This weekend, an interesting little blurb came to my attention. It seems Senator Gordon Smith (who is seeing Jeff Merkley nipping at his heels, with Novick just a half-step behind) has decided its time to get "moderate".
Behind the paid firewall of the Bend Bulletin comes this nugget of information:
Smith prefers to end some oil company tax incentives to make up for revenue that would be lost during a gas-tax suspension, (Smith spokeswoman Lindsay) Gilbride said.
That's a phenomenal turn around from Smith's previous position on tax breaks for oil companies. As Oregon's very own rightwing pandering Senator, Smith has had a cozy relationship with the oil companies.
In return for his vote, Smith has taken $276,825 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, according to The Center For Responsive Politics.
Nice work if you can get it.
Gordon Smith has voted at least seven times to give oil companies tax breaks and subsidies. Last year, Smith voted for legislation that would have gutted a provision of the energy bill rolling back oil and gas tax breaks in favor of renewable fuels. In 2006, Smith voted to provide $5 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry and in 2005 he voted for a bill that contained $9 billion in tax breaks and subsidies.
And in 2003, Smith voted for energy bill which contained $11.9 billion in tax breaks to the oil and gas industry.
Oregon's Senator from Pendleton is bought and paid for by big oil.
Except now its an election year, and Gordo's running very soft in the polls.
So he's doing what he always does when the voters start to pay attention--he puts on his "moderate mask" and gets the Oregon media to lap it up.