Smith loses firefighter and police union endorsements

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

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.

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    Not true re: communications Kari. Referenced today, the communication was in place just before the reversal.

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      Well, now that's certainly interesting. The Mercury story doesn't quite have the timeline of when the PPA and the campaign spoke.

      But it certainly means that there's something even weirder afoot.

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    I am horribly disgusted that the Teachers Union is not pulling their endorsement.

    With so many young, impressionable, and tuned in young men and women in PPS, I find it reprehensible that the message of 'blame the victim' is being tacitly endorsed by the teacher's union via their continued affirmed support.

    If a week ago they had come out with a statement admonishing his actions while leaving the endorsement in place I could understand it. I wouldn't have agreed...but I could see the logic.

    But now, they also know that he went knocking on the victim's door, uninvited, clearly showing that his hubris and ego mean more to him than his victim's wellbeing. His behavior over the past weeks has been highly inappropriate in light of the facts we now know about the assault.

    I am a big believer in teachers unions. I have known some of the finest advocates for children and education via the OEA and the Portland Teachers Assn.

    I am sick that they are not sending a stong, anti-violence and anti-sexual harassment message to the very children who look up to them for guidance and example.

    Maybe because the police and firefighters regularly see the prevalence and problems of domestic violence, they clearly understand how wrong Jefferson's actions in the past and today are.

    The teachers who are rolemodels for our children should see this too. How can we expect the next generation to stand up and continue the gains we have made towards equality for women and a reduction in violence towards women when the very people tasked with their education send a very wrong, very dangerous message?

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