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Abrupt shift

The argument that Oregon Republican Senator Gordon Smith changes his voting pattern as re-election time approaches will find some support in a new round of online stats released by the League of Conservation Voters, which charts congressional environmental voting.

In the first two years of his current term, Smith pulled a 28% grade from the LCV, and 37% in the next two. For environmental votes last year, that jumped through the roof to 73%.

That wasn’t because of the issues on the table or ome other fluky factor. Oregon’s other senator, Democrat Ron Wyden, actually scored lower last year (87%) than in the four years previous, though his ratings throughout were quite close. Idaho’s two Republican senators (who scored low in in the LCV ratings) and Washington’s two Democrats (who scored high) all, like Wyden, stayed fairly consistent throughout that period in their ratings.

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