Senate '08: End-of-year money numbers

Senate candidates Jeff Merkley and Steve Novick have released their fundraising totals for the final quarter of 2007.

And we've once again produced a box-score - following up on what we did last quarter. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, we've got a lovely bar chart for you as well.

Merkley's daily pace of fundraising jumped by over $2000 - from $4819/day in Q3 to $6878/day in Q4. He nearly tripled Novick's Q4 fundraising, on the strength of 1200 more donors. The Merkey campaign says that his total broke Oregon's two-quarter fundraising record for U.S. Senate challengers.

Novick's daily rate went up by almost $1000, from $1389/day in Q3 to $2433/day in Q4 - and saw his average donation go up from $248 to $274.

2007 Q4Overall
Steve NovickJeff MerkleySteve NovickJeff Merkley
Raised$219,000$619,000$563,000$913,000
Contributors800200921002729
Fundraising Pace$2433/day$6878/day$2105/day$6007/day
Average Donation$274$308$258$335
Cash On Hand$293,000$528,000

2007q4senate

There's plenty of coverage about the money numbers this quarter. Check it out at Witigonen, Lefty Lane, Senate 2008 Guru, Ridenbaugh Press, and Forward Oregon.

Writing for the Register-Guard's blog, David Steves wonders aloud: "Is Merkley pulling away in the Dems’ money race?". At the Oregonian, Jeff Mapes also blogs about the numbers.

Do your part. Donate now to Jeff Merkley, Steve Novick, Candy Neville, or the Democratic nominee fund. Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    One other stat of interest:

    Actblue numbers:

    Merkley 967 donors $118,597 raised Novick 1,632 donors $284,364 raised

  • (Show?)

    Guru link does not work. Goes to Witigonen as well.

    Steves does point out that "all time record" essentially is comparing the total to one other race. Mapes is more uniformly impressed.

    Didn't you have burn rate on the charts last time, or am I mistaken?

  • James X. (unverified)
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    I don't think Novick needs parity with Merkley. I think he's shown impressive fundraising strength for someone with little institutional support, and he has enough to run a very capable campaign against Merkley. That said, Merkley's ability to outraise Smith's Q3 haul (has Smith provided numbers for Q4 yet?) is impressive, and reassuring. Let's not forget that Smith had $3.5 million at the end of Q3, and that was cash on hand.

  • (Show?)

    TJ: Link fixed. And a link added to the Mapes item. Thanks for the heads up on both.

    Last quarter, we posted cash-on-hand as well.

    Between total raised and cash-on-hand, people can figure out the spending. But for the arithmetic challenged.... Novick has spent $248,000 and Merkley has spent $385,000 overall. In Q4, Novick spent $144,000 and Merkley spent $306,000. Over 92 days, that's $1565/day for Novick and $3326/day for Merkley.

    In summary, over the 4th quarter, Merkley spent $1761/day more than Novick and raised $4444/day more - for an overall budget gap of $2684 a day.

    If these trends stay put, at the end of Q1, Merkley would have a cash-on-hand advantage of... $244,205. (But I don't think anyone thinks that any of these numbers will be the same three months from now.)

    Whew. I hope I got that right. My eyes are swimming. Time for bed.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Gordon Smith has raised more than $1.7 million since Merkley joined the campaign, including more than $900,000 in the last three months. And Smith's cash-on-hand total - $4.4 million as of Dec. 31 - also dwarfs Merkley's bank account, which stood at $528,000 at the end of the year.

    If this race is about money, Smith wins hands down. It's going to take a campaign that's a little different this time.

  • (Show?)

    Pat -- Can you post a link to source for those numbers? I haven't seen any hard details for Smith's Q4 numbers.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    I gleaned that info from the first three graphs of Mapes' post.

    "At first GOP Sen. Gordon Smith's spokesman, R.C. Hammond, said his boss wouldn't have any fund-raising totals until next week (the Senate candidates don't have to submit their full reports for the last quarter until the end of the month). But not long after, Hammond called back to say he did have some figures after all."

  • James X. (unverified)
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    It would be highly unusual for an incumbent not to have a significant advantage over their opponent, especially multiple opponents engaged in a contested primary. Our nominee will receive plenty of cash once the primary is over.

  • (Show?)

    Our nominee will receive plenty of cash once the primary is over.

    If, and only if, the people giving that cash believe that our candidate can win. Or, more to the point, that the money they donate will make the biggest impact here - rather than in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Colorado, New Mexico, or Virginia. (Or even Texas, North Carolina, or Kentucky.)

    There's no guarantees in this business. Ask Bill Bradbury.

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    I agree with Kari's point that the nominee will get a big infusion of cash only if people believe that the nominee can win.

    If it's Merkley -- a charismatically-challenged professional politician who will come into the race much less funded than the incumbent -- it will be an uphill struggle. If it's Novick, running as a inspiring, tell-it-like-it-is progressive who will take the seat previously occupied by Paul Wellstone -- then the Democrats can mount an exciting and realistic challenge, even if Smith has more money. With Novick, as with Wellstone, a given amount of money goes further.

    Merkley is a nice, capable guy, don't get me wrong. He would be a huge improvement over Smith. But Smith is obviously a popular figure in his own right. Like Merkley, he has plenty of experience in legislatures -- indeed, Smith's is the more relevant of the two. But also like Merkley, Smith doesn't inspire excitement. As others have said, Novick has more "street cred" than either of them.

    Novick, in short, is Oregon all the way. He's a quirky, but lovable guy running in just the right state. His latest ad points out that the guy doesn't take himself too seriously, but knows how to connect with people. (And by the way -- those of you who think that ad lacked substance ... you try to graduate with honors from Harvard Law School at 21.)

    If Novick and Merkley were running in Kansas, perhaps Merkley would be the better choice. But I still suspect he would lose to the incumbent. Oregon needs to think out of the box if it wants to win. That means Novick.

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    Good God, Kari. Did you ever get to sleep last night, or did your baby keep you up the whole time?

  • (Show?)

    Jeff Merkley, Steve Novick and Kate Brown were all in Jackson County yesterday. Merkley lit up a huge crowd with an impassioned speech. Steve give a very effective 7 min. live interview on one of the TV stations and Kate Brown revealed the depth of her knowledge about election laws, petition signatures, national ID cards and more in to an inquisitive audience at the Jackson County Democratic Headquarters. Merkley and Novick spoke to seperate SOU classes. The press coverage for all of the candidates was great on all 3 major stations.

    Which Democratic US Senate candidate can more likely beat Gordon Smith?

    Which of the four SOS candidates can best serve the people of Oregon?

    What a year!

  • (Show?)

    ... charismatically-challenged professional politician who will come into the race much less funded than the incumbent

    Is it just me, or does anyone else find this assertion a bit off-the-mark? I've seen Jeff many times in-person, and I would never characterize him as either of the above.

  • (Show?)

    it's pretty self-evident he's a professional politician. Charisma is more a matter of opinion. He's become more ardent lately, but I wouldn't call it charisma. Charisma is Novick, Westlund, Jeff smith, dan savage. Guys like Merkley are smooth, genteel and refined, but not charismatic to my mind. But as I said, perhaps it's taste.

    On general election support: there will be money there for either guy. Oregon will remain a targeted race, and the top two or three may not even need much. I wouldn't put a dime into Va., that race is over.

    But the salient point is that they have different standards for qualification. Merkley can't just win the primary; he has to draw big money for a protracted traditional battle. Novick looks unlikely to outraise Merkley, but his bar is to win despite a money disadvantage, thus proving he can overcome being outspent.

  • (Show?)

    I'd argue the professional politician idea, TJ, but perhaps it's a matter of taste, like you said. I see Jeff Merkley speak and I find him to be a compelling, honest, hard-fighting progressive with the record to back it up.

    At the same time, the fact that he can raise the big bucks while still establishing himself in the race is a credit to his talents and portends well for his future fund-raising against the G-man. Jeff's numbers are eye-popping, and the party's just getting started.

  • (Show?)

    Did you ever get to sleep last night, or did your baby keep you up the whole time?

    He was fine until 2 a.m. - and then... ugh.

  • Chris Greiveldinger (unverified)
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    It's true that the race isn't just about money. I'd be even more frustrated with the whole process if it were. Unfortunately raising lots of money is essential. It doesn't just provide the funds to run the campaign, but it's a way (admittedly an imperfect way) to gauge peoples' commitment to a candidate. These numbers are very good for Merkley, and I'm sure that the campaign will keep up the good work so that the necessary money will be available to defeat Gordon Smith in the general election.

  • (Show?)

    Wow. I did not know that Merkley out raised Smith last quarter. That's wonderful. I wonder when Smith will be releasing his Q4 numbers? To me, Merkley's strong fund raising numbers show that we're going to have a real shot at beating Smith. The Oregon Dems are motivated, and are much more excited about the 2008 election than the Repubs are. Who can blame them? If I were a Repub I'd want to crawl into a hole after seeing what they've done to our country the last seven years.

  • BHamm (unverified)
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    Kari, I feel your pain (it was more like 3:30am for us).

    Ben, I don't see how you can say Merkley is "still establishing himself in the race." He was recruited by the chair of the DSCC and immediately endorsed by "top" Democrats (although the Sleepy Ted nickname seems to becoming once again applicable), then he received an infusion of indirect cash from the DSCC, as well as large sums from DSCC-oriented PACs in New York. It's not a credit to his talents; it's a credit to an entrenched network of support that targeted him.

  • (Show?)

    Daniel Spiro:

    He's a quirky, but lovable guy running in just the right state. His latest ad points out that the guy doesn't take himself too seriously, but knows how to connect with people.

    Loveable? Doesn't take himself too seriously?

    The guy is totally serious about himself, from my personal observation. Don't be fooled by self deprecation. Most of us non-Harvard grads learned that trick in high school speech class.

    Like many on this thread, I met Novick years ago, and have followed his career with interest. Despite the fact that I've always found him to be arrogant and instantly dismissive of anyone that couldn't advance his interests, when I was invited to his kickoff announcement party and I attended with enthusiasm.

    I've always liked the barbed wit, the single sentence take-downs, and the gimmicks. He always had Red Meat for the chronically enraged like myself. At his kickoff event, he delivered again, although I keprt in mind that there was that whole "If a viable candidate shows up, I'll drop out" thing, but I never really believed that anyway.

    In short. Novick reminds me too much of me to ever support him when the aforementioned "viable candidate" (in this case Jeff Merkley) stepped in.

    And yeah, even though Steve acted like the snobby Democratic Party Insider that I've always railed against at his kickoff, as he always has in my experience, I supported him then because there was no one better.

    Now there is.

    <hr/>

    As for the funds raised, I notice that Team Novick did a sustained, (if amateurish) effort to raise expectations for Jeff,You know how that goes:

    Greek Chorus member #1: "If Merkley doesn't raise at least 50% more than Steve, he's just not viable."

    Greek Chorus member #2: "Well actually, if Merkley doesn't raise at least twice as much as Steve........

    But the Jakester and his Krew seem a bit quieter on that topic since Merkley bested their most fevered imagination, raising almost three times Steve's amount.

    So for Jake and the Kidz it's on to another avenue of attack. It's the whole Scorpion and the Frog deal.

    They do it because its in their nature----or they've got nothing else.

  • (Show?)

    I think its telling that many Merkley supporters praised the Novick ad yesterday because it was a good ad but today when Merkley has clearly excelled with the fundraising, Novick supporters cant do the same.

    Think about the numbers this way every day after hes finished paying the bills Merkley puts more money in the bank than Novick raised before Novick pays the bills. Its all well and good to talk about not running as expensive of a campaign but TV costs the same for Novick and Merkley. Merkley will continue to beat Novick over the head with fundraising, which coupled with Merkley's labor support will allow him to walk over Novick in the primary.

  • (Show?)

    Sarah, who said he outraised Smith? Smith took in almost a million, didn't he? Not even close.

    Ben, Merkley's numbers are not eye popping. 1.9mil two quarters in a row, as a challenging Democrat in a contested primary where neither has the dscc nod--THAT is eye popping. Merkley will probably end up behind Franken, Warner, Udall, Shaheen and Noriega.

    Also--is the 93k (or more) from dscc in 4q, or 3q?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Despite the fact that I've always found him to be arrogant ...

    That's the problem with knowing what you're talking about and speaking with candor. Some people (mis)interpret it as arrogance.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    "I did not know that Merkley out raised Smith last quarter"

    Ummm, he didn't. Mapes says smith raised more than $900,000 in the 4th quarter.

  • (Show?)

    pat, can you identify who specifically said any such thing? Particularly the campaign, as you assert?

    For my part I said under 500k is a disaster, under 750k is good but not great, same as last time. And there we are.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    "I've always found him to be arrogant and instantly dismissive of anyone that couldn't advance his interests"

    Glad no one's launching any personal attacks, Pat Ryan, 'cause That kind of thing is for grade schoolers at recess.

  • (Show?)

    I think the burn rates tell the most interesting story here.

    If Steve Novick has to spend x dollars per day to run the kind of campaign he wants to run, and Jeff Merkley has to spend 2.5x - 3x per day or more to run the kind of campaign HE wants to run (manifestly a higher-overhead operation), then ultimately the real measuring stick is just votes, not dollars, and we'll all know how that comes out soon enough.

    People win primaries and even general elections even after being outspent by large multipliers, after all, if they know how to spend the resources they do have intelligently.

    I'm a Novick supporter. Do I wish he had raised more money so far? Of course! Do I wish I could have given him more myself? Absolutely! More money is always better when you know how to spend it intelligently. By comparison to Steve in raw dollars raised, Merkley did almost 2.5x. What that really means, well, we'll know in four months or so.

  • (Show?)

    I've seen Merkley give a speech. He was one in a row including Kulongoski, former Gov Barbara Roberts and Senator Tester. Which is to say that Jeff's performance was easily benchmarked - Roberts in particular has a well-deserved reputation as a fiery speechifier.

    I don't care what you want to call it, Jeff knows how to light up a crowd!! In fact I would have to say that his performance was somewhat better than Roberts' speech... and that's saying a lot.

    Seems to me that if you look at who is trying to downplay Merkley's charisma in comments here that one quickly realizes that they have a mighty big axe to grind given their very public support for one of Merkley's opponents.

  • (Show?)

    Here's my take on Merkley's "charisma" -- as you know, I have had a one-on-one discussion with him in which he made strong eye contact and engaged me very directly. In that one-on-one discussion, he held my attention fully and it was very enjoyable to speak with him (although we disagreed on issues). I found him very pleasant and likable.

    In a larger crowd, though, as for example the Bus Project conference over the weekend, he exhibited a tendency to confuse volume with animation. He did a thing that drives me crazy when Hillary Clinton does it: he bellowed even though he was heavily miked and the room was not that big. When she does it it drives me crazy and when he did it it drove me crazy too. It is distracting from the message and does not inspire confidence in the speaker. He is a much improved public speaker over the first time I remember hearing him (sometime in 2006) but he does not have the natural gift for it that Steve has. OK, I'm a confessed Novick partisan, but that's what I think.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: James X. | Jan 15, 2008 1:50:54 AM It would be highly unusual for an incumbent not to have a significant advantage over their opponent, especially multiple opponents engaged in a contested primary. Our nominee will receive plenty of cash once the primary is over.

    Provided that they think the candidate is viable against Smith and there has not been a months long campaign of bridge-burning and foolish antiestablishment bomb-throwing rhetoric against the very establishment whose suport will be needed to take out Smith.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Daniel Spiro | Jan 15, 2008 4:57:58 AM I agree with Kari's point that the nominee will get a big infusion of cash only if people believe that the nominee can win. If it's Merkley -- a charismatically-challenged professional politician who will come into the race much less funded than the incumbent -- it will be an uphill struggle.

    This is nonsense. Because Merkely doesn't go neanderthal throwing red meat to the parisians and grunting doesn't make him charismatically-challenged. Both Merkely and Novick have strong points that make them substantive candidates (and ether would make outstanding Senators) your characterization is, besides being off the mark, needlessly divisive.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 15, 2008 8:42:36 AM it's pretty self-evident he's a professional politician.

    You are right TJ, he is professional, he is also experienced and has a record of delivering results. Are you suggesting that Novick is not is a professional who is involved in influencing public decision-making through the influence of politics?

    If not he has no business running for office (I think Novick is capable and would make a good Senator, as would Merkley).

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    I'll donate to whoever is the nominee against Gordon Smith. I guess that means I have to wait until after the primary.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Bill Bodden | Jan 15, 2008 9:43:08 AM Despite the fact that I've always found him to be arrogant ... That's the problem with knowing what you're talking about and speaking with candor. Some people (mis)interpret it as arrogance.

    I would agree, except that is not the problem that is being obliquely being initmated.

  • (Show?)

    professional POLITICIAN, Mitch. Read more closely.

    Kevin's continual attempts to sub ad hominem attacks of motivated posturing for actual rebuttal, says much. You can ask Kari; I was calling him "milquetoast" and uninspiring since before he had even decided to join the race. Just because you have a tendency to argue that up is down when it comes to Merkley, Kevin, don't assume the rest of us are similarly attenuated to such tactics.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Admiral Naismith | Jan 15, 2008 10:40:25 AM I'll donate to whoever is the nominee against Gordon Smith. I guess that means I have to wait until after the primary.

    No you don't have to wait. You can donate now to the ActBlue fundraising page contributions to this fund will be sent to the Democratic nominee upon his or her selection.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 15, 2008 10:44:37 AM professional POLITICIAN, Mitch. Read more closely.

    I did read it closely Mark. And you are ignoring the fact that Novick is a professional polictican as well. Are you saying he isn't a professional one?

    Be sure to light more bridges behind your candate Mark.

  • (Show?)

    For those not sure what politician means:

    A politician is an individual who is involved in influencing public decisionmaking through the influence of politics or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. This includes people who hold decision-making positions in government, and people who seek those positions, whether by means of election, coup d'état, appointment, electoral fraud, conquest, right of inheritance (see also: divine right) or other means. Politics are not limited to governance through public office. Political offices may also be held in corporations, and other entities that are governed by self-defined political processes.

  • (Show?)

    Stephanie,

    You should hear former Gov. Barbara Roberts give a speech. She's louder than Merkley by a long shot and still manages to light a crowd on fire like few politicians I've ever seen. For that matter, Kulongoski was louder than Merkley when I saw them speechify. All three were speaking through an amplified system in a relatively small room.

  • (Show?)

    do you know what professional means, mitch? The way you are arguing nonsensically that someone who has never been a politician is somehow already a pro at it, the evidence is compelling.

    Jeff merkley--paid politician since 1998. Steve Novick--paid politician since...oh yeah, that's right.

  • (Show?)

    Mitch,

    Of course Novick is also a professional politician, just of a different variety is all.

    What torridjoe is doing is also known as demagoguery - where one assumes the stupidity of an audience.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Our nominee will receive plenty of cash once the primary is over ... If, and only if, the people giving that cash believe that our candidate can win.

    It should be noted that --despite what may or may not motivate that attitude by the deep pockets in Washington -- the practical effect is to say, "choose the candidate we want, or we'll take our ball ($$) and go home."

    Who's in the best position to decide who is the best candidate for Oregon after all. Is it Oregonians, or is it the D.C. money men? Extortion is no way to win an election.

  • (Show?)

    Torrid, I fail to see why you want to parse these particular words on a blog that is frequented by political junkies. We don't need you to spoon-feed us your particular spin on them. Particularly when the distinction you are attempting to draw is transparently obvious to everyone.

    I think it a very safe assumption that few, if any, readers of Blue Oregon don't already know what a professional politician is.

  • (Show?)

    I would add that I have to agree with bdunn up-thread in that it is indeed interesting that yesterday Novick had a good day rolling out his TV ad (which is not a bad commercial as an introduction) and Novick goes on to post a respectable haul in Q4, and Merkely has a huge quarter fundraising, and all some Novick bomb-throwers can do is fling feces at the good news for Merkely's fundraising.

    Nobody is expecting kumbaya in a contested primary, and a strong and spirited primary is a good thing if it isn't a negative one. But this scorched earth line of "supporting" a candidate by flinging shit at the the party and your opponent by a candidates boosters (with tacit support from the campaign) is precisely why it has already cost some candidates support from some quarters.

  • BHamm (unverified)
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    Glad to see lestatdelc has been reading John Kerry's emails of support and also can't spell the Speaker's name.

    And Kevin, torridjoe didn't assume. He reacted to.

  • (Show?)

    Extortion is no way to win an election.

    I would agree. What I think you're missing is that those out-of-state pockets don't owe anyone anything. They are professional gamblers looking to benefit from good bets. And right, wrong or indifferent... the fund-raising capabilities of a given candidate are a big part of how the horses are evaluated prior to the race.

    Also, from the figures I've seen it appears that both candidates have raised large sums of money from out-of-state, including in Washington D.C.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 15, 2008 10:56:46 AM do you know what professional means, mitch?

    Yes I do Mark. Are you saying that Steve Novick worked without pay for almost a decade from the the time he left Washignton D.C. as a lawyer to be the in-house policy wonk for the Senate Democratic cacus the Leg., the Gov. and the failed Bruggere campaign?

    I don't fault Novick for his yeomen work as a professional politician, in fact I applaud his applying his skills in a such a capacity since I tend to agree with where he is on the issues (same with Speaker Jeff Merkley). But then again I am not the one going around slagging off people for being professional politicians (which includes your chosen candidate, who I respect). Particularly one who's salary as an elected official I would bet is less than what Novick got paid when he was an advisor in the Leg. or to the Governor.

  • (Show?)

    the tally looks to be at least two, kevin. As the source page for Mitch's curious defintion, "this section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject." I suggest Webster's, which actually includes the professional component in its definition.

    Love the "some say" concern trolling, though Mitch. Validate the BS ("huge quarter"), or be castigated! Don't critique the Party, even if they ARE fucking things up!

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: BHamm | Jan 15, 2008 11:10:13 AM Glad to see lestatdelc has been reading John Kerry's emails of support and also can't spell the Speaker's name.

    No idea what emails you are reffering to, and of course nobody here makes typos. Typos in comments on a blog on teh internets? Stop the presses!

    ;-)

  • (Show?)

    Jeff merkley--paid politician since 1998.

    Wow. you sure slammed us there TJ. Like you, I'm totally jealous of those "paid politicains" riding that $16,000 per annum or whatever it is.

    <hr/>

    The question that impartial observers should be asking is given the respective histories and personalities of the candidates, which one would be the most effective legislator for Oregon Voters. Which one would be best able to build coalitions, build consensus.......you know.....actually get results.

    Even though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive The skills required to litigate and the skills required to legislate are very different.

    I'm looking for a guy who can come in to the US Senate as a Back Bencher and still have the chops to get stuff done.

    That's why I switched from Novick to Merkley.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 15, 2008 11:18:08 AM Love the "some say" concern trolling

    Love it all you like Mark, but what I point out is valid whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Also, from the figures I've seen it appears that both candidates have raised large sums of money from out-of-state, including in Washington D.C.

    I think what we're talking about here are the big multi-million dollar cash moneys from D.C. PACs closely linked to the party and intended for the general, rather than the relatively modest, mostly individual donations you mention above, which are given during the primary.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: BHamm | Jan 15, 2008 11:10:13 AM And Kevin, torridjoe didn't assume. He reacted to.

    He reacted to being reminded that his attempt to use "professional politician" as a pejorative to rally the antiestablishment "throw the bums out" tendencies of a portion of the blogsphere, all in order to use as a negative snipe against the opponent of his chosen candidate, was/is rather hypocritical given who his chosen candidate is and rather dumb politics in the long run.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Pat Malach | Jan 15, 2008 11:26:24 AM I think what we're talking about here are the big multi-million dollar cash moneys from D.C.

    Which of the two candidates raised multi-million dollar cash moneys from D.C.?

  • (Show?)

    Bhamm: I understand that your supporting Novick and despite thinking you are wrong I respect that, but comparing Merkley to Haliburton on your blog kinda makes it hard to evaluate your comment here as having any worth.

    Stephanie V: I might be the other side of the coin on the Bus Project speech, hell I was the one introducing him, however I seem to remember him getting a very very loud standing O. He was definitely one of the conferences winners. Novick capitalized on a very favorable format for his skills and also did quite well. IMO Frohnmayer lost big time with the "the legislature is the branch of government with a veto" comment.

    TJ: Good try with the list of top Dem challenging fundraisers, all of those you list should be raising more than Merkley as they are clear take over candidates ahead of Merkley on the pecking order and Noriega who has the third largest state in the union to pull funding from, much more than Oregon's 3m people. Merkley's fundraising has been excellent and Im sorry you cant admit that.

    Also both Smith and Novick's fundraising is with 7 more weeks than Merkley if you look at the rate per day in the race they are what you would expect for a well funded challenger against an incumbent.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 15, 2008 11:18:08 AM ...Validate the BS ("huge quarter"),

    So if Merkley's fundraising wasn't a huge quarter, what does it say given that he raised three times what your candidate did in the same quarter? If three times the amount of what Novick raised and that isn't huge, I shudder to think what should we use to describe Novick's take.

    You see Mark, I think both Novik and Merkley had a great quarter all things considered, and they should both be congratulated particularly given the historical fundraising imbalance between the GOP and the Democrats and an incumbent vs. challengers. Not sure why that is such a bitter pill for you to take.

    The real story here is that the Democrats out-raised the GOP who is trying to get their incumbent candidate re-elected. THAT is the huge story that Mapes, Steves and the partisans from Novick's camp are not seeing.

    Democrats have raised more in Q4 than the GOP for the Oregon Senate race, a race which historically Democrats have been outspent and out-raised by better than 4:1.

    This bodes well no matter which Democratic candidate you support or are leaning towards. To bad some would rather fling shit at the opponent of their preferred Democratic candidate.

  • (Show?)

    I think we can all agree that members of the Legislature can hardly be said to "earn a living" from their paltry legislative salaries.

    I think we can also agree that being a legislator is being a "professional politician" in a way that being a public inerest lawyer is not.

    Both can be honorable professions when those in them conduct themselves honorably.

    Both of these men have done honor to their professions.

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    used as a pejorative? Where? I said it is self-evident Merkley is a professional politician, since even by your definition he is a politician, and is paid for it. I'm also curious as to why I have an interest in "throwing the bum out," when he's not even in the job to be thrown out of. The job he DID have, he threw himself out of.

    Keep fighting and tossing out the ad hominem, though. It's really helping you out.

    Pat R, any sources yet for your claim above?

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    Not surprisingly this thread has degenerated.

    Points go to Bdunn and Mitch for pointing out the obvious - that Merkley supporters largely let Novick have his day yesterday and that today it's Novick supporters flinging monkey doo out of spite.

    I would be remise if I didn't point out to casual observers that this has been the pattern for quite a while now. Novick supporters throw monkey doo on the wall to see what will stick and then when Merkley supporters react the Novick supporters point, screaming and hollaring, at the Merkley supporters as the culprits.

    Only very rarily have Merkley supporters gone on the offensive against Novick.

    Make of that what you will.

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    Ugh...

    ...GOP who is trying...

    Should read:

    ...GOP who are trying...
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    Congrats to both campaigns for raising so much money.

    Now go raise more.

  • BHamm (unverified)
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    lestadelc: I was referring to the email I got from the desk of Senator John Kerry, in which he asked me to give money to support his good friend Jeff Merkely. I was just busting chops on your typo. LOL.

    bdunn: I also offer you some respect for your stance supporting Merkley, although your conflagration of Steve's remarks and use of Kevin at PK as a source show that you're not one to allow what a lawyer would call "reasonable interpretation" get in the way of your conclusions.

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    Mitch, what it says is that Merkley has a different fundraisimg standard than Novick, given the national and state apparatus working on his behalf. If he wins, he'll also be competing on the same ground as Smith. Novick faces the challenge of raising in an environment where many givers are afraid to buck the party, who say they want to support Steve but don't feel they can. And he can run a much leaner, tougher campaign against Smith and be successful.

    That assertion about what Steve faces comes directly from him to me on Sat. Night, btw.

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    Posted by: Stephanie V | Jan 15, 2008 11:47:53 AM I think we can also agree that being a legislator is being a "professional politician" in a way that being a public inerest lawyer is not.

    I think we can also agree that 99% of what qualifies him to be a U.S. Senator (which I think he would do well as) is not simply his being a lawyer (which we agree is not a bad thing given the type of law he went into) but rather that he's been policy advisor within the legislature and the governors office so understands public policy, not just the law.

    Merkely is also a huge policy wonk and he has a lot of proven skills and leadership in organizing a caucus, working with a caucus, and getting good progressive legislation through a razor thin majority legislature.

    Both have skills which will put them in good standing in the Senate, and both are light-years ahead of where Smith is on policy and both represent a sea-change towards the type of Senator we in Oregon need. And as I note up-thread, both have collectively raised more than Smith has in Q4, which given the historical imbalance in GOP vs. Democratic fundraising, bodes ill for the GOP and Smith, and well for Democrats and for Oregon (not to mention that nation and the world) as a change in direction from the "bomb bomb bomb Iran" lunacy.

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    I have officially read through all of the comments both on this post which puts Merkley in a good light and the previous post about Novick's ad which puts him in a good light.

    The difference between the two threads is stark.

    When it was Novick's turn to bask in some positive news Merkley supporters let him have it with only just a handful of comments lightly rebutting anti-Merkley comments by Novick supporters in that thread.

    When it's Merkley's turn to bask in some positive news Novick supporters have gone on the attack.

    Take what I have to say with a grain of salt because I am obviously a Merkley supporter. But I challenge objective observers to read through both threads and make up their own mind about whose supporters are going negative and whose supporters are being generous to an opposing candidate.

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    Posted by: torridjie | Jan 15, 2008 12:03:23 PM That assertion about what Steve faces comes directly from him to me on Sat. Night, btw.

    That's unfortunate to hear Novick thinks that is the reason he is facing such problems.

  • Nitin Rai (unverified)
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    I agree with Carl Fisher. Good job both campaigns for raising money, now lets raise more and fight Gordon Smith, who has a larger kitty of cash in the bank. I also want to add my two cents on "charisma". There seems to be too much focus on it. Jeff is no less charismatic than Novick. I have attended a few get togethers with him and felt his "charisma". We all have our personal styles and approaches to reach out to people and I personally go beyond that and look the big picture. Jeff has great credentials and accomplishments to back him up, just as I am sure Novick has. The fact remains though that Jeff has raised more money. That should indicate that his style works and he is after all an elected official and speaker of the house. Am I missing something?

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    Sorry all, I misread James comment above. Damn....wishful thinking.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    FANTASY:

    "Only very rarily have Merkley supporters gone on the offensive against Novick... When it was Novick's turn to bask in some positive news Merkley supporters let him have it with only just a handful of comments lightly rebutting anti-Merkley comments by Novick supporters in that thread."

    REALITY:

    "This is nothing more than a video press release." --janice

    "Slick ad -- but 'where's the beef?' The speaker of the house is out pounding the pavement ... ...." --Nitin Rai

    "It would probably behoove Steve Novick to actually have fundraising events then, seeing as Jeff Merkley's $620,000 Q4 haul eclipses Novick's meager $210,000 Q4 collection." --Jack Murray

    "these gimmicky references the Novick campaign keeps using to play off his disabilities are getting really annoying. For somebody who is supposed to outside the box it comes off as overly marketed corniness." --Sean Price

    You officially read through all of the comments, heh, Kev.

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    Stephanie: Wouldn't you consider someone who has been chief of staff, policy advisor etc. a professional politician? I would. However, neither Merkley's experience in politics or Novick's experience in politics should be considered a negative IMO.

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    Thank you, Pat, for underscoring my point.

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    As one of those people giving Merkley a standing O at Rebooting, I have to say that we weren't giving it because he's a charismatic speaker, because we support him in his race for U.S. Senate, etc. We did it because we highly respect him and the job he has done as Speaker. We're excited about what he was able to accomplish along with a Dem majority. And we're excited about the upcoming session.

    Throughout the weekend I walked throughout the crowds. Because of my better-than-normal hearing (balances out the almost lack of taste), I have to admit I overheard many conversations. And not surprisingly, a lot of people were talking about the U.S. Senate race. The thing I heard the most (coming from Merkley supporters) is that they wish he was more charismatic in his speeches, had more fire, etc. I'd need more hands to count all such conversations I heard.

    While I have great respect for Merkley and have worked his district previously, I've had the same opinion about Merkley since the first time I heard him speak. Speakers that catch your attention often fall into two categories - one that is full of fire and grabs your attention just with the way they speak and their body language. Others are a little more, well, not flat, but just not as lively. But they're good at putting together speeches that are near and dear to people, targeted well, and have information people want to hear. This grabs people's attentions.

    Each grab your attention, but for different reasons. And each person has a different opinion on what they prefer more.

    I'd like to congratulate both candidates on their totals. I do admit that I'd expected to see higher numbers on Merkley's side. As I was telling people this past weekend, I was sure he'd break a million in total money raised. It'll be interesting to see how fundraising and spending goes this next quarter. I think that the difficulty for Merkley is that more is expected of him because of the support he's gotten from the DSCC and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate. There's a whole different standard for him because of that.

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    Context is everything.

    Nitin Rai further down in that thread posted the following:

    Posted by: Nitin Rai | Jan 14, 2008 12:50:29 PM My apologies, I didnt mean to imply that Steve may not be campaigning. I simply pointed out what I have seen Jeff doing and how I got involved personally, as a response to an earlier comment on the speaker of the house.

    and later...

    Posted by: Nitin Rai | Jan 14, 2008 3:13:26 PM In product marketing we have strategies for ads that basically make "the not looking" to "looking". This ad is perfect for the "not paying attention" to "let me pay attention". Benefits everyone in the game.

    The other "negative" you asserted was initiated by the snarky dig at Merkley with:

    Posted by: Andrew Plambeck | Jan 14, 2008 12:44:53 PM That's either an incredibly ill-informed or disingenuous comment, Nitin Rai. Steve has been all over the state, meeting with voters. And he does it without an RV and it doesn't cost $500 for a photo with him.

    which was gently rebutted without any negative commentary against Novick, which was followed by this from:

    Posted by: Stephanie V | Jan 14, 2008 4:52:00 PM I have personally received at least three invitations to $500 events for Jeff Merkley, so I know that they occur. (Hope the food is good.) ... but I have been to more than one Novick fundraiser and I have not observed or heard about any Novick events where you had to pay to get in (or to get OUT), and to the best of my knowledge there has never been one.

    Is what prompted the Jack Murray rebuttal:

    Posted by: Jack Murray | Jan 14, 2008 4:58:14 PM It would probably behoove Steve Novick to actually have fundraising events then, seeing as Jeff Merkley's $620,000 Q4 haul eclipses Novick's meager $210,000 Q4 collection.

    One could frame that as going negative on Novick, but when seen in its context it was not not really an attack at all but rather a pointed rejoinder to Stehpanie V's earlier insinuation that there are these $500 captive fundraising events and Merkley is tainted by the fundraising he has done.

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    "And as I note up-thread, both have collectively raised more than Smith has in Q4,"

    840K is more than 900K? Since when? And you wonder why overaggrandizement is at issue, when folks assert that Merkley raised more than Smith, or that Merkley plus Novick outraised him?

    I think that the difficulty for Merkley is that more is expected of him because of the support he's gotten from the DSCC and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate. There's a whole different standard for him because of that.

    Careful, that's bridge burning, bomb throwing talk. :)

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    Just for fun, I asked a bunch of people I know on various non-political e-mail lists about the phrase professional politician and what it meant.

    The overwhelming response was someone who had been in a paid elected position for a length of time. They said that they didn't consider those in volunteer positions, like many city councils and school boards, as professional politicians. Those were volunteer or citizen politicians.

    No one mentioned staff.

    So I prompted them by asking what they thought about paid chiefs of staff, advisors, and the like. All felt those were not politicians, but were political staff. Even when I pointed to the wikipedia description that said those involved in party politics and such were politicians, they disagreed.

    So I guess it's a matter of perception. I've always considered a politician to be those holding the elected office and those of us working for them or volunteering for the party/campaigns to be activists or political staff.

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    Careful, that's bridge burning, bomb throwing talk. :)

    Unfortunately it's true. I talked to a lot of people over the past few weeks about this race, and again and again I heard the same thing - that they expected him to fundraise really well because of that support. Multiple Merkley supporters said the same thing, that they were expecting a quarter that brought in more than $750K and a total of more than a million because he had that support. They weren't bashing him, they were excited that their candidate had the support and therefore should bring in more money.

    I think the low totals for both have some basis in the fact that there are a lot of people who don't want to choose between the two candidates, and are holding off on donating. Also, the population of people who we tend to represent are having a hard time financially - Republican donors tend to have much higher income levels and less affected by the economic problems that are affecting many middle class families.

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    Jenni: Point taken. There is a difference between someone working as a Chief of Staff for a pol, and an elected official.

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    TJ:

    Novick faces the challenge of raising in an environment where many givers are afraid to buck the party, who say they want to support Steve but don't feel they can.

    I understand how scary that must be for the potential donors.

    I've got this mental image of a Boris Vallejo portrait of Howard Dean as The Barbarian, maybe surrounded by rotting skulls, dead dragons, and what not; backed by the fierce, sword wielding Meredith Wood Smith and Jill Thorn as valkyries. Maybe the Women Warriors would be wearing winged helmets. Huddled in the foreground are a few hapless and terrified "donors", surrounded by their dead comrades who dared to give to Novick.

    Maybe you could caption it for me TJ.

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    Jenni: I disagree with you about the expectations of Merkley's fundraising. I think he did incredibly well. Smith raised 1.7 million in the last two quarters. Merkley raised over $900,000 in just four and a half months. I wonder how much Merkley would have raised if he was in the race during the entire 3rd quarter?

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    I think 3.8mil in two qtrs for a challenger is doing incredibly well; 900k falls a little short. Put simply, it's merely credible, just not in-. I certainly thought 750k or more was possible, so if he'd done it I would b duly impressed, but not disbelieving.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    "Thank you, Pat, for underscoring my point."

    If your point was that you are a liar or you have the reading comprehension of a pre-schooler, then you're welcome.

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    If Merkley brought in what an actual celebrity candidate in a more populous state like say Franken would, there would be some here screaming he was just a DSCC insider buying the primary.

    Never mind that a certain candidates campaign manager intimated that a Dem challenger pulling $500k in a single quarter would be a huge deal. There will always be some flinging shit that the Ferrari is the wrong color, or that if they beat ever inflated expectations would instead prove how stacked the deck is against their candidate which pulled in far less.

    "Half a denary for me bloody life story?!" - Ex-Leper "There's just no pleasing some people." - Brian
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    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 15, 2008 1:24:28 PM 840K is more than 900K? Since when? And you wonder why overaggrandizement is at issue, when folks assert that Merkley raised more than Smith, or that Merkley plus Novick outraised him?

    My bad. I misread Novick's numbers as being $291,000 not $219,000. I was wrong to have misread his number as being higher than it actually was.

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    Let's talk about true nastiness for a moment. And this was not in a blog comment that a few hundred people might read. This was in the leading newspaper in Oregon, and it was spoken by a paid staff member of the Jeff Merkley campaign.

    "Steve has his campaign plan; we have our campaign plan," Merkley spokesman Russ Kelley says. "We'll run ads when we think it's necessary." Kelley says he isn't surprised that Novick's first ad highlights one of his disabilities. "That's been the theme of his campaign," Kelley says.

    How ugly and dismissive. Steve Novick's disabilities have never been even a "theme" (much less THE theme) of his campaign. They are a fact of his daily life and he has chosen to address them with good humor and acceptance. The true themes of his campaign, however, are universal: economic justice, social equality, access to quality education, protection of the environment, a quick end to the American misadventure in Iraq, appropriate oversight of the executive branch by the legislative.

    Russ Kelley ought to be ashamed of himself, and if he isn't, Jeff Merkley ought to be ashamed on his behalf.

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    Is franken backed by dscc? Really? You sure? I'd also love to see the cite where Weigler suggests that 500k would be great for Merkleu, if that is indeed who you are referring to.

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    Sounding defensive and humorless to the media certainly seems to be a theme with his staffers and top surrogates, evidently. Or maybe it's "the" theme. :)

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    Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 15, 2008 3:18:17 PM Is franken backed by dscc? Really? You sure?

    Re-read what I posted and not your incorrect re-interpretation of it to say something it didn't.

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    I agree that Steve has handled his disabilities with good humor and to good effect in campaigning. It also has been the theme of his campaign and the central slogan of it, hell one the most used URLs to promote his website is "votehook" for crying out loud and his signature slogan thus far has been "the fighter with a good left hook". To try and spin Russ Kelley's words as being something negative or shameful is ludicrous.

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    Let's talk about true nastiness for a moment. And this was not in a blog comment that a few hundred people might read. This was in the leading newspaper in Oregon, and it was spoken by a paid staff member of the Jeff Merkley campaign.

    "Steve has his campaign plan; we have our campaign plan," Merkley spokesman Russ Kelley says. "We'll run ads when we think it's necessary." Kelley says he isn't surprised that Novick's first ad highlights one of his disabilities. "That's been the theme of his campaign," Kelley says.

    How ugly and dismissive. Steve Novick's disabilities have never been even a "theme" (much less THE theme) of his campaign.

    Theme.......Theme........Let's see now:

    When he was talking to Harper's, he sez;

    Question: You’re 4’9” and have a steel hook in place of a left hand. Your campaign literature turns this to advantage, dubbing you as “left hook.” Tell me how you expect your physical stature and disability to figure in the campaign—other than as making you an easy candidate to recognize?

    Novick: Being easy to recognize is a huge plus. And fortunately, my physical attributes play into my message very easily. I’m going to the Senate to stand up for the little guy......

    Which kind of reminds me of his very first ad released yesterday--------You know the one, where he uses his height as a pretty effective gimmick. (Great ad BTW)

    Then there's the website votehookdotcom. Kinda seems like a continuation of the Theme.

    Oh, yeah, the campaign buttons. Don't they feature a hook against a red white and blue background. At leat that's the way they looked on Saturday when he spoke to our Dem House District meeting. The campaign literature also featured Hard Left Hooks if memory serves.

    Despite all that, you're going after Kelly for stating the obvious, by alleging that it just ain't so?

    Joseph Welch question to Joe McCarthy seems appropriate here:

    "Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? (or madam, as the case may be) At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

    Just how low are you guys prepared to go?

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    Don't you know what a theme is?

    Silly me for asking. Definitions are malleable things in the service of Jeff Merkley. Marriage equality? Give 'em domestic partnerships and tell 'em it's the same thing! They'll never know the difference!

    Carry on.

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    Posted by: Stephanie V | Jan 15, 2008 4:30:59 PM Don't you know what a theme is?

    Yes Stephanie. It is what I get paid for in my work. A theme is an implicit or recurrent idea; a motif. Which is what the entire "vote hook" and "fighting for the little guy" use his disability as a theme to segue his policy views and hang his campaign on. Which, as we spoke about via email months ago when I was supporting Novick and ringing the alarm bells that the negative attack shit aimed at Merkley was wrong, it (his physical disabilities) was something we both acknowledged were great strengths of his campaign as far as media exposure and narrative are concerned.

    That you are spinning like a top now on the blogs, and are attempting to turn this into a fraudulent attack against the Merkley campaign for stating the fucking obvious, and is therefore something to be ashamed of is pathetic.

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    Posted by: Pat Malach | Jan 15, 2008 3:03:03 PM

    Thanks for yet again underscoring my point.

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    Wow... Stephanie, get a sense of perspective. You are HEAVILY filtering what Russ said. Mitch is right, Steve's hook for a left hand has been a feature that he has himself focused on. Jumping all over Russ for aknowledging it just makes you come across as shrill and angry.

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    I think this bears repeating:

    I have officially read through all of the comments both on this post which puts Merkley in a good light and the previous post about Novick's ad which puts him in a good light. The difference between the two threads is stark. When it was Novick's turn to bask in some positive news Merkley supporters let him have it with only just a handful of comments lightly rebutting anti-Merkley comments by Novick supporters in that thread. When it's Merkley's turn to bask in some positive news Novick supporters have gone on the attack. Take what I have to say with a grain of salt because I am obviously a Merkley supporter. But I challenge objective observers to read through both threads and make up their own mind about whose supporters are going negative and whose supporters are being generous to an opposing candidate.
  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    Yeah, I called Merkley "charisma-challenged." But that was part of a post where I also praised him. Anyway, I'm sorry if I offended any Merkley supporters with the above statement. Perhaps this wasn't the thread to raise negatives. But now that I've done it, I might as well put my comment in perspective.

    On the plus side, I give Merkley a lot of credit for being a sincere and thoroughgoing progressive. I also give him credit for being an effective legislator in Oregon; there is no reason to believe he wouldn't be a competent and productive senator in D.C.. Further, I'm happy to hear that, from all indications, he's a nice guy. And I give him credit for being picked out by the DCCC as someone who has a real shot to unseat Smith. Merkley, in my view, would be a substantial upgrade to Smith and a fine addition to the Senate.

    On the negative side, I don't view Merkley as terribly exciting, inspiring, or charismatic. I don't give him much credit for fundraising because much of that might have simply been thrown at him by his buddies in D.C. (and their contacts) -- then again, nor am I criticizing his fundraising efforts, I simply have no way to assess them. I don't like the way Merkley seems to be hiding from joint appearances with Novick, because I want the two to engage a lot and generate publicity for the campaign (i.e., so that people can start thinking about an alternative to Smith). Further, I don't see Merkley as the kind of legislator who can take Washington by storm (like a Jim Webb) but see him instead of a kind of well-respected insider (like a Ben Cardin). I'm a strong Novick supporter for many reasons, but one of them is that I see Novick having a chance to shake things up in Washington and affect the public discourse, and I don't see Merkley doing that any more than Cardin has.

    Anyway, that's just one man's opinion. The bottom line is that I like Merkley a fair amount. Just because I'm supporting Novick, doesn't mean I don't like Merkley. I'm supporting Obama, but I like Edwards ... and not Hillary (though I acknowledge that she has her strengths). It is possible to root against someone in a campaign and still view yourself as a fan of a politician, and that's how I feel about Merkley. Not every politician has to be God's-gift to charisma to be effective ... and besides, maybe others view Merkley's charisma differently than I do. A lot of this is subjective.

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    Posted by: Daniel Spiro | Jan 15, 2008 5:03:15 PM

    Eminently fair perspective and post, though I take minor issue with the assertion that most of Merkely's fundraising money comes from DSCC 'buddies' outside of the state. I will have to check the final numbers when the details come out further, but my first bluish understanding is that a higher percentage of Merkely's money comes from in-state, than out. Not that I hold out-of-state money against any Dem candidates, particularly in the age of netroot fundraising and online social networks, etc. It's just worth underscoring the notion that the DSCC is floating tons most of cash Merkely's fundraising his way, isn't really accurate.

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    This post is getting ridiculous.

    Stephanie V: If you haven't seen every piece of Novick merch and lit that talks about his hook then you are blind. It's definitely a theme. However, equality for the LGBTQ community is definitely not one of Novick's themes as he refused to join Merkley is opposing the Southwick nomination.

    TorridJoe: If Merkley is expected to raise 3.8 million why isn't Novick? Al Franken is a fundraising anomaly, hell he raised more than Norm Colman. You might want to re-adjust yourself, your bias is showing.

    Jenni: Some people I talk to say that they were disappointed that Novick didn't solve world hunger this quarter. -- See how legitimate that is? Your criticisms are concern trolling. Further if they rely on the numbers that TJ posted previously, you should know that he is artificially inflating those numbers for political gain.

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    bdunn:

    There's a big difference between Merkley supporters being disappointed their candidate didn't raise more and expecting someone to solve a problem in 3 months that's so huge that it'll take years (if not decades) to solve. One is a reasonable expectation, the other is plain crazy. I was pointing out that the expectation that Merkley would top $1 million in total wasn't just among those of us who support Novick. I heard the exact same thing from a large number of Merkley supporters this past weekend at Rebooting.

    And what I posted has absolutely nothing to do and is in no way based on numbers posted by TJ. My comments are based on what I've heard from a large number of political activists from around the state - most of which were Merkley supporters. Fundraising numbers were a hot topic this past weekend. Since I have a good working relationship with a lot of activists in the state, even when we disagree on candidates, people talk to me about topics like this. I had a number of people ask me about my support for Novick over Merkley. After explaining, speculation on fundraising numbers was a common discussion.

    Concern trolling? I think not.

  • Brandon Roy (unverified)
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    Chalupa, Chalupa, Chalupa

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    Mmmm, there's nothing like free chalupas after a Blazers game.

    I haven't been to a game in a few years, though. We haven't been able to afford a ticket and hubby's work no longer sponsors the team. We'd like to take Abby to a game at some point since she really enjoys watching sports on tv with us.

    You should hear her chant she came up with "Beavers always win! Ducks always lose!" Can you tell which team my hubby supports?

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    It's been a party, but the Dem candidates are getting in place for what will undoubtedly be a real Hugfest on the cable channels.

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    Jenni: I introduced Merkley at Rebooting Democracy and talked with many of his supporters when I hosted his leadership lunch with Rep. Nolan and when I was tabling and no one suggested even close to a 1m quarter, not a single one.

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    That may be true; however, just at Rebooting I heard that number mentioned by at least 25 people. Not to mention the additional people I heard say that in the past month at meetings I've been to, e-mail discussions, etc.

    I didn't spend any of my time tabling or anything like that, and since I'm a candidate myself, I spent a lot of time walking around and speaking with people. Believe me, fundraising totals for both candidates were a topic of discussion many times this weekend.

    Just because no one said it to you doesn't mean people weren't saying it.

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    I'd never heard anyone mention it either. Maybe it's just a matter of who one hangs out with? I mean, I have no reason to doubt Jenni's honesty on the matter. But at the same time I have no reason to believe that her anecdotal evidence is any more meaningful than mine or Bdunn's.

  • Jack Murray (unverified)
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    Simply put:

    The Democratic Nominee will need to be a proven fundraiser in order to compete with the Smith machine.

    $619,000 Merkley > $219,000 Novick

    End of story.

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    Jenni: at least 25 people? Are you sure thats the number you want to use? You are saying that one out of every 16 people that went to the conference came up to you personally and said that Merkley was going to raise 1M+? Im sorry if I find that hard to believe and since you said these were Merkley supporters that 1 out of 16 number is low because it assumes that absolutely no one there supported Novick.

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    Yes, that's the number I want to use since that's what happened. It may have been slightly closer to 30.

    And I never said they walked up to me and said that. Often times we were in conversations about the big races, money being raised, etc. Several times the topic came up after I mentioned how much money I was trying to raise for my race. Someone would ask if anyone had heard anything on the U.S. Senate numbers and it would go from there. Someone would mention "at least a million" and several in the group would agree.

    Other times it was when I was sitting in a group, at a table, etc. and others were talking about it. I may not have even been participating in the conversation, but I was sitting right there and could listen. You'd be amazed how many times when you're sitting working on your laptop that people will come over and sit right next to you and chat (and not quietly either), as if you can't hear them.

    And I never said I heard it exclusively from Merkley supporters. It was a rarity for me to be talking with a group of people in which there wasn't a mix of people supporting one candidate or the other (or undecided). More than half the people I heard it from I either already knew to be Merkley supporters or had said so during the conversation.

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    The theme of Steve Novick's campaign has not been his disability but his fighting spirit. "Strong left hook" is a pun on the boxing punch & an embrace of taking an openly strong left-progressive position, as well as working to diffuse very real prejudice against persons with disabilities. Same kind of double entendre about "standing up for the little guy." The theme about disability is in effect "it may seem like a disadvantage but look again; this guy is a fighter who doesn't give up in the face of difficulties."

    The Merkley guy was spinning this into Novick's theme is "vote for me because I'm disabled" with an implication that he's seeking a pity vote at least left open, when in reality the central theme is "vote for me because I'll fight hard for you."

    The Merkley guy's quote is subtle. He doesn't actually say that Novick is seeking a pity vote. Those who want to fill in the blank that way can; he doesn't foreclose it. But to be fair what he says is also open to being filled with the real "fighter" theme. It's just spun away from it by an incomplete & therefore mis- characterization. A half-truth.

    Merkley people here know that Novick's basic theme is the "progressive fighter" one. In other contexts they've come back with the riposte that Merkley is likely to be more effective because he won't go out of his way to alienate people, he knows how to get things done in a legislature, implicitly "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" (I don't remember anyone ever using that exact aphorism).

    That's a much more substantive and persuasive counter to the "fighter" claim.

    What the spokesman said to the newspaper is at best hollow and at worst in a condition similar to a piece of meat or a carton of milk that may or may not have gone off -- dodgy and questionable. But I'll assume the best unless it is repeated.

    On the other hand, as a Novick supporter I have to say that our side seems to be closer than I'd like to whistling past the graveyard here. Steve's burn rate, if measured not in absolute dollars but in proportion of funds raised, is a bit below Jeff's, but not that much so. And if Jeff's got something to worry about vis a vis Gordo with the amount of money he's raised, then so does Steve, even if Steve is running a leaner campaign.

    So congrats to both candidates on raising substantial funds and to Merkley for outraising Novick, and as someone else said upthread, only time will tell whether Steve's campaign is really leaner or just starving.

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    Chris,

    With all due respect, you make a lot of sense in how you explain the issue, but I think the reality lies somewhere inbetween your explanation and whomever you were referring to.

    Novick's "strong left hook" pun is a wordplay off of BOTH his disability AND the boxering analogy. Likewise, his TV ad is a dual pun playing off of both his short stature and his desire to fight for the figurative "little" guy.

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    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 16, 2008 9:08:09 AM Novick's "strong left hook" pun is a wordplay off of BOTH his disability AND the boxering analogy. Likewise, his TV ad is a dual pun playing off of both his short stature and his desire to fight for the figurative "little" guy.

    Exactly. That has been the upfront motif of his campaign from the start to segue into his arguments for his candidacy. For someone to point out that fact, which is 100% obvious to all but the most strident and shrill of partisans, as being some sort of shameful attack from the Merkley campaign and apologize for, is absurd.

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    You're right, Mitch. But what do you wanna bet no apology is forthcoming from the shrill and strident partisan in this case?

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    You're right, Mitch. But what do you wanna bet no apology is forthcoming from the shrill and strident partisan in this case?

    I wouldn't dream of ruining your enjoyment.

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    Actually I don't find it enjoyable in the least. It's frustrating to see pointless, counterproductive fratricide among progressives knowing that the Smith campaign is just sitting back and laughing as the Left does his work for him.

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    How many times have we sat back in Oregon and watched as the Right uses shrill stridency to commit fratricide, butchering their chances of winning at a state-wide level? What possible good can come out of adopting rightwing strategies that have proven time and again to result in disaster for them?

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    an image is not really a theme. A leitmotif is not really a theme. A theme is a set of ideas and concepts, not a catchy slogan or a rhetorical assist.

    In any case, even if you wish to argue disability is a theme, it is certainly not THE theme as Kelley asserts. And it's highly ironic for a campaign which has bounced back and forth in its search for a coherent them, one that didn't even have positions for months, much less a theme, to falsely attempt to cast a comprehnsively presented campaign as one relying on something so shallow.

    Hillary IS just "likeable enough." That didn't mean Obama didn't come off like a jerk when he said it. Russ looked like a petulant jerk, when he could have had fun with it and talked about Jeff standing tall--6ft 4 tall, or whatever--for Oregon voters. Instead, they continue with dispatches from the Bataan Death March.

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    Russ looked like a petulant jerk

    Repackaging a sow's ear as a silk purse doesn't change the fact that's it's a sow's ear.

    Why do you insist on doing Smith's work for him? Especially after so many Merkley supporters deliberately and graceously backed off and let you all have your day with Novick's TV ad post without turning it into the snarkfest that you all have turned this thread into?

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    Let me rephrase that last question...

    Is all of this REALLY about "may the best candidate win" or is it about "if Novick can't win then nobody gets out of this alive"?

    Think about it.

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    funny how BEING a jerk to another campaign doesn't do Smith's work, but pointing it out does. In any case, all the indications I receive from people close to Smith's camp is that they're ready for Merkley, but do not relish a contest with Novick. I can see why they think so, too.

    I swear, is relentlessly bogus concern trolling ALl you have?

  • Jack Murray (unverified)
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    but do not relish a contest with Novick

    Nice anonymous sourcing there. If GOP people are talking to the #11 progressive blog in Oregon (ie you, 'toreisjoe') they're probably trying to game you.

    The way the GOP influences a Dem primary is simple: claim that you fear the guy who's actually easier to beat. In this way, they want Dems to think that Novick would be a tougher fight for Smith, when Merkley is the one they truly fear.

    This played out somewhat similar for the Democrats too with the 'Democrats for Mitt' strategy. Another way that could have been done is to start a whisper campaign to GOP bloggers/hacks that Democrats fear Mitt, though he's hands down the easiest of them all to beat.

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    I know where some of TJ's information is coming from, and it's not "GOP people [are] talking to the #11 progressive blog in Oregon" or a similar disinformation campaign.

    Well connected Republicans who have no official links to the party apparatus (but do have ties to Smith) are telling their spouses and friends that Novick concerns them more than Merkley does.

    Well connected Democrats, including some with links to Federal elected officials, are telling their friends and colleagues that they had initially presumed they would support Jeff but have reconsidered because he appears to be a weak and uninspiring candidate compared to Novick.

    I have been personally present for conversations meeting these descriptions, and in each case have been told that our discussion was not unique or isolated.

    Believe me or don't believe me, as you wish. Assign whatever weight you choose to this information. But it's happening.

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    yeah, what vard is saying is some of it; also senior Hill staff.

  • Jack Murray (unverified)
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    Posted by: Stephanie V | Jan 16, 2008 6:03:24 PM Posted by: torridjoe | Jan 16, 2008 7:42:06 PM

    Well, based on all of that 'super-double-secret background' BS, you might as well write 'DEVELOPING HARD'. Really, you're starting to sound just like Coyote (yip yip).

    I choose not to drink your kool-aid, just as I refrain from drinking Coyote's.

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    Mitch & Kevin, since the "apology" comment came off of mine, would you please clarify whether I count among the "shrilly partisans" who you think owe someone an apology?

    I didn't deny that the disability & height images are part of Steve's media & identification strategy. I called them double entendres. As in, double meanings. Double. Two. I also said that what Russ said was a half truth. As in, half of a whole. As in, part of the whole.

    I also pointed out the connection between the two meanings -- that Novick is not just saying, "Whee, look at me, I'm disabled so vote for me, whoopee" but saying "I'm disabled and this is what I think you should see that it means -- that I'm a fighter, that I haven't let anyone put me down over this."

    On the other hand, I don't believe that any of the previous comments from Merkley folks about the Oregonian quote had acknowledged the "fighter" side of the theme. That applies specifically to you two, Kevin and Mitch. Maybe I was a little one sided by not reiterating a point that had been made multiple times & that I did not deny. If so, just a little.

    But you all were much more one-sided in never acknowledging the central theme, the fighting guy.

    I claim that "the fighter" is the central theme because all of his disability refs also invoke the "fighter" theme simultaneously, but he also talks about being a fighter without reference to his hook or his height. While the disability refs have work of their own to do they all work in support of the fighter theme as well.

    BTW I have actually seen Russ' quote in it's Oregonian context now & it doesn't look as bad to me there. As I read it in the paper, the "he has his plan, we have ours" line actually refers back to a question about why Jeff isn't running ads yet though Steve is. To which the answer is "he has his plan, we have ours."

    The (incomplete, half-truth) observation about the disability theme reads as a separate point to me in the article.

    However, the juxtaposition is there & still seems a bit gratuitous.

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    Chris,

    No worries. I wasn't referring to you. I may not always agree with you on everything but you've never struck me as even slightly shrill. In fact you are pretty consistent about posting thoughtful, well-reasoned responses... again, even if I don't always agree with your conclussions.

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    Posted by: Chris Lowe | Jan 16, 2008 9:08:42 PM Mitch & Kevin, since the "apology" comment came off of mine, would you please clarify whether I count among the "shrilly partisans" who you think owe someone an apology?

    I second what Kevin said. I don't consider your comments to be shrill partisan ones. I am also glad that you went back and read the quote in context. I would also just point out that I specifically stated that he was using the disability motif (which BTW is in the very definition of what a theme as being the same thing, for those interested) as the segue into the way he is his arguments for himself in the campaign (i.e. I am the fighter for the disempowered, etc.).

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    Ugh:

    ...into the way he is his arguments for himself in the campaign (i.e. I am the fighter for the disempowered, etc.).

    Should read:

    ...into the way he is positioning his arguments for himself in the campaign (i.e. I am the fighter for the disempowered, etc.)
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