As many of you know, today is the last day of the quarter and we’re all busy fundraising. Everybody has a candidate they want you to donate to. I’m no different. While I’m glad that we progressives have put a lot of energy into the Presidential race and numerous House races, there’s another chamber that is just as important, if not more. The Senate! If any of you want to see the Democratic President’s agenda passed, or if you long for UHC in America, we need more seats in the Senate. Here in Oregon, House Speaker Jeff Merkley and lawyer/activist Steve Novick are vying for the Democratic nomination to go up against Republican Gordon Smith. I have decided to throw my support behind Jeff Merkley and I hope you’ll give him a look too!
Bush Republican Gordon Smith is currently serving his second term in Oregon. I know what you’re thinking. Why does a blue state employ someone like Gordon Smith? Smith has been able to pose as a moderate legislator even though he votes with Bush 90% of the time. Here are a few tidbits about Gordon’s record:
* Smith voted to allow eavesdropping without a FISA warrant
* Smith voted for a fence to be built along the Mexican border
* Smith has voted against minimum wage increases and was instrumental in blocking the employee free choice act
* Smith not only voted to repeal the estate tax, he also voted to raise the exemption to 5 million because millionaires live such a tough life
* Smith voted for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage
* Smith voted for the bankruptcy bill in 2005
* Smith flip flopped on ANWR drilling
* Smith voted for the Cheney energy boondoggle in 2003
* Smith voted for CAFTA, the NAFTA expansion into Peru, and every other free trade deal under the sun
* Smith voted in favor of lobbyists providing gifts to lawmakers
* Smith voted against backround checks at gun shows
* Smith voted for the IWR and has continued to vote to fund the war
* Smith voted against bulk purchases in an effort to lower Medicare RX prices, and he voted against increasing a Medicaid rebate that would have produced generic drugs
* Smith voted for a cap on malpractice lawsuits.
This is the guy that supposedly represents me and my fellow Oregonians. Oregon is a blue state and we have a real shot at unseating Smith with a strong progressive. Will you help me?
Help me Elect Jeff Merkley to the United States Senate!
I have thrown my support behind Oregon’s House Speaker Jeff Merkley. His record in the legislature really impressed me. It’s not just that he presided over the greenest and most labor friendly session in 30 years, he was able to pass a ton of great progressive legislation with a razor thin Democratic majority in the House. It just shows how skilled a legislator Merkley is. Here are a handful of environmental bills Merkley was instrumental at getting passed:
From the OLCV:
SB 838 – Establishes a renewable energy standard so that 25% of Oregon’s electrical power needs to be met by renewable energy sources by 2025.
SB 375 – Establishes minimum efficiency standards for a number of home and commercial appliances.
HB 2620 – Provides that public improvement contracts for construction or major renovations of public buildings appropriate at least 1.5% of the total contract price for solar energy technology.
HB 2211 – Expands the business energy tax credits available for renewable energy investments (concepts put into omnibus bill)
HB 2212 – Expands the residential energy tax credits available for renewable energy investments (concepts put into omnibus bill)
HB 2210 – Establishes the renewable fuel standard and provides incentives for Oregon biofuel production
SB 737 – Provides Oregon with a first ever “roadmap” for reducing and eliminating sources of toxic pollution in our rivers, streams and the Pacific Ocean.
Merkley championed the Rainy Day Fund which better funded our public schools. Merkley worked hard to pass domestic partnerships legislation and he fought to ban discrimination based on sexuality in public schools, housing, employment and public services. Merkley also pushed through a payday lending law that caps the amount of interest a lender can charge. This move by Merkley and the Oregon legislature has been successful in pushing 2/3 of payday lenders out of Oregon!
As for his current positions on the issues that matter to progressives, he’s been fighting alongside us the whole time. He was opposed to the war in Iraq from the start and has been pushing for a withdrawal for a long time. Merkley is for UHC and has made it a central plank in his platform. Merkley is adamantly opposed to allowing electronic surveillance without a FISA warrant and opposed to giving retro-active immunity to Telecom. Merkley also was in favor of filibustering the FISA bill and was putting pressure on both Oregon Senators to stand strong for our rights to privacy. Merkley has not only been one of the best environmental leaders our state legislature has ever seen, he wants to take that same fire and determination to the United States Senate. Check out his proposal on fighting climate change and creating a new energy economy here at home.
Right now in the Senate we have a majority that doesn’t even count for anything. We have moderate Democrats who have caved to Bush and the minority party and enabled harmful policies to pass. If we want a progressive agenda to have any legs in the upcoming session we need to elect strong-willed progressives to the Senate. Jeff Merkley is the type of progressive legislator that will push for serious investments in alternatives and a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq. He has proven in the Oregon House that he can bring Republicans on board without compromising his progressive values. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Merkley for Oregon Senate!
Give Merkley Money and Help Unseat Gordon Smith!
I created an Act Blue page for Jeff Merkley in hopes of raising some dough for him. I can’t afford to give myself, but I was hoping some of my fellow bloggers could chip in. Here’s my fund raising page for Jeff Merkley, put a smile on my face and be my first donor! If there are any Max Cleland fans out there, he started an Act Blue page for Jeff Merkley too! Go here to donate to Cleland’s Act Blue page.