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Smith Cancels His Golf Date 

Gordon Smith - perhaps stung by Democratic criticism of his penchant for buying ultra-expensive golf clubs and hanging out with fat-cat lobbyists - has canceled

Gordon Smith - perhaps stung by Democratic criticism of his penchant for buying ultra-expensive golf clubs and hanging out with fat-cat lobbyists - has canceled his big fundraising golf party planned for next weekend at Bandon Dunes.

"For seven years, according to the invite, Smith has hosted a tournament at the golfing Mecca for his political action committee, Impact America," Jeff Mapes blogs on The Oregonian site.

"The PAC, which Smith has used to help his fellow Republican senators, does seem to attract a who's who of contributions from the Washington lobby, [from] America's Health Insurance Plans PAC to the Walt Disney Productions Employees PAC.

"But, apparently, the private jets won't be flocking to the nearby North Bend Airport next weekend, at least not for the Smith event. Smith's spokeswoman, Lindsay Gilbride, said by e-mail that the event was cancelled because of scheduling conflicts."

Hello? "Scheduling conflicts"? Smith has been having this wingding for seven years, it's the biggest fundraising event on his calendar, and all of a sudden he discovers he's got "scheduling conflicts"?

Kari Chisholm on BlueOregon offers a few alternative explanations:

"He didn't want to be photographed hanging out with a bunch of special interest lobbyists."

"It was a flop, and not enough big-money lobbyists RSVP'd."

"The lobbyists were cool - but his fellow senators ... let it be known that THEY didn't want any money from Smith."

"Smith just didn't want to endure more questions about his million-dollar putter. After all, rule number one of damage control is - when you're in a hole, stop digging."

"This is all just a giant head-fake. Like the security team at a mega-celebrity wedding, the Smith team is waving off the press and the paparazzi. Anybody near Bandon want to visit the golf course to check it out? Don't forget your video camera ... "

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