Although Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has not yet announced his re-election plans, a recent email from his campaign committee shows he is thinking about it — and considers the possible Sept. 30 special session of the Legislature to be critical to his re-election.

Shortly after the governor’s office sent an official news release saying Kitzhaber had told legislative leaders to prepare for the special session, the John Kitzhaber for Governor committee sent an email to political supporters titled, “It’s time to call the question.” It argued that higher taxes and PERS are needed to stabilize school budgets.

“Thank you again for all of your support,” according to the campaign email. “Oregon is on the right track, but we clearly have unfinished business. Please join me in urging the Legislature to come together to invest in Oregon students this year. We need to get it done for Oregon’s children, for Oregon’s economy, for Oregon’s future.”

The email was simply signed “John.”

Merkley fed up with Summers

Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley is getting credited with derailing Larry Summers’ appointment as head of the Federal Reserve board. Summers told President Obama not to nominate him for the post after four Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee — including Merkley — signaled their opposition.

In a news release from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, co-founder Adam Green said, “Sen. Merkley’s well-known opposition to Larry Summers likely made a big difference. Summers’ past decisions to deregulate Wall Street and do the bidding of corporate America have made the lives of many Oregon families more acrimonious. He would have been an awful Fed Chair.”

As the name says, the PCCC works for progressive change. Green is a former MoveOn online organizer and Democratic party communications worker. The committee’s other co-founder is Stephanie Taylor, a former MoveOn and SEIU organizer.

Cha-ching! It’s lunchtime for lucky winners

Want to have lunch with Massachusetts’ senior U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren? Just donate to U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s re-election campaign and you’ve got a chance to make that happen.

That’s the latest fundraising twist for Oregon’s junior senator. Just chip in between $15 and $2,600 — maybe more if you really want to do lunch — and you’re entered in a contest to be guests at a meal with liberal darling Warren.

The contest through ActBlue, the online system that allows liberal and Democratic candidates and others to set up fundraising pages, will give a winner chosen at random two round-trip coach-class airline tickets from Oregon to Washington, D.C., and two tickets to a lunch with Sens. Merkley and Warren. (No word on whether you get to sit at the same table as the two senators.)

Here’s the catch: In Oregon, you can enter the contest without making a contribution. Go to

ActBlue warns that contributions to Jeff Merkley for Oregon are not tax deductible under federal law. The online company even included a “Please Leave Us a Tip” section on its email fundraising plea so donors could provide bucks to help other liberal candidates use the service.

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