Gordon Smith Backtracks on ANWR

Jonathan Singer

In previous years, Oregon's Republican Senator Gordon Smith has been a reliable vote against opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to drilling. But The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports that Smith has changed his mind on the issue in the lead up to a key budget vote.

Recognizing the new political reality, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), who said he has voted against drilling in the Arctic several times, intends to vote for the reconciliation package and its drilling provision.

Smith said drilling in the reserve “is not the lightning rod it once was.”

“That’s a fact,” he said. “Even in Oregon.”

This is not the first time this year Smith has abandoned his original moderate position in favor of the more conservative views of the Republican leadership. At one point in April, Smith was poised to upend the Republican Budget bill over excessive cuts to Medicaid, but by the end of the month he had given into his party's leadership and pledged to the support the bill. Although he will not be up for reelection for another three years, Oregonians -- who generally support the Democratic Party in federal and statewide elections -- won't likely forget the conservative stances he takes now.

  • Jonathan Singer (unverified)

    Sorry about the posting problem earlier.

  • Andrew Tunall (unverified)


    Interesting insight on Smith's policy flip-flops, but I can't help but think that in the next three years, there will be plenty of opportunities for him to issue press releases supporting issues which Oregonians generally support.

    During the last election, Dems did not sufficiently attack Smith on his flip-flops against the votes of Oregonians on issues like assisted suicide, healthcare, the environment etc. Next time around, we need to make it a point to, at every turn, remind people that Gordon Smith isn't the moderate he attempts to be.


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    remind people that Gordon Smith isn't the moderate he attempts to be.

    I think you mean to say: pretends to be.

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    Good post. I hope someone's documenting these votes. It ain't the easy votes that test your mettle, it's the tough ones. When he had a chance to save ANWR, let the record show he buckled under pressure from his party.

    <h2>I think someone should also note down that quote about ANWR not mattering to Oregonians anymore.</h2>

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