Which Side Are You On?

As many of you already know, the unemployment rate jumped to 5.5%. That’s an increase of 861,000 Americans who are now unemployed. Before I took the job with the Merkley Campaign as their netroots director, I was working full time at a job with no benefits. I understand that for small business owners like my former employer, it’s quite expensive to provide health care coverage. I lived below the poverty line and even though I could pay my bills, saving money was not an option. The plight of the working poor has always been near and dear to my heart and it’s no wonder I have been advocating for Jeff Merkley long before I joined the campaign.

I Know Which Side OR-Sen Candidate Jeff Merkley is on

Oregon Senate candidate Jeff Merkley will fight for a livable wage and will work hard to strengthen workers’ rights. Merkley opposed harmful trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA. Merkley will work to end the corporate loopholes that benefit companies who move jobs overseas. Merkley will work to regulate harmful predatory lenders who pray upon the poor. Merkley will work hard to aid the passage of UHC and will work to pass real investments in alternative energies as a way to create green jobs here at home. There’s no doubt in my mind what side Jeff Merkley is on. Republican Gordon Smith otoh……

Gordon Smith is Not on the Side of Working Families

Gordon Smith was instrumental in blocking the Employee Free Choice Act last year. We all remember how that felt when it failed to pass the Senate. Gordon Smith voted against raising the minimum wage six times while in the Senate. He may have voted for the increase back in 2007, but his Senate record is not worker friendly. Honestly, I believe the only reason he backed the minimum wage in 2007 is because he was up for re-election this year.

There was another minimum wage increase bill that Gordon Smith did support, but don’t be fooled, it was a classic poison pill. The bill Smith chose to support would have lowered wages for restaurant workers and other service industry workers by counting tips against their wages. I highly doubt Gordon Smith has never served tables and had to depend on tips to make ends meet.

While Gordon Smith has opposed efforts to increase the minimum wage for working Americans, he did believe that companies moving jobs overseas should continue to receive tax subsidies. Back in 2005, Gordon Smith opposed the Dorgan amendment that would have repealed tax subsidies for certain domestic companies that moved jobs overseas. Sadly the amendment failed to pass and companies continued to receive tax subsidies even though they were outsourcing American jobs and manufacturing operations.

I Know Which Side Gordon Smith Is On

Gordon Smith has continually opposed a livable wage and the rights for workers to organize. However, he has no problem lining his pockets with special interest dollars. Gordon Smith has taken $296,871 from the lobbying industry. Gordon Smith has taken more than $275,000 from oil and gas interests. Gordon Smith has received more than $265,000 from the pharmaceutical industry. Gordon Smith has no problem taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interests but won’t support a livable wage for Oregonians and Americans. It’s clear whose side Gordon Smith is on, and it sure ain’t the side of working families.

Help Elect a Progressive Democrat who will Fight for Working Families

Before I joined the campaign I created a fundraising page for Jeff Merkley at Act Blue. Please consider donating to this cause and help send a champion for working families to the U.S. Senate.

Here’s a video for your listening pleasure:


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  1. I didn’t post a notice here the other day, but I was offered a job as the netroots director for Merkley. I just started work this week and am very happy to be working for such a great progressive Democrat.

    -Sarah Lane

    netroots outreach for Merkley for Senate

    • OPOL on June 7, 2008 at 14:55

    I’ve always loved Which Side Are You On.  Here’s another great labor movement song:

  2. His five-point plan from his website:

    *Removing all combat troops starting right away and completing the redeployment in six to 12 months

    *Eliminating permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq

    *Engaging Iraq’s neighbors in a diplomatic effort to secure the peace- particularly Turkey, Iran and Syria

    *Removing all American contractors from the country and replacing them with Iraqi contractors

    *Directing our attention toward stronger engagement with the Iraqi Parliament and Courts.

    This sounds like how a sane, decent person would react to the situation, instead of what we have been getting these past 5 years.

    Congrats on landing a job where you can fight the good fight! Keep coming back with updates!

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