Novick: Kurt Schrader needs our help. Mike Erickson could still win.

By Steve Novick of Portland, Oregon. Steve is a long-time progressive activist and was a 2008 candidate for the U.S. Senate. [Editor's note: This originally appeared as an email last week to his supporters. When it was noticed by the Washington D.C. newspaper Roll Call, we asked Steve if we could republish it in full here. He agreed.]

While I may not be a candidate for Senate any longer, this continues to be an exciting election year for me – and I hope for you as well.

I've enjoyed talking with or running into many of you while campaigning for Jeff Merkley, state candidates and against some of the outrageous Sizemore ballot measures. Thank you for all you're doing to advance our cause, and for insisting that leaders tell us the truth no matter how difficult.

One leader I know well and who does tell the truth, even when it's not easy, is running to represent Oregon's 5th Congressional District – Kurt Schrader. Visit to learn about Kurt and his record serving in Oregon's legislature. Kurt's very much my kind of guy: you may not always agree with him (I've occasionally disagreed with him myself, sometimes vehemently), but he's smart, he works hard, and you know where he stands. (And you'll usually agree with him.)

You may have heard a bunch of scandalous things about Kurt's opponent, and assume that means this isn't a real race. The problem is, not everyone reads the newspapers – so all that many people will hear about the candidates is what they see on TV. Kurt's opponent, Mike Erickson, has unlimited personal wealth. He'll use that wealth to tell voters that Mike Erickson's a great American and Kurt Schrader's a Communist. Without our help, Kurt won't be able to counter that pitch with actual facts.

Erickson is one of the worst options on Oregon's ballot this cycle. He believes...

We're about to turn the tide from the disastrous last eight years and it would be a ridiculous folly if an extreme right conservative bought his way into representing the 5th District – and all of Oregon – in Congress.

If you can join me in making a contribution now it will go directly into Kurt's television advertising budget. "Team Schrader" is relying on many giving $25, $50, $100 or anything they can to make sure Kurt can tell his story first. Please visit today to learn more, get involved and if you can, donate.

If Kurt gets on television first and stays there, he wins. And we win too – Kurt would be one more leader in Congress willing to tell the truth and face the hard issues.

Thanks for your consideration and hope to see you soon.


  • edison (unverified)

    Thank you, Steve. I know you have to be more polite, but the truth is that Mike Erickson is a creep. His ideas of how government should work are clearly in sync with what we've all had to endure since January 20th, 2001.

  • Anon (unverified)

    Erickson won't even get a majority of Republican votes in his district.

    If Schrader loses he would have to be the dumbest candidate in history.

    This sounds like a plea to make sure his campaign staff can get their promised bonuses for winning.

  • David McDonald (unverified)

    Kurt Schrader refused to answer what happened with 29 million dollars the state ripped off from adults with developmental disabilities in Oregon. For everyone's sake I hope he loses.

  • Jack Sullivan (unverified)

    Anon -- how do you explain Erickson's primary victory?

  • Anon (unverified)

    The abortion story was released by Erickson's opponent at the 11th hour.

    Voters didn't have the time to sort through the mess and did not want to reward what they perceived as dirty politics.

  • Eric Zimmerman (unverified)

    The point Steve Novick makes here is true across other races in Oregon. I want to immediately mention Brent Barton running for the House District 51. He is also opposing a dangerous and unbelievably incompetent opponent, Rep. Linda Flores. Flores has had the advantage in the past of both heavily successful republican election years and the lack of a well known opponent. Barton has truly stepped up to meet our community and has a firm grasp of the values we hold in Clackamas county.

    This election cycle, send Kurt Shrader to Congress and Brent Barton to Salem to represent Clackamas and its neighbors the way we deserve.

  • Jim Smith (unverified)

    When you vote for a candidate you are essentially hiring an employee. As an employer, I'm going to hire the person with the most experience in what I'm hiring for. A congressman must know finances and must have a record of handling not only his own personal finances, but the finances of others. Let's face facts. A congressman handles our tax dollars, that's what he does.

    Mike Erickson has that experience. That's what his business specializes in and that's what has made him a lot of money.

    If I were hiring a veterinarian, I wouldn't hire Mike Erickson, I'd hire Kurt Schrader.

    This is why I'll vote for Mike Erickson.

    If you want a good veterianarian, take your dog to Kurt Schrader, but don't put him in congress.

  • (Show?)

    "Mike Erickson has that experience. That's what his business specializes in and that's what has made him a lot of money."

    By this standard, an outstanding candidate for Congress is...Ken Lay? Because they're both about as trustworthy.

  • Jack Sullivan (unverified)

    I'm sorry, but what?!

    Congressmen don't manage money. They write and vote for legislation.

    Which one of these two has the right experience?

    If I want to take a junket to visit strip clubs in Cuba, I'll call Mike Erickson. If I want a Congressman who knows how to craft effective public policy, I'll hire Kurt Schrader.

  • Jim Smith (unverified)

    Ok, so a job applicant puts down on his resume that he went fishing in Cuba. I fail to see how this has anything to do with his job.

    If I didn't hire someone because of where they traveled or what they did during their leisure time I would be called a bigot.

    Our current economy is in the toilet, everyone knows it. We have a chance to hire someone who is an EXPERT in managing money and resources...Mike Erickson. Not only is he an expert, but he has been successful beyond belief in his area of expertise.

    On the other hand we have a candidate who has had immense problem managing his own financial affairs including but not limited to paying his taxes.

    I'm sorry, even if Kurt Schrader were my best friend, I wouldn't hire him over an immensely more qualified candidate.

  • RichW (unverified)

    "I'm sorry, even if Kurt Schrader were my best friend, I wouldn't hire him over an immensely more qualified candidate."

    So be it, but i'll cancel your vote by voting on the basis of character. Erickson has shown he is such a sleezeball that many of his own party won't vote for him.

  • Law-n-Order D (unverified)
    <h2>I have heard from some friends of mine who are lawyers that Schrader is so rabidly anti-lawyer that he did not want to give judges a raise for years to the point that until recently Oregon's judicial salaries were, embarssingly, dead last in the country and that Schrader's kind of populist "kill all the lawyers" thinking has also kept elected DA salaries low as well as the AG salary (I could not believe how low that salary was!) Any truth to these anti-lawyer rumors?</h2>
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