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place, politics and power in oregon

Novick Can’t Find the Political Arena September 5, 2007

Filed under: Primary 2008,U.S. Senate — taoiseach @ 4:44 pm

In a continuation of the bizarre sports mascot implications of the U.S. Senate race, Democratic candidate Steve Novick the other day offered Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley odds on the upcoming University of Oregon versus Stanford football game.

It begs the question: What’s with Novick’s sports mascot logic?  This isn’t the first time he’s used convoluted–dare I say farfetched–thinking to explain a recently unfavorable turn of events.  Remember when Governor Ted Kulongoski endorsed (and became co-chair of) Merkley’s campaign?  Novick’s explanation then:

As you know, the Governor comes from Missouri, and roots for the St. Louis Cardinals. Speaker Merkley went to Stanford, and roots for the Stanford Cardinal.  There’s a natural congruence there. But I, of course, am a Duck,” said the 1981 University of Oregon graduate, “so to me, this is just water off a Duck’s back.”

Or perhaps the Governor endorsed Merkley because he orchestrated the Democratic takeover of the Oregon House and followed-through with a barrage of progressive legislation?  Maybe.  But whichever you pick,  so strong was Merkley’s performance that the Governor chose him over Novick, who had worked diligently on Kulongoski’s first gubernatorial run.  But, sure, I guess it could have been because of a natural ‘congruence’.

Now Novick is displaying his intercollegiate intellect once again by suggesting that the UO v. Stanford game might predict the outcome of the primary race between two products of the schools–Novick and Merkley, respectively.  He’s made the type of bet that is reserved for Governors of states with competing teams in the Sugar Bowl.  It’s probably true that Novick’s wager is centered about the notion that he went in-state for undergraduate studies and Merkley went to California.  The Merkley campaign, however, refused to take the bait and responded on a nobler register:

Like most Oregon Democrats, Jeff Merkley knows Republican incumbent Gordon Smith is the whole ballgame. And that game isn’t won until Gordon Smith is no longer in the U.S. Senate.

Merkley and his campaign haven’t wasted any time with circuitous logic or pigskin superstition.  They’re putting the focus squarely on Gordon Smith, whose end run around the Oregon electorate for the past ten years is getting truly infuriating.  Gordon Smith may be playing for a number of teams and sponsors in the U.S. Senate, but none of them are Oregon.  And the outcome of the Stanford-UO game ain’t gonna change that.

All the while, the blogging band of Novick backers accuse Merkley’s nomination as a fait accompli.  They seem to follow the old fallacy: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (after this, therefore because of this).  ‘If UO wins, Novick has a shot at the nomination.  If Merkley is nominated in May, then the DSCC has merely crowned its nominee.’

Let’s stick to the issues, please.  Come out of the football arena and back into the political one.

One question to get you started:  where was the Novick campaign on the Gonzales impeachment?

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41 Responses to “Novick Can’t Find the Political Arena”

  1. Stephanie V Says:

    It would be great to “stick to the issues.”

    But Merkley has now been in the race for FIVE WEEKS and we still haven’t seen a peep out of him with regard to any actual issue positions. Establishment endorsements “R” us, and oh, yeah, let’s impeach Alberto Gonzales (THERE’s a profile-in-courage position) … but nothing else. Since he won’t tell us where he stands, it’s rather challenging to engage him in any dialogue relating to issues that are material to the lives and wellbeing of Oregonians.

    But like my dad taught me, “if you can talk about sports, you can talk with almost anybody, no matter how little they have to say.” So Steve’s strategy is certainly understandable.

    Merkley looks like a placeholder from here. I would have expected that a bright guy like him, who after all has been in public life for years, would have gotten into this race already knowing where he stands on some issues. I guess they’re still focus-grouping over at Merkley for Senate.

    Wake me up when he knows what he’s for (other than saluting the courage of President George W. Bush), and what he’s against.

  2. torridjoe Says:

    “where was the Novick campaign on the Gonzales impeachment?”

    not unwisely prejudging an administration official before the evidence? Merkley said Congress should charge him with a crime, which I found curious without hearings first. And it’s not a Senator’s place to prejudge IMO, given their position in any trial.

  3. Kevin Says:

    It’s not a sitting Senator’s place to prejudge. But as citizen Merkley or even as candidate Merkley he can voice whatever opinions he believes the situation merits. Besides which, neither Merkley nor Novick would ever have sat in judgement of Gonzo in the first place.

  4. Kevin Says:

    Why didn’t Novick even call for a pre-Impeachment investigation? Wouldn’t you think that a former DOJ lawyer would automatically understand the need to investigate? It’s like a professional basketball player not taking the ball past the halfcourt line on a change of posession.

  5. The “Impeach Gonzales” horse was about two hands away from the finish line, it wasn’t exactly a bold stance to call for his ouster. That writing had been on the wall for months.

    Merkley is welcome to act like the “inevitable nominee,” much like Hillary Clinton is doing, but he does so at his own risk. Dismissing Steve Novick’s candidacy, and taking safe stances is not going to convince many that he’s a guy who can take out Gordon Smith. Smith, despite his many faults, is a seasoned campaigner and has lots of institutional support and financial resources.

    A vigorous approach by both, delving into differences both “substantive” and “stylistic,” will benefit both campaigns, raise awareness about who they are around the state, and produce an eventual nominee who’s stronger for it.

  6. Bradley Says:

    Can you imagine a Senator issuing these press releases from the capital? Seems unbecoming of someone who wants to be our US senator.

    Additionally, I would give Merkley a break on writing position papers. Yeah they filled a little while ago, but they just got an office and a phone so I am sure they will be coming. Plus, he has plenty of votes and floor speeches if you want to get a idea of what he stands for. I know Novick had to establish his positions early because he has never held elected office so his positions were a mystery but Jeff has a long record of service, so it is less important to be shelling out position papers 8 months before an election.

    Finally, Torrid Joe’s argument is absurd. 1. Maybe you “Don’t Recall” but I seem to recall 15 hearings in the House and Senate. 2. Even if you were unsatisfied with those hearings, a impeachment resolution goes through a committee like House Judiciary and House Rules which would require hearings. 3. Calling for impeachment is akin to supporting the introduction legislation for initiating a trial in the Senate. 4. Just because Merkley called for impeachment doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be a fair juror. He would take an oath saying he would act with an open mind just like the numerous other senators (both Democrat and Republican) who called for Gonzalez’s impeachment. Calling for a trial is not the same as prejudging and saying that someone is guilty (tho IMHO he totally is).

  7. Hey Stephanie… Not to worry, there will be plenty of policy stuff on the site – and MONTHS before the primary election. Yeah, he filed his FEC paperwork already, but they just got an office and phone last week. First things first, y’know?

    It’s not like Merkley hasn’t made his views well-known on lots and lots of issues. Unlike other candidates, he’s got a legislative record (as you know – natch.)

    Here’s just part of the agenda he pushed through, despite only a one-vote majority this session:

    * Established a rainy day fund for the state budget
    * Expansion of the Oregon Bottle Bill to include water bottles (~125 million/year)
    * A 36% cap on predatory payday loans (down from 528% average)
    * Guaranteed coverage for contraceptives in health insurance
    * Guaranteed sexual assault victims access to emergency contraceptives
    * Domestic partnerships for gays & lesbians
    * Employment non-discrimination for sexual orientation
    * Free speech and free press rights for student media
    * A 22% increase in university budgets
    * A $6.245 billion K-12 education budget, an 18% increase
    * 3200 more children in Head Start
    * Majority signup for unions (“card check”)
    * 25% renewable energy standard by 2025
    * A biofuels incentive package
    * Sent the voters a cigarette tax to fund health care for all kids
    * Expanded the prescription drug purchasing pool
    * Started the ball rolling toward universal health care in 2009
    * Sent the voters a fix for Measure 37 that protects housing rights while stopping Wal-Mart
    * An extensive identity theft protection law
    * 100 new state troopers; 15 new forensic scientists
    * The internet predator act
    * An e-waste recycling program
    * A 17% pay raise for Oregon’s judges (who were lowest-paid in the nation)
    * Restored the “Rule of 31” to the Oregon House; encouraging bipartisan cooperation
    * Referred to voters a repeal of the “double majority” rule
    * A wide-ranging and strict ethics package for all public officials
    * Reform of the initiative process that boosts grassroots organizing, while regulating mercenaries

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a single person in Oregon with a stronger or more progressive set of accomplishments over the last 30 years.

    Steve Novick is a good man, a good candidate, a good progressive, and a personal friend of mine. I’m looking forward to lots of meaningful and positive discussion about how to more Oregon and America forward. But let’s not pretend that Jeff’s a cipher. We all know where he stands on lots of stuff. The campaign’s just behind on writing the website copy.

    [Full disclosure: My company is hosting Jeff Merkley’s campaign website, but I speak only for myself.]

  8. Wow, Bradley. Great minds think alike!

  9. Oh, and TJ: You should have read the “Impeach Gonzales” resolution that Merkley endorsed — it called for starting the hearings to determine if impeachment was warranted.

  10. He would take an oath saying he would act with an open mind just like the numerous other senators (both Democrat and Republican) who called for Gonzalez’s impeachment.

    Bradley — a correction: Not a single Senator called for Gonzalez’s impeachment. Until Jeff Merkley, not a single Senate candidate had either.

  11. torridjoe Says:

    Kari said:

    “Oh, and TJ: You should have read the “Impeach Gonzales” resolution that Merkley endorsed — it called for starting the hearings to determine if impeachment was warranted.”

    I did read it, several times. It said if the President won’t fire him, Congress should impeach–ie, indict–him.

    He endorsed the Inslee Resolution, but that’s not incompatible with also declaring that he should be charged with a crime.

    I don’t have a big problem with it–it was pretty low hanging fruit, but it’s certainly the right position–but the question was asked why Novick might not have done the same, as if not doing so was deficient. I offered an alternate explanation as to why no Senator or candidate might have even gone so far as calling for hearings. It’s a clubby place. I’d like it to be less clubby, but at the moment it isn’t.

    And while sadly I believe either Merkley or Novick is going to have to deal with the war, I was pretty sure neither would have had to deal with an impeachment of Gonzo. Speaking of petitions, I’m guessing Jeff’s on board with Boxer-Sanders as well? I don’t necessarily give him the sole credit for the accomplishments of the Leg that you seem to have, but the environmental bills passed–in some cases with Ted’s help–were among the most impressively won in that session IMO. I hope he’ll make enviro issues a central part of his campaign.

  12. emdk Says:

    Stephanie V said: But like my dad taught me, “if you can talk about sports, you can talk with almost anybody, no matter how little they have to say.” So Steve’s strategy is certainly understandable.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t stop laughing. You can’t be serious that you think this is talking in any intelligible way about sports:

    “For example, in 2002, Oregon thrashed Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl,” Novick observed. “And in 2006, Oregon voters destroyed the TABOR initiative, a Colorado import designed to ruin education, health care, public safety and other public services.”

    Or better yet, this:

    “As you know, the Governor comes from Missouri, and roots for the St. Louis Cardinals. Speaker Merkley went to Stanford, and roots for the Stanford Cardinal. There’s a natural congruence there. But I, of course, am a Duck,” said the 1981 University of Oregon graduate, “so to me, this is just water off a Duck’s back.”

  13. emdk Says:

    And Stephanie V, let’s get real. You have now insisted on every blog in town that Jeff Merkley has stated no positions on any issues.

    You seem to base that statement on the fact that he has a very bare bones website.

    It might do you some good to get out of cyberspace and join the real world where people interact face to face with one another. You’ll find Merkley making the rounds to civic groups, speaking at rallies and picnics, talking directly to voters.

    By your internet yard stick, apparently no politician prior 1996 had anything to say about any issue whatsoever.

  14. Stephanie V Says:

    Wow, “every blog in town?” How blog-impoverished a town this must be!

    I do think, WADR, emdk, whoever you are, and Kari, that for a person with *such* a long career in public service (30 years! very respectable), that Merkley’s positions on issues would have already been fully formed enough that he could have put them online somewhat quicker … which, in THIS century, is the best accepted manner of making such information available to potential voters. Kari, I’m not blaming you or laying this at the feet of Mandate Media. But I truly don’t understand what the hangup is. Merkley for Senate is not a shoestring campaign trying to do everything with four volunteers. It has access to significant resources.

    As for Bradley’s expression of horror at the indignity of having a potential or actual US Senator issue such a press release… well, perhaps it’s Bradley who doesn’t live in the “real world.”

    Here are a few of the 291,000 hits on Google for “senators wager.”

    http://www.senate.gov/~levin/newsroom/release.cfm?id=209223
    http://www.senate.gov/~levin/newsroom/release.cfm?id=236038
    http://feinstein.senate.gov/04Releases/r-lakers.htm
    http://feinstein.senate.gov/releases01/bball_wager.html
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007/01/durbin_and_obama_bet_the_la_se.html

    After you read a couple of those press releases, Novick’s seems deeply Senatorial.

    (By the way, Google returns 521,000 hits for “mayors wager” and 835,000 for “governors wager.”)

    As for talking about sports, you may be of the “old school” where sports chat is concerned, and I respect that. But I can claim a bit of familiarity with that concept myself, and I think Novick’s comments would have been perfectly at home on most editions of SportsCenter I’ve ever watched.

    Finally, since there are only so many hours in the day, I must confess that the only reason I came over here and raised hell was that I could not allow to go unanswered the humorless and bizarre attack being leveled by taoiseach against Novick in the original post. It is frankly astonishing to me that anyone advocating for Merkley thinks he or she can occupy the moral high ground when complaining about a paucity of issues in the discussion.

  15. Kari,

    Can we please not give Jeff Merkley credit for the actions of the entire Democratic Majority in the House? It’s not like he’s Chuck Norris and is personally responsible for everything that happens. He may have been Speaker, but that doesn’t mean that all the efforts of the other Dems, their staffers, the LAs, and the constituents that elected them, didn’t have a bit of a hand in the session going the way it went. Seriously. You’re laying it on a little thick here.

    emdk, (if that is, in fact, your real name…)

    Steve can “talk sports.” Sit down with the guy for a couple minutes, and you’d realize he’s genuinely interested in the matter (though he and I part ways on that subject). If you’re taking tongue-in-cheek press releases at face value, then there’s probably a “receiving end” problem. (Wait, was that a sports joke?)

    Bradley, (and Kari again I suppose)

    re: position papers. Merkley has had plenty of time to get his staffers to squeak out a few “stands” on “issues” in between seeking out endorsements. It seems (more than) slightly disingenuous to throw hands up and claim he hasn’t had the time to write anything up. He’s been in the race officially for over a month, and dropping hints for much longer than that. A “position paper” or two, at this point, wouldn’t be too much to ask.

  16. carla Says:

    re: position papers. Merkley has had plenty of time to get his staffers to squeak out a few “stands” on “issues” in between seeking out endorsements. It seems (more than) slightly disingenuous to throw hands up and claim he hasn’t had the time to write anything up. He’s been in the race officially for over a month, and dropping hints for much longer than that. A “position paper” or two, at this point, wouldn’t be too much to ask.

    I work on Jeff’s staff as his netroots organizer.

    Are you seriously thinking it’s appropriate for STAFF to throw together a couple of position papers and slap them up on the website? For a US Senate candidate? It should give you pause to think that any candidate for a race this important would simply and cavalierly staff out their position write-ups.

    And the endorsement thing seems to be getting under some skins…which I find sincerely odd. As if the people who’ve worked with and support Jeff shouldn’t say so? Steve Novick has done a lot of work here in Oregon. Perhaps he could get a few of them to praise his efforts? It’s a lot like references for a job. You get an idea of what that person is like when you hear about and talk to their references.

    Anyone who pays attention at all to Oregon state politics knows what Jeff’s positions are based on his work in the legislature. And if you haven’t paid attention, then go to the legislature’s website and look at the amazing slate of legislation that was passed this session. And yes, the Speaker of the House gets a large share of credit for what goes through. His job as Speaker is to set the agenda of what gets into committee and when/if it’s heard once it’s passed. This is pretty basic civics.

  17. Stephanie V Says:

    Well, since Members of Congress, US Senators, US Presidents, and even Supreme Court justices rely on their staffs for drafting most of their official documents (subject to review, editing, and approval by the principal of course), I guess it’s not totally shocking to me to imagine that a Senate candidate might have considered delegating some first or second drafts to trusted staff.

    And after 30 years of public service one would hope a guy would have some staff who were really good and trustworthy to do that.

  18. oregon2008 Says:

    Whichever Democratic candidate you support, keep in mind that they are going to be running against Gordon Smith. We need to keep our energy focused on Smith- he’s back in Washington for another session, and he shouldn’t go under our radar. Anti-choice, anti-worker, and anti-environment – he’s got to go. If you aren’t involved already, you should definitely check out StopGordonSmith.com. Make sure to let your friends know about the campaign as well.

  19. Kevin Says:

    So let me see if I’ve got this right, Stephanie…

    You’re saying that business as usual is what you expect from a Senatorial candidate? That the standard practices dominating the world of politics is good enough? Are you sure?

  20. carla,

    you and i both know that most of the copy that comes out of elected officials’ offices (or candidates for elected office) isn’t actually written by the person themselves.

    generally, it’s written by their communication directors, or other staff, and then vetted by a higher up staff like a policy director and (maybe) finally passes over an elected’s desk to get a final perusal and stamp of approval.

    as for the endorsements thing, it’s not the endorsements themselves, it’s the timing. (at least for me) we’re at the beginning of the campaign season, way before most people are paying attention. in a contested primary, early endorsements potentially create a less democratic process as one candidate attempts to assume the role of “front runner” and tries to create an air of inevitability.

    frontloading “big name endorsements” creates the appearance of Machine Politics at work. Whether it’s true or not that Merkley (or his campaign) are going to try and squeeze Steve out of the race before the actual primary election, to some, it’s the impression that is given and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    the eventual Democratic nominee, whether Novick or Merkley, is going to need all the publicity and name recognition boosting it can get. Even with the nation and Oregon tilting Blue, Smith is a formidable opponent and won’t be easily beaten.

  21. Stephanie V Says:

    Thank you, oregon2008. You have provided a valuable reminder of the importance of this primary being contested fully on the merits, in order that we can identify and choose the candidate most likely to defeat Gordon Smith.

  22. Taoiseach Says:

    Let’s have a real primary and not treat either candidate like a stuffed suit. That means we avoid name-calling about “DSCC hackery” or “self-presumptive nominee”.

    Novick backers can’t pretend the primary is over, or that anyone in the Merkley campaign thinks they’re entitled to the nomination.

    We can at least try to get along over the next 256 days.

  23. carla Says:

    Colin:

    you and i both know that most of the copy that comes out of elected officials’ offices (or candidates for elected office) isn’t actually written by the person themselves.

    We’re not talking about “most of the copy”, Colin. We’re talking about the POLICY STATEMENTS/POSITIONS of a US Senate candidate. Let’s be clear.

    as for the endorsements thing, it’s not the endorsements themselves, it’s the timing. (at least for me) we’re at the beginning of the campaign season, way before most people are paying attention. in a contested primary, early endorsements potentially create a less democratic process as one candidate attempts to assume the role of “front runner” and tries to create an air of inevitability.

    Frankly Colin, I find that to be a red herring.

    There’s nothing keeping Steve from putting his endorsements out there any time he wants. If he chooses to save them up for later, that’s his call. If people lining up behind Merkley puts an “air of inevitability” in the primary and Steve is concerned about that–then he has it within his power to ask those endorsing him to speak out.

    I agree that Smith is a formidable opponent and whomever eventually wins the nomination will have a battle.

  24. Carla,

    You’re in a position to know, so I’ll ask. What’s Jeff Merkley up to these days? Steve has been quite busy in putting out well thought out statements about policies that he’d pursue or support as a US Senator. Steve is also, to my knowledge, still working his regular job in addition to being a US Senate Candidate.

    Jeff’s a smart guy. I’m sure he’s following the news, and would be able to comment on the proposed NAFTA Superhighway, or the state of our nation’s physical infrastructure, or global warming. Aside from the (AWESOME!) Gonzales bit, we haven’t really heard much from Representative Merkley.

    I’d like to hear less from the people who like him and more from the man himself.

  25. carla Says:

    You’re in a position to know, so I’ll ask. What’s Jeff Merkley up to these days? Steve has been quite busy in putting out well thought out statements about policies that he’d pursue or support as a US Senator. Steve is also, to my knowledge, still working his regular job in addition to being a US Senate Candidate.

    Colin:

    FYI: Jeff Merkley is the Speaker of the Oregon House.
    He is continuing to do that job in preparation for the session that comes the first of next year. We all want to see another excellent progressive session in 09.

    I have no idea if Steve is working his other job or not..but I would imagine that’s pretty tough to do if he’s out raising the money and writing the policy positions and making the appearances necessary to elevate him to the US Senate. At least to the same degree he was doing it prior to announcing.

    It’s been well advertised that Jeff will be at Drinking Liberally tonight, if you really want to see him, come on out. He’ll also be at 13 Enviros tomorrow night–come to that. And I appreciate you asking cuz it gives me another chance to advertise Jeff’s events! 🙂

  26. Chris Says:

    I’m having trouble finding a convincing answer to the question posted: “Where was the Novick campaign on the Gonzales impearchment?”

    The only comment that seems to address the question is torridjoe’s “not unwisely prejudging an administration official before the evidence,” but calling for impeachment is requesting the investigation. Gonzales’ performance during congressional hearings certainly raised enough questions to justify further investigation through impeachment hearings. That’s not prejudging. And neither candidate is a Senator yet, so there’s nothing inappropriate about making a statement one way or the other about impeachment.

    It’s just a little surprising that someone with past experience at the Justice Department opted not to take a strong public stand on initiating impeachment hearings against the Attorney General. Fortunately in just a few days Gonzales will be gone anyway and impeachment won’t be necessary.

  27. Stephanie V Says:

    The “impeach Gonzales” position was a bit of a stunt — low hanging fruit, plucked at a moment when it was obviously going to fall to the ground on its own very soon. As I noted on BlueO at the time, the NY Times had been publishing editorials and op-ed columns calling for Gonzales’ removal from office since May 3.

    I think it’s great that Jeff spoke out in favor of impeaching Gonzales; I’ve never asked Steve about it but I would surmise that he had supported it for a long time but never bothered to speak up about it because he considered Gonzales’ departure from office to be a foregone conclusion.

  28. Jamal Says:

    Stephanie,
    You are trying to have it both ways by characterizing Jeff’s call to impeach Gonzalez a stunt and mentioning that it is great that he did it.

    Novick partisans continually belittle the Speaker’s call for Impeachment, but they probably wish they were on the other side of the issue here. An Attorney General needs to be beyond reproach to have any kind of credibility. Novick should know this, himself once working at the DOJ.

  29. Jamal Says:

    TJ, how can you say its unwise to call for impeachment when you have repeatedly called for it yourself and for your elected official to do so also. Is that “not unwisely prejudging an administration official before the evidence?”

  30. Stephanie V Says:

    >You are trying to have it both ways by characterizing Jeff’s call to impeach Gonzalez a stunt and mentioning that it is great that he did it

    Let me restate my point. There is no question that it was great whenever anyone supported the impeachment of Alberto Gonzales.

    It’s the ballyhooing and more ballyhooing and yet additional ballyhooing that was over the top. And that’s what made it a stunt. It was a very good stunt, maybe even a great stunt. But yes, a stunt. Look at all the mileage he got out of it, and which you guys are continuing to milk from it. Amazing.

    >Novick partisans continually belittle the Speaker’s call for Impeachment, but they probably wish they were on the other side of the issue here

    What I said was, I agreed with Merkley (as tens of millions of people did) that Gonzales had to go, and by impeachment if necessary. I stand by that. I also said that although I never asked Steve about it, I would bet folding money that Steve supported the removal of Gonzales from office for at least as long as Jeff did — it’s just that Steve viewed it as a foregone conclusion unworthy of a major press release.

    By the way, where’s Jeff on Sanders-Boxer?

  31. torridjoe Says:

    Jamal, I’m not running for Senate. Merkley is a candidate for Senate, the body which would stand in judgement of anyone under impeachment, as a member of a jury would.

    I’ve called for my elected HOUSE members to seek impeachment because I believe it is warranted. They are the appropriate starting point. And I didn’t say it was necessarily unwise as a truism; I offered it as a possible explanation why no one else–not even hardcore supporters of the Constitution like Russ Feingold or Bernie Sanders–may not have opted to call for charging Gonzo with crimes.

    On this comment:
    “calling for impeachment is requesting the investigation. ”

    An impeachment is an actual indictment on charges of high crimes. Someone is not impeached until they are charged with one or more crimes by the House. Merkley said Congress should “impeach” Gonzales, which means literally that he should be charged with a crime. Perhaps it was just artless phrasing, but since he brought it up he has not done anything to correct it.

  32. JTT Says:

    Carla- So are you saying that Jeff will actually be penning his own position statements (and speeches, and direct mail, fundraising and internet copy)? Um, isn’t that what you pay a general or media consultant for? Obviously, he’s not going to have statements and message that differ from his actual stances, but it’s ridiculous to suggest that he’s going to write them himself. People want to hear what platform Jeff is running on.

    I have to also agree it’s ridiculous and insulting to the other members of his caucus for Jeff (or staffers, rather) to take credit for personally accomplishing the entirety of the “list”. Kari says: I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a single person in Oregon with a stronger or more progressive set of accomplishments over the last 30 years. Actually, I can think of 30 other House members and 18 Senate members that have the same record of progressive accomplishments…and some of those 48 other members actually worked hard for the policies on the list.

  33. carla Says:

    Carla- So are you saying that Jeff will actually be penning his own position statements (and speeches, and direct mail, fundraising and internet copy)?

    JTT: Actually if you go back and read my comments, you’ll note that I specifically talked about policy/position statements. It was Colin who was talking about “most of the copy”, not me. Please read more carefully.

    And again, if you’re anxious to hear what Jeff thinks right now, come to one of the events. If you need more information on them–feel free to email me: carla (at) jeffmerkley (dot) com. I’ll be more than happy to provide it.

  34. Stephanie V Says:

    >Actually if you go back and read my comments, you’ll note that I specifically talked about policy/position statements. It was Colin who was talking about “most of the copy”, not me. Please read more carefully.

    So is Jeff personally writing all of his position statements? and if so, what’s his timeline for getting them done? I often work late on Thursdays and generally can’t get to Drinking Liberally to ask him personally what his stands are. Also, call me a crazy old-school voter, but I rather like getting these things in writing.

  35. taoiseach: Let’s have a real primary and not treat either candidate like a stuffed suit. That means we avoid name-calling about “DSCC hackery” or “self-presumptive nominee”.

    Unfortunately, Jeff’s not giving us much to go on. A quick perusal of his website this morning indicates that there are people speaking well of Jeff Merkley (deservedly so), but no Jeff Merkley speaking.

    If he can put up some position papers, then we’ll have issues to discuss. As of right now, from my perspective, it appears as if he’s running as if he’s the only person in the race (he’s not) and doesn’t need to put up policy statements until the General.

    If he’d like to avoid accusations that he’s engaging in “DSCC-hackery” or is viewing himself as the “self-presumptive nominee,” (your terms, taoiseach) then he should be substantively engaged in the Primary Election. If he’s the eventual nominee, he’ll be better prepared to take on Smith because people will know where he stands on the germane issues.

  36. carla Says:

    Stephanie: Jeff will be attending a lot of events in the next few weeks. I’d be more than happy to give you that information. I’ve already posted my email address. Contact me if/when you’re ready.

  37. taoiseach Says:

    -Unfortunately, Jeff’s not giving us much to go on
    -but no Jeff Merkley speaking.

    Really, Colin? You must have the literate appetite of a laureate with none of the comprehensive ability, because’s there’s plenty of Jeff Merkley talking on that website.

    Also, if you’re really hungry and can’t wait, take a look at the many, many press releases on his legislative website:

    http://www.leg.state.or.us/merkley

  38. James X. Says:

    Um, are you folks actually arguing about something? I’m amazed that this slow news day post about sports mascots broke the blog’s record for comments….

  39. […] to talk about and these Friendly Political Wagers are easy shots with the press.  As at least one blogger has pointed out, the Merkley campaign is keeping their eyes on the prize:  the general […]

  40. Stephanie V Says:

    I think it’s safe to say that both campaigns have their eyes on the prize, but neither should be ignoring the reality of a tough primary opponent.


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