Will the BIAW swing WA-08 to Darcy Burner?

Throughout the fall of 2006 the polls showed Darcy Burner steadily closing in on Dave Reichert.  While her internal polling never showed her with a lead, several other polls showed the race within the margin of error during the final weeks, and momentum seemed to be on her side.  Even on election night, trailing by a few thousand votes, there were some experienced vote counters who projected a narrow Burner victory, with late absentee ballots shifting the race her way.

Well, it didn’t happen.  Throughout most of the district late absentees trended toward Dave Reichert, who gradually expanded his lead as votes were tallied.

In retrospect it seems clear that Burner’s momentum stalled around mid October, with the race breaking slightly toward Reichert during the final two weeks of the campaign.  No doubt there were a number of factors responsible for Reichert’s victory, but many observers credit his sexist and demeaning “job interview” ad… and the Burner campaign’s failure to adequately respond.

Will 2008 be a replay?

Once again Burner closed sharply on Reichert, with several polls showing her with a small but significant lead by mid October.  And once again the Reichert campaign has attempted to swing the race his way with a demeaning and dishonest ad.

No doubt the “Harvard Hoax” ad is effective; there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that many viewers come away believing that Burner never earned a degree from Harvard at all.  But this time the Burner campaign has directly responded with an ad of its own, calling Reichert’s lies “pathetic”, and assuring voters that she did indeed graduate from Harvard.

But perhaps the real game changer this election season is the diminishing opportunity for a game changing ad at all, when viewed in the context of the unprecedented torrent of negative advertising that has flooded our airwaves in recent weeks… much of it courtesy of the $7 million the BIAW and RGA dumped into the governor’s race at the last minute.

In the context of this tidal wave of negativity, the “Havard Hoax” ad comes across as just another ripple… just another attack ad lost in the deafening roar of a sea of attack ads.  Add to that the general distraction of the presidential race, and it becomes harder and harder for any one political ad to make a difference.  Even the NRCC’s predictably effective “she’s gonna raise your taxes” ads get lost in the noise of “she’s gonna raise your taxes” ads launched against Gov. Gregoire.

“Yeah, we know already…” the vast majority of voters must be screaming to themselves, “She’s a Democrat.  She’s going to raise our taxes.  We get it.”  Who exactly “she” is, and in what race, well, what’s the difference?

Compare that to the 2006 cycle, when the biggest race on the ticket, Cantwell vs. McGavick, had already effectively been over for weeks, and McGavick shifted toward softer ads to preserve his reputation.  In that context the job interview ad could stand out.  In 2008… well… not so much.

I’m not claiming victory or anything, or making any predictions, but I do think it reasonable to suppose that Reichert has faced a much greater challenge this year in his efforts to close out the campaign trashing Burner’s character and reputation.  And for that, the BIAW and RGA’s seemingly bottomless warchest deserves at least some of the credit.


  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I believe most folks have reached the point of tuning out the attacks. People don’t care anymore about how ingenious partisans are at sliming their opponents. They’re worried about putting food on the table.

  2. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I hope the BIAW’s multimillion-dollar investment in this election flushes down the toilet, and I hope this recession bankrupts the BIAW and its rabid supporters. It’s harsh to wish the latter on anyone, but they’ve got it coming.

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s ironic that Reichert, who exaggerated his role in catching a notorious killer, is trying to save his ass by claiming Burner exaggerated her degree when she didn’t. This shows how bankrupt his candidacy is. He has few accomplishments and no ideas to campaign on, so he pulls trivial nonsense out of his hat hoping it’ll turn into a rabbit. His problem is he knows nothing about rabbits because he’s never hugged one.

  4. 5

    YellowPup spews:

    I thought Burner’s ads have been much better produced, harder hitting, and more incisive than last cycle. They were much better than the state Dem party’s ads in this race. Quite a contrast, actually.

  5. 6

    diamondshards spews:

    This just might be HA’s biggest stretch yet at trying to find a glimmer of hope for Darcy.

    Geez, Goldy, first of all, it’s time to quit licking your wounds over her defeat in ’06, a huge Dem sweep year. Reichert won because WA-08 voters know him and trust him. The interview ad was clever (and not in the least bit sexist) but you’re the only one left who thinks that ad, alone, won Reichert the election.

    On to ’08 – It’s true, viewers, including me, are tuning out the ads. (Three cheers for DVR’s.) But what all eighth district voters know (except you because you don’t live here) is that Reichert is a man of integrity and experience. His voting record proves that he is a good match for this moderate district. We KNOW him here. And we trust him. Not so with Darcy. And word of her recent screed on The Commentators (which, by the way, you failed to mention in your post) is moving through this district like wildfire. She’s toast…..AGAIN!

    But keep digging, Goldy. There’s a pony in there somewhere….

  6. 7

    Jane Balough's Dog spews:

    King’s 16-year-old ballot-counting equipment will effect a slow statewide count that could leave voters wondering Tuesday night who will be the next governor.

    King County already saying that they are going to fraud the vote for the queen before it happens.

  7. 8

    Christine spews:

    It’s iteresting that in her interview with Dave Ross about a month ago, Burner’s stated goals in energy, economy, civil rights and health care had already been voted the same way by Richert. It seems that Burner wants to run against George Bush. Richert may not have authored much new legislation, but he represents my values. He overrode the presidental veto on childrens healt care and had the guts to vote against the 850 billion bailout that most of our other representatives voted for.

    Add to that, Burner’s lies to inflate her resume, I don’t think I could trust her.

  8. 11

    Michael spews:

    Considering the current state of the housing market and the amount of money the BIAW has thrown around they’ve had to put a serious dent in their war chest.

  9. 12

    Christine spews:


    No troll here, I’m voting for lots of Dems,
    Brian Sontag among them. I vote for the best candidate not the best party (because there is none).

    Even retiring democrat State Treasurer Mike Murphy is telling you to vote for the Republican Candidate (Allan Martin) because he is the best candidate.

    You on the other hand sound like a Democratic Troll spouting off whenever someone says something bad about a Democratic Candidate even when it’s true. I bet you didn’t even hear the Dave Ross Interview.

    btw: if you are willing to listen, i’ll tell you the truth about obama’s tax plan. I ran the numbers, and the figures don’t lie. You might save something on you income tax, but every dollar that is shifted from personal tax to business tax will cost you between $1.33 and $5.00 in the form of a hidden national sales tax. If you are willing to share your email, I’ll send you the analysis and you can TRY and find a flaw.

    This is an issue, not just rhetoric.

  10. 13



    “Add to that, Burner’s lies to inflate her resume,”

    Actually, with statements like this, you demonstrate that YOU are the liar.

    Come on, quit repeating the Wingnut lies…that just makes you out to be an asshole.

    And if you don’t know why they are lies…well, you’ve been brainwashed by Wingnut radio!

  11. 14


    Anybody see my comment on Sound Politics? It was under the You Tube of the Commentators debating with Darcy. Maybe that was taking it too far. But Reichert has run for the position 3 times and 3 times has won by smearing his opposition. If we cannot overcome Reichert’s smears, we will never have a Democrat representing us in the 8th.

  12. 15

    Christine spews:

    Darryl: I saw the video.
    She claimed without qualification to have a degree in economics from harvard. No if, ands or buts. She said something like: I loved economics so much that I went on to get a Degree in Ecomomics from Harvard. It’s all over the net now.

    She also claimed in the last election to have been an exec at Microsoft.

    Neither statement is true. They are both unequivocal lies to inflate her resume.

    I don’t understand how the far left can be so ignorant of the facts.

    She will not even answer these remarks with even a “Oh I mispoke” statement.

    And as for Negative Ads, just look at Burner’s Ads. She can not stand on the issues, so she and her minion Time columnist (and i use the word loosely) Emily Heffter have been bashing Reichert in a coordinated campaign to discredit him since 2004.

  13. 16

    Christine spews:

    and Mike Barer:

    I have yet to see a non smearing ad by Burner.

    in 2006 it was all “just like George Bush”
    more of the same now.

    Both the PI and the Times are endorsing Reichert
    among a sea of Democrat endorsements.

    If the dems want WA08, have them choose a more qualified candidate.

  14. 17

    Auburn's Finest spews:

    Christine/GOP plant @ 16:
    Burner has run some 100% positive ads about herself and her policies in both races. Reichert has never once run a single ad that did not throw his bullshit smears at his opponent in order to distract from the fact that he has no policies.

    Maybe you should ask Reichert why he was willing to get Mr. Bush’s help with fund raising appearances in both elections, but he still considers being linked to the President as a “smear.”

    No democrats are endorsing Reichert, but since you don’t seem to be able to make an argument for him without lying, I guess it’s to be expected.

    If Reichert is so respected and trusted by the people of the 8th, then why can’t he manage to earn the trust of more than a threadbare majority of voters?

  15. 18

    seabos84 spews:

    It ain’t the BIAW, it is our chickenshit spineless lame ass go along get along

    Democratic “Leaders” who’ve been cowering from these fascist lies since I moved here 20 years ago.

    My wife and I have a favorite line —

    I think it is from Patty

    ‘That’s not accurate’

    and we use it whenever we hear a lame ass wimpy limp pathetic Dem response to these lying bastards…

    so, we use it a lot.

    By the way all you Dino / Dave Supporters – people as stupid as you SHOULD vote for the bastards who are using you like Kleenex, Charmin and Kotex.

    Everytime the liars say ‘taxes’ or ‘gays’ or ‘presumptuous’ make sure you act like a dog jumping in the air for a ‘treat’ of a dried cracker.

    No community investment = NO economy, unless you think your small business of selling used plastic bags, or matches on the street corner, will be better than the small business a community affords you.


  16. 20

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 12

    You might save something on you income tax, but every dollar that is shifted from personal tax to business tax will cost you between $1.33 and $5.00 in the form of a hidden national sales tax.

    Mathematical proof that the above statement cannot possibly be true:

    Revenue = Price x Quantity Sold
    Net Revenue = Price x Quantity Sold – “Business Tax”

    Profits are maximized when marginal revenue is equal to marginal cost. So, take:

    Rn = P x Q – T

    and differentiate with respect to P:

    MRn = P.

    Notice that, in the marginal revenue computation, your “business tax,” disappears. Therefore, your “business tax” cannot become any form of “hidden national sales tax.”

    If firms are able to increase profits by raising prices after an increase in corporate income tax, then firms are just as able to increase profits by raising prices before the income tax increase.

  17. 21

    zapporo spews:


    We’ve already covered this.
    You were proven wrong over and over.
    Darcy lied.
    Darcy embellished her resume.
    That is an indisputable fact.

    But she didn’t stop there. Instead of defusing the situation, she recorded 16 minutes of screeching rant that clearly shows she has ZERO ability to work across party lines.

    Sheesh. Get real people.

  18. 22

    Michael spews:

    The Dems’ almost won that seat last time around and we’re still within striking distance. The only way that is possible is for there to be plenty of people that think Darcy’s qualified.

  19. 24

    Christine spews:

    Don Joe:
    you certainly didnt get an economic degree.

    gross profit = sales – cost of goods (before administrative overhead and taxes)

    that means to earn an extra dollar to pay for tax (assuming your gross profit is 40%) you need to EARN another $2.50 Where does the $2.50 come from? from you when you go to buy the product. Most Large companies have between 35 and 45% gross margins. Lots of exceptions.
    Microsoft is 75% and Circuit City is 21%.
    Don’t get jealous of business making a lot of profit, BUY THEIR STOCK. These businesses are publicly held and their profits help keep your pension fund healthy.

  20. 25

    Christine spews:

    Additionally, companies are certainly able to raise their prices. They don’t do so because of competition. Increased taxes FORCE them to do so across the board.