Saturday, October 12, 2019

2020 Political Buttons Part 5: Iowa Steak Fry

Had an amazing trip to Iowa for the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry event in September. APIC member hosted a couple Oregonians. The trip included a visit to the Iowa State Capitol building, a Star Trek Museum in Riverside, Iowa and many, many visits to campaign offices. Of course, you don't get APIC members in the same room without getting into buttons. Getting a tour of John's collection was amazing. He collects VOTE materials and Theodore Roosevelt. The wildest thing I saw was VOTE toothpaste. I thought I had seen everything. Here is a commercial from 1968.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

2020 Political Buttons Part 4: Kirsten Gillibrand

In our last update on 2020 campaign items, we covered a series of candidates that had dropped out of the race over the summer of 2019. It seems that as soon as we hit publish on a post there is something worthy of an update. A few days after our last post, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced she was dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination. She decided to because of the campaign was unable to qualify for the next round of Democratic Debates. She was unable to secure higher polling numbers and the required unique donors.

This was just as her campaign, only a couple weeks before this had begun to offer buttons in her campaign store. It would be interesting to know if she would have reached the 130,000 donor threshold had she offered buttons on her website a few months ago, instead of a few weeks ago. Here is the button that was offered on her website.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

2020 Political Buttons Part 3: The Campaign Is Over For Them

We are fast approaching Labor Day in the United States. A traditional time for many candidates to be starting their campaigns and known as the time when the pubic during general elections, traditionally starts to pay closer attention to the race. The next Democratic presidential debates are not until September and the last debate was at the end of July. Between these two events, we have already seen several candidates drop out of the race in just the last week.  Seth Moulton, Jay Inslee, and John Hickenlooper have all dropped out in August. They joined Mike Gravel and Eric Swalwell after they bailed on the race in July. While these campaigns may not have made it to Iowa or New Hampshire, many of them did participate in the first two debates, had supporters and even generated a button or two. Let's take a look at the items produced by some of these campaigns.

Jay Inslee

The first presidential candidate to come from the Pacific Northwest in more than forty years sought to raise the profile of the climate change debate in the United States. Governor Inslee started his quest for the Democratic nomination in March of 2019 and ended it on August 21, 2019. He was able to qualify for the first two debates, but only met 1 of 2 qualifiers for the September and October debates. He was able to gather over 130,000 individual donors but not able to secure 2% or more in 4 qualifying polls. After coming to the conclusion that he could not raise his profile enough to raise his poll numbers he opted to drop out and run for a third term as governor of Washington. Here are some of the items, especially buttons, produced to promote his presidential campaign. There are a fair number of vendor items out there and right now you can also find pretty good deals on items issued by the campaign or supporters.

This first pin comes from a set of fifteen 3" inch pins created for an auction basket for the Multnomah County Democrats Dick Celsi Dinner & Auction. At the time, March 2019, there were only 14 candidates announced. The set included the 14 announced candidates and a pin for Jeff Merkley, who had just announced he was not running for President. The pins were included with a couple bottles of wine and auctioned off during a silent auction. Somehow, the one set auctioned off made all the way to the Political Junkie Ken Rudin! 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

2020 Political Buttons Part 2

Back in May, we started highlighting the items generated by the 2020 presidential campaigns. You can read Part 1. We have prepared another installment with a run down of more items generated by the campaigns and grassroots groups supporting them.

Many of the campaigns have turned to a Texas company called 'BumperActive'. It is very uncommon for so many campaigns to use the same vendor as their official source of campaign materials. Some campaigns are not using this company (notably Joe Biden,  Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson). Some campaigns even switched over from their previous vendor to BumperActive (Cory Booker). All this is to say, that there are a lot of items out there if you are interested in getting some from a campaign this cycle.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Portland Made Humphrey Stickers

We have recently come across a green HHH sticker made in Portland, Oregon. For a long time we had known of the smaller blue HHH sticker. Many members have it in their collections. Both of these stickers have Portland, Oregon union stickers on the face. Pretty neat to find a second sticker.

The two stickers have different photos of HHH in them, but with the same slogan. Note that the different union bugs are position in the same location on each sticker. It makes me wonder why a photo of Humphrey and Muskie were not used on these stickers, even if the stickers mention both candidates.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Norma Paulus Remembered

Norma Paulus was the first woman to ever be elected to statewide office in Oregon history. 1976 was the first presidential election after Watergate and voters made their feelings known throughout the country about the shenanigans of the Republican Party and President Nixon. President Ford would seek the GOP nomination and have to fend off a strong challenge from California Governor Ronald Reagan.

In Oregon, Republicans had held most statewide offices for decades.  Paulus was elected after Clay Myers had held the position. She would be the last Republican Secretary of State until 2016 when Dennis Richardson was elected. The Oregon Republicans had held the Secretary of State office from 1878 to 1985. Norma Paulus paved the way for women gaining statewide office in Oregon. She won two successful campaigns for Secretary of State and two terms as Oregon's Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Monday, May 6, 2019

2020 Political Items Part 1

2020 items seem to be popping up as fast as the campaigns announced. For a current list of the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominees you can visit Wikipedia.  The Republican field for 2020 currently consists of President Donald Trump and frm. Massachuttess Governor Bill Weld. We've covered some of the really early items from candidates that had announced in 2017 and 2018.

On to the items!

All four of these buttons come from the candidate's official web stores. You might notice that they all have the same union bug. At least half of the field of Democratic candidates appear to be using the bumperactive as the source of their campaign items.  You will have to visit the individual links in our campaign stores section to visit each store.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Vintage Lawn Art: Roberts & Whiting

 I have been recently gifted two vintage lawn signs from the 1970s and 1980s. The first one that was given to me was from the campaign of a local Tigard office holder. Her name was Patricia Whiting. After the creation of single-member districts, she was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives. The owners of Whiting's former home found the sign in the garage when they purchased it. I traded them a Whiting bumper sticker for the sign.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Trivia Question #1

Yesterday we are starting our Monday McCall Madness Trivia Contest! Every Monday we will send an email with a trivia question related to Tom McCall. We will take the folks that answer the question correctly, put their names in a hat and draw one on Thursday 3/7 and they will win a cool Tom McCall Related item! We just sent out our first email a few hours ago. If you were not on our email list this is your chance to chime in. Subscribe to our email list by filling in the form on the right of your screen and feel free to email us the answer at

This week's winner will get an Elect McCall Bumper Sticker from his successful 1964 campaign for Oregon Secretary of State

The prize for this week!
The Question: Tom McCall was no the first McCall in his family to be an elected governor of a state. His grandfather, Samuel McCall was elected governor of what U.S. State?

Just send us the answer at: and don't forget to sign up on our email list to get the question next week! You can subscribe by filling out the form to the right of this post.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

McCall March Madness!


McCall March Madness starts Monday, March 4th!  To celebrate Oregon's Tom McCall we will be giving away one Tom McCall item every Monday in March! It might be a bumper sticker, book, photo or other Tom McCall related item. All you have to do is subscribe to our email list and answer the Tom McCall Trivia question when it is sent out that Monday. A random winner will be selected from the folks that answered the question correctly.

This contest is thanks to the generosity of the Oregon American Political Item Collectors and friends. To subscribe to our email list simply fill out the form that reads "Subscribe to our mailing list" and be sure to look for an email on Monday with the trivia question.

Monday, February 18, 2019


Ever come across a button that you have no clue about? For many years I had no idea who Wagoner was. I knew it was an Oregon pin, only because several respected Oregon collectors had it in their collections. I finally found one at the Salem Armory several years ago. I recently found another one this last weekend at a shop in Oregon City. I decided it was time to find answers to who was Wagoner. A few years ago, this wouldn't have been possible. As more and more historical databases and records become available online, more information becomes avaliable to researchers. This time, it was a quick search result of the 1938 Election and Wagoner brought me a quick result. 

The old Oregon index made by the Oregon APIC Chapter in the 1980s noted the name of Clarence R. Wagoner. The first hit was in the online database called Our Campaigns. This is where I found that Wagoner had run in the crowded 1938 Oregon Republican Primary for Governor.

Eventual winner Charles Sprague won the crowded race with 48% of the vote and Wagoner came in a distant third earning 9% of the vote. While this was important to establish the legitimacy of the button, it didn't help me figure out who Wagoner was or what he stood for.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

What Type of Collection Do You Have?

Early APIC Collector Joe Fuld with his collection
Over the last few years, I have seen more and more collections of political items from a myriad of different people and backgrounds. Everyone is proud of their collection and they should be. It doesn't matter if you have a collection of a dozen items or thousands of items. It doesn't matter if your collection is mostly of free items or if you have to store your collection in a safe deposit box at the bank. Some collections fit into a dresser drawer, some take up a wall in the den and others fill up storage units! So long as it follows the first maxim of our hobby (collect what you like) your collection can be whatever size you desire. Still, throughout all these years now of collecting political items, I have discovered a few commonalities to the types of collections that exist.