Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gordon Smith's ads continue to generate controversy

The firestorm brewing over Gordon Smith's latest ads isn't waning.

Yesterday's new ad trying to link him to Barack Obama is creating quite a mess for Smith. First, the Obama campaign released a statement saying that he supports Democrat Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate.

Then bloggers started going to work on the ad.

Most notably, Todd Beeton at MyDD does a little investigation of the ad, discovering that Obama didn't exactly give Smith the praise that the ad claims, not to mention the deceptive nature of the ad's graphics.

The other ad generating controversy stars two Democrats, which I've discussed before here. The ad makes the claim that Smith was one of the first to stand up to Bush and Republicans on Iraq: obviously untrue.

Former Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse, who co-stars in the ad, tells reporter Jeff Mapes her side of the story:
I wasn't able to reach Furse to talk about this ad until Tuesday, after she returned from a vacation in Canada.

She said that she misspoke in the ad. "I know that he wasn't the first to oppose the war," she said. "He was one of the first of his party to oppose the war...that is what I meant."
So the Smith campaign let a TV ad go on the air that they knew was deliberately false? What other explanation is there? They know Smith wasn't "one of the first" to oppose the Iraq occupation. Smith wasn't even one of the first Republicans to oppose the invasion.

Smith's spokesperson doesn't exactly clear up the matter:
Gilbride, Smith's spokeswoman, said the ad only meant to convey that Furse was praising Smith for being one of the first Republicans to oppose the war. "Obviously, many Democrats opposed the war before Sen. Smith," she said.
What the ad meant to convey was deception, Ms. Gilbride. This is a U.S. Senate campaign. Every word is scrutinized.

Either the Smith campaign is completely inept or they knew exactly what they were doing in trying to mislead Oregonians. Neither speaks well for Gordon Smith.


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