Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blue America Welcomes Back Senator-Elect Jeff Merkley (D-OR)


Today it's a great honor and a real thrill to welcome Senator-elect Jeff Merkley back to Firedoglake at 1pm, PT. He beat 12 year incumbent Gordon Smith 816,276 to 699,673, a three percent spread and was the first Oregon challenger to beat a sitting senator in 40 years. Even more important, he's more dedicated to serving the interests of working families than anyone else elected to the Senate this year. As Speaker of the Oregon House he's also someone who knows how to get things done. There's no one elected who we have the right to expect more from than Jeff. And we can expect him to be ready to roll up his sleeves and start working long before other freshmen start figuring out where K Street is.

A few hours after he was declared the winner he was interviewed by NPR and he was perfectly clear about his priorities: "issues that families are facing around the kitchen table. Certainly, issues of the cost of health care, the creation of living wage jobs, investment in education. And I also think that they want us to respond to the tremendous price pressures they're feeling on things like oil, like the cost at the pump. We have an energy policy that's been great if you're an oil company and terrible if you're an American citizen. And we have to change that, end our dependence on foreign oil, and stop sending $2 billion a day overseas, and start tackling global warming."

People seriously watching the Bush economic miracle continuing to accelerate and work it's magic on our country have all come to the same conclusion: jobs, jobs, jobs. Bernie Sanders has gone on about it at great length and he's been very clear that his plans for the future aren't about bailing out irresponsible, failed bankers. Sanders talks about the economy the same way Jeff does. Jeff:
We've been shipping our jobs overseas by subsidizing the construction operation of foreign factories; that makes no sense.

We need to revisit trade policy so that are handicapping our ability to build and sell things here in America.
And I think we have to approach our economy as one that we build by having strong families. Strong families, the foundation is a living wage job.

We've experimented with trickle-down and favors for the powerful special interests the last eight years. It hasn't worked. We've got to change our approach.

I pray we'll be hearing words like that from every Blue America endorsed candidate who won his or her race this year. Asked if he thinks Americans' expectations for Obama are too high and bound to bring disappointment, he said that isn't his concern at all. "What I'm concerned about is that the Senate actually fulfill those expectations. I think we need to move quickly on health care, on the war in Iraq, on jobs, certainly on a new, smart, energy policy. We need to seize this moment in 2009 to really move this nation forward." Take a look at the ad Jeff ended his campaign with. It's never easy beating an entrenched incumbent. I think this ad helps explain how he was able to do it.

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At 2:01 PM, Blogger KELSO'S NUTS said...

I like Senator-elect Jeff Merkley. Very analogous situation to Whitehouse taking Chaffee's seat. I'm not sure, though, whether getting a hot shit progressive over a reasonabe Repbulican moderate would be a bigger win than getting a moderate Democrat, Jim Martin, in over a sociopath, Saxby Chambliss.

Pick 'em I guess.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Oregonians, I am aprogressive lobbyist/activist based in Waldport, OR. I am seeking information from the public as to how I may apply to work with our new Senator, Jeff Merkley. I am excited for our state that a man of Jeff's integrity, intelligence, and competence will lead us through the next four years. After the turmoil, corruption, complacency, lies, and distortions of the past eight years of the Bush Administration, it is now our turn to rebuild our nation, get out of the war, rectify our country's problems, and be the best nation that we can. I am an activist of 30 years experience. I invite the public to become citizen lobbyists and to voice their heartfelt concerns and ideas to our policymakers. Our people have been ignored for too long. Whatever your issue and focus may be. I encourage you to become involved. I love my country, but I am determined to speak my mind.
One issue that we must address now is REFORM OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY!!! Insurance is legalized theft, with ZERO accountability to consumers by the big corporados. I am publically calling for a nationwide boycott of KEMPER/UNITRIN. I'm 53 years old. I bought insurance for 35 years with NO CLAIMS EVER! Kemper(Chicago) left me twisting in the wind. I never missed a payment. My property insurance in Trinidad, CA and Port Orford, OR was gutted by Kemper, based on a flawed inspection, by a guy who could not even use a frickin' tape measure competently. I have built houses for twenty years. I KNOW HOW TO USE A TAPE MEASURE! Car insurance is too high for our citizens. We need reform NOW!
Join me in welcoming Jeff Merkley in our Senate. Take care!
David Peltier 12/2/08


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