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Another Union Backs Smith, Citing his "Progressive" Views

Rep. Jefferson Smith landed another union endorsement in his race for mayor—the Oregon and Southern Idaho District Council of Laborers, which represents many city workers.

So far, Smith and his opponent, former city commissioner Charlie Hales, have split union endorsements. Smith is backed by the Portland Association of Teachers and the city's firefighters and police union. Hales has won the support of the Service Employees International Union Local 49, United Food and Commercial Workers, the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Joint Council of Teamsters.

The announcement from the Laborers union tried to hit a note that has gone a little sour for Smith lately: He's a progressive, a point the press release announcing the endorsement noted twice in as many paragraphs.

"We are proud to endorse a true progressive and the only candidate who's made the hard choices about budgets in these tough times," the release quotes Greg Held, the Laborer's Business Manager, as saying.

This week's issue of WW raises questions about Smith's progressive credentials in light of his legislative record on such as issues as gun control and abortion—and Smith last week tried to start a drumbeat to burnish his progressive credentials.