Sunday, November 1, 2009

Backbencher of the Week

In recognition of the fact that good work done during a political career might not take effect until after a person leaves office, this week's Backbencher of the Week is retroactively awarded to former Senator Gordon Smith(R-OR). Smith served two terms in the Senate and earned a reputation as moderate Republican but last November he barely lost his bid for a third term.

In 2008, Sen. Smith worked Sen. John Kerry(D-MA) to include a provision in last year' President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief(PEPFAR) bill that overturned a 22 year old ban(the handiwork of Jesse Helms) on people with HIV/AIDS from traveling or immigrating to the United States. President Bush signed it into law last July, and on Friday President Obama announced that the ban wold be officially lifted 60 days from this coming Monday.

In recognition of his work leading to the bipartisan repeal of one of Jesse Helms longest standing acts of bigotry, we are glad to retroactively award this week's Backbencher of the Week to former Senator Gordon Smith. Congratulations.

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