It’s been difficult enough to wave my Democratic pom-poms lately, but now my feelings are even more divided than before–this time, about my local vote for governor.

John Kitzhaber, the Democratic candidate running for re-election as governor of Oregon, has found himself in the midst of exploding scandal over the past few days. It has to do with his fiance, Cylvia Hayes, and various revelations about her–that she was paid $5,000 for a “green card” marriage to a young Ethiopian immigrant, and about her one-time plans to run a pot farm. I don’t care about either of those very much. These are the actions of the fiance, not Kitzhaber himself. What does bother me is that she was employed as a consultant to the governor and landed some plum contracts as a result, possibly in breach of state ethics. When it comes to Kitzhaber, I also can’t forget that CoverOregon–our state version of the Obamacare exchange–was bungled as badly as it was. Kentucky did a better job on its website. I’m a big supporter of the ACA, but the CoverOregon site didn’t work for months and cost the state millions of dollars.

I want to vote for the Democrats. I’m glad that Oregon is a blue state. But I get the sense that the Democrats who have been running the state for so long have gotten a little too comfortable. They know that people are going to vote for them, almost no matter what. (I’m pretty sure Kitzhaber is going to win his fourth term this year.) They have become a ruling clique. We need fresh liberal blood in this state.

But with that being said, I’m not excited about voting for Kitzhaber’s Republican opponent, Dennis Richardson, either. His values don’t match mine. We’re talking someone who opposes both Obamacare and marriage equality.

So what do I do now? Is there some Green Party/Socialist Party candidate I can throw my vote away on? (The only third party candidate I see in my voter guide is the Constitution Party guy, which…ugh.) Should I just abstain from voting? Seriously, somebody advise me. I’m no longer a voter divided at this point–I’m a voter torn to shreds.

Ohhhhkay…so as everyone knows by now, the Obamacare website isn’t working so well.  And sadly, neither is the local insurance exchange website for my state, even though I live in one of those states which were eager to participate in Obamacare, and did not have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it.

I’ve listened to Jon Stewart make fun of the problems.  I’ve heard President Obama quipping about how frustrated he is, in his usual suave way.  Conservatives have been mocking the situation, and rightly so.  It’s an embarrassing mess.  Although their solution would be to scrap the whole thing and go back to the old, badly functioning health care system, so I don’t know how seriously I can take their point of view. 

Thing is, this is no humorous matter to me.  I’m not laughing, I’m a little anxious.  As I’ve written before, I have family members who are uninsured and need access to the exchange.  I agree with President Obama–I think the Obamacare product itself is good.  And I love the hippie trippy psychedelic commercials Oregon is running for its CareOregon site.  But what’s the point of cool advertisements if you’re not able to purchase the goods?  As always, my home state is better at creative expression than it is at being practical 🙂

My family is going to give it a couple more weeks, as we hope that all the “glitches” will get worked out with time.  Worst case scenario, we’ll just fill out one of the paper applications.  We need this and are determined to get it.  But there could be an easier way.

So c’mon, President Obama.  We want to buy the product you’re selling.  Let us be your customers!