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: Convention adopts resolutions opposing right wing initiatives

State Democratic Convention delegates have just voted to oppose all of this year's major right wing initiatives, including I-917, I-920, and I-933. A resolution was also adopted by the convention endorsing "YES" on Referendum 65.

This is an extremely meaningful move that will allow the state party to use its resources to aid in progressive efforts to fight right wing initiatives. I was hoping when I arrived at the convention yesterday that this would happen, and I'm delighted that it has.

But I certainly agree that the platform and resolutions process can be improved, and I think Chairman Pelz's idea of appointing a committee to figure out ways to improve this process is an excellent one.

UPDATE: After a lot of items in the "good of the order", the convention has adjourned. Delegates are now leaving in large numbers.

A COUPLE OF ADDITIONAL REFLECTIONS: I've been asked for my thoughts on the candidates running against Senator Maria Cantwell in the primary. Each was allotted three minutes to address the convention. Of the two candidates (Wilson/Tran), Mark Wilson clearly has stronger support. I was annoyed during his speech that his supporters kept walking back and forth in the front of the room holding their large banner - it was distracting.

Much of what Wilson said mirrored what Cantwell said in her stump speech - issues like healthcare, environmental protection, workers' rights - except for a few key differences: Wilson makes it absolutely clear what he thinks about the Iraq conflict, and he described Bush and his administration as "terrorists" (which is just too far for a serious candidate to go in a speech because it provokes backlash from voters). His comments degrading Cantwell's leadership on environmental issues were pretty dumb. All of Wilson's criticism of Maria Cantwell is basically tied to the issue of Iraq. Without the Iraq conflict, Wilson would have very little to run on.

It's worth remembering that he's a perennial candidate. He's also run against Patty Murray and Jay Inslee (and been trounced in those elections).

Hong Tran was even less impressive. I didn't hear anything from her that I thought made any sense at all. The attacks on Cantwell were baseless, ignored key facts, and were easily refutable. Tran sure made Mark Wilson look good.

It's been said that you have to have a big ego to run for public office, but both Wilson and Tran appear to have super-inflated ones. Neither is a serious challenger to Senator Maria Cantwell. Still, it was appropriate that the party gave them some time to make their points.

Thus ends my live convention coverage - hope you found it useful and enjoyed it.

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