A clear choice of styles in the U.S. Senate race

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

For Jeff Merkley, it's a tough dilemma. On the one hand, his career has been one of consensus-building; building the progressive coalition to craft a policy agenda and achieve real progress.

On the other hand, his opponent in the U.S. Senate race is a guy who celebrates his tough talk on Democrats when he thinks they're wrong -- and certainly, that's a major reason why many of his supporters think he's the right guy for the job. Recently, one of Steve Novick's supporters wrote this:

Memo to Merkley supporters: Novick's willingness to criticize his own party when they're wrong is exactly the reason some of us are supporting him.

Jeff Merkley's dilemma? How do you talk about the other guy being divisive without being divisive yourself?

Maybe it's impossible. Or maybe, you just make it clear what you stand for - uniting Democrats for change - and then just share the other guy's words with the voters. After all, Steve Novick's never retracted his words; he's never apologized for them. It's pretty clear: he stands by them.

Here's the ad that the Merkley campaign put on the air tonight:

If it's true that Novick and his supporters believe that the best way to achieve progress is to go after other Democrats, then they shouldn't find anything objectionable in this ad. As far as I know, Steve continues to stand by the quotes contained in the ad.

Steve Novick's made it crystal clear what kind of U.S. Senator he'll be -- the kind of guy who goes to the floor and tells Democrats off when he thinks they're wrong. Holding people accountable with that brilliant, acerbic wit and flair for the biting quote. Heck, he's already run two witty campaign ads attacking Jeff Merkley.

But Jeff Merkley's style is different. He's about bringing people together, developing a unified agenda, and then holding the coalition together - even when the water gets choppy. He did it in the Legislature - and he'll do it in the U.S. Senate.

Both approaches have their fans. Both stylistic choices are legitimate.

In less than two weeks, we'll find out which definition of "United States Senator" meets the expectations of Oregon's Democratic voters.

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

Comments

  • (Show?)
    If it's true that Novick and his supporters believe that the best way to achieve progress is to go after other Democrats, then they shouldn't find anything objectionable in this ad. As far as I know, Steve continues to stand by the quotes contained in the ad.

    Exactly!

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    This ad filled with out-of-context dated quotes from BlueOregon blog posts REALLY did make me think.

    It made me think about THIS.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Thanks for that html fix, cyber editor.

  • (Show?)

    Jeff Merkley's style certainly is bringing Democrats together.

    21st Century Democrats don't make endorsements lightly, particularly in contested Democratic primaries," said Mark Lotwis, the Executive Director of the 21st Century Democrats. "But this Senate race is a real opportunity to defeat an entrenched Republican in Gordon Smith, who consistently works against our core values of universal health care, a clean and sustainable environment, living wages and secure jobs, and fair taxation. "Jeff Merkley has been a leader for progressive values in Oregon and a fighter for working families. 21st Century Democrats enthusiastically supports Jeff's campaign because Jeff brings the courage and skill needed to take our nation in the right direction."
  • (Show?)

    Jeff Merkley...has been...divisive...impossible...objectionable..less than...the expectations of Oregon's voters.

    Those are your words, Kari. When I publish them at LO tomorrow as your take on the candidate, you won't mind, will you? After all, I'm sure you stand by the quotes I just made, right? Because they're right there in the post you wrote.

  • BCM (unverified)
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    This is just a pathetic attempt to salvage a poorly publicized campaign. Merkley attacking Novick for attacking Dems screams of a double standard and paints Merkley as a hypocrite. The fact that you, Kari, had to preempt that discussion shows you know this is a problem.

  • StateBluer (unverified)
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    If Steve somehow pulls off the win, this is just the beginning of many ads featuring things that Steve has said over the years that will embarass everyone...himself included.

  • MAYbe 20th? (unverified)
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    This whole episode will be stuck in the minds of people who post here, contributors as well as people who post comments.

  • peter c (unverified)
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    wow. did you get this spin directly from the campaign? sounds like you've been talking to matt canter:

    "Merkley spokesman Matt Canter said the ad merely points out one of the big differences in the race - the different leadership style of the two candidates. "This is not an attack ad," Canter insisted, adding that "these are [Novick's) words."".

    or is it just "great minds think alike"?

    hmm, on second thought...

  • Jonathan (unverified)
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    Kari- come on, why post the same ad twice in one night, and a very bad political ad at that? I wish you would at least push your employers' positive agendas instead of shilling their negative ads. The only thing this ad shows, is the Merkley really thinks he is losing because the ad smells of desperation.
    I understand Jeff is in a tuff position and if he is going negative, I would hope for better. This type of ad will go nowhere in defeating Novick, let alone would this type of ad work on Smith in the fall.

  • (Show?)

    "just share the other guy's words with the voters. "

    And add Merkley saying he "tears people down" and is not uniting Democrats for change. Why would Novick have a problem with that?

    When did Novick say the words the narrator is using, Kari?

  • (Show?)

    Looks to me like Jeff Merkley is the one tearing people down, and standing upon the weakest, most spurious possible platform to do so.

    The people who read BlueOregon know (even if they don't choose to admit it) what the contexts of those comments were. Pulling them out and using them this way on TV is fundamentally dishonest and it tells me something I wish I didn't know about Jeff Merkley.

    It also signals that he's completely desperate, which has been obvious for awhile now.

  • TroyB (unverified)
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    Is it just me or is it insanely hypocritical to attack a fellow Democrat for attacking fellow Democrats? I'm a Democrat and I do support Barack Obama, but I am also in favor of being critical when folks veer from their progressive principles. I don't see how Jeff can run as a 'uniter' and then run this kind of ad... and we should all be pissed that the DSCC is pumping tens of thousands of dollars to run this garbage against a progressive like Novick. I don't like the idea of DC meddling in our primary by flooding our airwaves.

  • (Show?)

    If Jeff Merkley ran an ad reciting verbatim Novick's position on Iraq or health care would it be an attack ad? No. Similarly putting out verbatim what Novick has said, and remember folks he always tells the truth and says what he believes, about prominent Democrats isn't an attack. I thought that Novick's ability to shake things up was suppose to be his greatest asset, so its perplexing that Novick supporters are so mad that Merkley is broadcasting what Novick supporters think is Novick's best trait.

  • (Show?)

    "Similarly putting out verbatim what Novick has said, "

    The word "ellipsis" seems to have gone by you; how are you with "verbatim?"

    And when did Novick say he wasn't uniting Democrats for change, and that he tears people down? Those are things said about Novick in the ad, that is approved by Jeff Merkley.

  • (Show?)

    Kari- come on, why post the same ad twice in one night

    For the record, I didn't post the earlier item. (Obvious point: I probably wouldn't have headlined it as a "negative" ad.)

    I was offline working on this post, posted it, and then saw that another of our editors had posted it. Whatever. You don't have to watch it twice.

  • (Show?)

    If Novick was speaking 'truth to power' then he should be proud of the free airtime.

    Or are his supporters complaining here saying that he was not telling the truth when he was attacking the other Democrats (those quotes are about the people he is attacking that have nothing to do with the position you disagree with). He was talking about the person(s) in these quotes aimed at Democrats with those words.

    And Novick's words are not out of context here in this ad. And relevant to whether Novick is the best suited to be a Senator for Oregon in Congress. Attacking others (beyond the issues or the arguments of the position) that you have to work with is a real SKILL that a legislator (particularly a United States Senator) has to have to actually get things done in a legislative caucus.

    This is another example of the same problematic trend that made me long ago begin to question Novick's campaign and skill set (I have no problem with most of his positions or his intellect) which is crucial thing to have beyond policy positions and a sharp mind.

    Novick remains light-years ahead of what returning Smith to office would be, but Merkley has the policy chops, the right skill set, and the right demeanor to move beyond the broken politics that have been part and parcel to the failure to address the big issues that MUST be addressed in this election and beyond.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    I find this Merkley attack ad just plain sad. And desperate. I would prefer to ignore the whole thing, as I suspect most Oregonians will. But since Kari used my quote in his post, here are my thoughts:

    The point, Kari, is not that Novick will "tell Democrats off" while Merkley will "bring people together." It's that for too long, we've had Democratic leaders in Washington who refuse to do the right thing, and they get away with it because no one says, "Hey, that's wrong!" Novick will say that; Merkley, through this ad, shows that he won't.

    Are you happy that we're still in Iraq? Are you so partisan as to believe that's purely George Bush's fault? It's not. After two years, the Democratic Congress holds equal responsibility. There are ways they could have ended the war, but political fear has paralyzed them.

    Are you happy with the lack of congressional oversight of the Bush Administration? Reid and Pelosi have been able to get away with it because there aren't enough Democrats willing to say, to their face, "We need to take the political risk of holding tough, aggressive hearings because it's the right thing to do.

    Are you happy with the position Democrats in Congress have taken on warrantless wiretapping? On habeus corpus? On military tribunals? On approving Alito to the Supreme Court?

    Finally, using a specific example from Novick, are you happy that the Democrats still do the bidding of the sugar industry even knowing the impact that removing the tariffs could have on global warming?

    Kari, to be blunt, how the [bleep] are we supposed to change things if we don't send someone to DC willing to say "This is insane!" This ad proves that all my fears about Merkley are true, he'll be another milquetoast Democrat who goes along to get along.

    Enough already. I'm certain that Novick regrets the tone of some of his earlier comments, as would any of us who are fortunate enough to run for the U.S. Senate. But I hope he doesn't regret the substance, because he was right on in almost every case. And yeah, that's why I'm supporting him.

  • (Show?)
    If it's true that Novick and his supporters believe that the best way to achieve progress is to go after other Democrats...

    Is that what Novick supporters think or is it the smear that Merkley supporters claim Novick supporters think?

    Personally, I don't think the best way to achieve progress is to go after other Democrats, unless the other Democrats are wrong. Like, say, voting to support the war in Iraq. Or giving George Bush the authority to prosecute said war. In which case, I think those people deserve every bit of criticism that comes their way.

    We've just spent a year and a half watching the Democrats in Washington sit on their hands, running out the clock before they do anything to stop the war or even try to bring the Administration's crimes to a halt. "Progressive" Ron Wyden got booed at his town hall meeting last August for being such a sop. Does Merkley really think that this is going to help him?

    I guess he does, his name's on it.

  • (Show?)

    Thank you, Miles. I'm glad we can agree on at least that much -- two men, two styles. A clear choice for the voters.

    Glad to see that you're not getting all bent like some others of the reflexive Novick supporters around here. As Lestatdelc wrote, Novick should be glad for the free airtime if he still stands by his comments. (Does Merkley have to report that as an in-kind donation to Novick?)

  • (Show?)

    "As Lestatdelc wrote, Novick should be glad for the free airtime if he still stands by his comments. "

    Repeating absurdisms doesn't make them come true, Lewis Carroll. The comments weren't aired, just the buzzwords without reference to his comments.

    And how do you feel about being called out for not shouting down this hate speech on your site when it appeared? I mean, if it's something society shouldn't tolerate, why have you managed to remain quiet all this time?

  • (Show?)

    Speaking of Lewis Carroll, sometimes when I visit BlueO I feel like I've stepped through the looking glass myself...

    Seriously, does no one get the problem with taking comments out of context? Really? I guess this is what happens in the era of "sound bite politics."

    This ad reminded me a lot of the BS Karin Minnis/Mark Foley ad that FuturePac/Merkley/Isaacs made during the Brading campaign in 2006. That ad took the wind out of my sails for volunteering for Brading since the campaign had previously been a very positive one. That ad was clearly below the belt, and this one (with the out of context comments) is more of the same from the Merkley/Isaacs team.

    I'm disappointed.

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    And the beauty is, despite all these one-sided blog posts, in a quadrant of cyberspace where "The Man" is paid by Merkley and where most of his top lieutenants are also Merkley supporters, the majority of those who read this blog still voted for Novick. It is a testament to (a) Novick's superior talent (b) the incredible tolerance of BO's readership, and (c) the increasingly obvious fact that if Oregon wants to beat Gordon Smith, they might want to support a fighter instead of a whiner.

  • (Show?)

    It should also point out that, in one point at least, the ad is blatantly false.

    The narrator in the ad claims that Novick said "there is nothing to like about Barack Obama." The text of the ad quotes "nothing to like."

    But the actual post they're supposedly quoting makes it clear that Novick was compared the John Edwards and Barack Obama WEBSITES, not the candidates themselves. He summarized the websites by writing, "Everything Edwards gives me, I like, a lot. Obama gives me nothing to like very much and one thing to intensely dislike."

    To translate that as "There is nothing to like about Barack Obama" is, to put it bluntly, a bald-faced lie.

    Kari knows it and he's participating in it. Shame on you, Kari.

  • Masterpiece (unverified)
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    And the beauty is, despite all these one-sided blog posts, in a quadrant of cyberspace where "The Man" is paid by Merkley and where most of his top lieutenants are also Merkley supporters, the majority of those who read this blog still voted for Novick. It is a testament to (a) Novick's superior talent (b) the incredible tolerance of BO's readership, and (c) the increasingly obvious fact that if Oregon wants to beat Gordon Smith, they might want to support a fighter instead of a whiner.

    This "quadrant of cyberspace" represents much of the core of Novick's base. The fact that Novick barely eeked out the straw poll conducted by this blog where he should have the strongest support is problematic for Novick.

    I agree that if Oregonians want to beat Smith, they'd better elect a fighter to do the job. Only one candidate has put up an ad taking direct aim at Smith: Jeff Merkley.

    Frankly, Novick went negative on Merkley from the first week Merkley got in the race. Novick has pushed this campaign to a place where the difference is about style, not policy substance. This ad highlights those style differences very plainly.

    A commentor earlier made mention of the fact that Novick's supporters have been very clear that Novick's "truth" telling are why they support him. Novick holds other Democrats "accountable". Now many are here, whining about this ad that highlights Novick's own words.

    Some may choose to cherry-pick and claim "context". But those would be people trying to have it both ways. If you support Novick because he uses sharp rhetoric and calls people out, fair enough. Then its obviously hypocritical to moan and whine when that sharp rhetoric is highlighted as a style difference that some may see as objectionable.

    This ad is very effective at demonstrating what Novick and his supporters say is Novick's great strength: his rhetorical style. But there are two sides to that coin.

  • (Show?)

    "This "quadrant of cyberspace" represents much of the core of Novick's base."

    Really? Based on what?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    I wonder what it costs to get a Democrat to build a smear website against a fellow Democrat he calls "friend"?

    I realize the cost to one's self-respect and reputation, I was talking here about the financial cost.

  • Masterpiece (unverified)
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    I wonder what it costs to get a Democrat to build a smear website against a fellow Democrat he calls "friend"?

    Who knew that posting one's own words is a "smear"? Odd.

  • pat malach's grill (unverified)
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    Love that barbecue sauce, "Masterpiece"

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    I got calls from 3 friends who were on the fence about the Merkley/Novick race until they saw this ad. What they saw made clear to them the differences in the two candidates and tipped the balance.

    So, a big shout-out and THANK YOU to Jeff Merkley and his campaign as 3 more Oregonians voted for Steve Novick based on this ad. Whoohoooo....way to go, guys! Thanks!

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Thank you, Miles. I'm glad we can agree on at least that much -- two men, two styles. A clear choice for the voters.

    Well, Kari, let me be clear. Merkley and Novick have two different styles, and there is an honest way to express that in an ad, and a dishonest way. Merkley chose the dishonest way by taking quotes out of context.

    To recap: Is Hillary Clinton a traitress? Or is she a traitress on the First Amendment because of her stance on flag burning? Is there "nothing to like" about Barack Obama? Or is there "nothing to like very much" about his website? Is Obama just a "special interest fraud"? Or is he a special interest fraud because of his support of sugar tariffs that have a negative impact on global warming? Is Darlene Hooley a liar? Or is she repeating the "family farms lie" with regards to the estate tax?

    Any reasonable person can see the difference that putting those statements into context makes. Merkley is dredging the bottom with this ad, and I can only hope it backfires on him.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
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    [Full disclosure: My firm built Jeff Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself.]

    That is BS. Mr. Chisholm claims to "speak only for [himself]". One wonders, though, if he is using Mandate Media's internet connection, computers etc etc to make this post. IF SO, then he is not speaking only for himself.

    Mr. Chisholm reminds me of those unethical Pentagon-loving generals "independently" reviewing the war on CNN etc.

  • (Show?)

    Who's going to be happy when we have a candidate? Raise your hands.

    (BTW, Pat, I gotta say that while my respect for Novick hasn't waned or wavered in this race, the load of personal venom you launch at Kari--even when he posts a benign, perfectly transparent article--makes me queasy just to see your name. What's the intention there?)

  • (Show?)

    This makes me very sad. Two great candidates, two of our heroes, and then... this. Complex, challenging statements cut and dried into unrecognizable bits.

    I'd agree that the styles of Merkley and Novick are different, and that they'd bring different strengths critically needed in the US Senate.

    To me, the decision doesn't hinge on "style" or what they'd bring to the Senate -- those are questions that leapfrogs the more immediate question: Who is more likely to beat Gordon Smith?

    And that means getting average voters engaged in the race, thinking about the Slippery Smith image, and getting some "buzz" nationally to bring in serious national money. I think Novick is more likely to be able to do that. Heck, I could be wrong, but no one has talked me out of it yet.

  • (Show?)

    And how do you feel about being called out for not shouting down this hate speech on your site when it appeared? I mean, if it's something society shouldn't tolerate, why have you managed to remain quiet all this time?

    Puh-leeze. It's not hate speech, TJ. Don't be silly.

    It's the kind of stuff that's perfectly appropriate on a blog - but unbecoming of a U.S. Senator.

    The voters will let us know what they think soon enough. That's the great thing about politics -- in the end, the voters get their say.

  • backbeat (unverified)
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    Kari, what say you to the open letter to you in Kos today?

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/5/8/131821/1123/757/511813

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Who's going to be happy when we have a candidate? Raise your hands.

    To be honest, Jeff, I thought that up until this ad. I don't say this lightly, and I'm quick to criticize those who jump to this extreme, but I'm going to have a hard time voting for Merkley if he gets the nomination. Hopefully by November I'll change my mind, but the dishonest way this ad was done speaks to who Jeff Merkley is at his core. And it's rotten.

  • (Show?)

    "Puh-leeze. It's not hate speech, TJ. Don't be silly."

    I never attempted to describe it as such. I was referring to the other commenter, who said what Novick wrote has no place in society. So they are calling you out for not criticizing him at the time, and in fact DEFENDING him.

  • redcellpolitical (unverified)
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    Am I alone in finding none of these ads particularly negative? Campaigns are all about defining the opposition before they define themselves or you, and vice-versa. The general know who either of these two guys really are and in the remaining 12 days of the primary do you think these will make much of a difference?

    Willie Horton was a negative ad, Swiftboat was a negative ad, almost every commercial from Clinton is a negative ad, these are just campaings putting ads together on the cheap, one group uses the cheap production as a joke, the other takes it dead earnest and does the usual deep voice voice over.

    Blah.

    I agree in think that John F may be the best choice in the race as an independent. He and Jeffords can be a caucus of two and maybe the trend will grow. The party control over politics in this country is part of why government just seems stuck and mediocre to most people. Imgaine how exciting things would get if we had proportional representation! David Duke would be in the US Senate, He Lon Maybon would still be a viable candidate. I think it is the absence of truly clear and stark choices that makes the process so dull.

  • (Show?)

    Jeff and lestadelc nailed it earlier, and, although I have great respect for Steve, these are his words.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    I would not call these ads "negative", I'd just call them shitty. I'm glad that someone is willing to criticize fellow Democrats when they deserve it. Merkley is telling me that he will place party "unity" above all else. Screw that! This party has failed to stop Bush's war, failed to stop Bush's trade agenda, failed to stop Bush's war on the working class--they surely deserve to be criticized. We have enough polite unifiers in DC. These ads (and the shitty little edited clips from the debate) have convinced me more than anything else to vote for Novick.

    Oh, it also seems a little hypocritical to talk about unity in an ad like this.

    But you gotta give Kari some credit for the the website thievery--slimy, but slick!

  • David McDonald (unverified)
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    This ad knocked me off the fence I'd been sitting on in this race. Merkley and his coffe boy went way too far with this benign bullshit. It sounds like a kid tattling to teacher because he heard another kid swear on the playground.

    If it's a sin to speak out when you see things going wrong in your country, nothing will ever change. Maybe if Merkley spoke up some, instead of trying to "get along" with everyone our state would be better off than it is.

    VOTE FOR NOVICK!!

  • James X. (unverified)
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    This and Novick's last two ads are negative. They say negative things about opponents. Whether you think they're out-of-bounds is another thing. I don't think so. To demand full posts of Novick in Merkley's ads is special pleading. There are links to the original sources. Novick doesn't give Merkley the honor of putting the full text of HB2 in his mouth, or his floor speech, or his characterizations of it. Novick just cherry-picks the parts he wants to highlight. Fair game.

  • trishka (unverified)
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    whomever made this ad was clearly never made to read "julius ceasar" in high school.

    see, brutus was an honorable man.

    have you ever notice, whenever barack obama gets ready to rip into john mccain in one of his speeches, he starts off by praising his honorable service record?

    THAT'S what a successful campaign dies.

    this is just....

    embarrassing.

  • redcellpolitical (unverified)
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    "THAT'S what a successful campaign dies."

    Hopefully trishka, its what a successful campaign does I hope Obama's campaign doesn't die doing it.

  • (Show?)

    Our state IS better off for having had Jeff Merkley in the Oregon Legislature. Do you really think we were making progress when the Republicans were in power? Give me a break!

    I think the issue is that some of the commenters here have grown impatient with our legislative process. I understand that, but I'd rather have what we have than what some other countries have. In some places in the world we wouldn't be able to express ourselves so openly.

  • trishka (unverified)
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    woops. mea culpa.

    i are a good spellur. and typest.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    "the load of personal venom you launch at Kari--even when he posts a benign, perfectly transparent article--makes me queasy just to see your name."

    The REALLY sad thing, Jeff, is that it's not undeserved.

    The ad and the website are slimy misrepresentations.

    I mean, really, the pull "quote" is one word with ellipses on either side? That's a classic!

    You'll notice I'm joined by former labor commissioner Jack Roberts, who said Kari should be ashamed of himself.

    But this kind of thing is what professional political operatives do, so nobody should be surprised.

    I agree! It's sad.

  • (Show?)
    If it's true that Novick and his supporters believe that the best way to achieve progress is to go after other Democrats... This quote is singing "If I only had a brain" all the way down the Yellow Brick Road to Oz. It's not remotely true of either Novick or his supporters. The best way to achieve progress is to go after obstacles to progress. Most of the time in the Senate that's going to be Republicans, or their positions and actions. But not always. Sometimes it might be Democrats, or actually, the positions or actions of those Democrats. And a lot of times not. Is Nancy Pelosi per se an obstacle to progress? No. Is Nancy Pelosi & her positions and tactics and judgments about ending the occupation of Iraq an obstacle to ending the occupation? Absolutely. Is calling her out on that appropriate? Manifestly. Shall we stand by and be silent while she and Steny Hoyer are pushing through a travesty of a war appropriation "largely on the strength of Republican votes" to quote The Hill? No. She is wrong, and too wrong on too important an issue, and should be criticized, harshly. Over on the other thread I wrote about how most of the quotes from Steve don't bother, though one does. Also about how a gross misrepresentation of a praise for Al Gore, in the context of a sharp attack on Hillary Clinton, as an attack on Gore bothers me as a smeary lie that goes beyond manipulation of ellipses. When Kari and others wax nostalgic about Bill Clinton as president, somehow his willingness to criticize and triangulate on other "Old Democrats" doesn't seem to be a problem. Why the double standard?
  • (Show?)
    If it's true that Novick and his supporters believe that the best way to achieve progress is to go after other Democrats...

    This quote is singing "If I only had a brain" all the way down the Yellow Brick Road to Oz.

    It's not remotely true of either Novick or his supporters. The best way to achieve progress is to go after obstacles to progress. Most of the time in the Senate that's going to be Republicans, or their positions and actions. But not always.

    Sometimes it might be Democrats, or actually, the positions or actions of those Democrats. And a lot of times not.

    Is Nancy Pelosi per se an obstacle to progress? No. Is Nancy Pelosi & her positions and tactics and judgments about ending the occupation of Iraq an obstacle to ending the occupation? Absolutely. Is calling her out on that appropriate? Manifestly.

    Shall we stand by and be silent while she and Steny Hoyer are pushing through a travesty of a war appropriation "largely on the strength of Republican votes" to quote The Hill? No. She is wrong, and too wrong on too important an issue, and should be criticized, harshly.

    Over on the other thread I wrote about how most of the quotes from Steve don't bother, though one does. Also about how a gross misrepresentation of a praise for Al Gore, in the context of a sharp attack on Hillary Clinton, as an attack on Gore bothers me as a smeary lie that goes beyond manipulation of ellipses.

    When Kari and others wax nostalgic about Bill Clinton as president, somehow his willingness to criticize and triangulate on other "Old Democrats" doesn't seem to be a problem. Why the double standard?

  • backbeat (unverified)
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    Chris Lowe, all I know is that if Schumer is supporting somebody, I'm suspicious. Why can't mister anti-constitution allow Oregon Democrats to pick their own candidate?

    Outta my yard Schumer. We're tired of you and yours.

  • (Show?)

    Peter said:

    That is BS. Mr. Chisholm claims to "speak only for [himself]". One wonders, though, if he is using Mandate Media's internet connection, computers etc etc to make this post. IF SO, then he is not speaking only for himself.

    I don't know one way or another, but Kari may be like many of us political web consultants who use the same computer, internet connection, etc. for both work and for personal stuff.

  • (Show?)

    Pat, I gotta say that while my respect for Novick hasn't waned or wavered in this race, the load of personal venom you launch at Kari--even when he posts a benign, perfectly transparent article--makes me queasy just to see your name. What's the intention there?

    You and Kari are friends, I get it. Personally, I find Kari to be a very likable guy. But politically, he plays the role of hatchet man for many of his clients. By-in-large, no one around here gives a shit as long as the target is a Republican. But now you've got people getting pissed off because he also doing it to some D's who who are held in pretty high regard by a lot of folks but who are taking on some of his clients.

    Par for the course in a primary? Sure. Hey, politics is a contact sport. But let's not pretend that there is anything benign about this article. It is intended to promote the hit piece web site that Kari built for his client in a way that essentially denies that a hit is taking place.

    You're a smart guy, Jeff. I know you understand what's going on.

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    backbeat asked... Kari, what say you to the open letter to you in Kos today?

    Here's what I posted at DailyKos.com - and what I (tried to) post at NovickForSenate.com.

    Andrew --

    First, let me apologize for the tardy reply. I was offline all day today at a family function. Of course, I probably would have seen this sooner if you'd bothered to email me your "open letter" - but oh well.

    Second, I apologize to you if anyone mis-perceived the design as being created by me. In fact, when the site first went up, I didn't have any credit line on it at all - and only added the usual "powered by" line when questions were raised about who created it. I'm certainly not interested in hiding my identity nor taking credit for other people's work. I probably should have thought more carefully about the exact credit line used.

    Third, it should be fairly clear to most observers that the site design of NovickInsultsDemocrats.com is a parody of NovickForSenate.com. I'm certainly not a lawyer of any sort, but I've always enjoyed the history of the great free-speech case Campbell vs. Acuff-Rose (more commonly known as Two Live Crew vs. Roy Orbison) in which the Supreme Court held that parody is protected under fair use.

    I've changed the credit line on the site to read: "This site is a parody of NovickForSenate.com. Hosted by Mandate Media." I think that's a clear way to describe it.

    I'm really looking forward to the end of the primary season, when we can all get back to aiming our fire at Gordon Smith. I hope you'll let me buy you beer or two sometime this summer.

    -kari.

    p.s. I'm pretty sure that's the state seal in the header of the real Novick site. You might consider removing it, per state law.

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    I've always enjoyed the history of the great free-speech case Campbell vs. Acuff-Rose (more commonly known as Two Live Crew vs. Roy Orbison) in which the Supreme Court held that parody is protected under fair use.

    Parody is generally supposed by most people to aim at humor; I don't think this site is recognizably aimed that way, and if that's really the intent it's a pretty poor example of the genre, IMO, a quick put-up job in more ways than one. But everyone's a critic, right? ;-> & humor in the eye of the beholder, de gustibus non diputandum (or something like that) etc.

    Anyway, what really interests me about this quote is whether it means a re-issue of Little Roger & the Goosebumps' awesome "Stairway to Gilligan's Island," successfully suppressed by Led Zeppelin ca. 1980. Because oooh, it really did make you wonder ... now that was parody.

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    I've spent a little time toiling in this area of the law, although I am not holding myself out as an expert, and I'd have to say that to the extent Merkley / Kari have any protection here, it is the protection accorded to that part of their taking which qualifies as political speech.

    I do not think this is a parody as the law understands parodies.

  • Eurof (unverified)
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    Kari, the symbol they used is not the state seal and they okay'd it with the SOS. But false accusations aside, that was the most passive aggressive partial "apology" I've ever heard.

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