September 22nd, 2010 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Republican Pollster In Oregon Says Slaves "Well-Treated"; Advocates Death for Gays

Oregon State Capitol Building

A Clackamas County pollster who has worked for multiple Republican interest groups is at the center of a dispute between state Senate Republicans and Democrats in Oregon.

Filings with the state show groups including Oregonians In Action, the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, Oregonians For Immigration Reform, the Oregon Family Farm Association and the Leadership Fund have paid the Damascus firm Target Market Strategies nearly $135,000 in the past three years. And filings in the current election cycle show the Leadership Fund—the campaign arm of Senate Republicans—has paid the firm $17,500 for polling.

That work has focused Senate Democrats on Target Market Strategies' Dennis Oliver Woods, and particularly the views the company principal expressed on gays, African-Americans and women in his 1998 book "Discipling The Nations." Here are some selected excerpts from Woods' book:

The Death Penalty for Homosexuals:
“Some crimes are such a violent assault on the image of God in man or on biblical society that God stipulates that nothing less than death will satisfy His offended sense of justice….

“In addition to murder (see Lev. 24:17), the death penalty is specified for a number of crimes. This is the ultimate form of restitution. These crimes include promotion of witchcraft…Bestality (see Lev. 20:15), homosexuality (see Lev. 20:13), incest and adultery…” (Discipling the Nations, pg 166)

On Slavery:
“Although the Southern system of slavery has been grossly misrepresented, it was nonetheless unbiblical. In the first place, no more than 20 percent of Southern families ever owned any slaves. Furthermore, public opinion served to keep most abuses in check and the vast majority of slaves were, in fact, well treated.” (Discipling the Nations, pg 78)

“In many, if not most cases, slaves in the old South were purchased for much the same reason that Christians today engage in overseas adoption: to rescue them from a life of hopeless paganism. Their condition was usually happier, healthier and more secure than that of a typical European wage earner…” (http://www.ismellarat.com/faq.aspx)
(Archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20080313034000/www.ismellarat.com/faq.aspx)

On Women and their right to vote:
‘Thus, when it comes to civil government, God deals with representatives of the people, not the people as a whole. Likewise, in the church he deals with elders chosen by the people, and in the family he deals with the husband. This was the rationale for restricting the vote to male heads of households. The counsel of the wife was highly regarded due to her position as vice-regent within the family, but each covenant household was granted a single vote. That vote was cast by the husband – the covenant head of household – who was governmentally responsible before God.

“Moreover, a biblical standard for citizenship must be upheld to ensure a godly representation on the human side of the covenant. This is not a plank we would expect to find in the Republican Party platform. However, as the nation is converted and the great majority yield themselves to the government of the Messiah, they will eventually submit to this feature willingly.” (Discipling the Nations, pg 154)

“This really gets to the heart of the differences in a Democracy & a Republic & explains why America's founders limited the franchise to male heads of households. When God deals governmentally with the three institutions of society – church, state and family, he always deals with representatives freely selected by the people. This includes elders in the church, magistrates in the state, and husbands in the family. When eve sinned, God went to Adam as the responsible party. A universal franchise files in the face of this principle and puts men and women in a potentially confrontive [sic] rather than cooperative relationship… In early colonial days, the basic governmental unit of the family was given a single vote. The vote was cast by the husband….Rather than pitting men and women against each other, they found contentment in cooperating within the God-ordained roles assigned to each.” (http://www.ismellarat.com/faq.aspx)
(Archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20080313034000/www.ismellarat.com/faq.aspx)

When Democrats began making noise about Woods' views, Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) took the puzzling step of throwing gas on the fire rather than distancing his caucus from Woods. Here's an email Ferrioli, whose non-legislative job is public relations, sent to lobbyists:
September 20, 2010
To: Oregon Lobby
From: Ted Ferrioli, Senate Republican Leader
Senate Democrats appear to be engaging in a whispering campaign that is a desperate attempt smear members of the Senate Republican Caucus and Republican candidates running for office. Those of you who have seen the email messages must be aware that they do not even come close to truth. You have worked with our members and met many of our candidates. These statements are an absolute fabrication and are not reflective of those you know.

The Leadership Fund hired a vendor to perform some polling work. The vendor is one of three we have used for this type of work and one of many we have used over the course of this campaign. We do not put any of our vendors through a philosophical litmus test just as we do not ask the person who prints our field signs nor the contractor who prints and distributes our mail pieces about their political beliefs. None of our vendors are spokespeople for the candidates or our campaigns.

These polls were conducted at the request of The Leadership Fund. For Democrats and their supporters to suggest that this vendor represents individual caucus members or candidates is ridiculous. Individual campaigns had no contact with this vendor or role in his selection. In fact, these accusations could violate Oregon's Corrupt Practices Act which forbids making knowingly false statements.

These attacks are reminiscent of those of Senator Joseph McCarthy who elevated guilt-by-association to a science. That is why we are calling on calling on Senator Peter Courtney and Democrat Caucus Leader Richard Devlin to join with us in condemning the practice of smearing Republican candidates using the tactic of guilt-by-association.
Sincerely,
Ted Ferrioli
Senate Republican Leader

Joe McCarthy, of course, claimed that more than 200 members of the State Department belonged to the Communist Party. He never came up with even one name. Where the analogy fails is that Woods has expressed extreme views not only in his book but on two websites. And numerous groups, including ones the caucus presides over, have regularly hired Woods to gauge and help shape public opinion.

Michael Gay, Ferrioli's spokesman, says attempts by Senate Majority Leader Devlin (D-Tualatin) and other Democrats to tie Republican candidates to Woods over-reach.

"He is a vendor for the caucus only," Gay says in an email. "He has had no direct contact with candidates. Devlin also lies when he says that 'Ferrioli knew all of this before hiring Woods.' None of this was known as, again, we don't background check or litmus test vendors."
 
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