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Jeff Merkley and Steve Novick are locked in a tense primary fight over who will have the privilege of beating Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) this November. I have heard both candidates speak and I have watched Jeff in action as Speaker of the Oregon House. At various points in the campaign I have leaned one way or another. I was extremely impressed with Jeff's ability to pass gay rights legislation with a one vote majority. When I heard Steve talk he had a fire in his voice which made me know he was eager to go to bat for progressive causes.

When I found out that Steve had called Obama a sellout and a fraud I was frustrated with him. I have been an Obama supporter since he announced his campaign, calling on Americans to rise above the politics of division, to stop blaming gays and immigrants for our problems, and to start working together for progressive change.

Even after these comments surfaced though, I was still on the fence. But then Novick said that in an ideal world he would rather vote for a former Republican who is running as an Independent than vote for fellow Democrat Jeff Merkley. That is when Steve Novick became dead to me.

No media outlets appear to have picked this story up yet. In an interview with the Willamette Week editorial board all of the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Oregon were asked who else in the room (there were only Democrats) they would vote for if they could not vote for themselves. Every other Democrat in the room named a fellow Democrat in the room. Steve Novick, however, said he would vote for former Republican, Independent candidate John Frohnmayer.

When pressed by the editorial board to name a Democrat in the room Mr. Novick remained silent for about 15 seconds, choosing to attack Speaker Merkley, finally saying that he would support Candy Neville who has about as much chance of winning the primary as I do.

Speaker Merkley, on the other hand, showed class by saying that he would vote for the only other viable candidate, Steve Novick.

The video of the comments is of the entire interview process and Kos will not let me embed it. I would wait until someone has cut the video and put it on youtube, but for the junkies among you the exchange starts a bit after minute 68. You can check it out at Blue Oregon.

I have transcribed the crucial part of the exchange:

Moderator: Speaker Merkley, if you could not vote for vote for yourself, who would you vote for?

Speaker Merkley: I'd vote for Steve. [gestures to Novick who is sitting next to him]

Moderator: Ok, Steve, who would you vote for?

Steve Novick: I'd vote for John Frohnmayer.

Moderator: He's not in this room.

Steve Novick: [15 second pause] I have a very hard time answering that, um...

Moderator: You're going to have to make a hell of a lot harder decisions when you are on the floor of the Senate.

Steve Novick: [30 second pause]

If you want to see Novick attack Speaker Merkley after the 30 second pause, you can watch the video. I am not going to give him air time. When the moderator pressed Mr. Novick "Why Frohnmayer, why not another, why not a Democrat?" Novick layed out his support for Fronmayer.

In fairness to Steve, he did finally realize that he had made a mistake and he clarified that although he preferred Frohnmayer, we would grudgingly vote for the Democratic nominee. Novick may think that this gets him off the line, but saying that a former Republican, turned Independent, is actually a better candidate than the likely Democratic nominee is beyond the pale. He may say that he will not vote for Fronmayer, but he just helped Frohnmayer pick up a lot of votes.

Like Daily Kos, I support Democrats. This is the equivalent of Hillary Clinton dropping out of the race and saying that although she'll vote for Barack Obama, she likes Michael Bloomberg better. Steve Novick, you're dead to me. This May, I will be proud to cast my ballot for Democrats Barack Obama and Jeff Merkley.

Originally posted to Progressive American Patriot on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:09 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I hope this makes the front page and that all (4+ / 0-)

      Democratic voters in OR learn of this remark.

    •  I gave $ to Novick from DKos post--better not be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hilltopper, bdunn

      what he really thinks
      in his heart, or

      I'll ask for a refund.

      Steve,
      your progressive support
      will dry up in a hurry.

      The stakes are too high
      for you to play this game.

      Get back out there and clarify
      your commitment to the Democrats--
      you are playing Rove's game
      of divide and conquer.

      Venceremos!

      Venceremos! (We shall overcome!)

      by Redfire on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:41:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even though I have always respected Novick (4+ / 0-)

      this statement really bothered me. He's lending credibility to an Independent candidacy which all progressives should be wholeheartedly against. If Frohnmeyer jumps in the race, it will make it even more difficult to unseat Smith.

      Besides, Merkley is a strong progressive! Why not support the person who shares the same beliefs? It makes no sense to me. I was also bothered my Novick's comments about bloggers wasting their time.

      Edwards Democrats and Progressives Unite! Visit us at EENR Blog

      by sarahlane on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 04:06:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jeff Merkley = Progressive Change (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hardhat Democrat, sarahlane, bdunn

      When asked who he would vote for he didn't hesitate at all. Merkley decisively stated that he would vote for the only other person in the room with a remote chance of actually defeating Gordon Smith and bringing effective progressive change.

      There was no awkward pause, no mumbled calculating what would best advantage him politically. He was asked a straight forward question and he immediately gave a straight forward answer.

      What Jeff Merkley demonstrated in no uncertain terms in that interview is that he is in fact focused on the goal of effective progressive change, which is what his entire campaign is premised upon.

      Obviously Merkley believes that he is the best suited agent to bring that change. Equally obvious is that a whole range of major progressive organizations like the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood and Basic Rights Oregon believe so too and have endorsed him. But what's important here is that Merkley's dedication to progressive change is more than just self-serving political rhetoric. Which is why he would vote for whomever he believes has the most realistic chance of getting it done.

      What more can we progressives ask for?

      •  he said he would vote for Merkley (0+ / 0-)

        Did anyone actually watch the video, where he said he would support Merkley if he's the nominee? The reactions here seem to be based on the misperception that he said he was going to vote non-Democratic in the general. Which is hooey.

  •  This disqualifies him in my book (9+ / 0-)

    Message to candidates:

    If you can't commit to supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever that might be, then don't seek the Democratic nomination.  It's that simple.  This absolutely disgusts me.

    •  This is what drives me up the wall (5+ / 0-)

      When I heard Steve speak, he talked about Paul Wellstone and being raised on progressivism. I'm from Minnesota and I was raised on Paul Wellstone's politics, so I was extremely impressed with Steve who seemed to be trying to carry Wellstone's banner.

      Up until this comment though, I have gone back and never really had a strong preference for one or the other. Then Novick said this. Saying something like this should disqualify "Democrat" in every Democrat's book.

      •  At which point you'll get nothing but 'says (0+ / 0-)

        the right thing' hacks for candidates.  If it only takes one remark that you judge to be 'impolitic' for you to completely ignore everything else a candidate has said and DONE during his entire life, you're so deeply into 'fashion' politics only Edwards' haircuts mean more to you.

        Disgusting rationale.

        I'm still reading his positions and plans, as I am Merkley's.  Had Merkley not gone hunting for DSCC support in the effin' PRIMARY, I might have thought him to be the 'true' Democrat, as he has done a great job in the Oregon House, but his standing on gay issues isn't nearly as concrete as you're giving him credit for, as posts here have pointed out, and he's certainly no more an angel than Novick.  Sadly, he also has much less fire than Novick.

        BTW, how do his 'get your ass in gear' comments about Obama become a big deal to you when he's recently come out FOR Obama?  Kind of an 'any weapon will do' philosophy, it appears.  Who's Chuck Schumer having Merkley come out for?

        Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
        I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

        by watercarrier4diogenes on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:59:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Come on.... (2+ / 0-)

          Novick sought out the support from the DSCC! It's not like both candidates didn't want their support, they just happened to support Merkley. BTW, both Novick and Merkley have come out for marriage equality. Merkley said he was for it in the last debate. Merkley has also been a leader on equal rights issues in the House. Remember when he stood up to Karen Minnis back in 2005 when she blocked domestic partnerships legislation? She freaking threatened to have Merkley removed by state troopers because he was fighting her sly move on the House floor!

          Edwards Democrats and Progressives Unite! Visit us at EENR Blog

          by sarahlane on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 04:12:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They both wanted the DSCC's support (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hardhat Democrat, sarahlane

            Just as they both wanted the endorsements of the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Basic Rights Oregon, Citizens for Global Solutions, the Council for a Livable World, etc.

            Progressive organization after progressive organization has lined up to endorse Jeff Merkley. Ditto for important labor unions like AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME and many others.

            What really makes Merkley stand out in the crowd, IMO, is that he is the only candidate from any party for this Senate seat who has a visible and growing cadre of military veterans openly backing him. NOBODY else in any party can say that.

        •  You're really going to equate the two? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bdunn

          You are really going to equate the John Edwards haircut media frenzy with Novick's support for Fronmayer? Really?

          The haircut story was a right wing media assault on a good progressive candidate. I could not support Edwards because I could not forgive him for sponsoring the Iraq War Resolution and I liked Obama better, but the way the media smeared him with was despicable.

          Novick did not make one "impolitic" comment. He is a loose cannon who has made several. I understand that I can be over the top in blog posts, so I cut him some slack over his past blog posts on Obama and his comment on Nader. I also think Merkley has been too stiff. I had troubles deciding between the two because neither situation is ideal.

          Steve's remarks on Fronmayer, however, were not an off the cuff remark. He had over a minute to think about his answer and then he took another minute thinking about which Democrat he would support after he said he would support Fronmayer. If he really thinks Fronmayer running as a 3rd party candidate would be better than a fellow Democrat then he does not belong in Democratic politics. This is not about saying something that comes off bad, but is true. It is about a failure to support a member of his party. Clinton trying to bloody Obama up makes for a far better comparison than the media assault on Edwards.

          •  I do not blindly vote for (0+ / 0-)

            Democrats. That doesn't mean I don't belong in the party

            •  I do not blindly vote for Democrats either (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hardhat Democrat, bdunn

              I educate myself on which Democratic primary candidate I think will do the best job. However, once the primary is over, I vote for the Democrat in the general election because the alternative choice is a conservative Republican. Fronmayer does not have a shot in hell of beating Smith as an independent. So while voting for him may not technically count as a vote for Smith, it does not count as a vote for progressive change either. As a prominent Democrat, Novick has a responsibility to give the Democratic nominee is full support, regardless if he is the nominee. If you want to change our election system, more power to you, but until then I am voting straight down the ticket in November and would be ashamed not to.

              •  Here, here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hardhat Democrat

                If you want to lead the party you should follow the decisions its members made.  If you don't like a candidate beat them in a primary or support them in a general, those are your two options.

                Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 06:55:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  While we're at it (0+ / 0-)

                  let's take away the secret ballot from all candidates who ran in the primary. After all, that would be the only way to ensure they are actually doing their "obligation" of supporting the party's nominee. We have a secret ballot system for a reason: so all people can cast a vote for what they believe is the best decision, without having any intimidation, bribery, or being bound by anything except the person's individual will.

                  And don't fall back on "no no, he can vote for whoever he wants secretly, he just has to publicly endorse the Democrat." That's just ridiculous. People are under no obligation to disclose their votes, and certainly under no obligation to lie about their votes

                  •  i think thats a strech (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hardhat Democrat

                    I have no way of enforcing it besides not voting for Novick in the primary.  Something I already intended to do.

                    Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                    by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 07:42:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So your only objection (0+ / 0-)

                      to it is that it's not enforceable?

                      •  no (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hardhat Democrat

                        im not taking anyones rights away.  I am just not going to support Dems in primaries who won't support the nominee in the general.

                        Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                        by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:51:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And that's your right (0+ / 0-)

                          I personally will not do that, but by no means should he be obligated to support the nominee as a condition for running. Further, he said he would vote for the nominee

                          •  but hes currently campaigning for Smith/Frohnmyer (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hardhat Democrat

                            Telling people that Frohnmyer is better than Merkley is the best way to reelect Gordon Smith. Steve Novick is throwing the party under the bus.

                            Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                            by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:16:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No and no (0+ / 0-)

                            He's campaigning for himself. He was saying who is the best candidate for senate other than him. Merkley said Novick is the best other than him, that doesn't mean Merkley is campaigning for Novick

                          •  Running for the Democratic nomination (0+ / 0-)

                            You seem to be weak on the concept of what Novick is running for.  He's running for the Democratic Party nomination for US Senate.  That's what people vote for in a Primary election.  He's not running for US Senate, at least not yet.

                            Supporting the Democratic candidate is certainly not a condition for running for US Senate.  But it should be for someone seeking the Democratic nomination for US Senate.  I hope that Democratic primary voters would disqualify someone who at the same time sought the Democratic nomination to run for US Senate.  This really angers me and I hope that Merkley makes Novick's position well known so that other Democrats know that under no circumstances should they vote for Novick.

                          •  And you and I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                            Supporting the Democratic candidate is certainly not a condition for running for US Senate.  But it should be for someone seeking the Democratic nomination for US Senate.

                            Anyone who wants to can seek the Democratic nomination. If the Democrats don't want Steve Novick for this reason, that's their right. It's their choice. Under no circumstance does someone surrender his right to a secret ballot by running in a party nomination (and you are essentially advocating that)

                          •  Secret Ballot? (0+ / 0-)

                            What the hell are you talking about?  This has nothing to do with a secret ballot.

                          •  Oh yes it does (0+ / 0-)

                            Again

                            Supporting the Democratic candidate is certainly not a condition for running for US Senate.  But it should be for someone seeking the Democratic nomination for US Senate.

                            You want to make supporting whoever the Democratic nominee is a condition for someone seeking the nomination, right? With a secret ballot, that can't possibly work because their vote is SECRET. The only way to ensure they are fulfilling the "condition" you mentioned is to take away their right to a secret ballot

                          •  Uh, no (0+ / 0-)

                            A secret ballot doesn't limit someone's ability to declare who they support.  It only limits the ability of the government to reveal that information (or give the voter evidence of how they voted).

                            I think it's important for the Democratic primary voters here to know that one of the candidates, Steve Novick, wouldn't support the candidate of the Democratic Party if Merkley won.  That's the sort of thing which makes a candidate unfit for the nomination, and I'm sure that many other primary voters feel the same way.

                          •  That's one thing (0+ / 0-)

                            I think it's important for the Democratic primary voters here to know that one of the candidates, Steve Novick, wouldn't support the candidate of the Democratic Party if Merkley won.  That's the sort of thing which makes a candidate unfit for the nomination, and I'm sure that many other primary voters feel the same way.

                            You, and all other Democrats, are welcome not to vote for him for that reason. However, if we are talking about making support of the nominee a condition to run, then we are taking away the secret ballot

                            You're right, the secret ballot doesn't limit someone's ability to declare who they support. What it does do is ensure that everyone can cast a vote according his/her own conscience with no intimidation or bribery from any external sources. NO ONE, not candidates and not ordinary voters, is or should be obligated to disclose how he/she is voting

                  •  I'd love for you to point out... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bdunn, Preemptive Karma

                    where bdunn said this -

                    "no no, he can vote for whoever he wants secretly, he just has to publicly endorse the Democrat."

                    Until you can do so, please kindly refrain from putting words into the mouths of other community members here.

                    Thanks...

                  •  I do want to get rid of the secret ballot (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bdunn

                    Give me a break, you're falling off your own slippery slope of fallacious reasoning.

                    He, of course, has a constitutional right to say what he damn well pleases and vote for who he damn well pleases with a secret ballot. On the other hand, I will exercise my constitutional right to say that Democrats should not vote for him (in the primary) and I will exercise my constitutional right to vote by voting for Merkley. I will vote for Merkley because as a high profile member of the Democratic Party, I believe that Novick has a responsibility to support the Democratic nominee which he is failing miserably at.

                    •  And that is (0+ / 0-)

                      a contradiction. You say

                      He, of course, has a constitutional right to say what he damn well pleases and vote for who he damn well pleases with a secret ballot.

                      and then

                      I believe that Novick has a responsibility to support the Democratic nominee which he is failing miserably at.

                      which is it? Does he have the right to support who he pleases with a secret ballot, or does he have a responsibility to support the Democratic nominee? It can't be both things

                      •  Yeah, it really can be both things (0+ / 0-)

                        See he has a constitutional right to say whatever he pleases, short of yelling fire in a crowded room or inciting violence. These restrictions, however, do not require him to act responsibly.

                        Novick could declare that the Republican Party was better and decide to become a Republican and vote with their party. That, in the view of most Kossacks, would be irresponsible behavior. If you are a Republican member of Congress, you want to increase expenditures to fund war and decrease revenue to give rich people tax cuts. This is what it means to be a Republican in the United States Congress. It is the definition of irresponsible.  

                        Novick, of course, has every right to become a Republican. He has every right to pretend to be a Democrat and vote Republican with a secret ballot. It would, however, he highly irresponsible in my view and in the view of most Democrats. I think you would agree that voting for someone who wants to unbalance the budget is irresponsible. Of course, you could never get a bipartisan consensus that the Republican Party is fundamentally fiscally irresponsible, but you could reach a consensus among Democrats. Thus, we have arrived at a situation where Novick has a constitutional right to vote for and/or become a Republican, but Democrats think it would be irresponsible. Thus we have arrived at a situation in which Novick has a constitutional right to vote for a Republican, but Democrats ultimately see this as irresponsible behavior.

                        Now, although Fronmayer is an Independent, a majority of Democrats can agree that he does not have a shot in hell of winning. Thus, while voting for Fronmayer is not quite a vote for Smith, it is not a vote for progressive change either. It is sort of like sitting the race out. You can call it a protest vote, but most Democrats call it irresponsible. Novick, of course, has the right to support and vote for whomever he pleases. That does not mean, however, that in the eyes of Democrats it will be responsible behavior.

                        •  He's not going to (0+ / 0-)

                          become a Republican, and he's not going to vote for Frohnmayer, even if he loses.

                          Regardless, even if he's running for the nomination, he's under no obligation to sacrifice himself for the party. Being honest can get you into trouble, but I prefer someone who's willing to take that chance than someone who plays it safe by being dishonest.

                          He will win the nomination and defeat Gordon Smith though, so this is irrelevant

    •  Amen! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hardhat Democrat, hilltopper

      And lets spread the word to those diehards who make similar comments about the Democratic presidential nomination contest as well!

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      If that's what Steve believes, then I support him saying that. About time someone isn't a party loyalist! He's under no obligation to support anyone

      •  Umm (4+ / 0-)

        If he had chosen to run as an independent then he would be under no obligation to anyone.  But he didn't.  He chose to seek the Democratic Party nomination, and he's basically saying that he wants the Democrats to support him, but that he's not going to support the Democratic Party.  How much more clearly could someone say "I'm just using you, Democratic Party."?

        •  I'm a long-time Independent and I agree with you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hardhat Democrat, bdunn

          Recently re-registered as a Democrat, though. Which is why I'm speaking to this issue.

          Personally, I don't begrudge Novick the preference that he stated. It's a free country. But... I do have to question whether he's just using the Democratic Party when he gives answers like that.

          Here's what I see as the real issues as revealed by that question and answer series: Jeff Merkley unhesitatingly stated his preference for the one person in that room who has attacked him the most - by far! Why? Because Jeff Merkley is dedicated to defeating Gordon Smith!!!!!

          Neither Frohnmayer (the Indie) or Ms. Neville (Novick's second choice) have the proverbial snowball's chance in hell of even getting Gordon Smith's attention, let alone defeating him.

          It absolutely is fair and reasonable for Oregonians to question whether Steve Novick is more interested in furthering his own political ambitions or whether he really believes that sending Gordon Smith back to the Senate would NOT be in Oregon's best interests.

          •  Yes, it is (0+ / 0-)

            It absolutely is fair and reasonable for Oregonians to question whether Steve Novick is more interested in furthering his own political ambitions or whether he really believes that sending Gordon Smith back to the Senate would NOT be in Oregon's best interests.

            I agree with you there. However, I will say that for once, I'm glad to see someone willing to speak his mind  on what he believes truly is the health of the nation. Too often, we have people motivated more by partisan politics, and I'm tired of it

        •  Let me put it this way... (0+ / 0-)

          Let's say Jerry Falwell was running for the Democratic nomination for president (and Jerry Falwell was a Democrat), and John McCain was the Republican. Almost every Democrat would say John McCain  is better than Jerry Falwell. Therefore, if I would support John McCain over Falwell, I would not be allowed to run for the nomination and instead would have to let Falwell waltz into getting the Democratic nomination? That's just ridiculous.

          Or a real example on the other end: I forget the guy's name, but he was challenging Pombo for the Republican nomination for Pombo's congressional seat. Pombo beat him, and then he endorsed the McNerney over Pombo.

          Do you denounce that? I certainly don't. He is essentially saying "I am a hell of a lot better than McNerney, and McNerney is a hell of a lot better than Pombo. If I have to choose between them, I'll take McNerney, but I'm going to try an opportunity to take Pombo out so I don't have to make that choice"

          •  We have good Dem candidates (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hardhat Democrat

            Jeff Merkley as I have stated upthread is an excellent candidate one that has been a progressive leader in this state.

            Candy Nevile is an excellent candidate.

            David Lorea, is a great guy who cares a lot about his issues and is passionate.

            We have a wealth of talent as Jeff said.  This isn't a choice between Falwell and John McCain. This is a choice between several excellent progressives. I am glad that Merkley, Nevile, and Lorea all recognized that Democrats have to work together.

            Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

            by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 06:07:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not the point (0+ / 0-)

              I've supported Steve Novick ever since I've heard about him. I might disagree with you about Lorea, but that's it. My point is that nothing is wrong with challenging people in your own party because they are the worst people in the race, and then supporting someone from another party if you lose. Ortcutt's logic says that is wrong. I'm glad we have someone running for the Democratic primary that isn't motivated by partisan politics

              •  Actually it is the point. It's the entire point. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ortcutt, Hardhat Democrat, bdunn

                I'm glad we have someone running for the Democratic primary that isn't motivated by partisan politics

                With all due respect, I dont' think you understand what the purpose of a Democratic primary is. It is totally, 100% about partisan politics. That is the ENTIRE point of a Primary election.

                •  No it's not (0+ / 0-)

                  It's not the point. Someone's running, wants our support, and puts the national interest over his party. About time we have someone more loyal to the country than to his party!

                  •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bdunn, Preemptive Karma

                    Yeah, because someone who admits that they'd cast a vote to send Gordon Smith back to Washington is -

                    put[ting] the national interest over his party

                    I'd love to hear your explanation on that...

                    Go ahead, tell us how Gordon Smith in Washington is better for America?

                    •  100% agree (2+ / 0-)

                      There is this kid who wanted to have college dems at my school bring Frohnmyer to speak.  He wanted us to spend money and time promoting an Indie candidate. We told him hell no College Democrats is about supporting Democrats. Now hes running Novick's effort on campus.  

                      Supporting the indie is the best way to lose this election.  I for one refuse to do that. Our nation cant afford 6 more years of Gordon Smith

                      If Novick is the nominee Ill eat a lot of crow but Ill support him. Im glad the other Democrats besides Novick are able to join me in that.

                      Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                      by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:02:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Same here... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bdunn, Preemptive Karma

                        I will finally be able to say, for the first time ever, that I will literally 'hold my nose' as I fill out my ballot in November if Novick's on it...but I'll vote for him nonetheless.

                        Without any hesitation...

                        That's the difference.  We'll work with whoever can beat Gordon Smith in November, while certain others don't seem to grasp the importance of that.

                    •  He said that he would (0+ / 0-)

                      support Merkley if he won, because he's a heck of a lot better than Gordon Smith. He was just saying that Frohnmayer would be a better senator than Merkley

                      •  No, Novick didn't say that. (0+ / 0-)

                        Show me where he says this -

                        He said that he would support Merkley if he won, because he's a heck of a lot better than Gordon Smith.

                        You keep fabricating quotes, Silent Consensus.

                        No, Novick hemmed-and-hawwed and eventually realized that he sounded like a complete ass; so he grudgingly 'admitted' that he'd vote for Jeff Merkley if he's on this year's ballot.

                        I don't believe it, though...and frankly I don't believe anything Novick says anymore.  He's done absolutely nothing to convince me that he's in this race for anything other than inflating his own massive ego.

                        •  Yes he did (0+ / 0-)

                          http://www.oregonlive.com/...

                          Novick said Thursday that he doesn't think his words of praise for Frohnmayer will make it harder for Democrats to unify around Merkley if he wins the primary. Novick said he would back Merkley because he is "a heck of a lot better than Gordon Smith," the Republican incumbent, and Frohnmayer would have little chance to win running as an independent.

                          You don't believe anything Novick says anymore? Wow. The fact that he had the guts to be honest about who he thinks would be the best senator besides himself makes you not want to believe what he says? Suit yourself

                          I've met Steve on multiple occasions, I know him to be an honest guy, and he's running for the country, not for himself

          •  IF that's what he's saying then... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hardhat Democrat

            For your Jerry Falwell analogy to work we'd have to equate Basic Rights Oregon (LGBT Rights organization), the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood and others as... tools of the Christian Coalition?

            Those and many more very, very strongly progressive organizations have emphatically endorsed Jeff Merkley over Steve Novick.

            I understand what you're trying to say with your analogy. But it simply doesn't work.

            •  No we wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

              Those groups have nothing to do with what I'm saying. He said that if you're not willing to support whoever the Democratic nominee is, you shouldn't run for the nomination. I completely disagree

              •  So what you are saying is... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hardhat Democrat

                ... that your analogy does work but only as long as it's not compared too closely to the facts surrounding Novick's assertion?

                With all due respect, I find that disrespectful of the intelligence of Kossacks.

                •  What I am saying is (0+ / 0-)

                  ortcutt made a broad logical statement:

                  If you can't commit to supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever that might be, then don't seek the Democratic nomination

                  I am refuting the logic. I'm not talking about the circumstances of this specific case. His logic would have to apply to the Falwell and Pombo cases I laid out.

                  If you want to talk about the facts here, Novick announced before Merkley. Was Novick supposed to say "I can't support Merkley if he wins, so I'm going to have to drop out of the race now?" I say hell no. He should, and did, stay in and try taking him out. And then he says Merkley would not be his first choice in the general election, and that's fine. Integrity's more important than party

                  •  Then why even run as a Democrat? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hardhat Democrat, bdunn

                    I'm sorry but your explanation only digs the hole deeper.

                    It is perfectly reasonable for members of the Democratic Party to expect candidates using their Party to run for office to back whomever the Democratic winner of the Democratic Primary Election turns out to be.

                    Those who don't want to support the Democratic voter's choice (i.e., results of the Democratic Primary) are perfectly free to run under another Party banner or run under no Party banner at all.

                    The ENTIRE point of the Demcratic Primary Election is for Democrats to choose who will REPRESENT them in the General Election.

                    •  Yes... (0+ / 0-)

                      The ENTIRE point of the Demcratic Primary Election is for Democrats to choose who will REPRESENT them in the General Election.

                      Yes, that doesn't mean every individual Democrat must support the nominee.

                      Why run as a Democrat? Maybe because he agrees with Democrats on most issues. That doesn't mean he supports everyone in the party. If he agrees with someone from another party more than the one individual chosen to represent the Democrats, then he's under no obligation to support the latter.

                      Essentially saying, "I agree with Democrats on most issues, and I'd be honored if I got to represent them in the election, but if they choose someone else, I will not automatically support them."

                      •  The hole's only getting deeper (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hardhat Democrat

                        Essentially saying, "I agree with Democrats on most issues, and I'd be honored if I got to represent them in the election, but if they choose someone else, I will not automatically support them."

                        In other words, it'd only be an honor if they vote for him? Otherwise he'll just take his ball and go play with someone else?

                        It seems pretty obvious that John Frohnmayer (I-OR) agrees with Democrats on most issues. That's not enough of a reason to pretend to be a Democrat. Frohnmayer, to his credit, obviously understands that. More to the point, he respects it and has chosen to run as an Independent.

                        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                          In other words, it'd only be an honor if they vote for him? Otherwise he'll just take his ball and go play with someone else?

                          Did the Republican who challenged Pombo in the primary have an obligation to support Pombo after the race?

                          •  Who's talking about Republicans? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bdunn, Preemptive Karma

                            Stick to the issues here.

                            But if you want to ask rhetorical questions, here's one -

                            Why should we consider supporting a "Democrat" who will apparently work to elect Republicans if he loses his primary?

                          •  He won't (0+ / 0-)

                            He said he would still vote for whoever the Democrat is. That aside though...

                            Maybe because, assuming we agree with that candidate the most, we don't want to give the Republicans an extra weapon?

                          •  hes campaigning now for the indie (2+ / 0-)

                            last time i checked McCains web page it was a Clinton video talking about how McCain rocks.  Novick just did for Smith what Bill did for McCain.

                            That is unacceptable.

                            Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                            by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:07:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But that doesn't mean (0+ / 0-)

                            that he shouldn't be allowed to run in the Democratic primary

                          •  I don't think anyone is saying that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hardhat Democrat, bdunn

                            The question is: why is he running as a Democrat?

                            We know that it's not just because he agrees with a lot of Dem positions because Frohnmayer does too.

                            We know that he's been harsher with a very wide variety of Democrats than Frohmayer too.

                            So why is Novick running as a Democrat?

                          •  I can't speak for him (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't know why he's running as a Democrat. You'll have to ask him. If I had to guess, it would not be because he's trying to "use the Democrats"

                          •  Well, his actions lead me to believe otherwise... (0+ / 0-)

                            If I had to guess, it would not be because he's trying to "use the Democrats"

                            Then why will he not commit to supporting the Democratic candidate this year, regardless of the primary results?

                            Novick has a choice to make.  He can either be a Democratic candidate for US Senate this year, committed to ridding us of Gordon Smith (and please, let's not saddle the good people of Pendleton with Smith either; I love that city, too, and it's not their fault that he's 'from' there...); or Steve can be this year's Useful Idiot for the Republicans...not only here in Oregon; but in Washington DC, too.

                            The choice is his, and he's thus far made it very clear where he stands as of right now...

                            Yes, you can't speak for him.  And nobody's asked you to do so.  But you've come here to defend Steve on his indefensible statements, and that's what we're calling you out on.

                          •  False dilemma (0+ / 0-)

                            "Then why will he not commit to supporting the Democratic candidate this year, regardless of the primary results?"

                            I didn't realize that committing to support the Democrat, regardless of who it is, is a requirement in order not to be classified as "using the Democrats." He wants to get rid of Gordon Smith, and having the endorsement of the Democrats is part of the strategy. That's true for all of them.

                            Steve IS committed to getting rid of Gordon Smith. He has said, and I'll say it again, that he will vote for Merkley if he gets the nomination. That doesn't mean that he should be precluded from speaking his mind about who he would like to see elected if not himself. He's not a Republican tool by any means

                          •  And I know... (0+ / 0-)

                            we aren't talking about Republicans here, but the logic would hold true in that case too. Was the guy who challenged Pombo and then supported McNerney just "using the Republicans?"

                            Or if a Republican challenged klansman David Duke in a primary, and obviously could not commit to supporting the Republican nominee regardless of results, would he qualify as "using the Republicans?"

                          •  stop it (0+ / 0-)

                            This analogy holds no place in this conversation. Jeff Merkley isn't David Duke.  Jeff Merkley is an amazing progressive and trying to compare Merkley to Duke is patently offensive.

                            If you think that Lieberman was right to screw the party after being shown the door then Steve Novick is your candidate.

                            Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                            by bdunn on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 01:05:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

                            we are VERY lucky Lieberman still caucuses with us after what we did to him. If he had switched to the Republicans, Mitch McConnell would be majority leader and he'd set the agenda. You may hate Lieberman, but every day be grateful he still caucuses with us

                            I'm not comparing Merkley to David Duke. I'm responding to the logic here that if you run in a party's primary, you are then obligated to support whoever the nominee is. That is completely ridiculous.

                          •  no im unlucky that lamont isn't caucusing with us (0+ / 0-)

                            and you are comparing Merkley to Duke which is offensive.

                            Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                            by bdunn on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 02:24:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No and no (0+ / 0-)

                            We are lucky Lieberman still caucuses with us after what we did to him

                            I am not comparing Merkley to Duke. These are two different situations, but the same logic applies. That's it

                      •  Its inherent in being a political party (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hardhat Democrat

                        The whole point of being a political party is to combine with other like minded people to achieve a political end through an election.  The whole point in having a primary is recognizing that by coming together to pick a candidate that represents the will of the majority of like minded people is that we agree to support that candidate when the election is over.  That way you can win a general.

                        What your saying is that Lieberman was right to run as an Independent, and I reject that.

                        Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

                        by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 06:52:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't know we were considering examples... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bdunn, Preemptive Karma

            where candidates are running on  Mars with Martian parties and Zork is running against Blerg.  I thought this discussion was about the real concrete US Democratic Party and the sort of candidates who actually win Democratic Primaries.  Jerry Falwell, even if he were alive, would not win any Democratic Primary.  This objection is far-fetched at best.

            Back in reality, we've got real Democratic primary voters deciding who the real Democratic Party candidate is going to be, and candidates vying for that nomination.  It's just disgustingly disrespectful to the party whose nomination the candidate is seeking to say that you want the support that comes from the nomination, but that if the voters whose support you wanted choose another nominee, then you would vote for and/or support another candidate.

            Pete McCloskey's endorsement of Jerry McNerney after running against Pombo should certainly disqualify him from consideration for the Republican nomination.  Absolutely.  I certainly won't condemn McCloskey though since being a unsuitable Republican makes someone at least half-good.

            •  At least you are (0+ / 0-)

              consistent.

              Pete McCloskey's endorsement of Jerry McNerney after running against Pombo should certainly disqualify him from consideration for the Republican nomination.

              I disagree. McCloskey was taking an opportunity to take Pombo out while keeping a Republican spot in the house. He was giving the Republicans a choice, do they want to get rid of the corrupt incumbent and keep a Republican in, or do they want to gamble on the corrupt incumbent? They ended up choosing the latter, and that was their right. McCloskey then cared more about getting rid of the corruption Pombo brought than about his own party. What he didn't want to do was force the voters to choose either a corrupt Republican or a Democrat. It has very little to do with party and a lot to do with giving the voters a choice

      •  yeah but.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hardhat Democrat, bdunn

        Merkley is a great progressive who has done amazing things for Oregon labor and the environment. Why lend any weight to a Frohnmeyer run when it could literally ensure Gordon Smith a third term? To me, backing Frohnmeyer is totally unacceptable considering the situation here in Oregon.

        Edwards Democrats and Progressives Unite! Visit us at EENR Blog

        by sarahlane on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 04:14:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  After reading Sarahlanes diary, and his comment (7+ / 0-)

    about bloggers, I kicked in 40$ for the first time this primary race to keep Merkley's add on the air.  

    Novick has made himself a risk in the general election from a number of off-key remarks he has made throughout the primary.  I have been offended to some extent.  

  •  this needs to be mentioned on the front page (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Preemptive Karma

    so nobody votes for the fucknut

    ---
    Bitter up, Play Ball!

    by VelvetElvis on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:21:38 PM PDT

  •  I fully agree (0+ / 0-)

    so much so that if I lived in OR and Novick was the nominee, I would vote for Frohnmayer.

    "The era of Scooter Libby justice, Brownie incompetence and Karl Rove politics will finally be over this year" Reject Marc Rich justice and Mark Penn politics.

    by IhateBush on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:32:52 PM PDT

  •  Well as long as he's not voting for Gordon Smith (0+ / 0-)

    Its okay. But even if he were to vote for Smith, to each his own. Can't say I'd agree, but freedom of choice.

    •  Actually.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Preemptive Karma

      in this case it's really not. If Frohnmeyer jumps in the race he will take votes away from both sides. We will have a harder time picking up this Senate seat if people like Novick support the Indie rather than the progressive Dem.

      Edwards Democrats and Progressives Unite! Visit us at EENR Blog

      by sarahlane on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 05:02:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And whats wrong with a third party? (0+ / 0-)

        You do understand the flaws of a two party system I hope. If this Frohnmeyer guy is taking votes away from both sides (contrary to Nader) then I think he is a very acceptable third choice. Though I think Novick is bluffing anyways.

        The party unity thing is kind of fake and sickening. How fake was it when we saw Romney claim his support for McCain. Or when Guiliani or Huckabee did. Its all two-faced. Its as sick to see their party do it as it is to see ours. Now if they honestly come out later and endorse them when they arent the frontrunner, like Dodd and Richardson did, its more authentic.

        •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Preemptive Karma

          because of the demographics here in Oregon (we have a strong independent streak) having Frohnmeyer jump in the race will ensure a Smith victory. That's what is wrong with it. I'm not against third party runs, but in this case I am. Both Merkley and Novick are good progressives and it would be a damn shame if neither had a good shot to beat Smith because Frohnmeyer jumps in the race.

          Edwards Democrats and Progressives Unite! Visit us at EENR Blog

          by sarahlane on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 11:39:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is unfair to Novick (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doriangz

    Novick's comments were made in 2006, and he's basically laying into Obama for not being a fire-breather. I would suspect that for similar reasons, Novick's first pick for president was John Edwards. Look back to that time and you will find a lot of Kossacks saying even worse things about Obama. And some of those folks are probably among the most ardent Obama supporters today.

    Anyway, Novick endorsed Obama much more recently, and I think it's not entirely honest for this diary to omit that detail.

    •  As I said, although I was pissed at Novick (4+ / 0-)

      for the Obama comments I was still on the fence. He did make the comments in 2006, which is why I was still undecided after these comments surfaced. However, what he said about voting for Frohnmayer was this week. And he still said what he said about Obama and has refused to retract it as recently as the City Club debate.

      •  Frohnmayer also deserves a better shake (4+ / 0-)

        Beating up on Frohnmayer for being a "former Republican", is a little bit like attacking Lincoln Chafee for the same reason. This is a guy who got beat up by the religious Right for refusing to politicize the NEA. Furthermore, Frohnmayer has notably called for Bush's impeachment. Finally, he's not only a former Republican. He's also been a Democrat. But he is frustrated by the bipartisan consensus on issues like NAFTA. Read what he has to say about his candidacy before you dismiss him or the people who say nice things about him.

        I think Novick was impolitic to say what he did. But I don't think it's fair to parse it as an attack on the Democratic party. The question was not, "Would you vote against the Democratic nominee?" It was about his second choice. Novick is saying that he favors a more aggressive platform than Merkley, and that he finds more common ground with Frohnmayer/

        Merkley seems to me like a pretty good candidate, and if he gets the Democratic nomination, I hope Oregon elects him. But please be a little more careful in how you represent someone like Novick. Novick should probably be more careful, but his passion and his progressive issues are shared by a lot of people here.

        •  I'm an Oregonian (0+ / 0-)

          And this is exactly the point. Merkley is establishment through and through, while Frohnmayer comes from a prominently progressive and independent family in many ways.

          I do think that Novick made a mistake here, but he is a wild card, through and through. Just remember, on nearly every issue he is on the progressive side of things. Merkely is more a Dem in the Hillary sense.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." MLK, from jail in Birmingham, AL.

          by bewert on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:15:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Merkley isn't establishment like your implying (2+ / 0-)

            Merkley is the reformer that pushed the Democrats who let the House be held by republicans for 16 years.  Merkely got enough progressive Democrats elected to the House to flip the chamber and catapult progressives into positions of leadership.  Merkley only is in the leadership because of the support of the grassroots base and progressive legislators that he got elected.

            Check out my Oregon politics blog Forward Oregon

            by bdunn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:42:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sierra Club = establishment? Planned Parenthood? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hardhat Democrat

            Is Basic Rights Oregon part of the "establishment"?

            Each of those organizations have endorsed Jeff Merkley.

          •  Merkley is a progressive! (3+ / 0-)

            Don't try to mislead and make Merkley out to be something he is not. Would a moderate, establishment candidate be against the war from the beginning? Or in favor of marriage equality? Or, what about Merkley's environmental record and his labor record? Both Merkley and Novick are strong progressives, it just seems to me that Merkley is the best challenger to take on Smith.

            Edwards Democrats and Progressives Unite! Visit us at EENR Blog

            by sarahlane on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 04:43:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He says he was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              East Bank Thom

              "against the war from the beginning" but he voted for a resolution saying:

              [we] (1) Acknowledge the courage of President George W. Bush, the President's cabinet and the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States, and express our support for the victorious removal of Saddam Hussein from power; and

              (2) Praise the courage, dedication, professionalism and sacrifices of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States and their families in the defense of freedom.

              I know, he says he was only voting for the second part. He should have said, "I support the troops, but this resolution is bullshit." If he's going to be bullied into voting for anything the Republicans put on the floor that includes the words "we supports the troops", then he's not who I want representing me

              Steve Novick is the true progressive, and I think he's more prepared to take the fight to Gordon Smith. Steve Novick believes we should treat income from work and wealth the same in the tax code, and supports nixing the Social Security tax cap. While I disagree with the latter, it's more progressive, and Merkley disagrees with Novick on those two things. If you're going to have a war on rhetoric, Smith will win, and for the longest time, Merkley was running on endorsements, not issues

              •  Don't you think you should at least (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Preemptive Karma

                put what Merkley said about voting for the "support the trooops" non-binding resolution in your statement? Otherwise your post is quite misleading IMO. In case anybody read this and was wondering, here's what Merkley said on the House floor:

                Colleagues, I have not been and am not today persuaded that Iraq was a significant threat to the United States or that the war we fight today is the best strategy to fight terrorism or the wisest application of our superpower resources.

                Merkley has been running on the issues! Did he not release a plan to combat global warming and create a green economy? Did he not talk about payday lending regulation? Did he not spend a lot of time talking about strengthening the unions and passing the card check? I've been following his campaign since he announced and I was impressed with his focus on progressive issues.

                Edwards Democrats and Progressives Unite! Visit us at EENR Blog

                by sarahlane on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 11:44:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know he said that (0+ / 0-)

                  but if he's going to be bullied into voting for anything the Republicans put out there that has the line "we support the troops," then he's not the one I want representing me. Everyone I know supports the troops, and no vote against a resolution will take that away. Regardless, this will provide great fodder for Gordon Smith should Merkley get the nomination, and if you have a war of rhetoric, Smith wins easily

                  As far as the issues, I remember after I saw Novick speak for the first time, I looked on Merkley's site and he was running on endorsements, and he had very little if any issues in his issues section. It was only after confrontation (be it direct or indirect) by Novick's campaign that he put his stances on the issues up

                  •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Preemptive Karma

                    We put the issues portion of the webpage up when it was ready to go, not under pressure from anyone (directly or indirectly). Incidentally, they've been enhanced and added to as we've moved forward. Jeff didn't enter the race until well after Novick because of his legislative duties, which is why Novick had a big head start getting his issues pages together for his website.  

                    But most people don't decide who to vote for based simply on the candidate's website.  I hope you'll come to an event and talk with Jeff. He's an amazing progressive legislator who will be an incredible asset to Oregon as our Senator.

                    Frankly, if Gordon Smith wants to run on Iraq and Jeff's record on it--by all means.  There's more than enough to hit Smith hard on..and trying to run against a non-binding resolution that expresses support for the troops?  That's not exactly a winner for a Merkley opponent.  Especially given Jeff's extensive foreign policy experience, its not exactly Smith's best tack.

                    Smith has already gone to that well with Jeff once, incidentally....and was none too happy with the way it turned out for him
                    Carla--Netroots Outreach, Jeff Merkley for Oregon

  •  Hasn't HRc already said this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Preemptive Karma

    I mean she and Bill have fawned over McMuffin and they now use the same attack strategies

  •  Ya know, I was initially leaning (4+ / 0-)

    quite heavily toward Novick.  He's amazingly intelligent!  And he really has tremendous progressive values.  But he is so completely impolitic at times.  Does not know when to button his lip.

    I can appreciate the fact that he was at least honest in this exchange, I guess.  Sadly lacking any savvy or wisdom, however.  It's okay to shun the label of "politician", but you've gotta be politically astute.

    Guess I'll have to throw my support to Merkley.  He's proving to be the much better candidate.

    •  Hopefully you can meet Merkley sometime (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB, Hardhat Democrat

      Steve Novick is amazingly intelligent, I agree. But he's not the only candidate in the race who stands out in a crowd on that point.

      People who know Merkley best have been describing him as amazingly intelligent for many years. Indeed, his resume reflects that intellect.

      Having had the opportunity to meet him in person several times, I have to say that he really is exceptionally intelligent. But that's not what impressed me the most. What really impressed me is that he gave me his undivided attention. I mean he intently listened to what I had to say. Him - a candidate for US Senate. Me - a blue collar working stiff. And he was standing there intently listening to me and cogently responding to what I was saying. THAT impressed me!

  •  I don't like Novick's style. (4+ / 0-)

    He's had a few good moments on his campaign -- clever ads, a good sense of humor... but then he completely crumbs the play by saying obnoxious things like this.

    But this one pretty much seals the deal.  Supporting third-party spoiler Frohnmayer over a progressive Democrat?

    NEXT.

    Swing State Project: A sexy, sassy look at the 2008 elections. Get a four-digit UID while you still can!

    by HellofaSandwich on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:28:31 PM PDT

  •  Merkley (5+ / 0-)

    has always had the edge in my book because he has run campaigns and won elections before.  First timers make a lot of mistakes.  This comment by Novick makes the point.  It just takes one such error in the general election and it could be all over.

    I cannot support any Democrat who cannot see that his/her progressive Democratic opponent is better for the general election than anyone else.    

  •  Jeff Merkley = Party Unifier (5+ / 0-)

    I am proud to support Jeff Merkley for US Senate.

    Jeff Merkley is currently the speaker of the Oregon House.  After 16 years of GOP control, Jeff led a broad coalition of progressive Democrats to capture 7 GOP-held seats over 2 election cycles, putting the control back into Democratic hands in 2006.

    It took a lot of collaboration to do it, but Jeff succeeded.  And he's fully committed to supporting the Democratic nominee to take on Gordon Smith.

    Personally, I think that Jeff Merkley has shown the kind of principled, progressive leadership we need to build a huge grassroots movement and defeat Gordon Smith.  

    What's more, he's been endorsed by all the groups that I trust, like the AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, Council for a Livable World and many more.

    Check out Jeff Merkley's first TV ad over at Jeff Merkley for Oregon!

  •  who cares if he's.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    baudelairien

    an independent?  John Frohnmayer is an incredible man, who's a very strong progressive in his own right.  Just because he doesnt wear the Democrat brand, you think Novick is stupid for exercising his own judgment?  

    Sounds like poster here has no clue who John Frohnmayer is.

    BTW, im a Merkley supporter...but im also a bigger supporter of honest debate than this obvious knee jerk reaction crap.   Becoming very tired of these insular partisan hacks.

    We should all be happy we have 3 strong progressives running to take down that pos Smith.

    Like Daily Kos, I support Democrats. This is the equivalent of Hillary Clinton dropping out of the race and saying that although she'll vote for Barack Obama, she likes Michael Bloomberg better. Steve Novick, you're dead to me.

    Thats a ridiculous thing to say.  Ill vote for Barrack (or Hillary if it comes to it), but im damn proud to say i like John Edwards, Kucinich and Nader infinitely better.  How dare i have my own opinions!    How dare i value someone on their merits over what political party they affiliate with! omg!

    "Now I can go back to being ruthless again." - RFK

    by bad poetry oh noetry on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 04:30:37 PM PDT

    •  Wrong question, IMHO (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hardhat Democrat, jackmurray

      Respectfully, the right question is this:

      Can Frohnmayer defeat Gordon Smith?

      If Gordon Smith is sent back to the Senate then the odds are extremely high that he'll get to vote for one, maybe two Supreme Court Nominees.

      The stakes are high here. Smith is entrenched and has a formidable War Chest. He needs to be defeated!! For the good of Oregon and for the good of the nation!

      •  of course.. (0+ / 0-)

        that part is a given.  Of course he cant.  But Novick said he would vote for the nominee, he just happens to like Frohnmayers politics over Merkleys.  

        I dont see the big deal.

        He's in a tight race with Merkley and is currently ahead by 10 or so points.  Might not have been the best political move to openly state you like a 3rd party guy over his main opponent, he could have just left it at "ill vote for the nominee" and not get into the gory details, but Novick is known for saying exactly what he feels.  I dont fault him either way for it.

        "Now I can go back to being ruthless again." - RFK

        by bad poetry oh noetry on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 04:41:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's what it says about Merkley, IMHO (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hardhat Democrat

          Jeff Merkley's answer, which he didn't have to think about, tells us a LOT about who Jeff Merkley is and what is important to him.

          Merkley stated that he would vote for the one person other than himself who is the most capable of defeating Gordon Smith.

          Merkley's eyes are on the prize! His values system was on full display with that single question and answer. So too were the value systems of the other candidates who participated.

          IMHO, Merkley demonstrated a value which none of the others did.

          •  Exactly... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bdunn, Preemptive Karma

            Merkley's eyes are on the prize! His values system was on full display with that single question and answer.

            That's how we won in 2006, that's how we're going to win in 2008, and that's how we're going to win into the future.  We need Democrats working together to defeat the Republicans.

            Jeff Merkley's answer to that question speaks volumes to his character, and shows that he is first and foremost focused on providing better representation in the Senate for us here in Oregon; and his leadership in the Oregon House proves that he's capable of working with anybody and everybody, and getting great things done for us.

  •  I'm very familiar with 'loose cannons'... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bdunn, Preemptive Karma

    I'm kinda sorta one myself.  So I recognize the type...and we don't make the best candidates.  At all...

    And I know that I would be torn to pieces, six ways to Sunday, if I was to run for any office...let alone United States Senate.  I've said and done many things that would effectively end any potential candidacy of mine, and it wouldn't take long for anybody to dig them up.

    My question is, what else is out there about Novick?  What's going to come up next week, or the week after, or the week after that?

    And what is he going to do if he loses the primary?  Is he going to go kamikaze on us, and encourage his supporters to not vote for the Democrat in the race?  Is he going to become our very own Ralph Nader?

    What will he do the first time the Democratic leadership in Washington doesn't give him everything he wants?  Will he become our very own Lieberman?

    Lieberman can be effective as an independent because he's been around forever, and has support on both sides; but what would a loose cannon sitting all by himself who's made enemies with everybody be able to get done for us here in Oregon, besides maybe have the freedom to give a decent speech every once in a while?

    I'll stick with Jeff Merkley, the Democrat in the race who's clearly committed to beating Gordon Smith any way he can, nominee or not.  And of course, also do everything I can to make sure that Jeff Merkley is our candidate in November.

    •  Merkley has done his oppo research (0+ / 0-)

      And Jeff Merkley has done push polls to find out which negative message will work best against Novick. Ironically, he DSCC financed campaign has come up with the "Negative Novick" meme. Hell, it worked against Howard Dean.

      Look, I re-registered from Pacific Green to Democrat a few months ago, just to be able to vote for Novick. Now, I'm stoked to vote for progresses up and down the ticket, from Obama for President to Walsh for Congress.

      I too, would vote for Frohnmayer over Merkley. I am so disappointed in the Democratic class of 2006, the last thing I want to do is send back more of the same.

      Why are we still in Iraq? Why is Bush still in office? Spineless Dems... And Speaker Merkley fits the mold.

      Stare and compare... (Apologies for the photoshop. Here, the original.)

      He crossed party lines to vote for a resolution which "acknowledged the courage of George W. Bush" (Rep. Merkley) and then lied about the floor speech he gave in defense of this defenseless vote. And now he's snookered good Democrats into shilling for him, only because they were foolish enough to take him at his word.

      Merkley and Novick are definitely two different types of Democrats. We tried Establishment... Now it's time to shake things up. I'm hooked on Novick.

      •  The truth is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hardhat Democrat, bdunn

        emphatically underscored by two strong progressive Democrats who are members of the Oregon legislature: Smearing Jeff with GOP talking points

        •  Preemtive Kevin, you're quite tedious (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bad poetry oh noetry

          The truth is, only 5 Democrats had the courage not to vote for the GOP sponsored resolution praising Bush and buying into the Iraq invasion. Jeff Merkley was not among them.

          The sad thing is, he has snookered two of these progressive Oregon legislators into writing an open letter attacking Steve Novick (published on the blog run by Merkely's media staffer). I feel sorry for these good folks (most recently, war heroes Jim Rassmun and Sen. Max Cleland), who are getting conned into vouching for Merkley. Hopefully, they know not what they do.

          For example, Reps Greenlick and Nolan (good folks) claim in their "smear" piece (see link above):

          "At a time when public opinion polls in favor of the war in Iraq approached 90 percent approval, Jeff Merkley stood up and spoke out against it... Jeff attacked the war, and President Bush in his floor speech."

          C'mon, Kossacks! Merkley didn't even mention Bush in his floor speech. And his napkin length pronouncement (in its entirety below) hardly qualifies as "anti-war." Jeff Merkley claims to have published some sort of "anti-war" article, but thus far, there is no evidence... archaeological or otherwise. Both Frohnmayer and Novick are to the progressive left of Merkley, yet in an Oregon populist bent so as to be even more competitive in the General.

          Rep. Jeff Merkley
          Floor Speech on House Resolution 2 (As Delivered)
          March 21, 2003

          Colleagues, I have not been and am not today persuaded that Iraq was a significant threat to the United States or that the war we fight today is the best strategy to fight terrorism or the wisest application of our superpower resources. But that is a conversation or a debate for another day.

          Today I rise to praise our young men and women serving our nation at great personal risk. Today we are not Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal; we are Americans concerned about the safety and support of our troops.

          I praise our sons and daughters - their courage, their professionalism. I pray now that the fighting will be brief; that the casualties on both sides will be sparse; that international aid to rebuild Iraq will be swift and abundant; that the terrorist repercussions will be few or none; and that there will be a new Iraqi government soon that will rule with wisdom and will provide the opportunity and freedoms for every Iraqi citizen to survive.

          May that be the outcome.

          [Disclaimer: I'm hooked on Novick, but met Frohnmayer at the Rebooting Democracy conference sponsored by the most excellent Bus Project. I can understand first-hand the crossover appeal to progressives. They both have a genuine independent streak. Just sayin'...]

      •  And how exactly does this answer my questions? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bdunn, Preemptive Karma

        Who has Jeff Merkley said that he will vote for in November if he's not on the ballot?

        You're disappointed in the Democratic class of 2006, so you're going to send Gordon Smith back to Washington if your guy doesn't win the primary?  Yeah, that makes sense.  Thanks for the chuckle, though...

        ..........................

        Oh, and this amuses me -

        Why is Bush still in office?

        And you say you've -

        re-registered from Pacific Green

        Hmmmm....

        Bush wouldn't have ever been there in the first place, if it wasn't for another prominent "Green".  BTW, how's that working out for you all?

        •  You entitlement dems just don't get it (0+ / 0-)

          I thought it was the Righties who were all supposed to march in lock step?

          Hardhat, you can't bully my into voting for your guy. We independents have a penchant for voting our conscience; our hopes, not our fears... as it were. I'm sorry the Democrats allowed the election to be stolen in 2000. It's time to stop blaming Nader and move on dot org. Kay?

          I choose Left Hook Lager over Republican Lite.

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