Gordon Smith's new ad: more desperate than ever...

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

For Gordon Smith, it's a first. His new ad - attacking Jeff Merkley on taxes - comes pre-debunked!

The new ad hit the airwaves today, but the O's Jeff Mapes already had Smith's number on Sunday:

As Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., travels the state, he accuses Democratic rival Jeff Merkley of supporting more than $2 billion in tax increases as a legislator. When I asked Smith's campaign for documentation, they sent me a list that looked particularly designed to get a large figure.

For example, most of the money came from two income-tax measures referred to the ballot in 2002 and 2003 when a recession had taken a huge whack out of state revenues. Voters defeated both of them, but the fact is that the Legislature would not have referred the second measure to the ballot if the first had passed.

Here's the ad.

Now, watch it again. And this time, watch the footnotes.

See the part about how Jeff Merkley "voted four times for higher gas taxes"? Yeah. He voted four times ON THE SAME BILL. Being a legislator, I know Smith knows how a bill becomes a law. First, it goes to committee. Then, it goes to the House floor. Then, the Senate votes for some amendments. Then, it goes back to the House for another vote. Then the Governor signs it.

I don't know about you, but in my book, that's one gas tax - not four.

And you know what else? That was in 1999. Back when the Republicans ran the House.

Gordon Smith is just getting more and more desperate. He's throwing everything - including the kitchen sink - at Jeff Merkley. Can there be any doubt that Smith knows he's losing right now?

Full disclosure: My firm built Jeff Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself.

  • Ignore this (unverified)

    [Off-topic comment deleted. -editor.]

  • Greg D (unverified)

    What pisses me off about the ad is this old and tiresome Republican philosophy of any tax is a bad tax. Yet these same politicians want public services like roads, safe bridges and highway patrol. They never mention how to pay for all this except for the useless "cut the fat and wasteful spending" mantra.

  • (Show?)

    No matter who ran against Smith, the same ad would be run with different names and amounts, but the same message. Democrats vote for taxes-bad, Republicans cut taxes-good.

    Unfortunately a significant portion of our population believes this. Fortunately, there will be fewer of them this year. The Republicans, and specifically Smith, have lost credibility on the issue of taxes because they haven't cut spending to match. Smith is particularly vulnerable to the borrow and spend charge and lets give the tax cuts to the wealthy and the resulting debt to the middle class. I hope Jeff responds to this ad with the "Smith is a credit card addict".

  • (Show?)

    Great job of fact-checking, Kari. It'll be interesting to see how effective these spots are. From what I've seen, the GOP analysts are saying that traditional GOP messaging is not working in this cycle. I imagine that's doubly true in Oregon.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    This ad does look really desperate. It will be interesting to see what Merkley counters with.

  • torridjoe (unverified)

    merits aside, if you support a tax and voters reject it, and you support it again, that 2nd vote is even more indicative of your support--given that you know already that you're going against the electorate.

    I supported those tax hikes, so it's not a criticism of Merkley. And the gas tax spin is silly (although voting for it even once is bad news these days) . But that's supporting a billion in taxes, then doing it again. That you're supporting the same billion twice, after being shot down the first time, doesn't really make you less tax-loving than supporting $2 bil once. In fact, for most I'd say it looks worse to most folks, because it indicates trying to force it on unwilling voters.

  • (Show?)

    sorry, those individual bills weren't for a whole billion; that's Smith's accounting of the total.

  • True Facts (unverified)

    Yes, Kari you have done an excellent job pointing out the Smith campaign's need to manufacture a case against Jeff Merkley. Similarly, polls show that not drilling for off- shore oil is being believed to cause high prices at the pump. Will resentment of a tax and spend liberal and high prices at the pump be enough for Smith to retain his seat? When the Big Lie is being so effectively used it is useful to document the many litte ones, too.

  • (Show?)

    Similarly, polls show that not drilling for off- shore oil is being believed to cause high prices at the pump.

    Source, please?

  • Carla (unverified)

    Unfortunately Smith is controlling the airwaves and the messaging in this campaign due to his large amount of cash on hand. In talking with friends and co-workers, his messaging seems to be sticking with those voters who don't pay a lot of attention (i.e., most of the voters).

    Jeff's consistently negative messaging about Smith seems more designed to bring Smith down rather than build Jeff up but this is nearly impossible to do when Smith's ads are ubiquitous and you have to read the blogs on-line to see Jeff's. So far, I still think Novick would have made a better candidate to take on Smith because of his style and vision, two things Jeff isn't as strong on (not to mention Steve's overcoming adversity back story which is frankly a lot more compelling).

  • (Show?)

    Jeff Merkley, is a candidate with integrity, authenticity and decency. He has contibuted more good works for the common good than I can keep count of for people during his entire life. He understands what it is like to be the first in his family to go to college, to grow up in a small Oregon town instead of fancy suburb in the state Of Mayland. Gordon Smith graduated from high school in Maryland and has lived an insulated life of privilege within the culture of his belief system.

    Meanwhile, Jeff Merkley and his family live in a regular house in a regular neighborhood while his wife Mary works hard as a nurse. Jeff Merkley is the man I want to work along side of Senator Wyden back in D.C. to represent us.

    In my neck of the woods, Speaker Merkley will be visiting 13 or 14 towns while he's on his 100 town's Oregon tour. He's generously campigning with down ticket Democrats who are running for everything from County Commissioner to State Rep position.

    The Obama/Merkley HQ's are housed in seperately leased offices in the same building. I'm looking look forward to more and more O & M offices in different parts of the state opening.

    Many of us want Senator Wyden to finally have a partner in Oregon who really understands what it means to advocate for ALL Oregonians. Gordon Smith has been pulling the lever for this Bush administratiion 90% of the time..oops it's always just a bit under the 90% mark when he's up for re-election..we are all on to his fake moderation moves when he's challenged in an election.

    Do all you can to elect Jeff Merkley. He needs your bucks, your shoe leather and your vote. Merkley is the man you can feel good about when you send him to the Senate.

  • true facts (unverified)

    Kari, The source for opinion on drilling offshore is the Rasmussen Poll, June 17, 2008. A Google search of polls supporting offshore drilling yields more information. The point that I was attempting to make is that as specious as the claim is the public can be convinced if the lie is repeated often enough. Gordon Smith's small lies and dis- tortions of Merkley's record are clearly part of a larger diversion. The concern for those who really want change is that pressure be placed on Obama to stand up for what he had originally claimed to be.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, how are the number of votes being linked to the number of dollars?

    I.e., counting different stages of the bill as separate votes is dodgy enough, to say the least.

    But if the amount of $ in that bill gets added into the putative total four times, that's simply a lie.

    (The counting stages as multiple votes does however comport with one of Smith's favored obfuscating tactics, to vote against something at one stage and for it in the end, or vice-versa, and then choose which vote to mention depending on audience).

  • (Show?)

    "Carla" -- please use your last name, or some other secondary identifier (like "Carla X" or "Carla from Canby") so that you're not confused with other Carlas around here.

  • (Show?)

    Smith is "losing"? Really?

  • (Show?)

    Smith is "losing"? Really?


    Merkley: 43% Smith: 41%

  • (Show?)

    Note: The video is no longer avaliable.

    Here is another link from Youtube:


  • (Show?)
    <h2>It looks like the link is working now, but the sound on the link I posted is a bit better.</h2>

connect with blueoregon