Pay to Play: The campaign of Gordon Smith

Carla Axtman

I have been trying since June to see Gordon Smith in person. I have two criteria for this: It needs to be within an hour's driving distance from my house and I don't want to write him a check. Simple enough, right?

But that doesn't mean I don't get invited.

In his longstanding effort to avoid having to actually talk to his constituents face to face while pretending he's campaigning around the state, Gordon Smith has sent out email invites for events happening next week. The hitch is, every single one of them requires a 3-digit dollar figure to attend:

October 22nd in Portland: Victory for Oregon Reception and Dinner
6:00pm - Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
Tickets: $250 per reception / $1,000 per dinner

October 23rd in Salem: Road to Victory Reception and Luncheon
11:30am - Rudy's Restaurant
Tickets: $100 per lunch /$500 per VIP reception

October 23rd in Bend: Road to Victory Reception and Dinner
5:30pm - Bend Golf & Country Club
Tickets: $100 per reception/$1,000 per dinner

October 24th in Eugene: Road to Victory Reception and Luncheon
11:30am - Eugene Country Club
Tickets: $250 per lunch/$1,000 per VIP reception

October 25th in Pendleton: Road to Victory Reception and Dinner in Pendleton
5:30pm - Hamley Steakhouse
Tickets : $100 per reception/$500 per dinner

So once again, if I want to talk with my Senator Gordon Smith, I have to pay his campaign to do it. I've called his campaign office (4 times), his Portland senate office and his DC office in order to try to see him in a way that meets my two criteria. I've left multiple messages.

Nobody has called me back. Not once.

  • zullnero (unverified)

    Way to go, Gordie! Way to hang out only in ultra-snob havens around the state.

    Let's see Gordon go to the Yamhill Pub in Portland. No? How about the Horseshoe in Condon, Oregon. Most of the people there would probably be supporters, it's not like it would be that rough...but Gordon apparently thinks he's better than everyone else in Oregon.

  • genop (unverified)

    With Smith, access requires greasing his palm. He needs that cash to run those disgusting ads. My "mute" button is nearly worn out. Compare his approach to Senator Wydens. It's time to elect a Senator responsive to all Oregonians, not just the wealthy.

  • (Show?)

    Senator Wyden has appeared at several Washco Dems events (I don't know if we comp him on the BBQ) and has held several Town Hall or public meetings in Washington County over the last two years. His staff sends me email & postal replies to my questions or comments. On the several occasions I have contacted Smith's office, while they have been cordial on the phone they never send written replies to emails or postal messages. Come to think of it, his voicemail is usually full. The KING of quick replies is Rep David Wu. I could wallpaper my two-car garage including floor & ceiling with all the response letters I get from him.


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