Greetings From Oregon…

Greetings from the Great Green State of Oregon, where I’ve decided to take a few minutes on this damp Sunday here in Portland to collect the latest goings-on here in our US Senate race – where our excellent candidate Jeff Merkley is going to retire Senator Weasel (he of The Great Fake Outrage), in just a few weeks.

Three recent polls (links and numbers below the fold) make it very clear that this is a top-tier race, and a few more news items are included below the fold.

An internal poll has us up 43-41, and it’s absolutely confirmed that Smith and the R’s are panicking since they’ve been running nothing but disgusting and pathetic attack ads against Jeff Merkley over the past couple of months.

Other polls also show (Rasmussen, 46-45) that this race is a statistical tie (Portland Tribune / FOX 12, 42-39).

Meanwhile, the usual actions of Gordon Smith’s company have reared their ugly head at a most inconvenient time for the hypocrite.

And then there’s this

The fine is the company’s sixth water quality penalty assessment since 1992. That year it was hit with its largest fine — $25,000 — and forced to make $100,000 in plant improvements after a much larger spill into Pine Creek that killed virtually all aquatic life in a 23-mile stretch downstream from the plant.

That’s it, though?  $25,000 (?!) on a company and a man worth tens of millions?  Hopefully we’ll be able to address this issue in the next Congress, under a new Administration in the White House…

Gordo is outraged, though – check it out

“I have never had such a hit-piece hatchet-job slimeball done to me before in my 16 years in public life,” Smith told KXL radio host Lars Larson the same day WW published “Señor Smith”. “The policy of that company is to obey the law and document every worker.”

Wouldn’t it be great to own so many things, that you could refer to a multi-million dollar company you own as “that company”, instead of “my company”?  Or is Smith just trying to distance himself from the long and established history that his company has of flagrantly breaking environmental and labor laws?

One of the five is Tomás Salgado, who speaks with experience when he says Smith Frozen Foods depends, in part, on the work of undocumented immigrants.

In March 1982, Salgado was 19 years old when he paid a smuggler $250 to sneak him across the U.S. border with Mexico. He soon moved to Walla Walla, about five miles from the Oregon border, and he’s lived there ever since. His first job was cutting asparagus. When that season ended, he picked onions.

In August 1982, Salgado says he started working at Smith Frozen Foods in Weston, Ore., because, unlike most other businesses that hired undocumented workers at the time, it promised nearly year-round employment.

He worked for Smith in Weston until December 2005 after suffering several debilitating injuries that impaired the hearing in his right ear and strength and flexibility in his back.

23 years the man worked there.  23 years.

Used to be a time in America when people worked for a company for 2 or 3 decades and retired with health care and a pension.  Mr. Salgado worked for Gordon Smith for 23 years, and left with nothing but hearing problems and a broken back.  And maybe a few pennies in the bank…

That’s the Republican vision of America, right out there in plain view.  Don’t ever forget that…

Mr. Salgado is certainly not the only person that Gordon Smith has built his wealth upon

For nearly 24 years, Lucia Avalos worked for Gordon Smith at Smith Foods. Her top pay was $8.80…after 24 years. Is it little wonder Smith voted against increasing the minimum wage 10 times?

Gordon Smith has opposed stiffer penalties for polluters. Maybe because Smith Foods has been fined tens of thousands of dollars for repeatedly dumping pollutants into Oregon waters.

Smith claims to be for expanded health care coverage. Yet only a third of his employees have health insurance.

Gordon Smith is currently hiding from Jeff Merkley, but he can’t hide from Oregon voters.  Only 26 days to go here in Oregon.  That’s when our ballots will be mailed out to those of us here in Oregon; but the election technically began on Friday when ballots were mailed to Oregonians in the military and those living overseas.

We’re gonna take this one, but of course your help is always appreciated…please consider supporting Jeff Merkley for a Blue America!

150-plus years ago, Oregon was the inspiration for America’s expansion to the Pacific.  Now this year, we’re doing our part to rid the West Coast (okay, sorry Alaska…the “Lower Continental West Coast”) of our last Republican US Senator.  We can (and will…) do it this year, but of course all help is greatly appreciated!

3 comments

  1. We need to send Jeff Merkley to Washington for all of us, right now!

    Here’s just one way how to do so

  2. to Gordon Smith’s “concern” in that Willamette Week piece.  I say –

    I have never had such a hit-piece hatchet-job slimeball lying scum represent me in the United States Senate before in my 29 years of life.  And I spent over 20 of those years in Newark, New Jersey and the immediate surrounding area…so that’s really saying something.

    • Shahryar on September 22, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    “if not when, now?”

    One of the reasons I like him is because as soon as he said that he knew it was screwy and he fixed it. A human moment. He also said things that I wish Obama would say. He seems more liberal than the candidate at the top of the ticket. I’m specifically referring to FISA and the 4th Amendment.

    This isn’t just an anti-Smith vote. Merkley will be fairly reasonable once he’s in. All it’ll take to get him elected is education, which means money for advertising, canvassing, talking to people. The more people know about Smith and Merkley the better!

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