Thursday, March 27, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Merkley's not-so swift boaters

I'm a Novick partisan, I suppose, and these are the facts as I know them...

I first heard about Steve Novick after a failed attempt to draft (my former) populist US Congressman, Peter DeFazio. I followed this effort through Loaded Orygun. When the Rep. declined to run, LO took an interest and later endorsed Steve Novick for US Senate. LO co-editor Carla Axtman later left the blog to join the campaign of Novick's primary opponent, Oregon House Speaker, Jeff Merkley, who was recruited in July by DSCC chair, Chuck Schumer. This support also came with ca. $100,000 seedy money for the choice of the Democratic establishment.

Also on Merkley's side is "the biggest blog in Oregon," It's "chief cook and bottle washer is Merkley paid media staffer, Kari "sometimes-I-forget-to-disclose-my-paid-relationships" Chisholm.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Jan 22, 2008 11:34:50 PM
[...] As you well know, I post my disclosure on every blog post I write - and on every comment that I post on anyone else's blog. Seriously [...]

His blog, once believed to have been a a neutral, progressive forum, has become primarily a propaganda organ (IMHO) for Mr. Chisholm's many clients.

Chisholm has also constructed a nice echo chamber of bloggers who daily expend bandwidth with their pro-Merkely, anti-Novick commentary. Among the men of Mandate are Michael Richardson, Chisholm's tech guy who co-publishes his own blog, Then there's blogger, cum peace activist, Kevin Kamberg, who used to co-blog with Merkley's netroots staffer, Carla Axtman if I'm not mistaken.

"How many of you made it to the Peace rally and march in Portland yesterday? I was there and had a blast. It was my first ever protest march." - K. Kamberg

In the Junior Varsity, we have the erstwhile Beaver Boundary, the recent upstart, gone out of bid'niss blog, dedicated to going negative on Novick and run by the assistant of vocal Novick critic Rep. Mitch Greenlick, Tom Powers. Forward Oregon, also created in the midst of this campaign by Bradley "don't-call-me-Bradley" Dunn (Bdunn - remind us of your relationship to jraad, aka Jamaal, a Merkley college organizer?), has been a reliable source for Chisholm's Blue(dog)Oregon.

Add to this Lefty Lane and the ever reliably pro-Merk&Co. Senate 2008 Guru not to mention the ever present chattering natterers Of Blue0; Pat Ryan, Mitch Gore ("Lestatdelc") and the ever curmudgeonly "LT," and behold the echo chamber of Kari Chisholm.

Jeff is espousing anti-war cred he has not earned. His excuse for voting to "acknowledge the courage of George W. Bush" rings hollow. Where is this supposed column he published? I'm only getting stonewalled by the Merkley surrogates and staff alike.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer swallows

his pride

What was he thinking and why was it so expensive?

[CNN: more...]

And from the NY Times:

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong,” said Mr. Spitzer, who appeared with his wife Silda at his Manhattan office. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better... I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Kevin Keeps Karping

Jeff Merkley, candidate for US Senate, got himself into some luke warm water this week with revelations in the local media that his family had submitted an application on behalf of one of their children to attend a charter school. My experiences over the past two decades have dealt almost exclusively with higher education, so I wasn't immediately clued into the controversy here. Then Merkley surrogate Kevin Kamberg inadvertently turned up the heat by questioning the validity of the Willamette Week story and even taking the reporter to task for her intentions and journalistic ethics calling the whole story a "hatchet-job."

"Here's the thing about this - there's no evidence here. It's just the word of the extreme right-winger Rob Kremer that Beth has swallowed hook, line and sinker without even questioning it.

Why would she do that?

What motive might she have for regurgitating a right-wing smear?

Why would she assist a right-wing hatchet-job without any evidence to back it up?

Is this what passes for "journalism" at Willamette Week now?"

The reporter in question, Beth Slovic (along with the newspaper's editors) took these complaints in stride and followed up with an editorial in their print edition two days later. At this point, Merkley's staffers and surrogates didn't quite seem to be able to agree how to spin the story. Campaign spokesman Matt Canter didn't appear to question the existence of the application, but rather it's purpose. He was quoted in the first story as saying, "At some point, Jeff's wife had heard about the school and, like any parent, they decided to just check it out, but they never seriously considered sending their son there."

Other supporters tried to deflate the story by pointing out that while Representative Merkley voted in favor of limits on charter schools, he was applying under "existing law." (Not unlike how he voted to ban robo-calls but used this tactic at the start of his campaign as the law had yet to go into effect.)

As I have previously asked before, since there's no crime, why the cover-up?

Not satisfied with the the facts, Mr. Kamberg (seller of "rainsticks") wrote his own "editorial." The piece was frontpaged on BlueOregon by its "chief editor" Kari Chisholm (who happens to be on Jeff Merkley's payroll) bypassing the blog's own guidelines: Hey WW, where's the beef?

"Monday evening Willamette Week's website (aka WWire) published a piece written by Beth Slovic claiming that Jeff Merkley Submitted a Charter School Application in 2004. Wednesday she rehashed it as an editorial piece citing her own WWire piece for the street edition of Willamette Week."
In his crusade against reality, Kamberg is still trying to argue against the existence of any charter school application from the Merkleys.
"I don't see anything in either of Beth Slovic's pieces about a second source supporting Rob Kremer's assertion. The closest thing to it is an assertion in the piece that Merkley's spokesman Matt Cantor "did not deny" the allegation. But of course the failure to deny doesn't constitute a "confirmation" by any stretch of the imagination."
This seemed to have provoked a response from Willamette Week: Charter-gate: Here's the Beef

It turns out that the Merkleys submitted charter school applications for both their children. I'll leave the ramifications of this to others for now. It is worthy noting however that even after these latest reports, our rainstick maker from Forrest Grove seems still intent on sticking it to the Willamette Week.
"The point of the challenges was to get Ms. Slovic to practice at least minimal journalistic ethics. She was late doing so and it appears that she only scrambled to do so AFTER she was challenged. But late is better than not at all. Of course that only applies to her factual allegations. It doesn't address her transparent attempt to influence the upcoming OEA endorsement. When coupled with previous pieces she's published at Willy Weak, it's pretty clear that at least part of her motivation is to help Steve Novick."
Somehow, I think Portland's weekly will survive these withering attacks from Mandate-Merkley.bots.

Denver Convention

Our team left a soggy PDX and arrived yesterday in Denver and were greeted with 74° and sunny skies. We woke up to this.