Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 6, 2012.


A film about how an evenly split Oregon State House rose above party labels to share power, work together, and create change.

What’s the story?

In 2011, for the first time ever, the Oregon State House was in a political tie – 30 to 30. But the election night deadlock did not lead to partisan gridlock. Instead party leaders tried something completely crazy – cooperating.

In what observers have seen as a rare combination of political leadership and personal humility, Co-Speakers Bruce Hanna (R) and Arnie Roblan (D) turned a recipe for acrimony into a case study of character in the Capitol by literally sharing the Speaker’s gavel.

Who is behind this whole bipartisanship business?

Hopefully, you! But for now I’ve taken on this project in collaboration with longtime Oregon newsman Mike Donahue, award-winning producer Rebecca Millman, and some enthusiastic interns.

Governor Kitzhaber, Senate President Courtney, the co-speakers and their top aides, lobbyists and journalists have all given candid interviews to tell the inside story of governing across party lines in the State House.

Why now?

We wanted to do the interviews while the memories were fresh from the 2011-12 sessions. But, we also wanted to time the release for the winter when Congress and the States head back to work, because there’s a lot to be learned from Oregon’s co-governance model.

What are you looking for?

Funding will offset shooting, editing and some post-production costs. The goal amount of $9,000 will cover basic professional costs to finish the film and help make it available for air on television and as a tool for political science teachers to use in educating a new generation of politicians to look past partisanship.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

All projects have risks - so does mine. The big risk is always that I will not complete the film in the desired timeline

I think the good team working on this project and the supportive network I have behind it will help ensure the project is completed promptly for a timely release before the 2013 legislative session.

One challenge for me is music and graphics, but with your funding assistance through kickstarter, I will be able to bring in the technical experts to help address those aspects of this film -- just like I've done with the three documentaries before it.

The good news is - though challenges remain ahead - I have already got the project off to a smooth start by logging more than 5 hours of interviews and days worth of legislative debates to find the elements that help best tell the story of the House Divided. The script is already 10 per cent complete as well.


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