Mike Erickson sure does love Cuba

From the Washington D.C. newspaper The Hill:

Of all the bands Mike Erickson could have chosen for his May 20 victory-night party, it had to be Cuban.

Less than three months later, the GOP candidate vying for Congress against Democrat Kurt Schrader got slammed in his hometown newspaper, the Portland Oregonian, for what he claims was a humanitarian trip to Cuba in 2004.

During the trip, the newspaper reports, Erickson visited the Tropicana Nightclub, attended Fidel Castro’s Annual Gala Cigar Dinner and Auction and was slated to go to a cockfight. Erickson’s campaign manager, Jeff Harvey, said his boss did not attend the cockfight, although it was on his itinerary.

Erickson did visit museums and the Tropicana, described by the Oregonian as a “Ricky Ricardo-style club with showgirls.”

The Erickson campaign's explanation?

Harvey sees nothing ironic about Erickson hiring the Cuban band for his victory party. “I wouldn’t say it’s ironic or ask him why he’d do it,” Harvey told ITK on Tuesday. “If you like a certain kind of music, you hire a band. It’s Cuban-Latin fusion-type music. I don’t think you have to be born and raised in Cuba to appreciate good Cuban music.”

The Schrader campaign's response?

Schrader’s office did not seem surprised that Erickson had hired a Cuban band. “We’re going to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that a third of the music they played was strictly for humanitarian purposes,” said Paul Gage, Schrader’s campaign manager.

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • (Show?)

    I know it's not going to be popular to defend Mike Erikson, but what's the big deal? He likes all things Cuban, especially Cuban girls? Living in the strip club capital of the country, I can't say I haven't seen some parts that didn't belong to me while listening to music that wasn't from "my people." Should I not run for office, either? That's kinda what scares me about running at all. Nick Kahl in 49 gets smacked down because he plays alt jazz, I might get smacked down because every meal I have out is at Pambiche. What's a candidate to do?

  • Slappy McDickleton (unverified)

    Is this really the most pressing issue of this campaign? Who gives a rats rear end about Cuban music, how about the difference between Schrader and Erickson on the Issues. Erickson's own party thinks he is bad, there are r's lining up to endorse Kurt. Pick a topic other than Cuba, and Kurt is the better man.

    Again we are playing into the hand of the r's. They want people to look at the shiny thing In their right hand and not at their record, for the last 8 years, focusing on crap like this is going to costs us in November.

  • (Show?)

    There are plenty of reasons not to like Mike Erickson. This isn't one of them.

  • rw (unverified)

    Karol, that was great. Heh. Put a huge grin on my face. I'm a writer. That was so fun to read I can't even THINK through what you said!

    Ok.. time to stop spamming this List. Good night.

  • (Show?)

    Is this really the most pressing issue of this campaign?

    I'm always amused when people seem to think that blog posts are so rare and expensive that we're only allowed to have one per campaign - and that, therefore, they must only be about the single most important issue in the campaign.

    Maybe that's true of someone else's blog, but not this one. Here, we're just talking about what other people are talking about.

  • Pedro (unverified)

    The reason that "Havana" Mike Erickson's trip to Cuba is relevant to the current race is that it shows an emerging pattern of contradictions between his positions on issues and how he leads his own life.

    While most Blue Oregonians view Erickson driving his lover to the clinic for an abortion he paid for simply as Mike supporting his girlfriend's CHOICE. His action to aid that choice are completely the opposite of what he tells prospective voters.

    The point is "Cigar" Mike is a liar who will say anything to get elected.

    • Pedro -
  • (Show?)

    So BlueO's definition of what constitutes "news" is what some other people might be talking about? That's the excuse for running this non-story?

    I hear there's a lot of buzz about Obama being a Muslim...

  • RichW (unverified)

    Yes, I have been impressed by Schrader's "high road" TV ads. This issue seems to be a low blow that isn't even needed to discredit Erickson.

  • ChickieBlue (unverified)

    The frightening thing about Mike is that he is not a serious candidate (or he's lazy) who throws a ton of money into the race thinking eventually it might buy him the seat.

    His ads look cheap (did anyone catch the typo "higer" in the first version of his ad?), I drive by his headquarters everyday and they are dark, his website hasn't been updated since the last time he ran and his missed or late arrivals at debates all tell me that he doesn't give a fig about this district. We need someone who is a nose-to-the-grindstone hard worker who takes the job seriously.

    And for those apologists here over Mike's Cuban trip, can you imagine the political hay the other side would be making of this story if it was about Schrader?

    <h2>Please. Get real.</h2>
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