Jeff Merkley has racked up some impressive endorsements in his race for the Oregon Democratic Senate nomination - a governor and a former governor, a passel of mayors, state senators and state representatives, and a slew of labor organizations. But when it comes to the music scene, his rival Steve Novick leaves him in the dust.
Last week the Portland lawyer and progressive activist scored a clean sweep of the region's alt-indie-grunge-college, post-college and neo-nostalgic rock endorsements as 10 well-known musicians signed a letter supporting him.
Besides praising Novick for his work on environmental issues, his opposition to the Iraq war, his commitment to fight the"ballooning [economic] inequality in our country" and his support of gay rights, the musicians lauded his stands in favor of "net neutrality" ("Steve is strongly opposed to broadband providers creating a two-tiered system of access to information, in which content providers with money would have an advantage over those that don't") and against media consolidation.
The letter was signed by Colin Meloy (The Decembrists), Thomas Lauderdale (Pink Martini), Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), Michael Stipe (REM), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie), Krist Novoselic (Nirvana & Flipper), Dave Dederer (Presidents of the United States), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright.