Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 26th, 2008 at 2:03 pm
Jeff Merkley (D-Portland), the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, is turning to Portland’s bike community for help in his race to grab a seat in the United States Senate from incumbent Gordon Smith.
I received an invitation yesterday for a fundraising event in September that will take place at the Bike Gallery store in downtown Portland. The event is being hosted by Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, his wife Alison Graves, and friend Mary Roberts.
Along with the invitation was a one-sheet flyer extolling the bikey virtues of Mr. Merkley (see it below). The flyer refers to Merkley as “a former commuter cyclist” who “knows the benefits that cycling brings to our community.” Also listed are several bike-related bills that Merkley worked on as a state legislator. He voted in support of the Vulnerable Roadway Users bill (HB 3314, 2007), the rural safe passing distance bill (SB 108, 2007), and a Safe Routes to School bill (SB 242, 2007).
Here’s another excerpt from the flyer:
“As our next U.S. Senator, Jeff will be a leader in the fight to pass meaningful legislation supporting the bike movement. He will stand with Senator Ron Wyden, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Portland Mayor Sam Adams to make Oregon — and the nation — a better place for cyclists.”
This is the first time I’ve chimed in on the hotly contested Merkley-Smith race. Does anyone out there have experience with either candidate that might reveal how they’ll come down on transportation issues?
Last time I checked, Gordon Smith was a member of the Senate Bike Caucus and he’s been highly involved with the Mount Hood Wilderness Bill (which has mountain biking implications). Other than that, I’ve got research to do before I do any more reporting on this race.
Here’s the flyer:
[Disclosure: Jeff Merkley’s campaign has advertised on BikePortland.org.]