Friday, May 12, 2006

Gordon Smith f's over mention again in the O

As noted just below, Oregon Senator Gordon Smith flip-flopped big time with his position on the GOP's $70 billion tax cut.

According to the subscription only Congress Daily AM, Smith's 180 probably happened when his Republican colleagues convinced him once again that party loyalty trumps the best interest of Oregonians:

In the Senate vote, Republicans lost three of their own, but they picked up three Democrats.

GOP Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Olympia Snowe of Maine and George Voinovich of Ohio voted against the bill. Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida and Mark Pryor of Arkansas voted for the tax package.

Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., initially opposed the bill, but later switched his vote.

Smith could be seen talking on the floor during the vote with Majority Leader Frist, Grassley and Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Senate aides said Smith objected to a provision that would mandate 3 percent withholding from payments to federal, state and local contractors.

Smith, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Finance ranking member Max Baucus, D-Mont., proposed similar language as a funding source for separate legislation, the "Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act."

That bill seeks to replace federal payments to counties from commercial activity on Forest Service lands, which counties use to fund schools and other services, and which the Bush administration has pledged to terminate.

In a colloquy placed in the Senate record after the vote Thursday, Frist and Grassley pledged to work with Smith to identify other revenue sources for that bill.

Smith (along with the rest of the Senate GOP) just f'd rural school districts over in a huge way. Frist and Grassley haven't demonstrated that Oregonians can trust them to do right by us with any monies. And with the massive debt, its hard to believe they're going to be generous to our blue state any time soon.

The AP managed to pick up the story so it had to be on the wires.

I also mentioned earlier that the Oregonian failed to cover Smith's switched vote. I'm starting to wonder who Smith is greasing over there. He certainly seems to be ducking much negative coverage--while the O blows Smith's brand of sunshine up our skirts.

(Thanks to the Senate Majority Project for the head's up)