Once again, Gordon Smith votes for Arctic oil drilling

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Once again, the Oregonian has been silent when Gordon Smith voted FOR oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- after saying repeatedly during his 2002 campaign that he would not.

The drilling provision was included in the budget reconciliation bill. The vote passed 51-49. Senator Smith cast the tiebreaking vote.

And just in case you think that he's "just another senator" in this whole mess, here's what Senator Chuck Grassley -- the budget master of the Senate -- had to say:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said his panel ... is deeply divided over reconciliation, and he cautioned that moderate Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Gordon Smith, R-Ore., hold all the cards. Reconciliation will be decided by "the extent to which I get Snowe and Smith to agree to it," Grassley said.

At least, Senator Mary Landrieu got hurricane relief funding for her vote. And Senator Arlen Specter got $7 billion health and education spending added back in. Five Republicans stood their ground, but not Gordon Smith. Just gave away his vote...

When will the Oregonian hold Gordon Smith to account for saying one thing and doing another?

At least the Register-Guard published an editorial in advance of the vote.

It's like a bad nightmare. Gordon Smith says X. Gordon Smith does Y. The Big O prints nothing....

If it's important to Oregonians, it's in the Washington Post.

  • Scott McLean (unverified)

    Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is big issue for many Americans.

    The Senate Republicans are bent on drilling there and destroying potentially harming the environment rather than putting all of their efforts into sensible legislation to move faster development of reasonably-priced, environmentally-friendly alternative fuels.

    Senator Smith is no moderate, nor a friend of the environment. Voting to drill for oil in the pristine Alaska wilderness proves it.

  • Bob Schlesinger (unverified)

    Gordon Smith is a fraud. The Oregonian is his co-dependent co-conspirator. The Oregonian won't even print articles about the recent budget vote which is an Arctic Drilling bill in disguise, nor will they cover the 200,000 gallon oil spill that just happened on the north coast of Alaska at the beginning of March. What major newspaper has a national news desk editor that didn't even know the Senate budget resolution vote took place last week? Yes, the big O - that editor admitted to me in an email today he didn't know. Incompetence breeds contempt for the truth. He also said he had no plans to cover the current story. Arctic Oil Spill + Senate vote on Arctic Drilling he thought didn't warrant coverage because he read in ONE article that they would be able to clean up the oil spill. Never mind the obvious link between the two stories and the local angle on how Oregon's Senators voted. Never mind the obvious story that this is clear proof that there is no such thing as "responsible drilling" that the government keeps spinning. That's just not news to these guys.

    For the last year Gordon Smith had consistently voted for drilling in the Arctic Refuge except when it has been to support an amendment that usually fails. That way his staff can tell callers that he opposes drilling there while he votes just the opposite way on the final bill. This was supposed to be his one "green" position according to his campaign promise. It's now pretty clear that it is all greenwashed lies.

    Once he learned that there was no media oversight on this, and that he could hide behind a mantra of "I don't vote for single issues in complex bills", he completely abandoned his promise. He first found out he could do that when he was praised for trying to restore some of the cuts to Medicaid in last year's budget bill. Never mind that there would have been NO cuts to Medicaid if the budget had been defeated - everyone just LOVED Gordon and his pseudo-moderate spin.

    He's now gotten even worse. In December he voted to oppose the filibuster of arctic drilling that was sneaked into the Defense Bill. That was a single issue vote. (Luckily the filibuster held) Since he was not called to account for this vote, we can expect him to abandon ANY vote for the Arctic Refuge at this point. Promises don't mean much to Gordon Smith, especially if he thinks no one is watching.

  • Maizee (unverified)

    If people would check out this man's (Gordon Smith) voting record for the entire time he's been in the legislature, they would find him to be a true blue (red) neo-con. Duplicity is his specialty. Don't buy into it, just vote him out! The man is GOP to the bone.

  • (Show?)

    I'm not sure he's really a neo-con. More just a standard issue corporate conservative. (Let's not just go using "neo-con" to mean every right-winger. They're a special breed of rightie.)

  • (Show?)

    Thank you for screwing the enviroment again Slick Gordo! Your a discredit to your profession!

  • Braddock (unverified)

    It seems like the ANWR fight will go on forever.

    Another piece of idiotic legislation in the Senate is a bill (S.1955) that supporters are cloaking as a way to help small businesses afford health insurance, but it would actually override consumer protections and would result in the most basic coverage the insurance companies could create. Treatment for diabetes, cancer, and mental health wouldn't be covered if this passes. It's a Republican bill that was just voted out of committee and could come up for a vote anytime. Given Senator Smith's past support for mental health issues, I would urge everyone to contact his office and make sure he opposses this horrible bill.

  • oregonj (unverified)

    Gordo is consistent - he will consistently make that vote to protect the Arctic.....when it's convenient. Otherwise, hey, he's with Cheney.

    He is also the only remaining of the so-called moderate Republicans to resist supporting the Bingaman-Domenici effort to take the first baby steps on mandatory controls on global warming pollution.

    He is also consistently there when the coal industry needs to extend a fraudelent loophole - lets grab another hundred million or so from Oregon taxpayers to hand out to the dirtiest of all the fuels. Time magazine calls him out.


    Oregonian- are you there?

    This man has shown no enviromental integrity.

  • Caelan MacTavish (unverified)

    Keep up the heat, Kari!

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    From BC to SF there is a society East of the Cascades and one West. People like Gordon Smith are hugely popular with the East culture. There has been no valid, scientific debate from either side. It is a culture war.

    So get off yer lazy, fat amerikan duffs and get to it already. The policies they support constantly dangle the sword of non-sustainability over our heads, so stop sustaining them. The East culture is totally dependent on the West culture for the consumption and export of their questionable industry. They work on razor slim profit margins. It's like male vs. female rights issues. If the "oppressed" side were interested in winning the war, not continuing the bickering, they could shut down the opposition overnight.

    Don't consume anything produced East of the Cascades. Do not spend a dime vacationing there. Treat ranchers with contempt when you meet them. Do not vote for your reps' pet issues until state farm subsidies are removed from all ranching and animal husbandry related businesses.

    But then, all you all really care about is arguing, not changing anything. Know someone with 3+ kids? They do far more to destroy the ANWR and every other square inch of the planet than anything the USDA could manage. Some brain damaged Beaverton Xtian can decide that it is his God given right and responsibility to foul the environment with his/her worthless progeny, no ability to support them, and your tax dollars will pay their way. Does ANWR really make you madder than that?

    Aside: Why do people feel they have more control when they can debate little pieces of an issue, rather than the "source" issues? There are 3-5 continuing, big debates on BO, presented as hundreds of specific issues. It really has become, "Think local, act global", hasn't it? "All politics is local"? I've got a new one; "Local doesn't exist".

  • wildgrl (unverified)

    Many Alaskans are outraged that Pac/West Communications of Portland, Oregon got the contract to market Arctic Refuge oil drilling to America. Up to $3 million of our Alaskans' tax money (oops, I should say corporate oil money--after all, Alaskans pay no state sales tax and no income tax, and we get nearly a thousand dollars free every year just for being Alaskans) is going to an Oregon-based company, when it could be going to a marketing company within Alaska. We sure wish the money was staying in Alaska, where it could provide direct benefits to Alaskans--like schools, or community services, or road maintenance. (Well, then again, if an Alaskan company got the contract, all the money might end up in Hawaii or Mexico, since that's where Alaskans go to vacation.)

    Yeah, you Oregonians are lucky. Alaska's state legisature threatened to pull the Alaska ferry from Bellingham simply because Washingtonians (and their outstanding Senator Maria Cantwell) steadfastedly oppose ANWR drilling. But, as I recall, most Oregonians are opposed to ANWR drilling. Why has Gordon flip-flopped his vote? Is the Pac/West contract one of Ted Stevens' under-the-table sweet deals to reward Gordon for voting for ANWR? As an Alaskan opposed to drilling in ANWR, I'm outraged. If I were an Oregonian, I would be too.

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