Steve Novick at Lewis and Clark College

Nick Wirth

For the second week in a row, the Lewis and Clark College Democrats had the privilege of playing host to a US Senate Candidate; Steve Novick. Like Jeff Merkley’s town hall last Friday, the event was informative and thought-provoking. Once again, I thought I would share some of my observations from the meeting.

As in my last post, I am paraphrasing Novick rather than quoting him.

Cimg4540Immediately, Novick discussed some novel ideas. For one, he would author a bill requiring the IRS to send thank you notes to taxpayers and a breakdown of how your tax dollars were being spent. He argued that voters would be more willing to entertain new taxes and programs if they were more informed on how their money was being used. Novick also proposed replacing Andrew Jackson’s picture on the twenty dollar bill with one of Chief Sitting Bull, noting that it was important to acknowledge our country’s historical mistakes.

Once again, questions regarding global warming were popular among the student audience. Novick immediately impressed the crowd with his promise to sign onto the Sanders/Boxer bill on his first day in office. Responding to another student question, Novick stated that we should not build new coal plants until we know that carbon capture technology works. However, even the best estimates for renewable energy such as wind, solar, and wave power fall short of our future energy needs, so eliminating coal altogether is impractical.

Fielding another question, Novick discussed the possibility of a carbon tax or a cap and trade system. He stated that a carbon tax is tough politically because people see gas taxes as unfair and regressive. Instead, we will have to rely on regulations rather than taxes to reduce carbon emissions. He argued that cap and trade system is better, but it doesn’t make sense for everybody. For example, you can’t reduce the carbon content of natural gas, but you don’t want companies to eliminate natural gas because it has less carbon than oil or coal. So cap and trade should be applied to companies that have flexibility in what they use, and the automotive industry.

Novick’s environmental views were thoughtful and found agreement from many audience members to be sure. However, what I especially noticed throughout all of Novick’s answers was a deep understanding of tax issues, his experience in this area shines through. These issues came up several times, such as the IRS thank you notes, the carbon tax, or another question dealing with the loss of timber funds in Southern Oregon.

In this case, Novick argued that his experience and knowledge of tax issues would be helpful as a Senator. One student from the area noted that her city’s libraries were closed for the summer due to the loss of timber funds, and asked what could be done. Novick (on top of supporting Ron Wyden’s efforts) argued that we should restore the funds immediately. He agreed that it may not be politically viable, but he also contended that he would have more success with these kinds of budget issues than Gordon Smith. Smith is always against taxation, so he’s not helping to resolve budget problems. Novick stated that he would constructively help with budget shortcomings, by insisting that the "Warren Buffets" of society pay their fair share in taxes, and by reducing exorbitant spending on things like exotic weapons systems. As a result, other Senators would be more empathetic to Novick's budgetary requests for Oregon.

The other characteristic of Novick that stood out to me was his tone throughout the meeting, he has a very down-to-earth, straightforward way of speaking. I think that is reflected in the way he would use his position as Senator. He talked about using the office as a bully pulpit of sorts, and of having frank discussions with constituents on numerous issues such as the environment, terrorism, and taxes. He showed a willingness to confront politically contentious issues head on. Throughout the event, he had an air of frankness and honesty about him that Oregon is sorely lacking from our current Senator.

Having seen both candidates in under a week let me say this; we have two great US Senate Candidates here in Oregon. Both Merkley and Novick are knowledgeable and passionate about the issues facing this country, qualities that they have exhibited throughout their respective careers. Personally, I’m not sure that the debate that has taken place so far on the internet has done these two men justice.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion in the primary; I have mine after hearing from both candidates. That said, in comments on blogs such as this one, supporters for both sides have shown exactly how not to have a primary. We need to maintain an air of civility in these discussions, personal attacks on either candidate will only hurt democratic chances of defeating Gordon Smith in the long run. Nor do such attacks do justice to the work that both men have put in over the years advancing progressive causes. We should remember the bigger picture; if either Steve or Jeff is elected Senator next year, we will all be better off.

Comments

  • Christy (unverified)
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    I think that the last two paragraphs of this email are the best words that I have seen written about our Senate race. I know so many people that have become disillusioned by the ugliness on this and other blogs. It is time for it to stop.

  • Blueshift (unverified)
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    I second what Nick and Christy have said. Watching the Novick and Merkley camps snipe at each other across the great blue watercooler does nothing positive for either campaign, and just leaves those of us who aren't in either unmotivated and despairing of our chances. Democrats have long stood for the politics of civility. I'd like to see blogs and candidate supporters expend more effort to uphold that tradition.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Thank you Nick for saying this:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion in the primary; I have mine after hearing from both candidates. That said, in comments on blogs such as this one, supporters for both sides have shown exactly how not to have a primary. We need to maintain an air of civility in these discussions, personal attacks on either candidate will only hurt democratic chances of defeating Gordon Smith in the long run. Nor do such attacks do justice to the work that both men have put in over the years advancing progressive causes. We should remember the bigger picture; if either Steve or Jeff is elected Senator next year, we will all be better off.

  • (Show?)

    Steve is, as this post shows, what I've been yearning for in the political process -- someone who is not only intricately versed in the issues but is also equipped with a rugged backbone to stand up for whatever he believes is right. This man NEEDS to stay in the process because we all need someone who is deeply intelligent holding onto the microphone.

  • (Show?)

    Yes, by all means, let's talk about the substance.

    Let's talk about Steve's profound intelligence and the years he has devoted to studying and understanding not only the Federal budget and tax policy, but the environment, health care, education, labor, defense issues, communications policy, and all the other things Oregonians care about. While we're at it, let's talk about his actual positions on those issues. As Nick describes above, Steve has staked out very detailed positions on the issues, and he has the confidence to engage roomfuls of strangers in discussion about them, even strangers who don't agree with him.

    Then let's talk about that gift for communication, the way he is able to break down complex topics for easier discussion, his persuasiveness, the way he connects with people, and his sense of humor.

    After that, perhaps we can chat about his remarkable personal biography of accomplishment in the face of adversity most of us can barely imagine, and the astonishing personal equanimity he has maintained while going through life with significant disabilities.

    Then, maybe, it will be time to talk about his fearlessness, his fierce commitment to social and economic justice, his refusal to compromise his core values, and his fighting spirit -- which will serve him well in an election against an opponent whose surrogates don't fight fair.

    I welcome THAT conversation.

  • trollbot9000 (unverified)
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    Come on, people. Is this an election or some genteel tea party? Are you so terrified of El Gordo that you think your best strategy is to have your candidates pucker up and kiss each others arses throughout the primary race? You feel that you need two guys to take on an incumbent who has grown increasingly unpopular within his own party? Bunch of pussies.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Trollbot: Are you looking for a shouting match? I'm all for strong disagreement. But one of the nastiest primaries we ever had was AuCoin/Lonsdale 1992. The venom was not forgotten after the primary was over. How do you think Packwood won his last (partial) term?

    It is great to debate issues, but making people furiously angry is a recipe for volunteers supporting the candidate who loses the primary to go volunteer on some other race. Or is that what Republicans want?

  • (Show?)

    It is great to debate issues, but making people furiously angry is a recipe for volunteers supporting the candidate who loses the primary to go volunteer on some other race. Or is that what Republicans want?

    Of course it is. And of course trollbot is trying to be abrasive. In any case, I'm not saying there shouldn't be room for disagreement on some issues, of course there should be. And I would expect the candidates to advocate for their positions and themselves. Their supporters as well. My point is that such a debate needs to be civil. Trollbot operates under the assumption that dissent is weakness. But a civil discourse is a healthy thing as long as neither side loses track of the bigger picture and forgets that ultimately we share the same broader ideology.

  • Playing the World's Smallest Violin (unverified)
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    That said, in comments on blogs such as this one, supporters for both sides have shown exactly how not to have a primary.

    What a bunch of vacuous tripe. When did our Party become the party of such sniveling losers with their overblown sense of entitlement?

    If Merkley or Novick wants to be Senator they ought to be thanking us voters for just giving them the chance to take tough criticism and fight back rather than ignoring them entirely. You need to learn a little history about what the Founders viewed to be the bounds of legitimate political debate when something as important as the future of our country is on the line.

    Given the challenges we face, if Merkley or Novick can't take the heat, they don't have what it takes to be a Senator and we are well served by learning who turns out to be an impotent whiner. The jury is out on Novick, but the valuable thing I'm learning from this blog and other sources is that Merkley and his supporters are just pathetic and annoying. That has nothing to do with Novick and his supporters, it is entirely due to how Merkley and his supporters have behaved.

    Wirth, you want to do something intelligent and actual useful to voters for this primary? Write a blog piece roundly castigating Merkley for not having the basic respect for voters to put forth a concise statement on his website of his positions on the issues. We don't owe it to him to go to his campaign appearances, he owes it to us to tell us precisely what he believes using as many communication channels as he can so we can decide if he is actually standing up for Democratic Party values or not. If he doesn't agree with that, I think we have all we need to decide he doesn't deserve our vote.

    Christy, Blueshift, LT - Frankly if a loud fight over closely held political principles would stop you from voting, I doubt most people who are taking their voting decision seriously would even miss you. So good riddance if that is the case. A pretty good argument can be made if that were your criteria for casting a vote it isn't that good for our society. The voters we truly would regret losing are those driven away if politicians like Merkley don't provide us with enough substance and backbone to justify voting for them.

  • djk (unverified)
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    Really, civility should be standard procedure in every primary. They aren't running for the Senate at this point; they're running for Democratic candidate for Senate. The standard message from both camps should be "he's good, I'm better, Smith is awful." Instead of tearing each other down, they should making sure that whoever wins, he'll have the unreserved support of the base. That's hard to do if we wind up pissed off at unwarranted negative campaigning and feeling like we had to choose the least of two evils.

    The big picture is: Democrats need to capture the seat. Whoever wins the primary needs to start in the strongest position possible. Negativity and attacks don't get us there.

  • (Show?)

    Nick, this was an excellent and highly favorable story written about Steve's appearance, and I think Blue Oregon as a blog has made a conscious effort quite recently to talk about what both campaigns are up to, so you get credit for that as well.

    There is no reason anyone needs to be uncivil in order to have frank discussions about strengths and weaknesses. I see no problem at all in candidates saying "I will perform better in a race against Gordon Smith (or in the Senate) than my opponent, because...", and hearing what the response is on that. Whoever wins the primary needs the experience of being tested, in my opinion, and right now there's a lot of show and tell and no real engagement or comparative discussion going on. I think as Stephanie says, Steve's not going away, so let's stop pretending there won't be a serious primary and get on with having one. The general WILL be serious, either way. God help either of these guys if they're not on top of their game by May--and it will be our fault if we didn't demand it of them.

  • edison (unverified)
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    Odd ... the comments regarding Mr. Wirth’s account of Jeff Merkley's L&C appearance focused on the substance of Merkley's ideas. This thread seems to be more interested in perpetuating more political bullshit . Concentrate, folks. It's about who might be our next Senator and the one who can convince us they might do the best job. BTW, thanks to Mr. Wirth for the post.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I agree with djk and TJ. It is one thing to say "My opponent supports this bill and I oppose it". Shout that at each other if that makes for more raucous debate. But let's keep it on the issues! Enough already with what happened in a previous year.

    I especially liked "for the Senate at this point; they're running for Democratic candidate for Senate. The standard message from both camps should be "he's good, I'm better, Smith is awful." Instead of tearing each other down, they should making sure that whoever wins, he'll have the unreserved support of the base. "

    I've been involved in unity events after contested primaries. I've been involved in primaries where after declaring victory, either the candidates or the supporters said "HA HA We Won You Lost" and then wondered why the volunteers for the primary loser decided there was another campaign which deserved their spare time.

    Jeff does need to beef up his issues page. But Steve's is just longer, not necessarily more inspiring.

    There was an amazing Charlie Rose discussion tonight, and it should be watched by all of those involved with Senate candidates. It showed how to have the sort of intelligent discussion which would put slick Gordon Smith to shame.

    http://www.charlierose.com/home

    Thursday, Oct. 25

    Richard Engel

    Ali Fadhil

    Deborah Amos

    John Palattella

    Discussion on the subject of a new book about the view of reporters in Iraq.

    One of the topics they debate is how the war will end, how soon, whether American troops are still wanted there, whether their good works are, in the words of one reporter “dancing while the theater is burning”.

    It was a much more in-depth, intelligent debate than I have heard from any politicians, including the comments below from the 2 Democratic US Senate candidates. Watch the video for yourself if you wish. One reporter says much of Baker Hamilton is now outdated but there is one piece of advice which still is useful—and then an Iraqi reporter argued with that statement.

    Here is what the 2 campaign websites say:

    …. opposed George Bush's Iraq policy from the beginning. But Gordon Smith blindly followed Bush's reckless agenda for war in Iraq. Smith strongly backed Bush's stubborn "surge" plan that's put even more soldiers in harm's way. ……….--knows the Bush-Smith policy just doesn't add up, and is fed up with their excuses for this foreign policy disaster.

    Now, we need to get out of Iraq and soon. If the U.S. still has military forces in Iraq when I take office in 2009, I will begin work immediately on withdrawing our troops within six months. I would also push for the new president to take up the Baker Commission's recommendation and try to re-engage the regional and international powers that are critical to any effort to reduce violence and stabilize the country. I believe that new leadership in the White House, coupled with the clear signal that the Congress will no longer support an indefinite military commitment in Iraq, will create a real opportunity for regional diplomacy to rebalance the burden of reconstruction.

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    If I could choose one person in this nation to represent his state in the Senate, it would be Novick hands down. But I applaud the original post here. Merkley has done nothing to lose my respect. He's made mistakes, but so has Novick, and so has every other human being. Nothing Merkley has done has caused me to believe he wouldn't be a good Senator.

    I strongly support Novick over Merkley in spite of what I think of Merkley, not because of it.

  • LiteWait (unverified)
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    Thank you letters from the IRS! Sitting Bull on the $5 bill!

    Wow, with substance like this coming out of the Democrats, Gordo is quaking in his Guccis!

    I'm still trying to figure out why everybody keeps saying this guy is a freaking genius.

    And by all means, lets kill the economy to combat the mother of all hobgoblins, global warming. Make sure your candidate explains to all the voters exactly whose jobs he is going to sacrifice on the alter of the global climate models.

  • trishka (unverified)
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    nick, thanks for the positive post concerning steve, especially the focus on HIS focus on the issues. it does a lot towards setting the tone of the discussion, here at BO and in the primary in general.

    i confess i wish i knew more about the cap & trade system proposed to curb global warming. i think it's an important discussion for us to be having right now, how to go about making the changes we need to in order to, you know, not go extinct. (<---ironic hyperbole, don't jump all over me, please).

  • Playing the World's Smallest Violin (unverified)
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    Let's see, Merkley publicly condemns Smith, as we all agree he should, for voting to confirm Southwick.

    BUT ... it turns out Feinstein was the sole Democrat who voted to let the nomination out of committee. Had she voted NO in committee, Southwick would have been history. She, and 8 other faithless Democrats (including Conrad, Dorgan, and Johnson) voted to confirm in the full Senate. Not a word from Merkley calling out those Democrats, and Feinstein in particular, who actually bear the responsibility for Southwick's confirmation. Come to think of it, he hasn't criticized Wyden for voting for Roberts and refusing to stand up to Republican bullying to filibuster Alito either.

    I also heard Merkley on the radio this morning taking credit for rejecting Democratic Party values for social justice by giving us Measure 50. He embraced the immoral Yes On 50 argument that because low income people smoke more they should bear more of the burden for children's health care (not their own, mind you), and deal with our health care crisis by giving corporate welfare to insurance companies in exchange for low-quality health care for children.

    He similarly strongly voiced the argument that if you reject Measure 50 --- precisely because you embrace Democratic Party values that we should have a progressive health care system which equitably distributes the financial burden to provide health care for all, we should provide high quality health care for children through public health care coverage systems as SCHIP in fact encourages, and that we should be kicking the corrupt insurance industry entirely out of the system rather than turning more of the system and our dollars over to them --- without question you must just be a low-life shill for the tobacco companies.

    I think those actual actions, rather than his empty, fawning, campaign rhetoric tells us quite clearly what Merkley is all about, and what he isn't. Feingold has consistently shown us how real Democratics have backbone, including calling out those in our Party who betray us, and in recent days Dodd did us a service by reminding us the power every Senator has to block bad Senate actions. Merkley has never shown he is close to being of that stature and he deserves nothing more from Democratic voters whose votes he wants than to be called out for that unless and until he demonstrates otherwise.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    I disagree with Playing the World's Smallest Violin. The entire political process needs more civility, not less. A lot of the problems our elected officials face come from the nasty, anything-goes opposition that supporters of the other candidate or other party engage in. It's corrosive.

    Can Merkley and Novick take the heat? Sure. They have and they will. But that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I understand the problem of faithless Democrats. But which would you rather have-a 51 vote Dem majority incl. people who don't always vote the way you want, or Majority Leader Mitch McConnell?

    And no, I don't think making the lives of those Democrats miserable solves anything, although it would be nice to see Jeff or Steve mention that the nomination would not have gotten to the floor without a Dem voting it out in committee.

  • (Show?)

    I don't imagine it'll come as any surprise to anyone that I agree with the M50 criticism of Merkley above. But it is my understanding that Novick has also endorsed M50 and did so using the same basic rationale that Merkley did. So in terms of this Primary race that particular sword cuts both ways. If it's used to justify a rejection of Merkley then it would have to also be used to justify a rejection of Novick too. N'est pas?

  • (Show?)

    Coupla thoughts on Nick's recap. First, although the two novel ideas Novick shared are somewhat symbolic, I'd support both in a second. Andy Jackson, the famous "Indian killer" recalls that we have our own dark history with genocide. (Anyone see the Oregonian today? 150 years ago, editors were encoraging local white settlers to "exterminate" the native inhabitants. Yeeeeh.) This nation has a lot of blood on its hand and hasn't yet washed it off. Even the Soviets apologized for Stalin's crimes, but Andy Jackson's still on our $20.

    I think the central dynamic that drives the sometimes tetchy tone of this campaign is that that both candidates agree so much on the issues. Their styles differ, but not so much their politics. I think it's reasonable to point out the strengths and weaknesses of each.

    In Novick's case, foreign policy experience is a weakness. I don't know if Nick just skipped it, but there's no mention of a foreign policy stance here. I really couldn't care less about fighting the symbolic war about who hated the Iraq invasion more; what I am interested in hearing is a substantive discussion of a comprehensive approach to foreign policy. In Novick's case, since he doesn't have a background in it, I'd actually like to hear him talk about it more, not less. But there's a lot of time before the primary.

  • (Show?)

    Kevin said:

    don't imagine it'll come as any surprise to anyone that I agree with the M50 criticism of Merkley above. But it is my understanding that Novick has also endorsed M50 and did so using the same basic rationale that Merkley did. So in terms of this Primary race that particular sword cuts both ways. If it's used to justify a rejection of Merkley then it would have to also be used to justify a rejection of Novick too. N'est pas?

    Well, Kevin, I'm a Measure 50 supporter, so what I think probably doesn't matter to you, but in my mind the presence of M50 on the ballot and its status as a constitutional amendment are the responsibility of the legislature. It has been said by people I respect that M50 got to the ballot out of a failure of nerve by the Democratic leadership (which would certainly include Merkley; since he has taken credit for every good thing they've done he has to own up to this as well). Of course it's well known that I support Novick, but in my view his position is different - he supports M50 by saying "it's in front of us and a yes vote is better than a no vote" -- Steve wasn't in the legislature, had no part in the decisionmaking that caused M50 to come to the ballot in the first place.

    Just one viewpoint.

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    I understand what you're saying, Stephanie. But the criticism I cited was fundamentally different from your reasoning. In terms of the criticism I cited it's a wash because both candidates have cited the same rationale rather than parsed it as a legislative issue as you've done. That's not intended to be a slight to you. I'm just stating what I believe to be the facts.

    Now... if Novick were to have couched his publically stated support the way that you did then it would be relevant in the context of what I said.

  • (Show?)

    Let me say, just for the record, that I agree with you that it's a terrible idea to put a tobacco tax in the Constitution, and a bad idea to rely on tobacco taxes for anything as important as funding children's health care.

    I just personally feel that not extending health care to more poor children is an even worse idea than the first two. So while I have voted for M50, I'm not happy about it. I just felt that in a binary universe of yes or no, I had to go with yes. But I'm personally very unhappy that it came to this.

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    Stephanie, I can respect that. Very easily, in fact. And I've seen a small handful of somewhat similar statements by folks who voted for M50 that were also very easy for me to respect and even admire.

    The root thing that bothers me the most about "Healthy Kids" is that from it's very inception it was predicated upon a patently regressive tax for funding.

    If the funding source had been left open and Dem legislators were forced by legislative GOP obstinance to fall back on something regressive after having tried to pass it with a fairer funding source then I would be a great deal less unhappy with M50. In fact I'd probably be right there with Jeff and others in placing the onus for a less-than-desirable funding source on Republicans. But the Dems didn't even TRY. That's what really irks me. They didn't bargain or anything. They just started out with a total capitulation to the minority of Republicans.

  • (Show?)

    It has been said by people I respect that M50 got to the ballot out of a failure of nerve by the Democratic leadership (which would certainly include Merkley; since he has taken credit for every good thing they've done he has to own up to this as well).

    It has? There are a number of critiques of this measure to which I am sympathetic, but that's not one of them. There was no failure of nerve--there was a failure of bodies. It's not as if the Dems would have passed this if only they didn't panick at the last minute. They couldn't pass it--they didn't have the 3/5ths majority they needed. Where's the failure of nerve?

  • (Show?)

    TJ tells the story a little differently.

    Sounds like a failure of nerve to me. My parliamentarian days are far behind me, but the parliamentarian's point of view sounds more reasonable to me.

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    Stephanie, if I may... let me set aside the funding source and focus just on the pragmatic aspects of TJ's telling of it.

    The weakness of TJ's telling of it is that had Merkley gone with the Parlimentarian and it ended up getting tied up in court challenges then nothing would proceed until that was finished. And even then nothing would proceed unless the Parlimentarian was vindicated by the courts, which was not a foregone conclussion. If he wasn't vindicated then those advocating M50 would be back at square one and meanwhile none of those kids would be getting healthcare coverage from M50.

    Merkley chose to go with the proverbial bird in the hand rather than gamble on the two in the bush. It seems to me more like an exercise in pragmatism rather than a failure of nerve.

    It seems to me that TJ's linked treatment of this issue was heavily filtered through his anti-Merkley for Senate bias.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    Let the debates begin, the differences between the two candidates will be revealed through that process.

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    Stephanie,

    You need 3/5ths majority to pass a tax hike. If they wanted to pass this as law without referring it, they needed GOP support they didn't have. To put a referendum on the ballot you only need a majority, so they went with that instead. It's not as if they chose not to make this law when they had a chance--this referendum is the best shot they had.

    I have read that thing TJ wrote a couple times, and I don't know what he's trying to say.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Stephanie, if your viewpoint is "Vote for Steve Novick who has never held public office because Speaker Merkley had a failure of nerve when it came to Measure 50", you have a right to that opinion, but I don't see how that impresses those who weren't already Novick supporters.

    Do you have a Republican or a Dem. state rep? I live in Salem, my state rep. is a Republican, and even in minority the GOP caucus never went far beyond the nickname "the Stepford caucus". Do you really believe the current House Republicans think for themselves? (Much as I disagree with Ted Ferrioli, he has allowed his caucus members to speak publicly, unlike Wayne Scott's Republicans.)

    You may not like the fact that Speaker Merkley only had a majority of 31 and needed more votes than that to pass a tax measure but the minority wouldn't support that. Just because someone you respect told you Merkley had a failure of nerve doesn't mean the rest of us have to believe it. Those of us who have Republican state reps and knew talking to them about these issues was like talking to a brick wall thought Jeff did as best he could under the circumstances.

    Steve had never held public office. How do we know that he would do as he claims if he got a lot of pressure to vote a certain way? My Republican state rep. does not vote the way the original campaign promised, but with FP saying our district has a lousy R to D ratio, there hasn't been much we could do to change our state rep.

    If you want to say Steve would have run FP differently and might have gotten more than a 31 vote majority, that would be valid. But for a person who has never been elected to public office to ask us to take it on faith he'd handle a pressure situation better than an office holder is asking a lot.

    And will swing voters (either those trying to decide whether to register Dem to vote in this primary or those who'd be voting in fall, 2008) really vote for the guy paraphrased above as As in my last post, I am paraphrasing Novick rather than quoting him.

    Immediately, Novick discussed some novel ideas. For one, he would author a bill requiring the IRS to send thank you notes to taxpayers.................................. Novick also proposed replacing Andrew Jackson’s picture on the twenty dollar bill with one of Chief Sitting Bull, noting that it was important to acknowledge our country’s historical mistakes.

    because they will take the word of Novick supporters that Merkley suffered a "failure of nerve" during the last session?

    Stephanie--you speak of "parliamentarian days ". Was that in Oregon government, in another state government, in organizational politics?

    Kevin is right--given the realities of early 21st century Oregon politics, would it have been better to have had a court challenge? Or are Novick supporters just looking for something to nit-pick rather than discussing current federal issues?

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    I was the parliamentarian of a non-governmental organization back in my school days, LT.

    I'm not trying to nitpick, personally. I get that people of goodwill can disagree about this point. I have plenty of other reasons (a) to support Steve Novick; and (b) to oppose Jeff Merkley. You may have observed that I tried talking about some of those upthread, at least in category (a).

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