The other woman in Jeff Merkley's life

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

In the second TV spot of the Merkley for Senate campaign, Jeff's wife Mary told us about why fighting for health care is so important.

In this spot, the campaign's fourth, Jeff's daughter Brynne responds to Gordon Smith's recent attack ad targeting her dad.

It's a bit cheesy and adorable, but ya gotta love it.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Oh, and full disclosure: My firm built Jeff Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself.

  • BetsyO (unverified)
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    Glad to see the reversal in tone.

    As the actors in Airplane would say, "I take it sweet and cheesy. Like my men."

  • Gary (unverified)
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    They finally made him a normal guy you can relate to...

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Yucch...even more added sugar for the Milquetoast Merkley Kool Aid...

  • Runtmg (unverified)
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    Kari,

    At what point does your I-speak-for-myself become dangerously close to being an infomercial for Merkley?

    I love your site but in between you and Kevin there have been several pro merkley post's today.

  • cm (unverified)
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    What Runtmg said -- this site has been really trumpeting the Merkley agenda of late. . .

    How 'bout some objectivity?

  • (Show?)

    Objectivity on a blog? Seriously? Go read a newspaper, man!

    There have been plenty of pro-Novick posts from dedicated supporters over the past few weeks. And several in-the-news items on the race.

  • comment (unverified)
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    "At what point does your I-speak-for-myself become dangerously close to being an infomercial for Merkley?"

    Kari, is an editor.

    It's disgusting that he's so biased.

    Kari's intelligence is bought and sold.

  • Runtmg (unverified)
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    I am not insulting Kari's intelligence or credibility or even challenging it. I thank him for creating a site that is very informative and I know how hard that can be. But first there was a story with Merkley surging then a story about a new spot that is on the air. I think Ben is closer to the truth of this than I am.

  • chris (unverified)
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    "Kari, is an editor.

    It's disgusting that he's so biased.

    Kari's intelligence is bought and sold."

    My intelligence is also bought and sold- it's called having a job. Kari's job is media, so he builds websites, etc. He is lucky to be able to put his skills to use in areas that are of interest to him, ie politics, but it is still a job. There's nothing wrong with that.

    FYI- I am a Novick supporter.

  • (Show?)

    Switching messages (positive to negative to positive again) in mid-stream seems to be the go-to trend for yet another political season.

    Glad to see that some things never change.

  • (Show?)

    This is the one I've been waiting for. A great one to debut in the last week with 24-40% undecided.

    Warm Fuzzy and Simple, and the lovely Brynne is way more telegenic than either her dad or the other guy.

    <hr/>

    But I do have to agree that the Evil Kari Chisolm is lower than a snake's vest pocket. How dare he put up Merkley's latest ad for comment?

    If he were even a bit interested in fair play, he'd have Charlie Burr up there posting any and everthing deemed important by the Merovingians....er....Novickians.

    Oh wait a minute, they already do that......Nevermind.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, for every Blue Oregon post related to any of Mandate Media's clients, please make up an equal number of posts for the opposition. Even if there's nothing new to report. Fair and balanced. I'm a webmaster at Washcodems.org, and I get these same gripes from folks that, for example, don't like how we have more Obama than Clinton posts. I advise them to produce material for their candidate/issue of choice and submit it. I even invite them to become 'associate webmasters' (we ned all the help we can get) but so far no takers. Gripers, please see 'Guest Columns' button at upper right corner above.

  • (Show?)

    Except there's plenty to report:

    Neville asks Merkley to stop running negative ads Merkley spokesman calls Novick supports communists Hibbits poll shows Novick ahead OpenLeft covers primary tussle *Fortune magazine features Novick

    that's all TODAY. Yet what's on BlueO today?

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Interesting....here is a thread supposedly about a very cheesy, sugary ad and we are having a fight over Kari's integrity.

    BO is just a blog - a 'water cooler' forum in you will - and there have been Novick updates as well as Milquetoast Merkley udates over the past weeks since the first blowup over Kari's integrity.

    None of us can win I guess...

    I guess thats why they call it the "silly season".

  • chris (unverified)
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    TJ- could you link us to those stories? I am one interested commie... If no link, please tell where to find the communist story, sounds like a good one.

  • (Show?)

    I make no apologies for posting anytime I want on any topic I want on the blog that I pay for and manage. Quoting (ironically) Ronald Reagan, "Hey, I paid for this microphone."

    We've had plenty of arguments about the in-the-news stuff and that's fine... but when it comes to commentary from me, by me, it's going to be about stuff I find interesting.

    I wrote about the Hibbits poll already. The rest of TJ's suggestions are boring. (To me, which is all that matters... to me.)

    This isn't a paper of record. We're not obligated to cover everything.

    Unless that is, someone has $50,000/year they want to donate -- in which case we'll make BlueOregon a nonprofit and hire a professional editor.

    Now, can we get back to arguing about politics instead of blog-management?

  • (Show?)

    Chris: http://tinyurl.com/5pr78x

    Google is your friend!

    "In an article today, Merkley's campaign insulted Novick's supporters, describing them as communists. "Merkley spokesman Matt Canter said Novick's base is from the liberal heart of downtown Portland, which he likened to the 'inner circle of the Kremlin.'" [Politico.com, 5/13/08, emphasis added]"

  • James X. (unverified)
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    "This site has [also] been really trumpeting the [Novick] agenda of late." So what's your problem?

    In a new spot, John Kitzhaber supports Steve Novick Novick and Obama: The politics of authenticity Ad watch: Merkley's negative ad How Novick "insulted" Gore Will Novick be hit for proposing to deport all Scotch-Irish back to the old country? Merkley Ad Goes Negative on Novick

    Etc., etc.

    Merkley supporters are biased toward Merkley, Novick supporters are biased toward Novick, and both can post on the site's front page, not that any blog needs to allow that kind of thing. You can't just call a blogger biased and expect people to be scandalized.

    Also, TJ: I demand you shut down your blog. It's biased! (Just kidding.)

  • (Show?)

    Sheesh TJ. Everybody knew Matt was just kidding around. It was clearly a joke. Novick has very weak suppport outside of Portland while Merkely appeals to Democrats across the state. Steve can dish it out and it's ok by you. Matt kids around and you try to blow it up. Go get a real quote or maybe we should just run some of your nutty statements. Get a grip man. It's common knowledge you do more harm to Steve's campaign than help his campaign.

  • (Show?)

    "Also, TJ: I demand you shut down your blog. It's biased! (Just kidding.)"

    I've never claimed otherwise. But this blog--at least the stories not bylined--is theoretically supposed to cover newsworthy events in Oregon politics, as far as I've been led to understand.

    Kari can do whatever he wants; he just shouldn't represent otherwise.

  • (Show?)

    "Sheesh TJ. Everybody knew Matt was just kidding around. It was clearly a joke. Novick has very weak suppport outside of Portland while Merkely appeals to Democrats across the state. Steve can dish it out and it's ok by you. Matt kids around and you try to blow it up. Go get a real quote or maybe we should just run some of your nutty statements. Get a grip man. It's common knowledge you do more harm to Steve's campaign than help his campaign."

    I've always found that last attack to be curious. Are you saying that Merkley by all rights should be doing WORSE than he is now, were I not writing about the race? Interesting.

    I guess along with running Jeff's ads, now I'm being credited with propping up his campaign. And someone tried to say I was irrelevant!

    :)

  • James X. (unverified)
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    TJ, you're using things like a pro-Novick poll not being published the day it's released as evidence of bias, when the last two polls, both pro-Merkley, also were not published the day they were released. You're just playing the refs with special pleading at this point.

  • (Show?)

    What Karen said.

    Portland has been known as "Little Beirut" for years. Does that mean anyone using the reference is saying that all Portlanders are Arabs or that Portlanders are Hezbollah terrorists?

  • (Show?)

    As a single parent with two daughters I love this ad because I identify with it. It's a visceral thing less about politics than about appreciating another's familial bonds.

  • (Show?)
    Portland has been known as "Little Beirut" for years.

    Yeah, it's been called that by the Bush family ever since George H. W. Bush ran into protests here in the 1980s. If Merkley wants to associate his campaign with the Reagan-era GOP, the Bushes and the McCarthyites, I say Canter should let the references to how scary and radical Portland is rip.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Darrel, that label is rather proudly worn by the successful organizers of protests in this city.

  • 18yearoldwithanopinion (unverified)
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    If anyone had read the full article they would have seen that Canter was referring to Novick's communist business card from years past. Canter in the article admits that it was a bad joke. Just Torridjoe grasping for air again in his sad attempt to prop up his candidate. Damn I sure miss the days when Carla was there to keep Torridjoe in line.

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)
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    "Kari, for every Blue Oregon post related to any of Mandate Media's clients, please make up an equal number of posts for the opposition. Even if there's nothing new to report."

    Strawman alert. Strawman alert. The above should read,

    "Kari, please feel free to write one misleading post after another in favor of the guy who pays you, and manufacture scandals against his chief opponent whenever possible." [Remember Kimmerly-gate?]

    I've tried to ignore the blatant biases of Blue Oregon as well as to give Merkley credit where it's due, despite my intense support for Novick. But it's certainly true that Blue Oregon is going to be responsible for a bit of what I call the Thelma and Louise Effect, if I may make an analogy to the Presidential election.

    The exit polls in WV show that a HUGE percentage of Democrats won't be voting Democrat in the fall if their favored candidate doesn't win. I attribute that primarily to Hillary's kitchen-sink approach, in which she appears to be acting like Thelma and (implicitly) urging her supporters to play Louise and drive off the cliff if Obama gets the nomination.

    By adopting a bit of a kitchen-sink strategy of their own, voices like Kevin's (and to a lesser extent Kari's), will be creating the same kind of effect in Oregon no matter who wins the Senate primary. It's hard not to get caught up in the acrimony. Gordon Smith must be smiling.

  • Green Peas (unverified)
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    I'm a little grossed out at your referring to Merkley's daughter as a woman. She's not a woman, she's a girl.

  • (Show?)

    Nice ad. I like the goofy, lighter touch and am really impressed with how personable Brynn is. Who would have known! I think Kevin also makes an excellent point.

    And, in terms of the other ridiculousness, karen got it just right above. It was a joke when it began, and a joke in the correct context. I love how often we forget the context to play the victim game.

  • (Show?)

    Darrell, you must not have lived in Oregon very long to have suggested that only the Bush family calls Portland "Little Beirut."

    I've only read 2nd-hand references to any member of the Bush family making that reference. Whereas I've heard literally hundreds of Oregonians use it in jest. Criminy, a friend of mine just used it, laughing all the while, last Friday night when we were hanging out. I guarantee that he'd find the Kremlin quip even funnier.

  • backbeat (unverified)
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    LOL

    And Hi darrelplant you know me by another name at esch

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    TJ complains:

    Except there's plenty to report:

    Neville asks Merkley to stop running negative ads Merkley spokesman calls Novick supports communists Hibbits poll shows Novick ahead OpenLeft covers primary tussle *Fortune magazine features Novick

    that's all TODAY. Yet what's on BlueO today?

    Nothing stopping you from posting links or writing a guest column, TJ.

    And as for this absurdity:

    "In an article today, Merkley's campaign insulted Novick's supporters, describing them as communists. "Merkley spokesman Matt Canter said Novick's base is from the liberal heart of downtown Portland, which he likened to the 'inner circle of the Kremlin.'" [Politico.com, 5/13/08, emphasis added]"

    Some people may not have noticed that this is 2008 and that the "commies" are no longer in control in the Kremlin.

    Maybe it's time for someone to start flaming Candy Neville and that 4th candidate (Loera?). The fact that nobody is doing this is clear evidence of bias at the highest levels of Blue Oregon.

  • (Show?)
    If anyone had read the full article they would have seen that Canter was referring to Novick's communist business card from years past. Canter in the article admits that it was a bad joke. Just Torridjoe grasping for air again in his sad attempt to prop up his candidate. Damn I sure miss the days when Carla was there to keep Torridjoe in line.

    Here's the article. Point out where Canter says he's joking.

    Furthermore, I find no record of Novick making jokes about being a communist, or about people in Portland being communist, in the article being cited as Canter's "reference." It's a card someone gave him. It doesn't say he USES them or thinks of himself as a communist. It says "Labor-lover," for heaven's sake.

    In any case, why would he joke? He's trying to establish that Novick won't beat Smith because he's too liberal. Where is Merkley's base, I'd like to know. It's not Portland??

    And what does it say about the attempt to divide urban and rural in Oregon?

    I hear Merkley's supporters include a bunch of dykes and fags. It's OK to say that, right? Because I know a lot of gay people in Portland, and they call themselves that all the time. No one should feel insulted; I bet they'll think it's funny!

  • (Show?)

    "Nothing stopping you from posting links or writing a guest column, TJ."

    What on earth does that have to do with Blue Oregon's editorial policy??

  • (Show?)

    Now you're making a fool out of yourself TJ and that hurts Steve's campaign. Knock it off.

  • Just An Observation (unverified)
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    Kari writes, "This [Blue Oregon] isn't a paper of record."

    I'd just like to point out the fact that Merkley's campaign used (out of context) material from this very site to smear his opponent in a television ad. I believe that this, in fact, makes Blue Oregon, while not a paper, a medium of record.

    Anyone else agree?

  • Rulial (unverified)
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    Kari can do whatever he wants; he just shouldn't represent otherwise.

    What are you talking about? We've had this conversation about BlueOregon bias dozens of times now (including in the comment thread for almost every pro-Merkeley post), and Kari repeatedly points out that this is a blog and is hence biased. They've never promised to cover everything that happens in Oregon politics or cover anything objectively.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    I really like this ad. But then I really like Merkley. But I voted for Steve - I truly hope he will be the next "Lion in the Senate" and certainly won't be surprised if he does.

  • notbuyingit (unverified)
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    Ben says:

    "And, in terms of the other ridiculousness, karen got it just right above. It was a joke when it began, and a joke in the correct context. I love how often we forget the context to play the victim game."

    Funny to hear Merkley partisans talking about the importance of context...

  • (Show?)

    "Nothing stopping you from posting links or writing a guest column, TJ."

    What on earth does that have to do with Blue Oregon's editorial policy??

    My observation as a person who's been reading BlueOregon pretty much from the beginning?

    That is BlueOregon's editorial policy.

  • (Show?)
    Maybe it's time for someone to start flaming Candy Neville and that 4th candidate (Loera?). The fact that nobody is doing this is clear evidence of bias at the highest levels of Blue Oregon.

    ROFL - that is too funny!! Very well put, Joel.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Notbuyingit, if you believe there's irony here, and you still support Novick's latest attack, does that make you an adherent of "two wrongs make a right?"

    I believe there is irony here, but I believe a pattern from a candidate cannot be balanced by a single quote from a staffer.

  • (Show?)

    A word about "the Kremlin"...

    Kremlin is the Russian word for "fortress" - dating from the mid-15th Century - and refers to any major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. The one in Moscow is the most famous one but there are many others.

    As someone upthread noted, Matt Cantor used the word correctly. It was an obscure reference, though.

    The backlash from a very few Novick supporters upthread is evidence of their own individual ignorance and should not be unfairly imputed to all Novick supporters with the broad brush.

  • (Show?)

    The ad is great! Its funny, it has Jeff talking, it has a very cute kid, and goes after Gordon Smith (three ads in a row vs. none for Novick if youre keeping score), what more could you want?

    Also if youre one of the Novick supporters (TJ) who are trying to get all offended over the Kremlin quip, you are either being extremely disingenuous as everybody jokes about it, or is more disconnected from Oregon politics (where the term is routinely in use) than I thought

  • (Show?)

    Inner circle of the Kremlin, hmm. The whole city? Yup, there's Joe Stalin Potter, and Uncle Ho Saltzman, thank goodness they got rid of that Left Deviationist Sten, and then of course there are the famous BlueOregon political commissars: the feared Beria Chisholm, his minion Brezhnev Allworth, and the slightly reformist Khruschev Burr.

    Ha ha, ha. Ok. stupid failed joke. Ok. Press release on red-baiting overreaction. Ok.

    Actually it's not red-baiting. What bothers me is that it's liberal baiting.

    Merkley supporters around here always go on about what a good progressive he is. I've accepted that. But if he's going to go in for liberal baiting, I'm going to have to rethink it. This isn't McCarthyism, but it is DLC territory.

    Neither Novick nor Merkley can win only with Portland (whose liberalism can be overstated in any case). But neither of them can win without Portland either.

    And if Merkley's campaign is going triangulate off of me, it's definitely a demotivator. I've been there before. It makes me wonder if the difference is mainly one of style, which I can live with either way, but one of substance. How far does Jeff's anti-liberalism go, or his willingness to play that game without really meaning it?

    A joke's a joke, but not all jokes are funny.

  • Larry McD (unverified)
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    To paraphrase the great Dorothy Parker...

    "I fink I may fwow up."

  • Jason Gilchrest (unverified)
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    Hey Kari - I can't wait to see Merkley SLEAZE by Novick only to be spoiled by Frohnmeyer. In fact, thanks to you and a few others, I will vote for Frohnie if Merkley eeks this through.

    I felt the same way about the Hillary-Barack problem, but I think that worked its way out.

  • Runtmg (unverified)
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    The point is and was, that Novick appeals to a core of ultra-progressive voters. To me being "liberal" is the biggest pansy ass term a person can have. It is all about being pro-worker to me. Merkley is being accused of triangulation that is a joke and actually more offensive than anything that his stupid spokesperson could have said off handed.

    Merkley kept his promises to Unions in this state. The father of triangulation, Bill Clinton destroyed the working class in this country with Nafta, Welfare and Telecom acts that did more damage to the American worker than ANYTHING George Bush could have passed.

    Here is a newsflash to every reader on this site. You guys are the enemy. No, not to me but to every self proclaimed free trade capitalist dick-wad out there. Maybe some of you proclaim yourselves capitalists proudly, well guess what if there is another real Red scare you guys will be the first one to run for cover.

    In context, the rest of the state doesn't have to live in a downtown metropolis the size of Portland. Their concerns are far different than the city. So what may work and is sensible to voters in downtown Portland will have a hard sell in the outlining areas.

    We see this every single election and Novick proudly strutting around about his tax policies isn't going to help him in the rural areas.

  • (Show?)

    Chris,

    Runtmg's spot-on comment above aside, you are seriously tilting at windmills here. Proud progressives from Portland have long poked fun at themselves and their city with all manner of jokes with communist themes, including referring to it as "The Kremlin." Steve Novick himself had business cards printed up with a Soviet-style hammer and sickle on it - an obvious joke which people got BECAUSE the faux-communist theme was so widespread.

    To come on here, act like it's just a bad joke and try to lay it all at the feet of an allegedly "liberal baiting" Merkley just makes you look like you have no sense of humor. Worse, it makes you appear either so out of touch that you don't realize how widespread the faux-communist joke is (Novick passed out the business cards in D.C., for christ's sake!) or too blinded by your loyalty to Novick to be objective.

  • (Show?)

    To me being "liberal" is the biggest pansy ass term a person can have.

    Yeah? You wanna meet me in the alley to discuss it, a**hole?

    Those capitalist dickwads love guys like you who claim to be their enemy while you go around repeating their spin.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Merkley is being accused of triangulation that is a joke and actually more offensive than anything that his stupid spokesperson could have said off handed.

    And can you explain this without using the word 'triangulation'?

  • (Show?)
    Notbuyingit, if you believe there's irony here, and you still support Novick's latest attack, does that make you an adherent of "two wrongs make a right?"

    Can someone please tell me what Steve Novick's "latest attack" is? I don't think I've seen it.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    I apologize if the attack was of virgin birth.

  • (Show?)

    Steve Novick himself had business cards printed up with a Soviet-style hammer and sickle on it

    The context around the business cards: Novick was fighting Bill Sizemore and various anti-worker efforts more than five years ago when a conservative letter to the editor blasted Novick's work and called him a "labor-loving, latte liberal pantywaist." I think it was 2000, but can't remember the year for sure. Anyway, in response, a friend of Novick's had these made up in response as a gag (as mentioned in Politicker).

    Kevin is wrong that "Novick himself" had the cards printed. I strongly suspect that he also is wrong that Novick passed these out in D.C. during the campaign. Take a look at the actual card here. Does that look like a business card from 2000 or one that was handed out recently?

  • (Show?)

    Brynne Merkley is very cute and she obviously adores her dad (and vice versa).

    Frankly, she's much cuter than Kevin and I don't know why it took Jeff so long to figure out that he had to step up the talent in his ads.

    %^>

  • edison (unverified)
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    As a proud member of the party, I stand with my comrades as one with all oppressed peoples of democratic persuasions and passion. Until the iron chains of slavery and exploitation are broken, we must carry our struggle forward until our truth is known. – “part” of the secret Novick inner-circle oath, we have to say it 3 times every night before bedtime (j/k)

    Hey, but the good news is, ya gotta love it when Mr. Smith feels it's important to spend some of his hard earned campaign bucks on ad time BEFORE the primary? Heh!

  • (Show?)

    Round up my armor, Sancho!

    [Disclaimer: Miguel de Cervantes didn't build my website, but Don Quixote speaks for me.]

  • (Show?)
    Darrell, you must not have lived in Oregon very long to have suggested that only the Bush family calls Portland "Little Beirut."

    Are you really that much of a moron, Kevin?

    I guess your idea of "not very long" must be more than the 46 years I've lived in the state. Or maybe you just mean that living in Portland since 1987 isn't long enough to know what I'm talking about.

    I was here when the protests that sparked the "Little Beirut" comment took place. It was GHW Bush's derisive appelation for the city that met him with some spirited protest. The people who protested -- and others since -- wear it as a badge of honor precisely because Bush was unhappy with his reception. It's not because there are warring militias destroying vast portions of the city.

    Merkley's spokesman deriding Portland with his "Kremlin" shot puts him in the same camp as Bush: someone whose unhappy with the treatment they receive in the city. He's whining -- as Bush was -- because he perceives the people in Portland as a bunch of radical leftists who don't approve of his candidate's positions.

    Do you have some congential problem with misspelling peoples' names or something?

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