Down the Ballot

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ebay Find # 6 Jerry Brown pin

Jerry Brown Oregon campaign pin
1992 saw a very active race for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Major names like Mario Cuomo and Al Gore were talked about early on in the campaign, but these possible candidates ruled out a bid for the White House. It is speculated that President George H.W. Bush's high popularity ratings made them question running a campaign. With no big name national Democrats running a field of mostly unknown candidates were vying for the nomination. Governor Bill Clinton, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Bob Kerrey, Senator Paul Tsongas and others made the political rounds.

President Bush's numbers did not remain high for too long. He was also being challenged by more conservative elements in his party over breaking his pledge not to raise taxes.

By the time the Oregon primary arrived in May of 1992 former California Governor Jerry Brown had built himself a grassroots campaign that was accumulating a following. He had won the Vermont, Connecticut, and Colorado primaries and  was picking up delegates in many other states. His campaign then set its attention on Oregon where they felt they had a good chance of beating Governor Clinton who was the frontrunner at this point.

AP Writer Jill Lawrence wrote at the time, "In Oregon, Clinton is abandoning a two week strategy of staying off television and launched an ad campaign to stave off any surprise from Brown". Remember what the big environmental issue was in the early 90s in Oregon? That's right the spotted owl. According to Lawrence Brown " has been campaigning as a champion of the threatened northern spotted owl and old growth forests...tempered his message saying it is possible for owls and loggers to coexist".

The Oregon campaign coordinator of Governor Brown's campaign was Scott Spaan. The Oregon campaign coordinator for Governor Clinton was Paddy McGuire.

The day before the votes were to be cast Governor Brown attended a rally of 3,000 people at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. Joe Mosley of the Eugene Register Guard, reported on Brown taking aim at a then proposed free trade treaty with Mexico (soon to be remembered as NAFTA). Brown furious with Congress and the President believed that if they had jobs that could be outsourced you wouldn't see them promoting it:

What if were possible to move them to Mexico? And instead of paying the president $200,000 with full public housing, with full national health care benefits...we're to lose his salary to $20,000 a year? And we're going to move the whole Congress down to Tijuana and instead of paying them $130,000 a year we'll pay them $13,000 a year...and get the same amount of work out of them.

On Election Day 1992 Jerry Brown would lose to Bill Clinton in the Oregon Presidential Primary. He would still fight on to the Democratic National Convention and only then endorse  Governor Clinton.

This button is the second variation of this pin I have encountered. The other version I own is a white pin with the same lettering. The curl reads the PO box address for the Oregon for Brown Committee in Portland, Oregon. There should be plenty of these pins out there somewhere. Brown won over 30% of the vote in the Oregon primary so these are out there if you look hard enough.

Until the next Ebay find.
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