” The goo-goos, or good government guys, were political groups founded in an era when urban municipal governments in the United States were dominated by public sector corruption. Goo-goos supported candidates who would fight for political reform. The term was first used in the 1890s by their detractors….In American politics, the term is still used occasionally as a mildly derisive label for high-minded citizens or reformers. “
Whether talking about The League of Women Voters, Tax Fairness Oregon, or Oregon Center for Public Policy, Goo-Goos is still widely used in Salem. And not just by lobbyists and Democratic and Republican political operatives. It’s been used in meetings by elected officials. And not in a warm and friendly way.
Maybe those elected office holders using the term, who mostly seem to be Democrats, are unaware of the irony that the term was coined to deride progressive organizations who were fighting the corruption of the political machines that were dominated by public sector corruption.
Or maybe they are aware of and properly using the term.
The election for Oregon Governor will offer the Goo Goo voters and organizations a chance to assert their voting power. Should Patrick Starnes win the nomination of the Independent Party of Oregon (Maybe the most important moderate Goo Goo organization), he will be campaigning on a platform focusing on anti corruption and campaign finance reform. As the November election approaches, if Starnes’ support grows among Goo Goo voters, the Democratic and Republican candidates will have to take note and maybe they can even adapt.
While historically moderate to left leaning Goo Goo voters in Oregon have voted Democratic rather than third party out of fear of throwing the election to a conservative Republican, in 2018 they can easily vote for Starnes with enthusiasm. It would send a strong message to the Democratic Party of Oregon that we demand election reforms and good government. And if it does happen to benefit a pro choice, pro equality, fiscally responsible McCall like Republican who will be able to stop the worst excesses of a Democratic Legislative super majority, for many moderate left leaning reformers that’s preferable to having total control of State government in the hands of the Democratic Party elite and their powerful financial donors.