OR Senate Race - The OEA Endorsement

Kevin Kamberg

I'll add my voice to the chorus giving props to Steve Novick for having gained the OEA endorsement on Saturday in such stunning fashion. Although I am somewhat perplexed by it. Specifically by the criteria, whatever it was, used by the OEA delegates. Over the last couple months much has been said here and elsewhere about two issues that have historically been of particular interest to the OEA - No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Charter Schools. Presumably both would seem to be obviously relevant criteria for just such an endorsement.

I don't know what role, if any, it played in the OEA delegates decision, but it's hard to ignore the timing at least of the recent story broken by Willamette Week over a 2004 parental decision by Jeff Merkley and his wife Mary Sorteberg to consider a nearby charter school for their kids. As the piece points out, "it deals with one of the most contentious issues facing the statewide teachers union."

If that story did influence the OEA endorsement then that begs several questions. Such as...

Why is Novick's 2003 job as the Oregon Department of Education's Legislative Liaison (technically a Deputy Superintendent position) conspicuously missing from his campaign resume and his Wikipedia and Congresspedia pages? It's a particularly compelling question in light of the fact that a Novick staffer was caught doctoring Jeff Merkley's Wikipedia page.


Some partial answers at least were surprisingly easy to come by via Google.

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(Note: they say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. good though they may have been, and that's understandably a subjective judgement call all on it's own, the road is nevertheless headed to hell.

Jake Weigler's critique on my characterization of SB 124, immediately following this note, appears to me to be correct. I accept full responsibility for the mischaracterization and hereby retract everything between this note and the end of the Portland Trib quote - Kevin Kamberg.)

For example, Legislative Liaison Steve Novick testified in favor of Senate Bill 124. What SB 124 did was to allow proposed charter schools denied sponsorship by the local school district a means of bypassing the district's rejection and appeal directly to the State Board of Education which can then force the district to reconsider the charter school's application. Why that might not be viewed favorably by the OEA is explained in an old Portland Tribune piece:

The law expects local school boards to sponsor the charter schools. But the charter schools can draw students and thus state education money away from the sponsoring districts. So school boards, eyeing that potential money drain, can’t be objective judges on the potential value of a charter school, charter advocates say. - The 'other' public school - Portland Tribune, November 14, 2003

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And then there is Steve Novick's January 2008 press release on NCLB:

"It is no secret that in the past six years, many educators, administrators, parents and politicians have complained long and loud about the implementation of No Child Left Behind. What remains a mystery, to me at least, is why so few members of Congress had the courage and the sense to vote against this law when it was first proposed," said Novick. "For it is, and always should have been, fairly obvious that NCLB was, from the beginning, the domestic policy equivalent of the war in Iraq - a proposal sold on blatantly false pretenses, to fulfill an agenda that had little or nothing to do with the Administration's stated rationale." - emphasis supplied

Let's spot Novick the first year of that "past six years" he mentioned. Five years ago when Steve Novick, along with federal D.O.E. members Ken Meyer (Novick's federal counterpart) and Scott Jenkins, was a participant in an ODE basement meeting of the Quality Education Commission, he doesn't appear to have found the courage to speak out against NCLB even after having had a year to assess it's "fairly obvious...blatantly false pretenses."

Why wouldn't the guy with "a strong left hook", whose supporters and endorsers say will "speak truth to power" or be "the kind of guy who follows his convictions--damn the consequences", not have done in 2003 what he now, in 2008, says that he's mystified why so few members of Congress were willing to do in 2002 - go on record as opposed to NCLB?

In 2003 the OEA wanted Governor Kulongoski, for whom Novick was "policy director" just the year prior, to challenge NCLB in court. State School Superintendent Susan Castillo publically opposed doing so. In fact, as Betsy Hammond of The O described the situation in late 2003, "Oregon Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo, long a staunch supporter of the federal No Child Left Behind law, switched gears Thursday and blasted some of the law's toughest school accountability measures as unfair and demoralizing to educators." Whether that was before or after Steve Novick left the ODE, I don't know. But it was roughly around the same time. Prior to that Castillo supported NCLB, afterwards she opposed it. Oddly enough, Kulongoski doesn't seem to have been opposed to it until around the same time as well. And Steve Novick himself apparently didn't have the courage in 2003 to speak out against NCLB that he portrays himself as having now in 2008.


"I know the voters can handle the truth" - Steve Novick speaking at the DPO Summit this past October.

We voters absolutely do want the truth and firmly believe that we can handle the truth. The question is, Mr. Novick, are you willing to tell us the truth?

Comments

  • Galen (unverified)
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    Jesus. Can we rusticate Kevin back to his own blog, please?

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    this is quickly turning into a black eye for Blue Oregon. What we have here is a one sentence, half hearted attempt to validate as rational the choice of the OEA, despite questioning its process--and then a full on speculative rant that appears to be no more than a recycling of allegations that have brought only crickets in their non sequitur appearances as comments to other threads. He opened his time a contributor by breaking a cardinal rule of exclusivity, to which Kari kinda shrugged and went "huh. " And now a nakedly dressed hit piece.

    Kevin has been hyper-vigilant about disclosure. I was curious to see Novick's LTE reprinted first at PK, as it's not Googleable. Somebody needed to dig that up, meaning the Merkley campaign. What is Kevin's relationship to the Merkleu campaign, and did they feed him oppo research, namely the Nader letter?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    That didn't take long.

    Let's see, Kari took a raft of sh*t when he posted this type of stuff on BlueOregon because of his professional connections to the Merkley campaign.

    Next thing you know, the most shameless Merkley flak machine in the Oregon blogosphere is granted access to BlueOregon's front page at the same time the Merkley campaign decides to start getting really ugly.

    Well, we asked for more transparency. I think this move is pretty transparent, only not in the good way.

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    Huh. I'm pretty sure that Kevin's not a flak for the Merkley campaign. After all, I'm pretty sure the Merkley campaign would like to put the OEA thing behind 'em, rather than bringing it up more.

    For the record, Pat, BlueOregon doesn't have a page 2, a back page, or any other place to post besides the "front page". This isn't a diary site.

    [Full disclosure: My firm built Jeff Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself.]

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    p.s. I'd suggest arguing the merits of Kevin's post or ignoring it, rather than assembling conspiracy theories.

    We added Kevin to our stable of writers because he's a good writer (though I'd say this post isn't his best work). My only request for him was this: Don't write exclusively about Merkley/Novick.

    And please note that we also added Chris Corbell and Dan Petegorsky at the same time. I'm hopeful that we're going to have a few more to announce very soon (and hopefully not all white males next time.)

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Oh, i think the clothes are pretty fully off the emperor now, kari.

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    Kevin,

    you've been hinting darkly for the past week or two about Steve's time in the Oregon Education Department, alleging or implying that you had dug up some dirt using your mad Google skillz.

    But all you ever do is ask suggestive questions and drop more dark hints. WTF?! If you think you've got something damaging, your timing is now very bad, since the OEA endorsement process is over, but for God's sake spare us the suspense and just drop whatever little stink bomb you think you've got, and let's see what it is.

    Put up or shut up.

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    Torrid Joe: Are you saying that you never getting tips from campaigns is wrong and that you have never gotten any from the Novick campaign?

    I seem to remember several instances where you have gotten them.

    Pat Malach: Novick has been attacking Merkley non stop since October, he has the right to hit back. Hell Novick supporters like you torridjoe and Stephanie V/Portlandia/Vard were even complaining that Novick was being ignored by Merkley. Appears like you cant even stand a little bit of heat, if thats so maybe you should get out of the kitchen.

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    We voters absolutely do want the truth and firmly believe that we can handle the truth. The question is, Mr. Novick, are you willing to tell us the truth?

    About what, Kevin? I don't see a clear question in your article.

    Here's something we know Steve did do as part of the DOE. He challenged (and beat) the Oregon Lottery which was unfairly diverting money away from schools and towards bar owners. From a post by Stacey Dycus here at BlueO:

    In 2003, as the legislative liaison for the State Department of Education, Steve led the charge for Legislative scrutiny of the Oregon Lottery’s huge giveaways to the taverns that house video poker machines that were taking money that should have gone to schools. If you Google “Steve Novick” and “video poker” you will see how dogged Steve was in pursuing that cause, in 2003 and later years. Ultimately, Steve encouraged the education unions to file a lawsuit arguing that the Lottery – under the leadership of Gordon Smith’s state director, Kerry Tymchuk -- acted illegally in deciding to give away vast sums. In December of 2006, the State Court of Appeals ruled that Steve was right. The Oregonian had an editorial praising the court’s decision. Again, Novick wins.

    Oregon is a better place because Steve Novick has been, for years, behind the scenes fighting for it. It'll be an even better place with him fighting for us in the US Senate.

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    I seem to remember several instances where you have gotten them. Pat Malach: Novick has been attacking Merkley non stop since October, he has the right to hit back. Hell Novick supporters like you torridjoe and Stephanie V/Portlandia/Vard were even complaining that Novick was being ignored by Merkley. Appears like you cant even stand a little bit of heat, if thats so maybe you should get out of the kitchen. I'd love for you to recount those instances where I published tipped information (ie, broke news). I was given official results on Saturday, but that's hardly a tip (it's a very nice courtesy). And I DISCLOSED that. Which is why I asked MY question, Mr. Not-the-person-I-asked. And equating Novick's attacks on policy differences like NCLB, HR2, Social Security, wage equality, impeachment, marriage equality--with Merkley's sad little wave of a 10-year old LTE...is that what you've got? Oi.
  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    Pathetic little hatchet job. How gracious of the author to congratulate Steve in this manner.

    The Merkley campaign is starting to resemble the Clinton campaign. If you guys win, before this is over, you'll have fellow Dems voting for Smith, just as the Clintons will have fellow Dems voting for McSame.

  • anon (unverified)
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    Notice how the Novick mob doesn't actually defend his record?

    Kevin wrote a piece, with linked evidence. If you think what he's written is incorrect, go after the substance. This gang attack/slash and burn of the Novick mob is pathetic.

    And tossing around "Hillary" like it's some sort of f-word is stupid.The inferences here are that the Merkley campaign handed this info to Kevin. Are you saying that Kevin is too stupid or too inept to look stuff up that is obviously available on the internet? More personal attacks from Novick people--no actual addressing of the issues.

    And for Torrid Joe to go after anyone else's credibility on the Novick/Merkley coverage is the biggest joke of all. He's turned what used to be an interesting, informative blog into a shill for the Novick campaign. His own blind association with Novick has wrecked his sandbox.

    Why are people not allowed to question Novick's record? Is it really so weak that it can't handle some scrutiny? This is the guy that's supposed to be the great defeater of Gordon Smith?

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    My only request for him was this: Don't write exclusively about Merkley/Novick.

    That'll be the easy part. The hard part will be finding the time to work on the others. Already have two more post topics in the works. Both are utterly unrelated to either of these first two as well as to each other.

  • Troll Spotter (unverified)
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    Interesting how this post matches the criteria of a troll: First Troll Kamberg starts out pretending to be supportive: "I'll add my voice to the chorus giving props to Steve Novick for having gained the OEA endorsement on Saturday in such stunning fashion.". He then goes on to actually attack the endorsement using the Rovian tactic of stringing together non-facts in a way there is nothing to rebut. For instance, Troll Kamberg: Have you been party to every conversation Mr. Novick has had with OEA members?

    Then again, it's Merkley and his ilk are the ones who always talk about how they "have to work, though, sort of the behind the scenes, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the legislative world ...". Oh, did I confuse Merkley with someone else?

    Anon: No need to defend a record that hasn't actually been attacked. Troll Kamberg pulled the Rove trick of citing a negative which he can't prove, so the thing that is appropriate to be criticized are the intellectually dishonest comments of trolls like you and him.

    Mr Spiro is right on point: Merkley and Clinton are two peas in a pod because they are the boy and girl of the DSCC and the DLC. And we now know what kind of a Democrat Wyden is. (Looking forward to 2010 to vote out yet another of the poor excuses for Democrats we've seen this decade after the true Democrats in Oregon do their part to repudiate Merkley and Clinton.)

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    Posted by: colin maloney | Mar 10, 2008 1:29:17 AM

    About what, Kevin? I don't see a clear question in your article.

    Well, Colin, let's take NCLB. Which does Steve Novick want Oregon Dems to base their decision on - his actions in 2002/03 or his words in 2008?

    I don't see any evidence that Mr. Novick was coerced into characterizing NCLB as he did in that press release. So it seems eminently fair to ask why when he said "what remains a mystery, to me at least, is why so few members of Congress had the courage and the sense to vote against this law when it was first proposed" shouldn't call his own apparent lack of courage a year later into question.

    Stepping back and looking at the whole context, one is left to wonder if Novick is about talking the talk or walking the walk?

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    I resent being called a shill for the Novick campaign, when I am also quite clearly a shill for the Kroger campaign. In any case, I make no pretense at neutrailty. BlueO has struggled mightily to maintain that aura, and these non-charges Kevin speculates about (oh my God, he's testified on behalf of his boss!) belie his position as Merkley attack dog. I reprint what Novick says, whereas Kevin appears to be getting his right from the campaign. Or can you tell us where you got the Nader letter, Kevin?

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    It takes more to dismiss questions of fact than merely asserting the author's a morally-bankrupt campaign flak, guys. Why don't we all take a deep breath, pause for one second, and come back when we want to discuss matters of fact.

    Okay. I'm ready.

    What Kevin has done is bring up several interesting questions about Novick's education record. No one denies him the strength of an OEA endorsement, or what it means for the Novick campaign. What he is after is asking this fundamental question concurrently: how can the Novick campaign address the perceived gaps in his record?

    At the same time and on the other side, Speaker Jeff Merkley has his own record of accomplishment. Given the would-be controversy over his family's charter school "application," his record as Speaker is strong. I'm particularly impressed by the wide variety of his legislative accomplishment, from head start to community colleges, and from research to financial aid/budget work.

    Okay, now this final point: enough with the character assassination, either of a candidate or our fellow bloggers. We're going to have to close ranks soon enough, so we had better not all hate each other when it comes to that point.

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    why would the Novick campaign address Kevin's "perceived gap'"? What's the question being asked, that has any substance? Why did Novick do his job as directed, is that the question?

    Merkley didn't file an "application," it was an actual application according to the paper, no dismissive quotes needed. And he filed TWO, which he still hasn't explained why he hid that info and forced his spokesperson to lie to the media.

    And it's awfully rich to launch nothing BUT character attacks on Novick, and then beg for calm. As soon as Merkley agrees to get out of the gutter, we'll talk. On second thought, that Nader thing is working so well for him...keep at it, jeff! Right up til May!

    And we still needto hear from Kevin on his connection to the campaign: where did the Nader letter come from, kevin?

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    Dear Senator Schumer, Get offa my lawn and out of my state!!! Look at what you have wrought. The teacher's union picked the Other Candidate. Why not stay out of Oregon until WE THE PEOPLE OF OREGON, NOT NEW YORK, select our nominee. Then we'll happily take your DSCC money. You won't get a dime from me, Schumer. Now go back to DC and keep shredding our constitution with your new BFF Mukasey.

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    My goodness, the ad-hominems are flying. Used to being the poo-flingers, the Novick hyperpartisans are aghast when they suddenly find themselves on the receiving end.

    And in the end, that's what ALL of this is: stupid shit almost nobody cares about. Gee, Mr. Novick held a job in which he did what he was asked, even if it might not have absolutely always been a pure progressive party line? Fan me, I might faint. Speaker Merkley has some position that in a minuscule detail differs from what non-Democratic hyper-leftists like torridjoe would prefer? Heavens to betsy! I'm getting the vapors! The next thing you know, both of these progressive candidates will slapping on swastikas, because as we all know, 99% adherence to progressivism just isn't quite 100%!

    Now admittedly, I do draw the line myself when Democrats start repeating and validating Republican talking points. That's why both Senator Clinton and Mr. Novick are not my preferred candidates. But the degree to which this race has become bogged down in a purity wankfest makes me fear that we're going to lose the best opportunity we'll ever have to moving the Senate in a badly needed direction.

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    only in merkley world is accurate criticism for being against tax equality and fixing social security "poo-flinging," while bogus, decade old attacks are real issues to discuss. Is Steve Duin's intern a non-democratic hyperpartisan too, for saying Merkley is unmemorable while being evasive? For that matter, is DeFazio a hyperpartisan for holding the same position Merkley attacks as bogus?

    To say there's no problem with SS is appallingly ignorant. You'd think the Speaker would bebetter informed.

  • petrichor (unverified)
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    i would address the issues in the post, only i had trouble finding anything concrete to address.

    the only thing that seems worthy of responding to is kevin's question: "Why is Novick's 2003 job as the Oregon Department of Education's Legislative Liaison conspicuously missing from his campaign resume and his Wikipedia and Congresspedia pages?"

    i don't know why it's not there but it's hardly "conspicuously" missing. those sites are open and completely transparent (unlike blue oregon), anyone can add information, and look through a page's history to see if information has been removed. kevin, you have been harping on this issue for a couple weeks now, you could have added it yourself, and checked to see that nothing had been conspicuously deleted, too. but why would you? that would give you one less attack point.

  • Kris Alman (unverified)
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    I am looking for a Senate candidate who will have a backbone to challenge the status quo and demand progressive change. Early last summer, I jumped on the Merkley campaign train, feeling he was most "electable." I went to a house party and didn't get a palpable sense that Merkely assuaged the Washington County Ds hammering him for progressive charge. No harsh words about NCLB; no new ideas. Feeling cognitive dissonance (the goal is to beat Smith, after all), I contributed more money, again feeling that Novick just wasn't electable.

    Ready to have a house party, I asked a friend to join me in drawing in higher income friends who could bring in the minimum $2500 I was expected to raise. This friend, employed by a Washington County corporate behemoth, told me she was supporting Novick.

    I paused. I considered. I challenged the campaign as I heard that Merkley was soft on capital gains. So I emailed their campaign office and got the response below.

    I switched horses.

    I do not think Merkley can beat Smith. I believe his political platforms are R lite. I believe that both he and Courtney let Oregonians down this last legislative session. It is reprehensible that our D majority legislature did not have the votes for Westlund's bill to reform mortgage lending.

    Novick can win. Novick will help bring democracy back to D.C.

    Hi Kris, Sorry for the delayed response. Jeff is willing to accept a marginal difference between the capital gains rate and the income tax rate. He wants to make sure that people who own capital have an incentive to buy and sell it because that's what keeps the economy strong. He believes that working families should not have to pay twice the rate that those who make their living on a spreadsheet do.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Thanks, Courtney

    Courtney Thompson Deputy Campaign Manager Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate Office: 503-274-4439 Cell: 503-569-9483 www.jeffmerkley.com

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    Who is State Superintentdent Susan Castillo backing for the Democratic nominee for state senator?

  • anon (unverified)
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    What I found interesting about this story -- The OEA endorsement of Steve Novick, as told by The Oregonian, was the absolute omission of the controversy surrounding, Jeff Merkley's wife's application to a charter school for the family's child.

    The story had substantial and appropriate prominence, but was empty of any real political content. There was no reason given for picking Novick, by the teacher's union. "He [Novick] made a good presentation (paraphrase)." This hardly counts as a politcal reason and frankly, buried the real story.

    What the story does reveal is several things: First, the Oregonian newspaper didn't want to put out the dirty laundry on the OEA endorsement criteria (charter schools are political poison); second, that the Merkley family had applied for charter school enrollment; and, third, that The Oregonian is in the tank for Merkley and for the OEA, both, at the same time.

    Why do I say this?

    A majority of Oregonians believe in school choice. Yet, the teacher's union, OEA, opposes "choice" because it weakens the OEA's political control, and ultimately financial bargaining power.

    These reasons if held up to the glaring political spotlight of the broader Oregon political community are unattractive.

    The Oregonian has given favorable treatment to the OEA's agenda, but have been pushing Merkley, it's an establishment newspaper, after all; therefore, this endorsement and the story around it, put the paper in a bind.

    But aren't all these facts relevent, and wouldn't they be interesting to the readers? And don't journalistic standards suggest these parts of the story should be brought out?

    Now we know why The Oregonian is having financial trouble: They won't tell the real story to the reader.

    And The Oregonain has been doing it for years.

    Can you say Packwood? Can you say Goldschmidt?

    How sad.

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    Interesting...State Superintendent Susan Castillo endorsed Jeff Merkley.

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    I guess Kevin and others who decry the OEA's decision think the teachers too ignorant and uninformed on education matters to be endorsing candidates or something.

    Not to mention that stupid Kitzhaber guy. What a Novick tool!

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    pam, are you saying the Merkley campaign has STILL not corrected their page? Castillo's is a dual endorsement. They've been asked multiple times to correct the record.

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    torridjoe: [O]nly in merkley world is accurate criticism for being against tax equality and fixing social security "poo-flinging," while bogus, decade old attacks are real issues to discuss.

    Where Mr. Novick lost me wasn't in this last revealed episode anti-Democratic activism, Mark. (Although, quite frankly, it doesn't surprise me in the least.) He lost me a long time ago when he started repeating right wing talking points about the GOP pro-troop resolution with the bullshit lauding of Bush built into the preamble.

    And mind you, Mr. Novick was explicitly endorsing GOP framing: 'How can he possibly be against the war when he voted in favor of hoping U.S. troops remain safe?'

    Now sure, hyperpartisan apologists will always fail to see why attacks validating opposition framing are a problem. I really didn't expect anything else from you, or from diehard Clintonistas for that matter. But to those of us who think just a little more broadly have a big problem with the "I'm not loyal to you, but you have to be loyal to me" mindset.

    If I'm not going to take that from the DLC, I'm certainly not going to take it from a non-Democrat. Or a Democrat who ever bought into Nader's bullshit tweedledee/tweedledum framing of Bush and Al Gore.

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    Im sorry maybe I missed something but what is inherently insidious/evil/underhanded/hatchet-like/darth vader-esque about asking why Novick left out one of his longest employers this millennium on his resume during his Senate campiagn?

    Furthermore, if a candidate decides to not disclose something like their taxes for example, doesn't the public have the right to speculate as to why that disclosure is not forthright?

    Finally, if as Torridjoe says that Novick's support of NCLB was merely following orders, why does he criticize other for doing the same? If he was so opposed to the measure why didn't he refuse to support it while he was at the Department of Education, or was it not worth whatever the cost to Novick was?

    I think these are all valid questions despite the attacks that TJ and others vomit all over the thread.

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    'How can he possibly be against the war when he voted in favor of hoping U.S. troops remain safe?'

    Steve Maurer, I'd like to challenge that quotation of yours. Can you please provide a citation? To the best of my knowledge Steve never said anything like that, and it is inconsistent with (a) his beliefs, and (b) everything I have ever heard him say about HR2 and the Iraq war.

    Further, I fail to understand how a 10 year old letter to the editor and a 12 year old protest vote can be characterized as "anti-Democratic activism." Steve Novick has vigorously supported Democrats and Democratic candidates and was willing to put himself out there as a Democratic standardbearer in the path of Gordon Smith's campaign machine at a time when other Democrats (Jeff Merkley included) were too timid to do so. It's a lot easier to stick your neck out for your party when you've got Chuck Schumer whispering sweet dollar signs into your ear.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    "I'd suggest arguing the merits of Kevin's post or ignoring it"

    Actually, my comment was quite specifically about the "merits" of this post.

    Hey, here's some fun. Check out this e-mail I sent to some media friends two nights ago.

    <blockqquote>"Interesting to see that Kevin Kamberg (I hope for his sake his middle name isn't Kyle or Kurt) is now a contributor at BlueOregon with front-page privileges.

    "I guess we'll have to wait and see if he's going to be BlueOregon's new Merkley attack dog -- since Kari takes so much shit when he tries it. I'd be pretty shocked if that's not what's going on here."

    Even a broken clock ... ... ...

    "For the record, Pat, BlueOregon doesn't have a page 2, a back page, or any other place to post besides the "front page". This isn't a diary site."

    For the record, Kari, I can't see what that kind of non-sequitur, left-field response has to do with anything anyway, except to add more bullshit to distract from my having called your BS. It's called flak.

    Did you forget about the comment section? Kevin's "special" view of this primary used to be limited to the comments section at BlueOregon. Now it's splashed across the front page. See how that's different?. And here I thought you were a blogosphere expert.

  • Chris Andersen (unverified)
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    "Purity wankfest" is a good way to describe it. I've pretty much learned to filter out most of the candidate advocacy stuff in blogs in the last few months (really hard to do on DailyKos though) simply because most of the supporters for various candidates are doing harm to their candidates by their over-the-top advocacy. If I want to find out where a candidate or their opponents stand the last people I will listen to are ardent supporters or detractors.

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    bdunn, who has Novick criticized for following orders on NCLB?

    And where is Kevin's disclosure?

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    Posted by: darrelplant | Mar 10, 2008 10:09:47 AM

    I guess Kevin and others who decry the OEA's decision think the teachers too ignorant and uninformed on education matters to be endorsing candidates or something.

    Soooo... I take it that nobody wants to defend Novick's apparent double-standard on NCLB? While it's true that he was an "employee," albeit a very highly placed one, while at ODE, he was "policy director" for Kulongoski - meaning that it was pretty much his job to advise against it if his current claim is accurate.

    "For it is, and always should have been, fairly obvious that NCLB was, from the beginning, the domestic policy equivalent of the war in Iraq - a proposal sold on blatantly false pretenses, to fulfill an agenda that had little or nothing to do with the Administration's stated rationale." - Steve Novick

    Not to mention that stupid Kitzhaber guy. What a Novick tool!

    Don't be dissing my man, Kitz. I'm proud of the fact that I always voted for him.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    I actually tried to find some substance in this post, but there isn't any. Kevin is saying there is a contradiction in Novick's criticism of Congress for passing NCLB while he failed to criticize NCLB at a meeting he attended in 2003. But the contexts are completely different:

    1. In 2003, NCLB was federal law, the debate was pretty much over, and the state was required to follow the law. It appears that Novick, in his role with ODE, was doing exactly that. There is nothing in those minutes where Novick praises NCLB.

    2. It would be inappropriate -- and probably illegal under state ethics rules -- for a state employee to use a meeting with federal education officials to lobby for his own personal views. The role of any legislative coordinator is to present and support the state's official view, and the Governor and State Superintendent were at that time supporting NCLB.

    Kevin, you've provided no evidence that Novick was supportive of NCLB or pushing Gov K or Castillo into supporting it. All you have done is speculate that because you can't google anything where Novick speaks out against NCLB, he must by inference have supported it. That's pretty weak.

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    Posted by: pam | Mar 10, 2008 10:01:42 AM Interesting...State Superintendent Susan Castillo endorsed Jeff Merkley.

    pam, Castillo is effectively neutral in the primary as she has given her endorsement to both candidates. You can see her on name (plus "dual endorsement") on Steve's website.

    Kevin, you wrote:

    Well, Colin, let's take NCLB. Which does Steve Novick want Oregon Dems to base their decision on - his actions in 2002/03 or his words in 2008?
    I would make the presumption that because in 2003 the ODE was in favor of SB 124, their Legislative Liaison would probably not be opposing it before the Legislature. The bill also appears to not have been such bad news after all.

    You may have missed this, but the OEA supported this particular bill. (It says so in one of the PDFs that you linked to.)

    Laurie Wimmer-Whalen. Oregon Education Association (OEA). Testifies in favor of SB 124A. Refers the committee to a packet on expansion of charter school laws (EXHIBIT B).

    I'm not sure why you think testifying for a bill that the OEA supported would cause the OEA to think twice about their endorsement of Novick.

    Additionally, I'm not seeing where Novick is demonstrating support for NCLB in any of these articles or documents. They don't seem to illustrate him having taken a personal position on NCLB at all. (And none of the documents linked to have Novick making any statements about NCLB, period!) I don't see that his position has shifted at all. Can you point to statements made by Novick outside of an official capacity, anywhere, where he's backing NCLB?

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    The reason I put it in single quotes, Stephanie, as opposed to doublequotes, is because while that is a pretty damned accurate summarization of the BS GOP frame on that issue, very few would actually state it so baldly anymore - not even most of the GOP.

    That's because progressives defeated the: 'Support the Troops means Support the Iraq War' frame. No real thanks to Mr. Novick.

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    Don't be dissing my man, Kitz. I'm proud of the fact that I always voted for him.

    Darrell's was very obviously a facetious statement, and a funny one at that. Either you're being disingenuous, Kevin, or that floated right over the top...

    I'm not going to rehash things that have already been said, but I'm guessing that kitchen sink must be tied up at the post office. I'm sure it's on its way.

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    They don't seem to illustrate him having taken a personal position on NCLB at all.

    Exactly my point. Steve was characterized by "The Nose" in 2003 as being "the kind of guy who follows his convictions--damn the consequences", a characterization which has been cited by the current campaign BTW.

    If, as Steve says, the problems with NCLB were so obvious six years ago, then why can't we find any evidence of the "damn the consequences" guy vis-a-vis NCLB? Not even as "policy director" of Kulongoski's campaign in 2002? Not to mention that surely a "damn the consequences" kinda guy would have SOME record of having been at least critical of NCLB in 2003.

    It's real easy for him to take potshots at 2001/02 members of Congress for not doing anymore than he was willing to do even a year later. But at some point it needs to be asked whether Novick is about talking the talk or walking the walk.

    And again, it's curious that neither Castillo nor Kulongoski seem to have really had a big problem with NCLB until around the time Novick left the ODE and long after he was done being policy director for Kulongoski.

    Mind you, there is lots and lots of evidence on the webs of many educators and even governors complaining loudly and publically about NCLB back in 2002 and 2003. I found newspaper reprints from literally all over the nation.

    Where's the evidence of that "strong left hook" we keep hearing about? When was he going to use that "damn the consequences" attitude and at the very least speak out in support of the OEA's call for the state to file suit against it? Talk is cheap, afterall.

  • hubbird (unverified)
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    Is this the same Kevin Kamberg who is arguing, 10 years later, that people should be held to the things they wrote 10 years ago?

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    Here is a wealth of evidence.

    See, the Internet has plenty of substantive policy positions from Steve Novick. Enjoy, Kevin.

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    Soooo... I take it that nobody wants to defend Novick's apparent double-standard on NCLB?

    You haven't provided any evidence of a double standard.

    Nor does that statement have anything to do with your apparent mistrust in the members of the OEA to make decisions for themselves. Do you seriously think the leadership of the teachers union didn't know he was working for the Department of Education five years ago?

  • LT (unverified)
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    This is a federal election, so for all the good work Steve did challenging the Lottery, Sizemore, et al, exactly how is that relevant to federal issues?

    The Kitzhaber nomination should not shield Novick from any further questions. After all, as Senate President and Governor, Kitzhaber was one of the more approachable public servants. (Those who imply only one side has to answer questions and the other side is infaillible risk sounding like the Bruggere campaign's claim that their guy had rich and powerful friends, so no one should question his campaign---and yes, I do believe that 1996 campaign was one of the worst I have ever seen which is why I registered NAV after that primary and stayed that way for 6 years!).

    OK, let's see what we have here:

    Kari said................ "p.s. I'd suggest arguing the merits of Kevin's post or ignoring it, rather than assembling conspiracy theories."

    Do any of Steve's blogging supporters (does Steve?) believe conspiracy theories will win over those who look at the OEA endorsement and say with a sigh, "Gee, that's no way to reward someone who did so much good work for education in the legislature!"?

    Or don't they matter because Steve will win the nomination due entirely to his true believers in Portland?

    And then, of course, there is this:

    The post said:

    "Why wouldn't the guy with "a strong left hook", whose supporters and endorsers say will "speak truth to power" or be "the kind of guy who follows his convictions--damn the consequences", not have done in 2003 what he now, in 2008, says that he's mystified why so few members of Congress were willing to do in 2002 - go on record as opposed to NCLB? In 2003 the OEA wanted Governor Kulongoski, for whom Novick was "policy director" just the year prior............................ "

    Gee, we should discusss what Merkley did in 2003 as an elected official but not what Novick was doing in 2003 as a staffer?

    OK, folks, here is a proposal which might turn this campaign in a more productive direction. Let's declare a moratorium on discussing anything which happened before 2006. Let's discuss CURRENT issues.

    For instance, did any of you notice how Huckabee's "radical" education ideas would have annoyed the Minnis/Scott/ Richardson types in the Oregon legislature?

    Or that the "last man standing" on the Republican side was the most cheerful and issue oriented? That presidential primary is over. What if some of those folks in Oregon are so fed up with the GOP, what if NAV decide they want to be involved in a primary, and register DEM? Aren't Democrats supposed to be the party of ideas? The electorate who will be voting in the May primary will not be known until the registration deadline.

    I'm not talking about whether Huckabee believes in evolution, but striking at the core of attitudes which probably lost the Oregon House R's the majority. Use the Blue Oregon Google window to search the posts on Minnis and OEA, Richardson and North Korea (he made a despicable charge and Stand For Children called him on it).

    Huckabee was asked in an interview if he was as against teachers unions as are other Republicans, "because you know they are an ally of Democrats". He was asked what Arkansas did about failing schools. Huckabee replied that in Arkansas when he was Gov. the state took over a failing school, they fired the superintendant and got rid of the school board---in other words, blamed management rather than teachers. He said their biggest problem with teachers was burnout in the first 5 years because of how little support teachers were getting in their jobs.

    Not only that, he was so well known as an advocate of art and music in schools that some people said he believed NCLB stood for No Cello Left Behind. Gee, could music education matter more esp. to parents than all the action behind the scenes action on NCLB and charter schools?

    We deserve a better US Senate primary than we have seen so far. Kari had a statistic the other day about how many people view BO vs. how many actually comment. I know enough people of the "what is a blog?" variety who vote regularly to believe they will be voting on who they believe is the most serious candidate.

    So let's discuss actual issues, OK? How many people realize that during this decade in Salem one of the reasons there was great unrest with the school district, almost a teachers strike, a new Supt. and a school board election where no incumbents were running was disgust with school district management actions? That the district management (supt. and school board) proposed doing away with elementary music without much notice to the public? That was SOME board meeting--overflow crowds came to testify and someone tried to lock the overflow out in the parking lot---which didn't work, and they were required to set up a procedure where even those who couldn't fit into the meeting room would be able to testify.

    THAT, folks, is the reality of most people---not who did what in a meeting, the legal status of charter schools, etc.

    Now if you folks here want to continue this whole thing which sounds like the way some people want us to view politics (give unquestioning support to your team in a spectator sport, but don't ask difficult questions any more than you would question why a sports team took a particular action), go right ahead.

    The rest of us, meanwhile, will go about our lives and decide how to vote based on that famous poll question which ranks candidates on the scale of

    "Cares about people like me, understands my problems".

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    kevin's asking a lot of questions, but avoiding a direct one:

    Where did you get the Nader letter? What is your relationship to the Merkley campaign? As a contributor you're honor-bound to disclose any of that. Or is disclosure only for political opponents?

  • LT (unverified)
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    TJ, how is Nader relevant to this discussion?

    And before you ask, I am not involved in this US Senate campaign. I have worked on previous Senate campaigns which were a lot more inspiring and relevant to the lives of ordinary folks, hence my long comment.

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    Posted by: hubbird | Mar 10, 2008 11:38:37 AM

    Is this the same Kevin Kamberg who is arguing, 10 years later, that people should be held to the things they wrote 10 years ago?

    Yes it is! I had a BLAST debating first Cre/Ev and then Protestant theology (got banned from one fundy site!) and then politics when I first got onlne. Call me a glutton for punishment but I loved the hardest challenges.

    I've even got a PhD from a spoof diploma mill called By Bayou University created by my old cyber buddy and retired scientist, "Gallo." He never divulged his real name but everyone knew who Gallo was.

    Hey, check out the "mission statement" of BBU!

    We at By Bayou University strive to give our custom students the highest quality diploma at a reasonable price, while maintaining a constant inflow of beer money. The quality of our diplomas meets or exceeds that of diploma mills operating out of the basements of churches anywhere. We require no statement of faith or oaths of fidelity. While we offer degrees at the Associate, Bachelor and Master level, you may skip these and go directly to the Doctorate.

    ROFL!!!!!

    Thanks for reminding me of how much fun I had with those guys and gals way back then, Hubbird.

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    "TJ, how is Nader relevant to this discussion?"

    Because this piece is written by a contributor who may need to disclose an affiliation with the Merkley campaign. That's standard practice.

    Unfortunately, allow he continues to return here and comment, he also continues to avoid that which he so heavily demands of Novick--disclosure.

    It's a simple question: where did the Nader letter come from, Kevin? And what is your relationship with the Merkley campaign? The silence is damning.

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    BTW, Hubbird... I hope you didn't have to track that down via Google. If so, you could have saved yourself some time and just searched the archives at my blog. I've mentioned in there more than once. In fact I've linked to my BBU degree there more than once.

    Oh... wait... you thought that I'd be ASHAMED of my stuff back then? ROFLMAO!!! You poor, poor soul... I'm proud of it. In fact you might not want to dig around there too much, if you want to maintain a bad image of me, because while I was criticized for any number of things by the scientists there, they uniformly lauded me for my honesty.

    Oh, and the "distinguished graduates" list at BBU lists more opponents of creationism as having a doctorate in creation education than it does creationists with the same degree. In fact, one of them is a very well known Professor of Geology. Suffice to say that a person had to have a sense of humor to get a degree from BBU!

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    How many replies will you make before addressing the question, Kevin?

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    TJ,

    My affiliation to the Merkley campaign is the same as your affiliation with the Merkley campaign. No more and no less. Why? Are you feeling the need to confess something?

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    This comment thread is exactly what I'd expect after a post like this. I think the choice to go negative straight out of the gate here on this race was a poor one. You're not helping Jeff Merkley, you're not helping our chances of winning in November, and you're not helping the dialogue on this site.

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    "My affiliation to the Merkley campaign is the same as your affiliation with the Merkley campaign."

    Really? They won't even respond to me with comments. And they CERTAINLY haven't sent me any oppo research on Novick. But it's a lame non-denial denial.

    I'll ask again: did you, or did you not, receive the Nader letter to publish at PK, six hours before it appeared in the MSM?

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    I think the choice to go negative straight out of the gate here on this race was a poor one.

    I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, Steve Novick made that choice for everyone and hasn't shown any signs of regretting it, as Jake's comment about unions which haven't endorsed his boss makes clear.

    I respect you, Charlie, and I respect your opinions. But I'm forced to disagree with what I understand to be the thrust of your comment here - that challenging the assertions of political candidates ought to be verboten. After all, if Oregonians are going to just accept political candidates at their word then Gordon Smith is assured re-election.

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    BTW, Charlie... Surely the stark difference in who has been whining about getting the latest endorsements published here at Blue Oregon hasn't escaped your notice. Compare the last few hours here today with the last few hours here Saturday night.

    I'm just sayin'...

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    This is a federal election, so for all the good work Steve did challenging the Lottery, Sizemore, et al, exactly how is that relevant to federal issues?

    Jeff Merkley has been a member of the state legislature. How are any of his achievements there relevant to Federal issues?

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    And down, down, down the drain goes Blue Oregon's reputation.

    Seriously, Kari, are you really proud of this?

  • Jack Murray (unverified)
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    I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, Steve Novick made that choice for everyone and hasn't shown any signs of regretting it, as Jake's comment about unions which haven't endorsed his boss makes clear.

    Weigler said ""We are glad that at least some unions in this state understand that you need to change to win." (emph mine)

    How ironic. Does Weigler know that SEIU and UFCW, two of the big unions that make up Change to Win have endorsed Merkley?

    Indeed, you do need Change to Win. And they've endorsed Merkley for Senate.

  • Jake Weigler - Novick for Senate (unverified)
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    This is a difficult post to write … actually it’s not, but as it will be the last time the Novick campaign writes on this blog until the end of the primary, I decided to make it a good one.

    The choice to give Mr. Kamberg, the latest online Merkley hatchet man, the keys to Blue Oregon should come as a surprise to no one who has been closely following this primary and its treatment on this site. Not content to let Kevin’s relentless stream of attacks and smears sit on his own site, Kari Chisholm, the Merkley campaign’s online consultant, has chosen to given Kamberg a bigger soapbox from which to launch a string of false attacks on Steve Novick. I will get to the “substance” of his charges below, but first this needs to be called out for what it is.

    It is page one of the political establishment’s playbook to first ignore an outsider challenger and then, when he can’t be ignored, tear him or her down with a series of lies, fabrications, smears and innuendos. The Merkley campaign has clearly adopted that strategy in the last week. After dredging up a 1998 letter to the editor to mislead voters about Steve’s 1996 vote for Ralph Nader – a letter that appeared on Mr. Kamberg’s blog hours before the media reported the Merkley campaign was pushing it around. And then Merkley himself claimed on the radio that Steve had "recently" praised Nader.

    When Speaker Merkley was called out on that lie in Friday’s debate, he chose to compound that falsehood by again lying about Steve’s record, claiming:

    “When Nader said Democrats and Republicans are the same, you agreed and I disagreed. I disagree with your statements about being profoundly disappointed about the candidates in the democratic primary.”

    Steve, of course, never said that he agreed there was no difference between the Republicans and Democrats or that he was “profoundly disappointed” by Senators Obama or Clinton. To claim his vote for Nader in 1996 suggests that he agrees with everything Nader has ever said is analogous to saying that because Jeff Merkley voted for Clinton in 1996, he must support NAFTA and the Defense of Marriage Act.

    This is only a new chapter part of a repeated pattern on this site and elsewhere by Merkley’s surrogates to misrepresent Steve’s record and statements and attack his integrity. In the last few weeks, we’ve been falsely accused by the Merkley campaign of selling beer. Meanwhile, Merkley’s spokesperson even went so far as to question “whether Steve Novick cares if Gordon Smith is reelected.”

    Kari, of course, is a paid media consultant of the Merkley campaign – actively coordinating with message rollout as he has acknowledged on multiple occasions. Chisholm’s claim that he only speaks for himself, while he is receiving remuneration from the campaign is untenable. A conflict of interest is a conflict of interest, regardless of whether you pledge that your integrity means you can rise above it. And the idea that you can suddenly take off your Merkley campaign cap to offer independent analysis on the race is ridiculous. I have noted previously how that relationship seems to have affected balance in coverage of the race, but today I am specifically talking about the repeated pattern of using this ostensibly neutral community as a vehicle to extend and amplify the attacks by the Merkley campaign on Steve Novick (of which Mr. Kamburg is the latest example).

    Kari started off this primary with a bang, calling Steve’s disagreement with Merkley’s vote on HR 2 - “swiftboating,” – a label that earned him Rogue of the Week in the WWeek.

    Kari was also, of course, the source of the extended PDA smear that ran in January. I’ve avoided revisiting that subject out of interest of helping the PDA-Oregon chapter get off the ground. After being called on the carpet for “misrepresenting” his conversation with National PDA director Tim Carpenter, I though Kari would learn to be more careful in how he handled this race. As Liz has said, she should have handled this process more carefully. But as the kitchen sink strategy moves into full gear, I feel compelled to give a more complete picture.

    First, Kari omitted from his extended hit job that the fact that the Merkley campaign had subsequent conversations with PDA-National where they indicated they were fine with the revised process moving forward – before he posted his breathless account.

    Second, Kari wrote “The last time I called to confirm a source on something Steve had said, Jake Weigler said (and I'm paraphrasing here), ‘I'm not going to comment about this to a Merkley campaign consultant. If a real reporter calls me, I'll talk to them.’” That is a blatant misrepresentation of that conversation. I was asked the levels of proof we had whether Steve had opposed the Iraq war before it started. As I knew that the Merkley campaign was already engaged in a false whisper campaign that Jeff was the only one to publicly oppose the war before it began (a line they decided to make quite public at Friday’s debate), I was not enthused about helping a Merkley media consultant fine tune that attack.

    Of course, this pattern is nothing new to the readers of Blue Oregon. In August, a then-anonymous blog published by a Mitch Greenlick staffer was immediately noted by Blue Oregon and then later used to promote an attack on Steve’s record on taxes. Greenlick himself, along with Rep. Nolan, also used the site in October to smear Steve by accusing him of being an “opportunist” running for a “selfish personal agenda.” The Merkley campaign later confirmed to the Oregonian that they had reviewed the statement before it ran.

    Now Mr. Kamberg, who by my count has posted no less than 15 attacks on Steve Novick since January has been given posting privileges. It is hard not to see this as using this progressive community as window dressing to smear Steve Novick. I am sorry to have to say this, particularly to Jeff Alworth, Charlie Burr and the other contributors that have made this the centerpiece of Oregon’s progressive blogosphere, but I cannot allow this behavior to go unaddressed.

    Now to Mr. Kamberg’s post.

    • LIE - Henry in no way “doctored” Wikipedia. As the history of the edits clearly shows, he changed the text surrounding the discussion of Merkley’s vote of 2003’s HR 2 to include the full resolution text – rather than simply the lines stating support for the troops. As it read at the time, you would think that Jeff Merkley voted to support the troops and Steve Novick was criticizing that decision. But, it was not appropriate for Henry – as someone receiving payment from the campaign – to go into a user-based forum and make changes. Which is why Kari’s dodge about “I only speak for myself” inappropriate, just as it was inappropriate for Henry, while he was receiving money from the campaign, to make those changes.
    • LIE - SB 124 did not “allow proposed charter schools” to “bypass[] “the district's rejection” “and appeal directly to the State Board of Education.” As Steve and his ODE associate’s testimony on that bill makes clear, that bypass option was already in the statute. This bill was a housekeeping measure to clarify that process. (Listen for yourself if you think that’s an unfair characterization).
    • And as for this whole “speak truth to power” dichotomy Kevin wants to create, it seems pretty silly. It is pretty common knowledge in Oregon political circles that Steve turned down a job in the Governor’s office after the 2002 campaign over political differences with the Governor. Part of the reason he went to work at ODE was that he would have the freedom there to continue his push against the dramatic overpayments to video lottery retailers. Now to criticize him for refusing to cut off his nose in spite of his face seems pretty disingenuous – particularly for someone trumpeting the importance of “prudence.” What was he supposed to do, fly off the handle against his boss at a committee meeting and announce his resignation? That would be a sign of authentic leadership in your mind?

    More generally, sometimes the only way to win a rigged game is to refuse to play. I hope this post makes that clear and others will see the treatment of this race on Blue Oregon for what it is – an extension of the Merkley campaign’s attacks on Steve Novick’s integrity.

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    Uh jack? UFCW endorsed Novick, I believe.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    Schumer GET OUT OF MY STATE!!!

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    Sorry, CWA was who endorsed Novick, not UFCW. My mistake.

    I believe Jake's comment was an ironic reference to the Teamsters, who also endorsed Steve this weekend and who are a CtW union.

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    Uh jack? UFCW endorsed Novick, I believe.

    FYI: UFCW Local 555 has endorsed Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate.

    Carla--Netroots Outreach, Jeff Merkley for Oregon

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    thanks carla--previously corrected above. Nice to see you surface!

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    Kevin, what the campaigns do is really beyond our control. I understand elections are about choices, and both have worked to draw contrasts. I don't begrudge them that, or supporters making the case either.

    What I'm saying is there's enough in Jeff's record to recommend him for the job without spending the bulk of your time trying to make Novick an unacceptable choice. Just because you have a right to go after Novick, doesn't mean you should go after Novick at every turn.

    I'd argue that in this forum -- which gets personal very quickly -- we should work to turn down the volume a little. We're going to have to work together after this no matter what, and approaching this thing as an apocalyse election is not helpful.

    This site has Novick and Merkley supporters but I'm hard pressed to think of a single post on Blue Oregon -- comments section aside -- since this race began that lays a finger on Jeff.

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    Steve Maurer says:

    The reason I put it in single quotes, Stephanie, as opposed to doublequotes, is because while that is a pretty damned accurate summarization of the BS GOP frame on that issue, very few would actually state it so baldly anymore - not even most of the GOP.

    So, the reason you put it into single quotes and not double quotes is because STEVE NOVICK NEVER SAID IT. Or anything like it. I defy you to show me a single comment by anyone advocating for Steve who has said that Jeff's vote showed that he supported the war. We all know that Jeff never supported the war. What we're saying is that his vote for a pro-war resolution supporting a war he opposed shows a distressing tendency for him to let himself get rolled by Republican decoy legislation that wraps the flag of patriotism around a virulently toxic poison pill of some kind. Would Jeff have voted for the USA PATRIOT Act if it had contained some kind words about American soldiers? It's a fair question, I think.

    It's also a matter of objective reality to observe that the Republicans WILL try to use the vote to muddy his record of opposition to the war, and it creates a weakness vis-a-vis Gordon Smith that Steve Novick doesn't have.

    Full stop.

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    Charlie,

    I'm going to say this as clearly and bluntly as I know how... I do not consider Novick to be an unacceptable choice compared to Gordon Smith. And that for the same basic reason why I don't consider Hillary Clinton an unacceptable choice compared to John McCain.

    It is a monumental stretch from challenging the veracity of Novick's assertions in this primary and considering Novick unacceptable compared to Gordon Smith. I'm pretty sure you know that already.

    As for this being portrayed as an apocalyptic primary, frankly, you're barking up the wrong tree. And I'm pretty sure you know that already too. But just in case you have any doubts... I emphatically do not view this as even remotely resembling an apocalyptic primary election. Okay? Please feel free to quote that any time and anywhere you deem appropriate, including back to me if you feel it's warranted.

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    PS. I think it relevant to point out that as a voter who prefers NAV status, I feel zero compulsion to suck it up and vote for the good of the party. When I say that I do not view Novick as unacceptable compared to Smith I mean that to be understood as being on their respective merits, not a misguided (IMHO) statement of party loyalty.

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    Stephanie V: I defy you to show me a single comment by anyone advocating for Steve who has said that Jeff's vote showed that he supported the war.

    Wow, Steph. You make it almost too easy. It took me less than 10 seconds to come up with this Novick supporter quote on BlueOregon:

    torridjoe: "He doesn't support the troops because he didn't back the war" doesn't wash with anybody except the folks who still follow Mr. 27%. But it's much more believeable to accuse Merkley of "supporting the war," based on a reading of the resolution and his Yes vote.

    Yes, it's much more believable - if you're a Republican.

  • Stop Gordon Smith (unverified)
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    I emphatically do not view this as even remotely resembling an apocalyptic primary election.

    YOU might not view it that way, but your actions...EVERYONE's actions, Novick and Merkley supporters alike, affect the way people view things. We're talking about people who are potential volunteers and donors; little people, the foot soldiers upon which the grassroots is dependent. I'm betting that Charlie's not worried about what you think or how you view it, Kevin. He's worried about the thousands of people who view this blog without commenting.

    And BTW: your post is inflammatory and unnecessary. Doesn't PK have it's own bathroom??

  • Tiresias (unverified)
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    Kevin,

    I can't believe you have so much time for blogging.

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    Good Lord, Steve Maurer, do you really not understand what TJ was saying?

    He's laying out the nuts-and-bolts of the second point I made: that Merkley can and will be accused of "supporting the war" because of that vote. Not by us, but because of his own (a) gullibility; and/or (b) craven desire to inoculate himself against allegations of failure to support the troops.

    You seem like a bright enough guy so I'm guessing that really do you understand all that perfectly well, and you are just grasping for a rhetorical straw or two.

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    I'd argue that in this forum -- which gets personal very quickly -- we should work to turn down the volume a little. We're going to have to work together after this no matter what, and approaching this thing as an apocalyse election is not helpful.

    Amen brother! Have I mentioned that if Novick wins, I'm going to enthusiastically support him against Smith?

  • anon (unverified)
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    A lot of back and forth, here, but isn't the bigger story, why the OEA endorsed Novick? And isn't it a good bet that the scuttlebutt at the convention was the Merkley application to enroll his child at a charter school? Is that a damning thing to do?

    Doesn't that say something about the real interests of the union?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Congratulations to Jeff Merkley and his campaign for nabbing the SEIU endorsement.

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    Yes, Steph, Speaker Merkley will be accused of supporting the war. And thanks to Mr. Novick, the Republicans will be able to make that accusation all the more strongly.

    Not at all dissimilarly, the Republicans will accuse Senator Obama of being incapable of defending the country. And thanks to Senator Clinton, they will be able to make that accusation all the more strongly.

    I'm not grasping for rhetorical straws. You simply refuse to see the responsibility your candidate has for reinforcing GOP framing.

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    Hey everyone...

    In the interest of fairness, I want to draw your attention to the comment above by Jake Weigler.

    He posted it at 2:39 p.m., which is why it's up there, but it was trapped by our spam filter (because of the large number of links.) I just approved it.

    Thanks.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Pat is gracious, Jeff A. and Charlie B. make good points.

    My problem with some of the debate over the Senate nomination (why I find the campaign distinctly UNinspiring) is that given recent history I wouldn't be shocked if someone attacked me for that first sentence.

    May I remind you that in recent days there have been news stories about those serving in Iraq developing hearing problems because there are so many loud things (esp. IEDs) for which adequate hearing protection has not been developed, and that an investigation charged KBR the contractor for not providing safe and sanitary drinking water to those deployed in Iraq?

    Regardless of what happened in 2003, Iraq vet St. Rep. Boquist framed this debate in 2007 by saying in a speech on a House resolution that "support the troops" wasn't about car magnets and rhetoric, it was about food, appropriate equipment, and other tangible items.

    It is as if some people here see politics as a debating society, not as a way to solve problems. Which is why Sen. Webb's efforts to help troops in the field and veterans, or Cong. Hooley with her efforts for veterans and military families in general and National Guard in particular, actually "support the troops" more than any rhetoric, any controversial vote, any anti-war march, etc.

    Are any of you aware that the 1986 Oregon Democratic Platform contained a plank supporting for something which finally passed in 1988 called Judicial Review of Veterans Claims?

    Any statement by either a campaign or a supporter which just gets into what someone said/did in the past (not what they would do if elected) is time not spent advocating for solutions to the many actual problems deployed troops, military families, and veterans face.

    But then, I care more about the issues than about the personalities or some battle which isn't going to win Democratic votes outside a small circle of activists.

    There is a song going through my mind which I should probably find the lyrics for and post on the Songs topic. Think it was Phil Ochs (a name many might not recognize) and the last line of the chorus is "I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody, outside a small circle of friends".

  • Galen (unverified)
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    Posted by: Jake Weigler - Novick for Senate | Mar 10, 2008 2:39:45 PM

    Thank you, Jake, for this forceful and principled reply. I have followed the descent of this blog into the toilet, and wholeheartedly support your decision to turn your back on this venue and expose it for what it has become.

    Your departure, however, shouldn't be construed in any way as license to people like Kevin to continue the embarrassing behavior. The lies and smears need to stop.

    Kevin Kamberg has shown his true colors, unwilling to accept irrefutable facts and unable to resist smearing Steve at every turn. He has demanded transparency of others, yet willfully exempted himself: he STILL hasn't answered how he got the Nader letter.

    It is my humble opinion that the only way to restore a little credibility to this site is to kindly show the smear merchant the door.

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    I think Kari should front page Jake's comment.

    Since that probably isn't going to happen, I have taken the liberty of posting the comment in its entirety at Oregon Independent.

  • Jake Weigler (unverified)
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    One correction.

    In the last few weeks, we’ve been falsely accused by the Merkley campaign of illegally selling beer.

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    Sal, good idea. I'll let Jeff and Charlie make that call. Sending them an email now.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
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    "I'm pretty sure that Kevin's not a flak for the Merkley campaign."

    "We added Kevin to our stable of writers because he's a good writer."

    It's nice to have an independent observer weigh in and set the record straight. I'd comment on the definitions of "flak" and "good" but I'm still busy looking up the definition of "is."

    Rock on Jake for speaking the truth. Shame on Blue O- or perhaps better said, shameless.

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    Good on ya for doing it, Kari.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Seconding Sal's point, Weigler's post certainly qualifies as a "Notable Comment" that should be promoted to the front page.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    "I think Kari should front page Jake's comment."

    "Sal, good idea."

    Really kari, you didn't see the obviousness of Sal's statement on your won, eh? Seriously?

    This is episode is getting funnier and funnier all the time.

    Cats out of the bag at BlueO. Kari Chisholm exploits the credibility brought to BlueOregon by it's many and varied contributors and turns Oregon's largest "progressive community" blog into a pseudo campaign site for his paying clients.

    With power comes responsibility, Kari.

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    Another vote for Jake's comment to be promoted to being a "Notable Comment" and published on its own. (Especially since it was caught up in BlueO/TypePad's infamous spam filter for five & a half hours and folks may not have gotten a chance to read it.)

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    Pat, give the man some credit. He has taken two steps in this thread to do the right thing. He could have "accidentally" lost Jake's comment in his spam filter. He didn't. He could have ignored my suggestion. He didn't.

    This weekend, I had a political consultant trashing me at the OEA convention because I refused to fall into line on a bill that the consultant opposed during the special session.

    That consultant needs to remember, and I think that all of us should remember, that a person who agrees with you on 90 percent of your issues should be regarded as a friend and ally, and not demonized, nor vilified for the 10 percent of the time that you disagree.

    After this primary is over, the Democrats are going to need all hands on deck to have even a prayer of running a credible general election campaign.

    My advice is the same as Charlie's: Focus on propping up your candidate rather than tearing down the other guy, and this primary will be a net plus.

    If that doesn't happen, Gordon is going to spank silly whomever emerges from this primary.

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    I don't expect that - for all the reasons Jake laid out - but it would be a welcome surprise.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Point taken, Sal, but that doesn't make my comment any less true.

    One can't get better until one admits there's a problem, right? And there is a problem.

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    Posted by: Jake Weigler - Novick for Senate | Mar 10, 2008 2:39:45 PM

    And as for this whole “speak truth to power” dichotomy Kevin wants to create, it seems pretty silly. It is pretty common knowledge in Oregon political circles that Steve turned down a job in the Governor’s office after the 2002 campaign over political differences with the Governor. Part of the reason he went to work at ODE was that he would have the freedom there to continue his push against the dramatic overpayments to video lottery retailers.

    As valuable as his work on the lottery overpayments was to Oregon school funding, and I mean that sincerely, they ended up losing a lot more. The recovered lottery funds amount to what... $100 million a year? Now stack that up against the $750 million a year Steve cites in calling for NCLB to be repealed.

    The schools and students of Oregon would be materially better off today with restaurants getting fat commission checks and the NCLB financial noose having never been put around their necks. Which is what the OEA wanted somebody... ANYBODY to fight for back in 2003 when Steve was choosing to chase lottery payments instead. The choice was his just as you say.

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    LIE - SB 124 did not “allow proposed charter schools” to “bypass[] “the district's rejection” “and appeal directly to the State Board of Education.” As Steve and his ODE associate’s testimony on that bill makes clear, that bypass option was already in the statute. This bill was a housekeeping measure to clarify that process. (Listen for yourself if you think that’s an unfair characterization).

    That's a fair criticism. You are right, I misconstrued that one.

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    LIE - Henry in no way “doctored” Wikipedia. As the history of the edits clearly shows, he changed the text surrounding the discussion of Merkley’s vote of 2003’s HR 2 to include the full resolution text – rather than simply the lines stating support for the troops. As it read at the time, you would think that Jeff Merkley voted to support the troops and Steve Novick was criticizing that decision.

    Still Smearing Jeff Merkley with GOP talking points, eh Jake?

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
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    Kevin: "As valuable as his work on the lottery overpayments was to Oregon school funding, and I mean that sincerely, they ended up losing a lot more. The recovered lottery funds amount to what... $100 million a year? Now stack that up against the $750 million a year Steve cites in calling for NCLB to be repealed."

    "The schools and students of Oregon would be materially better off today with restaurants getting fat commission checks and the NCLB financial noose having never been put around their necks"

    You are not seriously suggesting that Steve Novick is responsible for this, are you? You are not suggesting that by fighting a good and important fight here in Oregon that all of that is overshadowed by legislation that was passed in Washington D.C.?

    Or do I misunderstand you?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Kevin,

    I think most reasonable people in your position would feel like they'd done quite enough for one day.

    But you rock on, my friend.

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    Kevin said: The schools and students of Oregon would be materially better off today with restaurants getting fat commission checks and the NCLB financial noose having never been put around their necks. Which is what the OEA wanted somebody... ANYBODY to fight for back in 2003 when Steve was choosing to chase lottery payments instead. The choice was his just as you say.

    NCLB was passed in 2001, and it's not like Steve was in a position then or in 2003 to repeal NCLB. From what I gather from the article you linked to, it was Governor Kulongoski's call, not Novick's. The Governor, not a Governor's policy director or a Legislative Liaison for a State Department of Education, makes that call.

    I call "strawman."

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
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    "I call strawman."

    I hate to go all meta, but so be it.

    At a time when Blue Oregon's independence has been called into question, why have they granted authorship keys to one of the most strident supporters of Merkley?

    Because he is a good writer? Really?

  • LT (unverified)
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    This is something I did not know,

    "It is pretty common knowledge in Oregon political circles that Steve turned down a job in the Governor’s office after the 2002 campaign over political differences with the Governor."

    But then I am not as active in "Oregon political circles" in this decade as in previous decades I would rather know what the political differences were than to hear more rehash of the debates here about NCLB, lottery commissions, 2003 resolution, etc.

    Simple declarative sentences about what those political differences were might add some new information instead of rehashing the same old ground.

  • hubbird (unverified)
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    That's a fair criticism. You are right, I misconstrued that one.

    Maybe you should correct the article. Or better yet, correct the article and apologize to the Novick campaign for your smear based on "misconstrued" evidence.

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    Good suggestion, Hubbird. It's done.

  • hubbird (unverified)
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    Thanks, Kevin. Congrats on joining the stable at BlueO, by the way. Obviously as a Novick supporter I wish it were under different circumstances or at least balanced by the addition of an equally ardent and vocal pro-hook voice. But, as they say, it's Kari's blog.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Hubbird, go to this link and submit a "pro-hook voice" http://www.blueoregon.com/sendguestcolumn.html

    If it is about where Steve stands on one or more issues, esp. if it goes into more detail or updates what Steve says on his website, my guess is that it would be published. As Kari has said, this is not "his" blog but rather run by multiple editors.

    And in 2006 he did publish a column by at least one of the Dem. state rep. candidates totally ignored by FP.

    If Kari really excluded all who disagree with him, my complaints in 2006 about how the Kulongoski campaign was run (abysmal primary--as bad as the US Senate campaign is getting to be), my advocacy for my chosen primary candidate, my "gall" for saying Ben Westlund said important things, etc. would have gotten me banned from this site years ago.

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    Thanks, Hubbird. And at this point you'll have to largely trust me on this but Novick v. Merkley isn't really even what I want to write about here. This post above was as much about a confluence of events as anything else. My earlier "Snow Day Rituals" and the recent "What Song Rocks Your World?" posts are much more indicative of what I want to write about here.

  • (Show?)

    I can verify what LT says about disagreeing with Kari. I don't think any regular readers of Blue Oregon would disagree that I was... well, let's just say... "outspoken" in my criticism of Measure 50, which Kari (and Novick and Merkley and the list goes on) all backed very strongly. In fact the truth is that my criticism was harsh, at least in my opinion.

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    Obviously as a Novick supporter I wish it were under different circumstances or at least balanced by the addition of an equally ardent and vocal pro-hook voice.

    My offer to Stephanie Vardavas to become a regular contributor is still on the table, whenever she's ready.

    <h2>In addition, as I've just noted in my own response to Jake, there are seven pro-Novick contributors already on this blog. Their failure to support their candidate (just five posts in 11 months) is not my fault. I've asked and begged and pleaded and prodded.</h2>

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