Gordon Smith throws slime, uses rape victim as cover

(5 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Gordon Smith has watched his lead as a sitting senator evaporate in this year’s race against Jeff Merkley, his Democratic challenger. Smith is becoming increasingly unpopular and now he is trailing in recent polling. So in what can only be described as an act of desperation, Smith is running, perhaps, the slimiest television ad ever in the history of Oregon senatorial politics.

The Oregonian reports Smith asks rape victim to be in TV ad against foe.

Merkley spokesman Matt Canter called the TV ad — and another new Smith commercial on the Gillmore case — “slime and smear at its worst.”

In Smith’s despicable ad, he enlists Tiffany Edens, a well-known rape victim in Oregon, “to appear in an emotional TV ad” that falsely accuses Merkley of “failing to crack down on serious sex offenders.”

Here is the ad Gordon Smith approves:

The transcript:

Tiffany Edens is seen speaking on camera: “I was just 13 when he broke into our house, attacked and raped me. Later he confessed to raping eight others. But Oregon’s time limits for prosecuting the rapes ran out. Jeff Merkley voted against changing that law. That’s why I’m speaking out. Jeff Merkley, you should have voted to protect women, not rapists.”

I find it sickening that Smith uses a rape victim to do his slime flinging. In a second slimy ad, Smith continues with his blatant distortion of Merkley’s record. Here are “The facts” about Smith’s smear campaign from The Oregonian:

The facts: Edens and Smith campaign officials acknowledge that Merkley’s vote on the bill in 2005 had no impact on the Gillmore case, which was prosecuted many years before. The ad could leave voters believing it could affect the Gillmore case. Edens said she hoped toughening the law would help protect potential future victims.

Merkley spokesman Matt Canter says Merkley supported lengthening the statute of limitations for rape and several other serious crimes, and he pointed to his vote in favor of another bill — House Bill 2015 — that would have done exactly that. Canter said Merkley voted against the measure cited in the Smith ad — HB 2316 — as a protest against the “backroom deals” made by legislative leaders at the end of the session to determine which bills would go forward. At the time, Merkley headed the Democratic caucus, which was in the minority, and he was excluded from the negotiations. Canter says Merkley voted against the bill knowing it had enough votes to pass.

This summer, Gordon Smith has been masquerading as a Democrat, but with these two ads, Smith proves he is Republican liar cut from the same slime mold as John McCain. As Kari Chisholm, at BlueOregon, notes:

It’s Gordon Smith who voted five times against funding the COPS program (the 100,000-cop neighborhood policing program) and against higher funding for the Violence Against Women program.

Smith’s dismal voting record is detailed on a web page, Smith Stoops to New Low with Misleading Ads, the Merkley’s campaign set up to respond to Smith’s latest ads. Merkley sets the record straight for Oregonians.

In new ads, Smith attempts to shock viewers by tying Jeff Merkley to a horrific crime committed in 1986 – 13 years before Merkley was elected to any public office. In addition, the ads distort Jeff Merkley’s record, cherry-picking votes and disregarding the truth.

The facts are that Jeff Merkley supported both extending the statute of limitations for sex crimes against minors and mandatory life sentences for serial sex offenders.

Merkley is fighting back, but a web page alone can not counter the volume of the Gordon Smith Slime Factory™ on television. We need to help Merkley fight the slime with television ad fire. Please consider donating to the Act Blue page to make this possible.


Cross-posted from Daily Kos.

1 comment

  1. Arguing that somebody is “for” crime and “for” criminals is a grotesque and desperate, but time honored slime tactic.  Fact is that Gillmore was convicted, and was sentenced in 1987 to 60 years.  He was granted a release by the parole board in January.  The parole board could have refused to release him but did not.  That decision has nothing whatsoever to do with the statute of limitations on child rape cases in Oregon.  It may have to do with the Oregon sentencing and parole statutes, or the composition of the parole board, but that’s not something Smith can blame Merkley for.

    I’m gonna be in Oregon this week, so I guess I’ll have the special treat of getting to see the slime continue.

    Thanks for this essay.

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