Earlier today, Jefferson Smith rolled out his first new TV spot of the fall campaign. It takes the same approach as his ads in the spring, speaking directly to camera. This one's about creating jobs - as are most campaign spots this year.
But here's why it's bigger news than just another TV spot: The ad features the endorsements of the Portland Police Association and the Portland Firefighters Association.
And today, they pulled their endorsements, according to the O's Beth Slovic. That's a big shift, considering that the two organizations - through their affiliated PACs - had given a total of $40,000 to Smith's campaign.
One more thing: The unfortunate timing here tells me that there's not been a lot of communication going on here. The Smith campaign clearly didn't reach out to the unions to re-confirm their endorsements before featuring them in an ad, and the unions clearly didn't reach out to Smith to let him know they were reconsidering. Despite their attempts to put on a happy face, things are not going well inside the Jefferson Smith campaign.
Update: Here's the statement from the Smith campaign:
Our commitment to necessary support and improvement to smart public safety remains unwavering. We deeply value the work our front-line city workers do and are grateful for the support they've given us. We're obviously disappointed to lose any support, but our strong base of grassroots support will remain our focus during the next 27 days. And we hope the those days will be spent talking about the future of the city.