Sen. Gordon Smith (R) voted to put Oregonians’ retirement at risk, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) alleges in two new ads targeting the Senator in his reelection bid against Democrat Jeff Merkley.

The pair of ads skewer Smith for his personal spending on golf clubs, and seek to tie the two-term Senator to the Bush administration’s efforts to develop personal savings accounts in Social Security, efforts eventually fell flat. “Like George Bush, Gordon Smith wanted to risk our Social Security savings with the big brokerage houses on Wall Street,” the announcer said in one ad.

The DSCC ads come after a few bumps in the road for Smith earlier this week. The Williamette Week published a story of an illegal immigrant who worked for an eastern Oregon food-processing plant owned by Smith. In the story, the worker alleged he was knowingly employed by the business, and then fired by Smith’s company when his wages became too high.

A SurveyUSA poll showed Merkley leading with 44 percent to Smith’s 42 percent. Constitution Party candidate Dave Brownlow drew eight percent, and six percent of voters were undecided in the poll, conducted September 22 and 23, with a 3.8 percent margin of error.

A poll by the Portland Tribune last Thursday had Smith leading 42-39.

Michael O’Brien

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