Gordon Smith (R-Virgin Islands), part 2

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Gordonsmith_1_1On Sunday, our very own Cody Hoesly took note of the interesting tidbit in the New York Times -- apparently, Senator Gordon Smith has been collecting tanlines and campaign cash in the Virgin Islands while protecting a millionaires' tax dodge.

Today, the Oregonian's Steve Duin picked up on the story - and let Gordon 'splain himself.

Smith flew down to the Caribbean last spring and was treated to a fundraiser and a tour of the Islands. "It's Third World," he said Monday. "It's a place of abject poverty. The people there are poor in ways most Americans can't imagine. This (tax break) has become the cornerstone of their economic development. They were making the case to me that if you have to be there physically half the year, a lot of these businesses won't stay there, which may eliminate a quarter of their budget."

But now, from the Senate Majority Project comes this news...

Apparently Senator Smith changed his mind about this kinds of loopholes right after he raised $47,000 from folks in the Virgin Islands (that's more than he got from anywhere in America except Oregon, Washington, and Virginia):

[In 2003, Smith] said he would work to shut down tax loopholes that have allowed large corporations to escape taxes, such as moving headquarters offshore to tax havens such as Bermuda. Smith also pushed a bill in the Senate Finance Committee that sought to give companies a temporary tax break if they returned their headquarters to the United States, ultimately bringing back an estimated $200 billion in tax revenue. (AP, 4/16/03)

But times have changed.

In 2005, after accepting $47,000 from Virgin Islands corporate interests, including a fundraiser thrown on his behalf by supporters of the tax loophole, Smith changed his tune.

Unlike his 2003 stance, Smith last year opposed a budget amendment that would have repealed tax incentives for domestic companies that move their manufacturing plants to offshore locations. The measure’s resulting revenue projected to reduce the federal deficit by $3.2 billion from 2006 to 2010.


  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    This one's for Gordo!

    Next time you're down in the United States Virgin Islands, and Tom DeLay is busy slathering more suntan oil on your pasty behind, before cruising the Magen Bay bars, tell the girlz to run up the road to "Utter Delight" and get your bad self one of those 98-proof rum milkshakes.

    Makes a Greedy Old Person forget he's up to his cheap haircut in sleaze.


  • Oliver (unverified)

    Unbelievable? C'mon, really .... business as usual.

  • jami (unverified)

    my thoughts exactly, oliver.

  • (Show?)

    Slick Gordo's new campaign slogan, "protect the rich, forget the middle class and poor."

  • (Show?)

    Time to dig up that green sweater again.

  • Ron (unverified)

    Gordo wants to be in the 'club'.

  • Jon (unverified)

    The "club" that includes Mr. Progressive himself, George Soros. Who's Quantum Fund investment company, btw, is based in the "tax haven" of Curacao.

    Yup, business as usual.

  • Caelan MacTavish (unverified)

    I am so glad that Oregonian's interests will be protected in the Virgin Islands.

    You know, I recently cancelled a vacation to the Caribbean, because I was afraid that I may have to pay some semblance of a tax on Virgin Islands pina coladas. I had resigned myself to staying here, and paying much higher taxes on Oregon beer. But now that Senator Smith has been looking out for my interests, and has paved the way for me to drink cheap pina coladas in another country, Im going to get drunk over there.

    I mean, why get drunk in my own state, when it costs so much more? Thanks, Senator Smith. You really know how to look out for the rights of greedy, stingy alcoholics.

  • Scott McLean (unverified)


    It's a terrible problem that Senator Smith is so out of touch with the Oregonians he represents.

    Congress needs to do more to encourage U.S. companies to keep manufacturing plants in America. Senator Smith doesn't seem to understand that these jobs lost to other countries are dear to Americans who are out of work. It's not just manufacturing, but lots of jobs are being outsourced to Asian countries in particular.

    I don't have any problem with a Senator having a lot more money than me and most Oregonians. The problem I have is that he doesn't get around the state often enough and talk to enough people to understand what they are going through. That's what a good Senator would do.

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