Wait...Novick isn't running for Governor. But the former US senatorial candidate did consider it, he says, in a remarkably candid post on Blue Oregon today. It's probably smart for Novick to avoid a run for the office—he doesn't need to start looking like the perennial losing candidate, and John Kitzhaber is widely regarded as unbeatable in the 2010 race. Still, it's a shame. Novick's a smart guy, a straight-shooter, and hell, he's funny. Hardly anyone in Oregon politics is really FUNNY. Have you noticed?
The post is lengthy, but fascinating. I offered the chance to expand on it here, but Novick said he'd worked pretty hard on the post and didn't want to mess it up by talking. I know how he feels. Speaking of which, don't forget to tune in to 620AM KPOJ tomorrow morning at 8 if you want to hear me massacre the Mercury's news section with bad jokes.
Highlights include Novick's staff picks, especially lobbyist Kristen Leonard for chief of staff: "Kristen is one of the smartest, most respected people in the Capitol," Novick writes. "The Mercury named her Salem’s best lobbyist, for good reason." Novick also nominates Clackamas County Commissioner Lynn Peterson (another person who has dropped out of the gub's race—a shame, because it's looking like a Viagra commercial, right now) for his transportation department, and a Republican for economic development. He wants Joanne Fuller from Multnomah County to run Oregon's Youth Authority, and Rosie Sizer's husband Dan Noelle and David Rogers for criminal justice advice. "Yes, I am concerned about the Chasse case. But I still think Rosie is a pretty big brain on the justice system," he writes. David Rogers is an advocate for sentencing reform, and quoted most recently in the Mercury here and here, if you want to see his smarts in action.
Novick also nominates freshman legislator Jules Bailey for his department of energy. "Although I’m all for renewable energy, from what I’ve heard, I tend to be a bit dubious about claims about Oregon becoming the “Saudi Arabia of …” (fill in the blank)," Novick writes. "But there’s no reason we can’t become America’s Japan (Japan being the most energy efficient nation)." There's your mandate, Bailey: make us America's Japan!
Policy-wise, Novick focuses on K-12 education—on getting children ready for school, and on recruitment of a new generation of teachers. "I think that the gap between rhetoric and reality seeps down into the classroom," he writes. "The elites build castles in the air, people who know better (including teachers) are left without realistic elite-approved advice to give kids about their futures, and the kids wind up confused." This part of his pitch is so extensive, one couldn't help thinking Novick is submitting his resume for a job as Kitzhaber's education adviser. It reminded me of watching season four of The Wire—all the problems with our country's education system, and our state's education system, candidly discussed.
If only we didn't have to bother with all this democracy and "voting" nonsense, I would appoint Novick governor tomorrow. (In my mind, I actually have this power—there are also statues of me all over the state, and Sunday is renamed after my mother). But you go on, now, boys...raise your money, talk about yourselves a lot, and see you at the ballot box next year.