Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gordon Smith's Sleazy Campaign

The Wall Street Journal Blog yesterday gives us an update on the U.S. Senate race in Oregon.

It appears Republican Gordon Smith is getting very desperate in his attempt to win reelection. In a new ad, Smith distorts Jeff Merkley's voting record by claiming Merkley "voted to protect rapists."

Disgracefully stupid.

"This is the worst kind of Washington politics from a desperate politician, who will do whatever it takes to get reelected."

Merkley, who was recently endorsed by the Oregon State Police Officers Association, has two children of his own and calls the ad "outrageous." President of the OSPOA, Jeff Leighty had this to say about Merkley's record in the state legislature.

"Jeff Merkley has always fought to keep our children and families safe from crime by ensuring that law enforcement have the resources they need to do their job," said Jeff Leighty, President of the OSPOA. "After riding along with our troopers, Jeff led the charge to help law enforcement patrol roads and highways 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Oregon needs a proven public safety leader to change the way things work in Washington D.C. Jeff Merkley will fight hard every single day in the U.S. Senate to ensure that Oregon law enforcement have the tools they need to do their job."
Since it's unlikely that the OSPOA would endorse a candidate who would want to protect rapists, we have to assume that Smith is either: A: playing revenge politics or B: he's seriously delusional.

We'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Choose "A."

Maybe this has something to do with Smith foaming at the mouth.

Just last week, an expose from an online weekly revealed that half of the work force at Smith's Frozen Foods, a company owned by Gordon Smith, is made up of illegal immigrants.
"The workers at Smith Frozen Foods, who clean the machinery, monitor production and pack upward of 50 million pounds of produce each year, earn about $80 a day, four or five days a week, 10 months a year—if they’re lucky.

One other thing—some of them appear to be illegal immigrants.

WW recently spent several days in Weston, and the nearby cities of Milton-Freewater and Walla Walla, Wash., where most of Smith’s employees live. WW spoke to dozens of current and former Smith workers, Latino advocates, court personnel, public defenders, educators, police administrators, church officials, social service agents and business owners and determined that some portion of Smith’s workforce comprises undocumented immigrants.

It’s a revelation that may not be newsworthy around Weston, where most people this reporter interviewed knew, or assumed, that the agricultural processing plant hired illegal immigrants.

But it is news to Oregon’s Republican foot soldiers, the Smith loyalists currently knocking on doors and raising money to support the two-term incumbent’s upcoming election."
Gordon Smith characterized the article as a "politically motivated hit piece." Meanwhile, Merkley has asked Smith to set the record straight by disclosing business documents.

"This would allow a thorough review into very serious allegations about hiring undocumented workers and mistreating his workforce," said Smith.

We won't hold our breath for any disclosures. We will however expect more distortions and lies from Smith's negative ad campaign. With a 60% disapproval rating in Oregon, there's no other strategy left. Not unless you count Smith's attempt to make us believe that Barack Obama is actually supporting his reelection bid.

Yesterday, Smith's Frozen Foods was fined $3900 for discharging waste water into a nearby creek. According to the Oregonian, this is the plant's sixth water quality penalty since 1992.

Please help Jeff Merkley defeat Gordon Smith and his sleazy campaign today!

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