Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D-Portlandia) rallied her supporters this week to join her newly formed Trump Resistance Team. #TeamKate, as she wants her new group to be known, turned its sights on President Trump. In an email to supporters, she called for folks to join her Social Action Team to resist Trump in order to unify the state and the nation against the forces of division.
The beginning of the email goes like this:
President Trump’s first actions in the Oval Office have attacked our values as Americans and Oregonians. Now, more than ever, we must bring communities together to resist in a divided nation. We must do everything we can to make our voices heard.
That’s why my team created the Social Action Team. We are building a base of online volunteers who can help us get to work — promoting unity, making our communities safe, investing in our schools and so much more.
Being a Social Action Team member is simple. If you use social media, you can help spread our message with the click of a button.
Later, it continues:
Together, we can stand up to a divisive national agenda. We can keep Oregon united and strong. We can set an example for other states to follow.
This is a critical moment. I’m inspired by the millions around the world who are raising their voices. Now we need to turn our energy into action.
“Now, more than ever, we must bring communities together to resist in a divided nation.” In other words, we must unite by dividing to resist divisiveness, or something.
It is notable that this email came from Brown’s campaign account, not her official office. Political professionals would recognize this as an opportunistic list-building exercise. Beyond the effort to seize the news cycle, the message appears to be a bit muddy. As reported by OregonLive,
The message was sent after Oregon was left off an early list of priority infrastructure projects to receive federal funding from the Trump administration.
Oregon’s Democratic congressional representatives have been harsh critics of Trump, who spent little time in Oregon during his campaign.
Liz Accola Meunier, communications director for Brown’s reelection campaign, said the primary purpose of the outreach to voters isn’t to mobilize them against Trump but to get them on board supporting Brown and the progressive issues she champions.
This spin job is undermined by the language of the actual email, however.
The Oregon Republican Party responded with a statement from its chairman, Bill Currier:
This kind of rhetoric by a sitting Oregon Governor is inflammatory, divisive, and unprecedented. We have enough problems coming together in America without elected officials wasting time fanning the flames. The voters have spoken, and public opinion polls show general approval of President Trump’s actions so far. Governor Brown risks being left on the fringes of our society, instead of being considered a bipartisan thought leader. With mounting long term debt, state spending ballooning out of control, transparency and corruption issues, pressing transportation needs, and economic development challenges, does Kate Brown really think Oregon voters elected her Governor to play political games?
You also have to wonder about the origin and funding of this campaign,” cautioned Chair Currier. “We’ve seen many recent examples of Governor Brown’s public policies and political motives being shaped and funded, in whole or in part, by out of state billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and George Soros – along with in-state billionaire Win McCormack. It’s high time Oregon voters reject the extremist agenda of these hyper-rich cronies and leave the governing of Oregon to Oregonians.
Currier also poked fun at the hashtag Gov. Brown intends to use, noting, “The #teamkate hashtag is interesting, if a bit short sighted. A quick twitter search by a social media professional – or even an amateur – would have revealed that it has already been taken. Let’s hope Governor Brown does nothing more to revive the other hashtag she was known for – #korruptkate.”