Hook 'Em

Pat Ryan

Out here in the Third Congressional District, we were all holding our collective breath on the big race of the cycle. Our HD was a snooze, once FuturePAC, SEIU, BRO, The Bus and the other Big Dogs decided that after several cycles of benign neglect, This was Their Year. I was getting pro-VanOrman calls from3094919  all over the Metro area, so beyond a bit of feel good participation and check writing early on, we were basically redundant. I learned that  without sacks full of cash and a blitz of ads featuring grainy photos and videos depicting the opponent as a crazy and violent cretin, you never get beyond the mid 40 percentile, which, by the way, was about the margin for the unfortunate Mr. Lindland this time around.

Anyhow, in a squeaker, our own polka dotted bicyclist beat Some Republican or Other by about 99 to 1 so now it's time for some whining and wishing.

Is there any chance at all that The Pearl will be picked by the new administration to be chief designer of traffic calming and the reintroduction of the Half-Penny Farthing Bicycle as the new mandatory mode of transportation with which I will be required to run errands between my house and the town of Sandy?

Should that blessed day arrive, I'd like to throw out the idea of filling that slot with an actual progressive who also understands that the district doesn't end at the 205 bypass with only the outlier island of The Great Wilderness, out there beyond 92nd street.

We already have the guy, a battle tested Wonk, who is able to simultaneously consider several different options, fold in cogent analysis and fact based reasoning and come to a useful conclusion for which he will then fight like hell. A guy who would, along with the recently elected Kurt Schrader, and the Old Pro Defazio, up our count of Progressives Who Get the Rural Piece, to three.

Anyone who went through the primary here, pretty much understands that this guy might not be able to muster the saliva to extinguish a bad case of Spontaneous Pat the Welder Combustion, and the fix is most definitely not it on this one.

Boyz and Gurls, I give you Steve Novick.   

 

Comments

  • George Seldes (unverified)
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    Sign me up. The minute you post the URL for contributions, I'm SO there. Oregon STILL needs a fighter with a strong left hook, and CD-3 is PERFECT for him.

  • TroyB (unverified)
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    That is the same thought I had... In fact, I'm wearing my hooked on novick t-shirt today.

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    It's not my district but I'd be elbowing George Seldes for first-in-line honors to underwrite whatever it takes. Definitely.

  • Stefan (unverified)
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    I'm with George and Kevin on this one. You know you want it, Portland!

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    Pat, i have no freaking idea what you were writing about there, but the last 2 words not only came in loud & clear, they are shared by many, if not most, of us west of I205 (aka the Real Oregon)(sorry, i couldn't resist). i happen to own an "Earl Bluemenauer for Secty of Transportation" button, given to me by the girlfriend of some Oregon politico, and the hopes are high we'll see this occur. both because Earl would take the ideas of mass trans & bicycles to DC & because we could send Novick to Congress.

    Steve rode the Bus with us this past weekend, walking for Jim Gilbert, Kitty Piercy and Judy Stiegler. you don't have to convince too many people that he'd be a great member of Congress. it's just good to see someone from your side of the tracks recognize that (again, kidding)(sort of).

  • options (unverified)
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    Steve Novick could indeed be a great candidate for CD-3, but before appointing him by fiat, I'm curious who else is out there. This region is full of progressive leaders, and with seven white males in our federal delegation (and seven straight white males, as far as I'm aware), I'd at least like to consider who else might be interesting and interested.

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    Mmmmm, I dunno. Mmmmmmaybe...

    Ha! I don't think I fooled anyone. But as I suspected, the support for Steve in OR-3 among Novick and Merkley vocalists alike is strong. TA, you need to get us more buttons! Or maybe I'll have some made up myself.

    Which brings to mind an action item: since we all appear to be agreed that Steve is perfect for OR-3 and Earl is perfect for DOT, shouldn't we be organizing to do something about it? LTEs, letters to the Obama campaign and John Podesta? Building media buzz in Portland to push Earl as a strong candidate? What should we be doing, if we really want this to be reality? I don't want to trust it to Rahm Emanuel, that's for sure...

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    I like Earl.

    If Earl wants to go, then - and only then - do I like Steve.

    But if it does play out that Earl is enticed away from his current position in Congress, I agree.

    In the primary debate, I argued that Steve seemed to be to be a perfect fit for Congress, where you have to have a special cache to stand out. (And Steve has that in spades.) He's a perfect fit. None better, if Earl drops out.

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    If Earl does indeed move into Obama's Administration, I'd love to see Steve as our Congressman. That would be great.

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    Definitely. Count me in for a t-shirt - just post a link.

    Light Rail for Everybody! Yes We Can make your commute to work not suck, no matter who you are!

  • Alan Locklear (unverified)
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    Well, I live in the First District, but I was a strong Novick supporter in the primary and as soon as I saw Blumenauer's name being touted for SecTrans, I started talking up Steve for the possible open seat. Go, Steve (after Earl resigns to take the Cabinet post, of course)!

  • options (unverified)
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    What's the process for choosing a replacement if Earl gets appointed?

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    This is Steve Novick checking in to say that regardless of what happens with Earl, I am honored by the kind words from folks who were on the other side in the primary.

  • options (unverified)
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    Correction: six white males (with apologies to David Wu). Still seven males out of seven seats.

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    Steve:

    What can we say? We love ya and think you'd be an excellent representative for us in Congress.

    Having you in Congress could tempt me into working in a Congressional office again. ;) I always loved the constituent work and the town halls, I just hated the internal politics.

  • George Seldes (unverified)
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    Steve, they weren't on the other side in the primary, you and Jeff were just in a race to be first through a door only wide enough for one .... All I can say is that Thank God That One cut an ad for Merkley and that a plurality of Oregonians are too smart to get suckered a third time.

  • Susan Shawn (unverified)
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    I've been talking about this option for at least 3 months or more now. Totally in support of having Steve take Earl's place. What a wonderful thing that would be for all of us. I moved from the 3rd to the 5th just this last month, so I can no longer vote on the Congressional Committee, but would be happy to put in my 2 cents to that fine group.

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    you and Jeff were just in a race to be first through a door only wide enough for one ...

    Wow... Amazingly well put, George! I never would have thought to frame it that way, but that's exactly what the situation was.

    Steve, suffice to say that although I still don't agree with every decision your campaign made, I was (and remain) deeply impressed with how you handled defeat. In almost all circumstances I think that even a single defeat reveals more about a person's character than a lifetime's worth of wins.

    Beyond that... I'll echo Steve Maurer. If I were tasked with developing a model of the ideal member of Congress - as it exists in the real world of 2008 - I do believe that the end product would be virtually a dead ringer for you and your amazing talents which Pat so eloquently described in his post.

    I don't believe that Tip O'Neal would have excelled in the Senate, nor do I believe that Tom Daschle would have excelled in the House. Both were masterful in their respective chambers because that's where their respective talents and personalities thrived. C'est la vie.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Sorry, Kevin, have to fact check you.

    In 1985, I went to a Congressional hearing on veterans issues in Portland. It was held by a couple of bright young Congressmen who would be later elected to the US Senate. One was our own Ron Wyden. The other was Tom Daschle.

    I looked it up--he was in the House for almost 10 years, winning the 1986 US Senate race.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Daschle

    In 1978, Daschle was elected to the United States House of Representatives, winning the race by a margin of 110 votes, following a recount, out of more than 129,000 votes cast. Daschle served four terms in the House of Representatives and quickly became a part of the Democratic leadership.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    I have been discussing this scenario with folks for weeks. Everyone--including several important union political types--loves the idea. Pat has it right--such a progressive district deserves an actual progressive to represent it.

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    Count me in as another Merkley voter in the Senate race who'd strongly support Steve replacing Earl if Earl moves up. I agree that would be a great fit.

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    You all know better than I, but if Steve doesn't live in OR-3, and wouldn't like to move there, perhaps he'd be interested in Fort Myers, Florida.

    I know - STFU, John.

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    LT, you completely missed the point of what I was saying.

    I didn't say that O'Neal or Daschle couldn't get elected to the other chamber. I said that (IMHO) neither would have excelled in the other chamber. And I'm sorry but in my view Daschle's position in the House was in no way comparable to his position in the Senate. Speaker Tip O'Neal ruled with an iron fist. The Dem House "leadership" did what the hell O'Neal wanted done. Which, in hindsight, helped set the stage for Reagan by hamstringing Carter and making him appear weak and ineffective.

  • George Seldes (unverified)
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    @ Options: I woke up this morning turning your posts over and over in my head, and I realized how sad they made me, because they appear to suggest that you've reduced Steve Novick, a genuine progressive and a real mensch, to nothing but a cartoon that you've labeled "straight, white guy."

    If Oregon's landslide support for a biracial candidate for president, and Oregon Democrats' prior landslide support for that candidate in the primary (along with a smaller but healthy chunk of Oregon Democrats' support for a woman in that same primary) suggests anything, it's that Oregon is making some progress in growing beyond its sometimes-despicable past which included explict racism in the state constitution and "sundown towns."

    You (and everyone on this board) should read Joe Bageant's "Deer Hunting with Jesus."

    Oh, and no one is proposing to install Steve "by fiat" -- nobody here has the power to give such commands. Someone made a great suggestion about who would make a good replacement for Blumenauer if he takes another job, and a lot of us chimed in agreement. That's all.

    If you've got a got a candidate with the smarts, passion, and talent of Steve Novick in mind who also meets your little demographic tests, please do share, because we need all the talent we can get in whatever packaging it has.

    But I'm sorry to see anyone respond to the idea of Novick in office by saying that he's too white, or too straight (and I actually don't know if he's the latter, although pictures convey the former).

  • options (unverified)
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    Steve certainly has smarts, passion, and talent. And I know there are drawbacks to some of the people I'm going to name. But here are some other people with smarts, passion, and talent (most, but possibly not all, live in CD-3):
    Diane Rosenbaum, Avel Gordley, Kate Brown, Joann Bowman, Lisa Naito, Charlotte Lehan, Carlotta Collette, Ed Washington, Preston Pulliams, Chip Lazenby, and Marcus Mundy.

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    I've met several of the people on your list and there are even a couple I'd support, but one of the points of posting was to highlight the idea that the 3rd district is due for someone who understands that the district is Urban for the Votes Needed, but it is Urban/Rural in terms of good governance.

    <h2>This subtle distinction seems lost on a lot of folks from pundits to pols, and really may not generate a lot of significant poicy changes but it's the correct way to govern and Obama, DeFazio, Wyden, Schrader, and a lot of others seem to get it. I'd like to see a rep in the 3rd that gets it and I know that Steve does, even though he has of course, a lot more than that to bring to the table.</h2>

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