An open letter to Earl Blumenauer

By Moses Ross of Portland, Oregon. Moses describes himself as "the owner PoliticalRobocalls.com, a Portland-based robocall company, the father of a beautiful 2 1/2 year old daughter, Emma Maria, and a lifelong Democratic Party activist currently serving as Treasurer of the Multnomah County Democratic Party." Previously, he contributed "Smith '08: Run, Earl, Run!"

OK, Earl, Oregon needs you more than it ever has before.

There is a real potential that Gordon Smith will be re-elected in 2008 by default, only because other prominent Democratic leaders, for whatever reasons, will not run against him.

Earl, you can be that leader that we seek.

Oregon needs inspired political leadership. Leadership that truly represents the views of real Oregonians, not the views of George Bush and the Republican Party inclusive rubber-stamp mentality.

You have proven your political leadership in more than one situation over the years of your service to our fair state. First as a State Representative, Second as a Multnomah County Commissioner, Third as a Portland City Councilman and now in your current position of a US Congressman. Oregon is better off because of your years of service.

Now we need you to take on the political battle of your life, to truly show Oregonians that a Senator from Oregon represents more than special interests but actually represents Oregon and its valued way of life.

We need you to run against Gordon Smith.

If you run:

As I have stated in a previous post of encouragement, Earl, we have got your back, now we need you to get ours.

We need you to stop Gordon Smith. We need you to run for Senate.

Run, Earl, Run!

Comments

  • David (unverified)
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    I have been a Democrat Since 1968 When I first voted and Will NOT vote for That person under any circumstance. He has been instrumental in the tearing down of the area infrastructure, Mass transit is a joke.He isn't going to get one ounce of fruit to market on it much less get his Bicycle delivered or troops mobilized to Defend the Homeland. He will get Votes from the Willamette Valley But I hope he does run So I can vote against him. Maybe he will be out of Office Then{which He is afraid of} And have to get a real Job. Perobably a Greenie at Reed or PSU

  • Michelle (unverified)
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    I would so much rather see Steve Novick be our candidate. Why drag Earl in (or any other candidate in) if he or she is not really interested at this point?

  • (Show?)

    I support Steve Novick!
    We should not have to beg candidates to run. If Earl or Peter really wanted to run they would have already sign on.
    Think Paul Wellstone

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    David, i'm not really sure where you're coming from? You don't support Earl because you don't like buses and bikes?

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    I will support Steve Novick until such time as there is another candidate. I'm not sure Steve is our best possible candidate, but he does have one advantage clearly in his favor.

    He's actually applied for the job.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Ditto on the Novick comments. If Earl wants to run and enters the race, we can reassess (and likely so will Novick), but until that time, we have an absolutely wonderful candidate who can really catch fire. . . if the progressive community rallies around him. Every minute we spend "drafting" someone who doesn't want to serve is a minute spent not building support for Novick.

  • LOL (unverified)
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    Blumenauer has done a very good job representing the parochial interests of his unusual district, and is deservedly well appreciated for that. In my view as a life-long Democrat, his failure to sign-on to a "Medicare-for-all", single-payer, national health insurance plan like Conyer's H.R. 676 makes him a poor Democratic choice for Senator. Nearly 80 co-sponsors in the House have signed on as co-sponsors, and Sanders, as co-sponsor when he was in the House, now leads the effort in the Senate.

    Many people argue they support Blumenauer because he is a policy wonk on issues that matter to them. A policy wonk, however, is somebody who has an obsessive concern with details of policies addressing what is believed to be the big picture in just his or her little corner of the world. More often than not, he or she has little grasp of the true big picture from a broader, more encompassing perspective.

    In my mind, being the policy wonk he has been, on the parochial issues he has chosen, is Blumenauer's biggest negative as a candidate for Senator if that has led him to not sign on to H.R. 676 for several Congressional sessions, and to not make this issue of paramount importance to our state and the nation one of his signature issues.

    If Novick just comes around on this issue, or if Evans jumps in and talks right about it, one of those two will be my choice. Please Earl, continue to do you what you do best, representing your district well, and just sign on to support with all your energy whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee.

  • (Show?)

    I support Steve, too. I have to say, Moses, it's kind of disappointing to hear you call Steve's campaign a "default" to Smith.

  • (Show?)

    Er, Ditto......and all that.

    Steve's in.

    Earl ain't.

    Both have their pluses and minuses. Two urban progressives with slightly different focus on the issues. Their chances of knocking off Smith statewide are similar and either faces a big job in getting the exurbs and rural areas on board.

    Steve's in.

    Earl ain't.

  • snidley whiplash (unverified)
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    "LOL" said it best....stay in your district, besides can you honestly see Earl pulling rural counties, Eastern Oregon, Roseburg, Medford ?

  • (Show?)

    "LOL" said it best....stay in your district, besides can you honestly see Earl pulling rural counties, Eastern Oregon, Roseburg, Medford ?

    As I recall, Blumenauer was a principle in "Democrats for Hatfield". If Hatfield returns the favor, it could make things a little more interesting outside of PDX, Corvallis, Eugene, and Bend should he enter the race.

    I can't speak for other rural/exurban areas, but I think that any Democrat who runs on a progressive economic platform rather than focusing on socially divisive issues can do pretty well in Yamhill County.

    Steve Novick has an interesting story to tell, and I think that voters in McMinnville will listen to him if he decides to spend some time here.

  • (Show?)

    Political reality check, people.

    Steve Novick has zero name recognition outside of Portland metro and barely any here, except among activists. Earl has almost universal name recognition across Oregon.

    Steve has minimal funding at this moment, except among certain activist groups. Earl would have funding across the board, statewide and nationwide.

    Steve has very thin track record of statewide service except on certain issues that are a blip on the radar to most Oregonians. Earl's track record of service to the State of Oregon is impeccable.

    I see with Steve as a Howard Dean rerun here in Oregon. By stoking up the activists with fire and brimstone against Smith, he makes us all feel good fighting against Smith. And then he loses to a seasoned politico with deep pockets and a better understanding of the political landscape.

    Until I hear Earl say "no go", I'm backing him against Smith because I want to win the Senate seat... BAD. If Earl backs out, then I will support Novick or whoever the Democratic nominee is.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    Novick is a long shot candidate. Earl B. is a 50/50 proposition. As a Dem who wants to see more Dems in the Senate, I wish that Earl would run.

  • John Napolitano (unverified)
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    I see with Steve as a Howard Dean rerun here in Oregon. By stoking up the activists with fire and brimstone against Smith, he makes us all feel good fighting against Smith. And then he loses to a seasoned politico with deep pockets and a better understanding of the political landscape.

    You forgot to add: "...and the seasoned politico goes on to lose the general election."

    I am hoping for a different result in 2008.

  • pat malach (unverified)
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    I see Steve (Novick) as a Howard Dean rerun here in Oregon. By stoking up the activists with fire and brimstone against Smith, he makes us all feel good fighting against Smith. And then he loses to a seasoned politico with deep pockets and a better understanding of the political landscape.

    Gee, Moses, How well did that approach work out for Democrats in 2004? Oh, wait a second! George W. Bush is president, not John kerry, "the seasoned politico with deep pockets and a better understadning of the political landscape."

    Fool me once shame on you. Fool me, uh, I can't be fooled again.

    If it's true that someone of Steve Novick's caliber can't be a viable candidate for U.S. Senate (I don't believe that), it's an indictment of the system that political insiders (like robocall shop owners) have created. And that's very sad indeed.

  • (Show?)

    Earl has almost universal name recognition across Oregon.

    That's certainly true. But along with that is a lot of baggage. Not that I wouldn't support him, and don't appreciate what he's done, and the stand's he's taken, including on Iraq. But I don't think streetcars are the issue in Pendleton that they are in Portland. (And, frankly, even here there's questions about streetcars.)

    I think the Obama message has some resonance here. Sometimes not having instant name recognition also means you're more of a clean slate that people can project their hopes and aspirations on. Steve Novick's got an awesome story to tell-- I, for one, would like to hear more of it-- and he's enough of a different character that a message of economic populism could play well around the state.

    Mainly, though, leadership is also about stepping to the plate when you need to step to the plate. That counts for a lot in my book, anyway.

    If Earl runs, then I'm sure he'll find lots of support. But he isn't running, Steve Novick is, and I think it's a mistake to deride his campaign before it barely gets off the ground.

  • (Show?)

    Pat, first off,I'm not saying Steve is not of high caliber. There are many people of high caliber that should be in office. But there are many people of high caliber who are NOT in office. Political reality is what it is.

    Second, that approach worked pretty good for Democrats in 1992 with Clinton. Clinton had access to deep pockets and understood the political landscape. Kerry didn't understand the 2004 general election political landscape. The Republicans did, which is why Bush won. Once again, political reality versus idealism.

    IMHO, Steve got major strikes against him (as outlined above) and unless many things happen, such as Earl or some other big name not running, Dems and Independents fully coalescing behind Novick and Novick attracting the big money, Smith will win re-election. Trust me, that's not what I want, I want anyone but Smith, its just political realism.

  • (Show?)

    OK, enough bashing people. Steve's already made it clear that he won't run against Blumenauer -- so a primary between them isn't going to happen.

    Here's one thing I do know: Both would be an improvement over Gordon Smith.

  • (Show?)

    Moses, it is not lost on anyone here that Steve is a dark horse candidate in this election. To say that David is unlikely to beat Goliath is to champion the obvious.

    And, as is the case of Novick vs Smith, I'm sure there was much hand-wringing among the Israelites to know that an unproven shephard was going to carry the banner of Israel.

    No doubt there were many who believed that a more suitable champion should be found, but it was David who stepped forward, not someone else.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    This is getting a little embarrassing. All the die-hard Demos on this site desperately casting about, begging and pleading, week after week, for one of their own to please, PLEASE take a run at Smith.

    Add to that the latest slap in the face as more high-ranking Democratic office holders come out in support of Smith with the election still over a year and a half away.

    Looks like a case of career politicians feverishly working to maintain the status quo and their secure, cushy jobs, not trying to achieve real change for the people. Gotta love that two party system.

    But then, I’m just cynical.

  • (Show?)

    "If it's true that someone of Steve Novick's caliber can't be a viable candidate for U.S. Senate (I don't believe that), it's an indictment of the system that political insiders (like robocall shop owners) have created. And that's very sad indeed."

    WTF does that mean? You might as well blame Alexander Bell for telemarketers. I'd be careful calling Moses' integrity into question unless you have a specific allegation to make.

  • (Show?)

    Having defended Moses' honor...

    "Steve has very thin track record of statewide service except on certain issues that are a blip on the radar to most Oregonians."

    Since when are the environment, government spending, Bill Sizemore and Don McIntire blips on the radar to Oregonians?? I'd argue that it's much easier to resonate quickly with them by playing off their distaste for those guys, than by trying to explain your Medicare bill or how Local Improvement Districts can fuel renewal.

    As for name recognition, if there was ever a no-name candidate for major statewide office who got as much media play as Steve did last week, please remind me of their identity. Absolutely, job #1 for at least the rest of this year is to wear out tires and shoe leather across the state and build Q rating. But to a large degree, that will come as a function of the state media, and if there's one thing I've learned about the media it's that they love a story that writes itself. Guys with no fibulas and a hook, who then turn out to have a gift for the witty quote, write their own story IMO.

    There's no doubt Steve has a lot of work to do and is fighting institutional disadvantages. But few candidates in his position have as many tricks up their sleeve to beat the odds.

  • (Show?)

    This guest column is one of the most overheated and melodramatic things I've read in a long time. It is so desperate in tone that it is almost painful to read.

    Having said that, I freely concede that I am a notorious Steve Novick groupie so it's not as if I am unbiased. But as Miles pointed out above,

    >we have an absolutely wonderful candidate who can really catch fire. . . if the progressive community rallies around him. Every minute we spend "drafting" someone who doesn't want to serve is a minute spent not building support for Novick.

    To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, "you go into campaigns with the candidate you have, not the candidate you might have or might like to have at some other time." I'm getting to work now to elect Steve Novick.

  • part malach (unverified)
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    WTF does that mean? You might as well blame Alexander Bell for telemarketers. I'd be careful calling Moses' integrity into question unless you have a specific allegation to make.

    Torrid, maybe you should ease off the f---ing drama pills a little bit and relax. There were no specific allegations because there was no calling into question of any specific person's integrity. I'm sure Moses is a great guy and has done a lot of good work. And I'm sure a poolitical beliefs are pretty similar.

    The integrity of the system, however, is a mess.

    Relax, Joe! Ease up on the coffee. My comment was a reaction to yet another political insider writing off a perfectly good candidate because, among other things, he can't raise enough money. While that may be a political reality, it is quite a statement about our system. Because when money is the deciding factor in a candidate's viability (as it appears to be, especially in primaries) the idea of one person one vote is shot right out the door.

    Look at the Hillary Clinton campaign. I haven't talked with a single person who supports her campaign (in fact, quite the opposite is true). Yet she's raising millions and is considered a front runner. Why? bbecause she's got a relatively few deep pockets that support her. Her access to powerful people's money perverts the system. It gives rich people more of a voice than people without resources to give thousands of dollars to a candidate.

    Liberals and "progressives" should be fighting against letting money control elections (there's a pipe dream, eh), instead of embracing it and in some cases endorsing it by using it as a reason to disqualify "nonviable" candidates.

    And I will continue to call people on the carpet for that -- even if it upsets some people's fragile sensibilities.

  • pat malach (unverified)
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    of course, if there is any "specific" place to lay blame for a system that is so easily bought, it's at the feet of an electorate that allow its votes to be swayed by things like expensive 30-second soundbite commercials and last-minute robocalls.

    France had more than 80% participation in its recent election. The United States can barely get over 50.

    Money works because most people aren't paying attention or just don;t care. I don't think anyone on BlueOregon falls into that group.

  • (Show?)

    "Torrid, maybe you should ease off the f---ing drama pills a little bit and relax. There were no specific allegations because there was no calling into question of any specific person's integrity. I'm sure Moses is a great guy and has done a lot of good work. And I'm sure a poolitical beliefs are pretty similar."

    Not buying it, sorry--you very clearly indicted Moses acting in his capacity as a robo-polling political insider as part of the problem, creating a situation where Novick can't win, in your eyes.

    I also don't see anywhere that he writes off Novick. He doesn't even MENTION him!

  • Ben Hubbird (unverified)
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    I'm not going to viputerate quite like Pat, but I think there's a very valuable point to be made here: appeals to political reality play a big role in creating political reality.

    Witness the role that Mark Halperin played (as the Note) in national politics for some time. He never really made much of a statement about anything other than to Note which way the wind was blowing, but by putting words in the mouths of his "gang of 500" -- all of whom probably read his daily scree, he probably had more influence over the political landscape than anyone. It's this echo chamber of conventional wisdom and political reality that keeps meaninful change perpetually at bay, because it's only poltical insiders who have access to those big microphones and get to define "political reality" and "conventional wisdom".

    Every time we say, "oh well, that's just the way things are," we reify the way things are. Every time we say, "some things never change," we make change a little further out of reach. Every time we say "political reality is what it is," in defending the status quo, we support the status quo.

    I don't know Moses, and this is not intended as an indictment of him. This is just my own frustration with the tendency of otherwise sensible people to fall into the trap of self-fulfulling prophecy.

  • (Show?)

    France had more than 80% participation in its recent election. The United States can barely get over 50.

    Of course they had --and still have-- a (mon dieu!) Socialist running. Imagine that! And creeps like Le Pen run as open fascists, which is something refreshing. I mean, people running on substantively different ideologies. Not everybody trying to sound like everybody else in search of that great muddle, I mean middle. Yes, another grand candidate in favor of "accountability and transparency in government, and the defense of the middle class!"

    And, hey, I don't know Moses from beans, and I'm sure he's a swell guy and all, but I still think robocalls suck, and are part of the problem, not part of the solution. (And having just gotten my first --well, it came to my wife-- Multnomah Democratic Party newsletter, only to read the staff's been laid off...I'd rather spend money on staffing than all the hokey gimmicks and sound bites that just turn people off. But then that's my opinion.)

    And don't tell me "There is a real potential that Gordon Smith will be re-elected in 2008 by default, only because other prominent Democratic leaders, for whatever reasons, will not run against him isn't a slap against Steve Novick. Or, frankly, any other potential candidate who isn't "prominent" enough. Sheesh...we ain't stupid here. What's next, pats on the head? Tell us to go home and play, this isn't a game for amateurs, or children?

    It's sorta like the $1,900 bucks Zidell paid last year for their 30 acres of prime riverfront, South Waterfront property. There are things some folks don't want to see, or acknowledge...like Steve's candidacy.

    And, good grief, I hope the Zidell's aren't some of those Kingmaker's who pay for Democratic Party robocalls and such. Then I'd really be in trouble here!

  • (Show?)

    Whoops (but, hey, now I get to say it again in the dying hope that somebody notices, or gives a rat's ass):

    That should've read:

    It's sorta like the $1,900 bucks Zidell paid IN PROPERTY TAXES last year for their 30 acres of prime riverfront, South Waterfront property.

    I promise not to say it again. Besides I gotta catch me some of that Florida sunshine...

  • Moses Ross (unverified)
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    Frank, as Treasurer of the Multnomah County Democratic Party, (a volunteer position I may add) I would be remiss to not take you up on your generous offer to donate to the county party so that we can re-hire staff and assist good Democrats like Steve Novick to get elected.

    Allow me to refer you and other to two locations to learn more: First, an article I wrote explaining our current situation and future goals and second, a donation page

  • Moses Ross (unverified)
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    Let's try this again.

    Please go to this address: http://www.multdems.org/node/3391 to review the above mentioned article which outlines the current situation and our future fundraising goals for the Multnomah COunty Democratic Party.

    The donation page link works and I encourage readers to donate as we prepare for the '08 election cycle!

  • (Show?)

    As for name recognition, if there was ever a no-name candidate for major statewide office who got as much media play as Steve did last week, please remind me of their identity.

    Very true. The AP story was picked up by media all over the country, as well as in the UK. It was quite exciting. I've seen events like this have AP stories that don't even get picked up by the local media.

    Every media outlet who "subscribes" to the AP has access to the stories, but they decide which ones are actually reproduced, not just linked, on their web sites. This was one that showed up multiple times the day after the announcement events.

    Want to help Steve expand his visibility? Head over to his web site and sign up to host an event.

    Disclaimer... I built the web site, but don't speak for the campaign.

  • (Show?)

    I tried to tell you your link to the article didn't work, Moses, but my comment post blew up. Looks like you got that fixed.

    I tried to become a "Pillar of the Party" --who can resist that alliteration-- but I got an error message and it won't accept my $120.00 contribution, something about "You purchased meals but specified 2 meal types. Please make sure these quantities match." No kidding.

    Get it fixed and I'll be back.

  • (Show?)

    Frank--

    I'm investigating the cause of the error right now. I'll let you know when it's done.

  • (Show?)

    "And, hey, I don't know Moses from beans, and I'm sure he's a swell guy and all, but I still think robocalls suck, and are part of the problem, not part of the solution."

    I assume you're referring to candidate and party robocalls here. There is a much more vital and positive use for robocalls--political polling. Early evidence suggests that using an automated interviewer allows respondents to speak more honestly. In any case, robopolling Rasmussen has done a superlative job handicapping many races in the 2004 and 2006 elections, and Survey USA has shown some promise as well. So let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • (Show?)

    Thanks Jenni.

    Something just occured to me, though.

    I should be out in that Florida sun, but I'm sitting here still, my wallet out, I've signed up to host a party for Steve...there's something exciting about that candidacy.

    Nothing against Earl, as a City employee I've known him for a long time, and respect what he's accomplishing in the House. But he ain't running, Steve is, and I really don't want to have Smith as my Congressman anymore.

  • (Show?)

    Yes, I had seen your house party sign up come through. There is definitely something exciting about the campaign. I can't wait to see Smith defeated next year, and I'm going to do what I can to see that it happens.

    I'm also going to be doing what I can to make sure I have a new state representative next session (I now live in Minnis' district) -- one with a "D" by their name, and to make sure my old house district (HD 50, John Lim) has the same.

  • (Show?)

    Frank:

    Please try again. We've been able to run tests through successfully. If it doesn't work, please let me know.

    Thanks for your support!

  • (Show?)

    It worked just fine. Thanks.

    However, as a Pillar of the Party, you may just hear from me now and then. :-)

  • Moses Ross (unverified)
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    Frank, by putting your money where your mouth is like you did, you have our attention... and we won't even need to robocall ya!

    In all earnestness, thank you for your support of the Multnomah County Democratic Party and I really want to encourage other Blue Oregon readers to do the same. It is money very well spent as the county party provides critical feet on the street and election-time coordination for many democratic party candidates and their campaigns. 2008 is just around the corner.

    If you have any questions or want to learn more please visit www.multdems.org or read my recent article outlining the current situation and our future fundraising goals.

    Moses

  • OWHN (unverified)
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    <h2>To get back on subject for a bit, let me say I like Earl Blumenauer but the reality is that he would be doing good to get 25% of the vote on this side of the Cascades. I am still holding out hope that Ben Westlund will run, though I haven't heard much about that lately. I don't know Steve Novick but I am impressed by what I have read about him -- and by his very good web page. I think that if he gets around the state and gets some good press he might be a big surprise for me and a lot of people over here. I'm certainly open to hearing him out.</h2>
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