Mayoral candidate Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland) and his wife, Katy Lesowski Smith, gave an exclusive television interview to KATU'S Anna Canzano last night. KATU has run a 26-minute video of their conversation on its website.
Smith, who faces former City Commissioner Charlie Hales in the Nov. 6 general election, was responding to stories earlier this week about a criminal citation he received in 1993 for an altercation at a college party that sent a young woman to the emergency room for stitches.
Here are some of the minute-by-minute highlights from the KATU interview:
4:17: Canzano asks Smith about whether he was drinking the night he got into a scuffle with a woman at the 1993 party in Eugene. Smith's recollection of the incident is hazy but he's more clear on his consumption that night. "I had been drinking a little earlier," Smith tells Canzano. "But I hadn't had anything to drink for a while."
4:40: Smith says he's not sure how he made the contact with the woman that resulted in stitches.
5:23: "My recollection is that it was my hand," he says.
8:06: Smith observes that Canzano and other reporters are more interested in his personal life than in issues that affect the broader city.
16:40: Canzano asks about a tip KATU got that Smith had been involved in a fight at a football game while a student at the University of Oregon. Smith acknowledged that the tip was accurate. "I did get in a thing with a guy at a Stanford football game," Smith tells Canzano.
19:24: Canzano says Smith's reputation is growing. "When I tell people I'm going to interview you, it's like a punchline," she tells the candidate. "They say, 'I hope you'll bring your mouth-guard.'"
23:30: "What would you say to people that are concerned about the pattern of behavior they have seen and heard about you?" Canzano asks.
"People will reflect the stories they hear and the way they are shaped," says Smith, who has complained about the "powerful forces" who are out to get him. "Y'all are getting played like a fiddle."