One of the bellwether contests this November in the battle for control of the state House is being fought in the 25th Legislative District, where Democratic incumbent Rep. Dawn Morrell garnered only 40% of the vote in a six-way race, compared to GOP runner-up Hans Zeiger’s impressive 36%. There hasn’t been much press coverage of this pivotal race, but what little we’ve seen all focuses on the the same thing: it’s gonna be close.
As a four-term incumbent, Rep. Morrell should be familiar to 25th LD voters; she’s a registered nurse, a moderate Dem and the chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus. But what do we really know about Zeiger, other than the fact that he might win? Well, if you read the papers, not all that much.
In covering the “tight race” in the 25th, the Seattle Times merely refers to Zeiger as Morrell’s “Republican challenger,” while NW Digest is only a bit less concise, describing Zeiger as a “young GOP upstart … poised to make this a huge upset in November.” The Bellingham Herald also focuses on what it calls a “tough re-election runoff,” but is at least a bit more expository, describing Zeiger as a “political newcomer … a writer and nonprofit professional,” while in its post-primary coverage, the Fife Free Press couldn’t even bother to describe Zeiger at all, instead choosing to let him paint a picture of himself with his own carefully worded written statement:
“As we go forward, I hope that we can conduct ourselves with integrity, civility and a bold determination to preserve our freedom in this most beautiful corner of creation called Washington state,” Zeiger said.
My gosh, what a nice, pleasant, well-spoken, young man, you might be thinking, and you might continue to think just that… if not for Zeiger’s long written record of not quite so carefully chosen words that establish him as a batshit-crazy, far-right-wing, Christianist nutcase whose utter lack of civility, toleration, statesmanship and rhetorical restraint makes Pam Roach sound like Adlai Stevenson.
In one of his many commentaries written for right-wing mouthpiece WorldNetDaily (yes, he’s a regular contributor to WorldNetDaily), Zeiger displays his profound intolerance of religious diversity, railing against Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its president, Barry Lynn:
Frustrated with the fact that the bulk of people involved in the National Day of Prayer actually believe in God, Lynn and his left-wing atheist-secularist-ecumenist allies are holding their own counter-events this year. [...] Unitarians, mainstream Baptists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, members of the “Military Pagan Network” and other watered-down ecumenists will hold an “Interfaith Day of Prayer and Reflection” on the steps of the Oklahoma State Capitol today to pray to the generic god.
But … the significant difference between the kumbaya sessions and interfaith vigils and atheist protests of the Religious Left and the Bible studies and prayer circles of the Religious Right is that our God is real.
Man… hating on Unitarians, Baptists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and their false gods. If that’s Zeiger’s idea of being civil, I’d hate to see him in a bad mood. But in fact, that type of harsh rhetoric is nothing compared to Zeiger’s screeds on education in the oxymoronically named Intellectual Conservative:
This week, the National Education Association at its annual convention is bestowing an award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights to Kevin Jennings, co-founder and director of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). This is notable, not because the NEA is championing the radical homosexual agenda (it has long done so), and not because GLSEN is in our schools (it has long been there), but because both are terrorist organizations and we ought to be reminded of that.
[...] We speak much of terror networks in our time, and here is one of the vilest, for it has made greater progress in the tearing down of American institutions and ideals than Iraq or Al Quaeda have. NEA and GLSEN are not the only groups in the network; the ACLU and NARAL and Planned Parenthood and Americans United for Separation of Church and State and others come to mind.
And we all know what we do to terrorists.
Okay, yeah, sure, the NEA and its “Bolshevist platform” are standard right-wing boogeymen, as are the queers, the pagans, the atheists (and I suppose now, the Unitarians, mainstream Baptists, Muslims, Jews and, of course, those war-mongering Buddhists). But it’s not like Zeiger is so completely batshit-crazy that he’d stray into attacking, say, cute little girls wearing badge-covered sashes…
Next month, the Girl Scouts USA national convention will be held in Atlanta. It will be a gathering of radical feminists, lesbians, and cookie peddlers… During the last couple years, it has become clear that the Girl Scouts – nationally and, in many cases, locally – is allied with the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood… The Girl Scouts is almost as much a part of the radical feminist movement as the National Organization for Women. Knowing the radical agenda of the national Girl Scouts organization, parents need to take action.
That’s the Girl Scouts, for chrissakes… the goddamn Girl Scouts! Cookie peddlers, yes (mmm, Thin Mints)… but radical feminist lesbians? Is this guy out of his fucking mind?
Well… um… yes, he is — and you’d think that a competitive legislative challenger who abuses Unitarians, Baptists, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists for praying to a “generic god,” who accuses teachers unions and gay rights organizations of being a more dangerous “terrorist” threat than al Qaeda, and who derides Girl Scouts USA as a gathering of radical, feminist, lesbian, cookie-peddling abortionists… well, you’d think Zeiger’s own rather radical and offensive views might have earned him a tad more coverage from our local press. There’s a treasure trove of material to work from, just in the Google cache alone; I mean, this is a great story!
Instead, the voters of the 25th LD are treated to crickets from their local reporters, even after a press release went out alerting the media to the more than 50 pages of embarrassing rants that he’s already scrubbed from websites like IntellectualConservative.com. How is this even possible? If I were to run for office, would the press really ignore my long, foul-mouthed record here on HA?
Oh, we’ll get the usual horse race coverage as the November election approaches, no doubt, but if voters actually knew Zeiger for the vile, hateful, intolerant, dominionist theocrat he really is — you know, if voters knew Zeiger from his own words — there’d be no horse race to cover. Which I hope doesn’t explain the pathetic coverage we’ve seen thus far.