Friday, August 01, 2008

Why Oregon Senator Gordon Smith has my vote

Reality. I like to think I'm in touch with reality. The reality here in Oregon is, that this is a blue state. A Republican cannot win here without support from Democrats. You have to represent your constituents, and if the majority of them are Democrats, you reach out to them. Senator Smith has done just that, and enjoys the support of many Oregonian Democrats:

Democrats for Smith

He is an Oregon native, and understands the concerns of his constituents and is responsive to them. Here is some information about the senator, from his website at
About Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith has served his home state of Oregon in the United States Senate since 1997. He has earned a reputation for independence and effectiveness, working with both Republicans and Democrats to do what is right for Oregon.

Helping grow the Oregon economy is a top priority. As a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, Gordon is using his clout to cut taxes and help working families keep more of their hard-earned money.

When it comes to health care, he is a leading advocate for mental health programs, expanding access to children's health care and providing coverage for the uninsured while protecting Medicaid. The Oregonian called Gordon Smith the “leading Republican voice against dismantling the nation’s health-care safety net.”

Oregon's farmers, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts have come to know Gordon Smith as a friend. While others are looking to shut down the forests or fence off our farmers, Gordon Smith is making public policy that does not leave Oregonians high and dry. Whether writing salvage logging legislation or preserving landmarks like Mt. Hood, he balances the use of natural resources to protect Oregon’s treasures and people's livelihoods.

From pre-school to college, Gordon is working to make sure Oregon's schools are strong. In the Senate, he fights budget cuts to Head Start programs for preschoolers and works to make student loans more accessible for college students. As the Chairman of the Senate Hunger Caucus, the Senator is working to alleviate hunger in Oregon and address the problem around the globe.

Gordon Smith is the preeminent Republican advocate in the U.S. Senate for bringing our troops home from Iraq and focusing their mission on fighting terrorists. The Register Guard said Smith has “the courage to back up criticism” and that he speaks “honestly” about Iraq.” The LaGrande Observer says he “spoke with conviction and sincerity” when calling for a change in tactics in Iraq.

Gordon Smith, known as a “Gordy” to his nine brothers and sisters, grew up in Pendleton and later in Bethesda, MD where his father Milan served in the Eisenhower Administration. Gordon played basketball and is an Eagle Scout. After serving on a church mission in New Zealand, he graduated from Brigham Young University and Southwestern University School of Law.

Prior to his election to the United States Senate in 1996, Smith operated his family's frozen food processing company in Pendleton. He first entered public service in 1992 serving in the Oregon Senate, where he became Senate President in 1995.

A native Oregonian, Gordon and his wife Sharon live in Pendleton where they raised three children - Brittany, Garrett, and Morgan.

The far right has been critical of the senator for calling for a "change of tactics" in Iraq, but clearly, that was needed. I haven't always agreed with the senator, but he has been firm in his convictions, many of which I do agree with. Not supporting him would be like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

I am in complete agreement with Pat, who said the following on his blog:

Why I support Sen. Gordon Smith
"An 80% friend is not a 20% enemy." - Ronald Reagan.


Smith is the only Republican who holds a statewide office in Oregon. He's certainly not perfect and he's definitely not popular with conservatives but, like Mitt Romney in Massachussetts, he is operating in a state which is overwhelmingly Democratic and has had to adapt to his constituents. At first he supported the invasion of Iraq but has since changed his mind. I can agree to respectfully disagree with him about that and he is entitled to change his mind. I was dead against the war from the start but later came to support it.

But, compared with Merkley, who is currently Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, Smith is most decidedly the lesser of two evils - which is all I ever expect from politicians. [...]

Pat gives and extensive listing of the senator's accomplishments. Those on the far right who want to purge the party of people like senator Smith, would sacrifice the Republican party for ideological purity. They would keep our party small, and losing elections.

I will not support them in this. I will support the Republican party, and will gladly be voting for Senator Smith.

Related Links:

Democrats for Smith: In the News

United States Senator - Gordon Smith

GOP Sen. Gordon Smith's track record draws Oregon tribes' support

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