Even Novick's supporters are worried about the Kimmerly fake-endorsement debacle

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

If you didn't check in on BlueOregon over the holiday weekend, you missed a big story. In fact, my initial post about it generated over 270 comments - blowing away BlueOregon's previous record of 211.

If you're so inclined, you can dive into all the details on my two earlier posts...

...or, here's a brief recap:

On Tuesday, the Merkley campaign got an email inviting Jeff Merkley to an endorsement meeting this Saturday for the Portland chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America.

Four days notice is pretty tight for an endorsement meeting, but that was only the first red flag.

The email was sent by the "State Coordinator" of the Progressive Democrats of America.... Liz Kimmerly. Who is Liz Kimmerly? She's a senior staffer for the Novick for Senate campaign.

That's right: The endorsement process by which the PDA would endorse a U.S. Senate candidate is being organized by the staff of one of the candidates.

Fortunately, after I called Tim Carpenter - the PDA's national executive director - he stepped in and stopped the process. Curiously, Carpenter told me that the Portland chapter had only been created "48 hours ago" -- which contradicts what Liz Kimmerly told the Eugene Register-Guard (that the chapter had been created a month ago.) I'm not sure what the facts are there, or even if there's a conflict (maybe the paperwork was started a month ago and completed last week?)

It doesn't really matter - the bottom line is that Kimmerly created the Portland chapter and then tried to hold an endorsement vote before the group had held its first organizational meeting... y'know, the usual stuff: setting bylaws, picking officers, arranging a regular meeting time, etc.

That smacks of a sham endorsement by a shotgun chapter to me. Especially since this much is undisputed: Liz Kimmerly didn't follow two of the national endorsement rules specifically designed to prevent sham endorsements by shotgun chapters -- #1, 30-days notice to members of an endorsement meeting; and #2, a written questionnaire to the candidates in advance of the endorsement meeting.

Now, I'm a Merkley partisan, that's for sure. And a casual observer might easily dismiss this as intra-campaign sniping. But a read through the 270+ comments on my initial post reveals LOTS of usually solid Novick supporters raising big concerns. Here's a sample (with my bolds)...

Kristin Teigen (who wrote glowingly of Steve here):

I heart, heart, heart Steve Novick, would hope that someone that smart could be my senator someday. Would you do some very loyal Novick supporters (aka, me) a favor and let us know your side of the story? Please?

[Later:] OK -- so I've been a strong Novick supporter, I've volunteered, I'm on all of the lists, even wrote a pro-Novick post for this blog, but I REALLY, REALLY wish they would respond to what's going on here, beyond what Jake has done. I ask the following questions because I want to still believe in the campaign.

Why did Liz not disclose her alliance? Why has she yet to respond, considering the issue is being covered now on several blogs? Why did Steve allow her to continue without disclosure? Why did this whole issue go seemingly unaddressed at the PDA meeting? ...

So, again, please, Novick campaign, coming from someone who has been a true blue supporter, and coming from a place of great respect, could you all take a minute and answer some of these questions? I want to stop (I say so hopefully) worrying.

Chris Lowe:

The question is not only whether or not an endorsement occurred. It also is whether Liz K tried to hijack an endorsement process in favor of her candidate. There are a lot of circumstances that make it look as if she might have. And yes that is unethical if it happened, both in terms of the campaigns, and in terms of Liz Ks duties to PDA. If she did this it would be a significant betrayal of PDA. Given her apparent strong ties to them predating Novick involvement, that might suggest a reason to think she wouldn't do it.

[Later:] I think the PDA people need to look at this situation, because if Liz Kimmerly is not being open about her affiliations, it has the potential to be damaging to an organization that we should all want to function for the long haul and not only in relation to this one primary.

[Later:] I've been a Novick supporter though not as much as Kristin -- no volunteering, just a little money. But this bugs the heck out of me and if his campaign doesn't get its act together to give us some answers, let go Liz Kimmerly or tell us why they're not, and get Kimmerly to step down from her PDA role whatever else they do in order to help repair the damage she & now others including Novick have done to the organization, I won't be sending in my mites anymore.

T.A. Barnhart:

this PDA/Novick thing sucks bigtime because i support both. it sucks because i think Steve is too smart to let this kind of thing happens. it doesn't matter if Liz is trying to cheat or not; it's the appearance of impropriety that is so deadly in politics. it's what a politician or campaign appears to be doing that hurts. even if Steve honestly thought this was a minor tempest, it was pure dumb of Liz to put him in that position, and even dumber of them both to let it slide. it's not because PDA is a major organization; it's not, not around here. but it's fuel for Smith in the general. and it's just bad practice. if Steve wants to prove he's superior to Smith -- to the voters, not to me -- he can't have this kind of nonsense going on. shit, the bastards can take a man's honorable service in Vietnam and turn it into cowardice and treason. it don't take much, and this is too much.

Stephanie V:

The behaviors alleged and described by Kari, if they can truly be attributed to Liz, are troubling. No question about that. ...

This is what I know: Steve and Jake are both very honorable men of great integrity and decency (as Jeff Merkley appears to be - I just don't know him as well). I am confident that neither of them would tolerate or condone behavior like that alleged here IF IT HAD ACTUALLY OCCURRED THE WAY KARI DESCRIBED IT. Because they are both caring and humane guys, though, and because Liz is someone they have known and trusted, it is entirely reasonable for them to take more than 24 hours over a holiday weekend to investigate the matter themselves, figure out as best they can what actually happened, and then, based on what they learn, decide what to do. In fact, it would be unreasonable for them to do otherwise.

It's not just Merkley's supporters who are bothered by Liz Kimmerly's actions. A bunch of Steve Novick supporters are asking questions and waiting for answers, too.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    And as always, for the record: My company built Jeff Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself.

  • (Show?)

    Man Kari, you've thrown away all shame. Why do you think your view of things takes precedence over the PDA national field coordinator? Why do they seem so unconcerned in the face of all your facts? (Including making up a story about a chapter in Oregon in late 2007, apparently)?

    I'm curious, by the way--how did you find your way to call on behalf of the Merkley campaign, and was that who you were representing when you called? I mean, did you say this is Kari Chisholm from Mandate Media, or Kari Chisholm calling on behalf of Merkley for Senate, or Kari Chisholm, Concern Troll--what was it?

    This is three columns in a single weekend, all of which seems to have failed to riled the press corps, which in Mapes' case consists mostly of bemusement rather than scandal. And now despite not the faintest whiff of concern from national--quite the opposite really, they seem to think Kimmerly is doing a fine job for them--you're going to push this smear of Novick. The people who are in charge of the organization you are so valiantly protecting, just sent a big fat "all is well" message. Are you asserting they just don't care about their reputation? You have to be, at this point.

    Bravo.

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    When I called Tim Carpenter, I told him that I'm a local political consultant in Portland, Oregon. I said that I'm calling on behalf of the Jeff Merkley campaign, who asked me to call because I'm a fan of the PDA and a friend of Thom Hartmann. I was very clear about all of my affiliations, including BlueOregon.

    I related the whole situation to him, from the initial Kimmerly email, to the fact that she was working for Novick, to the statement that the endorsement decision would happen on Saturday.

    I had the impression that he had no idea about any of it. He didn't seem to know that she worked for Novick, that or that she'd announced an endorsement meeting. He laughed, and said, "We only created that chapter 48 hours ago when Diane was in Portland over the weekend!" and then explained that there's a strict process and that Liz is just "an overenthusiastic volunteer" because she'd clearly not read the endorsement policy.

    I can't explain the gap between his "48 hours ago" comment and the now-twice-stated timeline of late December 2007, other than the way I did above... that is, that it's probably some gap between the start and end of the process. I don't think it's some big gotcha, rather just a definitional problem of timelines.

    That doesn't really matter, though. It's undisputed that Kimmerly announced an endorsement meeting without the required notice, without the required questionnaire, and at the first organizational meeting. It also seems that, according to at least two witnesses, she never bothered to mention her conflict of interest at the meeting this weekend. That's just plain ugly.

    I'll continue to give the national PDA the benefit of the doubt. They don't appear to have full-time staff (Diane and Tim appear to have day jobs - and there's no office phone number that's answered by a live person). So far, they've behaved admirably -- pulling the plug on the endorsement process that Kimmerly had under way.

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    More to the point: It's way past time for Steve Novick to address this issue... which is why I sent his campaign manager, Jake Weigler, the following email earlier today:

    Jake -- It should go without saying, but maybe it doesn't, so I'll say it. At BlueOregon, we'd welcome a guest column from Steve or Liz that explains what the hell this PDA endorsement thing is all about. As I'm sure you know, lots of our readers (including some active Novick supporters) have lots of questions that are going unanswered so far. You can feel free to send it to Charlie, who will post directly - without my review. Thanks. -kari.
  • JHL (unverified)
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    Kari, you continue to demand (at least passively) that the Novick campaign owes you an explanation.

    But you're a smart guy. You know very well that such a response would be a textbook tactical blunder. You know it, I know it, anyone who's camaigned knows it. (Or should know it.)

    However, it continues to seem that you're trying to play two roles here... First, the unabashed Merkley agent who discloses his affiliation and proudly goes after the opponent. Second, though, the plucky quasi-journalist to whom an explanation from the Novick camp is owed. Sorry, but as a member of Team Merkley, you don't get to demand that the Novick camp make that blunder. You can certainly ask it of them, but don't pretend to be surprised when they don't acquiesce.

    I am supporting Jeff Merkley for US Senate. Speaker Merkley is, for better or worse, the frontrunner in this race... but I'd be much more secure in my decision if he (and his campaign) started acting like it. Three threads on this subject following a post thinly suggesting that we shouldn't vote for Novick because he's short is cheapening BlueOregon, and it's cheapening Jeff Merkley.

  • edison (unverified)
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    Uh ... how much longer before this primary thing is over?

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    JHL,

    It's not just Kari demanding. He hasn't misquoted me, & I've written directly to the Novick campaign requesting an explanation.

    On the other hand, I agree with what you're saying about overkill, & if I end up dissatisfied with Steve's response or lack thereof, this is not particularly persuading me that Jeff is my best alternative. Most likely I'll disengage from the primary instead.

    torridjoe for reasons I don't quite understand doesn't supply the link to the posting on Loaded Orygun that contains the message from the PDA national office to which he refers. It is worth a read.

    Personally I think TJ draws far more extensive conclusions from the document than it warrants, given the nature of the document.

    Also, in some respects it makes me even more confused about the PDA "chapter" & its history (I have a comment about this over there). It tends to worsen slightly my impression of PDA national level and suggests their contact with Oregon is limited, e.g. reference to starting chapters in "a range" of congressional districts.

    But one feature of it is a description of PDA recruiting members at the Scott Ritter event that was held Monday Jan 14 at Lincoln High (a bunch of people from PDX Peace went, so I know it really happened). This suggests to me that some of the direr suspicions & impuatations here that the whole PDA chapter is just a Kimmerly fabrication for Novick benefit are wrong.

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    Actually, I'm now beginning to feel like this topic has gone beyond being beaten to death.

    Is there really nothing else going on in Oregon politics to where we can have three posts over a period of four days?

    Some ideas...

    • State Senator Roger Beyer (R-Molalla) resigned on Friday. Why? He is considering taking a job as a lobbyist for an Oregon agricultural organization.
    • The Oregon Constitution Party endorsed Ron Paul for President.
    • Oregon Transportation Commission signs off on new drivers license rules.
    • The whole debacle with TriMet and its lack of action in east county. Now we find out that there's no guarantee that east county will get a security station, as they consider the "east side" to be everything east of the river and it may very well go into Portland.
    • Oregon State Hospital violates patients' Constitutional rights.
    • A resolution calling for Bush/Cheney's impeachment made it out of committee in Washington's state senate.
    • Anniversary of Roe v Wade, which is today.
    • OHSU laying off staff and hiking tuition because its liability caps have been removed.
    • The University of Oregon wants to use state-guaranteed bonds to borrow $200 million. For scholarships? New labs? Scientific equipment? No. A new basketball stadium. All the while UO is slipping academically.

    It only took a quick scan through local news to find these stories - I'm sure there are plenty more.

    Yes, people want an answer from the Novick campaign. We get that. But there are also a lot of other important topics out there that could be covered.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    JHL, Novick doesn't owe anything to Kari personally, but I can't fault anyone voting in this primary to ask for an explanation.

    However, I don't see why Steve would give BlueO an exclusive on this. It doesn't hurt Kari to offer, though, I suppose.

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    I can't believe I have to jump back into this cluster all the way from Melbourne, Australia, but here goes.

    Kari, you called me a liar over on dailykos the other day, and while I was somewhat put out at the time, I have lately begun to realize that coming from you, that's truly quite an insult, because you seem to have a very elastic sense of the truth. In this instance, you have selectively quoted me in the most misleading possible way.

    In so doing, you omitted with a well placed ellipsis the whole core of my comment. Here are the words you omitted:

    However, it's clear that (a) we don't have all the facts here; (b) Kari has made a point of writing his account in the most prejudicial manner AND has the world's largest (if not the sharpest) ax to grind; (c) the emotional temperature of this primary campaign is so overheated that both sides are eager to believe the worst of each other; and (d) most of us here are under the illusion that what we write on blogs matters to anyone who doesn't read blogs.

    So let me be clear: I don't buy your version of what happened. And now we DO have more facts, and your version of this story is beginning to seem more and more remote from objective reality.

    A few points come to mind:

    1. Thanks to the robust and enthusiastic efforts made by you and other concern trolls in recent days, there is ZERO chance that the leadership of PDA is unaware of Liz Kimmerly's political activities.

    2. The PDA owns its own rules and bylaws. Therefore I am inclined to trust the PDA to decide how the PDA's own rules and bylaws should be followed.

    3. So far all we have from the PDA is a statement restating its support for Liz Kimmerly as Oregon coordinator and expressing no discernible concern of any kind about her dual roles.

    If there are more salient facts, I have no doubt that they will emerge. But if they are exculpatory of the Novick campaign and/or Liz Kimmerly personally, it is clear that BlueOregon and its progeny -- the rest of the Merkley echo chamber in the local blogosphere -- will not consider them newsworthy.

    I also have no doubt that you will all keep beating this lame drum as long as you can. It's what you do, just pound out post after post trumpeting alleged new developments, complete with all your protestations about how "difficult" it is for you. That's just a pantload and it's obvious to everyone. Spare us your faux regrets. And kindly refrain from rhetorically conscripting me, or others who don't agree with you, into your sorry-ass cause.

    G'day, mate!

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Jenni, obviously I'm in no way connected to BlueO, but I have a feeling Kari would welcome you as a contributor if you'd like. I'm not sure if there would be any issues with cross-posting to Blog for Oregon.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    I keep hearing arguments that seem to reduce to, "If the issue is avoided in official PR, the issue doesn't exist." I remain unconvinced.

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    Kari,

    Take a valium, dude.

    I suspect most Novick supporters, like me, are sick and tired of (a) Bill/Hillary Clinton's relentless negative campaigning and distortions and (b) your attempt to play the role of judge, jury and prosecutor prematurely.

    It's really hard at this point not to ask why Merkley doesn't get on this cess pool of a blog and say that he doesn't condone your relentless negative campaigning.

    Are the two candidates debating or aren't they? If so, the question -- if it's worthy of a discussion -- will come up, and then you'll hear from Novick directly. If Merkley had taken my advice and not ducked Novick, they'd be on the road together many times a month, and the issue would have already been resolved one way or another.

    Please, Jeff -- come in here and tell your pit bull that we're talking about two Democrats here, not a Democrat (Novick) versus a Rovean (whoever Kari happens to work for at the time, apparently).

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Beautiful, lets not talk substantive issues or hwo to defeat Gordon Smith. Let's just keep hammering on a rogue staffer and screw yourselves. THis is about as important as the Merkley being a slumlord issue from a few months back.

  • (Show?)

    Actually, I'm now beginning to feel like this topic has gone beyond being beaten to death.

    Is there really nothing else going on in Oregon politics to where we can have three posts over a period of four days?

    Sorry Jenni, that's really my fault. I've been moving back into my house after winter break the past two days, and before that I was driving back out here, so I've been a little slow in my duties. Starting today I should be back to posting as usual.

  • tim carpenter (unverified)
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    Kari,

    It was my hope that after you began your effort to misrepresent my conversation with you on the phone you would allow the work of PDA to move forward.

    I was wrong! When you called me I had just completed my chometherpy session and just had a shot in my eye...you never said you were blogging... simply calling to ask a few questions..I never said anyting about 48 hours...never.. Liz was active in PDA in California before she moved to OR to begin a Portland Chapter. she had been on a number of calls with national PDA...her work with PDA predates her move to OR... if you are really about building the progressive movement which I think you are...it's time to stop the swift boat campaign and allow the PDA chapter to move forward and the Senate race to get back to talking about single payer heatlh care, the end of the occuaption of Iraq and building the movement.

    It was never my intent to jump into this...it's time to get back to organizing...finally I invite folks to visit the PDA site at PDAmerica.org and read about the great OR PDA work that is moving foward ...onward!

  • James X. (unverified)
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    It sounds like Daniel's trying to get a candidate to condemn someone they pay due to their "Rovian tactics."

    Those Rovian tactics apparently are trying to get a candidate to condemn someone they pay due to their "Rovian tactics."

    Would it be sufficient for Merkley to say, "Kari's company built our campaign's website, but he speaks only for himself?"

  • (Show?)

    Wow.

    OK, Tim. My recollection is different than yours. The phrase "48 hours" wouldn't have just popped into my head. I remember it specifically.

    But, I'll drop that part of the discussion. As I've said repeatedly, that particular factoid doesn't matter.

    The fact remains that Liz Kimmerly is a Novick staffer who organized the PDA Portland chapter, decided to have an endorsement vote at the very first meeting, gave the candidates four days notice, did NOT notify the PDA members with 30 days notice (as required by the PDA policy), and did NOT provide a written questionnaire (as required by the PDA policy.)

    There is no "swiftboating" going on here, Tim. As I've said many, many times, I want a strong Portland PDA chapter and a strong Oregon PDA effort. I believe that Liz Kimmerly got this effort off on a bad start by trying to shotgun out a sham endorsement.

    Tim, if you're going to jump in here, I think there are a lot of open questions from lots of folks. I'd suggest addressing some of them so that we can move past all this - and yes, get back to organizing to defeat Gordon Smith and put a progressive in the U.S. Senate from Oregon.

    I'll give you a call to discuss over the phone shortly.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Tim, I forgive you for not having read all that's been written, but it's been acknowledged that Liz is from California and was active with PDA there. Kari needs to explain the 48 hours part. But I'm disappointed that you want to pretend the conflict of interest doesn't exist and never has. To exclaim "onward!" without addressing the issue, claiming this is between progressives so we shouldn't air our dirty laundry, is shady. Even Daniel said he didn't want the issue swept under the rug.

  • KJ (unverified)
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    Tim,

    I am very disappointed in your response. PDA is choosing to stand behind Liz Kimmerly even though there is an appearance of a conflict of interest between Liz's dual roles as paid campaign staffer for Novick and volunteer state coordinator for PDA. At Saturday's chapter organizing meeting there are credible reports that the professional relationship between Liz and Steve was not acknowledged to the attendees -- and in my opinion it should have.

    I was unable to attend the Saturday meeting due to the short notice so I can not speak from personal experience but instead am relying on credible reports. But it is bizarre for Liz and Steve to pretend in public that there was no other relationship between them other than invited candidate and event coordinator who did the inviting.

    I have sent an e-mail to Diane Shamis expressing my concerns and have not yet received a reply.

    This is not a swift boat campaign. There are legitimate questions that have not been addressed by the Novick campaign and until now not by PDA either. One thing that your e-mail makes very clear is that you and others in the PDA leadership are aware of the controversy and choose to circle the wagons. That is not a reassuring response to those of us who have great hopes for PDA in Oregon.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    By the way, Tim, if you talk to Kari again, ask him what phrase to use in a BlueOregon comment thread if you want to get someone labeled "Rogue of the Week" in print publications around these parts.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    (Hint: that someone would be yourself.)

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    Daniel asks: Are the two candidates debating or aren't they?

    Yes, today. Pendleton. 5:30 (i think).

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Kari: I think that was a rhetorical question. So what's up with this 48 hours thing?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Kari Chisholm wrote:

    "If you didn't check in on BlueOregon over the holiday weekend, you missed a big story."

    Funny, but actual journalist Jeff Mapes mentioned this "low-stakes drama" (his words) only in passing on his blog, the place Kari says newspapers "dump" stories they don't think merit real coverage in the paper. And Mapes called this a "low-stakes drama."

    if you read RG reporter david Steves coverage (again blog only), you'll notice his version of events is quite a bit less hysterical that kari's.

    Also it's funny, to hear Kari now try to propel this story on the number of comments its generated. because I remember quite clearly that kari argued previously and quite forcefully that the number of comments a post generated had no relationship at all to how important or interesting it was.

    What you're seeing here is kari Chisholm, in full-on Jeff Merkley campaign political operative mode trying to propel a story into the mainstream media.

    They're not biting, because they know a blown-out-of-proportion hack job when they see one.

    In football, fans like to chant "over-rated" when a team is losing. I think the chant for this post should be:

    "OVER REACH" "OVER REACH" "OVER REACH"

    It’s not unreasonable to ask why kari is trying to make such a big thing out of a "scandal" nobody else but Merkley's internet partisans seem all that interested in. Merkley is a paying client of Chisholm's company, Mandate Media. That same company publishes BlueOregon. There’s no disputing that.

    The question is, does BlueOregon come along with the deal when a candidate hires Chisholm and Mandate Media, which thrives on its Democratic Party establishment clients? Sure looks like it does, especially when you consider the "Is-Novick-too-short-to-be-elected?" post that preceded the current "scandal" Chisholm’s trying to build up against his client's opponent.

    There's a real reason Oregonian columnist Steve Duin referred to Chisholm as the "Democratic Party errand boy who runs BlueOregon." It's no mistake he's already earned Willamette Week's Rogue of the Week for his "excessive use of bullshit in his mudslinging" against the Novick campaign.

  • (Show?)

    Willfully turning a blind eye to universally accepted ethical standards for political campaigns (i.e., FULL DISCLOSURE) destroys the credibility of whomever does it and places them on the same exact level as their counterparts on the far right (Rove, DeLay, Limbaugh, Coulter, etc.)

  • (Show?)

    The question is, does BlueOregon come along with the deal when a candidate hires Chisholm and Mandate Media, which thrives on its Democratic Party establishment clients? Sure looks like it does, especially when you consider the "Is-Novick-too-short-to-be-elected?" post that preceded the current "scandal" Chisholm’s trying to build up against his client's opponent.

    I think the other editors and contributors of BlueOregon might contest that notion. And I think we're getting out onto thin ice if we're headed in this direction.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    This is disappointing. It appears the official strategy is for everyone to plug their ears and make it go away.

    It is true, that this is not a candidate being indicted. No one embezzled campaign funds or cheated on their wife. It's not going to lead the local news. Merkley and Novick don't even have much name recognition. This is of most interest to people who are really interested in Oregon politics. Like those who follow Oregon political blogs. It's kind of a big story around these parts.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    beaver Boundary front-paged on BlueOregon with "tax-and-spend attack against Novick.

    Greenlick and Nolan front-paged on BlueOregon personally attacking Novick.

    Oregon Eco blog front-paged on BLueOregon asking if Novick isn't too short to get elected.

    No less than three posts on a trumped up story that nobody's shown much interest in outside of Merkley's internet partisans.

    How mant negative article about Merkley on BlueOregon so far? Zero

    Thin ice? I'd say the case for the BlueOregon/mandate package deal sale is getting thicker and thicker as this primary goes on.

    (And don't forget the Mac ATTACK on the attorney general candidate)

  • (Show?)

    oh SHIT! Did or did not the exec director of PDA--and Kari's primary source for the weekend's entertainment--just call him out for misrepresenting the conversation and trying to swiftboat Novick?!? Where I sit, Kari's source just called him a liar with a smear agenda.

    This certainly kills one story--and starts another.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    TJ, you've pronounced the story dead at least three times already. And this does appear to be the tactic. Stall a few days, tell everybody to hold their horses and wait for a response, then declare the story over without addressing it. Like I told Tim: Shady.

    At least there's a debate today so we can see what Novick has to say.

    I still do want to know what Kari has to say about the 48 hours thing.

  • (Show?)

    Hey! Kari, Dude! Chill!

    I totally stand behind what I said -- again, I TOTALLY stand behind what I said, and Kari, I have defended you in various comment strings on this topic -- i.e. "The lack of pro-Novick posts are not because Kari has kept me back as part of a conspiracy to keep BlueOregon Merkleyville." and "Also, why did the Novick campaign basically blacklist Kari...While Kari and I may have planned on voting differently, his role within activist communities and the Democratic Party should at least have earned him a returned phone call."

    But dude, this is not cool. Again, stand behind what I said, but I didn't say it to be used to make someone else's point.

    Also, Kari, if we're all about full disclosure, why did Thom Hartmann have to remind you to say that you worked for Merkley this morning?

    Of all the posts, I so deeply appreciate Karol's this morning. While I await the Novick campaign's response, I am ready to move on. Will you join me, Kari?

  • (Show?)

    James, I think when your primary source says you misrepresented the conversation and that what you're doing is a baseless smear, you don't have a pot to piss in anymore.

    And I didn't stall a thing. I said "it's a holiday weekend, wait for the supposedly aggrieved party to weigh in." Now they have--and they are backing Kimmerly and destroying Chisholm's credibility in his version of events. I cautioned folks against accepting attacks by a rival campaign at face value; this is why.

  • BHamm (unverified)
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    It doesn't hurt Kari to offer, though, I suppose.

    No, in fact, it would help him! That exclusive, like the exclusive breaking story on this, would gain publicity for his blog and company! Surprise! Kari Chisholm has an agenda! Stop the presses!

    No one has read anything Kari posts without a hefty grain of salt since August. Hence why this scandal hasn't ripped across the front page of this morning's Oregonian. It's been scrawled across the bathroom wall at BlueOregon in a nasty shade of bitter. People don't trust your investigative journalism. I hope future campaigns will understand the kind of baggage they pick up when they hire Mandate.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Kristin, I know you didn't address that challenge to me, but I want to both resolve this issue and talk about other issues. I don't necessarily equate a response from the Novick campaign as resolving the issue, but I hope it will.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Kimmerly serves two masters: the organization making an endorsement and a candidate being considered for the endorsement. PDA won't address it, they just attack the person who points it out. Novick is silent so far, but the people around him attack the person who points it out. This isn't resolving the "it" that was pointed out.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    I am a more passive observer (NAV) on this one, but two things caught my attention on this:

    1) Kari never mentioned (or did I miss it?) that he WAS ASKED by the Merkley to 'investigate' this issue with PDA. Kari did disclose that he was pro-Merkley, and that Merkley was his client. In my view, it is one thing to bird-dog on your own for your favorite candidate. But it would have been nice to know in Kari's first post (not his third, after your primary source questions your integrity and honesty about the conversation you two had) that the Merkley campaign ASKED Kari to call PDA on this issue.

    Kari writes: "When I called Tim Carpenter, I told him that I'm a local political consultant in Portland, Oregon. I said that I'm calling on behalf of the Jeff Merkley campaign, who asked me to call because I'm a fan of the PDA and a friend of Thom Hartmann."

    Kari, in my view, letting your readers know that your involvement is AT THE REQUEST OF THE MERKLEY CAMPAIGN is not a small little detail. Maybe everybody else assumed this little detail, but I did not. (If I missed your disclosing this bit, then my bad!)

    2) Kari's basis for much of this is the conversation he had with PDA National, ie Tim C.

    Tim C. now gives us more context about the conversation that Kari had (THAT CAMPAIGN MERKLEY PUT HIM UP TO).

    tim c. writes: "When you called me I had just completed my chometherpy session and just had a shot in my eye...you never said you were blogging... simply calling to ask a few questions..I never said anyting about 48 hours...never.."

    Didn't the Repubs (Gonzo, et al) have a pressurized conversation with the Atty Gen'l (1st guy, ex-Sen, cant think of his name) when he was in the hospital, putting pressure on him for his approval of something or other, while he was fighting cancer, or in a post-op, or something?

    Chemo session? Shot in the eye? No disclosure that you would blog on this?

    Wow.

    And now we know that "48hrs" was not true! How many times did Kari restate the 48hrs in the last 3 days?

    Wow.

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    Interesting that Thom Hartman expressed concerns about this situation on the air this morning. It's not the non-story TJ or Tim Carpenter would have us believe.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Kari did say Merkley's campaign had him call, it was in the first post on the matter.

    I'm a big fan of the PDA (and a friend of radio host Thom Hartmann, a member of their national advisory board.) So, the Merkley campaign asked me to find out from the national organization if this "endorsement" is for real. So, on Wednesday, I called Tim Carpenter - the executive director of the PDA.
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    James, I addressed the "48 hours" thing above. Maybe you missed it.

    Kristin asked, Also, Kari, if we're all about full disclosure, why did Thom Hartmann have to remind you to say that you worked for Merkley this morning?

    Because he interrupted me before I had a chance to say it. It was part of my rap -- as it always is when I talk on KPOJ about one of my clients.

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    Harry asks... Kari never mentioned (or did I miss it?) that he WAS ASKED by the Merkley to 'investigate' this issue with PDA.

    Actually, Harry, I said that in the very first post I wrote. I'll cut-and-paste: So, the Merkley campaign asked me to find out from the national organization if this "endorsement" is for real. So, on Wednesday, I called Tim Carpenter - the executive director of the PDA.

    Full disclosure.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    Here's another outrage: I just learned that the Novick campaign is also responsible for the car with expired California pplates that's parked in front of my house.

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    Last thing about the call with Tim: For the record, I talked to him BEFORE he went in for medical treatment (not that I would have any way of knowing about that before I called him.)

    I called him on January 16th (and followed up by email on 1/16 at 1:02 p.m.)

    He replied by email a few minutes later at 1:38 p.m.:

    I will be out tomorrow with a chemotherapy session so I have asked Diane - PDA Field Director who is on this thread to be in touch so we can get everyone on the same page

    I then sent him an email apologizing for talking politics while he was seeking medical treatment, ahd shifting my attention to Diane. I continued to copy Tim on my emails to Diane Shamis.

    He had his chemotherapy and the shot in the eye on January 17th (and wrote me that day - "had chemotherapy and a shot in my eye today" - on 1/17 at 5:05 p.m.)

    So, I'm not the only one with a faulty recollection here.

    And to be clear, the national PDA - via Diane Shamis - immediately assured me at the time that they understood there was an actual problem and they were going to fix it. Diane wrote me on 1/17 at 6:50 p.m.:

    We are immediately acting to alleviate concern and to insure clarity regarding a fair and full hearing from all candidates at the PDA Portland chapter meeting. Liz had assured me that in fact she had invited all the candidates to make presentations to the PDA Portland chapter. She is in the process of writing an email, explaining that the endorsement meeting to vote on which candidate to support will occur next month. It will also clarify that the meeting this Saturday, which I hope you can attend, will lay the full roster of our PDA work in terms of legislative advocacy, citizens lobbying in the District and our work with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as laying out the endorsement process which begins at the local level and follows with a vetting at the National level through a Candidate Questionnaire. This process will be completed next month in full compliance with our National Candidate Endorsement policy available on our website.
  • James X. (unverified)
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    Wow, yes I did miss that and the entire comment it was in, Kari. Sorry.

    Also, you said earlier that when you called Tim, "I was very clear about all of my affiliations, including BlueOregon." He says, "you never said you were blogging." If both statements are true, I guess Tim would be parsing things pretty finely -- I mean, "I'm a blogger," followed by questions, seems like fair enough warning, no?

  • Jack Murray (unverified)
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    Diane's email in Kari's comment above seems to assume that everything is developing according to plan here in the Portland Chapter of the PDA. But given the facts we've learned from firsthand accounts (ie Ben from Witigonen), the Portland chapter doesn't seem to be developing according to the PDA guidelines.

    First of all, Diane says something about 'citizen lobbying in the District'--which I assume refers to Congressional Districts. The PDA organizes its local chapters by congressional districts, not by major cities or states. The problem with a PDA-Portland group is that Portland and its metropolitan area are in three different CDs (1, 3 and 5). The congressional district chapters of the state come together in a state caucus.

    From my knowledge, the endorsement process requires the recommendation of CD chapters moving to a state caucus, and then to national. All we have in Oregon is some ill-defined 'Portland' chapter.

    So, does Diane believe that Portland is one congressional district (even Portland proper is in 3 CDs), or is she OK with having some loosely-defined 'Portland' chapter speak for all three CDs? Furthermore, there are 5 CDs in Oregon--are we going to hear from all of them before PDA-Oregon moves to endorse a candidate?

    It seems that PDA National is either ignorant of the Portland group's state of development, or they really want an endorsement to happen before the actual organization of the group is in place here in Oregon.

    From Tim Carpenter's comment, it seems like they're out of the loop.

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    Diane Shamis' email is interesting because I attended the meeting in question and I must say that the "full roster" being layed out to which she refers did not occur. There was some small talk at the very beginning which covered some of that in passing. But the clear focus as well as the overwhelming majority of time at the meeting was devoted solely to endorsing in this Senate campaign. So much so that when Ms. Perez asked to be allowed to give a pitch for her campaign for city (county?) council campaign, she had to be assertive about it because Moses Ross was reluctant to change the focus to anything beyond this Senate race.

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    As I mentioned in a comment in one of the earlier threads, the inherent conflict of interest is still the issue and would remain so even if Kari Chisholm was never even born.

    When you join the PDA via their "join" form on the National website, you receive the auto-response email saying the following:

    Dear (your name), Welcome to Progressive Democrats of America! You will soon be contacted by your state coordinator. Find out about the chapters in your state, and about our five top priorities. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] (emphasis mine)

    The person who is our state coordinator here in Oregon for the PDA is Liz Kimmerly, who is the paid campaign staffer in the Novick campaign at issue. That fact that anyone who sign-ups to the PDA that are in Oregon has their contact info auto forwarded to the Novick campaign staffer, right out of the gate makes this a serious problem and conflict of interest. There are a myriad things she could do to game the process at this point. The very fact that the Novick campaign has possible access to the contact info for anyone signing up to the PDA in the state of Oregon is a red-flag to the issue of possible abuse and gaming of the process and a clear conflict of interest.

    Because of this, it begs numerous questions... are all communications about what is going on in the Oregon Chapter(s) which can be sent out to PDA members in Oregon passing through the hands of at least one part of the Novick campaign? Is part of the Novick campign gaming it through emails which could done separately since it has all the contacts of PDA members in Oregon? Can the Oregon PDA co-ordinator generate her own subset of Oregon PDA members to communicate separately after beating it against the Novick lists (and PDA requires not just email address, but first and last name as well as address)...?

    As I said there are myriad ways that abuse can take place to game the process because of the inherent conflict of interest her being involved holds. It compromises the integrity of the PDA, the Novick campaign and the process of endorsement. Novick's staffer may very well be the most pure of intention person on the planet who would never think of doing anything like gaming it, but because of the inherent conflict of interest, part of Novick's campaign has hopelessly compromised the process.

    That this didn't set off alarm bells with Steve Novick himself, or Jake Weigler (the campaign manager) is disturbing. This is a relatively minor endorsement (let's be honest about that) but if they don't grasp the issues of clear conflicts of interest and the ethical code of conduct that is expected at this level, it is disturbing indeed.

    That Tim Carpenter doesn't understand this either apparently and how this works against the fledgling organizing efforts of the PDA speaks very poorly of the PDA as well.

    This is a reason why clear and open processes be established and are critical if you hope to have legitimacy, so that conflict of interest and concerns about abuses are mitigated. Let's hope that Novick sees the problem and addresses it, particularly if he hopes to be United States Senator should he be my parties nomination.

  • (Show?)

    ugh:

    "...should he be my parties nominee."

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    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 22, 2008 10:43:07 AM Diane Shamis' email is interesting because I attended the meeting in question and I must say that the "full roster" being layed out to which she refers did not occur.

    I wasn't at the meeting, and even if I were, I wouldn't be able to pick Diane out of a line-up. But since her cotnact info is listed as being in Maryland, was she even at this meeting? If not, who generated the content of the email she put her name to? Could it be Liz Kimmerly putting the best face on this mess?

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    it DOES beg some questions, Mitch. Chief among them would be why you persist in working from the version presented by the Merkley campaign, a version that has been declared to be full of shit and an attempt to smear Novick?

    If you think PDA is not as concerned about Kimmerly's role as they should be, take it up with them. It's their organization. But leave Novick out of it then; the allegation that they've done anything wrong comes only from the now discredited Chisholm, and associated Merkley scandalmongers.

    Your reporter has been called out by his source as wrong and out on a smear agenda. I'd quit while you're behind.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 22, 2008 11:15:20 AM Chief among them would be why you persist in working from the version presented by the Merkley campaign...

    Not working from "the version presented by the Merkley campaign" thank you. If you don't think I haven't actually called and spoken at length to people like Moses Ross you are sadly mistaken. As I posted up-thread, nothing I have pointed out is altered even if Kari never existed.

    Your entire foaming at the mouth blather doesn't address a single substantive point raised about the conflict-of-interest problem that part of the Novick campign presnets to this entire process, and speaks poorly that the Novick camapign doesn't even acknowledge the problem, much less rectify it.

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    James X:

    Actually, I'm a candidate for office and there is a policy about candidates not being a contributor for the blog. Besides, when I write up brand new postings I like doing it over at Blog for Oregon since we don't get as many postings over there as I'd like.

    But that's not the point. The point is there are many, many stories out there that can immediately be found in The Oregonian. Some of them are some pretty good ones where we could have some good discussions on topics affecting many of us living in the state. Instead, we're still all fighting over this topic four days later.

    Like I said, I get it that people want an explanation. I think everyone got that on the first posting. I don't see why we have to keep at it with new post after new post on the topic.

    <hr/>

    Nick:

    It's not your fault there's been three posts on this topic in four days. It may be that you haven't been around for any "in the news" type posts, but others could have posted a quick news item. Or they could have posted the type of commentary on some of this stuff that they used to.

    <hr/>

    I have to admit that when I've brought up the topic to people I know who aren't obsessed with politics like us, they give me a "who cares" look and ask when we're going to stop attacking each other and focus on the real issues that everyday Oregonians care about. Basically, they give me the exact type of discussion that Karol brought up this morning. They said that if Democrats don't stop their circular firing squad that we're going to lose everything we've won over the past few years.

  • (Show?)

    TJ...

    Tim Carpenter and I have differing recollections about one factoid -- a factoid that is irrelevant to the question.

    Carpenter doesn't dispute the key facts:

    • Liz Kimmerly works for Steve Novick.

    • Liz Kimmerly is the state coordinator of the Oregon PDA.

    • Liz Kimmerly made the sole decision that there should be an endorsement vote at all. (Hardly a foregone conclusion - this would be the PDA's first Senate endorsement for 2008.)

    • Liz Kimmerly gave the Senate candidates only four days notice of the endorsement vote.

    • Liz Kimmerly violated the PDA's stated endorsement policy that requires 30 days notice to all PDA members of an endorsement vote.

    • Liz Kimmerly violated the PDA's state endorsement policy that requires all candidates under consideration to receive and return a written questionnaire prior to the endorsement vote.

    Those facts are undisputed - and still very troubling, no matter who I work with.

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    Mitch: WHAT conflict of interest problem? Problem for whom, according to whom? Kari and the Koncern Troll Unit? Because the principals involved here--particularly the organization whose credibility would stand at issue--offer no hint of a perceived conflict whatsoever.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Jenni,

    "I have to admit that when I've brought up the topic to people I know who aren't obsessed with politics like us, they give me a "who cares" look and ask when we're going to stop attacking each other and focus on the real issues that everyday Oregonians care about. "

    At the top of Steve's website is something about the Pendleton debate and 2 comments from Steve about anniversaries.

    I just read a piece recently about "Goldwater babies"--that voters born the year Goldwater ran for president will be very important this year. It was written by someone who was old enough to vote in 1964 as a cautionary tale that candidates need to change their frame of reference. That means these voters were born the year after MLK's I Have A Dream speech and were in elementary school when Roe v. Wade was decided.

    Where is Steve's rhetoric addressing the issues Obama, Edwards and Clinton are talking about? Steve's campaign seems to be stalled.

    In the Pendleton debate (which I hope someone covers here), Steve may well say something smart or something unimpressive. If he says something which resonates with the general public, this controversy could well be forgotten. But if people who follow news of the debate are unimpressed by what Steve says, that is not the fault of Kari, or Merkley's campaign, or the folks who remain undecided in this race.

    The ball is in Steve's court.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 22, 2008 11:42:18 AM Mitch: WHAT conflict of interest problem?

    The conflict of interest was effectively negated by Moses Ross when he took over the meeting and said that no endorsement would be considered for 30 days. The remaining question is of course why he had to step in and negate the conflict of interest.

    The other, more serious issue is the deliberate lack of full disclosure by both Liz Kimmerly and, by meekly going along with it, Steve Novick. Which begs the question of Why do ethics matter in politics?

  • (Show?)

    kari, get real. Tim said you misrepresented the conversation and are attempting to swiftboat Steve.

    As for the "undisputed facts:"

    *you are contradicted on point three, by the involvement of Ross in the process from the beginning. Further, clearly the decision to hold an endorsement vote was not ever made, nor has it ever been established there would surely be one--either that day or in the future.

    *point four also presume a vote was scheduled for the 19th. What do you have showing a vote firmly scheduled to take place that night?

    *your assertion that endorsement policy was violated comes from where, exactly? I think you're confusing the PDA national endorsement process for the US house, with an independent endorsement by a local chapter.

    *according to the rules you appear to be citing, Merkley must be a member in good standing of PDA. Is he, and as of when?

    Your source called you untustworthy and operating with a political agenda. Your credibility on this issue is totally shot.

  • (Show?)
    *you are contradicted on point three, by the involvement of Ross in the process from the beginning. Further, clearly the decision to hold an endorsement vote was not ever made, nor has it ever been established there would surely be one--either that day or in the future.

    I was there. You weren't.

    Kari is not contradicted on point three. Not only did it appear that Ross was brought in in part to reassert ethical propriety, when he took over the meeting immediately following Liz Kimmerly, he had to forcefully state that no endorsement would be held that night. Liz left the impression that there would be. Further, the PDA statement on the meeting clearly states that the endorsement was "tabled." Why table something that wasn't on the agenda for that night?

    *point four also presume a vote was scheduled for the 19th. What do you have showing a vote firmly scheduled to take place that night?

    Again, read the PDA statement. It clearly states that the endorsement was tabled. How do you table something that's not on the agenda? Besides which, I was there. When Moses took over from Liz I had the distinct impression that the endorsement was going to proceed until he squelched the idea.

  • torridjoe (unverified)
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    you were there THAT NIGHT, not the several months that PDA says they were working together on OR PDA.

    As to tabling endorsement, the process was indeed tabled. That says nothing about a vote being scheduled.

  • RuMo (unverified)
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    my initial post about it generated over 270 comments - blowing away BlueOregon's previous record of 211.

    I see. The issues aren't important unless they're sensationalized. Blue Oregon is the US weekly of beaver state politics.

    And really, it is a bit contrived to brag about 270 comments WHEN THEY ALL CAME FROM THE SAME FIVE OR TEN PEOPLE. What a joke this site has become!

  • petrichor (unverified)
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    RuMo,

    i was just about to post that exact same coment. all these hits must be good for the ad rates BO gets.

    well, here you go kari. this is another comment for the tally. spend the money well.

  • (Show?)

    TJ asks, *point four also presume a vote was scheduled for the 19th. What do you have showing a vote firmly scheduled to take place that night?

    Do I really need to cut-and-paste everything from my original post? Here we go:

    Subject: Progressive Democrats of America Endorsement Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 12:27:58 -0800 From: lizkimmerly[at]gmail.com To: steve[at]novickforsenate.org, jeff[at]jeffmerkley.com, candy[at]candyneville.com Dear All, I'm writing to let you know that the Portland chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America will be meeting on Saturday, January 19th to decide on its endorsement for Oregon's US Senate race. You are all welcome to state your case and will be given a 10 minute window to present yourselves to the chapter. Please remember that this will also be a regular business meeting for the chapter and you will need to stick to your time limit. The address is 131 NW 2nd Ave. Mixing and mingling will begin at 6:30 and the endorsement part of our meeting will begin at 6:45. Your Participation is Appreciated, Liz Kimmerly State Coordinator Progressive Democrats of America
  • (Show?)

    TJ also asks: your assertion that endorsement policy was violated comes from where, exactly?

    The PDA endorsement policy. Here's the PDF.

    Each Democratic candidate running in the Congressional District where an endorsement is being considered will be emailed a questionnaire at least 21 days prior to the Endorsement Meeting. The candidate will be asked to specifically address his or her positions on PDA’s key issues including any issue of great local importance to the CD. A description of the rules for Candidate eligibility (II.D.) and the endorsement voting procedures for endorsement (III.C.4.) and the rules regarding candidate responses (this section) shall be included with the questionnaire. 3. The Campaign must return the responses by email to the Chapter no later than 7 days prior to the Endorsement Meeting and to Field@pdamerica.org. 4. Candidate responses must be sent by the chapter (with assistance from PDA National if necessary) via email to each PDA member in good standing no less than 5 days prior to the Endorsement Meeting. Responses may be posted on the chapter’s website, and will be posted on the appropriate state page on pdamerica.org

    A questionnaire was never mailed to the Merkley campaign, and no responses to any questionnaires were ever posted on the Oregon page on pdamerica.org.

  • (Show?)

    ...and that says a vote will be held that day, where exactly?

    Your source says you're full of shit, and does so publicly and pretty frustratedly, it seems. I'm not sure you can simply admit you fucked up at this point, given the energy you have put into the swiftboating already. You've done a lot of potential damage so far with your misrepresentation and smearing. How do you plan to fix that?

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    Here's a shout out to Moses Ross. Great guy and dedicated activist. Haven't seen him much lately as we work different areas and issues, but I've always had a lot of respect.

    Seems like he was the one that manifestly had no ax to grind, but, recognizing that the PDA-Oregon train was set to runaway, stopped the process and got it back within the long established PDA national guidelines.

    The question of why this rescue needed to occur remains outstanding, but I'm sure that TJ will continue 'splain it all for us in his typically straghtforward and enlightening fashion.

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    "The PDA endorsement policy. Here's the PDF."

    You mean the NATIONAL PDA endorsement policy? The one that says, right near the top:

    Nor does PDA National impose an endorsement policy on chapters for races in their areas for which no PDA National endorsement is sought. If a chapter does make endorsements, PDA has an interest in ensuring that the endorsement process is fair and transparent, and that the chapter utilizes processes, where applicable and if possible, like Instant Run-off Voting, which we wish to institute as policy for elections in general. The following endorsement policy can be used as a guideline for establishing a chapter endorsement policy for state and local races, and for chapter endorsements of federal candidates not seeking a PDA National endorsement. Chapters are encouraged to develop endorsement policies which reflect the challenges and needs of the individual chapters. [emphs mine]

    That policy? The one that says they have no policy?

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Pat Ryan | Jan 22, 2008 1:30:51 PM Here's a shout out to Moses Ross. Great guy and dedicated activist. Haven't seen him much lately as we work different areas and issues, but I've always had a lot of respect. Seems like he was the one that manifestly had no ax to grind, but, recognizing that the PDA-Oregon train was set to runaway, stopped the process and got it back within the long established PDA national guidelines.

    Having watched him in action that night I have to echo Pat's sentiments and observations here. I may not fully agree with all of his choices that night but there is no question that the only axe he was grinding was pro-PDA and nothing else. A real stand-up guy in my estimation.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Well, thanks again for another day's enjoyment. As an avowed NAV it is heartening to watch the self proclaimed guardians of all that is holy w/in the Progressive movement have their undies in a wad.

    Y'all are losing your grip on reality here and qauickly denigrating some very worthwhile viewpoints on issues that matter.

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    I've just called Tim Carpenter.

    We had a lovely chat. I apologized to him if I misunderstood or mischaracterized the "48 hours" thing.

    While I continue to stand by my assertion that Kimmerly's actions were inappropriate here, we agreed to move forward and work to build an effective PDA chapter in Oregon and put this behind us.

    Whether Jeff Merkley or Steve Novick is ultimately the nominee, I'm confident that with a strong PDA chapter, we can defeat Gordon Smith - and put a Senator in the seat that will be one of the most progressive Senators in the US Senate.

    As I told Tim, I'm done blogging about this for a while (assuming there are no new major developments in the story.)

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 22, 2008 11:58:35 AM you are contradicted on point three, by the involvement of Ross in the process from the beginning.

    Ross was not involved in any of this until after the emails were sent to the candidates on Monday the 14th about the ednrosement meeting on the 19th. In fact, it was Ross' insistance and concerns about Liz's not following proceedures alreayd laid down which began to get the process back on track, though it is still questionable given the facts about how her conflict-of-intrest hopeleslly comprmises the process.

    Moses Ross being brought in to try and undo the mess that Novick's staffer has made of this (which he should be applauded for) does nothing to address the underlying conflict-of-intreat that having part of Novick's staff serving two masters in all this. As I pointed out up-thread, the fact that anyone who sign-ups to the PDA that are in Oregon has their contact info auto forwarded to the Novick campaign staffer, right out of the gate makes this a serious problem and conflict of interest. There are a myriad things she could do to game the process at this point. The very fact that the Novick campaign has possible access to the contact info for anyone signing up to the PDA in the state of Oregon is a red-flag to the issue of possible abuse and gaming of the process and a clear conflict of interest.

    As I pointed out in this thread already, there are myriad ways that abuse can take place to game the process because of the inherent conflict of interest her being involved holds. It compromises the integrity of the PDA, the Novick campaign and the process of endorsement. Novick's staffer may very well be the most pure of intention person on the planet who would never think of doing anything like gaming it, but because of the inherent conflict of interest, part of Novick's campaign has hopelessly compromised the process.

    That this didn't set off alarm bells with Steve Novick himself, or Jake Weigler (the campaign manager) is disturbing. This is a relatively minor endorsement (let's be honest about that) but if they don't grasp the issues of clear conflicts of interest and the ethical code of conduct that is expected at this level, it is disturbing indeed.

    That Tim Carpenter doesn't understand this either apparently and how this works against the fledgling organizing efforts of the PDA speaks very poorly of the PDA as well.

    This is a reason why clear and open processes be established and are critical if you hope to have legitimacy, so that conflict of interest and concerns about abuses are mitigated. Let's hope that Novick sees the problem and addresses it, particularly if he hopes to be United States Senator should he be my parties nomination.

    Problem for whom, according to whom?

    Anyone who thinks ethics and not compromising themselves with clear conflicts of interests and not exposing themselves to valid concerns about abuse of process. That someone who can't see the simplest and clear conflict-of-interest within his own staff and wants my parties nomination to be a United States Senator is absolutely worth questioning (and hopefully addressed instead of ducked and ignored).

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    TJ, you'd be right - except that I can't imagine the goal here was a Portland chapter endorsement done in such a way that a national endorsement would be impossible.

    It's an interesting theory, but I don't think it holds up.

  • (Show?)

    perhaps liz knew that national typically only endorses the House--and that they don't tend to endorse between progressives, but that a local Portland endorsement might mean something to progressives in Oregon's biggest city?

    Guessing at motive or planning is pretty much why you're in the soup now, isn't it?

  • BHamm (unverified)
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    The issues aren't important unless they're sensationalized. Blue Oregon is the US weekly of beaver state politics.

    Yeah. It's really irritating when bloggers start pretending they're journalists. You write for an audience of 19 nerds on the Internet. That's not a mandate to start harassing involved parties with phone calls and emails demanding answers. Here's looking at you, letsadelc, Kevin, et al.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: BHamm | Jan 22, 2008 2:41:07 PM

    Never harrased anyone on the phone (or otherwise) in my life. But since you are here, guess we can can't you among the 19 nerds.

    (wry grin)

  • (Show?)

    Wouldn't 19 Nerds be a good name for a rock band?

    Or maybe a chamber orchestra.

  • (Show?)

    I'm thinking about that lovely moment in "Annie Hall" when Woody Allen pulls Marshall McLuhan into the frame. Imagine finding out that that kind of thing actually happens in life! Almost restores my faith in humanity.

    Thank you, Tim Carpenter, for calling bullsh#t on this whole ugly pointless trumped-up "controversy," and doing so in the most unequivocal terms.

    PDA owns its processes, just like the Oregon Nurses Association or any other interest group with a finger in the political process. If anyone here doesn't like it, we shouldn't be members. But to expend millions of pixels painstakingly explaining to PDA why they're wrong ... well, now we've moved from "Annie Hall" into "The Twilight Zone."

    You've got to have your facts straighter than straight and your rhetoric under firm control before you launch a campaign like this to discredit the ethics of someone you have repeatedly called your "good friend," but who happens to be running against your client in a primary.

    I'm relatively new to BlueO but even I have been reading it long enough that I mourn for the way it was before it became a noise machine in the service of Mandate Media's clients in contested primaries. It used to be fun to click over here every day to partake of the feast of fun progressive chatter that could reliably be found at this site. Then things started to change. The three-part blowjob of Jeff Merkley, just before he announced, seemed bad enough at the time, but of course it was just a tiny little amuse-bouche for the smorgasbord of smears and concern trolling that followed. All this time I thought the Greenlick-Nolan letter was the main course, but now I see that even that was just an appetizer! Could this holiday weekend repast have been the real main course, or are we going to end up like foie gras geese, forcefed until we burst?

    Some of us aren't swallowing it anymore, Kari.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Stephanie V | Jan 22, 2008 5:03:45 PM Some of us aren't swallowing it anymore, Kari.

    Well you know how to close a browser don't you?

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Pat Ryan | Jan 22, 2008 4:19:29 PM Wouldn't 19 Nerds be a good name for a rock band?

    Indeed it would.

  • Marnie (unverified)
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    perhaps liz knew that national typically only endorses the House--and that they don't tend to endorse between progressives, but that a local Portland endorsement might mean something to progressives in Oregon's biggest city?

    Then she shouldn't have tried to put together a chapter which by any objective analysis is in service to endorsing her boss. Mr. Novick and his campaign should be ashamed themselves for the way they've conducted matters in this situation.

    If Gordon Smith's campaign had done something like this, I would expect torridjoe and every other Oregon progressive activist to be screaming about it.

    It says a lot that some who support Mr. Novick are making excuses and trying to provide cover instead.

    It is a sad week to be a progressive around here.

  • Oregon Progressive (unverified)
    (Show?)
    If Gordon Smith's campaign had done something like this, I would expect torridjoe and every other Oregon progressive activist to be screaming about it. It says a lot that some who support Mr. Novick are making excuses and trying to provide cover instead. It is a sad week to be a progressive around here.

    Ding, ding, ding!!! We have a winner!!

  • BHamm (unverified)
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    Posted by: lestatdelc | Jan 22, 2008 5:09:12 PM

    Posted by: Pat Ryan | Jan 22, 2008 4:19:29 PM
    
    Wouldn't 19 Nerds be a good name for a rock band?
    
    Indeed it would.
    

    19 Nerds is a registered trademark of Coping With Culture blog. Any products or services sold or transacted under the name 19 Nerds without the express consent of....

    ...boy, I could work for Boston Beer Company.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    All right, kids, now knock it off!

    I'm an outsider in the political process at this time, due to my personal choice. But, back in the day, I can bloody well remember fights to the figurative death over primary endorsements such as this in the Democratic Party primaries--to the point where photo ops and stuff like that happened due to the battles, major party schisms happened, and it became bloody damned obvious why intraparty endorsements except in circumstances where one candidate was clearly beyond the Party bounds was absolutely NOT a good idea.

    Torridjoe and others, you're very naive if you call this SwiftBoating and a minor point for the election. I've been on both sides of such endorsement shenanigans (rigger and rigged against)--I'll confess it freely--and I bloody well recognize a rigged endorsement when I see it. This stinks to bloody heaven, and I'll admit, the fact that Novick's apparently been a part of it even to the point that he was there suggests to me a certain lack of innocence in the matter. The fact that you can bloviate on and on forever saying that it's nothing and that Kari is blowing this out of proportion speaks tons to someone like me who's played the game, okay? And it ain't good evidence, know what I mean?

    Just speakin' as someone who's been there, done it, and seen it done to me and my candidate, from both sides of the aisle, okay?

    Now does it mean anything to anyone other than a handful of political wonks? Absolutely not. Joe and Babs Citizen won't give a hoot about it.

    Those of us in the know can take note of it, and have it advise our personal preferences accordingly. Based on my past political experience, the fact that Novick let himself get caught in this sort of situation and sees fit not to address it--well, right now, his stock has gone down in my book.

    Even if he is supposed to be better than Gordie-boy. Makes me wonder just what we might be sending if he gets the nomination.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    All right, kids, now knock it off!

    I'm an outsider in the political process at this time, due to my personal choice. But, back in the day, I can bloody well remember fights to the figurative death over primary endorsements such as this in the Democratic Party primaries--to the point where photo ops and stuff like that happened due to the battles, major party schisms happened, and it became bloody damned obvious why intraparty endorsements except in circumstances where one candidate was clearly beyond the Party bounds was absolutely NOT a good idea.

    Torridjoe and others, you're very naive if you call this SwiftBoating and a minor point for the election. I've been on both sides of such endorsement shenanigans (rigger and rigged against)--I'll confess it freely--and I bloody well recognize a rigged endorsement when I see it. This stinks to bloody heaven, and I'll admit, the fact that Novick's apparently been a part of it even to the point that he was there suggests to me a certain lack of innocence in the matter. The fact that you can bloviate on and on forever saying that it's nothing and that Kari is blowing this out of proportion speaks tons to someone like me who's played the game, okay? And it ain't good evidence, know what I mean?

    Just speakin' as someone who's been there, done it, and seen it done to me and my candidate, from both sides of the aisle, okay?

    Now does it mean anything to anyone other than a handful of political wonks? Absolutely not. Joe and Babs Citizen won't give a hoot about it.

    Those of us in the know can take note of it, and have it advise our personal preferences accordingly. Based on my past political experience, the fact that Novick let himself get caught in this sort of situation and sees fit not to address it--well, right now, his stock has gone down in my book.

    Even if he is supposed to be better than Gordie-boy. Makes me wonder just what we might be sending if he gets the nomination.

  • (Show?)

    "Then she shouldn't have tried to put together a chapter which by any objective analysis is in service to endorsing her boss."

    Perhaps its subjective, but the analysis of the people who would most care, don't think so.

    "Torridjoe and others, you're very naive if you call this SwiftBoating and a minor point for the election."

    I didn't call it swiftboating, the guy who Kari relied on for his story did. I'm not saying Kari blew it out of proportion; there IS no proportion. He made up a scandal out of whole cloth. Kimmerly is the state coordinator. She works for Novick. Neither side involved has an issue with that. The entire premise of wrongdoing is based on...what?

    Again--I'm not saying it's nothing. The people who know and care most are saying it's nothing. Kari now is saying nothing, after talking to the guy who had to come here and angrily explain it's nothing. It always was nothing. The only thing that won't go away is why Kari and the Merkley team tried to make it something.

  • (Show?)

    Between this kind of crap, the sporadic red-baiting that Kari seems to have no problem with, and Blue Oregon's lust over the past couple of years for a sales tax, I might as well just read a GOP blog.

  • (Show?)

    Darrel - this is off-topic, but I haven't the foggiest clue what you're talking about when you say BlueOregon has a lust for a sales tax. BlueOregon itself, of course, has no opinions. It's just a bunch of files on a server. Maye you're talking about the broader community that hands out here 'round the water cooler.

    (Personally, I hate the sales tax. But maybe that's just the point - I definitely don't control what people say here.)

  • (Show?)

    TJ said, "perhaps liz knew that national typically only endorses the House"

    You sure about that, pal?

    As for this statement: Kimmerly is the state coordinator. She works for Novick. Neither side involved has an issue with that.

    You just ponder that statement for a little while. Take a quiet moment and consider the logic there.

    I'm going to step away from those three sentences before they explode all over you. I told Tim Carpenter that I'm not going to do or say anything to harm the PDA's efforts to organize in Oregon. I suggest you consider doing the same.

  • (Show?)

    Yeah, typically endorse the House, but the word only is errant and inaccurate. Apologies. I was working from the national endorsement pdf you cited, that indicates "a focus" on the House. Somehow, that became "only" in my reference; it shouldn't have. And indeed, the list you provide is quite House-heavy. The point is the same: a purely local endorsement would not be an extraordinary thing. PDA national even provides for such happenstance in their guidelines. Do you have anything that says "we'll be seeking a national endorsement?"

    I've pondered the statement. It seems to be what prevents you from making this into the ethical scandal you seek. The logic is that both sides believe there is enough disconnect or safeguarding between roles that no conflict arises. What you want us to accept is that neither the Executive Director nor the National Field Coordinator are sufficiently concerned about their own organization to raise a stink about this. What they ARE concerned about, it seems, is your misrepresentation of their position, and your smear of the Novick campaign and Ms. Kimmerly based on that misrepresentation.

    It's their gig. They said nice things about Liz. They did not say nice things about you. What are we supposed to conclude?

  • edison (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Uh ... so can someone tell me now how much longer before this primary thing is over?

  • (Show?)

    TJ, I'm getting rather bored of this whole back-and-forth, but I'll just restate it one more time.

    I have one recollection about the "48 hours" thing, Tim Carpenter has another. Fine. He had chemotherapy after I talked to him (and yes, it was AFTER, not BEFORE) -- thus, I'm not surprised he doesn't remember all the details of our chat.

    It hardly matters, because that's not the key fact at issue here. The key facts that raise the ethical issue are undisputed.

    It is completely irrelevant if they don't believe there's an ethical issue. Ethics are not judged solely by those involved. (That'd be like saying it doesn't matter what Gordon Smith said about Trent Lott, because Trent Lott doesn't mind.)

    Again, I'm not going to go criticizing the PDA's choices in this matter. Though I may disagree with it, they've made their position clear. So I'm going to drop it right now. I suggest you do the same.

  • (Show?)

    "So I'm going to drop it right now. I suggest you do the same."

    I'm sure you would. You called the Novick campaign unethical and up to no good on behalf of the Merkley campaign, and now it's kinda fallen apart around you. Your own source contradicts you and says you're swiftboating Novick. The apology to Tim is swell; I'm holding out for the apology to Liz Kimmerly and Steve. And uh, which one is supposed to be PDA and which one Novick in your analogy? Is PDA Trent Lott in this scenario?

    If you'd simply raised questions all weekend, maybe you'd escape some heat. But you went for the kill right away, and you've called it the sleaziest thing in Democratic politics in Oregon. Someone has to pay the butcher's bill on that, now that it's come due.

  • (Show?)

    Facts:

    • Liz Kimmerly is the state coordinator of the PDA.

    • Liz Kimmerly is a senior staffer for Steve Novick.

    If the PDA is going to issue an endorsement in the Senate race, that's a conflict of interest in my book. You're welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

  • (Show?)

    Here are some more facts:

    *Kari Chisholm is Jeff Merkley's internet consultant. And Greg Macpherson's. And Kate Brown's. And on and on.

    *Kari Chisholm is the principal of this site, the self-indentified "biggest liberal blog in Oregon."

    Y'know, an awful lot of us consider that to be a conflict of interest too. Glass houses, stones, you know how it goes.

    I'm just sayin'.

    But because you own the megaphone here, it's only a story if you want it to be one. Unlike the rest of us, you DO seem able to make up your own facts. Nice deal.

  • (Show?)

    If you don't think what I write is credible, don't read it. It's really that simple.

  • (Show?)

    Well, the better alternative, and the one I will adopt for the time being, is that I might read it, but I just won't believe it.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
    (Show?)

    It does appear to be a tempest in a teapot.

    While I did find what may be the rule that's alleged to have been broken, I still haven't found convincing proof - the smoking gun, so to speak.

    Kinda reminds me of the Gilda Radner skit, "What's all this fuss about the presidential erection?" That's presidential election. "Nevermind."

    These things happen to those who have sensory deprivation. Folks shouldn't pick on the handicapped.

  • Oregon Progressive (unverified)
    (Show?)
    Posted by: Stephanie V | Jan 23, 2008 2:47:19 AM Here are some more facts:

    Here's another couple facts:

    You are a lawyer.

    Steve Novick is a lawyer.

    Assuming you are both competent in your profession, you both know the ethical problems inherent to 1) failure to disclose and 2) conflicts of interest.

    Neither concept is so arcane that the average Oregonian can't easily grasp it without/despite your obfuscations.

  • (Show?)

    now that the list of facts has appropriately been shrunk to two (remember when it was purported to be much longer?), we have an honest disagreement on our hands. Some think there is a potential conflict of interest, others see a reasonable separation. If we hadn't already beaten it bloody, we could have a fair discussion about that.

    Instead, what we got was a lot of fulminating, overstatement, heated misapprehension, the accusation of actual misconduct...and the damnation of "sleaziest OR Dem move ever." instead of honest concern, we got exaggerated smear tactics. And now that you've been put in your place on it, I don't think backtracking to honest concern is going to work for you. You've poisoned the well.

    And it seems by your response that you don't think you've wronged the Novick campaign. Sorry to hear that.

  • Oregon Progressive (unverified)
    (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 23, 2008 8:21:13 AM

    You have conveniently skipped over failure to disclose which does not lend itself to your euphemistic "an honest difference of opinion."

  • (Show?)

    Kari writes:

    I haven't the foggiest clue what you're talking about when you say BlueOregon has a lust for a sales tax. BlueOregon itself, of course, has no opinions. It's just a bunch of files on a server. Maye you're talking about the broader community that hands out here 'round the water cooler. (Personally, I hate the sales tax. But maybe that's just the point - I definitely don't control what people say here.)

    Kari, are you claiming that you don't even control what you say here? That seems preposterous.

    1) On 19 December 2007, Jeff Alworth posted "Time for a Sales Tax?" in which he repeated the false claim that a sales tax isn't necessarily regressive. He pointed to the Oregon Economics blog as an authority on that (following up, of course, on Rep. Scott Bruun's op-ed). I was able to provide actual non-theoretical data showing that not only are sales taxes regressive, but that they aren't even a stabilizing influence on the revenue stream.

    2) On 21 October 2007, "Let's talk about taxes" was posted, discussing Ted Kulongoski's and Kurt Schrader's mentions of a sales tax. In this discussion, you were at least somewhat understanding of the problems of a sales tax, but continued to try to find ways to make it palatable, despite your burning hatred.

    3) "Create sales tax and reduce income taxes?" was posted on 1 February 2007 without editorial comment. Far from saying that you hated the idea, Kari, you wrote "I'm not sure about this one. Will have to dig in and think about it."

    4) On 11 May 2006, "Tax Reform" mentioned an Oregonian op-ed calling for a sales tax (in conjunction with cuts in out "very high" income tax). Your first comment, Kari, was to defend the proposal's per capita credit that you claimed would have a progressive effect. Again, there's no evidence in that or further comments of your "hate" for a sales tax.

    5) An unsigned post on 12 April 2006 titled "Time for a Sales Tax?" calls Oregon a state "where not having a sales tax is a cultural value" before it mentions Ben Westlund and Ted Kulongoski's support for it. Jeff very vigorously defended the concept of a sales tax on that discussion and you tried to split the difference between Kulongoski's "consumption tax" and a sales tax.

    In mitigation, there have been a couple of Chuck Sheketoff posts (for instance, the one disputing item 1) but there are many, many other comments and several other posts I didn't include here in which you and Jeff stick up for the idea of a sales tax. I don't have the time to dig them up this morning, but I could get around to it later. In discussions, I can't remember either of you ever taking the opposite position.

    So I guess by "Blue Oregon" I'm referring to you and Jeff -- you know, two of the three names listed as "Editors" on the right side of the page. I didn't mistake a "bunch of files on a server" as Blue Oregon, they're just there as evidence that your "hate" for a sales tax is apparently the weakest form of hate known to humankind.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
    (Show?)

    So far there's not been one shred of evidence of any endorsement - so what's fake here is the phoney tempest in a teapot.

    I doubt a bunch of crazy Republicans, and their ancient mothers could have done any better.

  • Oregon Progressive (unverified)
    (Show?)
    Posted by: Robert G. Gourley | Jan 23, 2008 10:07:06 AM

    By your reasoning the Bush administration's lies leading up to the Iraq War would have been a case of "no harm, no foul" if only they hadn't resulted in War?

    Is this a standard that you are willing to hold "a bunch of crazy Republicans, and their ancient mothers" to or is it reserved only for Democrats?

  • (Show?)

    My comment about Blue Oregon's shilling for a sales tax over the past couple of years seems to have gotten caught in the comment spam filter, but no matter.

    Saying that you "hate" the sales tax, Kari, when there's ample evidence on those little files making up Blue Oregon's archives to the contrary is the wrong tactic to take with me, as I think Jeff discovered last month.

    I've collected a variety of posts and comments showing advocacy of a sales tax by both you and Jeff at my own blog:

    http://www.darrelplant.com/blog_item.php?ItemRef=895

  • (Show?)

    ORProg, we have evidence Bush lied, and intended to lie. There's no evidence Kimmerly even INTENDED anything untoward. Which is why kari's witchhunt was so reckless and unbecoming of the Merkley campaign.

  • Oregon Progressive (unverified)
    (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 23, 2008 11:26:23 AM There's no evidence Kimmerly even INTENDED anything untoward.

    Valid assumption. But why the failure to diclose if your assumption is correct? Wouldn't an individual intending nothing untoward want to avoid even the appearance of it by practicing full disclosure?

  • (Show?)

    Saying that you "hate" the sales tax, Kari, when there's ample evidence on those little files making up Blue Oregon's archives to the contrary is the wrong tactic to take with me, as I think Jeff discovered last month.

    I've collected a variety of posts and comments showing advocacy of a sales tax by both you and Jeff at my own blog:

    Hmmm... well, I'm not going to take credit or blame for anything Jeff Alworth wrote. We disagree on lots of things.

    I appreciated very much the walk down memory lane on your blog of all the things that I've written about the sales tax.

    I think it backs up my point that I've never supported a sales tax. In fact, of all of my political positions in my life, I think opposition to a broad-based sales tax is the longest-held one. I remember making that argument in high school civics classes.

    The comments of mine you cited, spread out over several years, interestingly all have the same pattern. (Who knew I was so predictable?) In each of them, I'm asking questions -- not asserting answers.

    I've always been very curious about sales tax proposals - because they seem so anti-progressive to me, and yet so many progressives support a sales tax. I've always been baffled about why so many people with whom I share so many policy positions have an opposite view from me on the sales tax.

    And since people aren't likely to click from your blog - and then read thru my many comments, I'll collect them here:

    May 11, 2006:

    Aaron, you're right that a sales tax is regressive, but note that Beardsley suggests a $500 per person credit. Since that's a flat credit, it'll have a progressive effect. (It means a lot to a poor person, and not much to a rich one.)

    Is that enough of an progressive effect to offset the regressive sales tax?

    I don't know the answer; that's why I'm asking.

    February 1, 2007:

    Given the 2/3 vote required, is that where tax reform has to start? Or should we be expecting more progressive reform from the new majority in the House? I'm not sure about this one. Will have to dig in and think about it.

    October 22, 2007:

    An excellent point from Paul G. It's not the regressivity of a particular tax - but rather the regressivity of the overall tax structure. Would a somewhat regressive sales tax be OK, if it was coupled with a steeply progressive income tax?

    Same day:

    Thank you Darrel. That is definitely an interesting and useful observation. And one that I think is worth discussing. If we're looking to a sales tax for tax stability, are we inherently talking about a steeply regressive sales tax? And if we try to make it less regressive (if not progressive), then are we inherently talking about instability?

    Lots of questions. And not a drop of pro-sales-tax chatter there. As I said, I know my position on the issue - and it's been solid for YEARS. But I'll continue to explore the views of people who support it, because we agree on so many other things that I find this disagreement fascinating.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, in none of those cases do you ever stake a position against a sales tax. It's always in the guise of exploring the possibility that sales tax proponents -- like Sen. Westlund and Gov. Kulongoski -- might have a good case. On a number of occasions, you've suggested potential ways to make a sales tax "progressive".

    I figured you'd probably take the line that you were just a disinterested observer or were playing devil's advocate, but there are a number of people commenting here who are supportive of the sales tax, and there's not a single instance I can remember in the past couple of years where you've ever argued against a sales tax, despite your taking stands on any number of other issues. It reminds me of the "Teach the Controversy" strategy of the Discovery Institute on intelligent design. That strategy is to bring up the question again and again in a non-aggressive manner, in order to get their message out.

    Treat a sales tax as an acceptable potential revenue stream -- ignoring the obvious, verified problems -- and try to put lipstick on the pig to pass it off as a hot date. It's still a regressive, oinking pig, though. The reason so many progressives support a sales tax is because they've been fed a load of slop that says the sales tax can be made progressive and stable (here, for instance) without anyone pointing out that that's just not true. And down in the slop, I guess even the pig starts looking kind of good.

    People can draw their own conclusions, of course. I think my point of view has been fairly obvious. I'm actually opposed to the sales tax. I've researched it (more than some economists, apparently), I've written about it here and at my blog, I've written op-eds. That's what I call opposition to a sales tax, not musing online about whether this or that change might possibly make it more "progressive".

    If you were actually going to do some numerical analysis to answer your inquiries, it would be one thing. I've done a lot of number-crunching over the past month-and-a-half. But just posing questions and never any criticism? Not exactly what I'd call opposition.

    So I stand by my statement that BO has been pushing a sales tax agenda. In two years, you've never expended the amount of time raking over a sales tax proposal that you have, say, the PDA/Kimmerly/Novick thing just this past weekend. Jeff's definitely pushed the sales tax. That's two of the three editors of the blog, a fairly simple majority. Maybe you have a different position in your heart of hearts. I don't know, all I can go by is public statements.

  • (Show?)
    But just posing questions and never any criticism? Not exactly what I'd call opposition.

    Seemingly valid observation. But followed by...

    So I stand by my statement that BO has been pushing a sales tax agenda.

    So a lack of evidence doesn't prove his assertion but it somehow proves yours???

    Do you get how the whole "pot, kettle, black" thing works?

  • (Show?)

    Oregon Progressive, thank you, yes, I am a lawyer. As such I am subject to an elaborate set of ethical rules (actually two, one in New York and one in Oregon, since I am a member of the bar in both places).

    I do not expect non-lawyers to subject themselves to the ethical rules that bind me. (If I did, I would go through life in a constant cloud of numbing disappointment.) Those rules don't apply to them. They don't apply to Kari and they don't apply to Liz Kimmerly (unless either of them has passed the bar in the past few weeks without telling me).

    This isn't about what disclosures or recusals I personally would make, or those Steve would make, or those any other lawyer would make. This is about what disclosures or recusals are necessary for a lay person involved in more than one progressive political movement (one as an employee, one or more others as a volunteer). That's why I have observed that PDA owns its own processes, just as the bar does. If it violates their rules, then it's objectively wrong. If it doesn't, it's just politics.

    Oregon Progressive, I don't know if you are a lawyer yourself or not. But if you are, you know that when an applicant to the bar takes the MPRE (the ethics portion of the bar exam), it is possible to get a question wrong not only by being too aggressive ("too unethical?"), but also by not being aggressive enough ("too ethical?"). Just something to think about.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
    (Show?)

    By your reasoning the Bush administration's lies leading up to the Iraq War would have been a case of "no harm, no foul" if only they hadn't resulted in War?

    There are folks who can tell if an endorsement, or war, have occurred.

    Is this a standard that you are willing to hold "a bunch of crazy Republicans, and their ancient mothers" to or is it reserved only for Democrats?

    Perhaps it IS a wild, unfounded expectation that folks calling themselves progressives will behave differently than a bunch of crazy Republicans and their ancient mothers.

  • (Show?)
    This isn't about what disclosures or recusals I personally would make, or those Steve would make, or those any other lawyer would make. This is about what disclosures or recusals are necessary for a lay person involved in more than one progressive political movement (one as an employee, one or more others as a volunteer).
    1. A paid senior staffer on a political campaign does not qualify as a "lay person."

    2. A volunteer in an organization structured to be run by exclusively by volunteers does not qualify as a "lay person." That goes double when the volunteer holds a leadership position within said organization.

    3. Daniel Spiro, another lawyer, practiced full disclosure of his friendship with Steve, an issue of far less gravity than that at issue here. Ironically, Liz Kimmerly posted that entry in it's entirety (including his "full disclosure") on the Novick campaign website.

    4. You yourself stressed "full disclosure" in your "chat with Merkley" post. Again, in a context of far less gravity than that at issue here.

    It seems to me that you are presuming the stupidity of Oregonians.

  • (Show?)

    So far there's not been one shred of evidence of any endorsement - so what's fake here is the phoney tempest in a teapot.

    Righty-O Robert, first in the initial emails the the extremely ethical but overly exuberant Ms. Kimmerly set a time window for the endorsement process which diverged wildly from the suggested guidlines on the PDA website for candidates and PDA members. An honest mistake I'm sure.

    That fact is not in dispute by any of the principles.

    Some objections were raised by potential recipients of said endorsement.

    Then, on the night of the meeting, the extremely ethical but overly exuberant Ms. Kimmerly continued to push the accelerated endorsemnet process, until Moses Ross stepped in, mid paragraph and got the whole mess tabled to a future date.

    That fact is also not disputed by Mr. Ross himself or anyone outside of the Novick Cloud.

    So-o-o-o-o-o, due to the efforts of Mr. Ross, there was indeed no endorsement. If you have canary feathers hanging out of your mouth, and the canary recently in the room is no longer in evidence, we can be forgiven for assuming that you ate the danged canary.

    I doubt a bunch of crazy Republicans, and their ancient mothers could have done any better.

    Does the Novick campaign support your unjustified attack on female senior citizens, what with you insinuating that ancient mothers are in the same boat with crazy Republicans.

    Why does Team Novick hate the elderly?

  • (Show?)

    Kevin, I don't know what your opinion is on the whole creationism v. evolution debate is, but just for a second let's say you believe in evolution and don't think creationism should be taught in biology classes.

    Then, imagine that you ran a blog on science.

    Would you repeatedly note without comment that people were discussing changing school curricula to add creationism to biology classes? Particularly when politicians you might support were pumping the idea?

    Would you, when the topic comes up, suggest ways that maybe creationism could be made palatable the general public, by calling it, say, intelligent design, instead?

    Would you ask questions about whether creationism was perhaps a defensible subject of study in biology? Would you say that it was all in the spirit of informed discussion?

    Would you never once make the case that creationism wasn't science?

    If your answers to the above questions would be "yes," then you'd be promoting creationism. You certainly wouldn't be opposing it.

    Sales taxes are the creationism of revenue models.Proponents claim that it can produce miracles of stability and increased revenue, but whenever you look at actual evidence about sales taxes those claims are predicated on years of lore and false assumptions. Their "science" is junk and their numbers are cooked.

    Here's a little fact to chew on. The economic model that SB382 was based on used a figure of $7,204 per year for "Shelter" for a family making $45,000 annually, the median for household income in Oregon. For those of you without calculators, that's $600/month for either rent or mortgage for a household where half the people in the state live on less and half live on more. Even at the time SB382 was being floated, that was lower than the average rent for 2BR/1BA apartment in most of the Portland metro area. How accurate do you think the rest of the model was?

    The cold hard math of the equation is, a sales tax by itself is steeply regressive, and the addition of a regressive tax into the system will make it more regressive overall unless it's counteracted by a sharp increase in the progressivity of some other part of the tax system. So far, none of the plans' figure add up.

    As Kari said: "I'll continue to explore the views of people who support it". And hey, if someone came up to me with an actual working example of a truly progressive sales tax plan like I first asked for here two years ago, I'd be just as willing to reconsider as I would be if someone showed me irrefutable evidence that God existed. But as someone who actually opposes sales tax plans, I'm going to explore them with something a little sharper than a "Hmmm..." I'm going to dissect it with a scalpel and hook some wires up to it to see if it reacts the way it's supposed to.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    Does the Novick campaign support your unjustified attack on female senior citizens, what with you insinuating that ancient mothers are in the same boat with crazy Republicans.

    You'll have to ask the Novick campaign, who probably don't know about my position regarding crazy Republicans and their ancient mothers - all of whom can be rather entertaining at times.

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    Kevin, sorry, by "lay person" I meant "not a lawyer," and therefore not subject to the Rules of Professional Responsibility that lawyers must follow.

    I am sorry to have confused you.

    One more example: I used to be the President of the Friends of Multnomah County Library. In that role I drafted up our first ever conflicts-of-interest policy for board members and paid staff. I am a lawyer, as everyone knows, and so I thought it would be a fairly straightforward thing to do. However, we wrangled about it and debated it for more than six months before we were content that we had developed a sensible policy that was fair and reasonable.

    If a bunch of volunteers in a low-stress, low-stakes organization like the Friends of the Library have trouble agreeing on what is a conflict of interest for sure, it is not surprising that here in a very high-stakes context we would also have difficulty in so doing.

    But I repeat: if it isn't written down in a rule person X is bound by, it's just politics. This is your champion Kari Chisholm's refrain and while owning BlueOregon is a bigger stick than being a volunteer chapter coordinator for a lefty political organization a few thousand people in the state have heard of, well, sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander, etc.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    Merckley cannot run from the fact that he's too tall, and he lacks a hard left hook - no matter how much his toadies try to obfuscate the facts.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Robert, great satire!

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    And hey, if someone came up to me with an actual working example of a truly progressive sales tax plan like I first asked for here two years ago, I'd be just as willing to reconsider as I would be if someone showed me irrefutable evidence that God existed.

    Hmmm... not like that's a hard challenge.

    Here ya go: A 3% sales tax on all items, no exceptions, coupled with a $10,000 per-person grant to every resident of the state.

    Obviously, a budget-buster. But also, quite obviously, an enormously progressive transfer of wealth.

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    I know this is long dead, but I've been in Hawaii (without a functioning computer), and so it is magically breaking news to me. One thing that continues to rankle:

    *Kari Chisholm is Jeff Merkley's internet consultant. And Greg Macpherson's. And Kate Brown's. And on and on. *Kari Chisholm is the principal of this site, the self-indentified "biggest liberal blog in Oregon." </blockquote)>I co-founded this blog, have written hundreds of posts and thousands of comments. I have never earned a dime from the site nor anything related to politics. You may accuse me of many things to which I'll gladly assent. Being a stooge of Kari is not one.

    Would you please knock off the meme that Kari's some kind of quasi Godlike force in Oregon politics and the sole brain that animates this site?

    A few of us have helped it become the biggest site on the internet--folks like you, too.

  • (Show?)

    Uh oh, I failed to unblockquote that.

  • (Show?)

    Should read:

    I know this is long dead, but I've been in Hawaii (without a functioning computer), and so it is magically breaking news to me. One thing that continues to rankle:

    *Kari Chisholm is Jeff Merkley's internet consultant. And Greg Macpherson's. And Kate Brown's. And on and on. *Kari Chisholm is the principal of this site, the self-indentified "biggest liberal blog in Oregon."

    I co-founded this blog, have written hundreds of posts and thousands of comments. I have never earned a dime from the site nor anything related to politics. You may accuse me of many things to which I'll gladly assent. Being a stooge of Kari is not one.

    Would you please knock off the meme that Kari's some kind of quasi Godlike force in Oregon politics and the sole brain that animates this site?

    A few of us have helped it become the biggest site on the internet--folks like you, too.

  • (Show?)

    And also:

    Saying that you "hate" the sales tax, Kari, when there's ample evidence on those little files making up Blue Oregon's archives to the contrary is the wrong tactic to take with me, as I think Jeff discovered last month. I've collected a variety of posts and comments showing advocacy of a sales tax by both you and Jeff at my own blog:

    Somehow the link doesn't work for me--but as you say, Darrel, no matter. I think one of the big differences between the way you and I approach politics is that I have no dogmatic opinion on taxes. There are a few moral issues I am pretty firm about--war, healthcare, the death penalty--but even on these, my policy positions are less firm. (Although I'm a pacifist, I wouldn't regard a candidate's support of the military a deal-killer.)

    To repeat, I have written hundreds of posts and thousands of comments over the past 3 1/2 years on BlueOregon (added to hundreds more on my personal blogs). Something FAR less than 1% of them have been devoted to sales taxes. And on that issue, I'm far from an advocate. I'm interested in funding services and taxing progressively. The method is fluid. (A position to which you've made clear your opposition.)

    <h2>If you select any topic from the portfolio of liberalism, you'll find hundreds of quotes from me, and I can almost guarantee that you'll see policy conflicts. So what? I use the blog partly to put out ideas and argue them. That's how I learn, and I think it's how others on blogs learn. I have no ax to grind on taxes. You, by bringing this up in a post about the PDA, apparently do.</h2>

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