Thanks to reader “Damnaged” for pointing out Michael Moore’s missive on misleading polls: “Put Away your Hankies…”
Like I said, keep working, stop worrying, and ignore the polls.
A lot of Democrats are getting awfully nervous over national polls that show President Bush with as much as a 13 point lead over John Kerry. Well, that’s why the media focuses on the horse race… they want to make you nervous, so that you’ll stay tuned for every second of the homestretch.
For some reason people keep asking me for my prognostication, as if I have any special insight or inside knowledge. And they are usually surprised by my calm confidence that Kerry has the upper hand.
Admittedly, my opinion is based mostly on instinct, but I just don’t trust the polls. I believe that there are large numbers of closeted Kerry voters, struggling to admit their preference to themselves, let alone pollsters. Besides… does anybody really believe that the GOP convention was convincing enough to produce such a large and permanent swing?
Of course, I’m just an arrogant blowhard, so perhaps my optimism is based on wishful thinking. But I feel a lot better thinking wishfully after reading the latest “Kumbaya, Dammit” column by political consultant Dan Carol: “Forget the Polls“.
Well, the dirty little secret is that polling is less scientific than we’re led on.
So I am here to tell you, as a supposed expert on politics, that the race will stay ugly and close to the end — no matter what the latest polls say.
That plus this: we’re gonna win, for sure. No matter what the polls say.
Dan’s a thoughtful guy who has been running campaigns for a living for years, so he’s drawing from a wealth of personal experience. He’s also pretty well connected, so I’m sure he has access to the kind of inside information I can only dream of.
His thesis is that the polls are wrong because they rely on a faulty voter turnout model. He’s counting on Democratic efforts that have registered 3 million new voters nationwide (a 3 to 1 D-to-R ratio in Oregon), and a higher than usual youth vote. (Can anybody say “draft”?)
Personally, I think Democrats are just plain more enthusiastic about this election than Republicans. In Washington state, most of the media was quick to dismiss the Dem’s 20 point turnout advantage in last week’s primary, but I think part of that reflected an eagerness to go to the polls that will be repeated on November 2… nationwide.
Like Dan, I’m not suggesting you can sit back and relax. There’s still a lot of hard work that needs to be done. But jump into the homestretch with the confidence that we can and will pull this out at the end.
Today columnist Kate Riley continues the Seattle Times’ year-long temper tantrum against partisan primaries, by pointing to comparable political fits being thrown in California, Oregon and Alaska as evidence of a potentially brighter, nonpartisan future. [“Don’t pinch me; I have a dream we can improve our political process“]
First let me restate my position on this issue. I have nothing against partisan primaries; it only makes sense that parties should choose their own candidates. Since moving here in 1991, I’ve always found WA’s “open primary” rather silly and open to abuse. I myself have cynically crossed over to vote in the GOP primary, not simply to help select a weaker opponent (think Ellen Craswell and John Carlson), but also as a protest gesture.
On the other hand, I am absolutely flabbergasted that we would reach down into the political muck of the Louisiana bayous to dredge up Initiative 872’s “top-two” primary, a system that will surely introduce an odd political calculous to our already muddled elections.
This is a system that will only enhance the antidemocratic tendencies of party leaders like Chris Vance and his GOPolitiburo — for strict party discipline is the only way for one party to assure a spot in the general election. For example, GOP attorney-general candidate Rob McKenna was nearly outpolled by Democratic runnerup, Mark Sidran. Had this been a top-two primary, and had the GOP allowed McKenna to face a serious challenge, we’d have a Sidran-Senn rematch on November 2.
(Okay… I wouldn’t mind that… but you get the point.)
In fact with all the gnashing of teeth, I’ve seen very little real debate over the merits of the competing primary systems. As far as I can tell, the main argument in favor of an open primary is that voters like it, and the main argument against a partisan primary is that they don’t.
Unlike most of the media whiners, Riley at least tries to put forth a rationale, that partisan primaries lead to more partisan, divided government. Well, A) I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing, and B) it’s anecdotal conjecture. Most other states have partisan primaries, and I’m wondering, how many have legislatures more divided and partisan than ours?
Personally, I’ve always felt that much of the anger over this issue stems from a wistful nostalgia for doing things our own way, and Riley seems to echo this sentiment:
The commonality is not lost on my fellow yearners for something better. Imagine moderates in the West, which was built on independent-minded sensibilities, seizing their state political systems and igniting a new movement to the political center that spreads across the nation.
Yeah, fine. Of course it’s hard to spark a political movement towards the center, since by definition, that’s where we already are.
But more important, I fail to see how adoption of a top-two primary, or stubborn defense of our unconstitutional open system, has anything to do with populism or progressivism or the “independent-minded sensibilities” that Riley so clearly cherishes.
The Times and The Grange and all the other passionate proponents of I-872 have started from the assumption that a 70-year-old progressive reform still has some sort of reformist relevance today. When in fact, all they’re really doing is defending the status quo.
Furthermore, their indignation is largely misplaced, for while you can certainly blame the Legislature and Governor Locke for their ham-fisted last minute efforts to deal with the crisis, this appalling failure of political leadership is only surpassed by I-872 proponents’ total lack of imagination.
You want real election reform? How about Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), a system used worldwide that could preserve the rights of parties while eliminating publicly financed primaries altogether?
An IRV can be a primary and a general election rolled into one. Rather than choosing a single candidate, voters rank their choices in order of preference. If your first choice is eliminated, your vote goes to your second choice, and so on, until a single candidate wins by a clear majority, not just a plurality.
For example, if we had IRV you could safely rank Nader as your first choice, without throwing the election to Bush.
Vote your conscience? Man, what a concept! But not one the Seattle Times apparently wants you to know about, for even though there’s an active signature drive to put IRV before the legislature, the Times and their media cohorts refuse to report on I-318!
For all their populist posturing about the parties denying us the right to vote for the candidate of our choice, the Times doesn’t seem genuinely interested in offering us our choice of primaries. Instead they’ve been inexplicably driving “top-two,” hell bent for election since day one.
I-872 might give voters the chance to deliver a satisfying “fuck you” to Olympia, but as a method of selecting party candidates it clearly sucks.
Given the choice, I’d rather have no primary at all.
Wake up! Primary’s over! We’re into the stretch run!
So kudos to The Columbian for being first out of the gate coming out strong against slot machine Initiative 892: “In Our View: Defeat I-892.”
Great editorial, and I encourage you all to read it. As The Columbian points out, I-892 would permit slot machines at 87 locations in Clark County alone! 87!
They also point out an ironic quote from our friend Timmy:
Eyman told The Associated Press last month that “a monkey could be the sponsor of I-892 and the voters would still approve it.”
Yeah… well. There’s so many places to go with that line.
But I’m going to leave it to your imagination, show uncharacteristic restraint, and instead suggest that we all just pretend that a monkey did indeed sponsor I-892. In the end, this initiative is not about Tim Eyman or tax cuts… it’s about gambling. It’s about putting 18,255 slot machines into over 2000 bars, restaurants and bowling alleys in nearly every community in our state.
It’s about the future of Washington, and a decision that if wrongly made, we will never be able to go back on. For once we enhance the gambling industry’s power in Olympia with an additional $1.2 billion a year in profits, they will surely use it to bring us more gambling, not less.
Okay… so the Times didn’t actually officially endorse Dave Reichert… yet. But you can read between the lines of today’s editorial: “Stop that car! Turn that dial!”
Hell, the headline is transparent enough, but the real giveaway is the fact that they ran this editorial at all.
The King County Sheriff’s office issues a mildly politicized press release, and the state Democratic Party complains. This is routine electioneering — a total non-story.
And yet the Times sees fit to turn it into an editorial attack on Dave Ross? Give me a break.
There’s plenty of important news — not that you’d necessarily know it from reading the front page of the Times — more deserving of self-righteous moralizing than Ross’s failure to dictate the actions of a state party he barely belongs to, or radio duopolist Entercom.
The Times has never been shy about taking sides in political campaigns. Just remember that as you watch their coverage of the 8th District congressional race.
Oops… he did it again. Washington State’s unOfficial Horse’s Ass, Tim Eyman, is polishing up his bad boy image with revelations that he has once again been caught diverting initiative campaign funds for personal use.
A couple weeks ago, through our sister site TaxSanity.org, I joined in a complaint to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) alleging (amongst other things) that over $26,000 reported in June as a printing and mailing expenditure for Initiative 864, actually paid for a fundraising letter on behalf of Tim’s “separate”, personal compensation PAC. We went on to suggest that Tim failed to properly report that the compensation committee’s operations are entirely subsidized by the initiative campaign committee.
The PDC has decided to launch a full investigation.
Tim didn’t help himself much in trying to explain away the discrepancies… in fact, despite initially claiming our complaint was “filled with lies,” he has subsequently admitted to all our charges. In a letter to the PDC, Tim confirmed that the June expenditure was indeed for the compensation fundraising letter, and went on to say that “our campaign committee pays for these mailings and the accounting and other costs associated with our compensation fund.”
Tim justifies these expenses, stating that “the letters sent on behalf of our compensation fund also benefit the campaign committee,” and twice describes his committees activities as part of “an ongoing, year-after-year effort.”
I couldn’t agree more. But… the logic works both ways.
Indeed, a stronger argument can be made that I-864 campaign activities benefit the compensation committee, as Tim explicitly solicits compensation funds by trumpeting his political mischief-making: “If you appreciate our past efforts and you want us to continue fighting for taxpayers, please send us a generous contribution.”
On the other hand, I can find no documented evidence that Tim has ever solicited contributions to his campaign committee on the merits of his outstanding achievements in personal remuneration.
Tim has now filed amended reports restating the purpose of the June expenditure, but making the ridiculous assertion that only 20% of the benefit from the compensation fundraising letter actually accrued to the compensation committee.
Tim can quibble over how much each expense benefits one committee or another, but it is now abundantly clear that these two committees are separate in name only… a rhetorical convenience Eyman uses to falsely claim that he is not compensated from initiative campaign monies. But every penny the campaign committee spends on compensation committee activities is a penny freed up to compensate Tim… that $26,000 expenditure was as good as writing Tim a check.
It is time for the PDC to dispel the fiction, force full disclosure, and then pass on the evidence to the appropriate prosecutorial authorities, so that our more serious allegations of conspiracy to commit wire-fraud and mail-fraud can be fully investigated.
Tim’s always yelling about the need for politicians to be held accountable. Well it’s time for him to be held up to his own standards. And to be hoist by his own petard.
One of the more interesting races on Tuesday was the 36th Legislative District Democratic primary between Rep. Helen Sommers and challenger Alice Woldt. From my perspective, they were both good candidates, but what made this race curious was the enormous — possibly record — amount of money spent in a state house primary.
Legislative primaries are usually low-key affairs, especially since incumbents rarely draw strong challengers. Many incumbents spend less than $20,000. But total spending on this primary could exceed a whopping $400,000, much of it coming from a disgruntled Services Employees International Union, who unsuccessfully targeted Rep. Sommers after her Budget Committee failed to give home health care workers the raise the wanted (and to be fair, deserved.)
Writing in the Seattle Times about Rep. Sommers’ narrow victory, Joni Balter says the union sent a strong message to the Legislature:
The Service Employees International Union sent a message to every legislator in the state. When the tough guys at SEIU come and ask you to jump, the correct response is not “I will think about it” or “I have a budget to balance.” If you would rather not be ground to a pulp next election, the right answer is “How high, sir?”
Joni is one of Seattle’s more thoughtful and evenhanded political commentators, but I think she got this one wrong. That was the message the SEIU intended to send to legislators. The message they really sent was: “Oh my God are we pathetically ineffectual, or what?”
Union “tough guys”? I’ve lived in Philadelphia and New York, cities with unions that make the local SEIU look about as tough as the Seattle Men’s Choir. You want to influence a legislator? You make them an offer they can’t refuse. You want to threaten them? You better back it up, and make sure that, come election day, their political career is sleeping with the fishes.
My regular readers will not be surprised to learn that I generally sympathize with labor on a broad range of issues, and I’m forever grateful for the money they spend fighting the good fight. But it is so disheartening to watch narrow special interest groups, like the evil-genius Building Industry Association of Washington, dominate public policy, while labor — who should be the most powerful and influential political force in the state — can’t even defeat one little old lady!
Personally, I wouldn’t have targeted Sommers, who to be fair, tends to vote overwhelmingly pro-labor. And pro-environment. And pro-other-things-I-believe-in. The SEIU’s interests might have been better served spending the money on behalf of a handful of close general election races, thus possibly swinging control of the Legislature. Win or lose, they would have earned some gratitude.
But if you’re going to put a hit on a politician you damn well better finish them off.
The SEIU seems to be following the Roman dictate, it’s better to be feared than loved. But a couple more fiascos like this, and they’ll be neither.
Olympia, WA, September 15 — Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed released the results of an “unscientific survey” of 704 voters, finding that 79% oppose the state’s new partisan primary. The state’s popular “blanket primary”, which allowed voters to choose candidates in either party, was recently ruled unconstitutional.
Secretary Reed, an outspoken critic of change, said he was unsurprised by the results after his office received thousands of angry phone calls and emails, apparently demanding the state violate the constitution.
Other results from the survey reveal that 68% of voters oppose paying taxes, while 72% want dramatically higher spending on roads, health care and education. 62% of voters prefer no taxes and higher government spending.
74% of voters support a free lunch, and 82% want to have their cake and eat it too.
Surprisingly, only 34% of those surveyed favor a controversial initiative that would ban death, although support climbs dramatically when the proposed language includes a Monkey’s Paw provision.
When asked for comment, professional initiative panderer Tim Eyman blamed the human condition on King County Executive Ron Sims and his “Cadillac Council”, claiming that the survey represents the “final nail in the coffin of, uh… coffins.”
Representatives of the undertakers lobby were not available for comment.
I made the rounds of a few of the candidates parties last night. I’m not really sure why, as I really don’t know anybody at these affairs. To be honest, while I somehow manage to get my hands on some good insider information, little of it comes directly from political insiders.
Most of my time was spent split between the Sims and Senn parties. I much preferred Senn’s, not as much because they had something to celebrate, but because they had Fat Tire Ale on tap. I found the conversation a little more interesting there too… which may or may not have had something to do with the Fat Tire Ale as well.
Anyway… in case you’re interested in my post election observations, here they are.
Many of our state’s most influential opinion makers have had a stick up their collective butts over the loss of our open primary (yes, I’m looking at you, Seattle Times editorial board.) We heard dire warnings about how voter anger at being asked to (gasp) declare a party in order to vote in a party primary, would lead to a precipitous plunge in voter turnout. In fact, I’d say some editorialists seemed to be promoting voter apathy as a form of patriotic political protest.
Well, despite predictions of record low turnout, voters cast ballots in higher than expected numbers, meeting or exceeding average turnout for similar elections. Oh sure, the ridiculous “Louisiana style” top-two initiative will still pass in November, under the premise that we’d rather have a primary system that sucks over a system that Gary Locke would approve. But if we’re going with a non-partisan runoff, I say let’s save some real bucks and chuck the primary entirely, moving instead to Instant Runoff Voting.
Another interesting point about our one-time experiment with a “partisan primary” (a term that most rational voters would consider redundant), is the fact that over 140,000 more Democratic ballots were cast statewide than Republican.
Oh you’re hearing all sorts of excuses from Republican officials about how this is because they didn’t have as many interesting races (you can thank Chris Vance’s GOPolitburo for that), but the truth is, all extenuating circumstances aside, Democrats have an electoral advantage in statewide races. I base this assertion on the simple fact that Dems tend to win statewide races.
In the 12 years I’ve been voting in Washington, with the exception of their inexplicable lock on the Secretary of State’s office, R’s have won, what… 2 statewide races? (Nitpicker alert: I’m asking, not stating.)
You can’t blame it all on right-wing wacko candidates like Ellen Craswell and John Carlson (hey… I personally like you John, but you’ve got to admit you’re a bit of right-wing wacko.) The fact is, this is a Democratic leaning state, and I just don’t think Dino Rossi’s implied campaign slogan “I’m not as scary as Ellen Craswell and John Carlson” is going to be enough to make a difference come November 2.
Let’s take a look at last nights results from the two highest profile statewide races, Governor and Attorney General. In both races, the Democratic winner out-polled the Republican winner, despite drawing a strong opponent. Hell… in the AG’s race, Democratic runner-up Mark Sidran nearly out-polled GOP nominee Rob McKenna.
With 98% of precincts reporting, total votes for each party in the two races breaks down as follows:
Democrat GOP Attorney General 406,353 251,887 Governor 432,997 287,368
Now I don’t expect the Democrats to win either office by a 20 point margin, but there’s no way the GOP can spin away the inherent Democratic advantage. Add in Gregoire’s and Senn’s advantage in statewide name recognition, and the GOP will need a hefty check from the US Chamber of Commerce to stay competitive.
Well, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am by the results. I had hoped that Ron Sims would be rewarded for the desperately needed political leadership he showed in embracing a bold tax reform proposal, but for many reasons, he just didn’t catch on with Democratic voters.
Tim Eyman is blabbing that this was a referendum on an income tax, but that is load of crap. I bet you if you polled voters in this state, a bare majority might have been aware that Ron Sims even had a tax reform plan, but few could tell you any details.
In the end, Sims finished 35 to 40 points behind Gregoire… exactly where he was before he started focusing on tax reform in May.
The simple fact is, Gregoire was the stronger candidate in this election. She had the party backing, she had the money, she had the statewide name recognition from her years as a popular Attorney General… she was the clear frontrunner from day one. And Sims was also likely a victim of his own tell-it-like-it-is brand of political leadership, where his strong defense of sometimes unpopular issues has polarized the electorate. After all, the fact that Tim Eyman and his ilk so revile Ron, shows just how effective a leader he really is.
I also think that many Democratic voters went with the safe candidate, knowing that closet wacko Dino Rossi will present a tougher challenge than open wackos Craswell and Carlson.
I am more of a believer in Ron Sims than I was before he entered this race, and I am confident he will remain an ardent support of tax reform.
The biggest question posed by Deborah Senn’s relatively comfortable victory over Mark Sidran, is whether the $1.5 million attack ad campaign sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce helped or hurt her. In the ensuing controversy, Sidran was completely knocked out of the news, and I suspect Senn received a substantial sympathy vote.
On the other hand, special interests spend so much money on negative advertising because it works, and I’m sure the attack ads cost Senn more than a few votes.
Was it a wash? Who knows. Sidran did best in areas where he had the greatest name recognition, earning narrow victories or drawing even in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Thurston counties. But Senn trounced Sidran in much of the rest of the state.
The good news is that Washington voters didn’t give the smear campaign’s backers their money’s worth. The bad news is that there is a lot more attack ad money to come.
8th Congressional District
What more do you need to say? Household name candidates Dave Reichert and Dave Ross convincingly won their respective primaries against some strong, but lesser known opponents.
The biggest surprise was how little traction Alex Alban’s paid media campaign bought him. For most of the night it looked like he might come in third behind perennial candidate and incredibly-awful-public-speaker Heidi Behrens-Bennedict.
One interesting side note: while retiring Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn long seemed invincible, her long incumbency may have covered up a quiet shift in the 8th District’s electorate. Ross out-polled Reichert by over 3500 votes, and the combined totals gave the Dems a 35,438 to 29,557 advantage.
The Democrats have a strong shot at winning this seat
Hey Tim… show me that tax revolt!
Tax levies across the state won convincing majorities, although a few failed to meet the ridiculous 60% supermajority requirement. In Seattle, the extremely important Families & Education Levy passed with over 62% of the vote. In Tim Eyman’s home town of Mukilteo, a much needed EMS levy passed with 63% of the vote. (Hope you choke on that extra $0.35/$1000 tax increase, Tim.)
More analysis later…
I’ll blog more on this in the morning, but I just wanted to make one comment on Ron Sims’ disappointing showing against Christine Gregoire, and what it says about his tax reform.
Ron Sims was 35-40 points behind when he announced his tax plan. And at the moment, it looks like he’ll lose by a similar amount.
Don’t let anybody kid you that this was a referendum on tax reform. It was a primary election.
I don’t expect any candidates to be trumpeting their HorsesAss.org endorsement in their TV ads, but for what it’s worth, here they are.
For governor, an overwhelming, unqualified endorsement of Ron Sims. You listen to Dino Rossi and Christine Gregoire speak about what they want to achieve as governor, and it’s hard to disagree with them. And then Ron gets up there and tells you how he’s going to achieve it. What this state has sorely lacked for the last eight years is leadership, and for that quality alone Ron gets my vote.
I can forgive Gregoire for her office’s humorless and selective persecution of my “horse’s ass” initiative last year. What I can’t forgive her for is her timid and dishonest reaction to Ron’s bold tax reform proposal. Gregoire called the Sims’ plan “dead on arrival” and said that “leadership is about getting things done.” In my opinion, that’s not leading, that’s following.
And to all you scaredy-cat big D’s who prefer Sims but are voting for Gregoire because you think she’ll be the stronger candidate against Rossi, I say, you get the candidate you deserve.
Up until last week I wasn’t entirely decided on this one. I like Mark Sidran. He’s smart, funny, competent, experienced… exactly the sort of Republican I could see myself voting for. But in a Democratic primary, the edge goes to Deborah Senn, who is equally competent — if not quite so funny — and, well… a real Democrat.
I’d always been leaning towards Senn because I want an attorney general who is more concerned with defending the rights of citizens than corporations. And the million dollar smear campaign engineered by the GOP and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce (figure it out for yourself) was the clincher.
I’m voting for Senn because I think she’ll make the best attorney general. But I’m also voting for her because I want to give the finger to the powerful business interests who tried to buy this election.
(Oh… and in the unlikely case that a Republican is looking to me for electoral guidance, absolutely go for Mike Vaska. Not only is he incredibly more qualified than Rob McKenna, if he wins the nomination it will be a nice “up your’s” to state Republican Party
dictator chair Chris Vance.)
Seattle Families and Education Levy
The purpose of this levy is to close the achievement gap between different income and racial groups by providing “readiness for school” programs. Things like preschool, health clinics at high schools and middle schools, social workers to help families deal with truancy and other problems.
Let’s not sugar coat it. If you are narrow-minded, short-sighted and mean-spirited enough to vote against this levy, I’m going to go to your house and grab the money out of your wallet myself, you sick, selfish bastard.
Um… that means, vote Yes.
8th Congressional District
In the Democratic primary, the choice is clear: Dave Ross. Or maybe Alex Alben. They are both strong candidates who I trust to make the right decisions in Congress. Fortunately, I don’t vote in the 8th District, so I don’t have to make up my mind. (And I have nothing against Heidi Behrens-Benedict, except her name is too long, and she’s an incredibly awful public speaker.)
If I was voting on the Republican side, Conrad Lee would be my hands down pick. And that my friends is why I don’t mourn the passing of our ridiculous “open primary.”
I say, write in Beavis & Butthead creator “Mike Judge” for every position. Like 99.99% of voters, I am totally unqualified to elect judges, so who am I to endorse any?
That said, under no circumstances are you to vote for BIAW-stooge Jim Johnson for Supreme Court. No, really. If you do fill in the little circle next to his name, your ballot will burst into flames, and you’re likely to get a nasty burn.
So that’s it. My hands are cramping so that’s all the endorsements you’ll see from me tonight. Follow them… don’t follow them… it’s a secret ballot, so what will I know.
Just whatever you do, ignore all the “this isn’t the primary we want” whining and get out there and vote. Unless of course, you plan to vote for that nutcase, Jim Johnson, in which case, I suggest you just stay at home.
The truth is, we’ll probably never know who ponied up the $1.5 million to pay for the attack ads on Democratic AG candidate Deborah Senn. The Voters Education Committee… the US Chamber of Commerce… it’s all just part of a shell game designed to misdirect and confuse.
What you can be sure of is that this wasn’t some plan hatched in D.C. to knock out an AG candidate in Washington state. This was a plot conceived and executed here, by prominent Republicans, who then went looking for the money to finance the scheme.
VEC director Bruce Boram — a longtime GOP consultant — is laughably disingenuous when he claims the ads aren’t political. And the state GOP is equally laughable when they claim they had nothing to do with it, despite the fact that their lawyers, officers, consultants, and major donors have their fingerprints all over it.
I’ll be posting a few endorsements later today. It shouldn’t be hard to guess who I’m endorsing for attorney-general.
The reports are in, and the Voters Education Committee’s sole financial backer turns out to be the United States Chamber of Commerce… to the tune of $1.5 million!
Washington state is losing control of its electoral process. First we have Canadian and Nevadan gambling conglomerates buying Initiative 892 onto the ballot, and now we have a DC based organization secretly spending $1.5 million to influence the Democratic primary for Attorney General.
This is both frightening and sad.
I’ll have more on this later after I do a little research.
Supposedly we’ll know tomorrow who paid for the anti-Senn attack ads, but for now at least, they’re off the air. [Group relents; anti-Senn ad to be pulled]
In response to a law suit filed by the Attorney General at the request of the Public Disclosure Commission, the shadowy Voters Education Committee has agreed to disclose contributions by 5PM Sunday, and has voluntarily pulled the ads off the air. Of course, the ads have already run hundreds of times, and in a close primary race, the damage may already have been done. If Mark Sidran beats Deborah Senn by a few percentage points, the VEC will have been well rewarded for their efforts, whatever fines are eventually levied.
The GOP continues to cynically deny that it has anything to do with the unprecedented $1.2 million smear campaign, but if it walks like an elephant, and it talks like an elephant… it’s an elephant. The VEC is run by prominent Republicans. It is clearly just an arm of the pro-business, GOP-backed United for Washington, whose board is filled with prominent Republicans. And the candidate who gains the most from knocking off the Democratic frontrunner is Republican AG candidate Rob McKenna.
Indeed, of UfW’s 21 directors, at least 18 have contributed to McKenna’s campaign.
I’ll say it again: this is an important race, and the fact that powerful business interests are willing to go to such lengths to influence the outcome, shows you just how important. I hope voters send a message on Tuesday that they won’t tolerate such dishonest and illegal tactics… by electing Deborah Senn.