by Len Bergstein
Historic evening -- with the Governor gaining momentum for a second term and majorities in both houses to move his agenda [education/higher ed, healthcare, alternative energy. Gov's victory can be traced to strong showing in special session, building a strong team [Jim Ross running campaign, Lisa Grove message strategy, Josh Karden and Tim Nesbitt]. Pat Egan as Gov's chief of staff kept office running with out any major mistakes. Kulongoski then ran a more effective campaign beating Saxton on major campaign themes [education, efficiency in government, demonstrated leadership] ... and connecting on a personal level with voters [you know whose side he's on...]
National races turned out to be as competitve as everyone thought they'd be -- with the battleground states of Montana,Missouri and Virginia yet to determine who controls the Senate.
The national ressults give Oregon's congressional delegation an opportunity to gain more clout -- DeFazio and Blumenauer probably get subcommittee chairs and Hooley may get rewarded with seat on Appropriations.Look for effective working relationship with Gov's office on natural resource issues,Klamath Basin initiative and "sustainable energy" programs
Democrats get best of both worlds in Congress -- control of House gives chance to move legislation and control committees that will hold administration more "accountable" -- yet not held accountable themselves if they had taken both chambers. Pelosi will have hands full because recruited candidates are conservative and will be challenge to fold into a smooth-running caucus.
Governor has advantage of starting second term without "cloud" of spending limits and loss of tax revenues [defeat of 48, 41].
Democrats have challenge of running the Oregon House with members who have not chaired committees in recent past or run Ways and Means committee.Organized labor will have to show some restraint in what they ask of Democrats, since they are owed a lot for fueling the victory, but asking for too much could set Democrats up for a fall in 2 years.