Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Live from Yakima: Candidates Speak

Sorry for the lack of an update - wireless connectivity has gotten a lot more spotty for some reason, so it's harder to post.

We have now heard from the last of the major candidates seeking elected office this year.

Congressman Jim McDermott led off by introducing Senator Maria Cantwell, who was led in by a giant parade supporters waving signs and banners. And there was plenty of instrumentation - a marching band and bagpipes, too.

(I should mention at this point that David Postman also has a nice recap of Maria's reception and speech which basically mirror my observations).

"Everybody knows how important the 2006 election is," Cantwell stated in the beginning part of her speech. "My family has been getting out the vote for over seventy five years."

The speech was not very different from Maria's previous addresses, of course. She didn't bring up anything I haven't heard before, but despite the fact that it covered all the same topics, it still had a unique freshness to it.

She was also a bit more forceful, especially when she shouted, "This Senator will not be bullied and will not be bought!" (referring to the oil soaked Republicans' attempts to open the Arctic Refuge to drilling.

"We want an investment in our future. Never let the other side criticize our idea and our ideals," Cantwell told the delegates.

One little bit I hadn't heard in previous Cantwell speeches was a nice line about the administration's failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina:
The real lack of patriotism was showed by the Department of Homeland Security when they failed to help thousands of Americans get out of the way of a hurricane.
Cantwell ended her remarks by pledging to "to campaign from every corner of this state."

As she left the stage the room was filled with confetti and ballons, and Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" was played over the loudspeakers.

Richard Wright was the next speaker, surrounded by his family, and managed to top his speech from the Congressional Breakfast. He looks every inch the candidate and he definitely took Doc Hastings to the woodshed.

"We don't need a Congress that is muzzled and held on a short lease by this president," Wright said. "My opponent, Mr. Hastings, is a big part of the problem. As chair of the Ethics Committee, he had turned a blind eye to to bribery and corruption in Congress."

"Over 70 percent of Americans think this country is going in the wrong direction," he added.

Peter Goldmark was next, and his speech was completely different from the one he gave at the Congressional Breakfast. It was longer, it was better, it was sharper.

Goldmark's theme was "the time is now," which makes sense. Running for Congress is hugeue endeavor, a huge commitment, and very few people will choose to jump into a race they don't think they can win.

On why he's running, Goldmark declared, "People are tired of Republicans. Real tired. We must take full advantage of this electoral opening."

"People are being lied to. People are tired of corruption and greed, and no bid contracts."

Finally, Goldmark noted that "we must have a plan that clearly differentiates us from the Republicans" if victory is to be achieved.

More observations on the final candidate who addressed the delegates (guess who that was?) in my next post.

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