Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lucky Break for Department of Homeland Law Enforcement

The big terrorist story so far this week appears to be another lucky break for Americans and the Obama team’s approach to homeland security. According to a variety of news sources, two Yemeni Muslims (yes, media reports they were Muslims) were able to travel to multiple destinations in the United States with “suspicious” items resembling explosive devices, including knives and box cutters in their luggage, and leave the country for Amsterdam before being held for investigation. CNN reports that the two Yemeni nationals were legally in the United States, boarded their planes separately in Birmingham and Memphis, but due to a flight delay ended up on the same plane in Chicago on the way to Yemen via Dulles, VA and Amsterdam. Dutch Police ultimately detained the two at the request of the United States after someone finally connected the dots. Why did this take so long?

American jurisprudence and law enforcement is based, in part, on the idea that the State carries the burden of proof and may not typically detain without reasonable suspicion or arrest without evidence or proof that something illegal has or is about to occur. Security implementation is precisely the opposite. Security approaches require that the individual carries the burden of proof and may not proceed without proving to an authority they have the right to do so. We balance these perspectives every day in our lives. For instance, police are not authorized to stop vehicles without reasonable cause, and you may individually deny someone entry to your home until you are convinced they are allowed to be there.

In this case, even though security scrutinized one of the Yemeni travelers for wearing bulky clothing in the unusually warm climate and was carrying watches and cell phones taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle (resembling an explosive device), the traveler was allowed to proceed because there was nothing specifically illegal in his actions. Later, other suspicious items were noticed and at least one item was confiscated at the Dulles airport for investigation, but again the travelers were allowed to proceed because security agents and managers were simply unable or unwilling to connect the dots.

CNN reports anonymous resources as saying, “This looks like nothing,” and “We see no evidence of a dry run or connection to terrorism.” Homeland Security was clearly in law enforcement mode, not security mode. In fact, media reports suggest the only reason the Yemeni’s were detained in Amsterdam was because of a luggage processing err. When their flight was rebooked to Yemen via Amsterdam instead of Dubai, luggage was left on the original connecting flight, a security process error. Ironically, the Yemeni nationals were detained not because of their actions but because of an omission by the air carrier. Are the two innocents or are they terrorist agents testing security measures? We may never know, but we would never have had a chance to know had they not been finally detained.

This news event may remain a back page story because nothing tragic happened, and perhaps nothing will turn up in a more thorough investigation. But my view is the United States has experienced yet another lucky break and I don’t imagine we can be lucky forever. To improve the odds, “Homeland Law Enforcement” may need to start acting a little more like Homeland Security and learn to more quickly connect the dots.

by Johnny Walker, CPP, Kingston, WA
KingstonJW on twitter

The GREEN Confidence Swindle



You’ve seen these stories on TV, read about them in the local left leaning newspapers, heard the talking heads repeat the stories and on and on. What is it? It is the GREEN SERIES OF LIES! Currently the Green Weenies have decided to change from Global Warming to Climate Change. Why? Because no one is buying the Global Warming lie anymore.

What follows is a reading list of what the latest is on the BIG CARBON FOOTPRINT SWINDLE and the facts about what is really going on.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Has been lying about global warming since day one.

Dr. Willie Soon’s: Slide show on the facts about CO2!

Moron Obama’s Secret Plan for Climate Change Talks: A shocker!

Climate Gate and the Crooks Behind It: Send them to Jail?

Obama Wants to Shut Down Coal and Natural Gas Electrical Generation: That’s 46.5% of all electrical generation. Lights out?

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) A Major Environmental Disaster: Yes say the experts.

Mankind is Destroying the Planet: Wrong, a big fat greenhouse gas lie!

The University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group Caught in a Lie!
When this story appeared in the 1/2008 edition of the Seattle Times a lot of scientists held their noses. Finally the CIG admitted that this whole story was the result of a GRANT to the U Doub and a big fat lie.

Is the Smart Grid an Attempt at an Energy Dictatorship: Here is one take and here is Glenn Beck’s take.

Finally, what about Hybrid and coming soon Electric Cars: Hybrid auto batteries: “According to the Los Angeles Times………. Hybrid models are suffering an abnormally high rate of battery failure at relatively low miles. The nickel-metal-hydride batteries are evidently prematurely losing their ability to hold a charge – particularly in hot weather areas like Arizona or when used in a lot of stop-and-go traffic.” Cost of replacement: $3-8,000 dollars depending on the model. Ancillary problem: as the batteries age, their performance declines as with any other rechargeable battery and your gas mileage goes down the tubes. Why not to buy these Green Cars.
FAST BREAKING NEWS: The real cost of these criminal acts!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Candidates Had Fair Weekend West of Cascades

It has to be hard competing for attention against the likes of Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, and Alveda King. The Restoring Honor Rally in Washington DC dominated twitter yesterday and was the big story on national news. But it was a different story west of the Cascades as local candidates pressed palms and worked hard to get their messages out at the Kitsap County and Evergreen State Fairs. They seemed more energized and focused than ever.

I found the Kitsap County Republican Women staffing the Party booth in Bremerton on Friday afternoon and Pete DeBoer (R) for Washington 23rd was eagerly working the crowd. Pete was feeling optimistic after two important events last week; his first public debate with Representative Sherry Appleton (D) and an editorial board interview with the Kitsap Sun. Things were moving fast for Pete and you could tell he relished greeting new faces at the fair.

Traveling over to Monroe on Saturday, the weather was prime for the town’s parade where I quickly shook hands with Senate candidate Dino Rossi (R) along the parade route. He had just given a keynote at the State GOP meeting in Seattle but no less for wear, he was still zig-zagging the asphalt at full speed making his message personal with curbside observers. The man was on fire and the story was all about jobs in this blue collar – agricultural based community. James Watkins (R), candidate for Congressional District 1, followed Rossi and at one point I observed him answering a Mexican-American family’s question about jobs. Clearly, if this community is any measure about what America is looking for right now, the number one issue remains jobs and there is a strong sense from voters that government isn’t going in the right direction.

I caught up with Watkins later on at the Snohomish County Republican Party booth and asked him about his campaign’s progress. He feels things are moving “great” with an expected post-primary increase of volunteers and donations. He thinks his hardest challenge at the moment will be reaching out to newer or inexperienced voters and those that don’t hold politics as part of their daily life. On the upside, he mentioned the possibility of an upcoming head to head debate with incumbent Jay Inslee (D), something he has been eager to do from the onset of his candidacy. He feels on track holding Inslee to just over 55% in the primary and is now hard at work shifting swing and independent voters in his direction. Watkins expects to get some criticism from the right as he carefully balances his message to court moderates, but emphasizes the diversity of the district. Watkins remains confident his campaign’s outreach to Tea Party conservatives will keep him out of trouble there.

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.

Photos: top left Pete DeBoer at the Kitsap Republican Party booth at the county fairgrounds, Bremerton, WA; center right Dino Rossi working crowd at Monroe Fair Days parade; center left James Watkins at Fair Days parade; lower left Laura Lewis at Democrat booth, Evergreen State Fair.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Big Brother Wanna Be Obama Can’t Command A Recovery!

As many of you know who read my internet column, I have called a double dip recession here in the State of Washington less than a month ago. While our idiot Governor continues to act like she is concerned about the climate change/global warming bunko scheme, she and her big brother buddy Obama continue to ignore the economy; much to their political peril!

However, events this week show that the national economy is now slowly taking the clockwise plunge down that porcelain bowl! First the news that the existing and new homes sales went in the tank last month and at HISTORIC NEW LOWS! Then the shocking news that came from the US Department of Labor that we continue to have about 2 million new unemployment insurance claims per month as more and more people are being laid off in this economy being dominated by Obama-nomics!

A Major Shock hit this morning with the news that REAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT FELL TO A RECORD LOW OF 1.6% on record imports as US companies failed to export products even with a low valued dollar! That is reflected in a downward plunge in manufacturing in the month of July around the nation (if you back out aircraft sales).

Based on these factors and the fact that the US Housing market continues in the tank, I am calling a NATIONAL double dip recession. We now have over 300,000 new foreclosures around the country with the sales price of existing homes going down and down. I am beginning to believe that the USA may be headed for more than just a double dip; we may actually be in the first stages of a major depression!
***Obama poster copyright Mikechurch dot com

Rossi Ready To Grill Patty Murray

U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi recently challenged 18-year incumbent Patty Murray to a series of debates. Murray responded to the Rossi campaign by offering to debate only two times, and only in late October, just prior to the election.

Rossi has suggested that they have a total of six debates, to cover all the major media markets in Washington, with an additional debate in Seattle and also on national TV. Murray is refusing to go around the state to discuss issues with Rossi, despite this being the fourth time she is running a Senate race.

This Patty Is Done
Putting Patty Murray on a stage with Dino Rossi is probably the last thing her campaign wants to do. They know that Patty will be cooked, if she has to actually think about what she is saying without consultants providing a script for her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pete DeBoer 4 Washington 23rd – you betcha!

Note: This entry is an endorsement for Pete DeBoer (R). Before publishing, I invited Representative Sherry Appleton (D) for a follow up interview but her campaign manager declined. Appleton also declined an invitation to a candidate’s forum in Poulsbo, WA a week later. My invitation to Sherry Appleton remains open. You can read my earlier thoughts on that here. Pete DeBoer pictured left.

I recently had a long conversation with Pete DeBoer, Republican candidate for Washington’s 23rd legislative district position 1, and a Kingston hometown favorite in the contest against incumbent Representative Sherry Appleton (D). I find that Pete is a superb candidate, deserving strong independent and cross over support. Please support him vigorously. He is a great cultural and business fit. He is a fiscal conservative, an innovator, and he will honor Constitutional values. While there will always be those issues where disagreement is possible, Pete DeBoer has the right stuff, listens, and can be counted on to represent his district and State well. You can read other introductory comments about Pete here. To support my endorsement, I am including summary of points that I noted during our discussion at the Cuppa Bella in Kingston.

The Right Background: Pete has background and experience well suited to the people of North Kitsap County. With 22 years in the Coast Guard, 15 years running a Kitsap private business and now on his second term as a Kingston Port Commissioner, he has a proven record relating well to the needs of the 23rd District’s diversity. A man of the sea, he understands the hardships and values of Navy life, fisherman and boaters. As a successful small business owner, he knows what it takes to be competitive and how government can unnecessarily get in the way. As a Port Commissioner, he has deep knowledge and a well developed intuition about North Kitsap’s transportation lifeline – both the ferry system and highway access. He is very involved in community events and has strong relationships with local Tribes. From the keel up, Pete is the perfect cultural fit to represent North Kitsap in Olympia.

Motivation to Service: When I asked Pete what three things he would like voters to know about him, he said, “I love people; the more people I know the more fulfilled my life is.” Then, “I am fascinated by the sea.” And third, “I like to make people happy. I like to fix things that make people happy. Our government is broken and needs to be fixed. I can’t do it all alone but I can help with part of it.” Pete’s motivations are for the people; he is not going to be a party line hack and that is important to people who want to be represented not dictated to. In the most sincere ways, Pete has demonstrated his service to the community by actively engaging in projects that make tangible differences in people’s lives. You can touch and feel the work he has done. His collaborative leadership was critical to the successful 2010 Kingston 4th of July celebrations, and his strategic vision helped lead the provision of Kingston to Seattle passenger ferry service. Pete has the right motivation to serve the people he works for, not blind ideology.

Reduce Government Spending: Pete says, “Government employees better have a job to do not just a chair to sit in or a truck to drive around.” He is strongly critical of the inefficiencies created by over-regulation, overlapping agencies and non-integrated processes that extend permitting, unnecessarily slow decision making, inflate government jobs and cost money. He said that while some would complain that assertively fixing this would cause job loss, “That’s a fact of life.” He quickly added that putting money back into people’s pockets would ultimately replace the losses and creates even more jobs. He believes government doesn’t exist to provide jobs but to enable an environment where businesses can create jobs and wealth that can be reinvested to create more jobs. By spending more and requiring more tax revenues on services that aren’t effective, measurably efficient or don’t create wealth, government creates the problem. If the economy is the top issue this election, then reducing government spending is absolutely necessary. Pete has the will to do that.

Require Competitive Services and Innovation: Pete believes that service implementation in government should be held to the same high and competitive standards that are required of private business. One way to accomplish this would be to create State grants that county and cities could compete for based on demonstrated innovation and ability to measurably improve required services while reducing costs. Pete points again to internal efficiencies that could reduce the size of government and overall spending, as well as opportunities for outsourcing and developing more public-private partnerships. Pete thinks the government should get out of the liquor retail business in preference of a competitive private model, and sees Submarine Base Bangor as a proven outsourcing model that should be looked at. Pete is willing to break the monopoly of government service where appropriate and put work in the people’s hands where competition will encourage innovation.

Tackle Education: Recognizing the Constitutional mandate to fully fund education in Washington State, Pete is critical of why so little of such a large budget gets down to students. He doesn’t believe it is a lack of money – bureaucrats in Olympia have a lot of it. Pulling insight from three sisters that are educators, Pete sees the problem as too much overhead in Olympia and not enough empowerment to Principals that can drive efficient results. “If you give Principals the right tools, authority and power to make our education system work, it will.” He also said, “You need to be able to get rid of bad teachers.” Pete’s thoughts are that the state has created a system that favors the power of organizations like NEA over the student, including protecting bad teachers and the rehire of double-dipping pensioners over new teachers that can bring new energy and ideas. Pete also believes there has been a lot of time wasted on the WASL with teachers teaching the test and not addressing the needs of students. “There needs to be increased focus on technical-vocational training; not everyone completes a four year degree.” Pete sees a way to improve education that doesn’t just rely on more money, but improved performance.

Up level the Ferry System: Pete understands the complexity of the ferry system and believes its current leaders are overwhelmed. “Customer service is woefully inadequate.” He favors finding a retired Admiral to help lead the system back to more efficient performance. Right now, “the unions own it. Should they be compensated well? Yes,” but Pete also makes it clear that unions are inhibiting service innovation and performance in areas where they don’t need to be, like in the food services. Pete also favors a hybrid outsourcing model that would involve public-private partnerships. “Accountability in the system seems to be lacking,” Pete said. The unplanned loss of two ferries from the system because of failed maintenance programs and an expensive barcode system that still does not work are unacceptable. When asked about State funding, “there should be no subordinate importance of the ferries to other roads.” He also doesn’t think summer surcharges make sense and points to the ski slopes. “We don’t surcharge skiers so we can pay for snowplows.” He also thinks it is an inherently bad solution to simply raise rates to solve capacity issues. With Pete’s direct experience getting two Port of Kingston owned passenger ferries in the water without increasing taxes, his insight to ferry system oversight comes at a good time.

Honor the Immigration Process: Pete’s position relative to recent immigration concerns across the nation is both clear and supportable. No amnesty and no sanctuary cities. Pete believes that the State should honor federal law and help get illegal immigration under control. The State should not create systems or services that encourage an illegal presence. “State and local law enforcement should be able to pursue unauthorized presence in our State where it is reasonably suspected.”

Pro Life and Pro Choice: Pete takes an individual approach to the highly divisive and emotional discussion about abortion. At a personal level, Pete says that he is definitely pro life from “cradle to grave; not even too keen on what people call death with dignity.” But Pete questions whether government should compel someone to choose life. “Are you going to compel someone to choose life? No; not anymore than we should compel health care.” Pete has a balanced approach to this sensitive issue that might be best summarized as “educate and not legislate” strategy.

Marriage and Unions can Co-exist: Making it clear there are bigger problems to solve right now, Pete believes that marriage is “designed and ordained for the relationship between a man and a woman.” But as with other controversial issues, he takes a pragmatic approach. Civil Unions can “provide the same benefits as given to a married couple” without offending the traditional principles of marriage. While this subject is very important to a minority of people right now, “there are bigger problems in this State to solve, like providing jobs and reducing spending.” Pete wants to prioritize the most important issues first.

These are what I thought were some of the most important or interesting positions Pete had to share during our discussion and I encourage you to attend one of his events and ask him questions directly. He is very approachable and the kind of guy you will want to call “friend” whether you agree with him entirely or not. Regardless, Pete DeBoer has the right stuff. He deserves your vote and active support in his quest to unseat Representative Sherry Appleton (D). Vote for Pete DeBoer, Washington 23rd Legislative District position 1.

November is coming.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blood and Steel

If anyone ever doubted the depth and passion of America’s grief almost a decade after the 9/11 tragedy, then perhaps they should think again.

On Sunday evening, August 22nd, after traveling with police escorts from New York to Washington State, a truck bearing twisted beams of World Trade Center steel arrived in Silverdale, Washington as first steps to dedicating a 9/11 memorial some 2,500 miles distant from Ground Zero. I was privileged to play a small part in the historic event, arriving as only one of almost 1,000 motorcycles and support vehicles in the escort of blood and steel to a military honor guard and community reception. It was an historic and emotional event. It was an example of Americans still trying to heal a deep and traumatic wound almost a decade after the original trauma.

The lingering pain and anger from 9/11 has certainly influenced the sometimes mean spirited controversy over the Cordoba House mosque debate. Those still weeping in their heart have trouble understanding how Muslim leaders and apologists could so easily dismiss their feelings about building an elaborate Muslim community center near Ground Zero. Conventional wisdom points to local laws, regulations, religious liberty, a need for tolerance and the terrible reality of New York’s sacrifice. Conventional wisdom says that it is a decision for New York City to make, but what seems to be forgotten is that the attack on the World Trade Center was not conventional. Conventional wisdom does not apply.

While many still desperately try, perhaps in vain, to fully grasp the horrific tragedy and sacrifice of New Yorkers, most Americans recognize that the attack on the World Trade Center was not just an attack on New York City but an attack on the United States of America. Though New Yorkers suffered the physical violence of the attack, as Americans we all wept that September morning and grieved. We helped where we could and in the best ways that we could. It was a traumatic wound on American soil, reminiscent of Pearl Harbor, and it has not yet healed. Almost a decade later, riding in escort of mere bits of steel that were a result of those times, I watched hundreds on overpasses waving flags, people in civilian dress standing at attention and saluting the miles of escort as we passed, cars pulled off to the side of road and groups standing with hands on hearts. I watched tears flowing from adults who remembered when. Americans from east to west across our plains, deserts and majestic mountains are still grieving.

While Mayor Bloomberg and many of the apologist left may be ready to move on, the passion and emotion surrounding the Kitsap 9-11 Memorial Project demonstrates clearly that the country is not. Perhaps when a time comes that the war with Muslim extremists has substantively moved to peace, then we can begin to heal. But today, we still grieve.

Photographs: top center World Trade Center steel rests on flatbed in Silverdale, Washington. Center left: United States Flag draped from cranes at reception ceremony. Lower left: woman touches steel in remembrance.

Breaking: Palin to Tame "Papa Grizzly" Didier?


Highly placed sources have informed me that efforts are underway to have Sarah Palin intervene in the current squabble between former Washington U.S. Senate candidate Clint Didier and Republican Senate nominee Dino Rossi.

Palin, if you recall, endorsed Didier just prior to Rossi's entry into the race in May.  SarahPAC gave Didier $5000 and Palin recorded a robo-call for Didier, but she did not campaign in the state for him.

Didier has declined to endorse Rossi in the Senate race until Rossi agrees to meet three specific demands.  Rossi has refused.

Republican state party officials and electeds are busy behind the scenes trying to repair the rift.  A close election between Rossi and Democratic incumbent Patty Murray is expected, and Didier's 12 percent primary vote might be crucial.

More details as they become available.

The Elite Punditocrasy and Why New Media Matters

Full disclosure here; I don’t care much for Ellis Henican. It’s not just that I often disagree with him; to me he seems just the stereotype of a whining, sniveling and patronizing liberal elitist that likes to look down on the little people of this country and tell us that he knows better. So when I listened to his discussion about the Cordoba Mosque controversy on Fox News Watch Saturday morning, it was easy for me to embrace the dark side of the force. Ellis Henican said this:

“It is not the role of those of us in the punditocrasy to be as quickly as ignorant as the least ignorant member of the public. These are complicated issues.”

Struggling for context in his remarks, it would have been valuable for him to say that news media pundits should make it their job to educate themselves well and more fully on controversial issues before sounding off to those who might not have, but he didn’t really say that. Did he?

The definition of ignorance: lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated: he was told constantly that he was ignorant and stupid. Oxford American Dictionaries

Because I’ve listened to Ellis Henican call people silly, stupid and ignorant a lot over the years while rolling his eyes, I have learned to take a dim view of his context and meaning. What I think Henican actually meant was that news pundits such as he should not be so quick to lower themselves to the best and most aware of the general public. Henican believes he is better than the public and we need him to make sense of things. This is liberal elitism at its finest. It is wrong minded and is one reason why mainstream media is failing.

As a less sophisticated new media pundit not yet aspired to the punditocrasy, I understand there are two general approaches to journalism. Pulitzer Prize winner, Walter Lippman, believed that the journalist’s role was to act as a translator and mediator between the elite class and the general public. John Dewey, a philosopher, pragmatist and progressive educationalist, believed that the general public was not only capable of understanding the issues but were the best place to for discussions to be vetted. When journalists include the public in the conversation by providing good information, the best ideas rise to the surface.

Ellis Henican is of the Lippman approach and has completely failed in his job. On Meet the Press Sunday morning, one commentator remarked that 70% of New Yorkers disagreed with the mosque being built near ground zero and national poles over the last week trend well above 60%. If Henican is supposed to be a mediator, he is doing a poor job of it. The people are having a discussion and he remains ignorant of their depth and passion on this subject. The liberal punditocrasy isn’t listening. Telling dissenters they are stupid, bigots and racists because they don’t agree with you does not help the discussion. It only makes it more complex.

New media resources like blogs, twitter, and facebook are increasingly important to the overall discussion because they bring people directly together in dynamic ways. Yes, it can be messy. We chat. We read. We challenge. We vote real time on good and bad ideas. Yes, it is true that some people are going to give out bad information, call each other names, and some people are going to jump to conclusions but as the discussion grows corrections happen and people learn. The best ideas bubble to the top. With access to new media we don’t always require middlemen to translate for us and to tell us what we should properly think. We have ways to talk among ourselves, come to understandings, and generate new thinking instead of relying on those elite classes that would arrogantly tell us what to think. The truth is, we don’t really need the elitist pundits like Ellis Henican anymore.

New media matters.

Tea Party Activists Endorse Dino Rossi

The following is the text of a letter signed by Tea Party activists from around the state, endorsing Dino Rossi for U.S. Senate in the general election, and urging unity in support of his campaign...

Tea Party Activists Endorse Dino Rossi

In the race for U.S. Senate in the state of Washington, the choice is clear. We support Dino Rossi against the incumbent Democrat Patty Murray.

In the primary, some of us voted for Paul Akers or Clint Didier, and some of us voted for Dino Rossi. But we are now all united in supporting the election of Dino Rossi.

Patty Murray has been in office for 18 years - it's way past time for her to receive a pink slip. Dino Rossi offers a sharp contrast to the tax and spend policies supported by Patty Murray. And, in 2010, Patty Murray (who ranks #4 in the Democratic Senate leadership) is more vulnerable than ever.

Dino Rossi is for repealing Obamacare, and replacing it with common-sense proposals "that give power to patients and doctors not government and insurance companies" and that "will actually lower health insurance costs, improve access to a greater variety of health insurance plans, and give people choice in picking their doctors."

Dino Rossi says, "Our national debt topped $13 trillion this year. If Congress keeps spending your money at this unprecedented pace, our national debt will reach $19.6 trillion by 2015. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of running up our nation's credit card without considering how they're going to pay the bill. Congress is putting our economic future in jeopardy by continuing to spend money they don't have. Washington families have to make tough budget decisions every day to live within their means, and it's time for Congress to do the same."

Dino Rossi has signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and he has signed the grassroots Contract From America. He has been endorsed by Senator Tom Coburn and Senator Jim DeMint, two of the most fiscally conservative members of the U.S. Senate.

Those of us who supported other candidates in the primary are, of course, disappointed that our favorite candidate did not make it past to the general election. But we unite to support Dino Rossi as absolutely superior in comparison to Patty Murray - even though he may not have been our initial favorite.

None of us (even those of us who supported Dino Rossi in the primary) necessarily agree with him on every issue. After all, we don't necessarily agree with each other on everything either!

In a way, that is the most important point. We are Tea Party activists, advocates of liberty and defenders of the U.S. Constitution. We are committed to repeal of Obamacare, limited government, lower taxes, and reduced spending - but we don't always agree with each other on every issue.

We've united together in Tea Party rallies and townhall protests. We've marched together in the nation's capital. We've worked together to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Now, we join forces to repeal and replace Patty Murray, and to elect Dino Rossi as our next U.S. Senator. We urge you to join us!

Keli Carender ("Liberty Belle"), Seattle - RedistributingKnowledge.Blogspot.com; organizer, February 2009 Presidents' Day Porkulus Protest; Seattle Sons and Daughters of Liberty(*)

Jeremy Jasman, Bellingham - State Chair for Washington State Young Republicans(*); President of Whatcom County Young Republicans(*); volunteer organizer for Akers campaign

Dave Kasold, Bothell - King County Tea Party activist; national Tea Party newsletter editor; supported Didier in primary

Dan Michael, Woodinville - volunteer for Coday Senate campaign; organizer, Puget Sound Conservative Underground(*)

Melissa Milam, Kennewick - supported Didier in primary; Tea Party activist

Sally Oljar, Seattle - Co-Coordinator, Seattle Sons and Daughters of Liberty(*); National Coordinator, Tea Party Patriots(*)

Jeff Patton, Shoreline - volunteer for Coday Senate campaign; organizer, Shoreline Caucus(*)

Pat Tarzwell, Shelton - Assistant State Director, ResistNet.com (Patriotic Resistance)(*)

Steve Beren, Seattle - former campaign manager of Coday Senate campaign; Tea Party activist

(*) personal endorsement only; organization listed for identification purposes only

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rossi Leads First Post-Primary Poll

By 7 Points.

The first KING 5 Senate poll for the 2010 general election shows Republican Dino Rossi is actually ahead of Democratic incumbent Patty Murray, 52% to 45%.

In most polls leading up to this week’s primary election and on primary night, Murray was in the lead. Primary election results placed Murray 13 points ahead of Rossi, but Rossi splitting the Republican vote with Clint Didier who got 12%, and Paul Akers, with 3%.

The new K5 poll of 618 likely voters, conducted by SurveyUSA, is the first look at a Murray-Rossi matchup in November. It suggests that even without an official endorsement from Didier, many o f Didier’s supporters would choose Rossi over Murray. Akers has endorsed Rossi, but Didier is withholding his endorsement at this time.

"The race may tighten, which is what we might expect, but I do think that we can say going in as this first poll shows, is that this is not a layup for re-election and that there’s a real fight here," said Jay Leve, Editor of SurveyUSA.

Didier Favors Impregnation By Rape

Didier Speaking at a Tea Party Event in Yakima, July 2010

As recently as May 28th, Clint Didier was touting how he was a team player, and would support whoever faced off with Patty Murray this November.  This is what he said on the David Boze radio show:
"If it is Patty Murray and whoever - it's whoever. Vote against Patty Murray. And we gotta stimulate this movement in the state of Washington that whoever comes out of that primary we gotta get behind. And believe me, if it's not me, whoever it is, I'm gonna get behind them. I'm gonna work as hard for them as I did for me. Because it's not about me. It's about our kids, our grandkids, and assuring they have that same shot at the American Dream. It's about America."
Following the primary election however, Didier reversed course and refused to endorse Dino Rossi, who will face off with Murray.  Didier instead drew up a list of demands for Rossi to sign, before giving an endorsement.  These demands include having Rossi sign a pro-life pledge, and promising to vote against increased spending and taxes.

Nevermind that these are things that Rossi has stood for all along.  In fact, he has a legislative voting record of balancing the state budget, and holding the line on taxes.  He introduced legislation to protect the unborn while in the state senate, and is a Roman-Catholic.  Rossi is on record as having said that abortion is morally wrong.

Near the end of the primary campaign, Didier attempted to smear Rossi as pro-abortion.  His evidence for this consisted of one vote Rossi took in the state senate.  The vote was to allow women who are victims of rape, to take the morning-after pill.  By opposing this, are we to assume that Didier is in favor of impregnating women by rape?  If we follow the logic of the Didier campaign, this is the case.

Rossi might make exceptions for women who are victims of rape and incest.  Didier is making clear he favors impregnation by these methods.  I would expect better of a farmer from eastern Washington.

Rossi is a bona-fide fiscal conservative.  He has signed the Tea Party backed "Contract From America."  He has a voting record in the state senate that showcases his philosophy.  In addition, his two statewide campaigns for governor have gotten voters acquainted with him.  Now that he is the top dog for the U.S. Senate race, Didier is showing us how much of a sore-loser he is.

Didier is also showing how dishonest he is, not only in trying to paint Rossi as a tax and spend politician, or questioning his pro-life beliefs, but also breaking his own promise to support the Republican facing Patty Murray in November.

As a person who is pro-life, I would rather have Dino Rossi in the Senate, than Patty Murray.  What's wrong with you, Clint Didier?

NWDigest.com: Fuiten: Dino Rossi IS Pro-Life

Have You No Sense of Decency Sir, At Long Last?

Conservative Christians who voted for Clint Didier may be experiencing some buyer's remorse right about now. Foul-mouthed Didier spokeswoman Kathryn Serkes told Publicola yesterday:
So is Dino saying, "Fuck you" to those people [who supported Didier]? "Fuck you, I don’t need your votes? I can win with 33 percent"
This was the second incident of F-bombing by the Didier campaign in the last few weeks.  During the botched Didier-Akers joint webcast, staffers could be heard on-air referring to a "clusterfuck."

Rossi, of course, said no such thing. He is simply refusing to submit to a laundry list of demands that Didier says Rossi must meet before Didier will endorse him.  Rossi understandably rejected those demands. Can you think of any other candidate that polled just 12% of the vote that successfully made any demands on a victorious candidate? This is not Czechoslovakia and Rossi isn't Neville Chamberlain. 

And by the way Ms. Potty Mouth, Dino doesn't have just 33%:

The first KING 5 Senate poll for the 2010 general election shows Republican Dino Rossi is actually ahead of Democratic incumbent Patty Murray, 52% to 45%.

In most polls leading up to this week’s primary election and on primary night, Murray was in the lead. Primary election results placed Murray 13 points ahead of Rossi, but Rossi splitting the Republican vote with Clint Didier who got 12%, and Paul Akers, with 3%.

I agree with Caleb Hannan at the Daily Weekly.  Rossi is better off ignoring Didier's demands.  In any case, this cannot end well for Didier and his Super Bowl ring-sized ego.  And if Rossi loses a very winnable election with the U.S. Senate at stake, Didier may want to consider growing alfalfa in Uzbekistan.

Finally, here's some advice to the Washington Campaign for Liberty, whose supporters campaigned so vociferously for Didier.  I generally respect the membership of the C4L, who other than a few crazies, are very thoughtful and intelligent.  They realize, no doubt, that they can only advance their causes by forming coalitions with other groups. 

Didier's high school jock testosteroning, as echoed by cheerleader Jerkes, is making him radioactive.  Take care you don't get contaminated yourself.

Obama's Mission Accomplished!

Mission accomplished! The economy is fixed! The heavy lifting is over. According to Barack Obama, we should be thanking him. Happy days are here again. It’s Recovery Summer!

Except that, we’re still losing jobs. Just last month, about ten times as many people quit trying to find work as actually found jobs. When the under employed and the discouraged are counted, the real unemployment rate is about 17%

In an honest world, Barack Obama’s declaration of Recovery Summer would earn at least as much derision as was heaped on his predecessor for the “Mission Accomplished” banner. In truth, it should serve as an even greater albatross around Obama’s neck because the Recovery Summer meme came straight from the White House, while the Mission Accomplished banner was raised by the crew of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln proclaiming that they had completed their assigned task and were returning home.

Let’s review all the claims that have been made for Obamanomics.

First, there were to be about 6 million jobs created or saved. Considering that the US has suffered a net loss of at least 4 million jobs, we are expected to believe that without the stimulus package, we would have lost about 10 million jobs. To support this claim, the Obama administration generated reams of data on jobs created or saved, but when the news media perused it, even CBS’s Katie Couric found it laughable. And when the Obamatons tried to break down the numbers by congressional district, they ended up claiming job growth in about twice as many congressional districts as the United States Constitution allows.

Of course there’s no way to know what alternative reality would have descended from an economic program that simply liberated the economy rather than imposing central planning on it. I can claim that without the stimulus plan, the economy would have created 50 million new jobs on its own and such a claim deserves just as much credibility as any other untestable prediction.

On the one year anniversary of the stimulus bill’s passage, Vice President Joe Biden declared that American taxpayers had “gotten their money’s worth.”

“I don't think they realize it" Biden said, but, "we've only been halfway through the act." He declared that the stimulus had been carefully crafted and calibrated and was performing exactly as it was designed to.

As recently as June 2, 2010, Joe Biden was declaring the stimulus “an absolute success!”

"An absolute success," he told Charlie Rose. "We will create over 3.5 million or save over 3.5 million jobs before this is over."

Although, it was barely six weeks later on ABC’s This Week with Jake Tapper that he blamed the stimulus’s failure on Republicans. “There’s a lot of people at the time argued it was too small,” he said. “A lot of people in our administration…even some Republican economists and some Nobel laureates like Paul Krugman, who continues to argue it was too small.”

“But, you know, there was a reality. In order to get what we got passed, we had to find Republican votes. And we found three. And we finally got it passed.” Biden said.

Nancy Pelosi claimed that passage of ObamaCare would create 4 million jobs on its own and that 400,000 of those jobs would appear almost immediately. I guess that depends upon how you define immediately.

This past spring, Democrats were predicting that Barack Obama would create more jobs in 2010 than Bush did during his entire two terms in office. It’s not looking that way.

So sadly, Recovery Summer has given way to yet another “Blame Bush” autumn. And who can blame them? With every economic report providing “surprisingly” bad data, the Democrats have to return to the only remotely original campaign theme they’ve come up with in the last half century. Accusations of racism have lost their sting as Democrats finally maxed out their race card. Accusations of racism are so integrated into Democrat thinking that they can’t even resist using it in their foreign policy. Obama actually accused Al Qaida of racism. And even though they still employ that tired old scare tactic about Republicans wanting to destroy Social Security, the only mileage that strategy has left is as fodder for late night talk show comedians.

Blame Bush it is.

Meanwhile, Germany implemented a Reaganesque austerity program and is enjoying 9 percent annual growth. How do you say “recovery summer” in German?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rossi Challenges Murray To Debate

Dino Rossi speaking at the 2010 Washington State Republican Party Convention

Dino Rossi is challenging Patty Murray to a series of debates to be held in Washington in the weeks leading up to the November general election.  This is according to a letter that Dino Rossi sent to Senator Patty Murray:

Dear Sen. Murray:
The U.S. Senate race is one of the most important elections in the State of Washington in 2010.  Given the importance of this election, and the desire for voters to make an informed decision this fall, I propose we hold five debates in Washington State, in addition to one nationally televised debate.  I further propose we hold one debate in each media market hosted by local civic organizations, with two debates in the Seattle area. 
The five debates in Washington State would be Lincoln-Douglas style, in which we would be allotted equal time to make opening statements, ask questions of each other, introduce new ideas, or defend policy positions.  A timekeeper would ensure each side adheres to time limits which are mutually agreed upon.

This is an opportunity for us to question each other on various policy positions in a manner which allows the public, not the press or interest groups, to dictate the issues covered. 
In order to ensure the maximum number of voters see the debates so they are able to make an informed decision, we should invite television stations in each market to broadcast the debates.  Additionally, as there is limited time before general election ballots are mailed, I propose that we hold one debate a week beginning the week of September 6, 2010.
 Will Patty Murray accept the challenge?  Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Didier: "Whoever it is (who wins the primary), I'm gonna get behind them"

Now that their guy lost Tuesday's Primary to Dino Rossi and Patty Murray, some Clint Didier supporters are acting as if they want to take their ball and go home and not let anyone else play! Clint himself gave a very "poor loser" message Tuesday night on KTTH's election show. I somewhat can understand, as I too would be very emotional after a loss, and things that come out of your mouth before you have a night to sleep on it might sound very different the next day. But I sure wish Clint would have heard Paul Akers on the radio prior that evening. Paul gave a very gracious message about the race and about losing, ending with saying emphatically he was "100% behind Dino Rossi!" 

As Clint is preparing to make an announcement Friday at 3:00 about his campaign and about Rossi, I would like him to listen to what he said on KTTH's David Boze Show on May 28 - two days after Dino Rossi announced his candidacy, bringing the number of candidates to around 17.  Today's David Boze Show replayed that May 28th talk with Clint, and here is what Clint said:

"If it is Patty Murray and whoever - it's whoever. Vote against Patty Murray. And we gotta stimulate this movement in the state of Washington that whoever comes out of that primary we gotta get behind. And believe me, if it's not me, whoever it is, I'm gonna get behind them. I'm gonna work as hard for them as I did for me. Because it's not about me. It's about our kids, our grandkids, and assuring they have that same shot at the American Dream. It's about America."

You can listen for yourself at the 36:00 mark of today's Boze show:

Clint, you did an excellent job motivating conservatives over the past eight months. Thank you for all the time and heart you put into your candidacy. You are a patriot for wanting to serve your country! Now it's time to keep to your word while continuing to motivate your supporters. But this time the motivation is to get them to work hard - as hard as they did for you - to help get Dino Rossi elected. After all, it's all about defeating Murray.

Ich Bin Ein Juden

So says the Ground Zero mosque imam. Read it all and judge for yourself.

"We are here to assert the Islamic conviction of the moral equivalency of our Abrahamic faiths. If to be a Jew means to say with all one's heart, mind and soul Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ahad; hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one, Mr. Pearl."

"If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one Mr. Pearl."

"And I am here to inform you, with the full authority of the Quranic texts and the practice of the Prophet Muhammad, that to say La ilaha illallah Muhammadun rasulullah is no different."

"It expresses the same theological and ethical principles and values."

Swing Voters in North Kitsap’s 23rd Looking for Change

It might be easy to ignore the primary race in North Kitsap County’s 23rd Legislative District. People like to think things are peaceful and quiet on this side of the water. Unlike the megatropolis, there was no spirited contention or angst between conservative candidates and the Democratic incumbents had no challengers. There were no surprises in who would advance to the general. The voting result; however, did reflect some interesting detail that suggests incumbent Democrats may be more vulnerable than they think. And if independent and conservative supporters are paying attention, it won’t be so quiet and peaceful over here much longer. Republican challengers should take quick advantage if they want to keep momentum.

In the 2010 primary, incumbent Sherry Appleton (D) took in 54% of the vote against challenger Pete DeBoer’s (R) 46%. Appleton won the 2008 race with 62% majority, sliding 8% off the general election. Christine Rolfes (D) has a similar story, winning in 2008 with 61% and only earning 56% in the 2010 primary against a split 44% between challengers James Olsen’s (R) 33% and Aaron Winters’ (R) 11%. This is another slide of 5% from the general election, making her glass half empty. It might be arguable that a 5-8% drift is negligible but also consider it was a direct gain to challengers, reducing the overall spread from close to 25% to a distinctly competitive 12%. Considering the quiet campaign thus far, this is noteworthy.

If you further consider Senator Phil Rockefeller’s (D) 2008 win was only 62%, you can see that overall support for Democratic candidates didn’t have much variance (61.94; 61.04; and 61.90). This suggests that swing voters weren’t quibbling much in their leftward lean, probably due to the anti-Bush pro-Obama hope for positive change that swept the state (did that happen?). But don’t let the pundits fool you. 61% wasn’t a landslide. 61% is roughly a 3 out of 5 ratio. We play games for winning 3 out of 5 when we know it can go either way. A landslide is more like 3 out of 4 or 4 out of 5 (75-80%) where the winner simply masters the outcome. Democrats won in 2008 by a majority but not a landslide and the 2010 primary results show that majority is slipping in the 23rd District just like everywhere else in the state. Swing voters are concerned.

In the 2010 general, Sherry Appleton and Christine Rolfes may likely retain the loyal blue, but independents and financial conservatives are sending strong signals right. The gap that conservatives need to close is getting smaller. Tea Party organizations are popping up with increasing numbers. Moderate and independent swing voters are looking for a change that Republicans have an opportunity to deliver. The race for Washington’s 23rd Legislative District looks like a microcosm of and could be just as competitive as the Murray-Rossi Senate fight but without the news coverage. Challengers DeBoer and Olsen have clear opportunities if they can muster adequate campaign support.

November is coming.

Photos: top left to right; James Olsen with wife at side and Pete DeBoer address Kitsap Patriot's Tea Party event in Silverdale, WA.

TODAY: Rossi in Pullman!

For Immediate Release-

Dino Rossi is in Pullman today for a fundraising Lunch at Schweitzer Engineering Labs' Manufacturing Building at 2440 NE Hopkins Ct. This event starts at 12 Noon!

The public is welcome to attend! Please pass the word to friends and family.

NOAA Fleet Overlooks Seattle

Blame Bush.

Apparently, there is nothing that isn't Bush's fault. Even though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is under the supervision of a Washington liberal Democrat, the decision to base NOAA's Pacific fleet in Newport, Oregon instead of Seattle, Washington is George W. Bush's fault.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke acknowledged Wednesday that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) did not adequately consider basing its research fleet at federally owned facilities in Seattle before deciding to lease docks in Newport, Ore.

"That analysis has not been done," the former Washington governor said during a visit this week to Seattle.

But it's too late to go back to the drawing board.

"The contracts and commitments have already been made," he said. "Even if we were to abandon Oregon, we would still be liable for all the rent payments for the next 10 years."

Locke shifted the blame for a selection process criticized by the Commerce Department's own Inspector General (IG), pointing out that the work started during the Bush administration.

Patty Murray In Trouble

Tuesday's primary revealed that Patty Murray is in big trouble.

Murray, who is currently serving out her third term in the Senate and acts as Harry Reid's number four in Senate Democratic leadership, failed to reach the 50 percent mark Tuesday in a contest where she had no serious Democratic competition -- but plenty of Republicans on the ballot.

Moreover, the most well-known among them, her months-ago predetermined general election opponent Dino Rossi, took just under 34 percent of the vote to Murray's 46 percent -- a tally best described as too close for comfort.

Even worse for Murray, when the votes cast by supporters of other Republicans -- namely former Washington Redskins player and Tea Party favorite Clint Didier (who garnered about 12 percent of the vote) and businessman Paul Akers (who garnered about 2.5 percent) -- were added to Rossi's total, Republicans collectively bested Murray's take of the vote, 48 percent to 46.

Washington’s Stagnant Job Growth

Double Dip Unemployment

At first they called it a jobless recovery, now there is doubt if this is a recovery at all! For example the new unemployment numbers: new nationwide unemployment claims increased to 500,000 this last week, meaning that claims are now back up to where they were 9 months ago and a major shock to economists!

The unemployment average in Washington State from the beginning of the third quarter 2009 and the end of the second quarter came in at a very high level of 17.4% putting us up there with Nevada, California and Oregon! The number of people collecting unemployment benefits came in at 9.8% with no relief in sight. 3,500 folks left the workforce from June through July; these are individuals who have basically given up trying to find a job. In addition the number of people employed in the state declined by 2,350 and if added to the above 3,500 we have a net loss of employment in the state of around 6,000 from month to month; NOT GOOD NEWS!

What are the average total numbers? Total number of people unemployed in the Evergreen State during these last four quarters: 617,897! The average number on unemployment benefits came in at 348,010!

Nationally consumer bankruptcy filings were up 20% in June now at the highest level since 2005! Related news was the disturbing fact that Washington State now has 32,486 foreclosed homes on the market and that may explain the decline in home construction this summer. In addition I talked to several people in the industry that tell me there are about 8,000 additional homes in what some refer to as “shadow inventory”. These are homes the banks are either stalling to foreclose on or are waiting to have the legal process come through. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties have the highest foreclosure rates with no end in sight! In fact the trend in foreclosures in the state is rising dramatically according to RealtyTrac!

While all of this was going on President Obama was packing his bags to get on his fleet of aircraft to TAKE HIS SIXTH VACATION THIS YEAR!


The Bellweather Election

On the basis of the just completed primary, Dino Rossi's prospects in November look pretty good.

Sean Trende does an historical analysis of open primaries, such as Washington now has and finds the following:

[T]hese primary elections end up looking an awful lot like the November elections. I gathered the results for congressional and senate primaries in recent years where Washington used the blanket primary system (1992-2002 and 2008). This gave me a nice dataset of 65 elections. I looked at the total Democratic vote cast in the primaries, and compared it to the total Democratic vote in the general election.

On average, the Democratic candidate improved his or her share of the vote by only 1.5 points from the fall election. And there aren't too many outliers. In 47 percent of the elections, the Democratic share of the vote in November was within two points of the Democratic share of the vote in the primary (for those who speak "geek," the standard deviation is a reasonably narrow 4.2).

And most of the outliers came in 1998, when the Republicans' drive for impeachment caused a late swing against them; the average Washington Democrat saw his or her vote share improve by 4.2 points that year, almost three times the norm. As a general rule, when the Democratic share of the vote rises above 52 percent, the Democratic nominee can feel pretty safe that he or she will win. When it falls below 46 percent, the Republican will almost certainly win.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Michael Baumgartner Pulling Away

Great news for Washington!

Watkins and Burke Remain Positive on WA-01 Primary - analysis

With some irony, the weather cooled in the Puget Sound this morning after yesterday’s hotly contested primary. Winning teams are cautiously buoyant, and those who didn’t are contemplative. Pundits are running amok in their search to find a new story in their analysis of what was mostly a predictable result. This is my shot.

The results for Washington’s Congressional District 1 were strategically anticipated but the details were not. The reaction is interesting. With more than 75% of ballots on hand counted, incumbent Jay Inslee commands a whopping 57% this afternoon, checking James Watkins’ 27%, humbling Matthew Burke at 12%, and barely acknowledges the surprise of David Schirle’s 4%. In other words, the conservative message, even with all its newfound activism, barely dented Jay Inslee’s armor, taking only 11% off his 2008 general election win of 68%. Jay probably slept well last night.

Because the spread between James Watkins and Matthew Burke was closer than I expected, I called up Matthew to get his thoughts. He was surprisingly upbeat considering his loss. Though disappointed he didn’t do better and contemplative about next steps, he thought his numbers against James Watkins were pretty good considering the relative investment. Burke accounts his success to strong independent voters who want performance over talk, and those who believe in firm constitutional principles. This should be a clear signal to James Watkins, who not only needs to recover those votes but quickly turn the voters into active evangelists. Overcoming the incumbent will take a well-energized wave, not a ripple, and precise messaging on key issues will help him get there.

On a personal note, Matthew said that he learned a lot as a candidate and met many great people along the way. He and his wife, Jennifer, will continue to remain active in politics through their involvement with Tea Party groups. I think we can look forward to seeing more of them again soon.

In my conversation with Donald Rasmussen at the Watkins campaign, he readily acknowledged that the numbers weren’t what they hoped for at either end of the spectrum. On the right, Rasmussen sees the differences between Watkins and Burke primarily as a matter of personal style and framing of the message. He notes that while the tension between campaigns had recently become strained; both Watkins and Burke came out of the Tea Party movement and have a great deal in common. With the primary over, Rasmussen believes the campaign will be able to reach out and reconcile with Burke supporters in the near term. Picking up numbers on the left will be more challenging and rely on a different set of strategies, but will certainly involve balancing social issues with financial conservatism in a way that reflect the needs of a very diverse district. Rasmussen characterized Watkins as a kind of post-partisan candidate, keeping focus on jobs and less spending.

So the question is this: Will James Watkins be able to differentiate himself enough from Jay Inslee to woo moderate independents and Democrats without being labeled a RINO and lose conservative support? The Watkins campaign is optimistic they can. If I had the answer to that I could probably get a job on Fox News, but the simple no-brainer analysis is that retiring Jay Inslee is not going to be a walk in the park. Things that could be on the to-do list?

  1. Reach out quickly and decisively to Burke supporters. This group could account anywhere from 10-20% and they need to be on board early not just as recovered votes but as active evangelists. This is a force multiplier.
  2. Undecided conservatives and independents will need to be more pragmatic in their expectations and think about what is most important to them in the long game. With a Congressional District this diverse, narrow litmus tests may not get them what they want.
  3. More work on policy points and tactics without prevarication. Independents and moderate Democrats will want to see the difference between Watkins and Inslee. Tea Party conservatives will want to see firm commitments to financial conservatism and constitutional principles.

November is coming.

Photos: Left to right James Watkins and Matthew Burke speaking at Kitsap Patriots Tea Party event in Silverdale, WA, August 13, 2010