By Ygal Kaufman
The opening line of a seasoned candidate; Pavel Goberman is giving it another go, trying to upset Jeff Merkley, our incumbent senator, in the Democratic Primary on May 20.
We chatted with him in the last week of his campaign, as he prepares for Election Day.
“I came 1980, may 1980, for political reasons from former USSR,” telling his story.
Goberman was born in the Crimea region, currently a hotly contested little slice of heaven that Russia is trying to repatriate by force; he came to the US after graduating from university in Moscow and working as a machinist in the Red Army.
Soon after his arrival in the states he attended university in Minnesota, but felt he had nothing to learn and left school. His only regret. After working off and on as a machinist, he started to foster a scientific interest in fitness. He was in good shape, and felt he could teach others his technique and help change their lives. He came to Oregon and took classes at Portland State University.
“They told me fitness cannot prevent cancer… I quit this university.”
Sorry, come again?
“The value of my PSA test on prostate cancer is 0.63. Do you know what this is? A middle aged man should have between 2 and 4.” He gives this as proof that his fitness system works, and can prevent cancer. It works on microcurrents, the creation of microelectricity, which would kill cancer cells, according to Goberman.
Pavel Goberman believes he can defeat Father Time and he can help you do it, too. Which only really ranks like a 6 on the urine-sample-flyer-meter. He has a website, www.getenergized.com, where he touts his fitness regimen. The website reads like the side of a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap. But it does post some impressive photos of Goberman working his system. He is an undeniably fit looking elderly gentleman who could pass for 10 years younger than his age. He’s in his mid-70’s and lives off Social Security. He once worked for Tri Met, Portland’s public transit authority. They didn’t exactly part on good terms, he took them to court to get his job back. He didn’t win.
I asked him to elaborate on his plan.
“If I have no plan, I would not run. I have concrete plan to create millions of jobs, balance budget, reduce heavy traffic on all United States highways. Because first, that’s terror against our country. Heavy traffic is a danger to our nation and our security.” He has a theory about the nation’s roads.
“Highways were made to move. Not for parking.”
I prod him for specifics. He won’t tell any parts of his plan. A strange election strategy that has seen him lose in previous bids against Senator Wyden, and others.
I tell him I understand that he doesn’t want to give away his ideas, lest his opponents steal them.
“Correct!” he bellows.
“When I am elected, I will deal with this… When he [Obama] was elected in 2008, I wrote him, ‘Appoint me as advisor, and I promise to help you to create a million jobs.’ He refused.” He is very serious now. Goberman is a scientist, though he’s not credentialed, and he feels he can bring the same level of wisdom to the halls of government as he has to the world of fitness.
He rails against violations of the constitution, which as a naturalized citizen he’s sworn to uphold. That’s his main beef with Merkley; he violates the Constitution, though Goberman is vague as to how.
It struck me that Goberman might also try his luck as a Republican. I mean, he was talking about the Constitution and hating Merkley. A lot.
I asked him if he’s ever reached out to Art Robinson, chair of the Oregon Republican party and also a noted scientist.
He says he has, “I tried to help him but he ignored me.”
“I don’t know what science he does…” says Goberman.
His next race will probably be against labor commissioner Brad Avakian, he says. Now he really sounds like a republican. I ask why he’s not running against Conger, Wehby, and the rest of the long shots. If he wins, I point out, he could go against Merkley in the general election.
Goberman snorts and laughs. This is Oregon, he says.
“It’s impossible to get elected as a Republican…”