Oregon Senate: A Possible Challenger/Analysis

I've just heard a report on the radio that the DSCC is offering Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04) support of up to $5,000,000 if he runs against Senator Gordon Smith.  Although DeFazio has said before that he will not run, apparently he is still considering it.  I've heard that the DSCC has given him a deadline to decide- a deadline that is approaching soon.
For those who don't know Peter, he is a member of both the Progressive and Out of Iraq Caucuses.

From Open Secrets:
Gordon Smith
2001-2006 Total Receipts: $9,350,699
2001-2006 Total Spent: $7,118,471
Cash on Hand: $2,193,310
Debts: $1,519,648
Date of last report: December 31, 2006
First elected: 1996
Next election: 2008

Peter Defazio
2005-2006 Total Receipts: $793,123
2005-2006 Total Spent: $753,011
Cash on Hand: $105,036
Debts: $0
Date of last report: December 31, 2006
First elected: 1986
Next election: 2006

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Pro-McCain and Anti-Escalation Are Contradictory

[Cross-posted at Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races]

John McCain has been the most vocal candidate in the 2008 Presidential field in favor of Bush's escalation in Iraq.

Nevertheless, Senators who claim to oppose Bush's escalation have endorsed McCain's bid for the Presidency. Susan Collins of Maine is serving as one of McCain's state co-chairs, and it was just announced that John Warner of Virginia has endorsed McCain.

More below the fold.

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GOP senators on Iraq: will they pay for last week's votes?

Jonathan's piece yesterday bugged me a little:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is set to run newspaper advertisements across Oregon and New Hampshire blasting Gordon Smith and John Sununu, the two states' respective junior Republican Senators who are up for reelection next fall, for their failed leadership -- specifically the fact that they both voted against beginning a debate on America's Iraq policy last week.

There are a whole lot of problems wrapped up here - apart from wishful thinking.

First, there's the need to make the connection in the minds of Joe Sixpack between voting against cloture on the motion to proceed on S 470 and supporting the war, really.

Part, I'd say, of the jaundiced view Sixpack takes of Congress as a whole is the sort of fancy juggling with improbable rules that goes on there: the I voted for it before I voted against it thing. Or, put another way, senators will be senators.

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Senator Gordon Smith got to go

Smith's gotten in the way and blocked too many progressive reforms to count, and he's been a tool in W's woodshed far to many times. Can the Dems beat him in Oregon in 2008?  Hell yea. I was in Oregon in 2002, when Bill Bradbury followed the classic DSCC script of calling for dollars until 2 months before the election, and then blowing it all on television ads. Bradbury had to raise enough funds to show competitiveness before the DSCC was going to spend money attacking Smith. Well, that never happened. The election was over before it ever began, with Smith going after Bradbury hard with negative ads early in 2002. Smith plastered Bradbury 56 percent to 40 percent in November.

Steve Novick sounds like he's got the itch to take on Smith. Portland's Willamette Weekly has a cover story on Novick (via BlueOregon), and how he would beat Smith. Here's a sample:

Someone Is Going to Beat Him

Someone is going to beat Smith. Now-former Sen. Mike DeWine had a much greater claim to "moderation" than his fellow Republican Smith--and DeWine lost last year in Ohio. Lincoln Chafee had no real liabilities in Rhode Island other than the "R" by his name in 2006--and he lost, too.

Smith won his last race in 2002 because it was a Republican year, and even Oregonians weren't yet disgusted with George W. Bush. Now, they are--and an aggressive candidate will go to every corner of the state, pointing out that when Bush was taking the country to hell, Smith had his hand on the handbasket every step of the way.

The Democratic candidate against Smith will take a lesson from Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Nobody thought Kulongoski would win re-election last year. But he made a simple statement, about himself and his Republican opponent, Ron Saxton: "You know whose side he's on."

It is painfully clear whose side Gordon Smith is on.

And it isn't yours.

Steve Novick's email address is cica@mindspring.com.


Email Novick, tell him to run and beat Smith for all of us.

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Going After Pro-Surge Republicans

Steve Novick at Blue Oregon has the goods on Gordon Smith, via this link.

Smith on Monday said he was stopping short of opposing a troop increase, because Bush was short on specifics for his new plan.

"I don't have enough information to say I'm against the (troop) surge," Smith said.

So we're back to Hamlet on the Potomac - Gordon Smith, who doesn't know if he's John McCain (whose Presidential candidacy he supports) or John Murtha. The Oregonian, on particular, should take Smith down for this. He told them two Fridays ago that he opposed a surge as "too little, too late."

Let's be very clear - asking for more information from Bush on the surge without demanding a new strategy is de facto supporting the troop increase.  If at this point you are a political figure and you don't know enough about the surge, the default position is no more troops until you know more.  The reason is fairly simple - Bush has a track record, and it's a bad one, full of secretive failures.  So oppose him until he explains himself.  Or you are supporting the surge.  Period.  

And by the way, every Republican up in 2008 is going to face the dilemma that Smith is facing.  And if they are anything like Smith, they will fold and screw it up.  Oh, and they are all like Smith, except for McCain, who is crazy.

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