A 10-year veteran of the Oregon House, Jeff Merkley was elected Speaker of the House in 2006 after Democrats won a majority. The Oregonian described Merkley's session as Speaker "Oregon's most productive in a generation." And rightfully so. Under his tenure, the state created a 'rainy day' fund to protect public schools against economic downturns, increased funding for both public schools and state universities, outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing and in the workplace and granted same-sex couples with state-granted rights.
Merkley's opponent, incumbent Sen Gordon Smith (R-OR), is running as Barack Obama's new best friend. Nice try, Sen Smith, but you've got some explaining to do. When it really mattered, Sen Smith was solidly behind George W. Bush. Don't allow him to fool the people of Oregon into thinking otherwise....give Jeff Merkley the resources he needs to get the truth out.
10/08/08 update: A Research 2000 poll of likely voters shows Jeff Merkley has opened up a 45% to 40% lead over incumbent Senator Gordon Smith. Significantly, this poll shows a 7% gain for Merkley and a 7% decline for Smith since the last poll in August.
10/13/08 update: CQ Politics reports Smith Faltering in Oregon, Democrat Merkley's Chances Brighten". Even though Smith led Merkley in the most recent financial report (June 39, 2008) in cash on hand, Merkley can definitely win this race if he can raise the cash to finish strongly.
For more info, visit Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate