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Portland Voters Know There Is There Is No Acceptable Excuse For Genocide

With Earl Blumenauer retiring from Congress, Oregon’s bluest district, OR-03, opened up. Biden beat Trump there 72.5% to 25.2%. The partisan lean is D+43. Seven Democrats jumped into the race, ranging from a solid progressive (Susheela Jayapal, endorsed by Blue America) to Republican-lite Eduardo Morales. Aside from Jayapal and Morales, the only other candidate raising any money is one-term state legislator Maxine Dexter. The primary is May 21.

Actually, Dexter has raised modestly compared to Morales and Jayapal but a PAC, 314 seems to be operating as a pass through for an AIPAC ally, Ray Rothrock of Portola Valley, California. He wrote a $500,000 check to 314 and they put together a $815,489 independent expenditure, just as Dexter started using AIPAC talking points about Gaza.

About a week ago, the Willamette Weekly asked the 3 candidates where they stand on Gaza. Each got the same question— “If you were currently representing the 3rd Congressional District, what advice would you offer President Biden on the war in Gaza?”

Susheela gave a solid progressive response: “I’m the only candidate in this race who has called for a sustainable, humanitarian cease-fire, and I would strongly advise President Biden to use all the leverage available to him to achieve such a cease-fire. That leverage includes an end to unconditional military, financial or diplomatic aid. I condemn terrorism like the attacks of Oct. 7, but the Netanyahu government’s choices— bombing civilians in schools, refugee camps, evacuation routes, and hospitals and now aid workers; denying food, water, medical care— conflict with international law and created a horrific humanitarian catastrophe with an estimated 30,000 dead, the majority of whom were women and children. Continued escalation is not going to lead to peace and security for anyone, Israeli or Palestinian. The violence must stop; humanitarian aid must be allowed in; and the U.S. must throw its weight behind a political solution that allows self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians.”

Morales tap-danced: “It is devastating what is happening to people in Israel and Gaza. I’ve been to Israel and Palestine and met with leaders from both. Today, as people in Palestine and Israel mourn and seek safety, we must demand that our leaders support immediate steps to help those in danger: continuing to bring hostages home, preventing and stopping massive civilian deaths, and restoring food, water and electricity in Gaza. We must also demand long-term solutions for people in the whole region, whether they’re Palestinian or Israeli, and support those who simply want to live their lives and raise their families in peace. It’s clear, we need a diplomatic solution. Israel has a right to defend itself, Hamas should not be in power, and the hostages need to be returned.”

Dexter gave the AIPAC dog whistle response: “Mr. President, as a physician and mother, caring for and keeping people healthy is my life’s work. My heart breaks for innocent families who, first in Israel, and then persistently in Gaza, find themselves in grave danger. As elected officials, we are committed to protecting the lives of all people, whether at home or abroad. I implore you to do everything in your power to urgently facilitate an end to the fighting and achieve long-term peace in Israel and Gaza through a negotiated cease-fire that ensures: (1) an end to the violence, (2) the immediate release of the 134 remaining hostages, and (3) the immediate delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid, including food, water and medicine into Gaza. Your continued leadership is necessary for forging a lasting peace, including a path toward an eventual two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side, with security and peace.”

The thing that makes me mistrust Dexter most is that she was the only Democrat in the state House who voted against a bill to ban insurance companies from charging co-pays for breast exams. The bill prevents group and individual health benefit plans that cover supplemental and diagnostic breast examinations from imposing deductibles, co-insurance, co-payments, or any other out-of-pocket expenses on those services. But… she’s a doctor so I guess she thinks that gives her license to vote with the Republicans.

Today Jayapal called on her opponents in agreeing to reject all Republican money filtering into the primary and to refuse any spending from groups funded by MAGA Republicans.

“MAGA Republicans funding candidates in Democratic primaries,” she said, “not only is contrary to the spirit of our democracy, it is also contrary to the intended party rules in Oregon in which Democrats have the right to choose their Democratic nominee. Will all candidates in the Democratic primary for Oregon’s Third Congressional District agree and promise to ensure Oregon Democrats can choose their nominee, free of the influence of MAGA Republicans?” That’ll piss off AIPAC… and Dexter.

If you’d like to help make sure Susheela wins this race next month, please consider contributing to her campaign here at our Blue Oregon page, where none of the candidataes make excuses for genocide.


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