Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Steve Novick: Get hooked, part two

(This is part two of my interview with Steve Novick, candidate for US Senate. Part one is here)

One of the things that Steve Novick will need to do in order to defeat Gordon Smith is to draw the votes of Oregon's vast independent voter base. Steve said that appealing to this voter block means demonstrating what they can expect from a candidate. "People don't have to agree with you as long as they know what you stand for.

Steve has never held public office--so what should they expect when it comes to what he "stands for"?

Novick makes mention of his 8 1/2 years in the US Justice Department going after polluters--Oregonians can expect him to be very strong on environmental issues. He's also been a tough fighter against the hard right initatives proffered by Bill Sizemore, Don McIntire and outsider Howard Rich--Novick will be a strong advocate for public services.

He also wants to go after "real" government waste. Novick recently championed a case in which Oregon lottery money was going to video poker retailers instead of where it was supposed to go: to schools. When I asked Novick for examples of federal government waste, he hesitated a moment and then began to tick off his list: The International Space Station ("huge federal waste--serves no scientific purpose"), The Department of Interior oil leases, the missile defense system, the F-22 fighter jet and the V-22 Osprey helicopter (Novick cites Lawrence Korb as a key individual in understanding the waste involved with the aircraft in question.)

Novick also articulated that his appeal will run deep with Oregon Indys because of he knows Oregonians want their legislators to deal with pressing issues like health care, the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us, global warming and the national debt.

If Novick wins he'll be the senator for all Oregonians, including Republicans. Whether or not its reasonable or even resembling reality, there's a perception among some of the GOP that Novick hates Republicans. When I mentioned this to him, Novick laughed. "There are plenty of Republicans that I like. Mark Hatfield was a great Senator--courageous. He would vote against issues that were popular and did what he thought was right." Novick ticked off a laundry list of Republicans that he likes and admires: Sue Hildide, Verne Duncan, Vicki Berger, Ted Ferrioli (he's "smart and entertaining.")

Novick continued with his Republican non-hate list: "I kinda like Kevin Mannix. He's mischievously evil in a way I can appreciate. Saxton sold his soul for no particular reason. I kinda get a kick out of Sizemore's sense of humor, too."

Steve also mentioned that he understands how to appeal to Republicans: fiscal responsibility. "We can't keep running up debt," he said.

(The third and final part of this interview will be published in the next day or two--Carla)