Opposing the Iraq War and the Bush tax cuts, he showed rare fortitudeSen. Ron Wyden voted against the Iraq War and against the Bush tax cuts. On both of those votes, Wyden displayed fortitude that was imitated by few other senators.

In the November election, Wyden has token opposition in Al King, a Klamath County farmer. It is a measure of Wyden's reputation as a formidable campaigner that Republicans have nominated a mere place holder.

Wyden should win this election on the merits of his record. He has been a diligent senator. His most worthy initiative was staving off the Bush administration and right-wing attempts to overturn Oregon's Death With Dignity statute. Wyden took advantage of the protections and advantages the Constitution and Senate rules give to a lone senator.

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Wyden speaks with some authority on what is now unfolding in the Middle East. He disputes the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Of the need for reform he says, "It's about people, not moving organizational boxes around." He disputes President Bush's attack on Saddam Hussein, saying that Iran and South Korea presented much more pressing dangers.

As a skeptic of the USA Patriot Act, Wyden says, "I think you can fight terrorism without ash-canning civil liberties."

Wyden says he would use his third term to make Oregon a "green energy capital of the world." That speaks to one of the greatest shortcomings of the Bush administration. National energy policy should be a tool to achieve energy independence, which could help unhook America from its dependence on the Middle East.

When Wyden was elected to the House in 1980 at the age of 31, he was one of its younger members. He quickly impressed senior colleagues with his energy and ambition. In his second Senate term, Wyden seems to be coming into his own. At 55, Wyden easily has two more Senate terms in him, during which he can accumulate seniority and power.

While Portland is Wyden's power base, he has made a consistent effort to travel to all parts of Oregon. He is attentive to the needs of small towns on both sides of the Cascades.

Ron Wyden richly deserves re-election to the U.S. Senate. We endorse his candidacy.


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