are going to in a month or so (except of course for white people).

  35. 35
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    DeWine is a real weasel. I’ve seen the ridiculous pro-Trump ads he ran in the primary on TV. You can guarantee he’ll try to run on his supposed integrity he showed while state AG

  36. 36
    James E Powell says:

    @Mary G:

    She said she related to rural people and that the Democratic Party, in its messaging and policies, had work to do.

    I hate reading remarks like this from a Democratic candidate. And the having a wife/liking country music story sounds like total bullshit.

    I mean, I wish her way more than good luck. The district is R+11. But please, stop repeating and reinforcing RW narratives.

  37. 37
    Schlemazel says:

    I have been doing some phone banking for the primary – that is this Tuesday here on the tundra. A lot of very positive comments even when I get people that are not voting for my guys.

    The bad news is that on Friday a guy fired from SoS office publicly claimed that Lori Swanson (SoS and candidate for Gov) intimidated State employees to work on her campaigns. Since the guy has been fired for a couple of years the timing is odd. Now charges of spousal abuse have been leveled against Keith Ellison (currently running for SoS).

    I am not supporting either & neither has the parties endorsement for the office but I always find these last minute revelations bullshit. even _IF_ they were true why wait until there is no time to adequately respond? We probably will never know who is behind these two smear efforts but they injure the process and should be unacceptable no matter what party the target is part of.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @James E Powell: I’m putting this as a case where she knows what will sell in her district. If that involves some right wing framing, if it results in a win for her, let her do that. She doesn’t need to go all firebrand Democrat if playing local is the better option.

  39. 39
    Schlemazel says:

    @James E Powell:
    Maybe you have to say shit like that to flip a -11 but Dems need to do it more artfully than to just replay wingnut talking points. I hate hearing it & more so from people who already hold office.

  40. 40
    Amir Khalid says:

    Only for 30 minutes after your most recent comment. After that — poof!

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid: You’re right. This is still broken. Alain, halp!

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    That’s what I’m thinking, too. And the idea in the mind of the person who denied it was, If that white lady didn’t want her kid to be deported, she shouldn’t have been a race traitor and married a filthy wetback.

  43. 43
    cynthia ackerman says:

    @Noah Brand:

    You are my hero.

    Thank you! Please carry on!

    I am inspired, and joining the JMS canvassing in my Wasco County precinct!

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:


    Someone is working hard behind the scene to get rid of powerful Minnesota Democrats — first Al Franken, and now this stuff.

    Tina Smith (? — the one who took over from Franken) should watch her back and make sure she’s never so much as jaywalked in her whole life, because they’re coming for her next.

  45. 45
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I was told yesterday in no uncertain terms that this is not going to be fixed because (a) it’s our fault and (b) those having this problem are a tiny minority. So I’m going to see how utterly annoying it continues to be, but I may stop commenting because of it.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I think Alain said he’s trying to install a new WordPress template that doesn’t have all of the old code fragments that keep breaking the updates, so they’re prioritizing that over trying to fix the current one.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @zhena gogolia: Oh no, what a tragedy!

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @zhena gogolia: The way I read what was (rather inartfully) said yesterday was that they aren’t going to fix the toilet that keeps running right now because they are working on the flooded basement and the toxic mold.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    I think if we threaten and cajole Alain and Cole this shit will get solved most ricky-tic. Oh Tommy, where are you???

  51. 51
    Mary G says:

    It’s not just the four-year-old in danger of being deported.

    I know there are some horrible people at the Intercept (cough, cough, Greenwald, cough, cough), but this thread by Daniel Medina there about people adopted overseas not having citizenship is pretty horrific. This has been going on for decades:

    ~THREAD~Over the last 10 months, I have obsessively tracked down and spoken to 25+ foreign-born adoptees who were brought as children to the US by American citizens but who remain without citizenship, in some cases well into their 40s and 50s. There are more than 40,000 of them.— Daniel Medina (@dmedin11) August 12, 2018

    Unacceptable. I bet white kids from Russia adopted by rich people here don’t have this problem. Call your Senators and Reps to support the Adoptee Citizenship Act bill.

  52. 52
    Lapassionara says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes. And let’s not help them do it this time.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There was nothing inartful about it. If you’re not down then don’t step up in the first place.
    Little story. Assholes gotta asshole.

  54. 54
    efgoldman says:


    JFC what is wrong with these aholes?

    Question answers itself. Assholes gotta’ asshole, its what they do.

  55. 55
    mike in dc says:

    @lamh36: Back on the scene, crispy and clean…

  56. 56
    Ten Bears says:

    I have been trying to get rid of Walden since he first ran for state office. Every word of this is true, in particular the dems have never mounted credible opposition. Help is highly appreciated.

  57. 57
    zhena gogolia says:


    I’m not threatening anybody. I’m sick of being asked what problems I’m having and then being called an asshole for responding. By you and others like you.

  58. 58

    Maybe it’s just the onion on my belt talking, but I feel like people deciding they won’t comment on a blog they like to comment on just because they have to TYPE THEIR NAME IN EVERY TIME OMG smacks of whadda you mean I gotta DIAL THE PHONE NUMBER EVERY TIME??? or like if I gotta GET UP to change the goddamn channel then I AINAGONNA WATCH THE TEEVEE ATOLL1!!1!!11!!!1

    We don’t even know how fucking spoiled we are

  59. 59
    efgoldman says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I’m sick of being asked what problems I’m having and then being called an asshole for responding.

    Raven is a little quick on the trigger sometimes. Give him a fishing rig and send him to the shore.

  60. 60
    zhena gogolia says:

    @John Revolta:

    Screw you too.

  61. 61
    zhena gogolia says:


    Really, just screw everybody here. Not you, of course.

  62. 62
    efgoldman says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Not you, of course.

    Why not? I spend half my life bent over

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Revolta: Were you on this blog during the DougJ psychological experiments? There were tildes involved, for fuck’s sake. I’m not going back there.

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @efgoldman: I’m wearing my Frances Fleet, Point Judith shirt as we speak. Had a nice day on the water yesteday.

  66. 66
    efgoldman says:


    I’m wearing my Frances Fleet, Point Judith shirt as we speak

    I didn’t see you wave on your way by. (If you went on I-295 you went by my house.)

  67. 67
    James E Powell says:


    How about a message that says “Despite what you may be hearing, we Democrats have a lot to offer you. Here’s a few examples” rather than “You’re right, they’re assholes. I hate them as much as you do.”

  68. 68
    raven says:

    @efgoldman: God, I got into Logan at 3 on Friday. Two hours to Warwick. Up Saturday and down to the boat. Then up to Attleboro on 295 for a couple of hour nap. Back to Warwick and then up at 2:30 for a 6:30 flight out of Logan. In Atlanta the shuttle driver went south instead of north so it tool THREE HOURS to get home instead of 90 minutes. Yea, I’m cranky but had a great time. Sidney Goldman didn’t show. Recognize anyone?

  69. 69
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Corner Stone:
    You should know this better than anyone here

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I missed whatever went on last night, but please try to stick it out. This won’t go on forever.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    Looks like Col Potter in the middle, with a little added weight. And a beard.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Mary G: Shit, I just realized – the folks who sold me my current abode 30 years ago were moving out of Baltimore City to a similar house just outside the City line so their two adopted Chilean orphan children – the older of whom was about to start school – would qualify for the reasonably good school system in Baltimore County. I hope those folks got their kids (in their mid-30s now) naturalized…

  74. 74
    Gravie says:

    Mr. Gravie and I have been campaigning for Jamie since the run-up to the primaries in May. We did downtown street contact in Bend about a month before the primary to encourage people to come to a meet-and-greet. Mr. Gravie would approach people with “Do you know who you want to vote for to replace Greg Walden?” Almost without exception, the answer was “anyone.” Jamie is way better than “anyone,” and has campaigned avidly for more than a year now, traveling the entire district — which is HUGE — and meeting with everyone, including folks who might not appear to be her natural constituents. She is the real deal.

  75. 75

    […] There were so many Balloon Juice readers in Oregon Congressional District Two? From commentor JA: […]

  76. 76
    Dupe1970 says:

    Can we give some love to Colin Allred in TX-32?

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