Reichert’s flip-flops a “common thing”

Kudos to Seattle Times reporter Emily Heffter for giving a little space to the well documented thesis that Rep. Dave Reichert has been manipulating his voting record to appear more moderate than he is:

Often, he votes with Republicans on procedural motions, then switches sides and votes with Democrats in the final roll call.

For example, on an energy bill last year, Reichert voted with his fellow Republicans several times — against Democratic motions to close the bill to amendments and bring it to a vote. But in the final vote, he sided with Democrats to pass the bill.

“How can you end up on both sides of the vote?” asked Sandeep Kaushik, Burner’s spokesman.

Kaushik says Reichert in fact is trying to manipulate his image to ensure his re-election. Reichert rarely casts the deciding vote when going against his party on an important issue, Kaushik says, and he joins the Democrats when they are going to win anyway.

Sure the refutation doesn’t come until more than halfway through Heffter’s 1200 word piece, and well away from the prime front page real estate on which the article starts, but no reporter has given more thought or space to exploring beneath the surface of Reichert’s actual voting record, despite the fact that his tactics are both common and, well, obvious. How common?

Reichert wouldn’t be the first to use that strategy, said Matt Barreto, a UW political-science professor.

“It is a common thing that you see a lot that allows a politician to portray themselves a moderate,” he said.

And how obvious? Well, listen to Reichert explain his voting record before a gathering of Republicans back in 2006 (courtesy of TVW’s new player widget):

“So when the leadership comes to me and says , Dave you have to vote over here because we want to protect you and keep this majority, I do it.”

That’s Dave Reichert, “conscience driven independent,” in his own damn words… words backed up by Dan Kirkdorffer’s meticulous fisking of Reichert’s voting record, but words which the media have for the most part ignored when addressing the issue of Reichert’s alleged political moderation.  Reichert explains “how things work” back in the other Washington, political science professors validate it and his own voting record demonstrates it.  And yet our local news media, desperately longing for that mythical creature known as the modern moderate Republican, have been complicit in presenting this pro-war, pro-Bush, anti-choice congressman as somehow a perfect fit for his suburban swing district.

Darcy Burner, on the other hand, has somehow been given the label of being too progressive for her district, though on what specific issues the gatekeepers of conventional wisdom never bother to tell us.  On the war?  You can read her Responsible Plan on ending the war for yourself, and see if it’s out of step with the voters in WA-08.  Too progressive on reproductive rights?  On FISA?  On the economy?

Heffter’s piece is a great first step toward setting the record straight on Reichert’s record, but we can’t rely on our local media to tell the whole story.  Darcy is going to have to do that herself, and it’s going to cost a lot of money.  That’s why she needs your help.

Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter, and heading into the homestretch, pundits and big donors are going to size up the competitiveness of the various races based on its outcome.  So please give today and help Darcy hit her end of quarter target.  That’s the only way we’re going to dispel the Reichert myth.


  1. 1

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    You seem to have some sort of a hard-on for Dave Reichert. Is it because he’s not a Neo-socialist politician like just about every other King County politician?

  2. 2

    Voting Guy spews:

    No, Politically Incorrect, it’s the duplicity we don’t like. Voting one way on “procedural” issues and the other way on Final Passage is just another form of doublespeak. And no, every other politician does NOT behave this way

  3. 3

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Wow – just like his pal FlipFlop McCain. Not only does Big Hair Davie say and do anything possible to get elected, he’s worthless even when he is good for his word. What’s this worthless piece of shit actually accomplished while in Congress? I know two Congressman from California who honestly had no idea who he was.

  4. 4

    SeattleJew spews:

    Jeeez nuts!

    For better or worse all legislators have records like this .. Kerry, HR Clinton, BHObama, etc.

    So, as we do regularly, BRS and SJ will donate to Darcy because we think she is a better candidate than Reichert and want to support the Tuesday night Junta. With all due respect to the Junta and the rest of the DB campaign, but I sure as hell would like to see a debate on more meaningful issues than legislative protocol.

    Lookee lookee …

    same thing just happened to Wes Clark. The ex four star made the quite correct observation that Lt. McCain’s service in a POW camp was not ideal training to be a PREXY. Good Point! Of course, the GOP spin machine called fowl and invoked the swift boats which in turn cause Obama to disown an utterly reasonable comment.

    The net result is that a real issue, John McCain’s real qualifications to be CIC and POTUS, will now not be discussed.

    A lot the same dung is coating the WASTATE gubernatoorial festivalities. CG is, as far as I know, a pretty straight assed pol. So the Repricans are at her for receipt of money from the gaming injuns. As if CG is gonna make decisions for a few green backs from red men! Of course, the dems are doping the same thing in return, hinting that Dino is a gangster.

    As a result, we are getting no serious discussion on nay real gubernatorial issue … such as transportation plan, tax reform, immigration, or making the slug the state vegetable.

    My Bubbi woulda said pfehhh on both their houses.

    GOTCHA gotta go!

  5. 7

    Reformed republican spews:

    Methinks SJ misses the point:
    Reichert is very clear in the video speaking to republicans: He votes for certain things like ANWR to “make sure a republican with republican values” is elected in his district. The way to do that is to vote stright republican line on all issues until the final vote and then he only votes with the republicans if his vote is truly needed.

    This is straight from the deceptive mouth of this politician. Certainly, other pols do this too – but this is an intentional strategy to appear moderate while voting straight party line. It is a duplicitous and deliberate attempt to deceive.

    The real question is why and Goldy hits the nail on the head here – it is to appear moderate enough for his district to ensure his reelection so he can really support the far right wing agenda of George Bush.

    There is no doubt that this is “typical” behavior” on some votes – but the analysis shows that Reichert takes this to an extreme deception that virtually no other representative does.

    That Reichert is willing to blithely lie about his true motivations (and admit his true ideology only to a few select republican faithful) makes his disingenuousness even more offensive. I expect politicians to make some “expediency” votes – but Reichert is making a career out of deceptive voting practices.

  6. 9

    SeattleJew spews:


    WADR, all you are sayihng here is that Reichert is a Republican and thatb he tries to vote in ways that he thinks will be a reasonable mix of what he believes and what his District wants.

    Does this mean >>I<< want him re-elected? NOPE, I am well to his left. But I can say that without a need to denigrate him. I doubt VERY much that Reichert is any worse a republican than any of the dems in this state that represent rightward leaning districts are dems.

    If you want profiles in courage, I suggest you do not look at McDermott (it is easy to be a frog when you represent frogs).

  7. 10

    Daddy Love spews:

    End the fucking war.

    And elect Darcy to end the fucking war.

    And vote out Dave Reichert to get lazy, incompetent boobs out of Washington.

  8. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    How is do-nothing congressman Reichert going to explain away not hugging a rabbit?

  9. 12

    cmiklich spews:

    How ignorant can one group of people be? That’s right, you’re liberals. It is who and what you are.

    1) There will never be an end to war. It is beyond naive to believe there can be worldwide peace. There never has been and because of tyrants (like Saddam Hussein, remember him? The one who slaughtered hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of his own people for sport?), there never will be.

    It is the epitome of stupidity and ignorance to believe that all will ever achieve peace (short of devious means. Living in slavery is NOT peace).

    2) Secondly, and far, far less importantly, the article in question was written by a democrat. And, without naming their party affiliation quotes several leftists as objective sources. As everyone knows, leftists are as ignorant as sh!t.

  10. 13

    mark spews:

    If it weren’t for conservatives none of you
    fucktards would have even been born and you’re
    too stupid to even know it.

  11. 14

    YLB spews:

    12 – You’re the loser who thought Cuba and the Chinese were taking “our oil”. It was total bullshit. Not even Mel Martinez of FL would help sell that crap.

    You buy right wing bullshit off those newsletters, right wing hate talk radio, email lists and countless right wing bullshit websites funded by right wing billionaires and multi-millionaires who have cultivated suckers like you for years.

    You are a hollow man.

  12. 16

    Daddy Love spews:

    12 c

    There will never be an end to war. It is beyond naive to believe there can be worldwide peace. There never has been and because of tyrants (like Saddam Hussein, remember him? The one who slaughtered hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of his own people for sport?), there never will be.

    You know, there was a time when people thought that there would “never be an end” to legal, institutionalized slavery, yet it is all but absent from our earth. It is the typical Republican mindset, though, to believe the humans are inherently evil, that because of this is is useless to appeal to our better nature (because it does not exist), and that the tight controls of totalitarian rule are the only answer that will properly restrict the evil that uncontrolled people will do.

    This is why you’re losing. Well, that and the fact that your little band of corrupt thugs can’t govern their way out of a paper bag.

  13. 17

    Daddy Love spews:

    15 p

    Wow, sounds a lot like “I know you are but what am I?” What are you, 12?

    Anyway, your comment is not relevant, because the point is that Dave Reichert uses every possible vote to block Democratic legislation except that when defeat is nigh he changes sides.

    Obama may have voted “present” (which was in the fucking state legislature, wasn’t it?) for many reasons, but blocking his opposition wasn’t one of them.

    And believe me, whether in Illinois or Washington, everyone knows who Barack Obama is. When he walks in the room, everyone turns to look. When Dave Reichert walks into a room, people ask him to get them drinks.