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As each day passes for George W. Bush's best friend in Oregon, the realization sinks in further that he is going to lose his seat in the US Senate race here this November.  Gordon Smith (R-Bush) has already made it clear to all of us here in Oregon that he has absolutely no use for us besides somehow manipulating a plurality of us to send him back to Washington every 6 years so he can continue to do yet more damage to our country with the rest of his Republican buddies out there.

However, with the recent news that the Senate race in Oregon is tied, our Salmon-Slaughtering Senator's fearful trembles have actually registered on the Richter Scale, and he's got two more pathetic attack ads ready which aim solely at Jeff Merkley, a candidate for the Democratic US Senate nomination and our Democratic Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives who just presided over one of the most progressive legislative sessions in state history.

While Bush Republican Gordon Smith continues to panic and flail about in typical weasel-like fashion, we're working hard on the ground here in Oregon to ensure that the "Gordon Smith Reign of Error" in the United States Senate will come to an end this year.

To those of us who are familiar with Jeff Merkley, it's no wonder that Gordon Smith is absolutely petrified of facing him in November.

After years of Republican misrule of the Oregon House, Jeff Merkley just presided over one of the Greenest and most progressive legislative sessions in state history -

Ensuring that our children are fed healthier food in Oregon Public Schools -

Hoping to reverse the growing problem of childhood obesity, the Oregon House voted Tuesday to ban the sale of most junk food in public schools starting in fall 2008.

Keeping our Bottle Bill up to date -

Although the law is still working well, it is not fully keeping up with changes in the beverage world and the economy. Recycling rates, although still very high, are reduced from where they were a decade ago. Many new beverages line the store shelves that carry no refund value, even though they are sold in containers similar to beer and soft drinks. These teas, juices, waters, and other beverages are more likely to be littered or thrown away since they are sold in single-serve convenience packaging, are frequently consumed on the road or away from home and carry no deposit incentive for redemption. In addition, inflation has reduced the value of the deposit making it less of an incentive to reduce littering and waste.

The 2007 Legislature took note of all these changes and passed legislation that adds water and flavored water containers to the bottle bill, beginning in January 2009, and establishes a task force to study what further changes may be needed (see fact sheet titled "The Expanded Bottle Bill").

A strong and solid history of fighting for equal rights for everybody -

Outraged at what Speaker Minnis did today to destroy House rules - [Democratic Leader Jeff Merkley] did not hold back. He was gavelled about 4 times before either being told that his microphone would be turned off - or it was actually turned off by Speaker Minnis. He was called into Speaker Minnis' office to discuss the floor 'dispute'.

He's also proven that he's not afraid of taking on issues that won't garner headlines, but which will certainly improve the lives of countless numbers of hardworking people.  Jeff Merkley fought hard and succeeded in passing legislation here in Oregon to take down the "Payday Leeches Lenders", who viciously prey upon working families just trying to make ends meet.  Jeff will also take them on in Washington -

Merkley championed the cause against scurrilous predatory lenders in Oregon by passing the Predatory Lending Cap Act, which imposed a 36 percent interest rate cap on state-regulated consumer loans, and the Check Cashing Fairness Act, which placed strict limits on check cashing fees.[1]

"The Bush economy is squeezing more and more families to the brink forcing them into the hands of loan sharks," said House Speaker Jeff Merkley. "Payday lenders are profiting off of innocent families who need help. We must change the system in Washington D.C. to protect families from predatory loan scams and get our economy growing again. In Oregon we took on the powerful predatory lender lobby and won. We need leaders in Washington D.C. to stand up to these big special interests and do what's right for families."

Jeff Merkley's history of standing up and fighting for all of us has gained him the endorsements of countless labor unions, civil rights advocates, environmental organizations, grassroots progressive groups, and others...

Just to start with -

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
Oregon AFSCME Council 75
Oregon AFL-CIO
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 97
Oregon State Association of Electrical Workers
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48
American Federation of Teachers-Oregon
Exterior & Interior Specialists Local 2154
Council for a Livable World
Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership
Citizens for Global Solutions
American Nurses Association
Oregon Nurses Association
Service Employees International Union
The Sierra Club
Basic Rights Oregon
Planned Parenthood
eQualityGiving
Oregon Machinists Council
Humane Society Legislative Fund
21st Century Democrats

We need to continue picking off Bush Republicans one by one, and we have a huge chance to do so this year here in Oregon.  And we can use all the help we can get...  

Please consider donating or signing up to volunteer for Jeff Merkley here, and help us send a proven progressive fighter to Washington for all of us!

Thanks for reading!

Originally posted to Hardhat Democrat on Wed May 14, 2008 at 11:29 AM PDT.

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