Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Steve Novick

"I can beat Gordon Smith!"

Just getting back from the WashCo Dems meeting where Novick spoke after a lustige introduction by KPOJ's Carl Wolfson. This was the first time i heard Novick speak in person, and he didn't disappoint. He scored easy supermajority applause breaks for his support of ending the Iraq occupation and impeaching Bush, Cheney, Gonzo & Co. The room was full, some 120 or so with a few standing for the duration of the 2 hour meeting. With so much gray hair seated in the chairs, it was a good thing Novick could speak to the Eisenhower generation, in a way that makes that liberal Republican sexy even to Clinton era kids.

I was originally attracted by Novick's bio. I knew already of his victories in in the Love Canal case, but learned just tonight of his successes as a watchdog over Bill Sizemore (hereafter referred to as "BS"). Imagine the advertisement value! The way he pushed through lottery reform for the benefit of Oregon schools (seemingly over the opposition of then Lottery Commission Chairman Kerry Tymchuk - currently Gordon Smith's State Director?)... You know he's fought the good fight, and won time and time again.

There's a David and Goliath thing here. You're drawn in to root for the little guy. (Novick's sense of humor is genuine and disarming. He plays openly with the clich├ęs of being the best candidate to fight for the little guy. A fighter with a hard left hook, as in My comments here aren't meant as a love letter to Steve. I welcome Merkley's presumed bid and look forward to a race that (between these to Oregon public servants at least) promises to rally the State against Smith even as it organizes Oregonians for a cohesive, progressive sea change.

What i got tonight for the first time was Steve Novick on the stump. "I can beat Gordon Smith!" In the end, you have a notion that he just might be right. Deep, deep down you really, really want him to be right.

P.S. Lee, did i see you there seated (aptly) to my right?


maloney said...

Thanks for the heads up on the radio show, I caught the tail-end of it thanks to your blog post. And I'm glad you enjoyed seeing Steve in action in person.

He's really got quite the charisma doesn't he?

Thom said...

There was a connection with the filled room of Washington County Dems, for sure. Steve has top tier life's experiences in his portfolio. Talk about a diamond in the rough. This guy has to get the word out on his big time victories.

maloney said...

One of the things that most excites me about Steve is that he's able to answer questions. That's it. He answers questions. And he answers them honestly.

He once said to me that his "strategy" for winning both the Primary election and the General was to, "tell the truth."

Gordon Smith has done enough crap in the last two terms as a Senator that we don't have to "go personal" or "sling mud" to win. If Gordon thinks that going over his record is "slinging mud," then he should probably reevaluate whether he deserves to be a Senator.

Thom said...

Bingo. There's an authenticity to Steve's words. He knows his stuff and can deliver it verbally. He connected with the folks in Aloha. This is an important characteristic i look for in a candidate. Should Merkley get of the pot, i'll be wanting to see him on the stump.

Lee Coleman said...

Lee, did i see you there seated (aptly) to my right?

I was impressed by Novick -- he does have a fighting chance. After you left, I asked him how well he's known in places like Drain or Nyssa and he quickly replied that his name recognition polling percentages are higher than Merkley's (also told me he was born in Yoncalla and knows Drain). I told Carl Wolfson that there's rich material for him in talking about the short and the tall of things in Novick's electioneering

maloney said...

i was at a "House Party" for Novick some time ago, and that was when i first got to meet him and he answered questions really, really well.

One question was about education, and what he would do as a Senator to help education funding. His first response was to point out that the Feds only supply about 8-9% of the money for K-12 (i think) education and so that direct funding probably wasn't the answer.

What his solution was, however, struck me as not just "right on," but also freaking brilliant.

He said that the best think that the Federal Government could do for education was to provide everyone in the country with health care.

It took me a second to realize the connection, but when it hit me, I was shocked that I'd never made the connection before. Think of how many school districts there are nation wide. Oregon has 174 of them. Nationwide, there are 15,274.

Some states include public school teachers in their insurance pools, but others don't. Many (most?) of these individual districts have to use "education funding" to provide health care to their teachers and administrators. Universal health care, provided by the Federal Government, would free up millions, if not billions, of "education dollars" to actually go to pay for education.

I'm glad it wasn't my turn to speak, because the realization left me speechless. Not only did I come away with the belief that this was the/an answer to our education funding crisis, but I also came away with the realization that Novick sees the big picture, and connects the dots in a way that most government folks and politicians don't.

I was sold on Novick right then. I have never heard anyone going out for elected office make so much sense, and here he was, right in front of me. This, I thought, was someone we NEED in the Senate, regardless of who else is running.

Thom said...

he does have a fighting chance.

It's clear he has the experience to be a US Senator. But does he have the experience to become our next senator?

maloney said...

if the primary is clean, which i think it will be, then yes. i think he does have the experience and the ability to become our new Junior Senator.

i think something that gets lost, is that he's done campaigning before. he's just never been the "star" of the campaign.

as long as Merkley and Novick focus their energy on Smith, and (here's the important part) there isn't any dirty pool from the national or state Dem mechanism in trying to keep donors from giving to Novick, i think he can win the primary.

my one fear, and this pure speculation at this point, is that County Democratic Parties will be "strongly encouraged" to endorse Merkley over Novick. There are lots of FuturePAC alums on Merkley's team, and i'm afraid they might try and use their weight to influence local party bodies in that way.

(i'm not saying this is going to happen, i'm just saying it could.)

i think if people make their decision based on who has a better chance at beating Smith in the primary, then i think Novick is lookin' pretty good. I just hope, as i've said before, that the D$CC stays out of the primary.

Thom said...

as long as Merkley and Novick focus their energy on Smith, and (here's the important part) there isn't any dirty pool from the national or state Dem mechanism

Novick promised a positive campaign at the WashCo Dems meeting described above, even as he acknowledged the entry of Oregon House Speaker Merkley into the race.

Colin, you are spot on regarding the importance of the County Machines. If Novick's reception in other counties is anything near the positive response he got in Aloha, he certainly does stand a fighting chance.

maloney said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.