Blumenauer: Why I'm Not Running

By Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland). Learn more at EarlBlumenauer.com

For the last year I have fielded questions and comments about me running for the Senate.

After Peter DeFazio announced his decision not to run for the Senate, the race became an unavoidable topic. I said I would look at it and consider whether a candidacy made sense for me and my family. At this time, it does not, and I have decided not to run for the US Senate.

This was not an easy decision. There is no question that Gordon Smith is vulnerable to defeat. His post-election turnaround on Iraq leaves no doubt that he knows he's out of step with most Oregonians. Gordon Smith and the Republicans were supporters and enablers of the Bush/Cheney Administration and its disastrous policies not just in Iraq but, on the environment, impeding and influencing justice, questionable political appointees, Terry Schiavo........ The list is extensive on the many ways Gordon Smith and George W. Bush are out of step with Oregon.

There is also no doubt that the Senate Democrats under the Chairmanship of Senator Chuck Schumer are poised to build on their 2006 success, with all the resources necessary to wage a winning campaign.

The difficulty in even doing the ground work to evaluate the race was that I have an important, all consuming day job. After years of working in the minority, fighting the Bush administration and Tom DeLay to stop reckless policies and promote Oregon priorities, the world has dramatically changed.

My issues, from ending the Iraq war to stopping global warming, to making sure everyone has health care they can afford, a quality education, and a good job, have gained not just attention, but traction and even momentum. My committee assignments put me in the best possible position to deal with these priorities everyday. I’ve been working for over a decade to get on the Ways and Means Committee and to regain a Democratic majority. I say with January both of these dreams become a reality. Speaker Nancy Pelosi also chose me to serve on the new Global Warming and Energy Independence Committee.

At this unique moment in history there is too much work to be done in the House of Representatives to take on a campaign for the US Senate.

The winning candidate should devote 100 percent effort for the next 18 months to overcome the onslaught that will come from the incumbent, Karl Rove and the Bush White House, and the many special interests who want to keep Smith in office.

I look forward to fighting hard to replace Gordon Smith with a progressive leader for Oregon and continuing to work with the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate to strengthen our majorities while we hold the Bush administration and their Republican allies accountable in 2008.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    This just makes it that much more critical that we continue to organize the campaign against Gordon Smith. Head on over to the DPO's StopGordonSmith.com and sign up. We don't have to wait for a candidate to start the campaign.

    [Full disclosure - I built that site.]

  • . (unverified)
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    Crap, crap, crap!!

    Who do we recruit now?

    It goes without saying, but we absolutely NEED to get Smith OUT this time around.

    I was disappointed when DeFazio declined to run, but now I am starting to get really worried... what other progressive is there that has statewide name recognition and appeal?

  • (Show?)

    Is it possible to have strong ambivalence? That's what I'm feeling right now. I'm saddened to lose you as a possible next Senator; I think you'd do a great job. However, as a constituent of the third district, I'm also happy to know you'll be plugging away in the House. Wow....

  • (Show?)

    Booo. Earl, don't you realize that for all your newfound power, everything you do will simply be blocked in the Senate because of hacks like Gordon Smith? How's that Obey bill going in the Senate, for instance? And I'm so glad we're all enjoying the increase in the minimum wage--whoops, that's been held up in an effort to appease Republicans too. Dang.

    I don't blame you for not running--that's a personal decision. But I can't agree it's more important for you to be one of 230 instead of one of 54 or 55.

  • (Show?)

    I should say, as the comments pour in, that I don't mean to suggest that Steve Novick isn't a good candidate. I had just hoped to see a lively pool compete to take out Smith. A little excitement could be good for the campaign. I'm high on Steve!

  • (Show?)

    what about john kroger?

  • Faolan (unverified)
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    I think I have to echo Jeff here. I am a 3rd district constituent and so I am happy that I and my family will be represented by Earl Blumenauer in the House. But I had high hopes the Earl might also make a great Senator.

    I think now that Steve Novick is the man. I was already very impressed by his credentials and his smarts. The only man who could step forward now and take it away from him is Dr. K in my opinion. I would be delighted to see either of them smack Gordo around the block a few times so I'll be happy either way.

    We need now to start giving to Novick and or the Stop Gordon Smith site. Gordo must go.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    "Crap, crap, crap!!"

    And again, crap!!!

    I have to think Gordo isn't as vulnerable as some claim he is, or Dems would be lining up to run against him instead of running away.

  • (Show?)

    Here's Novick's response:

    I respect Congressman Blumenauer’s decision and, as always, am proud that he is my Congressman. He will continue to be a strong progressive force in the House of Representatives.

    I will continue to run the campaign I began a month ago. I am running because we need universal health care and we need to get control of rising health care costs. I am running because we need to fight global warming and achieve energy independence. I am running because we need fiscal responsibility in Washington. I am running because we cannot continue to tolerate runaway economic unfairness – the growing gap between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. I am running because we do not need a Senator who has recently taken to posing as an anti-war hero, but supported the fiasco in Iraq for four years – and who even now supports John McCain for President – John McCain, the one candidate totally committed to continuing the war in Iraq.

    I will continue to campaign on those issues. And I am going to beat Gordon Smith.

    Folks can contribute here.

  • (Show?)

    Steve Novick, another 3rd District constituent, already has a response up on his website:

    I respect Congressman Blumenauer’s decision and, as always, am proud that he is my Congressman. He will continue to be a strong progressive force in the House of Representatives. I will continue to run the campaign I began a month ago. I am running because we need universal health care and we need to get control of rising health care costs. I am running because we need to fight global warming and achieve energy independence. I am running because we need fiscal responsibility in Washington. I am running because we cannot continue to tolerate runaway economic unfairness – the growing gap between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. I am running because we do not need a Senator who has recently taken to posing as an anti-war hero, but supported the fiasco in Iraq for four years – and who even now supports John McCain for President – John McCain, the one candidate totally committed to continuing the war in Iraq. I will continue to campaign on those issues. And I am going to beat Gordon Smith.

    Maybe we should chip something into his coffers to show that we're ready to take down Smith.

  • (Show?)

    Great minds think alike. Or something like that. :)

  • Eric J. (unverified)
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    How about Les AuCoin? Can we ask him?

  • Dan Grady (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!

    I have posted on numerous occasions that the man we should tap as our candidate should have the credentials to win statewide, should have national recognition for a ethical backbone.

    I again offer my enduring endorsement for the candidacy of the previous candidate of 2002, the Honorable Bill Bradbury! There is no candidate that can as effectively offer a history that should have been had the electorate not voted for Gordon Smith. He has the standing to silence any criticism with the past debates sound bites, and campaign fubars of Gordon Smith's last election and subsequent voting record!

    The above reasons are not just cost effective, but completely reputable when the opposition wishes to push back. The candidate that was consistent in 2002 will make a simple splice the irrefutable rebuttal!

    I want to back a winner! I want to pound the pavement for a real progressive that will win, not can win, will win!

    I implore the Democrats of Oregon to consider the imperative before us, we need a broad understanding that a Democrat must come out of Oregon this next Senatorial Election for our Democracy to be restored us. I pray my fellow Democrats will see the wisdom of this proposal, and the desperation of our cause to the survival of the greatest human experiment, Our American Democracy!

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

  • Vic (unverified)
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    It's time for Kitzhaber. He has the name recognition and reputation to beat Smith. Plus, he'll have a perfect platform to address the healthcare issues he cares about so deeply. The powers that be should be courting him. I believe he can be convinced to run.

  • You Ain't Nothin But a Hound Dog (unverified)
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    Sure they are entitled to consider.

    Sure they are entitled to decline.

    But for two guys who never wanted to run for this seat they both sure ate up the clock and encouraged a lot of self-serving speculation.

    Quite the display of peacock feathers, gentelmen. So coy.

    And so now that Young Elvis and Elvis In Hawaii have both finally left the building let's start capaigning behind the candidate who're ready and willing to serve: Steve Novick.

  • (Show?)

    Kari said it. Let's not wait for a candidate, get organized. We need to lay the foundation for the dark horse candidate.

  • Interested Observer (unverified)
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    Well we have one more prominent "A list" candidate to hope for - Speaker Jeff Merkley. I heard that senior DSCC staff met with him a few weeks ago. If Merkley decides not to run I say we get behind Novick 100%.

  • (Show?)

    We're still very early in the cycle; I think both DeFazio and Blumenauer bowed out with plenty of time. I disagree that they dragged their feet on the decision.

    It's time for Steve, IMO. Let's not denigrate his viable candidacy any longer by talking about wishlist candidates. We have someone who wants to run, who can win, and who represents a strong progressive agenda. The pros have declined, and maybe we should take that as a sign that it's time for the more pure campaign of an amateur.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't say this, but I am just so SICK of so-called progressives being manic-depressive around candidates like Novick.

    First they constantly whine about corporate influence and the terrible positions of the GOP, but when presented with an authentic progressive candidate like Novick running as a Democrat they immediately start convincing themselves that "this guy can't possibly win."

    I got news for you---until they started winning elections, Peter DeFazio, Jon Tester, Bernie Sanders, Paul Wellstone, and Russ Feingold were ALL Steve Novick's.

    What's especially sad is how weak and defeatist the visitors to this site are--they have so much learned helplessness that the prospect of a race that isn't a gimme from the start has them convinced that defeat is inevitable. Thus, they spend all their time looking for the magical messiah candidate, someone they think can win in a walk.

    Well, it's not going to happen--there are no rollovers against an incumbent US Senator. But thank God Claire McCaskill, Sherrod Brown, and Jim Webb, Bob Casey, and that guy in RI (Whitehouse) didn't think that a tough race couldn't be won, the way the anti-Novicks on this site do.

    If Gordon Smith wins in 2008 it will only be because of lilly-livered Democrats who would rather sit around fantasizing about the messiah candidate than work to elect an outstanding flesh (mostly) and blood human.

  • Sadie (unverified)
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    I still think Senator Brad Avakian would be a great choice, here are my reasons why:

    1. You will have to search hard to find somebody who is better respected in Washington County. And as we who have worked in Oregon elections know, Washington County is an all important swing county.

    2. As a Senator for district 17, he represents part of Multnomah County and should not have trouble getting the PDX vote, too.

    3. He is a state senator, so he doesn't have to worry about losing a seat in Washington D.C. to run.

    4. It would be a fun campaign to volunteer for and contribute to.

  • Dan Grady (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!

    This blog has been running from the obvious for the duration!

    Bill Bradbury was a sacrificial lamb in 2002, but he instead made a good fight by staying principled, and right on the issues.

    Bill Bradbury has a ready made national issue that should be front and center in the next cycle, fair elections. He is a reliable expert in the eyes of the nation.

    Bill Bradbury is a true progressive.

    Bill Bradbury has a Bill Bradley aire about him that will play very well in debates, and on the campaign, he has the height, and substance of a Senatorial candidate!

    If his loss in the 2002 election is the hold-back factor, I would insist this is the reason he has the best chance! He represents history in a reflection of what the electorate did that resulted in Iraq, and the candidate that could have been!

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

  • (Show?)

    Any women statewide we can think of that would have a shot? I can't offer options, curious if anyone else can.

  • LT (unverified)
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    A legislator would be a great choice to run against former Oregon State Senate President Gordon Smith.

    Les AuCoin would not be a great choice--look at the people he alienated in the state senate when he was appointed to Forestry Board. His attitude was not one which was inclined to win friends and influence people. For more detail, see http://www.counterpunch.org/donnelly03232005.html

    The winning candidate will fit this description: The winning candidate should devote 100 percent effort for the next 18 months to overcome the onslaught that will come from the incumbent, Karl Rove and the Bush White House, and the many special interests who want to keep Smith in office.
    and will campaign around the state.

    A strong grass roots component (showing up in all counties doing town hall style meetings where ordinary people can ask questions and share concerns, for instance) is what will defeat Gordon. It will take the votes of Democrats, those who don't register with a party, and maybe a few Republicans to replace Gordon Smith.

    Any truth to the rumor that John Frohnmayer is considering running?

  • (Show?)

    Um... we don't need to "wait for a candidate." We already have one who can beat Gordon Smith, and his name is Steve Novick.

    Bill Bradbury, who is someone that I greatly admire, is not in the best of health and I don't think that a statewide race would be really taxing on him. It didn't go so well last time either...

    Early money is important, so please donate to Steve Novick's campaign now. All of us in Oregon have $50 of "free money" in the form of the Political Contribution Tax Credit, so let's send them his way. (i've already sent him mine for 2007.)

  • (Show?)

    But thank God Claire McCaskill, Sherrod Brown, and Jim Webb, Bob Casey, and that guy in RI (Whitehouse) didn't think that a tough race couldn't be won, the way the anti-Novicks on this site do.

    Claire McCaskill - State Treasurer Sherrod Brown - Congressman Jim Webb - fmr Secretary of the Navy Bob Casey - State Treasurer Sheldon Whitehouse - Attorney General

    Steve Novick will make a fine candidate, but it sure would be nice to have some interest from a statewide elected, a member of congress, or a legislative leader.

    If I'm tracking this right, we're down to State Treasurer Randall Edwards and Congressman David Wu on the statewides and congressionals.

    Over at DailyKos.com, Markos mentions Speaker Jeff Merkley and Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown:

    At this point, we have writer Steve Novick in the race, as well as interest from Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley, Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown, and a couple of other state legislators.

    Personally, I'd be thrilled if Jeff Merkley would get into the race. He's doing a phenomenal job as Speaker, and I'm not sure I'd want to see him leave that spot -- but man, given how tough he fought with Karen Minnis -- bring on Gordon Smith.

  • (Show?)

    Any women statewide we can think of that would have a shot? I can't offer options, curious if anyone else can.

    Supt of Public Instruction Susan Castillo has already said she's out. Congresswoman Darlene Hooley has said she's out.

    As I mentioned above, Senator Kate Brown would be a solid candidate. And hey -- what about Governor Barbara Roberts? Haven't heard much mention about her... and maybe she's not interested, but hot damn...

  • (Show?)

    If I'm tracking this right, we're down to State Treasurer Randall Edwards and Congressman David Wu on the statewides and congressionals.

    Correcting myself: Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and Governor Ted Kulongoski haven't ruled themselves out yet -- though I'd be surprised if either was seriously considering a run.

  • Blaine Palmer (unverified)
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    I'm with JMG in supporting an authentic progressive candidate like Novick.

    Besides his impressive credentials in government (ten years in the Justice Department) and as an advocate (challenging lottery retailers), Steve has something over all these other hypothetical candidates: he's a fabulous communicator.

    Anyone who's heard Steve speak, or read interviews with him gets this. His points are as clear and sharp as a nail and he hammers them home with wit and righteousness.

    Name recognition is only worthwhile if voters have a positive association with it. As voters get to know Steve Novick, they're going to be very, very positive.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Given how superficial many voters are, I figured the deck is stacked in favor of Smith against Steve Novick, but with no other solid candidates offering to run against Smith we should be grateful that Steve is running and give him all the support we can. At a minimum, Steve will be right on the issues and in a position to put Smith on the defensive - and maybe give more voters a chance to recognize the difference between form and substance. With strong support and a little luck Steve could beat the suggested odds against him and join Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders in the senate.

  • bc (unverified)
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    As long as we're recyling: what's Phil Kiesling up to these days, besides open primaries? Jim Hill? Both won statewide. Novick sounds great. I'm still hoping for Kitz.

  • (Show?)

    I'm just wondering how many times Kitz has to say "no" before people finally understand that he means no.

    <hr/>

    From the AP article on Blumenauer not running:

    Republicans, meanwhile, couldn't disguise their satisfaction at Blumenauer's decision.

    "With first DeFazio and now Blumenauer, we are happy to see that Oregon Democrats agree on the popularity and strength of Senator Smith," said Rebecca Fisher, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Commission. "We are not taking any races for granted this cycle, but with the first top tier, and now the second tier taking their selves out of the race, we're more comfortable with what is going on out there."

    And:

    Though the Democratic field is still unclear, Smith is already in campaign mode. He recently staked out moderate positions on issues from children's health insurance to the war in Iraq, and took out a full-page ad in local newspapers touting Democratic and Independent supporters.

  • John Mulvey (unverified)
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    Here's a galling quote from the R's:

    "With first DeFazio and now Blumenauer, we are happy to see that Oregon Democrats agree on the popularity and strength of Senator Smith," said Rebecca Fisher, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Commission.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Why galling? All she would have to do is come to BlueOregon to find support for her position.

    How 'bout we get something about Novick on top of this page, rather than a big story about why Earl isn't running, to follow the big stories about why Peter isn't running, which followed all the stories about whether John could be talked into running ...

    Until places like BlueOregon stop pretending that Gordon Smith is some giant that only one of a select few gladiators could slay, you better get used to hearing that message repeated back to you, and having it become the received wisdom in the media.

    When you attack Novick for not being Earl or Peter or John or Darlene or Bill, you are doing Gordon's work for him. Keep it up and you are making the reality you claim to want to avoid.

  • John Mulvey (unverified)
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    Sorry for duplicating Jenni's quote.

    I really like Jim Hill and Bill Bradbury but I wonder if they'd do it and if they'd get much traction. Dems tend to give people one at-bat and then they're out, unfortunately.

    Novick is the man. Can we start planning the 18 debates now? -John

  • Dan Grady (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!

    Posted by: Colin Maloney | May 16, 2007 10:55:26 AM

    I would like to know if this claim of Bill's health as a campaign issue has any substance other than the insinuation that his disease would disable his path to victory!! I would like to hear any substantive argument about Mr. Bradbury's condition and any effect it would have on his continued service!!

    I find anecdotal evidence, and or hideous insinuation of his disease as campaign issues as cowardice that may well have the presumption of calling out those who would make such arguments! I believe this condition is a positive factor in his proposed bid of the Senate!

    I have a hard time with why the progressive voices have a cold shoulder for a man who shows up for every meeting, function, or commitment that any other politician would delegate to staff, or worse devote his time to the lobbyist!

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

  • JMG (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY!!! VOTE FOR AN ANNOUNCED DEMOCRAT WHO IS ACTUALLY SEEKING THE NOMINATION!!!

  • (Show?)

    Until places like BlueOregon stop pretending that Gordon Smith is some giant that only one of a select few gladiators could slay, you better get used to hearing that message repeated back to you, and having it become the received wisdom in the media.

    Any evidence for this? Easy to say, but it certainly isn't my experience.

  • Dan Grady (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY!!! VOTE FOR AN ANNOUNCED DEMOCRAT WHO IS ACTUALLY SEEKING THE NOMINATION!!!

    Why do we have to have a candidate in May of '07 for an election that won't happen until next year?? If your answer is money, I don't think so since the money will not come out of people's pockett until the race really starts and the DNC decides who to back!

    I truly believe that Bill Bradbury will be embraced in this race by the DNC & DSCC this time around. The right candidate will match Smith's war chest in a hurry when the race gets started. The old finance models are out of gas, the web has seen to that.

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

  • JMG (unverified)
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    I need to cite evidence to establish that the GOP will sift through BlueOregon comments to find nuggets useful for them, and will feed those nuggets to the media as often as they can?

    Or are you saying that I need to prove, in advance of the election, that Smith can be beaten before you'll think he can be beaten?

    Every incumbent is presumably unbeatable, by the numbers. Until they're beaten, when suddenly people realize that the numbers didn't catch the shift in the electorate. In WA, Loonie Linda Smith knocks off entrenched liberal incumbent Jolene Unsoeld and suddenly Smith is unbeatable -- until she barely survives her first re-election campaign. George Allen is getting ready to run for the White House--until he loses to Webb. The same year that Washington's Maria Cantwell knocked off Skeletor Slade Gorton, Debbie Stabenow knocked off Spence Abraham in Michigan.

    The bottom line is that Gordon Smith talks like an Oregonian and votes like Trent Lott. He's beatable for that reason alone. It's that simple.

    But, as the saying goes, whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right. So just keep promoting people who aren't seeking the nomination over Novick and you'll get to say "Told you so!" in November 2008.

  • Dan Grady (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!

    But, as the saying goes, whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right. So just keep promoting people who aren't seeking the nomination over Novick and you'll get to say "Told you so!" in November 2008. // JMG

    I hear your impatience as you make points for Mr. Novick, what I don't hear is why Novick is the best candidate other than he's the first candidate in the race! Is that the bulk of your argument, first come - first serve? We should recruit Bradbury as a candidate that should have been, and now will be!

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    AL though I'm happy that Steve is running,I hope we have someone with statewide name recognition run. Kari mentioned Babara Roberts , who I've thought of before. ALthough she is 71, she us a youthful 71 and a great campaigner. I think that Les AuCoin must still want it despite his bruising '92 race against Packwood.

  • Jeremy (unverified)
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    What about somebody like Randy Leonard or Sam Adams? That would be so hot.

  • Garlynn - http://undergroundscience.blogspot.com (unverified)
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    Remember that we're first fielding candidates for a primary election, after which there will be a general election. Smith is only on the ballot for most of us in the general.

    That means that we should really be looking for two strong candidates to run. Sure, Steve Novick would probably make a helluva senator, and he would probably wipe the floors with Smith's rhetoric during a debate and an election.

    But I'd also like to see him demonstrate his prowess by beating a better-known candidate during the primary. That would certainly heighten his elect-ability during the general.

    Using Blumenauer's logic, neither Teddy K nor Bradbury is qualified to run in this race, unless they're willing to give up their days job to do so. As much as I'd like to see either of them run, I don't want that race to come at the expense of their job performance at the task that they have already been elected to do.

    The candidates from the State Legislature, on the other hand, might be more promising, simply because Oregon does not have a full-time legislature, and therefore they theoretically will have some time off from their elected positions, during which they could conduct the affairs necessary to run this race properly.

    Right?

  • (Show?)

    In response to Mr. Grady: As of right now Mr. Novick is the best candidate out of the two declared running. Ty Pettit is currently the only other candidate in this race. I'm not seeing the energy from the Pettit campaign that is being generated from team Novick.

    Steve is a solid progressive, has a fire in his belly that I have never seen in any candidate in recent Oregon history. When the time comes for a Novick-Smith debate (provided Gordo shows up) we're going to see the most provocative and informative debate we've seen in a long time. I would vote for him regardless of who the other candidates were in the race.

    I think it's great that you think Mr. Bradbury should run, start a draft movement and see who you can get. Some of us are solidly behind Steve, others haven't even thought about the race yet. Good Luck sir.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    It's time for Doc K to step to the plate. I know it's not likely, but we can dream, can't we?

  • (Show?)

    Why is Novick the best candidate?

    Simple, he gets it. He knows what accountability is, having fought tooth and nail to hold corporate polluters to account and pay for the damage they caused, not the taxpayers and homeowners who we harmed by their actions.

    He knows policy, and the impact of policy inside and out on both a micro and macro level since that is what he has done for decades now. He has the legal expertise as well as the intellectual tools to be effective and knowledgeable about the vast array of issues we face, both here in Oregon as well as nationally and internationally (global environmental issues do not respect lines on a map).

    He is solidly progressive, has the skills and the record of standing up for what's right, knows the in's and out's of the legislative as well as legal and regulatory processes.

    He has the education and the intellect to be an outstanding representative of and for Oregon in the United States Senate, yet he has the populist/progressive perspective to not be in the pockets of anyone. He comes from a a rural community, knows first hand the toll those communities have taken when education and budget crunches hit their first.

    As was mentioned up-thread, progressives have a real progressive, with the skill-set and background to be a great Senator, yet progressives bemoan that he isn't a machine politician and in the pockets of the party or electoral machine, nor is he in the pockets of corporate puppeteer/profiteers, and hence is not "electable"...?

    Color me confused as to the hand-wringing over Novick.

    I stand behind him, and continue to do so. I hope others join me in realizing the merits of the candidate right in front of us, who is asking for our support. He has mine.

  • frank carper (unverified)
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    Color me confused as to the hand-wringing over Novick.

    really? can he raise the 5 million it's going to take?

    can you name a single challenger that defeated a sitting senator that wasn't

    A: elected to lower office first B: a previous candidate for statewide office C: a senate-confirmed presidential appointee D: a millionaire

    name just one. how far back do you have to go?

    will steve novick be the first?

  • Disappointed in Tualatin (unverified)
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    Does anyone have a copy of Earl's press conference call from today? Willamette Week is reporting (http://www.wweek.com/wwire/?p=7959) that Earl slighted Steve Novick and I was hoping to read the whole transcript to see the complete context.

  • pedro (unverified)
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    iteresting that kos mentions merkley, wonder what he's heard?

    a primary between novick and merkley would be quite odd, i can't imagine that they'd be that different ideologically, and i can't imagine them attacking eachother.

  • Greg (unverified)
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    Oregon's an odd state. I guess I'm both surprised and not surprised that people aren't taking Novick as seriously as he should be.

    What about someone from the Portland City Council? It's not quite state-wide appeal, but one of them might be able to catch fire?

  • (Show?)

    As Earl's campaign manager and someone who was on Earl's press call, let me assure you that Earl did not slight Steve Novick.

    OPB did ask why the Democrats were having trouble finding credible candidates. Earl response was quoted accurately by the Willamette Week, but they put their own take on it.

    "I don't think there's going to be a problem finding a credible candidate. There will be a strong Democratic candidate, and there is plenty of time for us to be able to handle this properly."

    There was no mention of Steve or any other campaign in the question or the answer. Earl's point was that the Democratic nominee will beat Gordon Smith in the general election. He plans to work hard to help whomever our nominee is and he has great admiration for and friendship with Steve.

  • zilfondel (unverified)
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    I'm voting for Novick. I'm not a wussy democrat - I'm going to tell everyone I know to vote for the guy. We need strong, independent thinkers to lead the 'crats forward... and I think guys like him can do it.

    'nuff said.

  • (Show?)

    Willie--

    Thanks for the information. I was surprised when I'd heard that, since I knew that was out of character. Glad to hear it wasn't what Blumenauer said, nor what he meant.

    <hr/>

    I'm also a Novick supporter and am telling everyone I can about him.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: frank carper | May 16, 2007 2:13:21 PM

    You missed the entire point of what I was saying. Your call for citation of examples of anyone elected Senator who was not in the pocket of someone else is precisely what I was speaking to when I commented as to the "confusion" (i.e. the pointed rhetorical over the sellout hypocrisy) of "progressives" who don't see Steve Novick as someone who is well qualified to be a United States Senator becuase he doesn't have a trail of riasing gobs of cash.

    The "points" you raise about money are in my view damning statements of the entire process.

  • Galen (unverified)
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    Sorry, Willie, but that's BS. You can't blame the newspaper for that one. Liberal use of the future tense, in this case, cannot be interpreted as anything but a slight.

    Earl: "I don't think there's going to be a problem finding a credible candidate." Contrast with: "There's not a problem, because we already have a credible candidate, and his name is Steve Novick."

    Earl: "There will be a strong Democratic candidate." Contrast with: "We already have a strong Democratic candidate, and his name is Steve Novick."

    Earl's words speak volumes, but the problem here is also in what he didn't say.

    There was no mention of Steve or any other campaign in the question or the answer.

    EXACTLY. And that is my beef: Earl totally ignored and evaded Steve's candidacy, and blew a great opportunity to rally the troops around a single candidate, after weeks and weeks of frenzied, scattershot searching.

    If he has such admiration for Steve, what did he have to lose by plugging him in that interview? We have our man, and we need to publicly support him. And that includes Earl Blumenauer.

  • frank carper (unverified)
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    lestatdelc: i agree with you that the system is broken and we need campaign finance reform

    if steve wins, and i hope he can and does, hopefully he'll change things

    but you play the game by the rules that exist - and steve novick will have a hard time. its partly a money thing and its partly a resume' thing

    almost everyone who has beat a senator was already in office. in the last 15 years, the only exceptions are mark dayton, john edwards, and bill frist - all millionaires.

  • Dan Grady (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!

    Posted by: zilfondel | May 16, 2007 3:02:37 PM

    I want the seat for a solid, ACLU loving progressive who believes in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the rule of law. A blue blooded Democrat that believes in strong strategic far-reaching national security, and an inclusive, effective, freedom thinking domestic policy that recognizes government as a vital element.

    I believe a Democrat that knows enough-when-is-enough with government regulation, and taxation, while restoring realistic tax rates for corporations, and the wealthy Americans that have managed to corrupt politics for their bottom line. That would mean government sponsored elections, and the limitation of corporate rights, and the nationalization of American Corporations as American. That means if they make their money on American taxpayer dollars, or in the American economy then they must be an American Corporation paying their fair share!

    I want a Free Press, not a passive propaganda network of corporate interests promoting their own best!

    I want the Patriot Act repealed, The Military Commissions Act repealed, The Homeland Security Act revised, and the Justice Department restored to a Justice Department!

    These goals may only be achieved with a veto-proof majority in both Houses and a Democratic President which may not actually happen completely until 2010, and then may only last at best a decade.

    We must win where ever the opportunity presents itself, and Gordon Smith’s Senate Seat is the simple definition of opportunity!

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

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    Frank:

    I'm going to say the answer to your question is Paul Wellstone. Yes, he was previously a candidate for statewide office but it was eight years before, he was running for State Auditor and he lost. Doesn't count, in my book.

    When he beat incumbent Rudy Boschwitz in 1990 he had marginal name recognition and was out spent 7-to-1. And he won.

    Novick isn't Wellstone, Smith isn't Boschwitz and Oregon isn't Minnesota. But none of that matters because Wellstone proved that it's possible to do the impossible. I would also argue that Carol Shea-Porter did the impossible in the New Hampshire 1st in 2006. Similar circumstances, candidate and campaign style. And I know that if there's anyone who can do it again, it's Steve Novick.

  • frank carper (unverified)
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    yeah, i suppose you could include wellstone IF you ignore his prior run for state auditor.

    any idea who was the last one before that?

    and doesn't this hunt kinda prove the point?

  • (Show?)

    and doesn't this hunt kinda prove the point?

    I think the point it proves is that when the grassroots is led to believe a person isn't electable because they we're previously politicians, that the person doesn't win.

    It's not because the person isn't electable. It's because those who would have normally volunteered, donated, etc. were led to believe it was a losing cause.

    It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

    If the grassroots were to band together behind a candidate like Steve, he'd win. When we hold every other statewide office, and have won recent races by increasing margins, there is no excuse why we couldn't win the race.

  • Jack Casey (unverified)
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    Are the rumors Josh Kardon will run against Smith true?

  • JMG (unverified)
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    It's not because the person isn't electable. It's because those who would have normally volunteered, donated, etc. were led to believe it was a losing cause.

    It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

    If the grassroots were to band together behind a candidate like Steve, he'd win. When we hold every other statewide office, and have won recent races by increasing margins, there is no excuse why we couldn't win the race.

    Thanks you, Jenni! Well said.

  • Dave Pagni (unverified)
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    OK, now that Earl Blummenaur is officially not running, what are we waiting for to start getting Steve Novick the name recognition and organizational help (and funding) he'll need to slug it out with Gordo? Novick strikes me as the type of guy who would be perfect in Washington for us in Oregon as well as for national-level issues. I think he'll end up a poster-boy candidate once the national Dems take notice..Let's help them with that!

  • (Show?)

    We truly are getting into self-fulfilling prophecy territory here.

    Of course Steve can win. No one thinks it is impossible, nor does anyone think it will be easy. However, it would be f#@k-all easier if the fellow members of his party supported him, or even just quit whining about how he COULDN'T win, and how much better it would be if [INSERT PRINCE CHARMING PLACEHOLDER HERE] got into the race instead.

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    Damn, I must be the kiss of death after buying both defazioforsenate.com/org and blumenauerforsenate.com/org.

    I did this, mind you, not in hopes of making any money off of it, but rather to keep them from falling into nefarious hands.

    Thank goodness I still have kitzhaberforsenate (.org, somebody already has .com).

    And I say, don't write Kitzhaber out, he really won't make up his mind on this definitively until after the legislative session ends here in Oregon, he's got too many legislative priorities keeping him busy right now to let himself be distracted by talk of a Senate run (which is why he denies interest in it so far).

    And this isn't just me talking, he's told me so a few times of the past several months, including just 3 weeks ago. Frankly, this is how I read the tea leaves, with all of the other big dogs declining to run, that would support the idea of behind-the-scenes rumors of a Kitzhaber run.

    Of course, he may very well not run, but don't count him out until this summer.

  • (Show?)

    Frank,

    In response to your inquiry, (as far as Oregon goes, I'm not worried about others states) the last person to be directly elected to the Senate without holding any prior elected office was Wayne Morse in 1944.

    At the time he was serving on the War Labor Board as an appointment by FDR. He resigned from that, and shortly afterwards FDR urged him to run for the Senate.

    just thought I'd let you know.

  • C. Frank Barker III, Esq. (unverified)
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    Oh for Christsakes people Kitzhaber's not running. Seriously.

    But verasoie, tell me this. Kitzhaber's mission in life, his signature accomplishment more than any other, is health care, right? Well, then why on God's green earth would he reach out to Gordon Smith and enlist him as a high profile endorser if Kitzhaber was truly planning on running against him any time soon? Walk me through the politics of that.

    I think I'm going to give to Novick every single time someone mentioned insists on beating this Kitzhaber horse. The good doc just ain't running. Not a chance.

    The only way I'm wrong on this is if verasoie personally changes his name to Kitzhaber and files for office himself.

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    Earl, you gave us great reasons why you should be running and not sitting this one out. We wish you'd of come to a different decision.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Let's face it: If we are going to beat Gordon Smith, we must have a candidate who has at least run for (and ideally won) another elective office.

    It's been said that Oregon hasn't elected anyone to the U.S. Senate without previous elective experience for 60 years, but we also haven't elected anyone to ANY statewide office without previous elective experience for at least 20 years. We need an elected official to beat Gordon Smith.

    I'm sure that the Dem candidate will win Multnomah, Washington, and Lane counties, so we need someone who can compete in Clackamas, Marion, and the other 28 counties. The names being mentioned here don't meet that test.

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    C. Frank Barker III, Esq., let me make this very clear: I don't give a rat's ass about your personal opinion on the potential for a Kitzhaber run (or not), because I have it from the man himself, several times over and in very convincing manner, that he's mulling it over and won't make up his mind until this summer.

    What about that isn't clear?

    Now, I don't have the foggiest idea what you're talking about with Gordon Smith, but presumably that happened before last November's election, when the Republicans were still in control of Congress? In that case, how in the world could Kitzhaber not have enlisted Gordon Smith's help to change healthcare in Oregon when all of the rules and pursestrings are controlled by Congress?

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)
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    Okay, for those of you who don't think Steve Novick has a chance because he has never run for statewide office before or held an elective office, may I offer you....

    Paul Wellstone, who was a political science prof before being elected to the Senate from Minnesota.

    Or, if you don't think it can happen in Oregon, there's always...

    Wayne Morse.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Nothing Steve Novick has done convinces me he's Paul Wellstone--sorry, Gil.

    Al Franken has often spoken of Paul W going to bean feeds and pancake breakfasts all over Minn.

    How many such events has Steve attended?

    Face it, guys, Steve knows Portland and the state capitol building. But is he coming to the Keizer Iris festival? How many other local events is he scheduled to attend?

    Sure money is important for a statewide race. But some of the most powerful support can't be bought--like the people who talk to their friends about a candidate, wear a pin, etc.

    To refresh your memory about the last truly dark horse candidate for US Senate, read RUNNING, the book by Harry Lonsdale.

  • Pam (unverified)
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    Kitzhaber has a major vulnerability in a US Senate race - namely his oft-stated desire to end Medicare as we know it. When over one-third of the voters on election day are seniors, Dr. K's go float out on an iceberg and die position toward seniors would kill him in a senate race.

    He was never a very disciplined candidate in either of his two governor's races (against less than powerhouses Bill Sizemore and Denny Smith), he hates raising money and he refuses to stay on message. I think he gets killed by Smith.

    Novick is a stronger candidate than Kitzhaber because he has none of his liabilities with key voter groups (seniors)and he will work his ass off (something no one has ever accused Kitzhaber of in the past). Go Steve, Go!

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    Pam, with all due respect, your comments are either intentionally deceptive or just hopelessly ignorant, because Dr. K's agenda for reforming our heathcare system is just about the only credible way to keep it afloat-- it is untenable as it stands and will collapse without urgent intervention.

    I highly recommend that you educate yourself further on the details of the Archimedes movement, the skyrocketing growth of healthcare entitlements in this country (that measure in the tens of TRILLIONS of dollars), and do not comment further on this topic until you have.

    Furthermore, politically speaking, your comment has zero basis in reality. Kitzhaber had an approval rating in the 70s as a governor. If he were to run, Smith might as well as throw in the towel, Kitz would eat him for lunch. Remember, his base wasn't in Portland or Eugene, he represented Roseburg, so he's very popular outside of the Democratic strongholds.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Ok, we've been through a number of categories now, and no matter the facts, the response of the Anti-Novick crowd is always, "not the same."

    Any minute I expect that we'll be asked to provide the name of even one Oregon Senator from the Portland area with a prosthetic limb who wasn't in office and then went on to beat an incumbent and, when we can't, they'll say "See, can't be done."

    If you say he's working on raising money, they say "But he's not attending the Petunia Parade in Paradise, and that's where you really get your support," and if he attends the Petunia Parade they say "The fact that he can be at some little burg like this when other people are raising money shows that he's small time and can't even get in to see the heavy hitters." No matter what, Novick is just wrong, wrong, wrong, as far as these people are concerned. He comes from Portland, so they'll say he can't win because he's from Portland. If he didn't come from Portland they'd say "He can't win--Democrats only win from Portland."

    In other words, if Novick says To-may-toe, they say To-mah-toe, period. We can just call these folks "Democrats for Smith"--oh, wait, guess that name is taken. Oh well, still fits.

    The Democrats for Smith like to say "Face it" and similar things--ok, let's face it.

    Odds are VERY high that there's going to be a Democrat in the White House in 2009, with a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate. Oregon will be sandwiched between two states with two Democratic senators. Now if people in Oregon--Republicans, independents, and Democrats alike--want to make the most of this opportunity, they're going to want TWO Democratic senators, not just one. Except for the nutjob idealogues, even the GOP heavy hitters in Oregon -- most of whom are not all that crazy about the direction their party has been going on social issues since Reagan but especially since Chimpy -- would rather have two senators in the majority caucus than waste a seat on a guy who won't even be getting scraps from the scraps that the GOP will have to offer.

    The next 18 months are going to be filled with the sounds of the wheels flying off the GOP machine as the scorched earth, all partisan all the time style of governance grinds to a halt and people start coming out of the woodwork for their pound of payback. And you don't even have to work to tie Gordo to all of it--he's a US Senator for god's sake. We have him, vote after vote, speech after speech, standing up and supporting the worst administration in the history of the country, an administration that combines the ethics of Nixon with the quiet competence and nuanced judgment of the Three Stooges, an administration that is acually arguing that the President of the United States has the power to disappear people without trial, lawyer, or even charges being filed, and that the courts have no power to intervene. And Gordon Smith is down with that.

    So why can't Novick win? It seems that it all boils down to a bunch of people insulted that he didn't ask their permission to take on Smith. That's really what it seems to be about. If he'd wooed them and stroked them, they'd be on his side, but he didn't and now they're just going to show him.

    As someone said up thread, if you want to go out and draft someone, fine, and if and when you find one of these messiahs to actually file, then you can start the comparisons with Novick.

    But until you have someone who has filed papers, it would be nice if you just kindly sat on your criticisms of Novick and kept your sage assessments of why he can't win to yourself. It's one thing if you've got a live candidate to support in a nomination fight; until then, if the best you can muster is to say that you'll work to defeat Gordon Smith no matter who the candidate is, say that.

  • (Show?)

    LT: He's only been in the race for a month or so, I'm sure he will start hitting events like the Keizer Iris Festival, the Monmouth-Independence Western Day's Parade,the Tigard balloon Festival, Tualatin Crawdad Festival, Sisters Jazz Festival, Balloons over Bend, The Cherry Festival in the Dalles, The July Jubilee in North Bend, and every county fair he and supporters can get to. He'll go to Mo's in Newport just like Bobby Kennedy, Les AuCoin, Gracie Hansen, and all the others did.

    The wonderful thing about not being elected, is Steve can travel the state more freely and better reach out to the voters.

    I'm sure if you feel there is an event he should go to, you would be more than welcome to let him know about it.

  • Sadie (unverified)
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    JMG - I know this may be hard to believe, but there are plenty of us out here who really like who Steve Novick is and everything that he stnads for, but we still see him as a weak candidate. I have spent a great deal of time walking through neighborhoods in a very important swing county, Washington County.

    While some want to assume that we are a very liberal county, it is most certainly not the case! We have a Republican lead in registration and a HUGE number of independents. As somebody who has talked to MANY of the R's, N's and D's, in this neighborhood,they are never going to vote for somebody just because they have a D after their name - not even the Democrats will do that out here.

    It doesn't matter how much National Issues pull the voters in this county to vote. Somehow they do not connect their Senator to the overall problems this country is facing. It is silly, it is odd, but in this county MANY people like Gordon Smith.

    If you look outside of the Portland mentality that all people are smart enough to see that voting out Smith is a grand idea, you will find that in Washington County and many places throughout this state, people will never vote for somebody to represent them if they don't like their qualifications.

    People will not vote for a school board candidate in this county if they have never heard of the person. If I go knocking on doors and say, "You need to vote out Gordon Smith, he has done this, this and this wrong". The response will overwhelmingly be, "I don't care to hear what you feel he did wrong, I want to know what your guy has done right."

    You cannot go door to door in my area to tell people all of the horrors of the other candidate, or even all of the wonderfull things we could do if we had a stronger Democratic majority and expect to win. You can go tell them what amazing accomplishments your candidate has made for them and expect them to vote the way you are asking.

    You also have to remember that we are coming out of a period of totalitarian rule by the Republicans. I am very prepared to hear from my neighbors that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Having Democrats across the board will work for your Democratic following. In Washington County we HAVE to talk to the N's and even some R's if we want to win strongly enough to make a difference - that means we have to be prepared to convince them that our candidates are the best, not that our party is.

  • (Show?)

    "You can go tell them what amazing accomplishments your candidate has made for them and expect them to vote the way you are asking."

    Steve Novick took on Bill Sizemore and TABOR--and won. Start with that.

  • (Show?)

    I'm for Novick.

    From Florida, where we get the Waffle King, Bill Nelson, to carry forth the banner of liberty and justice in the US Senate.

    I was there, though, busting ass for Bill Bradbury when he ran for that seat. When you heard "Gordon Smith wears his 0% score on the environment like a badge," I thought of that.

    The problem then was that it was clear that Bill Bradbury entered the race only when St. John and St. Peter wouldn't run, and in so doing, made it clear to everyone standing that he was the Democratic establishment's third choice, and gave Gordon Smith about a four-month head start that ended up turning into a 20% margin at the polls.

    So it makes me happy that Steve Novick didn't ask anybody at Blue Oregon, or elsewhere in the establishment, if he was famous enough, or beloved enough, or popular enough before he ran.

    Because you can't give Gordon Smith four months head start, and if you're someone with a clue, a heart, and a pair, waiting for permission from Meredith Wood Smith, the DPO and the rest of the posters at Blue Oregon, you're in line behind everybody else including Bradbury, who presumably would be sure he was going to run this time, and file the nanosecond it was possible.

    Oh, wait - what's that? No one filed? In a state that would hurt someone if it meant they could dump Gordon Smith? Yeah, I wouldn't wait to get my hand stamped, either.

    Show's starting.

    Isn't Oregon the home of "Just Do It?" "There is no finish line."?

    So, Just Do It, Steve Novick.

    While the kingmakers of progressive Oregon wander about in confusion, go win. Fortune favors the bold.

    (And hire that JMG to write some speeches for you.)

  • (Show?)

    So it makes me happy that Steve Novick didn't ask anybody at Blue Oregon, or elsewhere in the establishment, if he was famous enough, or beloved enough, or popular enough before he ran.

    BlueOregon is the establishment?!?!?!

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Yes, Kari, you are. Sometimes you guys show a bizarre lack of perspective on exactly what you're doing here.

    Verasoie wrote: I highly recommend that you educate yourself further on the details of the Archimedes movement, the skyrocketing growth of healthcare entitlements in this country (that measure in the tens of TRILLIONS of dollars), and do not comment further on this topic until you have.

    Uh, no. Total federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid in 2005 was less than $500 billion. If you add in state spending it's less than $650 billion. A lot of money, but not the tends of trillions you are talking about. More importantly, Pam's point is spot-on. Kitzhaber wants to save the health care system by cutting Medicare benefits. He may be right from a policy perspective, but that position makes him unelectable. Period.

    Novick has forgotten more about health care policy than Gordon Smith ever knew in the first place. He would be extremely valuable in the effort to reform health care and doesn't start with Kitzhaber's baggage.

  • (Show?)

    Sorry, Miles. OK, I get it - I work with a lot of the politicos in this state.

    But it's kind of odd to see John Dunagan decrying BlueOregon as the voice of the establishment -- when he's one of our contributors... He's got a password and everything.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    I nominate Jefferson Smith of the Oregon Bus Project. With a name like that how could he lose?

    Also he's young, good-looking, charismatic, an electrifying speaker and smart as a whip.

  • DAN GRADY (unverified)
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    SAVE DEMOCRACY, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!

    I smell a rat there Dartagnan, are your sure you don't mean skinny, bald, and quirky!?

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    Miles, get a clue. "Growth of entitlements" and (our healthcare system) "is untenable as it stands and will collapse without urgent intervention" clearly talk about the future of healthcare, not just this one year (whose numbers will be swamped in the future).

    The healthcare entitlements facing this country in the upcoming years as boomers start to retire, yes indeed, measure in the TENS of TRILLIONS of dollars, which clearly we can not meet. Seniors aren't stupid, if you tell them that their healthcare benefits won't be there unless we make systematic change, and the other guys doesn't say anything at all, you look credible whereas the other guy looks like a sycophant.

    You too could stand to educate yourself on the topic before commenting again. AARP is on board with the Archimedes movement, being consulted and informed every step of the way, because they realize that they have the most to lose from the system the way it is, and Kitzhaber has the expertise to speak credibly about this topic, the most important (Iraq aside) facing this country. To contend otherwise is fantasy, including the laughable notion that Steve Novick (admirable as he may be) is a better candidate than Kitzhaber would be.

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    Miles, get a clue. "Growth of entitlements" and (our healthcare system) "is untenable as it stands and will collapse without urgent intervention" clearly talk about the future of healthcare, not just this one year (whose numbers will be swamped in the future).

    The healthcare entitlements facing this country in the upcoming years as boomers start to retire, yes indeed, measure in the TENS of TRILLIONS of dollars, which clearly we can not meet. Seniors aren't stupid, if you tell them that their healthcare benefits won't be there unless we make systematic change, and the other guys doesn't say anything at all, you look credible whereas the other guy looks like a sycophant.

    You too could stand to educate yourself on the topic before commenting again. AARP is on board with the Archimedes movement, being consulted and informed every step of the way, because they realize that they have the most to lose from the system the way it is, and Kitzhaber has the expertise to speak credibly about this topic, the most important (Iraq aside) facing this country. To contend otherwise is fantasy, including the laughable notion that Steve Novick (admirable as he may be) is a better candidate than Kitzhaber would be.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Verasoie: please explain why anyone should care what kind of candidate Kitzhaber would be? Why not think about what kind of candidate FDR would be this year, or JFK, or Wilson, or Andy Jackson. And what about Jefferson himself--though I understand he might have a Clinton problem.

    I have nothing but respect for Kitzhaber, but I don't think that any number of people trying to hump his leg and drooling will help persuade him to run for the US Senate. If he suddenly has a conversion experience and decides that the Senate would be a good place to do health care reform, then I think he'd be a formidable nominee, if he got the nomination.

    But he doesn't seem to be running, so can we at least pay him the respect he's earned by listening to what he DOES want to talk about without constantly obsessing about what he DOES NOT want to talk about?

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    JMG, your post hardly seems sincere enough to address given that the answer lies in front of you in the posts that posed that question in the first place (see Pam and Miles), but for others who are less obtuse, it comes down to the absurd claim that somehow trying to tackle our healthcare crisis head-on in a credible manner would make a candidate (like Kitzhaber, if he were to run, or now Bates) who speaks with authority on that matter a liability, whereas someone without such experience on this preeminent topic (Novick, without any slight meant to him) would be better off for it.

    To dismiss someone like Kitzhaber (or anyone else associated, Bates would be guilty by association here in their eyes) because they have proposed a solution to the pivotal issue of our time (aside from Iraq) is political nonsense and suicide.

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    JMG, your post hardly seems sincere enough to address given that the answer lies in front of you in the posts that posed that question in the first place (see Pam and Miles), but for others who are less obtuse, it comes down to the absurd claim that somehow trying to tackle our healthcare crisis head-on in a credible manner would make a candidate (like Kitzhaber, if he were to run, or now Bates) who speaks with authority on that matter a liability, whereas someone without such experience on this preeminent topic (Novick, without any slight meant to him) would be better off for it.

    To dismiss someone like Kitzhaber (or anyone else associated, Bates would be guilty by association here in their eyes) because they have proposed a solution to the pivotal issue of our time (aside from Iraq) is political nonsense and suicide.

  • (Show?)

    Verasoie wrote... I don't give a rat's ass about your personal opinion on the potential for a Kitzhaber run (or not), because I have it from the man himself, several times over and in very convincing manner, that he's mulling it over and won't make up his mind until this summer.

    Again, could you share the date on that conversation with Kitzhaber? Was it before or after his definitive "NO" on the Nick Fish Show on December 3, 2006.

  • (Show?)

    But it's kind of odd to see John Dunagan decrying BlueOregon as the voice of the establishment -- when he's one of our contributors... He's got a password and everything.

    Not really, Kari. Yes, I have a password, and yes, I can post (and I will) whenever something in my world effects the state I grew up in (and still love).

    (And I'm not decrying BO. I love this blog. I just disagree strongly with the actions of a few of its posters, i.e., attempting to form the circular firing squad around Steve Novick.)

    But that roster of contributors is longer than a Republican Congressman's rap sheet, and it includes, besides me, some powerful people in Oregon Democratic politics, even more in the comments. I also wouldn't expect to see (and never have seen) BO turning down anyone else, establishment or not, that had a topical and helpful guest post. Hell, that's how I started!

    Ergo, correct me if I'm wrong, but Blue Oregon IS, then, establishment: King Kong of Oregon political blogs.

  • (Show?)

    I suppose, if its possible, that I'd hope that BlueOregon would help give voice to both the establishment and the grassroots.

    There's something inherently anti-establishment even about putting the power players out into the open on a blog. I've certainly heard many insiders decry the idea that "our strategies are all out there in the open" and that BlueOregon is hurting the movement.

    They couldn't be more wrong, and I think we've proved that, but their point is taken: By making the power players defend themselves in public - even on as tiny a venue as BlueOregon (and with some 3000-4000 readers, we're definitely tiny in the big media universe).

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Verasoie, you seem really angry, and I'm not sure why. If you're talking about future entitlements, yes, the entitlements will cost tens of trillions of dollars over the next 30 years. (By that same measure, my income will be in the millions over the next three decades. Woohoo!)

    You too could stand to educate yourself on the topic before commenting again. AARP is on board with the Archimedes movement, being consulted and informed every step of the way, because they realize that they have the most to lose from the system the way it is.

    AARP opposes the inclusion of Medicare in either the Archimedes or the Bates/Westlund reform plans. They sent a letter to Kitz, Bates, and Westlund, and that's why Bates and Westlund stripped the provision out of SB 329 and why they initially refused to give SB 27 a hearing. There was actually quite a commotion about the whole thing a few weeks ago -- even here on BO. AARP supports Archimedes in principle, but you're mistaken to assert that AARP is on board with the Medicare cuts.

    To dismiss someone like Kitzhaber. . . because they have proposed a solution to the pivotal issue of our time. . . is political nonsense and suicide.

    I think Kitz is perfect right where he is. Former governor, credible on health care, pushing for a grand solution. As I said before, I think Kitz is right on the substance and he needs to build support for his ideas from the ground up. The politics, however, are against him, and any candidate for the U.S. Senate will need to disavow any desire to cut Medicare benefits if they want to get elected.

  • verasoie (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Uh, Kari, do you read your own blog? I wrote "just three weeks ago." Just like Bates himself said, a decision won't be made until after the legislative session is over.

    Miles, I appreciate your input. Like you say, AARP is on with the Archimedes plan in principle, and the details are being worked out as we speak (type). If Kitzhaber (or Bates or whichever politician runs on a platform of reforming our healthcare system) has AARP's support, then they've got the senior vote (unlike what Pam says).

  • LT (unverified)
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    "...has AARP's support, then they've got the senior vote..."

    sounds like someone who doesn't spend time with anyone over 70. Believe it or not, there are people in that age group who think of themselves as individuals, like to hear the facts of a situation before making a decision instead of being assumed to support whatever a certain group does, and don't like terms like "senior" and "elderly". They are individuals, by golly!

    It would be foolish to say all men or all women or all Oregonians think alike.

    People above a certain age (let's say, people with a memory of FDR alive as president) were once said to have chosen their party due to whether they loved or hated FDR. To claim that once someone has had a certain number of birthdays then their vote is predictable sounds to me very close to insulting a generation.

  • verasoie (unverified)
    (Show?)

    LT, your point is well taken, but my comment was directed to the post saying that "Dr. K's go float out on an iceberg and die position toward seniors would kill him in a senate race," and I was making the point that this simply wasn't true.

    If the AARP supports, in principle, what you are doing, then in general it can be assumed that you are not telling seniors to "go float out on an iceberg and die."

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