While campaigning, legislative candidates like to point out that people are sick of the partisan gridlock that has paralyzed Congress.
If elected, many of them say, they will work across the aisle, unlike the politicians in the other Washington. (I am basing this on conversations with numerous legislative candidates this election cycle.)
It turns out that many who are sent to Olympia forget that campaign promise.
According to study by Georgetown’s Boris Shor and Princeton’s Nolan McCarty state Legislatures are becoming increasingly polarized. And Washington state is ranked fourth in overall polarization, behind California, Colorado and Arizona.
Polarized doesn’t mean “most ideologically extreme,” but rather “the average ideological distance between the median Democrat and Republican in the state legislature,” according to the Washington Post.
Some of the first shots have been fired in the battle over dueling gun initiatives slated for the November ballot.
A used target, the type found at a shooting range, was left on the League of Women Voters’ doorstep in Seattle earlier this month.
Last week, another one was found. In a news release, the league pointed out they have endorsed Initiative 594, which would expand background checks on gun purchases made online or at gun shows. And they called on proponents of Initiative 591, the counter measure, to publicly reject the acts of “intimidation.”
But Alan Gottlieb, who is one of the key backers of I-591, which would prohibit the expansion of background checks beyond what currently exists, said there is no way anybody from “his side” left those targets.
“Nobody with experience with a firearm would shoot that poorly,” Gottlieb said.
And he said, he would love to loan league members a firearm if they are “feeling threatened.”
But he added, if I-594 were to pass, he wouldn’t be able to loan anyone from the league a firearm.
The league, a nonpartisan group, wrote their members are, “committed to finding solutions to gun violence, not downplaying it or making light of it,” said Kim Abel, President of the League of Women Voters Washington (LWVWA).
A recent poll showed the measure expanding background checks is gaining support.
The Seattle Police Department is investigating the incidents.
(The photo above is a picture of the targets found in Seattle.)]]>
Abigail Rose, who recently celebrated her first birthday, is no stranger to inspiring political goodwill from both sides of the aisle.
When she was born, the U.S. President sent her mother, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, a note saying he was praying for the little girl known as the “miracle baby.”
On Wednesday, the infant inspired a standing ovation on the U.S. House floor.
U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, was visibly emotional while speaking about about the little girl.
Boehner introduced Dr. Jessica Bienstock, the doctor who administered the experimental treatment at Johns Hopkins University and helped the baby survive a normally-fatal condition known as Potter’s Syndrome.
The child was born, three months premature, weighing 2 pounds, 12 ounces and without kidneys. She is on dialysis and is expected to receive a kidney transplant from her father this fall. She’s also expected to live a normal adult life.
A poll released today shows a November ballot initiative, which would expand background checks on private and online gun sales is gaining support among Washington voters.
In April, a Stuart Elway poll showed the majority of the state’s voters supported two diametrically opposed gun initiatives slated for the November ballot: one expanding background checks on private and online gun sales and the other preventing the expansion of background checks.
The most recent Elway Poll released Tuesday showed voters have taken a closer look at the so-called dueling initiatives and the pro-background check initiative’s campaign is gaining momentum.
The polling was done July 8-11 and surveyed 506 registered voters.
Here are some highlights from the survey:
-In April, the poll showed 50 percent of voters who wanted expanded background checks (I-594) planned to vote for I-591, which would restrict adding background checks. This month, that dropped to 40 percent of those favoring more extensive checks intending to vote for the measure preventing such checks. If both measures were to pass, it would likely go to the state’s supreme court.
-The more recent poll states the shift is indicative of more voters casting a vote that aligns with their thoughts on gun control. Voters are in favor of expanding background checks to private and online gun sales by a 2:1 margin over those who would like to leave the system as it is.
-The partisan divide remains: 65 percent of Republicans were in favor of I-591 (down from 72 percent in April) while 55 percent of Democrats were opposed to I-591 (up from 42 percent in April).
Both measures are attracting a lot of attention and money. The Associated Press recently reported to two campaigns have pulled nearly $3.6 million in contributions. Pro-background supporters have raised nearly $2.7 million for I-594, while those who are opposed to any changes have raised about $800,000 for I-591.
Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik – a Democrat – has won a prized endorsement for his reelection from his former Republican opponent.
Republican Brent Boger – an assistant city attorney in Vancouver and a Washougal city councilor – faced off with Golik in the 2010 prosecutor’s race.
Today (July 14), Golik’s former rival became an ally when Boger endorsed Golik for reelection as prosecutor, passing over Republican prosecutor candidate Josephine Townsend.
“I’m very flattered to have his support…,” Golik said. “It obviously means a great deal to me.”
Since 2010, Boger said he’s been closely watching Golik’s work in the prosecutor’s office.
“I’ve observed what Tony has done in the last four years, and he has followed through with the promises he made, particularly the Elder Justice Center,” Boger said.
Understandably, Golik said, he is happy and proud to have earned Boger’s support.
“It’s an endorsement from a person who really understands the job, and I know has certainly paid attention to how the office is running since I was elected,” Golik said.
“He has a very good understanding of the position and what it takes to do the job because he thoroughly researched it, and I know he put in a great deal of thought before running (in 2010).”
Boger said his decision also was based on a comparison of Golik’s and Townsend’s professional experience. (Boger and Townsend worked together at one time in the Vancouver City Attorney’s Office.)
“The same argument Tony used against me four years ago to some degree could apply to her,” Boger said of Townsend. “I don’t believe she has any felony prosecutorial experience.”
In response to the endorsement, Townsend said: “I have not talked to Brent about the position in any detail. I think that it is always better to hear each person’s perspective about the position before endorsing.”
Boger said Golik is the first Democratic candidate he’s ever endorsed, albeit Boger now questions whether a prosecutor election should, in fact, be partisan.
Here is Boger’s formal endorsement:
“Today, I endorse Tony Golik for reelection as Clark County Prosecuting Attorney. I have never publicly endorsed a Democrat before, and I support the remainder of the Republican ticket this year. I endorse Tony now for professional reasons. There is not much partisan about the County Prosecutor’s Office.
Tony has done an outstanding job the last four years, including following through on promises he made four years ago when we both ran for the job. One example of this is the Elder Justice Center, which fulfills a critical need for our community.
Please, join me in supporting Tony’s reelection as Clark County Prosecuting Attorney.
2010 Republican Nominee, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney”
This month marked the one-year anniversary of the oil-train explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed more than 40 people.
And locally, the proposed Port of Vancouver oil-by-rail facility, which would be the Northwest’s largest, has generated plenty of headlines.
So, some might find it surprising that a recent poll surveying 1,200 residents from Oregon, Washington and Idaho last month found 54-percent of people have heard little or nothing about oil trains.
The poll was done was conducted by DHM Research for Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Earth Fix.
John Horvick, with DHM, told OPB that the poll also shows that of those who have heard of the issue, “most people aren’t opposed to the idea of oil trains.”
When asked if they supported oil-by-rail projects, with the purpose of the oil being used domestically, 56-percent of Northwest residents supported it, the poll showed.
But, Horvick added, “I don’t know that there’s a ton of enthusiasm necessarily.”
Read the Earth Fix story here: http://bit.ly/1sCDoCE
And check out the results of the poll here: http://bit.ly/1wg9zbi
OPB recently commissioned another poll to gauge Northwest residents feelings on gun control issues after two school shootings, one in Portland and the other in Seattle.
The poll showed that despite the school shootings, people didn’t change their opinions on gun control issues.
The Clark County Deputy Sheriff Guild will not endorse a county prosecutor candidate this election.
The choices are Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik and Vancouver attorney Josephine Townsend.
During the 2010 election, the guild endorsed Golik. This year, however, interest was lackluster in the prosecutor race. Out of the guild’s 100 members, only 34 turned out to vote.
“It’s a two-part process,” said Bob Mullikin, the guild’s president. “First, we vote on whether to endorse. That didn’t pass. Then, we decide whom to endorse.”
The vote was tied on whether the guild should endorse a prosecutor candidate. Under the guild’s bylaws, there must be a majority to issue an endorsement at all, Mullikan said.
When the vote to endorse fails, the guild is required to disregard the votes for whom to endorse. Mullikin said under the circumstances, it would be inappropriate to disclose which candidate received the most votes.
The prosecutor candidates offered their respective interpretations of the guild’s decision not to publicly support either candidate.
“This is important in the election because they overwhelmingly voted to support my opponent in the last election,” Townsend wrote in an email to the Columbian. “They are not making that endorsement of him now. “
“As a challenger to the incumbent, you cannot expect folks who have to work day by day with the incumbent to step up against him, but the vote not to endorse rings loud and clear – they do not support him,” Townsend said.
Golik said Townsend is reading too much into the decision, which involved only one-third of the guild’s membership.
“Clearly, the fact that they decided not to weigh in does not mean they do not support me,” Golik responded. “My relationship with sheriff’s deputies, in general, is very good, and I work closely with them.”
Clark County Sheriff Garry Lucas, at least three city police chiefs and a laundry list of others have endorsed Golik.
So far, Townsend is endorsed by the Clark County Republican Party and others.
Mullikin said he doesn’t know what to make of the membership’s vote.
“Such a small segment (of guild membership) even voted,” Mullikin said. “That was what was disappointing to me. I thought it was odd.”
Until now, it has been murky at best to nail down exactly where the cash is coming from.
But starting this week, according to the Sunlight Foundation, broadcast television stations across the country will have to post contracts illustrating who is buying the commercials and how much money they are doling out.
“Having the political ad files online is important. In some cases they provide the only public information available on groups that are thinly disguised as nonprofit “social welfare” organizations but are, in fact, major campaign players,” the Sunlight Foundation reported.
In 2004, when Deborah Senn was running for Washington state attorney general, an ad ran close to her primary, catching her off guard. The Atlantic ran the story by reporter Ben Wieder, highlighting how it can be a challenge to trace ads.
The ad implied Senn had made a questionable deal with an insurance company in her former role as the Washington state insurance commissioner.
“I turned on the TV and saw those ads on every single channel,” Senn told Wieder.
He reported, “The committee’s name didn’t ring a bell, and she had no idea who was behind it — the committee hadn’t disclosed its donors to the state.”
“She blames the ads, and similar ones that aired later, as a decisive factor in her election night loss to Republican Rob McKenna,” according to the story, which you can read here: http://theatln.tc/1mYcOU0
When the Tea Party candidate Dave Brat, who had little name recognition at the time, ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary last month, the nation was reminded that the Tea Party hasn’t left the party yet.
And so when the three candidates vying to represent the region in the 3rd Congressional District came to The Columbian’s newsroom, the editorial board asked what they thought of the Tea Party.
Here’s what they had to say:
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas:
“In our district? In our region? I still hear people on a daily basis say, can you get the government out of our backyard? Can you help me by staying away from me so I can start my business? Can you get out of my healthcare? So, I still think that idea is alive and well. And these probably are people who wouldn’t say I’m a Republican or a Democrat, but the ideas behind the Tea Party, at least in this district are still going strong.”
Republican Michael Delavar:
“Yeah, Tea Party is an interesting term because what’s the definition? You ask 10 people, you get 10 different answers. Generally speaking – taxed enough already, government is too big, get them out of our lives. Yeah, that’s what I’m hearing consistently across the district and fidelity to the constitution is a very, very strong theme within the Tea Party. Do I like that? Oh yeah, that’s singing my tune. I have found incredible activists, low-key grassroots activists all over the district, who align themselves with the Tea Party and I’m asked frequently, are you a Tea Party member? And usually I go down the whole business of trying not to pigeonhole myself into somebody’s specific vision of what the Tea Party is but yeah, I would say we’re natural allies.”
And Democratic candidate Bob Dingethal:
“You know, I think the Tea Party is extreme of course, but I would defend their right to be extreme, to the death. And I think there are people on the left that are equally as extreme, they just don’t have a catchy acronym for a name and they don’t have a cohesive group. So it’s sort of always been there, I think it’s probably causing more problems for the Republicans than it is for the Democrats right now … But this sort of thing has always happened. I mean, we had Ross Perot and George Wallace and the Green Party and that sort of thing. So I think it’s sort of politics as usual.”
Delavar is hoping to defeat U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, in the Republican primary. Here was Larson’s takeaway, “If you want to vote for a guy who believes that domestic abusers, nuts and felons should be able to own guns, it’s Michael Delavar.”
The exchange between the two lasts a while, and Larson asks Delavar to clarify his point several times, to ensure he’s hearing Delavar correctly.
“Are you saying that convicted felons and people who have been committed to mental institutions, like say, the Oregon State hospital, should be allowed to buy guns?” Larson asks Delavar at about the 3:20 minute mark.
Delavar said if the people are released, therefore considered “free people” they should not be prevented from purchasing firearms.
“Here’s the thing, if they are a danger to society then why are they out there in the public?” Delavar fires back to the radio host.
To which Larson responds, “Michael, do you think every person who is committed to a mental institution stays there for the rest of their life?”
Later in the interview, Larson asks Delavar about men and women who have been found guilty of committing a domestic violence crime?
Delavar stands his ground. Yep, they should be able to own firearms too.
Larson finally thinks he’s got Delavar and asks about John Hinckley, Jr., the man who tried to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan and who remains in a psychiatric home. What if he was released, Larson asks, should he be able to own a firearm?
The first part of Delavar’s answer is hard to hear, but the overall answer is once again, yes.