Broken Record 

Jefferson Smith Shares Dismal Driving History

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JEFFERSON SMITH—getting smacked on the chops by the Oregonian after revealing his driver's license had been suspended even more than previously acknowledged—decided this week to lay bare the rest of his driving record. And it's not pretty.

At the Mercury's request, Smith's mayoral campaign released a list of offenses and infractions stretching back to 1993. The list revealed more license suspensions, showed Smith (especially when he was younger) as an inveterate extreme speeder, and detailed a pattern of failing to pay fines and appear in court.

Separately, Smith also answered questions about whether he'd ever let his state-required insurance lapse and whether he drove during those periods when his license was suspended. The answers: yes and (unknowingly, he offers) yes.

"This is one of my flaws and it has been an embarrassing blind spot," he said in a statement published Sunday, August 19, on Blogtown.

The question now—in a tight race against former City Commissioner Charlie Hales, where character and intangibles have long dominated alongside policy issues—is whether voters will take notice. Smith, a lawyer now serving his second term in the Oregon House of Representatives, has previously mentioned his ADHD diagnosis when discussing a pattern of other paperwork errors (like lapsed Oregon State Bar dues). But for many observers, that doesn't come close to explaining the sheer awfulness of his driving record.

For the full report on this issue, check out blogtown.portlandmercury.com

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