Monday, August 13, 2007


Smith, Walden, Klamath water, and more

The last few weeks have seen an increasing movement to replace Gordon Smith as Oregon's junior senator. Smith's a popular politician, even on the liberal west side of the state. Oregon's another one of those two-part states, like California, Washington, or Montana; there's a more densely settled liberal part and then the rest of the state, which has traditionally remained Republican.

Smith got in bad when he was hooked into helping Bush and Cheney's election back in the early 2000s. He played heavily to the farmer-rancher voters—he already had support since he's been in agri-business for years. Now he's vulnerable, as records of party maneuvering are being exposed. Gordon Smith, Mr Clean, has turned out to be just another party hack.

But overlooked, mostly, in all of this, has been Oregon's 2nd District Representative, Greg Walden. The 2nd District is big: it's everything east of the Cascades, with a chunk of south-west Oregon thrown in. It's elected Republican ranch-friendly reps as long as I can remember. One of them was an utter wing-nut who embarrassed the party almost as much as Watergate—Wes Cooley—but since then, the party has relied either on war-horses like Bob Smith or family-oriented business men like Greg Walden. Walden is far to the right of Gordon Smith: one of the conservative property rights groups gives him a 100% rating, while Smith only received 67%.

The Klamath Forest Alliance has a good rundown on all of this. Worth reading.

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