Not a Reason

I’m not sure if this editorial in the Yakima Herald is pro or anti gay marriage. But the editorial is pro-having Reagan Dunn talk about the issue. Um, fine, I guess. That’s a pretty bold stance that candidates be allowed to express their opinion. But what the hell, this intro?

Reagan Dunn is a Republican trueblood. His first name comes directly from the president whose legacy still dominates the GOP almost a quarter-century after he left office. His mother, the late Jennifer Dunn, was a state party chair in the 1980s and in the 1990s represented the eastern Seattle suburbs as 8th District congresswoman.

Dunn, a King County councilman, would seem the natural party nominee in his bid to succeed fellow Republican Rob McKenna as state attorney general.

Why do things his mother did (including naming him!) count as political bona fides? The only thing that they mention about his time in office is his vote, eventually, for a pro-gay marriage resolution. A non binding resolution. Not the actual policies he’s advanced on the King County Council that might make him a worthwhile potential nominee. Not how he might shape the AG’s office if he got elected. His mother. Wow.


  1. 1

    Michael spews:

    When the best they can do is point out that he’s named after governor Reagan (born in ’71), that’s some mighty weak sauce they’re serving.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Don’t worry, guys, newspapers like this — which, like cotton candy, contain nothing except sugar and puffed air — won’t be around much longer. They can’t get away forever with charging people for content and then printing no content.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Journalism sure has gone downhill in recent years. If you want to be a serious journalist nowadays, you have to own your own blog.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    But then, the Yakima Herald-Republic is owned by the Seattle Times, and their editorial board is a farm club for the ST editorial board, so what do you expect?

    Btw, there’s a typo in their masthead. It should read Yakima Herald-Republican.

  5. 5

    proud leftist spews:

    Republicans are, of course, monarchical. They are not fond of democracy. They’d like Jeb Bush to run for president. They’d like Reagan Dunn, despite his lack of bona fides, to be the next Attorney General. Wow. Fuck that, he’s got the name and the familial roots. Do any of you Rs out there think that Reagan Dunn is actually the best R, considering experience and ability, to be the top lawmaker in this state? Really?

  6. 6

    Pete spews:

    @5 To be fair, Democrats have political dynasties, too; the Kennedys, Al Gore, Evan Bayh, etc. Their plutocrats just don’t seem to be quite as delusional, ala Romney, McCain, and Dubya, about being born on third base and claiming they hit a triple.

    Also, the AG isn’t a lawmaker; s/he is the top law enforcement officer. But still. Reagan Dunn? A man who’s hardly ever been a practicing lawyer in his career?

  7. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    What you tend to see in the Democratic dynasties is a bit of “entitlement guilt”, which translates into an effort to over-compensate for being born rich into doing more for the poor. In it’s best incarnation, it’s kind of a “noblese oblige” (obligations of the nobility, for the un-initiated). Thus, the Kennedy brothers used their fame, and political power to suppor the Civil Rights movement, to help people in poverty, etc. Al Gore volunteered for Vietnam, although he had a couple of exemptions available to him (he went to Vietnam but was assigned a non-combat duty).

    Agreed, that one would expect that Dunn have more experience in the actual practice of law for the top A.G. spot. Criminal experience would be helpful, either as a deputy prosecutor or defense attorney. Or work in family court, where he could understand the obligations of the state for the disabled and foster kids (a subject which has led to big payouts for lack of attention and budget in this state).

    But the Republicans don’t see the A.G. spot as a job. They see it as a jumping-off point for higher office. They figure Dunn can always hire other people who know the A.G. job to perform it for him, while he moves upward and out.

  8. 8

    Just Curious spews:

    Umm, do none of you know that Dunn practiced law privately with Inslee Best and later as a federal prosecutor with the Justice Department? He has more years and overall experience than his opponent, Bob Ferguson. He served in D.C., Florida, and Washington before being appointed and then elected to the Council.

    Criticize him for his policies if you want, but don’t criticize him because the newspapers fail to report his policies or you haven’t done your own research. C’mon, man.

  9. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 8: Fair enough, we were rather dismissive of his credentials as an attorney before becoming a politician. So let’s discuss it for a bit.

    Most of the bio’s I’ve seen on Reagan Dunn don’t say much about his private practic in a Bellevue firm. Even the dates are mushy.

    Assuming he took the straight path from high school to college and then to graduate school, the earliest he could have sat for the bar exam in 1996. Bar records show that he was licensed in January 1999, so I would assume that he took and passed the fall 1998 bar exam.

    That would leave him about two or three years at most, to work in private practice before switching to the Attorney General’s office at the start of the George W. Bush administration in 2001. Dunn might have left because it became clear he wasn’t on the “partnership track”, or because he considered the federal job an opportunity for advancement or higher political office. Anyway, less than two years of private practice isn’t really enough time to get your feet wet.

    That brings us to his the justice department. His resume sounds impressive, until you realize he went through four or five years (the dates are, again, vague) working for the justice department in D.C. (three different positions), then as a deputy prosecutor in South Florida, then back to D.C. for some actual prosecutorial experience, then back to Seattle as a deputy prosecutor under John McKay. You have to wonder if he ever unpacked his bags!

    Now, if 99% of us had such a resume and we tried to get a job in private practice or in private industry, without a mentor clearing the path ahead of us, the resume would be rejected. Why? Too many jobs in too little time. Not enough time to take a special project from start to finish and measure it’s success, probably not even enough time in a single office to see a prosecution of a simple case from indictment through trial through sentencing. Recruiters and human resource folks would wonder why you skipped through so many positions so quckly. Were you hard to work with? Were you only marginally competent, so your supervisers were glad to recommend you so you would transfer out? I’m not saying any of the criticisms is necessarily valid – I’m just saying that it happens every day, and most of us wouldn’t even get past the first cut with that kind of resume. Unless you are a “golden boy”.

    Which is why Reagan Dunn has all the hallmarks of a person selected early as a “golden boy” (or girl) who’s mentors will take them through a number of positions to get their ticket punched and holes in their resume filled in.

    I would be a lot more impressed if he just spent the ten years in the Justice Dept., starting as a deputy prosecutor handling the mundane cases and working his way up to a serious level of administrative responsibility within the office.

    Now, I’m sure Reagan Dunn would chaffe at being called a “golden boy”. As political dynasties go, his parents were more akin to “working class” than blue-bloods. That can be good, in that Dunn might have acquired a bit of that work ethic. But it can also be bad, as quite a few of those in similar situations continue to believe that they received no special privileges, ignoring the obvious. George W. Bush might have been “born on third base and thinks he hit a triple”, but sometimes these folks are “born on second base, and think they hit a double”. Better, but with the potential to be troublesome.

  10. 10

    rhp6033 spews:

    In fairness to Dunn, you could point to Bobby Kennedy as another “fair-haired boy” who went almost directly from Law School to being a Congressional attorney to J.F.K’s campaign chairman to head of the Justice Dept.

    When quizzed about Bobby Kennedy’s qualifications to lead the Justice Dept., J.F.K. joked that it was about the only thing he WAS qualified to do. There was an element of truth in that – being a law school graduate qualifies you do do everything, but also nothing, depending upon what you do with it. Reports laughed, they understood the joke. They also appreciated that JFK was poking his younger brother in the ribs by making the joke in his presence, and Bobby Kennedy reciprocated by turning re-faced with a slight case of embarrasement.

  11. 11

    mookie blaylock spews:

    Funny how moron rhpee claims that republicans use the ag’s office as jumping off point for higher office.

    Dumb ass rhpee seems to have forgoten where the current gov came from and what her party affiliation is
    Dumb ass rhpee owns himself again…..would you hire this fool as your attorney? Lmfao….

  12. 12

    rhp6033 spews:

    Clueless monkey at # 11: The fact that the A.G. office is a jumping-point for higher office has never been subject to debate. The discussion was how the future candidate got into that position, and what qualifications they brought to the table.

    Similarly, for most of the first hundred years in this country, being the Secretary of State was the jumping-point to the Presidency.

    But I guess you think that “future party functionary” is an adequate job qualification for leading the highest law-enforcement position in the state?

    Of course, you missed the point of the discussion again, or chose to ignore it. I was trying to be rather even-handed – I even took a jab at Bobby Kennedy, for heaven’s sake. You just showed your troll credentials.

  13. 13

    ArtFart spews:

    If Dunn worked for John McKay, it would be interesting to say the least to find out what McKay thinks of him.

  14. 14

    Michael spews:


    Umm, do none of you know that Dunn practiced law privately with Inslee

    Saw that on his Wikipedia page. But, I wasn’t sure if that Inslee was Jay as it only lists the last name.

  15. 15

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Reason is the bastion of liberals and scientists Carl. Republicans have long understood it is about the magic.

  16. 16

    Just Curious spews:


    McKay has endorsed Dunn. Don’t know if that’s a party thing or a personal thing, but I do know that McKay has disavowed himself from the Republican party ever since getting fired by Karl Rove.