Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Conceeding Defeat

Sad but true: Steve Novick was defeated by Jeff Merkley in the Oregon Democratic Primaries last night. Steve had fought the underdog battle but came could not overcome the odds. The only politician I ever campaigned for is no longer running but I do hope that Gordon Smith can still be unseated.
Here is what I hope for in the coming battle to snag the seat in the Senate:
1. Jeff Merkley BEATS Gordon Smith
2. Jeff Merkley uses the same negative campaign tactics on Gordo as he did on Steve.
3. Jeff Merkley does not sing "Kumbaya" with Republicans if he does win.
4. Jeff Merkley repairs rifts amongst Democrats immediately.
5. Jeff Merkley learns how to land a punch in a debate rather than giving the politically safe answers.
To Steve: Let me say thanks for helping me believe in someone rather than just something. I do not trust politicians and they constantly prove that my lack of faith in them is warranted. Instead, I usually focus on issues of policy or broader ideology. You were endearing, approachable, down to earth, and one of "us" however. You were the rare candidate that did not thirst for power but instead saw your run as a matter of responsibility. You were not the well-groomed career politician but your ideas had broad appeal. I don't know what your future plans are but I wish you the best and hope to see you continue standing up for the little guy. Thank you Steve. You made this Oregonian proud.

Onto Obama...
He now has the majority locked up for pledged delegates. The race will none the less continue and, as much as I am sick of it, I think it should. Why stop now right?

Friday, May 09, 2008

So Long Suckas!

So all three presidential hopefuls are coming to town. Truth is, two out of three are already here. My response? I'm getting on a plane and high tailing out of here!
No, it isn't so that I can escape the hype, the motorcades, or the political ads. Really, I'd like to stay and help the Novick campaign. But alas, I'm going on vacation (in part thanks to my mother-in-law). I got a house sitter and I'm tying up the loose ends at work. If anyone wonders where I've gone, here are some pics but there will be no more blogging for at least the next 9 days.
Peace out everyone (that is aimed at the three people who actually visit this site!)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ding Dong

Well, the witch is almost dead, though apparently she has yet to get the memo. Last night she scraped by in Indiana but got completely trounced in NC. Although many pundits framed this as a split between the two the delegate count reveals a little different story. Last night almost nullified Clinton's Pennsylvania victory. If you put the three states together Hillary's net gain in delgates was a mere 7 and with the finish line within sight it would take a miracle (or something tragic) for her to overtake Barack. Even if she were able to get 60% of all the remaining primaries and 60% of the remaining super delegates she would still loose. So although she may still fight on it may very well be the fat woman singing her theme song.
That said, if you are in one of the the last few states get out there and vote Obama!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Indiana & North Carolina

Indiana and North Carolina:
Democrats, please, for the love of your country and your party, do the right thing and shut the door on the Clinton campaign!
She can't win. She has transparent tactics designed for dummies (Gas Tax Holiday anyone?). She is willing to tear the party apart for her own ambitions. She caters to corporate America. She doesn't inspire (save for the rabid anti-Hillary crowd). She doesn't provide a stark contrast with her buddy McCain. Oh, and did I mention she can't win?
To Indiana Voters: Back Barack because if he is good enough for Illinois, he's good enough for you.
To North Carolina Voters: Since John is gone, go Obama. He may not be a southerner but he does seem to be a gentleman.
Come on Dems! Make my state obsolete on the national stage.

And now back to Oregon politics...

Come out for a good time with Gov. John Kitzhaber

Wednesday, May 07 2008
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join Governor Kitzhaber and over 30 movers and shakers for a reception at the Northstar Ballroom in Portland. The event is free and open to all ages. The evening promises to be filled with good times, good people, and good food with music by Brooklyn Street Jazz, highlighting vocalist Ashley Henry, and Lebanese appetizers from Al-Amir provided by Donya Massaad.


The Northstar Ballroom
635 N. Killingsworth Ct.
Portland, OR 97217

directions for public transit
directions for driving

Monday, May 05, 2008

Another Shameless Novick Plug

I have much work to do so I'm not going to write much. Although I have provided a link to the Oregonian article about Steve here is much of the text. Enjoy (and vote Novick!)

Novick no stranger to beating long odds

The political insider, a onetime Justice Department star, transforms himself into a credible U.S. Senate candidate
Friday, May 02, 2008
The Oregonian

By his early 20s, Novick had overcome so much in the eyes of those around him that they had trouble believing that he could fall prey to the normal doubts and uncertainties of life. Literally from the time he was born -- when his mother says a doctor saw his deformed feet and tried to strangle him in the birth canal -- he had been overcoming a deck stacked against him, often in spectacular fashion.

Now, at 45, Novick continues to challenge the odds. He has turned himself from a political insider virtually unknown to the general public into a credible first-time candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, one who just might beat the pick of the party's establishment, House Speaker Jeff Merkley, to face Republican incumbent Gordon Smith.

Unconventional childhood

Novick's upbringing was far from conventional. His mother was forced to drop out of college when she became pregnant with him at 18. She briefly married his biological father, but the marriage soon ended. Rebecca Novick Harmon says she later learned that her doctor had tried to prevent her son's birth, and she described a series of challenges in his early years.

[ ... ]

His mother taught at a Head Start center in San Francisco, and her son was the only white kid in the class. Within a couple of weeks, by sheer force of personality, he had turned bullies into friends. Whether it was hanging laundry or playing pickup softball, he always wanted to be part of the action.

"I just sort of did what I could do," Steve Novick says. "It's not like I remember that I had all these obstacles to overcome."

Superfund expert

Novick, whom colleagues called the "king of costs," became one of the lead government attorneys in legal action stemming from the notorious Love Canal chemical pollution disaster in New York state.

By the fall of 1995, Novick and other Justice Department attorneys were locked in intense negotiations with the Occidental Chemical Corp. over how much the company would pay.

Steve Yablonski, Occidental's lead attorney in the final negotiations, described Novick as one of the few people who could have successfully reached a deal that called for the company to pay $129 million in damages. "He is just several notches above most people," Yablonski says. "He is a really bright guy, and yet he is not an egghead who can't function with most people."

Back in Oregon

As the caucus administrator for Oregon Senate Democrats in 1997, Novick always looked for a catchy issue to tweak the Republicans then in the majority.

"He would whisper something in my ear about the corporate tax rate or the kicker," recalls Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard, then a state senator, "and before you know it he and I would sitting down and I would be writing out some remarks that I would take to the floor and would just outrage the Republicans. . . . I essentially became a mouthpiece for Steve."

Money not a priority

Novick rarely made as much as he had as a lawyer at the Justice Department, but that didn't seem to bother him. His girlfriend, Julia Bunnell, an Environmental Protection Agency official in Washington, explains: "There is so much going on in his mind all the time, he's always reading, learning and talking and getting information, I'm not sure he has the time to think about" acquiring things.

Read the entire story at

Thursday, May 01, 2008

More on Novick

Here in Oregon we have had an intense battle to see which Democrat will face Gordon Smith this fall in the general election for U.S. Senate. When the race first began, Steve Novick, who is not a politician, tried to convince numerous party leaders to run against Gordo. No one stepped to the plate so Steve did himself. At first, many thought his chances were slim and his attempt quaint. After two months of trying to drum up support another Democrat, Jeff Merkley, threw his hat into the ring. This he did after national Democrats in D.C. convinced him to run.
Fast forward one year to present: Novick leads in the polls, he has run a great, grass-roots campaign, and nobody thinks of his candidacy as a joke anymore. He has recently been endorsed by the major papers here in Portland: the Oregonian, the Willamette Week, the Portland Mercury, and the Portland Tribune. Steve has raised almost as much money as Merkley without a such "outside" help.
If you are an Oregonian who is sick of politics as usual, who wants a real progressive representative willing to fight for the people rather than find common ground with those who seek to reduce people's rights click here for a good party, click here to donate (or here to buy some beer), and click here to get involved with the Novick campaign.

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