Monday, December 29, 2014

Favorite Items of 2014

Some of our friends on Facebook began posting what their 'favorite finds' of 2014 were. I thought I would start the ball rolling for the Oregon group.

My first favorite pin (well it is really 4) was eliminating not 1, or 2 but 4 pins from my MORSE WANT LIST. I was rather blown away.

I got the Morse-McGovern-Shriver pin for my birthday from a friend, the smaller Morse-McGovern and Porter pins followed and then finally I picked up the Blue and White Morse Bristow pin. 2014 was a great year for Morse pins! All of these pins are from 1972.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

W.J. Furnish Lapel Stud

Got this W.J. Furnish for Governor lapel stud on the Political Memorabilia Exchange founded by APIC members on facebook. There is a matching button to this lapel stud. Furnish was the 1902 Republican nominee for Governor. He unseated then Governor T.T. Geer and two other opponents at the Republican State Convention in Portland that April. Geer and another candidate withdrew before balloting leaving Furnish and H.E. Ankney to campaign for the votes of delegates.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Clinton-Gore-Wellstone Pins

1996 gave collectors an array of coattail pins from President Clinton's re-election effort. As a Wellstone collector I have managed to find several over the years that I include in my collection. This one is perhaps my favorite of the Clinton-Wellstone coattail pins. At 3" inches it really stands out.

There are several others that can be found including,

This set given out at the 1996 Democratic National Convention to the Minnesota Delegation. This photo was from fellow APIC member Paul Bengston's collection. All pins are 2.25" inches.

Another '96 coattail is from the Minnesota State Convention and  is 3" inches. There is another version of this pin that is white and blue and does not have the 'state convention' mention on the face.
This pin is similar to several different Minnesota Clinton pins that use the map of the state with different wording around it.

The last pin, is a rectangular pin and is the only Clinton-Wellstone picture pin that I know of currently.
While it is a neat pin to have, I ultimately think the photo used is a bad one. Do you know of any other Clinton-Wellstone pins from 1996?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September Finds: Morse, Throop, & More

Turned up several neat items in antique and thrift shops around my area. The first is a Wayne Morse bumper sticker from his 1956 re-election campaign. Really neat item, and a first for me.

As most know, Morse had recently switched from the GOP to the Democrats after growing increasingly frustrated with party leadership and the direction the party was going on many policy fronts. He would win in 1956, by defeating former Oregon Governor and then Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tweet about Denver

APIC members, be sure you tweet about the Denver Convention starting in 8 days.

Or you can just follow all the news coming out of the convention.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The APIC National Convention is set to start in 8 days. Over the next few days we'll upload some info for Oregon members attending. July 29th-August 2nd

Special thanks go out to Cowan's Auctions, Hakes, Anderson Americana and Heritage Auctions for helping make this convention possible.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vic Atiyeh Remembered

The news came late last night that former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh passed away due to kidney failure. We'll have more about his political legacy and items in the coming days. With his passing, there are now only three former living Oregon Governors.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tom Berg Remembered

Tom Berg
This is just a quick notice for all Oregon APIC members that are not facebook. We learned this morning that Tom Berg had passed away suddenly Thursday evening. Tom was a well known member of the national organization and a co-organizer of the upcoming AIPC National Convention in his home state of Colorado at the end of this month.

We are all saddened and shocked by this news and there is bound to be some sort of memorial event of some kind taking place in Denver at the APIC national convention to honor Tom for all the work he put into making this convention happen.

To Tom's family we express our sincere condolences on your loss.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Kitzhaber's 1998 Opponents

Kitzhaber 1994

Bill Sizemore 1998 Campaign Pin
This is a follow up to our previous post on the political opponents of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. After winning his first term in 1994, it what was generally seen as a Republican year. The Gingrich Revolution never really seemed to hurt John Kitzhaber politically. He beat back Denny Smith and entered the 1998 race with strong prospects to being re-elected.

Had he been able to foresee the future, he might not have taken Sizemore as lightly as he did. After all, he would go on to beat Sizemore by over 300,000 votes in the general election. That was the widest margin a candidate for governor had earned in half a century. While Sizemore lost the 1998 election, his agenda seemed to prevail and derail Kitzhabers own agenda. A string of anti-tax ballot measures would soon follow Kitzhaber into the 21st century. He would continually have to sideline his own policy initiatives in order to fight off Sizemores anti-tax agenda.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jim Francesconi for City Council 1996

The 2014 Oregon Primary saw the return of a Portland politico Jim Francesconi to the ballot for the first time in a decade. In 2004 he lost a hotly contested race for Portland Mayor to Tom Potter. After shakeups on the Multnomah County Commission Francesconi came back to announce his campaign for Multnomah County Chair.

While he ended up losing to Deborah Kafoury in May, I thought it would be interesting if we could track down some items from his time on the Portland City Council. He was first elected in 1996. Beating both Gail Shibley and Erik Sten in the May primary. Sten would still get elected in 1996 thanks to a special election later in September for Commissioner position 2.

Ric Flair for Governor?

If you asked some people, I'm sure they would tell you professional wrestling and politics have a lot in common. There is the theatrics of trying to tell a story to win over a crowd. The competition of facing off your opponents. The tables, ladders and chairs. Ok...maybe not exactly that tough, but you get the idea. Sadly, there is also that part to politics and professional wrestling that you just know is predetermined. We know before going in who is going to win in most cases. Sometimes the writers pull a surprise and have Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in Iowa...but most of the time we know who is going to win. Folks like Nate Silver have made election night surprises very rare.

After Jesse The Body Ventura's remarkable win for the governorship of Minnesota in 1998 other professional wrestlers started contemplating running for public office. There have been draft movements to get folks like Hulk Hogan to run for President.

During the 2000 Democratic and Republican National Conventions stars like Mick Foley and The Rock addressed the conventions to get young voters to tune into politics. Wrestling was king during this time in American pop culture. Politicos who never heard of Mankind, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, were taking notes from these folks on engaging young voters. These efforts were called 'Smackdown Your Vote!' and were repeated during the next several elections. 

The UPN show Smackdown was one of the highest rated programs on television in 2000 and WWE (then WWF) sent out a challenge to Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush to appear and have a 'youth debate'. The 'jabronis' as The Rock would call them, never showed up.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Button Check List

Thought we would share this great image for fellow collectors. This great graphic was made by APIC member Andrew Nelson. A wonderful guide to 2012 related Elizabeth Warren items. Featured are known lapel stickers and buttons produced by the campaign, other organizations and vendors. Thank You Andrew.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hart for America Oregon Poster

Advert for Marion Co. Hart Rally
As a trained political junkie (i.e a holder of a political science degree) I am constantly fascinated by the campaigns that have come and gone. One of the campaigns to set up in Oregon in the past 30 years is the 1984 Gary Hart campaign, which by the way it has been exactly 30 years since the Hart campaign came to Oregon.

Hart was running against former Vice President Walter Mondale. If you are partial to the insurgent/establishment breakdowns of political campaigns then this would be of a similar contest to the Clinton-Obama race of 2008, for those not familiar with the dynamic of the 84 Democratic primaries.

Political organizations depend on people and candidates go where they have people. In the spring of 1984 a group of Marion County, Oregon organizers got Gary Hart to appear for a rally at the courthouse in downtown Salem as apart of his swing through the state. Here is a photo from the rally.
I'm guessing that Senator Hart is just behind the big flock of hair in the photo. This photo was given to me by my friend Liz. She was one of the many dedicated organizers who ran the Marion County for Hart organization.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Epic Willkie McNary Poster

One of the great aspects of being members of the American Political Item Collectors  is that we get to see items from other collectors around the country. A few months ago this 1940 Willkie-McNary poster was being shared with members on the facebook group. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sig, Wayne, & Mark

1962 Unander for Senate Button
Sig Unander is probably not a household Oregon name to any. When I first found this pin several years ago, I didn't even know it was an Oregon item. Coming to political prominence during the post war years in the late 40s and was active in statewide politics in the 1950s and 60s. Unander, like many Oregon politicos of his era, got his start in the young Republican organizations that existed in the state at that time.

The biggest reason why Unander is not a household name is because he never became Governor of Oregon. He was beat out by fellow Republican Mark Hatfield in the 1958 Republican primary. Hatfield of course became the famous young Republican that beat Governor Robert Holmes. 1958 was also unusual in that every member of the state board (Governor, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State) were all running for governor at the same time.

Unander probably felt a little slighted by the challenge in the GOP primary by Hatfield. Unander had just a little more seniority in the Republican ranks than Hatfield. People at this level in politics have long memories. The campaign got a little rough towards the end and Hatfield bested Unander in the primary and went on to serve two terms as Governor. Unander would continue to serve as State Treasurer (as he had been elected in 1952 and 1956). It is hard to determine if Hatfield and Unander were ever on the same page again. Hatfield had clearly knocked the wind out of Unanders political sails.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Des Connall Items Found

This last winter we did a post remembering former Multnomah Co. District Attorney Des Connall. He had passed away in 2013. It turns out I had two more items from his DA campaigns.

Both of these bumper stickers were found while cleaning out a box of items that had gotten lost in the mess of the garage. Here they are now to supplement the previous post.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mark Hatfield Postcard

Here's a great Mark Hatfield for State Representative postcard from his 1952 campaign that showed up on ebay recently. Pretty neat early career item from Senator Hatfield. The last Hatfield post we put up was about items concerning one of the highest points of his career; when he was considered to be a Vice President in 1968.

Keep on looking. Great stuff is out there to find.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Patrick Lucey visits Oregon

In the fall of 1980, two weeks after accepting the nomination of Vice President on Congressman John Anderson's Unity Ticket, former Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey made a campaign swing through Oregon. Lucey was a Democrat. Anderson a Republican. Together they felt they could make some changes worthy of votes in the November 1980 elections.

Patrick Lucey passed away this past week and I just realized I had one Oregon button from the Anderson-Lucey campaign.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Nixon-Hatfield Ticket

Possible 1968 GOP ticket buttons
Richard Nixon. Everyone knows the good, the bad and the ugly about him and his administration and how that is related to Watergate. Most Oregonians though are unaware that for a few days leading up to the 1968 Republican National Convention Nixon and top aides actually placed Oregon Senator Mark Hatifeld on a short list of eight people to be considered for the nomination of Vice President on the Republican ticket.

In the weeks and sometimes months before a political convention you can find some of the best 'fantasy ticket' items produced. A fantasy ticket or hypothetical ticket item is a political item bearing a ticket of a possible or favored party ticket prior to the selection of nominees from that party. Some fantasy tickets are highly plausible others are mostly just dream tickets. In 2004 a dream ticket of many was a Kerry-McCain ticket. McCain and Kerry were fellow Vietnam veterans and U.S. Senators that had been friends for many years. McCain teased the media for a few days saying he would seriously think about it if an offer was made from the Democratic Party. Of course, no offer ever did come from the party.

More Earl Blumenauer Items Found

We've started doing some posts on current members of the Oregon congressional delegation and our first one was on Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Since that post a few more items have shown up. Here is a t-shirt and a set of colorful bicycles that the Blumenauer campaign gives out.

Getting the images taken for our next post of Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Upcoming APIC May Events

Several APIC Events coming up for the month of May. You can visit for more info on what goes on at an APIC Show.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Charles Jordan Remembered

Over the weekend former Portland City Commissioner Charles Jordan passed away. Jordan was appointed to his seat in 1974 and was elected to a full term that May. He faced 14 opponents in the primary. Over 98,000 votes were cast and Jordan managed to grab over 30,000 of them. His nearest challenger, Gene Anderson, took just over 10,000 votes. Both men would face off in the November General Election. Jordan would come out on top again over Anderson. He would be elected to serve on the commission with future Mayor Frank Ivancie, and Auditor Mildred Schwab.

Here is a bumper sticker from that first primary campaign in 1974.

The 'new face' was a creative take on two different aspects of his appointment. First, that he was already on the city council and that he was first African American to serve and be elected in Portland on the council.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Theodora "Tonie" Nathan Remembered

Nathan for Lane Co. Commission Card
The state of Oregon lost one of its most interesting political figures of the last fifty years when Tonie Nathan passed away today. She was a founding member of the national Libertarian Party and the first woman in United States history to receive an electoral vote in the 1972 presidential election. She was also the first Jewish American to receive an electoral vote. Beating both Geraldine Ferraro and Joe Lieberman to those historic firsts.

While her electoral exploits from 1972 are mostly remembered for good trivia for Oregon political junkies today; her victory of a single electoral vote in 1972 are due to the thanks of elector Roger MacBride.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ray Smith Republican Club button

Picked this item up at the Portland Expo Antique & Collectable show earlier this month.
Don't know a whole lot about these 'Republican Clubs', it appears though from looking around the archives of  Oregon newspapers that they were around as late as the 1950s. You can find several articles mentioning the election of new officers and adoption of various policies for the Oregon GOP platform. Here's an article from the Bend Bulletin reporting on the highlights of the convention that this particular pin is from.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Americans with Hart Montana button

Was able to add this Montana Gary Hart pin from his 1984 campaign to my collection this weekend. I thought I found a really great Democratic primary campaign item. Having done a good deal of reading and research on the 1984 election in general, I had a fair understanding of the dynamics of the race between Mondale, Hart and Jackson. What I didn't anticipate was seeing on the results map was the uncommitted slot winning the 1984 Montana Democratic Primary.

I knew then, I had to do a little more digging to find out how this came to be. Gary Hart seems to be a candidate that should have won the primary, being a Senator from neighboring Colorado.

Earlier in year, back in March of 1984 Montana Democrats had met for a Caucus. Hart would beat Mondale in the caucus and gain 11 of the 19 delegates up for grabs. Mondale would take 8 and the remaining 6 were unpledged super delegates that could vote for whomever they wanted.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oregon's Earl Blumenauer on the Trail since 1970

1981 City Council Button
Earl Blumenauer has been a fixture of Portland politics since the 1970s. One of the few that has served in just about every level of government offered in Portland.  He got his start by organizing the Go 19 campaign in 1970. This would have lowered the voting age in Oregon to 19. While this effort was unsuccessful, it helped push pressure towards the passage of the twenty-sixth Amendment that lowered the voting age to 18 in 1972.

Winning a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives in 1972 and was re-elected in 1974 and 1976. During this time he was also attending law school and working at Portland State University. In 1978 he won a seat on the Multnomah County Commission and during his term sought a seat on the Portland City Council in 1981. He would lose this race to Margaret Strachan.
It wouldn't be until the late 80s when another opportunity opened up for Blumenauer to vie for a seat on the city council. This time he would win and serve there until his election to congress in 1996.

While on the city council, Blumenauer was able to work on transportation issues and was the Commissioner of Public Works for the city. It was during his time on the city council that Blumenauer went up against Vera Katz in the open mayoral election in 1992. While he would lose this race, he continued to serve on the city council and that allowed him the opportunity to run to replace Ron Wyden after he advanced to the U.S. Senate in 1996.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

May you find that special political item you've always wanted today. Just going to show a little love to Valentine related items.

While I have only one Valentine specific item, the great thing about our hobby is lots of people can share their collections easily.

This Reagan card was shared by Joe McClusky. It is from his 1976 campaign.

Here is a Howard Dean related item from my collection.

It is 3", and I believe it was made by Graphic Politics.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Reading Into It: Biographies of Oregon Governors

At a recent Oregon Chapter APIC meeting this last year we had the great fortune to welcome Bob Straub biographer Charles Johnson and have a sit down chat with him about his book and subject matter. He signed copies of his book and talked about the dual McCall-Straub dynamic that was prevalent in most state politics in the late 60s and 70s.

The recent winter weather was a good chance to sit back down and take a second look at a couple of the other biographies on Oregon governors. Here are the ones that you can find out there (Mind you it is a small list):

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Reagan Campaigns in Oregon Birthday Edition

Former President Ronald Reagan turns 103 this year. 2014 marks the tenth year from his passing. He was the first U.S. President to pass away in the 21st century and it happened right during a presidential election. President Bush was overseas in Paris at the time and Democratic nominee John Kerry suspended his campaign until after the funeral. It was the first state funeral I had ever had the chance to see as it was happening. President Nixon was the last President to pass away during my lifetime and had refused a state funeral.

OR Reagan pin
My Reagan collection is very small, maybe not even 100 items. Reagan does manage to fit into several of my collecting interests. His gubernatorial items are always nice, as they fit into my celebrity political collection and then of course his Oregon items. Reagan was also the first President to visit a Star Trek set so that fits down into my Star Trek collection. Today we're going to focus on his Oregon campaign relics. APIC member Winston Blair I think has one of the most well documented modern Ronald Reagan collections.

It may be surprising to many that the same Oregon that voted twice for Barack Obama; for John Kerry; for Al Gore; twice for Bill Clinton and even gave 7 electoral votes for Micheal Dukakis also twice picked Ronald Reagan for President. It's been 28 years since Reagan won Oregon. He was the last national Republican to do so. George W. Bush has come the closest to carrying Oregon. He was 6700 some odd votes shy of beating Al Gore in 2000.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Joan Mondale Remembered

1984 pin
Joan Mondale passed away on Monday. She was a veteran of three presidential campaigns, various statewide campaigns for U.S. Senator and Attorney General of Minnesota. She herself was never a candidate, she just ended up marrying Walter 'Fritz' Mondale, who would himself seek the White House in 1984.

Auction Results: Oregon Wants Adlai

This bright yellow pin recently sold in Anderson Americana #170. You might be surprised that it came in well over $800 dollars when buyers auctions fees are included. It just goes to show that you never know about some pins until long after the election is over.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Carl H. Francis Matchbook

This fall I had the great luck of visiting a sale at an estate and purchased the only political item I could find. It was a Carl H. Francis matchbook. It is one of the few items I have for Oregon legislative candidates prior to 1960. Francis was first elected in 1942, and this matchbook could be from any election between 1942 and 1954. In 1956 Francis was elected to the State Senate and served at least 1960. He represented Dayton and surrounding areas of Yamhill County while in the legislature.