News & Election Videos

October 02, 2008

Bailout politics in Oregon

Another contest where the two candidates are on opposite sides of the bailout is in Oregon. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) decided late Wednesday to vote for the bailout package, while his Democratic opponent was on the air last week decrying the legislation.

Now the National Republican Senatorial Committee is up with an ad attacking Merkley’s economic stewardship as speaker of the state House. The ad accuses Merkley of reckless spending during his legislative tenure.

"Just like Washington, Merkley borrows the money and mortgages our future," the ad says.

The ad also seems to implicitly criticize the very bailout package Smith supported.

“Our economy in trouble…Washington and Wall Street gambling with our money. Piling up more government debt. In Salem with Jeff Merkley as Speaker of the State House, the story isn’t any better,” a narrator says.

Smith has accused Merkley of using the bailout package for his own political gain. In a statement last night, he said Merkley "shamefully placed his partisan ambitions ahead of the retirement, financial and economic security of the people he seeks to serve."

Merkley was the first candidate to air an advertisement criticizing the original bailout package, saying he would not support the legislation until “CEO bonuses are cut and middle-class taxpayers are protected.” And he issued a statement yesterday reiterating his opposition to the altered bill.