Merkley releases second ad - on health care

Today, the Jeff Merkley for US Senate campaign released its second ad of the primary season.

Discuss.

Comments

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    [kitzhaber]Off the shelf![/kitzhaber]

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    I've got a hottie of my own who I am utterly content with. But I gotta say that Mary is a hottie!

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    kevin, I think you just aced yourself out of any more ad cameos...

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    I have to back up torridjoe on this one and say that this looks like a winner for Merkley (that was your point, wasn't it?).

    He's doing a good job introducing himself to voters, although it would be good to see him expounding on his accomplishments in this field as he does have a good list of achievements to run on. Perhaps that is to come after all of this feel-good stuff.

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    LOL - you obviously don't know Jeff Merkley. He's totally secure. Besides which, anyone who has watched them together knows that Mary only has eyes for Jeff and vice versa. They are a GREAT couple who just... fit.

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    No, TJ's point was that once again this was the stereotypical off-the-shelf type commercial. The kind where you change a few words, the faces, and the candidate name, and it could apply to any Democratic candidate.

    I really keep hoping that the campaign will bring forward a commercial that stands out more. Something that hasn't already been done so many times that it just blends in with the dozens of commercials that are going to run in this state over the next month.

    Remember, we're going to have commercials for the City of Portland, Multnomah County Commission, possibly for state legislators, Secretary of State, Attorney General, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, and President (and maybe even more)

    For those in the Portland media market, you're going to be deluged in political commercials. You're going to be looking forward to the day when it's all car, beer, and pharmaceutical ads again. When people are that barraged with ads, you have to stand out. You have to do something different. You still need to do something issue based so people know who you are and what you stand for, but it needs to stick out and catch people's attentions.

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    So what you are saying, Jenni, is that nobody has figured out just what makes an effective campaign commercial? That they seem so similar not because the experts making them know what works but rather because nobody is... brilliant enough to have figured out what Steve Novick knows?

    Hmmm... and to think that Democrats took back the state legislature, totally control state-wide elective offices and have generally done very well in Oregon WHILE being terminally boring and barely managing to keep their knuckles from dragging on the ground.

    Wow, who knew?

    I guess you did.

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    Actually, Kevin, that's not what I said at all.

    There are those who have figured out what makes an effective campaign commercial. And the common factors among them is that the commercials is that they're different and they stand out from the pack.

    I've seen some very effective commercials in my almost 20 years of political work. Rob Brading, for example, had an excellent commercial two years ago that really stood out and got a lot of earned media.

    Some choose to stick with the old tried and true method, but as the years go on, those methods become staler and staler.

    It's not just ads, but mailers and lit as well.

    There was a lot of talk two years ago when Representative Chris Edwards was running for office and his wife (Ali Edwards, who I've been a big fan of for years as she does great scrapbooking work) created a lit piece for the campaign. Jon Isaacs called it one of the best lit pieces he'd seen while working for Future Pac. Link

    From what I've heard, people really liked it because it was different. It stood out. People read it instead of immediately pitching it into the recycle bin.

    It's something I've been wrestling with in my own campaign - creating something that gets the message across, but is unique enough that it won't end up just buried in all the other political mail, ads, etc.

    And we only control state-wide state-level offices. But after November, we should have that last state-wide office in hand as well, held either by Novick or Merkley.

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    But, Kevin, you're just so rugged...

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    I interpret TJ's comment like that as well. If you change this ad's words, pictures, message, timing of when presented, and candidate, to look like somebody else's ad, then..... it will look exactly like somebody else's ad.

    Woah. Deep thought. Pass the bong.

    As counterpoint, since Jeff isn't able to open beer bottles with his hook (since he doesn't have one), he's better off not trying to be the quirky candidate with the memorable ads. Instead, he's just being himself: the earnest guy with a solid record of progressive accomplishment in a legislative body. Not an entertainer - a legislator who gets things done.

    Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who like that in people they vote for.

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    it's not Steve really, it's eichenbaum. They have a knack for designing smart ads that stick out, and that work for their clients to bust through the noise.

    And if you think tired ideas never get play in major Campaigns despite proof they're not successful, have you met Bob Shrum?

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    Dammit, Ben...

    LOL

    Inside joke, folks.

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    And if you think tired ideas never get play in major Campaigns despite proof they're not successful, have you met Bob Shrum?

    Ever hear of a Straw Man fallacy?

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    There are those who have figured out what makes an effective campaign commercial.

    Jenni, the proof is in the pudding, as the old saying goes. Show me an elected Democrat and I'll show you someone who knows a thing or two about what is or is not effective in a campaign.

    We all understand that you back Novick and have a vested interest in downplaying anything Merkley does or says. C'est la vie.

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    yes, I have. How is a critique of political ad professionals a strawman for...my critique of ad pros, who it was said MUST know what works--because they're they are, making ads? The implication was "trust the campaign guys." I'm giving you an example of why not to.

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    Has merkley done ads beyond the minnis foley disaster? I mean, he's not had a competitive race in a while.

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    Has merkley done ads beyond the minnis foley disaster?

    Well, no. He's a legislator, not a media consultant or PR flack. (Unlike some other Senate candidates around here...)

    But members of his team, both staff and media consultants, have produced lots of great ads - both last cycle and this. And they're all targeted squarely at undecided voters, not bloggers or activists who've made up their mind already.

    My firm built Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself. I have nothing to do with producing TV ads.

  • Jack Murray (unverified)
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    Posted by: torridjoe | Apr 14, 2008 3:14:15 PM

    I'm pretty sure he had a good amount of input into other ads in 2006, like Brian Clem, Chris Edwards, Jean Cowan, etc.

    After all, he did lead a 'band of progressives' to retake the Oregon House. You don't spin 7 seats without a healthy dose of electoral know-how.

    I have full confidence in Jeff's media savvy.

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    Yeah, I was pretty disappointed that Mary didn't at least twirl a baton while walking a tightrope over the Jackson Bridge; and where were the big red clown noses and the oversized floppy shoes for Jeff and the extras?

    There was, however a lot of policy and "intro to the candidate" info for a thirty second ad.

    The jump cuts were solid and the copy:

    supports Wyden's bill targets specific lobby groups family web addy and,

    Any time you lead with Mary, I think you're gonna do pretty well.

    Now where are the danged Flesh Eating Zombies, fer cryin' out loud? NAVs love Flesh Eating Zombies.......

    As always, I speak only for myself, and a few Shawn of the Dead fans........

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    Mapes is reporting the latest campaign fundraising numbers.

    Merkley apparently has more than twice as much cash on hand as Novick.

    Mapes is reporting that Novick is going to recycle his old TV ads, presumably to stretch what little money he has as far as it will go.

    I wonder if his campaign staff have been asked to forgo paychecks?

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    We all understand that you back Novick and have a vested interest in downplaying anything Merkley does or says.

    Actually, that's not true. It just goes to show how little you know about me. And had you read anything I'd written over at Blog for Oregon about this past weekend's Platform Convention, you'd know that.

    I had a few moments to speak with Merkley on Sunday, and it was a completely positive conversation as far as comments regarding him (we did have some negative things to say about those in the Senate that defeated some great bills that Merkley and the House Dems passed). During the course of the post on BfO, I stuck up for Merkley. I think he's a great guy and did a lot of good things in the House.

    I know that Merkley had a part in some great ads and lit back in the '04 and '06 cycles. He might not have had to do much for his own race, but he was involved in races all over the state. It doesn't have to be quirky like Novick's ads - I just want them to stick out so that people will notice his ad, see what he's for, and what he's done.

    I want his ads to stick out more. I'd like to see a great race between two great Democrats. If Merkley ends up being our nominee (Merkley made sure I already have my campaign button), anything that strengthens him in the primary also strengthens him for the general. We have a strong battle to wage in order to defeat Gordon Smith, and every person we get supporting our candidates now grows exponentially the number of voters we can reach and the number of votes against Smith.

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    Novick has already committed a considerable amount of money to ads, which is reflected in his cash on hand:

    "The campaign finished the primary with over $195,000 cash on hand, which does not include $133,000 already committed towards future television advertising."

    So the advertising he's going to be doing isn't coming out of the $195K - that's already been subtracted. So he has $195,000 after paying for his ads.

    I haven't seen anything that says whether or not the advertising that is already planned by Merkley in the future needs to be subtracted from their cash on hand total or not. They could be reporting numbers like Obama, where pretty much all obligations are paid, or numbers like Clinton where her "cash on hand" doesn't take into consideration outstanding bills and debts that total more than her cash on hand. If anyone knows the specifics on that, it would be great if they'd let us know.

    I'd imagine Steve reusing the ads has to do with the fact that they've gotten such rave reviews. Since they weren't heavily aired the first time, there is still quite a bit of use still in them.

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    Jenni,

    I think it would be a mistake for Merkley to try to use kitschy shtick as a campaign messaging theme. It's not who he is nor is it representative of the kind of change he brings.

    The ads he is using reflect the kind of candidate he is - A serious candidate tackling serious, timely issues.

    The "band of progressives" he led in retaking the state legislature likewise didn't rely upon kitschy shtick.

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    The "band of progressives" he led in retaking the state legislature likewise didn't rely upon kitschy shtick.

    Actually, the candidates he led in retaking the state legislature had some ads that really stuck out. That's the kind of ads I'm talking about. I'm not saying he needs to do something along the lines of what Steve has done. That would be the wrong thing - it's not Merkley's style, doesn't fit him, and would lead to claims that he was copying Novick.

    The House Dems were responsible for some good ads in 2006. Brian Clem, Chris Edwards, and Rob Brading had three of my favorites out of the House candidates: http://www.blueoregon.com/2006/09/house_dems_take.html

    Not to mention their good work on radio ads.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    It does borrow from a formula -- to have the candidate's spouse vouch for the candidate -- but that's also a successful formula. I really enjoyed it. I also spoke quite favorably of Novick's TV ad. You can dismiss Merkley's ads as formula-based, but that would be like dismissing Novick's ads as silly oddballs. The fact is, both tactics are effective.

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    "Mapes is reporting that Novick is going to recycle his old TV ads, presumably to stretch what little money he has as far as it will go.

    I wonder if his campaign staff have been asked to forgo paychecks?"

    Yes, obviously if everyone was getting paid when he took in $220K, the pink slips are next when you bump to $350K.

    And wait a minute, here: Novick is UP 57% from last quarter, Merkley is DOWN 26% from last quarter, only posting 100K more than Novick

    and Merkley people are commenting gleefully about finance??

  • Bob (unverified)
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    I don't have a horse in this race, but Jenni and TJ are correct -- this is an "off the shelf" ad. It's certainly a step up from his first ad, which was completely boring as well as unoriginal. This one at least holds your interest while being unoriginal.

    Merkley faces a problem similar to Hillary's: How do you compete with a less-experienced candidate who has ten times your charisma and a motivated fan base? Jeff's answer, much like Hillary's, seems to be to take the high road when it comes to policy while letting your surrogates unleash Rovian political slam tactics. It's a long-shot strategy when you're down by double digits (which, rumor has it, is confirmed by polls beyond Survey USA), but it's one that could work if your opponent slips up enough.

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    Bob, I think Steve is getting over what appears to be his shock that Merkley would go this way, not a minute too soon. I think in the near future you're likely to see Steve start addressing people as more of a frontrunner, less concerned with what the third place candidate is saying, more concerned with getting his own amazing set of policy choices to be the proper topic of conversation. It's what I'd do, anyway. I think Steve is getting a little lost in the weeds on these non-substantive issues; he's too smart not to correct that and adjust.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    The Hillary-Obama analogy is lazy. It's the most high-profile race right now, but it's not the most analogous.

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    Mapes is reporting that Novick is going to recycle his old TV ads, presumably to stretch what little money he has as far as it will go.

    Novick may as well re-use the same ads. They are stronger than Jeff's canned piece. He'll get more out of them with less money.

    I'll ask this again and keep asking until someone answers:

    Has Jeff Merkley run a good campaign thus far? If so, why is he polling behind Candy Neville? If not, why should any Democrat believe that he is the best candidate to take on Gordon Smith?

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    Has Jeff Merkley run a good campaign thus far?

    Campaign Co-Chairs Governor Ted Kulongoski Former Governor Barbara Roberts

    Statewide Officers Attorney General Hardy Myers State Treasurer Randall Edwards Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian Former Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner

    Mayors Bruce Abernethy, Bend Bob Austin, Estacada James Bernard, Milwaukie Steve Britton, Coquille Judie Hammerstad, Lake Oswego Lori Hollingsworth, Lincoln City Norm King, West Linn Charlotte Lehan, Wilsonville John Morrison, Ashland Alice Norris, Oregon City Kitty Piercy, Eugene Tom Potter, Portland Pat Sherman, Brookings Charles Swindell, Canyonville Paul Thalhofer, Troutdale Charles Tomlinson, Corvallis

    State Senators Peter Courtney, Salem, Senate President Margaret Carter, Portland, President Pro Tempore Richard Devlin, Tualatin, Majority Leader Alan Bates, Ashland, Majority Whip Mark Hass, Beaverton Rick Metsger, Welches Laurie Monnes Anderson, Gresham Rod Monroe, Portland Bill Morrisette, Springfield Floyd Prozanski, Eugene Kurt Schrader, Canby Joanne Verger, Coos Bay

    State Representatives Dave Hunt, Gladstone, Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum, Portland, Speaker Pro Tempore Peter Buckley, Ashland, Majority Whip Arnie Roblan, Coos Bay, Deputy Majority Whip Chip Shields, Portland, Assistant Majority Leader Phil Barnhart, Eugene, Assistant Majority Leader Betty Komp, Woodburn, Assistant Majority Leader Tobias Read, Beaverton, Assistant Majority Leader Jeff Barker, Aloha Terry Beyer, Springfield Suzanne Bonamici, Beaverton Deborah Boone, Cannon Beach Ben Cannon, Portland Brian Clem, Salem Jean Cowan, Lincoln City Jackie Dingfelder, Portland Chris Edwards, Junction City David Edwards, Hillsboro Larry Galizio, Tigard Sara Gelser, Corvallis Mitch Greenlick, Portland Paul Holvey, Eugene Tina Kotek, Portland Greg Macpherson, Lake Oswego Nancy Nathanson, Eugene Mary Nolan, Portland Chuck Riley, Hillsboro Mike Schaufler, Happy Valley Carolyn Tomei, Milwaukie Brad Witt, Clatskanie

    County Commissioners Jay Dixon, Benton County Dave Gilmour, Jackson County Bill Hall, Lincoln County Tim Josi, Tillamook County Dick Schouten, Washington County Mary Stern, Yamhill County

    City Council Members Sam Adams, Portland Olga Acuna, Hillsboro Paul Blackburn, Hood River Betty Bode, Beaverton Jack Lorts, Fossil Greg Scott, Yachats

    School Board Members Brenda Brown, Lincoln County Linda Brown, Lake Oswego Chuck Lee, Salem-Keizer Anne Schuster, Corvallis

    Business and Community Leaders Pat Ackley, Sunriver Jeff Bachrach, Portland Molly Bartlett, Portland Tom Bartlett, Portland Sam Blackman, Portland Scott Beckstead, Waldport Linda J. Bergman, Portland Arwen Bird, Portland Rob Brading, Fairview Eileen Brady, Portland Brian Brandt, Portland Bruce M. Brenn, Portland Jeff Briggs, Timber Jim Buck, Beaverton Tina Calos, Salem Jean and David Campbell, Eugene David Cannon, Portland Dan Carol, Eugene Betty and Bill Campbell, Beaverton Jane Cease, Portland Ron Cease, Portland Sophorn Cheang, Eugene Debi Coleman, Portland Andrew Cook, Eugene Chris Cornelius, Eugene Gun Denhart, Portland Yaw Dharmarajah, Eugene John Dotson, Bend David Dowrie, Philomath Sho Dozono, Portland David Dunning, Beaverton Ben Dupree, Portland Lindsey Eckelmann, Portland Jim Edmunson, Eugene Lawrence E. Egar, Beaverton Meagan Evans, Eugene Rocky Evans, Salem Maxine Fitzpatrick, Portland Jennifer Geller, Eugene Jon Gerlach, Portland Jim Gilbertson, Culver Michaela Gore, Salem Roger Gould, Coos Bay Michael Graham, Bend David G. Greenberg, Portland Mitch Gore, Portland Stacy Grogan, Portland Paul Gronke, Portland Michael Hagmier, Portland Gary Hansen, Portland Eric Hanson, Jim Hill, Salem Val Hoyle, Eugene John Huddle, Bend Pam Hutchins, Portland Rev. Jill James, Portland Jake Janzen, Terrebonne Steve Kafoury, Portland Kevin Kamberg, Forest Grove Larry Kirsch, Portland Paul Knauls, Portland Chris Knutson, Portland David Kuhns, Eugene Richard Lazaro, Salem Chet Lisiecki, Eugene Kelli Liverpool, Ashland Celia Lorts, Fossil Caitlin Mahy, Eugene Cj Mann, Springfield Kevin Marr, Grants Pass Anastasia N. Mathewson, Medford Edward McGlone, Salem Hayden McGuinness, Eugene Maggie McLaughlin Teri Mills, Tualatin Kevin Moore, Portland Constance Palaia-Marr, Grants Pass Ty Pettit, Portland David Peyerwold, Portland Maria Peyerwold, Portland Toni Phipps, Salem Carla Piluso, Gresham Verna Porter, Portland Tom Powers, Salem Mac Prichard, Portland Fraser and Lynn Rasmussen, Portland Gretchen Randolph , Portland Gary Reynolds, Bend Terry Reynolds, Bend Tia Richman, Depoe Bay Richard Riggs, Salem Charlie Ringo, Bend Steve Robinson, Cloverdale Brian Rohter, Portland Jeff Rola, Bend John Russell, Portland Christine Chin-Ryan, Sandy Pat Ryan, Sandy Jennifer Sargent, Portland Rodger Schock, Hood River Paul Shirey, Milwaukie Michael Simon, Beaverton Casey Sparks, Salem Johnny Spathas, Portland Kenji Speilman, Portland Erin Stelzenmueller, Beaverton Janet Steward, Lake Oswego Robert Stoll, Portland Bryan Swisshelm, Portland Chip Terhune, Portland Robert Thornhill, Beaverton Irene Tinker, Portland Brandon Thompson Peggy Timm, Baker City Dr. Nohad Toulan, Portland Gretchen Valido, Bend Carol Voisin, Ashland Heiner Wagener, Newport Millidge Walker, Portland Betsy Warriner, Bend Adam Watson, Beaverton Mary Beth Weaver, Portland Joella Werlin, Portland David West, Ashland Char Winkel, Portland

    Veterans for Merkley Co-Chairs: Gen. Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak (Ret.), former Air Force Chief of Staff Jim Rassmann, former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer Paul Evans, Oregon National Guard,Afghan and Iraq War Veteran

    Larry Armstrong, Corporal, U.S. Army Kat Bell, SPC, U.S. Army Daniel Davis, Cpt., U.S. Army Marv Doty, U.S. Navy; Present Commander Beaverton American Legion Post 124 Bruce Freeman, PO2, U.S. Navy Darvel Lloyd, LTJG, U.S. Navy Joel Haugen, Sgt., U.S. Army Wilson Johns, HT3/DV2, U.S. Navy Mac McFadden, Sgt, U.S. Air Force Mat Millenbach, 1Lt., U.S. Army Donald N. Morris, 1Lt, U.S. Army Angel Pilato, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force (ret.) Richard Riggs, Lt. Commander, U.S. Navy (ret.) Dave Roussel, SP4, U.S. Army William Russell, Major, U.S. Air Force (ret.) Ronald Sandlin, former U.S. Navy Combat Aircrewman Dick Springer, LTJG, U.S. Navy Gary Thompson, SSG, U.S. Army Robert Thornhill, EN2 (SS),U.S. Navy Marshall Wilde, Lt. Colonel, Oregon Air National Guard Jon Zall, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (ret.)

    Farmers for Merkley Co-Chairs:Brian Clem, Pat Malone, Jim Gilbert

    Mike McCarthy Betty Malone Don & Sandra Kruger John & Brady Jacobson Jim Gilbertson

    Bikers for Merkley Mark Anderson, Sandy Stephan Batov, Portland Randy Comer, Hillsboro Heidi Disrud, Hubbard Dick Edmonds, Portland Julie Graven, Portland Roger Hendricks, Portland Jerry Hutchins, Vancouver Rena Jackson, Oregon City Melinda McCrossen, Portland Quiet Mike (Michael Wojcik), Aurora Scott Pearlman, Gresham Randy Phipps, Portland Matt Price, Salem Teressa Price, Salem Jill Tracy, Hillsboro Bernie Veek, Sandy Mel Yeager, Albany

    Organizations United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 International Longshore and Warehouse Union Oregon AFSCME Council 75 Oregon AFL-CIO International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 97 Oregon State Association of Electrical Workers International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 American Federation of Teachers-Oregon Exterior & Interior Specialists Local 2154 Council for a Livable World Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership Citizens for Global Solutions American Nurses Association Oregon Nurses Association Service Employees International Union The Sierra Club Basic Rights Oregon Planned Parenthood

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    I don't know who annointed Steve Novick to play the part of Obama in the Hillary/Obama analogy. Obama has a lot of class, and is very eloquent. He hasn't seemed to say negative personal things about his opponent. He pretty much sticks to the issues.

    Like it or not, Novick supporters - Steve Novick is no Barack Obama. He's no Hillary Clinton, either.

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    Kev, I already knew that the state's Democratic establishment supports Merkley. What I asked is whether he is running a good campaign. You seem to think so, so why is he polling even with, or slightly behind Candy Neville?

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    When listing endorsements, if a person, organization, etc. has endorsed multiple candidates, it is proper to point this out ("dual endorsement," "joint endorsement," etc.).

    At least one on that list as I did a quick scan over it has endorsed both Merkley and Novick: Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo.

    There may be others, I just know right off hand that she endorsed both candidates.

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    hmmmm.

    Kevin Kamberg / Michael Stipe?

    decisions, decisions, decisions.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Kevin, that's poor commenting etiquette. Use a link.

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    Kev, I already knew that the state's Democratic establishment supports Merkley.

    Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and Basic Rights Oregon are part of the state's Democratic establishment?

    My friend Colonel Zall, Jim Rassman and General McPeak are part of the state's Democratic establishment?

    Small-town city councilors Paul Blackburn (Hood River), Jack Lorts (Fossil) and Greg Scott (Yachats) are part of the state's Democratic establishment?

    Community leaders Jeff Briggs (Timber), Jim Gilbertson (Culver) and Constance Palaia-Marr (Grants Pass) are part of the state's Democratic establishment?

    Bikers Mel Yeager (Albany), Heidi Disrud (Hubbard) and Michael Wojcik (Aurora) are part of the state's Democratic establishment?

    Farmers Betty Malone, Don & Sandra Kruger and John & Brady Jacobson are part of the state's Democratic establishment?

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    so why is he polling even with, or slightly behind Candy Neville?

    You want to make hay with a poll that shows 40% undecided?

    Are you serious?

    Of course you are. You just glibly dismissed anyone who supports Merkley as all being part of "the state's Democratic establishment."

    Tell ya what, Sal. Ask me that same question on May 21st. Seriously. I'd very much like to read your explanation of that same poll at that point in time.

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    Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and Basic Rights Oregon are part of the state's Democratic establishment?

    Definitely. Especially Planned Parenthood and BRO who represent two of the largest and best-funded special interest constituencies on the Democratic side.

    As for the rest... get another 350,000 endorsers and Merkley may be competitive in the Democratic Primary.

    But that isn't the question I asked. I didn't ask who has endorsed Merkley. I asked whether he has run a good campaign. You seem to think so. So why is he running third behind Candy Neville despite spending more than $800,000 over the last 6 months?

    Why should anyone think that he is the man to take on Gordon Smith given that he is having a hard time moving past Neville in the Democratic Primary?

    Please, Kevin. Enlighten me.

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    You want to make hay with a poll that shows 40% undecided?

    That, in and of itself, is a big problem for the Democratic candidates in this race. It is an indicator of what I have said all along, that in the absence of an "A List" candidate, Gordon is probably safer than many folks care to admit.

    I think Jeff Merkley is a good man who made a huge mistake leaving the Oregon house to step into this race.

    Jeff just doesn't have the charisma, and the paint-by-numbers campaigns that Jon Isaacs runs are not going to beat a better-known, better-funded, opponent in the General Election. The only chance Merkley has to get out of the primary is to blow every dollar in his treasury, and with canned, sanitized, weak-assed ads like this one, even that isn't going to be enough.

    Novick may not win in the general election, but at least I can trust that he and Jake Weigler will be creative enough to make this an interesting race. And I can trust that even if Novick loses, he is not going to lose by caving on issues just because institutional funders don't like what he whas to say or because they don't happen to poll well.

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    I overstated my criticism of the commercial. Jeff's wife did a good job.

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    As I said, Sal... ask me again on May 21st.

    I'm very much looking forward to how you're going to explain the significance of that poll.

    Given your M.O. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting, though. You only seem to weigh in on this race when you perceive an advantage for Novick. Your postings at Oregon Independent verify that observation. Which is why I don't expect you to want to discuss any of it on May 21st. But you are more than welcome to surprise me.

  • LT (unverified)
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    First of all, Sal, all due respect, do you really expect this attitude to prevail among Oregonians who are tired of Gordon Smith? "Novick may not win in the general election, but at least I can trust that he and Jake Weigler will be creative enough to make this an interesting race. "

    Interesting in that musician endorsements, Left Hook Lager, "flammable pants" film clip and the beer ad on the website front page (the meaty issue statements are on another page) are what we should expect from a US Senate candidate, rather than serious discussion of actual issues (country of origin labeling for produce, the 21st century GI Bill, other serious issues )?

    We shouldn't be allowed to decide what sort of candidate we want because all good "progressives" should like an "interesting" candidate whose remarks are sometimes called flamboyant?

    I like this ad, I guess that makes me a boring person.

    "No, TJ's point was that once again this was the stereotypical off-the-shelf type commercial. The kind where you change a few words, the faces, and the candidate name, and it could apply to any Democratic candidate."

    OK, it is generic, it is not apart from the rest like the Lonsdale 1990 ad where he stands in the woods and says "Like many of you, I have voted for Hatfield in the past, let me tell you why I am running against him this year" which people talked about for years afterwards.

    But what some people on the Novick campaign don't understand is that not everyone thought the beer ad where he opened the bottle with his hard left hook was the greatest ad they had ever seen.

    Novick people blasted those who didn't like the ad as Merkleyites (or other names) as if that attitude will win them votes. EVERY Oregon Democrat thinks the ad is funny and drinks beer?

    I like the Merkley ad. I liked the Merkley I saw today at a town hall. I understand there are those who think Steve is great, is cutting edge, etc.

    But the object of a primary is to win more votes than the opponent. And the people who thank Merkley for specific things he did as Speaker aren't going to vote for Novick simply because Novick supporters say the Merkley ad is generic, "off the shelf", etc. If people see this ad and say "with all this nastiness, isn't it nice to see such a positive, issue oriented ad?", the fact that political professionals don't think it is ground breaking doesn't matter.

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    The important thing to look at for the numbers.

    In a quarter where everything went wrong for Merkley and everything went right for Novick, Merkley raised almost a third more than Novick, yes Merkley raised 130% of Novick's total.

    Its clear that even Novick's quirky ads can't vault him into the big boys territory in terms of fund raising and that has to be concerning.

    I love this ad. Jeff isn't a show pony, hes a seasoned legislator, good guy with Oregon's best interests at heart, and someone that will be an amazing US Senator. This ad shows that. If you're going to vote for glitz you were never going to vote for Jeff anyway. I don't think Ron Wyden, the only candidate to ever beat Smith, relied on grunge musicians from Nirvana or opening beer bottles to do it either.

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    Can anybody say with any certainty whether any of the Senate candidates (who will play a role in confirming the next Secretary of the Interior) support or oppose a casino in the Columbia Gorge?

  • Bob (unverified)
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    James X: If you have a more analogous race, I'm certainly open to other comparisons. In the Clinton/Obama analogy, I see Merkley as having more in common with Clinton than Novick does with Obama.

    That said, I do think Novick gets a bump in Oregon because he's running a non-traditional campaign that appeals to Obama voters.

    Merkley (and his campaign ads) ooze Dem establishment -- as you'd expect a longtime successful House Speaker would. It's just a bad year to be running with that kind of political pedigree.

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    I don't think Ron Wyden, the only candidate to ever beat Smith, relied on grunge musicians from Nirvana or opening beer bottles to do it either.

    Actually, get-out-the-vote rallies with Art Alexakis were a regular feature of Ron Wyden's 1998 campaign.

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    I like this ad, I guess that makes me a boring person.

    A better word might be exasperating, actually. Not because you like Jeff's ad - it's perfectly OK for you to like Jeff's ad. But because your preferred style of argumentation is the straw man argument, in which you make up things no one ever said and then argue against them.

    Go ahead and disagree with me, or with other Novick supporters here, LT. But for God's sake please accord us the respect of paying a shred of attention to our actual arguments and then disagreeing with those, instead of pulling lame arguments out of thin air, attributing them to us, and then telling us why we're lame for making them.

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    Touche' Charlie.

    Though I will point out that Peter DeFazio was the one with the quirky ads in the 1996 primary campaign.

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