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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Nethercutt Goes Insane

First off, I'll remind you guys that I agree with Nethercutt that more debates is good, and two isn't enough. But those debates should be worked out by the campaigns. And the notion that he's not the coward in this episode is pretty crazy. So crazy that I'm linking to his blog, because that's the best effort the campaign can put forward to explain the situation. They get to tell their side and they still sound batshit insane.

So some time last week, Nethercutt found out that he and Patty Murray would take the same plane in from DC. So he decides to get his supporters, call in the media and challenge Patty to a debate in the baggage terminal.

So he'll have had however much time he's known about the "debate" to prepare while she's caught off guard. He'll have known to sleep on the plane to be fresh. He'll be more likely to have make up ready to appear telegenic under the SeaTac lighting. So instead of a fair debate, he was trying to force her into something resembling a debate that she didn't get to know about ahead of time.

And it didn't even work. Patty simply outsmarted him (not too difficult I imagine). She got off the plane first, and left before Nethercutt had a chance to perform his little mugging. She probably got an aid to pick up her bags while she darted into a car. And it leaves Nethercutt rallying his supporters and bringing the media to SeaTac for nothing.

And their blog can't figure out how she got out of the airport: "Murray's campaign tells the Times that the Senator did not purposely avoid the debate -- yet how she escaped the airport is a mystery." How'd she do it? Well there are a few parking garages, and curbside pick-up. She probably had someone pick her up while your guy was complaining he didn't get to mug a grandmother.



Inslee Email

I didn't see this on the website. So I'm including it in full, because I don't think he'd mind.

Dear Supporters,

This week, Republican leadership in Congress worked to gut both the environment and the Constitution.

Last Wednesday, the House Committee on Resources was scheduled to take up the Wild Sky Wilderness proposal, a much needed piece of legislation that protects key areas of Washington State wilderness from logging, mining, and motor-vehicle use.

The Wild Sky Wilderness Act has broad, bipartisan support in Congress. Republican Rep. Jennifer Dunn wan an early cosponsor, and Senator Patty Murray has guided it to unanimous passage in the Senate. Even George Bush was expected to sign it into law if it passed the House.

Unfortunately, Wild Sky was killed this week by Republican electioneering. Rep. Richard Pombo, Chair of the House Resources Committee, refused to allow the bill to go to a vote on the floor, instead supporting a "compromise" proposal by George Nethercutt that would have denied wilderness protection to 13,000 acres of vital lowland areas.

To anyone who cherishes our wilderness areas, protecting them for future generations is a sacred responsibility. Unfortunately, Nethercutt's proposal gutted it to the point of making it ineffective at actually protecting the environment. The bill now has virtually no chance of passing this year, but I will work with my colleagues in the delegation to bring it back next session. Read the full story here.

In other business, Congress continues to ignore important issues such as energy policy, the 9/11 panel's recommendations, and many more immensely important issues. Instead, the Republican leadership launched another attack on the system of checks and balances that makes our government great.

Congress passed two bills this week that have absolutely no chance of standing up to the test of Constitutionality. These bills were introduced only to provide the Republicans with election year sound bites and to further divide the country.

The Pledge Protection Act (HR 2028), passed by the House this week, prohibits our courts from ever considering any case involving the term "under God". It is a useless piece of legislation that overrides the very foundation of our government's separation of powers. It is a blatant effort to force responsible legislators to vote against an issue, because of the inappropriate and unconstitutional nature of the bill. Republicans hope then to use that vote against members in the upcoming election.

A parallel bill was passed regarding same-sex marriage. Similar to the pledge issue above, the Congress passed a bill that would bar the courts from ever hearing a case regarding same-sex marriage.

Whether you believe "under God" belongs in the pledge or not -- whether you believe in same sex marriage or not -- is not the issue. It is the court's responsibility to interpret and enforce the protection of the rights afforded in the Constitution. It is Congress' job to pass legislation that is needed and required to move this country forward.

These efforts to limit the power of the judicial branch are unprecedented. It is unconscionable that Republican leadership would be willing to set a precedent of denying the Supreme Court its responsibility to uphold the Constitution just to win a few votes. I hope the American people will join me in rejecting this brand of politics at the polls in November.



Not in the Seattle Times

Knight-Ridder, 49% owner of the Seattle Times, is receiving national attention for this story about the level of civilian casualties in Quagmire Iraq Nam. This story was featured in 75 newspapers across our great land.

Except, of course, for our own Seattle Times. I guess that King Midas Blethen is just protecting us from hearing bad news about those silly little Iraqis and their dead brothers, sisters, parents, children, neighbors, and friends.

Memo III to Frank: Bush has lost Washington State, so any further slanting of the news is pointless. And you are unfit to occupy the same turf as the journalistic heirs of Willam Randolph Hearst. Or The Stranger, for that matter. But I will be reading tomorrow's ads, hoping for a sale on tar, feathers, a rail, and a map of the nearest road out of town.



High Turnout After All

Some things certainly fueled the highest turnout in 20 years of 44.9% of registered voters. Despite the fact that many people didn't vote on principal. Obviously the contested primary at the top helped. But every year at least one party has had a contested primary. Part of it was that the change got a lot of attention. Both in the media and in ads. I mean how often does the secretary of state's office have TV and radio commercials up for a month or so saying when the vote is?

Also, they have statewide totals for how many people chose what party. Obviously the contested primary on the Democratic side upped our total. Even factoring that in, the numbers are pretty good for the D side of the aisle.

Those percentages were close to the statewide totals: 53.1 percent Democrat, 37.4 percent Republican, 1 percent Libertarian and 8.5 percent no affiliation.



Open Thread

And low weekend posting, as I prepare to move to rural King County.



Friday, September 24, 2004

Bible Club

Kent School district probably should have recognized them. But they don't have to.



Tentative Agreement with Nurses Union

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal:

Consistent with the state's eight other tentative agreements, the nurses represented by the Service Employees International Union would receive a 3.2 percent wage increase on July 1, 2005. The contract also calls for creation of a new step for the nurses, resulting in a salary increase of 2.5 percent for about 500 nurses with at least 18 years of experience.



NASCAR in Marysville/Arlington Area

But my favorite part of the article is this:

"I feel good about it," he [Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon --Carl] said of the impending announcement. "I think it's a positive sign that they're coming to Washington state."

But after his telephone conversation with a reporter, Reardon inadvertently left his phone off the hook and could be heard telling other county officials in his office that he was only "playing dumb" and that he had told another official Marysville would be the site.



Statue will Probably Stay in Peace Park

So yeah. There's a cute story about a statue of a dead girl.



Gregoire Ad

I'm not sure if I like the new Gregoire ad (Cancer). On the one hand, the fact that she's had cancer doesn't make her plan better or worse. She fits the plan and her own cancer together awkwardly. But it is good to talk about her plan, and it seems like it will improve healthcare in the state (although not as much as I would like).

Edited for gramar



First Gubernatorial Debate Highlights

From Gregoire's press release:

"I want to change the culture in Olympia. I won't hesitate to blow past the bureaucracy. And I will make the legislature work like they never have before," said Gregoire in her opening statement.

...

Chris questioned Dino Rossi on his opposition to a Washington Institute of Stem Cell Research. Chris has proposed that Washington state create a Stem Cell Institute to lead the nation in this cutting-edge research and capture the blue and white collar jobs that go along with it. Currently, only one other state has announced plans for a stem cell research institute.

"With our high-tech resources, Washington could lead the nation in stem cell research. Not only would this create jobs, it would help us ease the awful afflictions suffered by so many. That's why the next governor must support stem cell research," observed Gregoire.



8th District Poll

From MyDD, via Upper Left. I don't know the MOE.

WA 8th, Lauer Research (D)
Ross(D) 45%
Reichert(R) 43%
Undecided 12%



Thursday, September 23, 2004

Hastings-Matheson Debates

The question is when, not how many. I don't know what the big deal about doing this before Congress is out would be. I mean Hastings should come back to the district regardless. So it looks like it's a trick to be able to have some of the absentees go out before they have a chance to see Matheson.



Wild Sky and the Importance of the Majority

Wild Sky has been nixed by Chairman Pombo. Yet another reason to have a Democratic house of Representatives. Even Nethercutt's watered down legislation was killed by Richard Pombo. Would more lobbying from Nethercutt have helped pass the bill? Sure, but it probably wouldn't have worked.

The truth is that in the state legislatures, and in Congress a committee chair can kill pretty much anything. They can't necessarily pass whatever they want, but the ability to block legislation is pretty powerful. It means that a Democratic state house can keep the repellent anti-environment, or anti-abortion laws from even getting through committee. On the federal level, it means that the ethics committee can just ignore the ethical lapses DeLay has had and the complaints against him.

So support the state party. volunteer with them. Support the DCCC. Support a Featured Dem. Give to some other house or senate candidate who you like. Because a few bucks, or a few hours can really go a long way. Get out and doorbell a precinct in the 5th or 8th if you can. We can't all do everything, but we can all do something, and our efforts can change the majority in Congress, and the state senate, and solidify our majority in the state house.



Barbieri in Seattle

From the Washington State Democrats home page:

Special Event with Don Barbieri

Join the 5th District Congressional Nominee
September 29th at 5:30 pm
at the Seattle Labor Temple
Suggested Donation $45 or $25 Low Income
For more information Contact Nova Gattman
(206) 583-0664 or email events@wa-democrats.org



Alterman is Coming to Town

Eric Alterman is coming to Seattle to discuss his books When Presidents Lie, What Liberal Media, and his Book on Bush. Here's the info:

Seattle-Tacoma, WA
Friday, Oct. 8, 7:30 PM PT
ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY
101 S. Main Street
Seattle, WA 98104
www.elliottbaybook.com
206-624-6600 store

Let's all turn out to make him welcome.



Western Classified Staff Reach Contract Agreement

The agreement gives them 3.2% increase next year and 1.6% the following. It didn't say anything about health benefits, or outsourcing, but it's probably tougher to outsource University specific jobs than state jobs generally, so this might not have been as big of a concern.

...In the comments, martha sez:

Outsourcing is a huge concern at universities across the country. Things like food services, janitorial, construction, and mail services can all be outsourced. I don't think it costs that much less (if at all), but it is an easy way to weaken the union by decreasing membership.

And since she's in a position to know better than me, I'll take her word for it.



John Kerry - The Movie

Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry, a movie about the life of Our Next President, opens October 1 at these theaters:

Portland - Fox Tower 10
Portland - Tigard 11
Vancouver - City Center 12
Seattle - Metro Cinemas
Seattle - Meridian 15
Renton - East Valley 13
Redmond - Bella Botega 11
Bellevue - Galleria 11

Thanks to Atrios for this. Go there for reviews and more information.

We here at the Political Report's Humptulips Satellite Uplink Facility and Bubble Tea Room have also learned that a new movie about the life of George W. Bush, Up Shit Creek, is now being cast. Unfortunately, Bonzo is unavailable to play Bush and they can't find anyone who is willing to play the role of "Paddle." But for historical accuracy, they have ordered a truckload of tequila, a busload of hookers, and 22 tons of a mysterious white powder.




King 5 Poll Numbers

King 5 has the governor's race closer (registration required). MOE +- 4%.

John Kerry: 53%
George W Bush: 46%

Patty Murray: 53%
George Nethercutt 41%

Chris Gregoire: 47%
Dino Rossi: 46%



Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Open Thread



Stuart Elway Poll

From the PI. I didn't see trendlines. MOE +-5%:

John Kerry: 52%
George W Bush: 38%

Patty Murray: 57%
George Nethercutt: 37%

Christine Gregoire: 49%
Dino Rossi: 38%



Grassroots All-Star

Democracy for Washington and the Spokane County Young Democrats think we should vote for Patty Murray for a Democracy for America grassroots all-star. I don't know if she's the most needy on the list, but we could definitely do worse.



Damaging the Republicans

In the latest Seattle Weekly, Knute Berger points out that we have a good chance seriously damaging the Republican policy in this election. Berger says that we Democrats may well take 8 of the 9 Congressional seats in Washington.

And then we have Doc Hastings, who undoubtedly specializes in self-proctology. We should note that Old Doc recently voted to let Tom DeLay off the hook. Can we find some way to make it 9 out of 9? I know that Speaker Pelosi would appreciate our help.



Mega-Event
AKA expensive debate watching

The good folks at Progressive Majority Washington have put together a fundraiser for two legislative candidates they've endorsed.

Start:
October 5, 2004 - 6:00pm
Location:
The Garage (corner of Broadway and Denny, on Capitol Hill in Seattle)
Join us for an evening of food and drinks, free bowling, and Kerry-Edwards debate-watching, in a fundraiser to benefit Derek Kilmer and Kevin Van de Wege.

Cost:
Hosts: $50 to each campaign
Attendees: $20 to each campaign



Chambers of Commerce Infighting

The state association of businesses doesn't like the way the US chamber blindsided it on the anti-Senn nonsense. And I like this exchange, we're not sorry we're sleezy, we're sorry our sleeze backfired:

The U.S. Chamber does seem to have some regrets. Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business, said he's had two telephone calls with U.S. Chamber officials "and they are apologetic."

"I don't know if they're apologetic for the action," Brunell said. "They certainly are apologetic for the impact it has had on us and our local chambers and the impact it has had on our relationship" with the national group.



TV Exec with Local Ties in Trouble

Although this is tangential to politics, TBN does own a KTBW-20, a full-power TV station in Tacoma with fairly good coverage. KTBW ownership might change if this one-man show falls apart.

On the other hand, Jimmy Swaggert survived his problems with "little Jimmy" and Crouch may also survive this apparent scandal.



State Fines Federal Govt. Over Hanford BS

A little over a quarter million dollars. Or over 3000 bucks per barrel of nuclear waste.

The violations center on 83 drums of debris from the Savannah River nuclear site in South Carolina. That site has been conducting treatment studies on waste from Hanford's 177 underground waste tanks.

The Hanford tanks hold 53 millions gallons of highly radioactive liquid sludge and saltcake from World War II and Cold War-era plutonium production.

"This is a very serious offense, and we are concerned that it's just the tip of the iceberg," Mike Wilson, manager of Ecology's nuclear waste program, said in a news release.



The Vancouver Columbian

has conducted a poll showing John Kerry leading Bush by 51% to 42%. The MOE is 4.9%, and the aforementioned table indicates that it is more than 89% likely that Kerry leads Bush.



Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Abeentee Ballots - Sommers Wins

The Seattle Times reports that Helen Sommers has won her House race with 14,649 votes to Alice Woldt's 13,646 votes. The King County Library levy is passing with 63% and the Kenmore ban on cardrooms is still failing, 2,718 "no" votes to 2,668 in favor. In the 11th Legislative District, Bob Hasegawa leads Rosemary Quesenberry 4,874 to 4,711. There are also a couple of Repub races, but who cares?





Patty Murray Action Center

If you want to volunteer for her this is a wonderful resource.



New Poll

From ARG (Margin of Error ± 4 percentage points)

Washington:

Bush 44%
Kerry 51%
Nader 2%
Other 0%
Don't Know 3%

Oregon:

Bush 45%
Kerry 47%
Nader 2%
Other 1%
Don't Know 5%

Lesson time: I recently learned that I really didn't understand the Margin of Error (MOE). I always thought that "± 4 percentage points" meant that the support for either candidate could vary by ± 4 percentage points in either direction. Using my simpleminded logic, Bush could have as much as 48% of the vote in Washington and Kerry could have as little as 47%. And that makes Washington a swing state, right?

Thanks to Kevin Drum, I now know that I was completely wrong.

Short explanation: The MOE is a measure of the likelihood that the leading candidate is actually in the lead. For example, the ARG Oregon poll shows a 2% Kerry lead. With a MOE of ± 4 percentage points, it is 69% likely that Kerry actually leads Bush in Oregon. Although Kerry's 7% lead in Washington is off the table, we can see that it must be more than 94% likely that Kerry leads Bush in Washington.

And although it is not included in this treatise, it is 119% likely that George Nethercutt is a Neanderthal.

Lesson over. Please pass your papers to the front. As usual, we will grade on the curve. See you tomorrow for Sex Education - The Jack Kemp Method.






Barbieri Healthcare Ad

I've said that healthcare is the issue that motivates me the most. So while his plan isn't perfect, it is nice to hear him talk about it. Also, it's a good step in the right direction.



First Debate Canceled

Gregoire needs to get her act together.



Lets Hear it for Rain

The worst prospects for wild fires are over.



Tukwila OK's ST

The last major obstacle for phase one is pretty much complete. There's still the noise wall to deal with, but I think it should work out fine.



Monday, September 20, 2004

Common Fucking Decency

I think the federal government should make sure all of its citizens (and permanent residents, really much of the world) have healthcare. But I understand the arguments against it.

But former Hanford workers who are concerned about their health due to radiation exposure. How can we not have even been screening them since May? Oh we had you work to assure our protection throughout the cold war. Thanks for that, but now you're inconvenient, sorry.

Fortunately our junior Senator possesses basic common decency. Maria Cantwell working hard to get the program back to full force, and make sure it doesn't expire.

"Hundreds of people are not getting anything other than, 'Call this 1-800 Number,' " said Dr. Tim Takaro, director of the Former Hanford Workers Medical Screening Program, where screening hasn't occurred since May. "You can imagine that would be pretty frustrating, especially when you're sick."

Flanked by former workers from Hanford, Sen. Maria Cantwell said at a news conference in Seattle yesterday that she would block a federal appointment to the Department of Energy this week unless she received assurances that the program would survive.

The program, run by the University of Washington, is set to expire next March. But the DOE is already dismantling it in favor of a new plan: a centralized support program that would have former workers start by calling an 800 number.



Top 100 Democratic Counties

The Austin American Statesman has a list (caution - burdensome subscription required) of the 100 most Democratic Counties in America. Surprisingly, the only County in the Northwest was Multnomah (Portland) Oregon with 69.2%. California boasts 7, including both San Francisco County and Los Angeles County.

The Statesman also listed the most Republican counties. None in Washington or Oregon, of course, but Idaho shamefully has 11 and Montana shamefully has 6. Alaska made neither list and California had none, not even the infamous Orange County.



A Nice Story

About losing a race for PCO by a large number.



Apparently

The Seattle Times thinks 10 years in the House or 12 in the Senate makes someone an insider. I do love that kind of hard hitting expose.



18,667

Nice work for a weekend. That's how many doors people knocked on supporting Patty Murray last weekend.



Sometime Next Week

I'm going to be moving and looking for new work. So there may be some slowdown in the number of posts. Just a heads up.



Sherwood Park

Looks like the old Woodway school may be sold to developers. Even though it's an unofficial park now. But the city of Edmonds wants to buy it and make it a park. But they may not have the money.



Sunday, September 19, 2004

Battle Ground

We may have the top of the ticket wrapped up over here in Washington. Baring some incredible turn of events it's safe to say that our electors will cast their votes for Kerry. But Shaun makes a case that the two open races are still important to victory for a Speaker Pelosi. And he does some fundraising for the DCCC.



Columbia Credit Union

I had not heard anything about this other than a little bit from Democracy for Vancouver. And frankly I think I was coming in after the fact. So it's nice for me to see a good rundown in this Daily Kos diary.



Committees in Session

State house and senate committees are meeting for 3 days starting Monday. It'll be the last time for lobbyists to make a pitch to them before the elections. Also good fundraising opportunities.

"Right now, the legislators' pores are open for suggestion," said Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, who chairs the Capital Budget Committee in the House of Representatives. "Plenty of people are shaking me down for policy. It's not a pretty sight."

...

"There will be lots and lots of arm twisting to get checks out of lobbyists," Dunshee said.



Don't Get Me Wrong

I love Mike Cooper, and I hope that he beats Sutherland. But seriously, something has to be done if someone can write a $250,000 check to an organization with the goal of beating Sutherland.



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