Carla Axtman

This might have been funnier had I titled it "Hammoneggsgate", but I digress.

This week's WW Murmurs column has an interesting little nugget about Gordon Smith's recently retired spokesperson, RC Hammond:

When U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith’s longtime spokesman R.C. Hammond abruptly ditched his Republican boss’s re-election bid last month, questions lingered. Was it a friendly auf wiedersehen? Or had Hammond fallen victim to a sudden campaign shakeup? Hammond’s replacement, Lindsay Gilbride, said June 10 that Hammond had decided to enter the private sector. Here’s one contrary clue: On June 8, according to federal finance reports, Smith’s campaign gave Hammond $2,571.11 for a “moving/travel reimbursement.” Gilbride calls the payment reimbursement for Hammond’s move to Portland last fall.


Why would Gordon Smith's campaign reimburse Hammond in June for a move he made nine months ago? That's a ridiculously long amount of time to cut a reimbursement check.

And its not as if Smith isn't swimming in loot. The campaign had the money at the time of the move. Not to mention the fact that staffers generally can't afford to float a campaign that kind of money for very long..based on the salaries most make.

Hammond's departure seemed rather abrupt, as well. One day they announced he was leaving and then "poof!", he was gone...to be replaced by "interim" spokersperson Lindsey Gilbride.

Its all just speculation, of course. But it does seem like a lot more of a shakeup than Smith's campaign has led the public to believe.

  • verasoie (unverified)

    Doesn't there have to be a scandal, or at least some suggestion of unethical behavior, for the "-gate" suffix to be invoked?

  • Anon (unverified)

    Not when you're desperate to get a foothold against an incumbent who is deftly campaigning against an empty suit.

  • (Show?)

    Doesn't there have to be a scandal, or at least some suggestion of unethical behavior, for the "-gate" suffix to be invoked?

    Hence the question mark in the title, Verasoie. I'm not sure if there's a scandal buried here or not....

    But it does seem rather bizarre that Hammond was given a couple thousand bucks and an uber-quick exit, coupled with a shaky explanation.

    It doesn't add up...

  • Carlos (unverified)

    I see a sloppy word choice, which amounts to innuendo. He was not "given" any money, at least according to what you say. He was "reimbursed" for expenses he advanced. If you doubt the truth of this and have an allegation, make it. If you are looking for a scandal, keep looking and report what you discover. But saying that there may be a problem here, even though you can't name it, is bad form.

  • (Show?)

    Hmm...go back and read it again, Carlos. I specifically say that Hammond was "reimbursed" in the first full sentence after the excerpt. In fact, I see nowhere in which I say that Hammond was "given" the money.

    The problem, as I see it, is that there are a some pretty interesting unanswered questions about the departure of Smith's spokesperson. The campaign's initial reasoning doesn't seem to jive with the rest of the information on what happened.

    Bad form is to not ask questions..when questions quite clearly deserved to be asked.

  • Vico (unverified)

    You say "given" in the comment immediately above Carlos'. But I still don't get the carping. Are these Smith true believers who comment on BlueOregon? Still more Novick grudgefesters? Or just contrarians?

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