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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jeff Merkley: Oregon grown; Netroots fueled!

Oregonians have the opportunity to elect a true progressive Oregon leader to the U.S. Senate: Jeff Merkley! Oregonians are desperately in need of a progressive to fill this seat. Our current representation is a sorely lacking empty-suit who doesn't understand Oregon and apparently doesn't care to.

Jeff's deep Oregon roots, incredible world experiences and foreign policy background give him skills and perspective that an empty-suit like Gordon Smith doesn't have.

Jeff Merkley is the most progressive Senate challenger in a competitive race in the nation.

Progressives have been incredibly frustrated with Congress over the last couple of years. After having been handed the majority in both chambers, it was expected that Democrats would push through on issues important to progressive voters. But instead, we've watched time and again as Democrats lost their way.

Jeff Merkley is not just a great progressive. He's a progressive leader. As Oregon's House Speaker on 2007, Merkley led the most productive and progressive legislative session in a generation, with a razor thin majority. Because of Jeff's incredible leadership, the Oregon House passed the entire Roadmap for Oregon's Future: a highly progressive plan for Oregon's workers, education, health care and the environment. Jeff helped bring Republicans on board with the vast majority of this legislation--and created bipartisanship not seen in the Oregon House for years.

Had Jeff been Senator for Oregon, his votes would have been vastly different than Gordon Smith on the weighty issues facing our nation:

The Senate votes that still haunt us today


In February of 2008, the Senate voted to pass the updated FISA bill which granted retroactive immunity for telecom. 19 Democrats voted for the bill. Senate Democrats like Chris Dodd led an effort to strip immunity from the bill. Unfortunately without more support from his Democratic colleagues, Dodd lost the battle in the Senate. Merkley's opponent Gordon Smith voted in favor of the FISA bill.

Jeff would have voted BLUE

Jeff Merkley would have stood next to Dodd in support of the FISA filibuster in the Senate. Merkley is adamantly opposed to illegal surveillance and immunity for telecom. Jeff spoke out on the blogs and urged his supporters to sign on to a petition in support of a FISA filibuster.


During confirmation hearings in October of 2007, Michael Mukasey refused to acknowledge that waterboarding is torture. The Senate confirmed him anyway, with six Democrats crossing party lines to confirm the nomination. Merkley's opponent Gordon Smith voted to confirm Michael Mukasey.

Jeff would have voted BLUE

Jeff Merkley opposed confirmation of Michael Mukasey and would have voted against him. Would it have made a difference? No one can know for sure. However, having another strong voice against such a confirmation, especially one with the national security experience Jeff has, would have been valuable to our country and the constitution.

Reid/Feingold Amendment to End the Iraq War

Back in 2007, Reid and Feingold pushed an amendment forward that would have redeployed troops within 120 days of enactment and cut funding for the war. 18 Democrats voted against the bill as well as Merkley's opponent Gordon Smith.

Jeff would have voted BLUE

Jeff Merkley would have stood alongside Reid and Feingold and would have done everything in his power to end the Iraq War. It's also worth noting that Merkley is opposed to leaving a single base in Iraq and wants all American contractors to leave the country. Merkley believes that Iraqis should be the ones rebuilding their own country and that Congress needs to investigate war profiteering.

Employee Free Choice Act

Back in 2007, the Democrats were finally united behind passing a bill making it easier for workers to form a union. The problem was that Republicans were also united in an effort to block the bill. Republican Gordon Smith voted to block the bill from hitting the Senate floor.

Jeff would have voted BLUE

As House Speaker, Jeff championed the card check and pushed it through the Oregon House. He also passed a resolution urging the Senate to do the same. Jeff has pledged to personally take up the Employee Choice Act if he's elected to the Senate.

This week, Merkley is one of the Top Ten candidates on ActBlue, largely fueled by the "Who Fuels Jeff Merkley's Campaign--You!" effort, which includes the video below:


Blogger Jay said...

Thanks, a great post.

Jeff Merkley's dedicated his entire legislative career to improving the lives of all Oregonians, and he's gotten results. I can't help but smile as I ride the bus home from work along SE Powell in the 30's and see the multiple boarded-up Payday Leeching establishments. And soon in their place will come businesses that actually contribute to my neighborhood, rather than prey upon hardworking people here just trying to make ends meet.

It's about time we replace that out-of-touch hack in Washington, DC with somebody who understands the issues here, and will fight for all of us.

July 1, 2008 1:52 PM  

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