Press Release

Released: August 12, 2008

BURLINGTON, VT, our nations largest progressive political action community, has endorsed Jeff Merkleys campaign to represent Oregon in the United States Senate. Jeff is running against Bush administration rubberstamper Gordon Smith.

Jeff Merkley is a commonsense progressive with the experience, wisdom, and judgment we need in Washington, said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. Jeff Merkleys record in the Oregon State House shows he can work across the partisan divide to get results that improve the lives of Oregonians. With the serious challenges we face -- from ending the War in Iraq, to providing health care to all Americans, to solving the climate crisis

Jeff Merkley is the only choice for the Senate.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Jeff Merkley has spent his lifetime fighting for change for Oregon families. The son of a sawmill worker, he spent his early years in Roseburg, where the children of loggers and mill workers learned the value of honest work, good schools, and strong families. Jeff worked hard, earned scholarships and became the first in his family to go to college. He went on to serve as a national security analyst, first for the Pentagon and then for Congress.

Nearly two years ago, Jeff led a band of new leaders to take control of the Oregon House and end the gridlock in state government. As the first Democratic speaker in sixteen years, Merkley brought Democrats, Republicans and citizens together to make real progress addressing Oregons challenges.

As Speaker, Jeff helped lead the fight against special interests to make health care more affordable, clamp down on pay day loan scams, pass landmark environmental legislation, and create thousands of family-wage jobs in Oregon. Working together, Oregonians achieved results

restoring fiscal responsibility by creating the states first rainy day fund, cutting taxes for working people, and passing sweeping ethics reform to clean up government.

Democracy for America is a key endorsement in this race, bringing donations from progressives and providing volunteers to participate in door-to-door, grassroots outreach. DFA has helped elect over 550 progressives to office from Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts to Rep. Jerry McNerney in Californias 11th Congressional District.

I am so honored to receive the endorsement of Democracy for America, said House Speaker Jeff Merkley. Its going to take a national grassroots effort to defeat Gordon Smith in November and we are on the road to making that happen. I have spent my whole career taking on the special interests and delivering for our families, our workers, and our planet. It is time to right the wrong of George Bush and Gordon Smith and put people before the powerful special interests in Washington D.C.

Gordon Smith has a shameful record that only George Bush could be proud of, said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director of Democracy for America. Jeff Merkley is the whole package and the real deal. Unlike his opponent, Jeff Merkley doesnt need to play games with voters or hide from his past. Gordon Smith can try and fool people into thinking hes not a Republican, but folks know better.

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