Trade too important to Oregon for Bonamici to waffle

Oregon Republican Party

Sen. Bonamici has refused six times in three weeks to take a position

Portland, OR – State Senator Suzanne Bonamici, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, refuses to tell a trade-dependent constituency how she would have voted on three key trade agreements approved by Congress last week.

The Oregon Republican Party calls on her to step up and tell voters where she stands on this generator of jobs and opportunity for Oregonians. “Either Bonamici does not have the experience to decide, or she is withholding her position for political reasons. Either way, Oregonians lose,” Oregon Republican Party spokesman Greg Leo said today.

In five public appearances and an interview broadcast Saturday night on KGW’s Straight Talk, Senator Bonamici has given a range of excuses for not taking a position on the most important trade legislation for Oregon in 15 years.

Tonight, she’ll have a seventh opportunity to tell voters of the First Congressional District, one of the most trade-dependent districts in the nation, how she would have voted.

In front of the AFL-CIO, which opposed the agreements, Senator Bonamici said she’d come up with a position later.  Then at the Portland City Club she said she wouldn’t announce her position because it would cost her “leverage” in Congress, even though she’s a candidate, not an elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

At Forest Grove’s Pacific University and in Scappoose, she waffled, saying she still hadn’t made up her mind.  Finally, questioned by Straight Talk’s Laurel Porter, she said she didn’t have enough information to make a decision. When pressed, she said she would poll the state’s Congressional delegation to learn why each voted the way they did, and then perhaps make up her mind.

“Senator Bonamici is the only candidate in the First Congressional District to not declare a position on these trade agreements.  Her waffling on an issue that is so critical to job creation in our trade-dependent region shows that she is not ready to serve in Congress, a place where these critically important issues are decided. Oregonians are tired of politicians who won’t talk straight with voters,” said Leo. “This inability to decide shows that Senator Bonamici lacks the experience or understanding to represent Oregon First Congressional District.”

“Trade is the lifeblood of jobs in this district, and voters deserve to know if she’s for or against trade. This issue is too important to duck,” ORP spokesman Greg Leo concluded.

One of the agreements approved last week expands trade between Oregon and South Korea, our 5th largest export market.  With Oregon’s economy on the ropes, trade is one of Oregon’s important economic growth opportunities.  Even the liberal Brookings Institution estimates that 268,000 Portland-area jobs depend on trade.

At nearly every Congressional debate so far, all of the candidates, except Suzanne Bonamici, have taken a position in support or opposition to the trade agreement with South Korea.  With an issue as important to Oregon as trade, Suzanne Bonamici should take a position, not waffle.