As an independent-minded columnist, I strive to be fair in my approach so I made sure to touch base with the Democrat Party booths at both Fairs. I asked them how they were feeling about going in to November. The Kitsap contingent gave me the tired old story of blaming Bush, “If you want the same old thing and the Party of no, then… [blah, blah, blah];” nothing new here and voters should just trust them that $13 trillion in debt will turn out OK even as joblessness remains high. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised at meeting a firebrand write-in candidate at the Snohomish Fair that is sure to give incumbent Norma Smith (R) for 10th Legislative District more than hard time.I’m not sure if write in candidates are anything more than noise in the system, but Laura Lewis (D) isn’t going to let incumbent Smith, who ran uncontested on the primary ballot, have the seat for free. “You don’t have to be a conservative to be fiscally conservative,” she said, and believes “there are a bunch of people in office that aren’t working for us.” I can’t say I disagree with that particular message, and the died-in-the-wool Vice Chair of the SDCC went on to lambast the lack of collaboration in Olympia. When she exclaimed, “I want people to be fair and work together!” I immediately envisioned my own grandma pulling a belt strap out of the closet. Uh oh. When we talked about the potential for less government, she said, “I don’t agree that government services can always be done better in the private sector.” About liquor retail for instance, “Why should the State give up the profits? The State can run it like a business and keep both the taxes and the profits.” What do you think Norma? I’m not sure Laura Lewis will make much of a dent this year, but I don’t think she is going to go away quietly.
All in all, it was a Fair weekend in the west, and candidates are knuckling down to get their messages out for what many analysts believe will be a tipping point in American governance. Which way are you leaning?November is coming.