LET HIM EXPLAIN Erickson A guy named John Erickson is running for Congress in Oregon. And though the Republican ostensibly possesses some of the key characteristics of successful candidate—he's rich and is a huge liar—his prospects are thought to have taken a serious hit this week thanks to a journalistic exposé of a trip he took to Cuba in 2004.
Erickson has credentialed the journey as a "humanitarian trip" that gave him the "opportunity to see firsthand just how horrific Fidel Castro's stronghold on the nation had oppressed and mistreated people." But others on the trip have advised the Oregonian that it was a "pleasure trip" right out of Godfather II, replete with drinking, cock-fighting, and a night at the Tropicana for "Commandante Fidel Castro's Annual Gala Cigar Dinner and Auction" (To be fair, this sounds pretty much in line with what goes on in many Congressional "oversight" trips abroad.) What's more, the paper learned that the medical center Erickson claims to have visited does not exist, and that the amount of medical supplies he claims to have brought is disputed by the trip's organizer.