Gordon Smith

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a profile of a former U.S. senator. (See all the Oregon portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
Oregon state flag.png

Things you can do:

Gordon Smith currently serves as the Jr. Senator for Oregon

Gordon Harold Smith, a Republican, has been the Junior Senator from Oregon since 1997. (map) He was defeated in the 2008 general election for his Senate seat by Jeff Merkley (D).

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Gordon Smith voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Oil Record

According to Oil Change International, Gordon Smith has voted in favor of big oil companies on 67% of important oil-related bills. These bills include Iraq War funding, climate change studies, clean energy, and oil import reductions. [1] See below for oil money in politics.

Iraq War

Smith voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

Smith, who was once a supporter of the policies in Iraq, including the proposed troop increases, began to shift his position in early 2007. His new position was apparently developed after several visits to Iraq and conversations with General Petraeus, who told him that the planned troop surge only has a one in four chance of succeeding. Smith defended his new position at a Republican function on March 2, 2007, stating that "if you're really going to do a surge, you don't do it with 20,000, you do it with 250,000." Smith further called for the numbers to be filled by Iraqis and not Americans, describing the United States' patience as "not inexhaustible." Critics of Smith claim that his statements would empower Democrats and cause more violence.[2]

On February 17, 2007, Smith was one of seven Republicans to cross party lines and vote in favor of cloture on a non-binding resolution opposing the troop "surge." The measure failed 56-34.

Regarding a binding resolution sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) opposing the troop "surge," Smith said he was "uncomfortable with the Kennedy bill" because it was "tied to appropriations," meaning it allowed for the possibility of withholding funding for the effort.

Main article: Congressional actions regarding President Bush’s 2007 proposed troop “surge” in Iraq

On March 15, 2007, Smith was the only Republican Senator to vote in favor of a joint resolution to revise U.S. policy in Iraq. The measure failed 48-50. Later on March 27, he was one of only two Republican Senators to vote against an amendment to the Iraq supplemental spending bill that would have stripped the measure of its troop withdrawal deadline. The amendment was narrowly defeated 48-50. He also was one of two GOP members to vote in favor of the final spending bill, which passed the Senate 51-47 on March 29. On April 26, he again was one of the two GOP Senators to vote in favor of the final bill after it went through a conference committee. The bill passed both the House and Senate, but was later vetoed by the President.

Main article: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 (H.R.1591)
For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Call for Attorney General Gonzales's resignation

On March 15, 2007, Smith called for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation amidst the U.S. attorney scandal. He was the second Republican lawmaker to do so.[3]

Main article: Bush administration U.S. attorney firings controversy

TRADE Act of 2007

On February 15, 2007, Smith introduced the Tariff Relief Assistance for Developing Economies (TRADE) Act of 2007. The bill would authorize the president to designate certain less-developed countries as eligible to receive duty-free treatment for certain articles that are grown, produced, or manufactured in such countries. The bill would ask the president to act on the advice of the International Trade Commission (ITC). The beneficiary countries would have to meet certain standards for qualification, based on the eligibility requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Trade Act of 1974.[4]

The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance after it was introduced.[5]

Main article: Tariff Relief Assistance for Developing Economies (TRADE) Act of 2007



Smith was born May 25, 1952 in Pendleton, Oregon. He's a member of the Udall political family, being a cousin of Democratic Congressmen Mo and Stewart Udall, and a second cousin of current Congressmen Mark Udall and Tom Udall (Smith is the only Republican in the group).

Smith's family moved to Bethesda, Maryland when he was a child, because his father became an assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. After graduating high school he went on a two-year mission for his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to New Zealand. He then went to college at Brigham Young University, attended law school at Southwestern University School of Law, in Los Angeles, and became an attorney in New Mexico and Arizona, but moved back to Oregon in the 1980s to become director of Smith Frozen Foods company in Weston, Oregon.

Congressional Career

Smith was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 1992, becoming president of that body in 1995. Later in 1995, he ran in a special election for a Senate seat vacated by the resignation of Bob Packwood, but was defeated in the January 1996 election by congressman Ron Wyden. He was able to run for the Senate again later that year, however, when Mark Hatfield announced his retirement and Smith became the Republican candidate for the regular 1996 November election. This time he won, and was soon serving as a colleague with his former political opponent, Ron Wyden. Smith also achieved political distinction by being the first person to run for the Senate twice in one year. He was reelected in 2002.

On September 8, 2003, Smith experienced a personal tragedy when his 21-year-old son, Garrett, a college culinary arts major, committed suicide. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, authorizing $82 million for suicide-prevention and awareness programs at colleges.

Positions and Views

In January 2006, Smith began circulating draft legislation entitled the Digital Content Protection Act of 2006. The legislation would grant the Federal Communications Commission the authority to authorize a "broadcast flag" for "digital audio receiving devices" and devices that "transmit digital audio broadcast signals". The draft legislation was quickly decried by the Electronic Frontier Foundation[3], comparing the bill to Fritz Holling's proposed Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act from 2002.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00007815&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Gordon Smith
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Oil Money in Politics

Gordon Smith has received $80,000 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $65,000 of those dollars were from industry PACS. [6] In total, Smith has accepted $188575 from oil companies since 2000, which makes him one of the top recipients of oil money in the United States Senate. [7] See above for oil and energy voting record.

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Commission for Women
  • Ethics Study Commission
  • Co-Chair, Joint Legislative Administration
  • Co-Chair, Joint Legislative Audit
  • Joint Legislative Counsel
  • Republican Deputy Whip

Boards and other Affiliations

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Gordon Smith. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
404 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3704
Web Email

District Office- Bend:
Jamison Building
131 Northwest Hawthorne Avenue, Suite 208
Bend, OR 97701
Phone: 541-318-1298
Fax: 541-318-1396

District Office- Eugene:
Federal Building
211 East Seventh Avenue, Room 202
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: 541-465-6750
Fax: 541-465-6808

District Office- Medford:
Security Plaza
1175 East Main, #2D
Medford, OR 97504
Phone: 541-608-9102
Fax: 541-608-9104

District Office- Pendleton:
Jager Building
116 South Main Street, Suite 3
Pendleton, OR 97801
Phone: 541-278-1129
Fax: 541-278-4109

District Office- Portland:
One World Trade Center
121 Southwest Salmon, Suite 1250
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-326-3386
Fax: 503-326-2900

Articles and resources


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Vote Tracker
  2. Harry Esteve. "Smith defends Iraq views to GOP," The Oregonian. March 2, 2007.
  3. Elana Schor. "New allegations could spell more trouble for Gonzales," The Hill. March 15, 2007.
  4. [1] THOMAS page on the bill (S.652)
  5. [2] THOMAS page on the bill (S.652)
  6. Follow the Oil Money
  7. Vote Tracker
  8. Project Vote Smart's Founding & Executive Board Member, Project Vote Smart, accessed November 12, 2008.


Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: None
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Commission for Women, Ethics Study Commission, Joint Legislative Administration, Joint Legislative Audit, Joint Legislative Counsel, Republican Deputy Whip
Committees: Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Aviation Operations Safety and Security, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs Insurance and Automotive Safety, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce Trade and Tourism, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Oceans Atmosphere Fisheries and Coast Guard, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Science Technology and Innovation, Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation/Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure Safety and Security, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on National Parks, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Water and Power, Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on Energy Natural Resources and Infrastructure, Senate Committee on Finance/Subcommittee on International Trade and Global Competitiveness, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 1996
First Took Current Office:
January 7, 1997
Next Election:
Term Ends:
January 3, 2009
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Oregon State Senate,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
Phone: / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: May 25, 1952