NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

President Biden signs CHIPS and Science bill crafted by Washington’s own Maria Cantwell

The COVID-19 pan­dem­ic turned out not only to be a glob­al killer, but in eco­nom­ic terms, the prover­bial hang­ing in the morn­ing that focus­es the mind.

“It opened everyone’s eyes,” said Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell, D‑Washington, point­ing to sup­ply chain prob­lems and a crit­i­cal short­age of semiconductors.

“We didn’t want to be depen­dent on some­one else,” Cantwell added, in an inter­view soon after Pres­i­dent Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Sci­ence Act, bipar­ti­san leg­is­la­tion craft­ed and steered by Cantwell in her capac­i­ty as chair of the Sen­ate Com­merce, Sci­ence and Trans­porta­tion Committee.

The microchip was invent­ed in the Unit­ed States, yet our country’s share of semi­con­duc­tor man­u­fac­tur­ing capac­i­ty has decreased from thir­ty-sev­en per­cent of world pro­duc­tion in 1990 to just twelve per­cent today, accord­ing to the Semi­con­duc­tor Indus­try Asso­ci­a­tion. More than four-fifths of fab­ri­ca­tion capac­i­ty is in Asia, and the U.S. is mas­sive­ly depen­dent on Tai­wan for our com­put­er chips.

With Chi­nese jets buzzing Taiwan’s air­space, and rock­et “tests” fired into adja­cent waters, big secu­ri­ty con­cerns hang over a vital com­po­nent in manufacturing.

“Very big,” said Cantwell.

Dur­ing craft­ing of the CHIPS leg­is­la­tion, Cantwell steered mem­bers of the Sen­ate and House to a secure con­fer­ence room in the Unit­ed States Capi­tol, for eye-open­ing brief­in­gs on U.S. for­eign depen­dence and its dangers.

“Action wasn’t an option­al thing: We need­ed to get this done,” said Cantwell.

Even when, after Con­gress’ Inde­pen­dence Day recess, Sen­ate Repub­li­can Leader Mitch McConnell tried to pull the plug on con­fer­ence negotiations.

Or as Wash­ing­ton col­league Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Derek Kilmer (D‑WA-6th Dis­trict) put it: “The real­i­ty is that the nations with whom we com­pete aren’t sit­ting on the side­lines. They want to eat our lunch.”

The CHIPS and Sci­ence Act pro­vides for trans­for­ma­tive new invest­ments in research, inno­va­tion and Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ing by accel­er­at­ing U.S. pro­duc­tion of crit­i­cal semi­con­duc­tor chips, strength­en­ing sup­ply chains, mak­ing more goods in Amer­i­ca and invest­ing in basic research on tech­nolo­gies of the future.

The leg­is­la­tion includes $52.7 bil­lion for U.S. com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing semi­con­duc­tors, as well as bil­lions more in tax cred­its to encour­age invest­ment in chip man­u­fac­tur­ing. The Biden-Har­ris admin­is­tra­tion hopes pri­vate sec­tor invest­ment will be “spurred” by the bill.

Ida­ho-based Micron announced Tues­day it will invest $40 bil­lion in mem­o­ry chip man­u­fac­tur­ing, with help from the CHIPS and Sci­ence Act.

The announce­ment came as Pres­i­dent Biden signed CHIPS and Sci­ence on the White House lawn. In Cantwell’s words: “More than a dozen com­pa­nies are expect­ed to make announce­ments in the next few months about expand­ing the chip sup­ply chain in the Unit­ed States.”

The moment jus­ti­fied a bit of polit­i­cal hyperbole.

“Today is a day for builders,” said Biden. “Today Amer­i­ca is deliv­er­ing, deliv­er­ing, and I hon­est to God believe that fifty, sev­en­ty-five, one hun­dred years from now, peo­ple who will look back on this week, they will now we met this moment.”

Sev­en weeks ago, it seemed the Biden-Har­ris Admin­is­tra­tion was on the ropes — at least in nation­al media cov­er­age. But now, the Belt­way press sees the 46th Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States on a roll, with the CHIPS leg­is­la­tion, a mod­est gun safe­ty bill, and approval of Swe­den and Fin­land join­ing NATO.

The House is slat­ed to approve the $369 bil­lion Sen­ate-passed pack­age of cli­mate and health ini­tia­tives lat­er this week, in a Fri­day, August 12th vote.

Sen­a­tor Cantwell does the grunt work of gov­ern­ing. She has repeat­ed­ly pulled progress out of a balky, divid­ed body. She was able to get a Repub­li­can-con­trolled Sen­ate to per­ma­nent­ly autho­rize and fund the Land and Water Con­ser­va­tion Fund. Team­ing with Sen­a­tor Lisa Murkows­ki, R‑Alaska.

She also secured con­struc­tion of an urgent­ly need­ed new heavy-duty polar ice­break­er with design of anoth­er on the way. She even put 311,000 acres of the upper Methow Riv­er val­ley, a water­shed unmatched in its water qual­i­ty, off lim­its to explo­ration by Cana­di­an min­ing companies.

The CHIPS and Sci­ence Act posed intri­cate chal­lenges. Start­ing with its name. Repub­li­cans were all for semi­con­duc­tor man­u­fac­tur­ing but, in Cantwell’s words, “They don’t like sci­ence.” A big part of the leg­is­la­tion is fund­ing for basic research and devel­op­ment. It drew oppo­si­tion from both the right and the left, from Repub­li­cans who claimed the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment will be play­ing favorites in who get the mon­ey, and a famil­iar reprise from Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders, I‑Vermont.

“The ques­tion we should be ask­ing is this: Should Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers pro­vide the microchip indus­try with a blank check at a time when semi­con­duc­tor com­pa­nies are mak­ing tens of bil­lions of dol­lars in prof­its and pay­ing their exec­u­tive exor­bi­tant com­pen­sa­tion pack­ages?” Sanders thun­dered in a Sen­ate floor speech.

Cantwell put in guardrails to assure the mon­ey goes to cre­ate jobs in Amer­i­ca, and not to pay for stock buy­backs. Sanders was CHIPS’ lone oppo­nent in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus. The leg­is­la­tion ulti­mate­ly passed on a 64–33 vote, draw­ing sig­nif­i­cant Repub­li­can sup­port and over­com­ing a filibuster.

“If you don’t play like they (for­eign com­peti­tors) play, then you are not going to be man­u­fac­tur­ing high tech chips, and they are essen­tial for our nation­al defense as well as our econ­o­my,” warned Sen­a­tor Mitt Rom­ney, R‑Utah.

With Cantwell draw­ing on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton as mod­el, CHIPS/Science prods uni­ver­si­ties to patent and mar­ket tech­nolo­gies devel­oped by their scientists.

“In this infor­ma­tion Age, we have seen peo­ple pub­lish their find­ings, but they don’t patent,” said Cantwell. “Our com­peti­tors read the mate­ri­als and go out and do the devel­op­ment themselves.”

The leg­is­la­tion’s path through the House got tougher after Repub­li­cans flew into a fury when Sen­a­tor Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin agreed on what would become the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act, leg­is­la­tion that seemed out of reach as recent­ly as mid-July. Top House Repub­li­cans took out their anger at the deal on CHIPS and Sci­ence, urg­ing a No vote. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers, R‑Washington, led oppo­si­tion on the House floor.

The CHIPS and Sci­ence Act passed the House by a 243–187 vote, with twen­ty-four Repub­li­cans break­ing with par­ty lead­er­ship to sup­port the bill.

Sur­pris­ing­ly, com­ing from a tech­nol­o­gy-dri­ven state, none of Washington’s three Repub­li­can House mem­bers vot­ed Yea.

Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nan­cy Pelosi and U.S. Com­merce Sec­re­tary Gina Rai­mon­do deliv­ered sun­ny vic­to­ry speech­es Tues­day morn­ing on a hot White House lawn. But it was Cantwell who kept her cool and made it happen.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

Joe Kent stays ahead in sixth Top Two Count; Jaime Herrera Beutler concedes defeat

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler is out.

The mul­ti-term incum­bent acknowl­edged this evening that she has been oust­ed by the Repub­li­can vot­ers of Wash­ing­ton State’s 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict for insuf­fi­cient loy­al­ty to Repub­li­can Par­ty boss Don­ald Trump, who Her­rera Beut­ler nobly defied in Jan­u­ary of 2021 when she right­ly vot­ed for impeachment.

Her­rera Beut­ler, forty-three, fell behind Trump’s endorsed chal­lenger Joe Kent in yes­ter­day’s count. She slipped even fur­ther behind today, with her deficit increas­ing from eight hun­dred and thir­teen votes to eight hun­dred and sixty-nine.

Although Kent only improved his advan­tage by a lit­tle, there aren’t out­stand­ing enough bal­lots left for Her­rera Beut­ler to turn things around.

Clark Coun­ty, the 3rd’s pop­u­la­tion cen­ter, is down to just 500 bal­lots await­ing pro­cess­ing, while Cowlitz has 480. Thurston has 7,000 bal­lots still to process, but most of those are from precincts not in the 3rd. The dis­tric­t’s oth­er coun­ties col­lec­tive­ly only have a few dozen bal­lots left to process.

Her­rera Beut­ler was ini­tial­ly elect­ed to rep­re­sent the 3rd in the 2010 midterms, after Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent Bri­an Baird declined to seek anoth­er term, defeat­ing Den­ny Heck, who then ran in the new 10th Dis­trict the fol­low­ing cycle, and won. (Heck served sev­er­al terms, retired, and is now the state’s Lieu­tenant Governor.)

Her­rera Beut­ler secured reelec­tion in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020, though not always with the ease of oth­er incum­bents in Wash­ing­ton State. She has a his­to­ry of per­form­ing poor­ly (for an incum­bent) in the Top Two round, though nev­er as poor­ly as this year. Owing to her vote for Trump’s impeach­ment and oth­er laud­able votes for the good of the coun­try, many Repub­li­cans turned on her.

The result was the shame­ful ele­va­tion of Joe Kent, a mil­i­tant extrem­ist who would be a Pacif­ic North­west ver­sion of Lau­ren Boe­bert or Mar­jorie Tay­lor Greene.

Kent was able to move into sec­ond place despite vote-split­ting among the larg­er pro-Trump fac­tion of the 3rd’s right wing elec­torate and despite the attack ads launched against him knock­ing him as a Bernie Sanders sup­port­ing socialist.

Though it seemed to many that Her­rera Beut­ler had enough run­way to pull off a vic­to­ry on Elec­tion Night a week ago, Kent began whit­tling her lead down right away. By Fri­day, Her­rera Beut­ler’s lead was ten­u­ous. As of yes­ter­day after­noon, it was gone and Kent was ahead. Today, Kent locked in his advantage.

Herrera Beutler’s concession statement

“Thank you, South­west Wash­ing­ton, for entrust­ing me six times with the priv­i­lege of rep­re­sent­ing you in Con­gress,” said Her­rera Beut­ler. “Ever since I was first elect­ed to this seat, I have done my very best to serve my home region and our coun­try. Though my cam­paign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accom­plished togeth­er for the place where I was raised and still call home.”

“Many are things | set out to do: help folks who want to earn a liv­ing find good jobs right here, keep our rivers healthy and fish­able for years to come, make our health sys­tem work bet­ter for those who real­ly need care, allow the peo­ple here to man­age and enjoy their land, and be a voice for those who have slipped between the cracks of gov­ern­ment bureaucracy.”

U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler with baby Isana

U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler tweet­ed this image of her enroute to vote with baby Isaac

“When I took office, I said we could improve how health care works for South­west Wash­ing­ton res­i­dents. I’m incred­i­bly proud of get­ting the ACE Kids Act signed into law that helps more low-income kids get life-sav­ing spe­cial­ty med­ical care in this coun­try, as well as leg­is­la­tion to tack­le the mater­nal mor­tal­i­ty cri­sis plagu­ing moms in America.”

“And I’ll always enjoy my con­ver­sa­tions in the gro­cery store with folks who want to chat about the land­mark salmon preser­va­tion law I fought so hard for.”

“Some were pleas­ant sur­pris­es, like grow­ing my fam­i­ly by three won­der­ful chil­dren and in doing so, pro­vid­ing an exam­ple for oth­er women that you can serve your coun­try in elect­ed office while rais­ing a young fam­i­ly, and some were unex­pect­ed and dif­fi­cult. But I’m proud that I always told the truth, stuck to my prin­ci­ples, and did what I knew to be best for our country.”

Marie Perez’s response

“White Nation­al­ist and extrem­ist Joe Kent has now pulled ahead of incum­bent Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler in the late vote counts, and it appears he will be our oppo­nent in Novem­ber,” said Demo­c­ra­t­ic hope­ful Marie Perez yes­ter­day. Perez is the top vote get­ter in this round and has the sup­port of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party.

“This means that our race in Novem­ber is going to be a nation­al bell­wether for the direc­tion of the coun­try, and for the future of our democ­ra­cy. This Novem­ber, the vot­ers of South­west Wash­ing­ton are going to have to make a choice. Do we want to dou­ble down on the hyper­par­ti­san extrem­ism, the false­hoods and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, the attacks on our democ­ra­cy and our elec­tions, the divi­sive­ness and the dys­func­tion that is par­a­lyz­ing the Oth­er Wash­ing­ton and tear­ing our coun­try apart? Because that is what Joe Kent represents.”

“Or can we come togeth­er to demand pos­i­tive change, to find com­mon ground, and to elect a rep­re­sen­ta­tive focused on solv­ing prob­lems and build­ing a bet­ter future for us all? Because that is what my cam­paign is about.”

“As a auto repair shop own­er, a small busi­ness own­er, a mom, and a rur­al res­i­dent of our dis­trict, I know that a lot of folks around here are frus­trat­ed and look­ing for change. We need solu­tions to low­er the costs of gas and gro­ceries, and we need a fair play­ing field. We’ve had enough of an econ­o­my that caters more to cor­po­ra­tions and wealthy elites over work­ing families.”

Marie Perez, candidate for Congress

Con­gres­sion­al hope­ful Marie Perez (cam­paign photo)

“We want a real oppor­tu­ni­ty to attain the Amer­i­can Dream. If I am your rep­re­sen­ta­tive, my com­mit­ment is to work every day to make that hap­pen. I pledge to put the inter­ests of our dis­trict ahead of any­thing else, includ­ing my party.”

“Joe Kent is the oppo­site. He seeks to divide us, and if elect­ed, he will be a dan­ger to our democ­ra­cy and an embar­rass­ment to our dis­trict. He sees con­spir­a­cies every­where. He spreads the lie that the 2020 elec­tion was stolen and still attacks Repub­li­cans and non-par­ti­san elec­tion offi­cials who say there is no evi­dence Trump won. He was even a co-plain­tiff in friv­o­lous elec­tion fraud law­suits here in Wash­ing­ton State. Just ear­li­er today he went on Steve Bannon’s pod­cast to cast doubts on the legit­i­ma­cy of this election.”

“Does he still think it is fraud­u­lent now that he’s winning?”

“Fur­ther­more, he has a track record of mak­ing extreme state­ments, and spread­ing ugly racial­ly charged claims. His unapolo­getic extrem­ism and divi­sive approach demon­strate he is unfit for pub­lic office.”

“So I say to all vot­ers across the polit­i­cal spec­trum, democ­rats, inde­pen­dents and  Repub­li­cans, I say the fol­low­ing: please con­sid­er join­ing our cam­paign. I will wel­come your sup­port. I won’t tag you with dis­parag­ing labels or write you off because we may not agree 100 per­cent on every issue, the way Joe Kent will. Instead, I will lis­ten, I will be hon­est and acces­si­ble, and I will deliv­er real results on the issues we all care about.”

“With your back­ing we can reject extrem­ism and sup­port the com­mon good. I look for­ward to earn­ing you sup­port over the next few months.”

Monday, August 8th, 2022

Trump-endorsed Joe Kent overtakes Jaime Herrera Beutler for second place in WA-03

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler’s reelec­tion bid may soon be at an end. Today, her ultra MAGA, Trump-endorsed Repub­li­can chal­lenger Joe Kent surged into sec­ond place after anoth­er favor­able bal­lot drop, tak­ing a lead of 813 votes fol­low­ing the tab­u­la­tion of a fifth round of bal­lots by Clark Coun­ty Elec­tions and the oth­er coun­ties in the 3rd Con­gres­sion­al District.

In first place is Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger Marie Perez, who got the back­ing of most of the dis­tric­t’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers. Perez looks secure in that first place spot, and will be going on to the gen­er­al elec­tion. But Her­rera Beut­ler’s grip on sec­ond place has been steadi­ly shrink­ing as the bal­lot count­ing has gone on.

On Elec­tion Night, there was a sig­nif­i­cant gap between Her­rera Beut­ler and Kent, which left many pun­dits and observers won­der­ing if Her­rera Beut­ler had escaped the clutch­es of Trump and his increas­ing­ly rabid, mil­i­tant, extreme base in the Repub­li­can Par­ty. But unfor­tu­nate­ly for Her­rera Beut­ler, her lead for sec­ond place has dis­ap­peared. Worse, Ken­t’s momen­tum has car­ried him to a lead he prob­a­bly isn’t going to be relin­quish­ing. That means it’s cur­tains for Her­rera Beutler.

On Elec­tion Night, Her­rera Beut­ler had 24.48% of the vote, while Kent had 20.11%. Oth­er Repub­li­can chal­lengers, like Hei­di St. John and Vic­ki Kraft, were fur­ther back, and remain so. Today, Her­rera Beut­ler has 22.35% of the vote, while Kent has 22.74%. Perez is, as men­tioned, ahead of both at 30.99%.

The last few counts indi­cate that a lot of the Trump faith­ful sim­ply wait­ed until Elec­tion Day to return their bal­lots. Wash­ing­ton is a vote-at-home state, with no polling places (just acces­si­ble vot­ing cen­ters for those who need them), but the state has long allowed vot­ers to vote on Elec­tion Day, even through the mail.

The rules are sim­ple: as long as your bal­lot is in a drop box by 8 PM or post­marked no lat­er than Elec­tion Day, it will be counted.

(Amer­i­ca’s oth­er vote at home pio­neer, our great Pacif­ic North­west state of Ore­gon, used to require that bal­lots actu­al­ly be received by 8 PM on Elec­tion Day, but Ore­gon has now adopt­ed the sys­tem long used in Wash­ing­ton State.)

On Fri­day evening, Clark Coun­ty (the pop­u­la­tion cen­ter of the dis­trict) report­ed it had 30,000 bal­lots remain­ing to be processed. After today’s count, that num­ber is down to 10,000. Thurston Coun­ty also has 10,000 bal­lots await­ing pro­cess­ing, but most of those are like­ly from out­side of the 3rd. Lewis has 90 bal­lots await­ing pro­cess­ing, Cowlitz 480, Wahki­akum 20, Pacif­ic 75, and Ska­ma­nia 14. The small­er coun­ties are not plan­ning any more counts until Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Day next week.

Her­rera Beut­ler would need to arrest and reverse Ken­t’s momen­tum in the late bal­lots in order to regain sec­ond place. That seems improb­a­ble at this point, giv­en the trend. While Her­rera Beut­ler’s col­league Dan New­house looks set to go on to the gen­er­al elec­tion in the neigh­bor­ing 4th Dis­trict, she is now fac­ing defeat and the end of her ser­vice in the Unit­ed States House of Representatives.

Democ­rats could respond by giv­ing the 3rd the DCC­C’s “Red to Blue” des­ig­na­tion, to help Perez, who is a small busi­ness own­er, raise the funds need­ed to mount the most vig­or­ous cam­paign pos­si­ble in the gen­er­al elec­tion against Kent.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has been focused on pick­ing up Ore­gon’s new 6th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict and defend­ing the seats now held by Kurt Schrad­er (who lost renom­i­na­tion to Jamie McLeod-Skin­ner) and Kim Schri­er (who is on her way to the gen­er­al elec­tion with Repub­li­can Matt Larkin as her like­ly oppo­nent), but Her­rera Beut­ler’s pend­ing ouster makes this a con­test for an open seat.

Those dynam­ics will alter how the race is per­ceived and scored in the Oth­er Wash­ing­ton and around the coun­try. Aside from per­haps Russ Fulcher of Ida­ho, there is no one in the Pacif­ic North­west­’s con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion who is as extreme as Joe Kent is and would be in Con­gress. How­ev­er you want to define “ultra MAGA,” Joe Kent prob­a­bly fits the def­i­n­i­tion. Kent wants to become our region’s ver­sion of Lau­ren Boe­bert or Mar­jorie Tay­lor Greene.

Kent has already vio­lat­ed fed­er­al law dur­ing the course of his cam­paign.

Perez is stand­ing in his way, but she’ll need all the sup­port she can get to defeat him and ensure that Wash­ing­ton’s 3rd does­n’t become a dis­trict rep­re­sent­ed by some­body who is an ene­my of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States.

Sunday, August 7th, 2022

A win for America! U.S. Senate passes climate and health focused Inflation Reduction Act

This after­noon, after pulling a “vote-a-rama” all nighter, the Unit­ed States Sen­ate resolved — with Vice Pres­i­dent Kamala Har­ris’ tiebreak­ing vote! — to pass the cli­mate and health focused Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act of 2022 nego­ti­at­ed by Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen­a­tor Joe Manchin.

This is eas­i­ly the most ambi­tious cli­mate bill the Sen­ate has ever passed, so it’s a pret­ty big moment. But it does­n’t just take cli­mate action. It would also low­er drug costs for mil­lions of Amer­i­can fam­i­lies by allow­ing Medicare to final­ly — final­ly! — nego­ti­ate the cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs.

The leg­is­la­tion is a frac­tion of the size of Build Back Bet­ter, and includes give­aways to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sine­ma to win their votes. Nev­er­the­less, it puts us in a bet­ter posi­tion to tack­le the cli­mate cri­sis and cost of liv­ing increases.

President Biden’s comments

“Today, Sen­ate Democ­rats sided with Amer­i­can fam­i­lies over spe­cial inter­ests, vot­ing to low­er the cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs, health insur­ance, and every­day ener­gy costs and reduce the deficit, while mak­ing the wealth­i­est cor­po­ra­tions final­ly pay their fair share,” said Pres­i­dent Joe Biden in a spe­cial statement.

“I ran for Pres­i­dent promis­ing to make gov­ern­ment work for work­ing fam­i­lies again, and that is what this bill does — peri­od. This bill caps seniors’ out of pock­et spend­ing for pre­scrip­tion drugs at $2000 per year – no mat­ter what their drug bills would oth­er­wise be, seniors will not have to spend more than $2000.”

“In addi­tion, thir­teen mil­lion Amer­i­cans, cov­ered under the Afford­able Care Act, will see their health insur­ance pre­mi­ums reduced by $800. This bill tack­les infla­tion by low­er­ing the deficit and low­er­ing costs for reg­u­lar families.”

“It address­es the cli­mate cri­sis and strength­ens our ener­gy secu­ri­ty, cre­at­ing jobs man­u­fac­tur­ing solar pan­els, wind tur­bines, and elec­tric vehi­cles in Amer­i­ca with Amer­i­can work­ers. It low­ers fam­i­lies’ ener­gy costs by hun­dreds of dol­lars each year. Final­ly, it pays for all this by estab­lish­ing a min­i­mum cor­po­rate tax so that our rich­est cor­po­ra­tions start to pay their fair share. It does not raise tax­es on those mak­ing under $400,000 a year – not one cent.”

“I want to thank Leader Schumer and every mem­ber of the Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus for sup­port­ing this bill. It required many compromises.”

“Doing impor­tant things almost always does. The House should pass this as soon as pos­si­ble and I look for­ward to sign­ing it into law.”

Governor Inslee’s comments

“Wash­ing­to­ni­ans will take deep sat­is­fac­tion know­ing our decades-long vision of a clean ener­gy econ­o­my cre­at­ing good, fam­i­ly wage jobs all across Amer­i­ca is com­ing clos­er to real­i­ty,” said Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee, who mon­i­tored the vote.

“These long-sought mea­sures, part of the sin­gle largest invest­ment to address cli­mate change in Amer­i­can his­to­ry, should right­ful­ly encour­age both our state and the fed­er­al gov­ern­ments to take fur­ther nec­es­sary steps.”

“We need more if we are to ful­ly meet Amer­i­ca’s com­mit­ments under the Paris Cli­mate Accords. I urge the admin­is­tra­tion to build on this break­through by tak­ing all exec­u­tive action avail­able to them. We must not miss this moment.”

“The Sen­ate has tak­en the essen­tial step, and Amer­i­cans are right­ful­ly opti­mistic. I thank Sen­a­tors Pat­ty Mur­ray and Maria Cantwell for their unflag­ging, hero­ic efforts to pass rec­on­cil­i­a­tion leg­is­la­tion through the Sen­ate that meets the scale of our cli­mate cri­sis, low­ers health care costs for Wash­ing­to­ni­ans, and fights infla­tion. They delivered.”

“The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives should pass the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act this week so that Pres­i­dent Biden may sign it into law – a day all Amer­i­cans will remember.”

Senator Murray’s comments

“No one should have to wor­ry about whether they can afford the health care or med­i­cine they need. This bill will final­ly give Medicare pow­er to force drug com­pa­nies to the bar­gain­ing table and nego­ti­ate low­er drug prices for patients across the coun­try,” said Wash­ing­ton’s senior U.S. Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Murray.

“And for seniors who are often on fixed incomes: we are going to cap the price of insulin at just $35 per month, cap out-of-pock­et costs, and we are stop­ping big phar­ma from jack­ing up the cost of their drugs.”

“Life­sav­ing med­i­cine doesn’t do any good if peo­ple can’t afford it—and this leg­is­la­tion makes mean­ing­ful progress toward mak­ing sure peo­ple don’t have to emp­ty their sav­ings account just so they can fill their prescription.”

“This bill helps peo­ple get qual­i­ty, afford­able insur­ance too, by extend­ing the health care tax cred­its we passed in the Amer­i­can Res­cue Plan—that makes a dif­fer­ence right now for mil­lions of peo­ple,” Mur­ray added.

“More than 100,000 peo­ple found cov­er­age on Wash­ing­ton state’s exchange for no more than $100 a month because of these tax cred­its. These aren’t just words on paper and it’s not just about sav­ing patients’ mon­ey — this will save lives.”

“We are help­ing patients who are rationing their pre­scrip­tions to make ends meet, or who are afraid to see their doctors—not because they are scared of get­ting a diag­no­sis, but because they are scared of the price tag. And I am going to keep build­ing on this momen­tum with even more bold poli­cies to ensure health care is tru­ly a right, not a priv­i­lege, for every­one in our country.”

“I talk to young peo­ple in Seat­tle who are urgent­ly call­ing on Con­gress to take bold cli­mate action and fam­i­lies in Yaki­ma Coun­ty who are deeply con­cerned by a wild­fire sea­son that seems to get worse and worse every year — the cli­mate cri­sis is here and it’s time we take action,” con­tin­ued Sen­a­tor Mur­ray on the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act’s cli­mate and ener­gy provisions.

“This his­toric leg­is­la­tion will be the largest-ever invest­ment in cli­mate action in our country’s his­to­ry. Wash­ing­ton state is unique­ly poised to take full advan­tage of fed­er­al clean ener­gy tax cred­its and grants that will deliv­er low­er ener­gy costs for con­sumers, mil­lions of good-pay­ing jobs, and pro­mote real ener­gy independence.”

“And final­ly — this leg­is­la­tion won’t just bring down fam­i­lies’ every day costs, it will bring down the deficit—by more than $300 bil­lion,” Mur­ray observed.

“Because every cent of this bill is paid for — and then some — by sim­ply ensur­ing giant cor­po­ra­tions pay their fair share in taxes.”

“There’s no rea­son a bil­lion dol­lar cor­po­ra­tion should pay less in tax­es than a fire­fight­er or a teacher in Wal­la Wal­la, Wash­ing­ton — just because the cur­rent sys­tem lets them skirt or even plain cheat on their tax­es. That’s not right. And Democ­rats won’t let it fly any longer and no work­ing or mid­dle-class fam­i­ly in Wash­ing­ton state will see their tax­es go up one penny.”

Senator Wyden’s comments

“This his­toric clean ener­gy pack­age has been a decade in the mak­ing,” said Ore­gon’s senior U.S. Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden in a statement.

“When clean ener­gy leg­is­la­tion failed in 2010, we regrouped to ensure suc­cess the next time Democ­rats had an oppor­tu­ni­ty. We turned to emis­sions-based, tech­nol­o­gy-neu­tral tax incen­tives, and spent near­ly a decade prepar­ing this bill.”

“My lodestar has been achiev­ing the great­est emis­sions and cost-sav­ings pos­si­ble with fifty votes. That’s why the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act’s clean ener­gy tax pack­age is about nine­ty per­cent of the Clean Ener­gy for Amer­i­ca Act that the Sen­ate Finance Com­mit­tee approved in May 2021.”

“We built the sup­port need­ed over time.”

Wyden con­tin­ued: “This bill will reduce ener­gy costs, secure our ener­gy inde­pen­dence, and dras­ti­cal­ly cut car­bon emis­sions. For the first time, the tax code is going to reward emis­sions reduc­tions, and encour­age the devel­op­ment of new clean ener­gy tech­nolo­gies as soon as they come online.”

“No longer will Con­gress need to leg­is­late tech­nol­o­gy by tech­nol­o­gy, mak­ing it eas­i­er to inno­vate and bring new tech­nolo­gies to market.”

“Impor­tant­ly, this is per­ma­nent ener­gy pol­i­cy. Con­gress will no longer need to extend these incen­tives every few years, giv­ing com­pa­nies and states cer­tain­ty to plan clean ener­gy projects and cre­ate jobs.”

“This is among the most con­se­quen­tial bills of my ser­vice in the Senate.”

“For too long, Medicare has been forced to con­tend with Big Phar­ma with one hand tied behind its back – that ends when this bill is signed into law,” Wyden added. “Ever since I became the top Demo­c­rat on the Finance Com­mit­tee, I have been spot­light­ing how the drug pric­ing sys­tem is bro­ken top to bottom.”

“At last, the Sen­ate has begun to rede­fine the rela­tion­ship between Medicare and Big Phar­ma. That work began last Con­gress on a bipar­ti­san basis, and vir­tu­al­ly the entire­ty of the Finance Committee’s work two years ago is includ­ed in the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act. Democ­rats have tak­en the crit­i­cal next step by lift­ing the curse that has pre­vent­ed Medicare from nego­ti­at­ing low­er prices.”

“Medicare nego­ti­a­tion is the cen­ter­piece of the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act’s drug pric­ing reforms. No longer will drug com­pa­nies be able to string Medicare along for years or even decades while tax­pay­ers foot the bill.”

“This pol­i­cy tar­gets the most expen­sive, most used drugs that have had zero com­pe­ti­tion for years on end. It low­ers prices in a way that is fair and designed to pro­mote inno­va­tion, not sti­fle it. Those nego­ti­a­tions will begin next year.”

“It cre­ates a lim­it on Big Pharma’s abil­i­ty to price gouge with the Medicare infla­tion rebate, requir­ing drug com­pa­nies to pay a fee to Medicare if they raise their prices faster than inflation.”

“Crit­i­cal­ly, the bill will pro­tect seniors from high out-of-pock­et costs in less than a year and a half with a $2,000 out-of-pock­et cap on drug costs, which will spare more than a mil­lion seniors from finan­cial per­il. Tak­en togeth­er, these poli­cies rep­re­sent a seis­mic shift in how Medicare pays for med­i­cine, and it does so in a way that will great­ly low­er costs for seniors and taxpayers.”

Senator Merkley’s comments

“Today is a big day for Amer­i­ca,” said Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley of Ore­gon, Wyden’s seat­mate. “For the first time, the U.S. Sen­ate has passed major leg­is­la­tion to remake our ener­gy sys­tem — and to do so while also low­er­ing health care costs and cre­at­ing good-pay­ing, fam­i­ly wage jobs, all paid for by ensur­ing bil­lion­aires and big cor­po­ra­tions pay their fair share in taxes.”

“We’re tak­ing on Big Phar­ma to low­er drug prices. This bill starts the process of nego­ti­at­ing pre­scrip­tion drug prices and caps out-of-pock­et costs for pre­scrip­tions at $2,000 a year for seniors on Medicare.”

“Addi­tion­al­ly, it helps mid­dle class fam­i­lies get afford­able insur­ance cov­er­age by extend­ing key tax cred­its and pre­vent­ing big cost increas­es that would have hit fam­i­lies this fall. This bill is a big win for afford­able health care, and we need to keep build­ing on it. Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers con­tribute more than the cit­i­zens of any oth­er nation in the world to research and devel­op­ment of drugs.”

“They deserve the best prices in the world, not the worst.”

“We’re going to tran­si­tion to clean ener­gy and cre­ate high-qual­i­ty union jobs while we do it. Year after year, I’ve seen my home state of Ore­gon and oth­er states across the West dec­i­mat­ed by mega wild­fires and record droughts.”

“In oth­er parts of the coun­try, we’ve seen super­storms, sea rise, and unprece­dent­ed flood­ing. Cli­mate chaos is here, and we have to act now to save lives and liveli­hoods from cat­a­stro­phe. This bill is the most sig­nif­i­cant piece of cli­mate leg­is­la­tion ever passed through the U.S. Sen­ate and final­ly puts us on a path to tran­si­tion to clean and renew­able energy.”

Evergreen Action’s reaction

“This is a his­toric moment for cli­mate action, and a turn­ing point in Amer­i­can cli­mate pol­i­cy,” said Ever­green Action’s Jamal Raad.

“Today, the Sen­ate passed the largest cli­mate invest­ment in his­to­ry — by far. This is the end of a decades-long road to pass a cli­mate bill, but it’s only the begin­ning of the road towards achiev­ing the green­house gas pol­lu­tion reduc­tions that sci­ence demands and build­ing a bet­ter future for us all.”

NPI’s position

The North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute sup­ports the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act of 2022. This land­mark bill will advance Amer­i­ca’s efforts to meet its moral oblig­a­tion to tack­le the cli­mate cri­sis and will final­ly allow Medicare to nego­ti­ate pre­scrip­tion drug costs, which will help mil­lions of Amer­i­cans in the years to come. Final­ly, this bill actu­al­ly makes our tax code fair­er for a change, increas­ing fund­ing for the Inter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice and putting us on a path to greater fis­cal responsibility.

We look for­ward to House pas­sage and the White House sign­ing ceremony.

Sunday, August 7th, 2022

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (August 1st-5th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues on July 29th and dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing August 5th, 2022.

In the United States House of Representatives (July 29th)

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

The House was in recess last week, but before it recessed the week before, it took sev­er­al votes that were not in last Sun­day’s report. 

These Fri­day, July 29th votes are shown below. 

WILDFIRES AND WATER MANAGEMENT: The House on July 29th passed the Wild­fire Response and Drought Resilien­cy Act (H.R. 5118), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joe Neguse, D‑Colorado, to autho­rize var­i­ous water man­age­ment projects and change fed­er­al wildlife pro­grams, includ­ing increas­ing fire­fight­er wages. Neguse called the bill “anoth­er major effort to act on cli­mate by respond­ing to record-set­ting wild­fires and drought that are impact­ing com­mu­ni­ties across our coun­try.” An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bruce West­er­man, R‑Arkansas, said it “does absolute­ly noth­ing to pre­vent wild­fires or sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve our resilien­cy to drought.” The vote was 218 yeas to 199 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Peter DeFazio

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kurt Schrader

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Vot­ing Nay (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 10 aye votes, 7 nay votes

REGULATING BIG CATS: The House on July 29th passed the Big Cat Pub­lic Safe­ty Act (H.R. 263), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Quigley, D‑Illinois, to tight­en fed­er­al restric­tions on the trade and use of large feline species, such as lions, tigers, chee­tahs, and moun­tain lions. Quigley said the stricter reg­u­la­tions were need­ed “to pro­tect our neigh­bor­hoods from the threat of wild ani­mals being held cap­tive in dan­ger­ous con­di­tions.” An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Doug LaMal­fa, R‑Calif., said there were already ade­quate fed­er­al reg­u­la­tions for big cats, and the bill would also over­ride state author­i­ty to leg­is­late on the matter.

The vote was 278 yeas to 134 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beutler

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 12 aye votes, 5 nay votes

RESTORING COAL MINE SITES: The House on July 29th passed the Safe­guard­ing Treat­ment for the Restora­tion of Ecosys­tems from Aban­doned Mines Act (H.R. 7283), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Matt Cartwright, D‑Pennsylvania, to allow states to reserve up to 30 per­cent of their fed­er­al grants for recla­ma­tion of aban­doned coal mines to fund the treat­ment and abate­ment of drainage of acidic water from the mines. Cartwright said: “Clean­ing up acid mine drainage always cre­ates jobs, brings back recre­ation oppor­tu­ni­ties, boosts local economies, and makes com­mu­ni­ties health­i­er and stronger and much more attrac­tive to vis­i­tors and new invest­ments.” The vote was 391 yeas to 9 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Kurt Schrad­er; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Peter DeFazio

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (10): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 16 aye votes, 1 not voting

COMPUTING INFRASTRUCTURE REVIEWS: The House on July 29th passed a Repub­li­can bill (S. 3451), spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Bill Hager­ty, R‑Tennessee, to speed reg­u­la­to­ry reviews of com­put­er and net­work­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing infra­struc­ture projects. A sup­port­er, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bruce West­er­man, R‑Arkansas, said stream­lined reviews would sup­port a “robust domes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor for semi­con­duc­tors and oth­er high-tech applications.”

The vote was 303 yeas to 89 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kurt Schrad­er and Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

Vot­ing Nay (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci and Earl Blumenauer

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Peter DeFazio

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Kim Schri­er, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Prami­la Jaya­pal and Adam Smith

Cas­ca­dia total: 12 aye votes, 4 nay votes, 1 not voting

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

FINAL PASSAGE OF THE HONORING OUR PACT ACT: The Sen­ate on August 2nd agreed to the House amend­ments to the Sergeant First Class Heath Robin­son Hon­or­ing our Promise to Address Com­pre­hen­sive Tox­i­cs Act (S. 3373), to increase med­ical ben­e­fits and treat­ments for mil­i­tary vet­er­ans who were exposed to tox­ins in Iraq and Afghanistan. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Jon Tester, D‑Montana, said of the need for the bill: “The longer we delay, the longer we are going to deny health­care for our vet­er­ans and vet­er­ans are going to con­tin­ue to be in cri­sis and they are going to con­tin­ue to die.”

An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Rand Paul, R‑Kentucky, ques­tioned whether all the treat­ments pro­vid­ed under the bill were actu­al­ly caused by a giv­en vet­er­an’s time in the mil­i­tary, and said it “would cost hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars at a time when the nation­al debt is climb­ing over $30 tril­lion and infla­tion is at a 40-year high.”

The vote was 86 yeas to 11 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 3 aye votes, 2 nay votes, 1 not voting

ADMITTING SWEDEN AND FINLAND TO NATO: The Sen­ate on August 3rd agreed to a res­o­lu­tion to have the U.S. rat­i­fy the pro­pos­al for Fin­land and Swe­den to join the North Atlantic Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion (NATO).

A sup­port­er of rat­i­fi­ca­tion, Sen­a­tor Chris Van Hollen, D‑Maryland, said of the two Nordic coun­tries: “Their mem­ber­ship at this moment is crit­i­cal to coun­ter­ing Putin’s threats to glob­al secu­ri­ty — and espe­cial­ly to near­by, vul­ner­a­ble nations.” The vote was 95 yeas to 1 nay.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 5 aye votes, 1 not voting

ELIZABETH HANES, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on August 2nd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Eliz­a­beth Hanes to be a judge on the U.S. dis­trict court for the east­ern dis­trict of Vir­ginia. Hanes has been a mag­is­trate judge in the dis­trict for two years, and pre­vi­ous­ly was a pri­vate prac­tice lawyer, and an assis­tant pub­lic defend­er in the dis­trict for sev­en years.

The vote was 59 yeas to 37 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes

ATTEMPTING TO CANCEL ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS: The Sen­ate on August 4th passed a Repub­li­can joint res­o­lu­tion (S.J. Res. 55) spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Dan Sul­li­van, R‑Alaska, to dis­ap­prove of and can­cel a Coun­cil on Envi­ron­men­tal Qual­i­ty rule, issued this April, chang­ing pro­ce­dures for the devel­op­ment of reg­u­la­tions issued under the Nation­al Envi­ron­men­tal Pol­i­cy Act.

The April rule expand­ed the allow­able scope of such reg­u­la­tions by, for exam­ple, requir­ing reg­u­la­tors to con­sid­er the rea­son­ably fore­see­able indi­rect and cumu­la­tive effects of a giv­en reg­u­la­tion. Sul­li­van said the rule “will clear­ly have the effect of slow­ing down the per­mit­ting of infra­struc­ture, invit­ing end­less lit­i­ga­tion and putting peo­ple out of work.”

An oppo­nent of can­cel­ing the rule, Sen­a­tor Tom Carp­er, D‑Delaware, said it “would ensure that agen­cies con­duct envi­ron­men­tal review process­es in a com­mon­sense, holis­tic man­ner, one that nei­ther sac­ri­fices effi­cien­cy for envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion nor the oth­er way around.”

The vote to can­cel the rule was 50 yeas to 47 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 2 aye votes, 3 nay votes, 1 not voting

ROOPALI DESAI, U.S. NINTH CIRCUIT APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on August 4th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Roopali Desai to be a judge on the U.S. Ninth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals. Desai has been a pri­vate prac­tice lawyer in Phoenix, spe­cial­iz­ing in elec­tions and vot­ing law, since 2007.

The vote was 67 yeas to 29 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 5 aye votes, 1 not voting

Key votes ahead

The Sen­ate is cur­rent­ly work­ing on the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act of 2022, which was nego­ti­at­ed by Sen­a­tor Chuck Schumer and Sen­a­tor Joe Manchin.

The Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic major­i­ty is using Con­gress’ rec­on­cil­i­a­tion pro­ce­dures to move the bill through the leg­isla­tive process with­out Repub­li­can votes. It would low­er health­care costs for Amer­i­cans and invest bil­lions towards cli­mate action. Dur­ing an overnight “vote-a-rama” ses­sion, Repub­li­cans tried to attach poi­son pill amend­ments to bring the bill down, but those efforts have so far failed.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is slat­ed to return on Fri­day, August 12th to vote on the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act of 2022, pre­sum­ing the Sen­ate pass­es it today.

Edi­tor’s Note: The infor­ma­tion in NPI’s week­ly How Cas­ca­di­a’s U.S. law­mak­ers vot­ed fea­ture is pro­vid­ed by Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice. All rights are reserved. Repro­duc­tion of this post is not per­mit­ted, not even with attri­bu­tion. Use the per­ma­nent link to this post to share it… thanks!

© 2022 Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice, LLC. 

Saturday, August 6th, 2022

Republicans’ dreams of flipping Washington State Legislature vanish in a puff of vapor

For months now Repub­li­can par­ty offi­cials and oper­a­tives have been telling any­one will­ing to lis­ten to them that 2022 was primed to be their year.

Seek­ing to project an aura of invin­ci­bil­i­ty, they have sug­gest­ed and even declared that noth­ing — absolute­ly noth­ing — would stop them from mow­ing down front­line Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors and mem­bers of Congress.

Con­sid­er this May 8th state­ment from for­mer Penn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­can Chair Rob Glea­son, glee­ful­ly refer­ring to Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty lead­ers, activists, and voters:

“Their peo­ple are depressed… Nothing’s going to be able to save them this year.”

Or, clos­er to home, this mes­sage from Caleb Heim­lich on March 29th:

“2022 is shap­ing up to be a huge oppor­tu­ni­ty for Repub­li­cans in Wash­ing­ton State – not only can we help nation­al Repub­li­cans retake majori­ties in Con­gress, but we can also retake majori­ties in Olympia so we can enact good Repub­li­can poli­cies that will get our com­mu­ni­ties and our State back on the right track!”

A few weeks lat­er, in April, Heim­lich elab­o­rat­ed in anoth­er email as to what that would entail: “We need to win four seats in the State Sen­ate and every seats in the State House. We are fight­ing every day to accom­plish exact­ly that.”

Fast for­ward to this month. On Elec­tion Day, Heim­lich appeared on Live from Seat­tle with Tim Gay­dos, and told Tim that after Fri­day of Elec­tion Week, we’d have a pret­ty good idea of Repub­li­cans’ prospects in this crit­i­cal midterm election.

Here we are on August 6th, with less than a hun­dred days to go until Novem­ber 8th, and over 1.7 mil­lion votes tab­u­lat­ed in the pre­lim­i­nary round of Wash­ing­ton’s two-part gen­er­al elec­tion, for turnout of about 37%. Four counts are now fin­ished, and there will be sev­en more before cer­ti­fi­ca­tion occurs on August 16th.

NPI’s par­ty per­for­mance track­er shows that out of nine­ty-sev­en state House races, Democ­rats are col­lec­tive­ly ahead in fifty-sev­en, while Repub­li­cans are ahead in forty-one. And in state Sen­ate races, Democ­rats are ahead in sev­en­teen, while Repub­li­cans lead in eight. (Only half of the State Sen­ate is up this year.)

Voters in a majority of both House and Senate contests currently prefer Democratic candidates

State House of Representatives

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has the major­i­ty of votes in 57 House contests:

Democratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic Party

The Repub­li­can Par­ty has the major­i­ty of votes in 41 House contests:

Republican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican Party


State Senate

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has the major­i­ty of votes in 17 Sen­ate contests:

Democratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic PartyDemocratic Party

The Repub­li­can Par­ty has the major­i­ty of votes in 8 Sen­ate contests:

Republican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican PartyRepublican Party


If those dynam­ics were to hold through the gen­er­al elec­tion, Repub­li­cans would end up with a net gain of zero seats in both cham­bers of the Legislature.

That’s right: Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

They need to flip a total of thir­teen seats for con­trol of both cham­bers. At this junc­ture, they look ill posi­tioned to flip so much as one net seat.

That would mean that, come Jan­u­ary 2023, Demo­c­ra­t­ic majori­ties would be just as big as they are today, despite the retire­ments of a num­ber of Demo­c­ra­t­ic law­mak­ers from bat­tle­ground dis­tricts, like Pat Sul­li­van and Mona Das in the 47th, which Repub­li­cans loud­ly trum­pet­ed back in the spring.

The 47th is one of those cru­cial­ly impor­tant dis­tricts where Repub­li­cans fig­ured they would roar back in 2022. They had what they con­sid­ered to be strong can­di­dates and ide­al cir­cum­stances for a set of vic­to­ries this cycle.

But instead, it looks like Democ­rats will run the tables again, like in 2018.

In the Sen­ate race, a major­i­ty of votes are going to Democ­rats Clau­dia Kauff­man and Satwinder Kaur, who are sep­a­rat­ed by the tini­est of mar­gins: a few dozen votes. Repub­li­can Bill Boyce (a Kent City Coun­cilmem­ber, like Kaur) is well under the fifty per­cent thresh­old, with just 45.68%.

State Senate, 47th Legislative District

As of 08/06/2022 4:00 PM

Bill BoyceBill Boyce

Repub­li­can | 13,409 votes

45.68%
Claudia KauffmanClau­dia Kauffman

Demo­c­ra­t­ic | 7,982 votes

27.19%
Satwinder KaurSatwinder Kaur

Demo­c­ra­t­ic | 7,918 votes

26.97%

In the con­test for the open House seat, the Repub­li­cans’ three can­di­dates are split­ting the vote so effec­tive­ly that they have can­celled each oth­er out. There will be no Repub­li­can can­di­date — again, no Repub­li­can can­di­date — on the bal­lot for this office in the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion. Vot­ers will see two Democ­rats instead: Chris Stearns and Shukri Olow. That means Democ­rats are basi­cal­ly assured of get­ting to keep the seat that Pat Sul­li­van is vacating.

State House, Position 2, 47th Legislative District

As of 08/06/2022 4:00 PM

Chris StearnsChris Stearns

Demo­c­ra­t­ic | 9,802 votes

33.49%
Shukri OlowShukri Olow

Demo­c­ra­t­ic | 5,713 votes

19.52%
Barry KnowlesBar­ry Knowles

Repub­li­can | 5,116 votes

17.48%
Ted CookeTed Cooke

Repub­li­can | 4,433 votes

15.14%
Carmen GoersCar­men Goers

Repub­li­can | 4,182 votes

14.29%

In the oth­er State House race, incum­bent Debra Enten­man is cruis­ing along with 55.3% of the vote against two Repub­li­can oppo­nents: Kyle Lye­byedyev and Jessie L Ram­sey. Those def­i­nite­ly aren’t the num­bers of a vul­ner­a­ble Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent that Repub­li­cans were sali­vat­ing in antic­i­pa­tion of seeing.

State House, Position 1, 47th Legislative District

As of 08/06/2022 4:00 PM

Debra Jean EntenmanDebra Jean Entenman

Demo­c­ra­t­ic | 16,088 votes

55.3%
Kyle LyebyedyevKyle Lye­byedyev

Repub­li­can | 9,022 votes

31.01%
Jessie L RamseyJessie L Ramsey

Repub­li­can | 3,936 votes

13.53%

It’s the same sto­ry in the 30th… and the 44th… and the 26th… and the 24th… and oth­er dis­tricts. Repub­li­can chal­lengers to Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bents just aren’t putting up the strong show­ing that Repub­li­can oper­a­tives and their fun­ders had expect­ed. They were amply backed with big mon­ey, but it was for naught.

The Wash­ing­ton Observer’s Paul Queary has, like us, been track­ing the cam­paign cash and writ­ing reg­u­lar­ly about it. In his last newslet­ter, ana­lyz­ing elec­tion results, he char­ac­ter­ized the expen­sive cam­paigns to flip the Leg­is­la­ture as duds.

Pre­vi­ous­ly, on July 13th, he pub­lished a post look­ing in detail at the gush­er of mon­ey being spent against Democ­rats by the Repub­li­cans and the pow­er­ful inter­ests fund­ing them, includ­ing the oil indus­try and the bank­ing industry.

“Thus far, $387K has been spent on neg­a­tive cam­paign mes­sag­ing tar­get­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bents in five dis­tricts and Demo­c­ra­t­ic hope­fuls in two oth­ers. Some­what unusu­al­ly, WA Wins [the name of the Repub­li­cans’ leg­isla­tive­ly focused polit­i­cal com­mit­tee] is spend­ing ahead of the pri­ma­ry even though near­ly all the Democ­rats in ques­tion are sure to advance to Novem­ber,” Queary wrote. “The idea is to show those Democ­rats are vul­ner­a­ble and dri­ve enthu­si­asm and turnout among GOP vot­ers and big donors on the right going into November.”

Those cook­ie cut­ter attack mail­ers, how­ev­er, did­n’t pro­duce results.

Now Repub­li­cans are in a quandary. There’s one bat­tle­ground leg­isla­tive dis­trict where the num­bers are in their favor: the redrawn 42nd, up in What­com Coun­ty. Oth­er than that, how­ev­er, the elec­tion has not yield­ed a list of obvi­ous tar­gets for Repub­li­cans. Remem­ber, to get bare majori­ties in both cham­bers for next ses­sion, they’d need to flip nine House seats and four Sen­ate seats. And as we can see, there are not thir­teen Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bents head­ed for a tough fall right now.

These are weird, chaot­ic times. We don’t know the future and any­thing is pos­si­ble. It’s impor­tant to say that. But with respect to what’s prob­a­ble, this elec­tion has shown us that Repub­li­cans’ talk of flip­ping the Leg­is­la­ture has been based on pipe dreams. They have fan­ta­sized about dis­lodg­ing Democ­rats for a long time, but the vot­ers are not mak­ing their fond­est wish­es come true.

Right wing activists like Bri­an Hey­wood, cheered on by the likes of Tim Eyman, are present­ly cir­cu­lat­ing (with vol­un­teers!) eleven dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tive peti­tions as part of a scheme called “Let’s Go Wash­ing­ton” that are intend­ed to equip a 2023 Repub­li­can Leg­is­la­ture with bad ideas it can adopt into law that would not be sub­ject to a guber­na­to­r­i­al veto from Demo­c­ra­t­ic Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee.

“Pre­sum­ing we have a friend­ly leg­is­la­ture, which prob­a­bly means a Repub­li­can major­i­ty, even if only by one vote, then it is pre­sum­ably like­ly that both hous­es would vote to approve some or all of these ini­tia­tives,” Hey­wood’s FAQ says.

This kind of think­ing was echoed by Eyman in an email he sent on May 14th, in which he excit­ed­ly pro­mot­ed an anti-tax ini­tia­tive: “If we flip the house and sen­ate and get the Repub­li­cans a major­i­ty in both cham­bers, they can pass the ini­tia­tive into law and Inslee can’t veto it!” (Empha­sis is Eyman’s).

Bar­ring a polit­i­cal earth­quake, those dreams seem des­tined to remain a fan­ta­sy. By embrac­ing extrem­ism, cor­rup­tion, and vin­dic­tive­ness at every turn for years, Repub­li­cans have destroyed their brand — espe­cial­ly in the sub­urbs — and paved the way for Wash­ing­ton’s trans­for­ma­tion into a state that is even more reli­ably Demo­c­ra­t­ic, no mat­ter what the polit­i­cal cli­mate else­where might be.

Friday, August 5th, 2022

Birds of a feather flock together: Dori Monson brings Tim Eyman on his show for a gripefest about Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Right wing talk show host Dori Mon­son invit­ed nui­sance spe­cial­ist Tim Eyman onto his show today to com­mis­er­ate with Eyman over his recent legal trou­bles and to joint­ly gripe at length about Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son, the state’s chief law enforce­ment offi­cer. Loathing Fer­gu­son — “the most dan­ger­ous politi­cian in our state’s his­to­ry,” to quote Mon­son — is a shared pas­time of both men.

First elect­ed statewide in 2012, Fer­gu­son has racked up a series of legal vic­to­ries for the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton over pow­er­ful inter­ests, scam­my com­pa­nies, and right wing lob­bies that is so long and so exten­sive it could fill a book.

In addi­tion to Eyman, Fer­gu­son has suc­cess­ful­ly tak­en on the Trump regime (dur­ing its four year-exis­tence), the Gro­cery Man­u­fac­tur­ers Asso­ci­a­tion, opi­oid man­u­fac­tur­ers like Mallinck­rodt, and stu­dent debt ser­vic­ing firm Navient.

Fer­gu­son has won so con­sis­tent­ly and so com­plete­ly that he has arguably become more dis­liked by the state’s right wing than Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee… and it’s easy to see that Inslee is absolute­ly despised by Wash­ing­ton’s Repub­li­can base.

Eyman resents hav­ing been held account­able for his bla­tant and repeat­ed vio­la­tions of pub­lic dis­clo­sure law, while Mon­son has not for­got­ten that in the fall of 2020, Fer­gu­son appealed to his sup­port­ers to con­tact Bon­neville Seat­tle regard­ing the com­pa­ny’s employ­ment of Mon­son as a radio per­son­al­i­ty after he post­ed a trans­pho­bic tweet dur­ing an autumn guber­na­to­r­i­al debate.

Bon­neville tem­porar­i­ly took Mon­son’s show off the air after that dis­play of intol­er­ance. The Sea­hawks, for their part, nixed Mon­son’s pregame and postgame host­ing gigs. Though Mon­son was rein­stat­ed sev­er­al weeks lat­er, he has not for­got­ten that Fer­gu­son cam­paigned for his ouster, and he made that clear today.

“I mean, as I’ve told my lis­ten­ers many times, two years ago, Bob Fer­gu­son sent out a let­ter to all of his donors ask­ing them to call my radio sta­tion… Bon­neville, thank you… to have me fired,” Mon­son said. “I mean, this was the attor­ney gen­er­al, the high­est legal office in the state of Wash­ing­ton. In one of the most bla­tant First Amend­ment vio­la­tions imag­in­able, because it is gov­ern­ment that can­not take away free speech. And he want­ed his donors to have me fired.”

It bears men­tion­ing here that Fer­gu­son was cam­paign­ing for Mon­son’s ouster not as the state’s chief law enforce­ment offi­cer, but as a well known cit­i­zen with a plat­form. Nat­u­ral­ly, Fer­gu­son’s First Amend­ment rights to speak and pub­lish freely are incon­se­quen­tial to Mon­son because Fer­gu­son is not a right winger.

Mon­son inter­views with Eyman fol­low a pre­dictable for­mu­la. They are usu­al­ly a seg­ment or two in length (Mon­son’s show is ad sup­port­ed, which means the show is divid­ed into seg­ments) and con­sist of the fol­low­ing elements:

  1. Mon­son com­mis­er­ates with Eyman regard­ing the prob­lems that Eyman brought on him­self (but for which Eyman blames oth­ers, like Ferguson)
  2. Mon­son heaps scorn on Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son and invites Eyman to take his own turn throw­ing metaphor­i­cal darts at the dartboard
  3. Mon­son asks Eyman a bunch of extreme­ly sym­pa­thet­ic soft­ball ques­tions about his sit­u­a­tion and how he’s cop­ing or responding
  4. Mon­son allows Eyman to make a pub­lic plea to his lis­ten­ers for mon­ey and nudges Eyman to repeat said plea at the end of the seg­ment, while throw­ing in a not cred­i­ble state­ment that it’s not an endorse­ment of Eyman

Mon­son has allud­ed to these chats with Eyman at oth­er times (includ­ing when I was his guest) as though he is con­duct­ing hard hit­ting inter­views in which Eyman gets put on the hot seat. But there’s no grilling hap­pen­ing dur­ing these appear­ances. Mon­son is just giv­ing Eyman the equiv­a­lent of an infomercial.

Here’s a bit of tran­scribed dia­logue that illus­trates this point. This is ele­ment four:

DORI MONSON: All right. I got­ta run. Go ahead. Quick. Give me that legal defense thing again. [This is a ref­er­ence to Eyman’s web­site where peo­ple can give Tim Eyman mon­ey.]

TIM EYMAN: I real­ly appre­ci­ate it. It’s tim defense dot com. Tim defense dot com. And I just real­ly want to appeal this thing, not just for me, but to make sure they don’t do this to any­body else.

DORI MONSON: Yeah. And dis­claimer, not endorsed by The Dori Mon­son Show. Endorsed by the guy that I just invit­ed on.

TIM EYMAN: Oh, there you go. There you go.

DORI MONSON: Okay. All right, Tim.

TIM EYMAN: Real­ly appre­ci­ate you hav­ing me on, Dori.

DORI MONSON: Okay, all right, see you.

TIM EYMAN: Thank you, bud.

Not an endorse­ment, eh?

Birds of a feath­er flock togeth­er, as they say. There’s no rea­son for Dori Mon­son to pre­tend that he is some­how on a lev­el above Tim Eyman. They are both right wing grifters with a hus­tle who have shared aims and adversaries.

Mon­son’s hus­tle is his radio show. Eyman’s hus­tle used to be his ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry. Now it’s this and that: going to Michi­gan to work on a scheme his bud­dy Paul Jacob is involved in to dis­en­fran­chise vot­ers, fil­ing lots of law­suits as pro se lit­i­gant to tie up court resources in Thurston Coun­ty, pro­mot­ing Bri­an Hey­wood’s giant slate of eleven bad­ly con­ceived ini­tia­tives to the Leg­is­la­ture, and so on.

But one thing has not changed: Eyman’s need for mon­ey. He always needs more. Even when he was tak­ing kick­backs ten years ago and even before Bob Fer­gu­son filed a sin­gle law­suit against him, he did­n’t have enough. He was greedy. He want­ed more. He was will­ing to break the law to get more.

He assumed that there would­n’t be con­se­quences for his behav­ior. He assumed that if he stonewalled for long enough, he’d beat the rap. Those assump­tions were wrong. Eyman is free to loathe Bob Fer­gu­son for doing his job, but it is Eyman, not Fer­gu­son, who made the choic­es that land­ed him where he is now.

Thursday, August 4th, 2022

Well, that’s embarrassing: Republicans won’t have a candidate for Washington Secretary of State listed on the general election ballot

An extreme­ly weak field of Repub­li­can can­di­dates for Sec­re­tary of State is prov­ing to be no match for Wash­ing­ton State’s unfor­giv­ing two-part gen­er­al elec­tion sys­tem this year. With three counts now com­plet­ed, it looks like Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent Steve Hobbs will be fac­ing unaf­fil­i­at­ed can­di­date (and Pierce Coun­ty Audi­tor) Julie Ander­son this fall, leav­ing Repub­li­cans shut out of the final round for an office they con­tin­u­ous­ly con­trolled from the 1950s until last year.

In most states, this dynam­ic would be unheard of, because across much of the Unit­ed States, vot­ers get to par­tic­i­pate in real pri­maries to choose the major par­ty’s nom­i­nees for dif­fer­ent offices. Those nom­i­nees then appear on the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot, rep­re­sent­ing their respec­tive par­ties. But not in Washington!

Here, there is no pri­ma­ry at all. Instead, there is a two-part gen­er­al elec­tion in which the top two vote get­ters advance out of the first round, regard­less of par­ty. (It is called a pri­ma­ry by state and coun­ty offi­cials, but that does­n’t make it one.)

Since Wash­ing­ton does­n’t guar­an­tee the major par­ties spots on the Novem­ber bal­lot for a giv­en office — with the notable excep­tion of Pres­i­dent and Vice Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States — the par­ties have to be uni­fied and dis­ci­plined to avoid the pos­si­bil­i­ty of being shut out of the gen­er­al elec­tion for a key office.

Democ­rats enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly ral­lied around Sec­re­tary Hobbs, Gov­er­nor Inslee’s choice to suc­ceed Sec­re­tary Kim Wyman, who resigned last Novem­ber to take a job with CISA. Hobbs has over 40% of the vote against a sev­en-can­di­date field and is way out ahead in first place. Mean­while, Repub­li­cans splintered.

A total of three can­di­dates iden­ti­fy­ing as Repub­li­cans filed against Hobbs in May — State Sen­a­tor Kei­th Wag­oner, for­mer State Sen­a­tor Mark Milos­cia, and Bob Hag­glu­nd — along with a fourth (semi) Repub­li­can can­di­date with a split iden­ti­ty: con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist Tam­borine Bor­rel­li, who dubbed her­self on the bal­lot as aligned with the Amer­i­ca First (R) Par­ty. (In real­i­ty, there is no such enti­ty: Bor­rel­li invent­ed the label, which state law unfor­tu­nate­ly allows her to do.)

None of the Repub­li­cans became a prop­er fron­trun­ner for their par­ty, result­ing in a night­mare for Repub­li­cans: a three-way vote split among right wing vot­ers that’s allow­ing Ander­son to skate right on by the entire Repub­li­can field.

2022 special election for Washington Secretary of State

Results as of 08/04/2022 6:00 PM

Steve HobbsSteve Hobbs

Demo­c­ra­t­ic | 600,934 votes

40.52%
Julie AndersonJulie Ander­son

Oth­er | 193,954 votes

13.08%
Keith L WagonerKei­th L Wagoner

Repub­li­can | 178,738 votes

12.05%
Bob HagglundBob Hag­glu­nd

Repub­li­can | 177,709 votes

11.98%
Mark MilosciaMark Milos­cia

Repub­li­can | 146,978 votes

9.91%
Marquez TiggsMar­quez Tiggs

Demo­c­ra­t­ic | 115,062 votes

7.76%
Tamborine BorrelliTam­borine Borrelli

Oth­er | 63,365 votes

4.27%
Kurtis EngleKur­tis Engle

Oth­er | 5,288 votes

0.36%

Some­thing sim­i­lar has hap­pened in each of the past two cycles in which a statewide exec­u­tive office was on the bal­lot. In 2016, three Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates for Trea­sur­er split the Demo­c­ra­t­ic vote so well that two Repub­li­cans were able to get past them and make it to the gen­er­al election.

And in 2020, three Repub­li­can can­di­dates for Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor can­celled each oth­er out, result­ing in a gen­er­al elec­tion con­test between two Democrats.

2016 taught Democ­rats a les­son, and they demon­strat­ed that they had learned from it in 2020, when they put up a sin­gle, strong, cred­i­ble can­di­date for Trea­sur­er: Mike Pel­lic­ciot­ti, a ris­ing star in the par­ty who served two terms in the State House. Pel­lic­ciot­ti pre­vailed, becom­ing the only Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger to a statewide Repub­li­can incum­bent to win pret­ty much any­where in 2020.

Repub­li­cans don’t seem to have learned a sim­i­lar les­son. They can curse the bad, vot­er-approved Top Two sys­tem, but they can’t change their fate now.

In the past, Repub­li­cans ben­e­fit­ed from what you could call the Thurston Coun­ty to state capi­tol pipeline: A vet­er­an Repub­li­can Sec­re­tary of State would retire (like Ralph Munro) and pass the baton to the Thurston Coun­ty Audi­tor (like Sam Reed or Kim Wyman) who would then run statewide to keep the office in Repub­li­can hands. The par­ty would unite behind that can­di­date and reap the ben­e­fits of hav­ing a rea­son­able Repub­li­can with elec­tions expe­ri­ence as the stan­dard bearer.

Democ­rats, how­ev­er, extin­guished that pipeline a few years ago by get­ting Mary Hall elect­ed as Thurston Coun­ty Audi­tor. Hall was one of sev­er­al indi­vid­u­als con­sid­ered to be Wyman’s suc­ces­sor by Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee, along with Hobbs, Ander­son, and King Coun­ty Elec­tions Direc­tor Julie Wise. Hall has endorsed Hobbs to serve out the remain­der of Wyman’s unex­pired term.

Wash­ing­ton State has oth­er coun­ties with Repub­li­can audi­tors, but none of them want­ed to take on Hobbs. That left a vac­u­um, which var­i­ous Repub­li­cans tried to fill. One of them was Wag­oner, a state sen­a­tor from a rur­al dis­trict that spans parts of Sno­homish, Skag­it, and King coun­ties. Wag­oner declared ear­ly and secured the sup­port of Reed and Munro, who were cru­cial sur­ro­gates of Wyman’s, but then squan­dered his advan­tage by rais­ing very lit­tle money.

For a while, Wag­oner’s main com­pe­ti­tion was just fel­low Repub­li­can Bob Hag­glu­nd. But dur­ing Fil­ing Week, fun­da­men­tal­ist Mark Mil­so­cia, who has run unsuc­cess­ful­ly twice for Audi­tor, jumped into the race, see­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty. Milos­ci­a’s entry had the effect of frac­tur­ing the Repub­li­can field even fur­ther, increas­ing the like­li­hood of dis­as­ter in the August Top Two election.

NPI’s June 2022 polling con­firmed the per­il fac­ing Repub­li­cans. In that sur­vey, we found 17% sup­port for Hobbs and 56% unde­cid­ed, with every­one else mired in the sin­gle dig­its. Wag­oner reg­is­tered at an ane­mic 6%, Hag­glu­nd, Bor­rel­li, and Ander­son clocked in at 5% each, and Milos­cia received a pathet­ic 2%.

Hav­ing raised so lit­tle mon­ey, Wag­oner could not go up on tele­vi­sion and intro­duce him­self to vot­ers. But Ander­son, who was ful­ly pre­pared to take advan­tage of the odd dynam­ics of a Top Two elec­tion, could… and did.

Ander­son­’s pre­pared­ness, work eth­ic, and strate­gic invest­ment in vot­er com­mu­ni­ca­tion paid off. She’s get­ting enough sup­port in the vote-rich coun­ties that bor­der Puget Sound to claim that sec­ond place spot.

Ander­son is Hobbs’ clos­est rival in King, Pierce, Thurston, What­com, and Kit­sap coun­ties. In Pierce Coun­ty, she has of the vote. In King, she has 13.01%. In Thurston, 14.18%. In What­com, 13.97%. In Kit­sap, 13.51%.

Until today, Wag­oner (who has the sec­ond place spot in Sno­homish and Skag­it coun­ties) was­n’t even in third place. He final­ly over­took Bob Hag­glu­nd today.

Hag­glu­nd’s posi­tion as the ini­tial top vote get­ter among the Repub­li­can can­di­dates left many observers sur­prised. Hag­glu­nd has lit­tle name famil­iar­i­ty and has­n’t run a high pro­file cam­paign. But ear­ly Repub­li­can vot­ers who were not impressed with either Wag­oner or Milos­cia grav­i­tat­ed to him. He’s actu­al­ly win­ning sev­er­al small coun­ties out­right: Lewis, Grant, Lin­coln, Fer­ry, Colum­bia, Garfield, and Asotin. He’s also in sec­ond place in Grays Har­bor, Pacif­ic, and Wahkiakum.

In Feb­ru­ary, months before Milos­ci­a’s entry in the race, we test­ed a hypo­thet­i­cal three-way matchup between Hobbs, Wag­oner, and Ander­son. Hobbs had a plu­ral­i­ty lead, with Wag­oner in sec­ond and Ander­son a dis­tant third.

Three way matchups are not allowed in the gen­er­al elec­tion by state law, but we includ­ed Ander­son in our ques­tion because she was a cred­i­ble can­di­date with the poten­tial to go fur­ther than an inde­pen­dent can­di­date usu­al­ly would.

Fac­ing Hobbs plus a well-fund­ed Repub­li­can with the stature of Wyman, Ander­son would prob­a­bly have been elim­i­nat­ed in this round. But this is Wash­ing­ton State in the year 2022. Kim Wyman is gone, hav­ing tak­en her tal­ents and expe­ri­ence to the Biden admin­is­tra­tion, and she left no Repub­li­can heir appar­ent behind her.

That means there will con­tin­ue to be no Repub­li­can in Wash­ing­ton’s exec­u­tive depart­ment dur­ing the remain­der of this pres­i­den­tial cycle. It’s the lat­est embar­rass­ing elec­tion fias­co for the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty in a cycle that has been a dis­ap­point­ment so far on pret­ty much every level.

Thursday, August 4th, 2022

Reagan Dunn concedes defeat: Matt Larkin slated to face Kim Schrier in WA-08 this fall

King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Rea­gan Dunn threw in the tow­el on his bid for Con­gress this after­noon, acknowl­edg­ing that fel­low failed attor­ney gen­er­al can­di­date Matt Larkin has edged him out in the com­pe­ti­tion to take on Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schri­er, D‑WA-8th Dis­trict this autumn.

“I just got off the phone with Matt Larkin and con­grat­u­lat­ed him on win­ning the Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry for Con­gress,” Dunn told The Seat­tle Times’ Jim Brun­ner, a vet­er­an polit­i­cal reporter who deliv­ers excel­lent cov­er­age of state pol­i­tics. “He ran a real­ly clean issues ori­ent­ed cam­paign. It was an hon­or­able way to run his cam­paign and I am excit­ed to sup­port him as he runs in the gen­er­al election.”

Con­trary to what Dunn said in his inter­view with Brun­ner, Wash­ing­ton State law does­n’t pro­vide for a Repub­li­can (or Demo­c­ra­t­ic) pri­maries. Instead, Wash­ing­ton uti­lizes a two-part gen­er­al elec­tion sys­tem. In round one — the round we’re in now — the vot­ers win­now the field of can­di­dates down to just two using first past the post vot­ing. The can­di­date with a plu­ral­i­ty gets one spot and their clos­est rival gets the oth­er, regard­less of par­ty. It is there­fore pos­si­ble for the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot to have two Democ­rats or two Repub­li­cans — or oth­er weird combinations.

Despite Wash­ing­ton’s lack of a par­ty pri­ma­ry — which the­o­ret­i­cal­ly ought to have been help­ful to a con­ven­tion­al Repub­li­can can­di­date like Dunn at risk of being scorned by the ultra MAGA right wing — the coun­cilmem­ber was­n’t able to secure enough sup­port to get past Matt Larkin, con­sid­ered by many observers we’ve spo­ken with to be the “Trump­i­est” can­di­date of the Repub­li­can field, which also includes com­bat vet­er­an Jesse Jensen, Schri­er’s 2020 gen­er­al elec­tion opponent.

As of press time, Schri­er had 47.67% of the vote, Larkin had 17.07%, Dunn had 14.62%, and Jensen had 13.02%. One the Repub­li­can, Scott Stephen­son, had 3.17%. The oth­er can­di­dates set to be elim­i­nat­ed were all under 1%.

Dunn present­ly trails Larkin for the sec­ond spot by 4,048 votes.

Schri­er cur­rent­ly has more votes than Larkin, Dunn, and Jensen togeth­er, which Democ­rats find encour­ag­ing. The three top Repub­li­cans com­bined have 73,882 votes, which is sev­er­al thou­sand less than Schri­er’s 78,788 votes.

And, alto­geth­er, the votes going to the declared Democ­rats (Schri­er, Emmet Ward, Kei­th Arnold) are ever so slight­ly more than those going to the declared Repub­li­cans (Larkin, Dunn, Jensen, and Scott Stephenson):

As of 08/04/2022 5:20 PM

  • 81,659 votes in WA-08 for Democrats
  • 81,530 votes in WA-08 for Republicans

“I am proud of the cam­paign we ran, and I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to serve this area on the King Coun­ty Coun­cil,” Dunn said in a state­ment pub­lished on his cam­paign web­site, which was swift­ly updat­ed after he decid­ed to concede.

“I will keep fight­ing for the val­ues I ran on, sup­port­ing our law enforce­ment heroes and ensur­ing fis­cal respon­si­bil­i­ty. I will con­tin­ue in my com­mit­ment to be a voice of rea­son on the Coun­ty Coun­cil, and push back against extreme and irre­spon­si­ble poli­cies. Now more than ever, we need local lead­ers in King Coun­ty who will stand up for what’s right, not what’s polit­i­cal­ly expedient.”

Dunn may be exit­ing stage right with a pos­i­tive atti­tude in pub­lic, but this cer­tain­ly isn’t the out­come that he was hop­ing for, or had expected.

Bor­row­ing a Bushism (he ini­tial­ly won his coun­ty coun­cil seat in the Bush years), Dunn adver­tised him­self as “com­pas­sion­ate con­ser­v­a­tive who leads the Repub­li­can oppo­si­tion against failed poli­cies spread­ing from Seat­tle to our sub­ur­ban neigh­bor­hoods.” He was endorsed by Schri­er’s pre­de­ces­sor Dave Reichert, who accept­ed a posi­tion chair­ing Dun­n’s campaign.

Dunn began his cam­paign with gus­to, pro­nounc­ing him­self the frontrunner.

“The first poll to test the new­ly con­fig­ured 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict last week showed Dunn eas­i­ly lead­ing a field of Repub­li­can can­di­dates in the pri­ma­ry by more than a 2–1 mar­gin,” Dun­n’s cam­paign said in a Novem­ber 29th, 2021 press release, with­out elab­o­rat­ing or prop­er­ly cit­ing the ref­er­enced research.

“Rea­gan Dunn is eas­i­ly our best chance for Repub­li­cans to win the 8th Dis­trict, and I whole­heart­ed­ly endorse him in this race,” a state­ment from Reichert includ­ed in that same press release read. Reichert car­ried two incar­na­tions of the 8th in sev­en con­sec­u­tive elec­tions, from 2004 through 2016.

Reichert retired as of the 2018 cycle. Democ­rats unit­ed behind Schri­er after a spir­it­ed and live­ly intra­party com­pe­ti­tion of their own four years ago, which saw Schri­er pre­vail over Jason Rit­tereis­er and Shan­non Had­er. They imme­di­ate­ly threw their sup­port to Schri­er and she tri­umphed over Dino Rossi in the gen­er­al election.

Dunn pro­ject­ed con­fi­dence that he would avoid Rossi’s fate.

“There is no doubt – Rea­gan is the Repub­li­can fron­trun­ner, and he is ready to flip the 8th from blue to red,” a Dunn email blast dat­ed Tue, Apr 26, 2:15 PM said.

“Rea­gan is also the only Repub­li­can can­di­date who has a record of win­ning elec­tions and the only one who leads the Demo­c­rat incum­bent in a head-to-head match-up,” the email added. “The most recent poll of the new 8th Dis­trict found vot­ers pre­fer Rea­gan Dunn to Kim Schri­er by four points.”

“We can win in Novem­ber and help flip the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from blue to red – but we need your sup­port right now.”

“Rea­gan is the front-run­ner in this race to retire Kim Schri­er. He raised more from donors than all oth­er Repub­li­cans com­bined last quar­ter, has more cash on hand, and leads them by more than a 2–1 mar­gin in the lat­est poll,” anoth­er email from “Team Dunn” two days lat­er (Thu, Apr 28, 11:09 AM) said.

“But we can’t take our foot off the gas! Nan­cy Pelosi knows the incum­bent is in trou­ble and her deep-pock­et­ed allies are pour­ing mon­ey into her campaign.”

By July, Dun­n’s cam­paign was sound­ing more pan­icked than confident.

“The attacks on Rea­gan have begun,” said a Thu, Jul 7, 5:19 PM mes­sage from Car­son Coates with Dun­n’s cam­paign, which went on to say:

We knew they were com­ing but it’s worse than we thought.

They’re false, vicious, mean-spir­it­ed and per­son­al and have no place in pol­i­tics. There are sev­er­al trou­bling rea­sons why we’re so sur­prised by the attacks:

  1. They’re from our Repub­li­can oppo­nent. The same Repub­li­can oppo­nent that polling shows doesn’t come close to defeat­ing Kim Schri­er in the Gen­er­al Election.
  2. They’re disin­gen­u­ous – and use sev­er­al out of con­text quotes (though we shouldn’t be sur­prised about that) to attack Rea­gan over his per­son­al recov­ery journey.
  3. They are per­son­al – Rea­gan has a life-long con­ser­v­a­tive vot­ing record and is the only Repub­li­can run­ning who has actu­al­ly held elect­ed office. The attacks don’t try to pre­tend he can’t win or won’t be a reli­able leader. Rather, the deceit­ful attacks are on his per­son­al life.

Ronald Rea­gan famous­ly ref­er­enced the “Eleventh Com­mand­ment” through­out his polit­i­cal career: “Thou shalt not speak ill of anoth­er Repub­li­can.” These attacks are a par­tic­u­lar­ly egre­gious vio­la­tion of that rule and do noth­ing but frac­ture our par­ty and help Kim Schri­er and Nan­cy Pelosi stay in power.

We must fight back and defend Rea­gan. His cam­paign is focused on actu­al­ly turn­ing around this Coun­try by restor­ing law and order, reign­ing in reck­less infla­tion-caus­ing spend­ing, and restor­ing America’s ener­gy independence.

The afore­men­tioned attack ads were unleashed by a super PAC back­ing Jesse Jensen, Dunn and Lark­in’s rival, who lost to Schri­er in 2020. The PAC, equipped with plen­ty of funds by wealthy right wingers, con­tend­ed that Dun­n’s “neg­a­tives” made him the worst pos­si­ble choice to go up against Schrier.

Jensen’s back­ers may not have suc­ceed­ed in get­ting Jensen through to the gen­er­al, but they def­i­nite­ly may have played a role in sink­ing Dun­n’s can­di­da­cy and cre­at­ing an open­ing for Matt Larkin to slip past his rivals.

On Mon­day of this week (Mon, Aug 1, 12:28 PM), Dun­n’s cam­paign made a final, urgent appeal for funds to Dun­n’s email list. Gone were any ref­er­ences to Dunn being a fron­trun­ner, or eas­i­ly lead­ing the field by a two-to-one margin.

We aren’t going to mince words – this race will be very close. A mere hand­ful of vot­ers may decide whether Rea­gan makes it to the Gen­er­al Elec­tion. Your vote mat­ters. The votes of your friends and fam­i­ly mat­ter. And we hope Rea­gan can count on them.

Respect­ed con­ser­v­a­tive talk radio host Lars Lar­son recent­ly rec­om­mend­ed Rea­gan as the Repub­li­can can­di­date to take on Kim Schri­er in the 8th. The endorse­ment reads:

“Rea­gan is a great GOP can­di­date, with reli­able, con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues. He’s done a lot as a mem­ber of the King Coun­ty Coun­cil and looks like he would bring that same reli­a­bil­i­ty to the capi­tol build­ing, which earned him Lars’ thumbs up.”

If you’ve yet to decide which can­di­date to sup­port in the 8th, we want to high­light that Rea­gan is the only Repub­li­can can­di­date with a proven con­ser­v­a­tive record. You don’t have to wor­ry about whether Rea­gan will do what he says once in Congress.

Reagan’s con­ser­v­a­tive record – from con­sis­tent­ly vot­ing against tax increas­es to stead­fast­ly sup­port­ing our police – while serv­ing on one of the most far-left coun­ty coun­cils in the nation proves his com­mit­ment to vot­ers. You can rely on Reagan.

But as the ini­tial results came in on Tues­day night, it was appar­ent that many Repub­li­can vot­ers had con­clud­ed they could­n’t or did­n’t want to rely on Rea­gan Dunn to go up against Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schri­er this autumn.

It’s not the first time Dunn has fall­en short for high­er office.

Ten years ago, as men­tioned, Dunn lost his cam­paign to suc­ceed fel­low Repub­li­can Rob McKen­na as Wash­ing­ton State’s Attor­ney Gen­er­al. The post went instead to Dun­n’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic King Coun­ty Coun­cil col­league Bob Fer­gu­son, who Repub­li­cans pro­ceed­ed to leave unchal­lenged in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. (Fer­gu­son’s only oppo­nent was a Libertarian.)

In 2020, Larkin took on Fer­gu­son, but was eas­i­ly defeated.

Larkin will now get the ben­e­fit of a more uni­fied Repub­li­can Par­ty for phase two of his cam­paign for Con­gress. Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Chair Caleb Heim­lich, who has had very lit­tle to be hap­py about this week, has already bus­ied him­self adver­tis­ing a “Flip the 8th BBQ” in Cov­ing­ton next Tuesday.

“It has been a tough Pri­ma­ry,” a recent email from Heim­lich admit­ted, “but regard­less of who we sup­port­ed in the Pri­ma­ry, we must unite behind the win­ner to achieve our com­mon goals. This is why we are host­ing our upcom­ing ‘Flip the 8th’ BBQ in Cov­ing­ton, WA on Tues­day, August 9th. We will cel­e­brate the pri­ma­ry win­ner and unite behind their can­di­da­cy to win in November.”

Democ­rats are already plan­ning to make Lark­in’s staunch, fierce oppo­si­tion to repro­duc­tive rights a major issue this fall. Recent research shows that Wash­ing­to­ni­ans, includ­ing vot­ers in the 8th Dis­trict are extreme­ly sup­port­ive of pro­tect­ing Amer­i­cans’ right to make their own repro­duc­tive deci­sions.

Schri­er’s cam­paign char­ac­ter­izes Larkin as an extrem­ist and says she is ready to wage a strong, vig­or­ous cam­paign to keep the dis­trict Democratic.

“I have dri­ven thou­sands of miles, host­ed near­ly 100 town halls, and have been deliv­er­ing on the needs of this dis­trict. This com­mu­ni­ty knows me, and knows that I am out there lis­ten­ing and advo­cat­ing for them every day,” said Schri­er in a state­ment sent to media out­lets after Dun­n’s concession.

“I have proven to be an inde­pen­dent and effec­tive voice for the peo­ple of the Eighth Dis­trict, and will always stand up for a wom­an’s right to make her own health care deci­sions. With the loom­ing threat of a nation­wide ban on abor­tion from Repub­li­cans in the oth­er Wash­ing­ton, we can­not leave the fate of this dis­trict, or this coun­try, in the hands of my anti-choice opponent.”

The August Top Two elec­tion is due to be cer­ti­fied on August 16th. Not long after that, elec­tions offi­cials will begin prepar­ing bal­lots to go out to over­seas and mil­i­tary vot­ers for the Novem­ber 8th gen­er­al election.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Patty Murray, Washington State Democrats celebrate a robust Top Two election showing

The gath­er­ing “red wave,” a Repub­li­can midterm tri­umph pre­dict­ed for moths, didn’t show enough strength in Wash­ing­ton State’s Top Two elec­tion to wash away a sand­cas­tle. Or, to use anoth­er com­mon polit­i­cal metaphor, the fre­quent­ly tout­ed Repub­li­can land­slide did not amount to a frost heave.

The Unit­ed States Supreme Court took away a right from Amer­i­cans recent­ly when it over­turned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 deci­sion that legal­ized abor­tion, but Judge Samuel Alito’s opin­ion appears to have mobi­lized Amer­i­can women… and giv­en a shot in the arm to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party.

With a cam­paign keyed to women’s rights to make their life deci­sions – a cause since she entered Con­gress in 1993 – Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray was tak­ing near­ly fifty-four per­cent of the vote in her sum­mer show­down with tout­ed Repub­li­can chal­lenger Tiffany Smi­ley. Smi­ley was at thir­ty-two per­cent of the vote, ten points under what she reg­is­tered in recent polls.

“Let’s be clear: This was not a nor­mal midterm elec­tion,” Mur­ray said in a state­ment, not­ing that “our daugh­ters and grand­daugh­ters have lost the right to make their own decisions.”

It is hard to see Repub­li­cans putting resources behind a Sen­ate nom­i­nee who trailed a revi­tal­ized incum­bent by twen­ty-two points on Elec­tion Night .

Sim­i­lar­ly, as three Repub­li­can hope­fuls fought over who was more con­ser­v­a­tive, and a bet­ter crime fight­er, U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schri­er, D‑Washington, stressed choice, the rights of women, and bring­ing down drug prices. (Schri­er is dia­bet­ic.) The result: Schri­er, nar­row­ly reelect­ed in 2020, was tak­ing just under 50 per­cent of the vote in a dis­trict expand­ed to include east­ern Sno­homish County.

The Repub­li­cans weren’t even reg­is­ter­ing a frost heave.

Seek­ing to reclaim “mother’s seat” as 8th Dis­trict rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Con­gress, King Coun­ty Coun­cil mem­ber Rea­gan Dunn was bare­ly ahead of busi­ness­man Matt Larkin. Both had less than six­teen per­cent of the vote.

While wait­ing to see who she faces in Novem­ber, Schri­er on Tues­day night anchored her gen­er­al elec­tion cam­paign to bring­ing down costs to work­ing fam­i­lies and “pro­tect­ing a woman’s right to choose.”

A per­son obsessed with vengeance in both busi­ness and pol­i­tics, ex-Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump prob­a­bly looked for­ward to tonight’s pri­maries across Amer­i­ca as prom night. Three of ten Repub­li­can House mem­bers who vot­ed for impeach­ment were on the bal­lot. Two are from Wash­ing­ton, and Trump endorsed challengers.

The result, how­ev­er, was a mess. The impeach­ment vot­ers — incum­bents Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler and Dan New­house — didn’t light up the polls.

But the pro-MAGA vote was split three ways in both the 3rd and 4th Dis­tricts, leav­ing clear open­ings for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s candidates.

Her­rera Beut­ler stood at 24.48% of the vote in the ini­tial results. Mean­while, hit by a secre­tive hit cam­paign, Trump-endorsed chal­lenger Joe Kent was limp­ing along at 20.11%. The sur­prise of the evening was Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger Marie Glut­senkamp Perez, who led all com­ers with 31.77% of the vote.

It’s not always that a can­di­date from Steven­son, Wash­ing­ton, makes heads turn in a nation­al elec­tion con­test. As JHB strug­gled to make it onto the Novem­ber bal­lot, Glut­senkamp Perez was sound­ing like a very tra­di­tion­al Demo­c­rat, promis­ing work to restore man­u­fac­tur­ing, “make child care and health care afford­able,” and push back against America’s divisiveness.

The night’s oth­er sur­prise came in the 4th District.

Since vot­ing to impeach Trump after the Jan­u­ary 6 insur­rec­tion, Dan New­house has retreat­ed to sta­tus as an obe­di­ent Repub­li­can back­bencher, tout­ing par­ty talk­ing points. He chairs the West­ern Cau­cus, a group of Repub­li­can law­mak­ers seek­ing to ease envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions on behalf of the min­ing, agribusi­ness and petro­le­um industries.

New­house was tak­ing only 27.32% of the vote in his Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton dis­trict, fol­lowed close­ly by Yaki­ma area farmer and restau­rant own­er Doug White.

An any­thing-but-for­lorn Demo­c­rat, White was the lead­ing vote-get­ter in Newhouse’s home base of Yaki­ma County.

Trail­ing, but still a pos­si­bil­i­ty for the Novem­ber bal­lot, was for­mer Repub­lic, Wash­ing­ton, police “chief” Loren Culp at 21.74% of the vote.

Culp lost the 2020 guber­na­to­r­i­al elec­tion by more than 500,000 votes but has yet to con­cede. The defeats may be lin­ing up on him.

Also far­ing poor­ly was far-right State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Brad Klip­pert, R‑Kennewick, who gave up his House seat to run.

A trio of work hors­es from the Wash­ing­ton del­e­ga­tion – Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer and Adam Smith, D‑Washington – piled up impres­sive vote totals. Smith, from the 9th Dis­trict, is chair­man of the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, chal­lenged from the left by demo­c­ra­t­ic social­ist Stephanie Gallardo.

Smith pre­vailed in the Elec­tion Night tal­ly with more than 57% of the vote, triple the total of his Novem­ber oppo­nent, Repub­li­can Doug Basler.

Gal­lar­do trailed with just over 13% of the vote.

Rick Larsen is for­ev­er under fire from left activists in Belling­ham, who once booed him days before he vot­ed against the Iraq War resolution.

Shots from left and right bounce off the affa­ble incum­bent. With just under half of the total ini­tial vote, Larsen will face Repub­li­can Dan Matthews, who mus­tered just over sev­en­teen per­cent of the vote. Out of the run­ning is Jason Call, a con­tentious, two-time chal­lenger from the left.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Suzan Del­Bene, D‑Washington, was across the Pacif­ic in Taipei, as part of House Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi’s con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion. The Tai­wan vis­it was gen­er­at­ing angry state­ments from Bei­jing and scram­bling of fight­er planes over the For­mosa Strait. Del­Bene is cruis­ing in the new­ly redrawn 1st District.

Long­time incum­bents can get stunned. Recall, for instance, new­com­er Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez in 2018 unseat­ing New York Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joe Crow­ley, a mem­ber of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship. They don’t get sur­prised when out on the hus­tings, though. Larsen rang thou­sands of door­bells this sum­mer, while Kilmer knows most high school lunch­rooms on the Olympic Penin­su­la from town halls with con­stituents. He’s a prod­uct of Prince­ton and Oxford, but Port Ange­les High School is fea­tured in Kilmer’s biographies.

The Ali­to Court’s Dobbs rul­ing was hurt­ful and divi­sive for the coun­try. But it has pro­pelled Mur­ray out of the pro­tec­tive cocoon that so often sur­rounds a senior mem­ber of the Sen­ate. She looks like a peo­ple-pow­ered leader in blue jeans and – yes – ten­nis shoes, hear­ing out the folks at event after event.

I expect an ear­ly morn­ing email how-I-can-still-win email blast from Repub­li­can chal­lenger Tiffany Smi­ley. And I antic­i­pate watch­ing Mur­ray help shep­herd the $396 bil­lion cli­mate-and-health plan through the Senate.

The plan­et, and fam­i­lies with drug costs, will ben­e­fit by her presence.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

It’s Top Two Election Day in Washington State – don’t forget to vote!

Read­ers, a reminder that today is the last day of the August 2022 Top Two Elec­tion, the elim­i­na­tion round of our two-part gen­er­al elec­tion system.

Bal­lots must be post­marked or returned by a drop box by 8 PM tonight, or they won’t count. Be sure yours is in, and then remind friends and fam­i­ly to vote, too. Chances are, many of them haven’t. Don’t assume – ask!

Par­tic­i­pa­tion so far in this elec­tion is mir­ror­ing the tra­jec­to­ry that we saw in 2018, at least so far. As of yes­ter­day after­noon, statewide turnout stood at 22.6%; at this same junc­ture in 2018, it was 22.1%.

Lin­coln, Colum­bia, Wahki­akum, Jef­fer­son, and Garfield are the cur­rent turnout lead­ers. Each of those coun­ties is above 35% in returned ballots.

The big­ger coun­ties are lag­ging behind.

Yaki­ma Coun­ty has the worst turnout, with only 17.6% in. Franklin is sec­ond-worst, at 18.7%. Pierce Coun­ty, the state’s sec­ond largest coun­ty, has the third worst turnout, at 19.1%. Sno­homish Coun­ty has the fourth worst turnout, 20.6%, and King Coun­ty has the fifth worst turnout, at 21.2%.

A few medi­um sized swing coun­ties, like What­com and Kit­sap, are in the mid­dle of the pack, with turnout in the high twenties.

Final turnout in the 2018 Top Two elec­tion was 40.79% (it almost dou­bled in the last twen­ty-four hours!), and this year’s Top Two turnout could be that high or high­er if enough Wash­ing­to­ni­ans vote in the final hours.

The team at NPI urges you to be a vot­er and get your bal­lot in.

If you would like to use a drop box to return your bal­lot, here is a list of loca­tions for major counties:

Need help vot­ing? NPI doesn’t endorse or rate can­di­dates for office, but the Pro­gres­sive Voter’s Guide is avail­able if you want to learn more about who’s on your bal­lot. You can also use the offi­cial voter’s pam­phlet pub­lished by your coun­ty. And for judi­cial races, there’s VotingForJudges.org.

Start­ing tonight, after 8 PM, we will be offer­ing live cov­er­age of elec­tion results here on the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate. Most coun­ties will only report one batch of results tonight, and not update again till tomor­row afternoon.

We will be watch­ing a num­ber of races close­ly, espe­cial­ly the spe­cial elec­tion for Sec­re­tary of State, the con­test for Wash­ing­ton’s 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict (where three Repub­li­can can­di­dates are bat­tling for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to take on Kim Schri­er), and leg­isla­tive races in dis­tricts like the 46th and 36th, where large fields of can­di­dates are again com­pet­ing for just two spots on the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot, plus bat­tle­ground LDs like the 26th, 10th, 42nd, and 24th.

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Leesa Manion, Jim Ferrell tied at outset of King County Prosecuting Attorney contest, but Manion’s bio wins among the undecided

This autumn, in addi­tion to vot­ing on con­gres­sion­al and leg­isla­tive elec­tions, vot­ers in King Coun­ty will have the respon­si­bil­i­ty of select­ing a new Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney to serve in the coun­ty’s exec­u­tive branch. Long­time incum­bent Dan Sat­ter­berg is retir­ing, after hav­ing held the post for the bet­ter part of two decades.

Two can­di­dates are run­ning to suc­ceed him: Chief of Staff Leesa Man­ion and Fed­er­al Way May­or Jim Fer­rell, who pre­vi­ous­ly worked in the office.

Our lat­est research poll, which just returned from the field and asked King Coun­ty vot­ers about their pref­er­ences in this con­test, finds that the two can­di­dates are ini­tial­ly tied, with 8% apiece and a whop­ping 83% not sure who they’d vote for.

How­ev­er, after the “not sure” vot­ers were giv­en bio­graph­i­cal high­lights of the can­di­dates, Man­ion leapt out in front with plu­ral­i­ty sup­port and a two-to-one advan­tage over Fer­rell. 41% of the “not sure” respon­dents said they’d vote for Man­ion after read­ing those bio­graph­i­cal high­lights, while 20% said they’d pick Ferrell.

36% said they still weren’t sure, and 3% said they would not vote.

In the aggre­gate, Man­ion had 41% sup­port and Fer­rell had 24% sup­port, with 33% not sure and 2% say­ing they would not vote. 

Because this an offi­cial­ly “non­par­ti­san” con­test in which only two can­di­dates filed, it isn’t on the cur­rent August Top Two bal­lot. It will only be on the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot this autumn. But we decid­ed to poll it twice any­way: once this sum­mer and again this fall dur­ing the home­stretch of the elec­tion cycle, to ensure that we would have an ear­li­er set of num­bers to com­pare our autumn find­ings to.

As these sum­mer­time per­cent­ages demon­strate, nei­ther con­tender has much name ID at this junc­ture. Vot­ers sim­ply aren’t famil­iar with either of them.

Fer­rell has won elec­tions before, but not coun­ty­wide, which has a much big­ger elec­torate than the City of Fed­er­al Way, while Man­ion is a first-time candidate.

Here’s the text of the ques­tions that we asked and the answers we received:

INITIAL QUESTION: If the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion for King Coun­ty Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney were being held today, who would you vote for?

INITIAL ANSWERS:

  • Not sure: 83%
  • Leesa Man­ion: 8%
  • Jim Fer­rell: 8%

FOLLOW-UP QUESTION ASKED OF UNDECIDED VOTERS ONLY: Here’s a short descrip­tion of the can­di­dates, excerpt­ed from the biogra­phies on their cam­paign websites.

Leesa Man­ion is the cur­rent Chief of Staff of the King Coun­ty Pros­e­cut­ing Attorney’s Office, where she has spear­head­ed projects aimed at pro­tect­ing pub­lic safe­ty, reduc­ing racial dis­pro­por­tion­al­i­ty, strength­en­ing vic­tim ser­vices, and hold­ing repeat per­pe­tra­tors account­able. She also over­sees a work­force of near­ly 600 employ­ees and an annu­al bud­get of $80 million.

Jim Fer­rell is the cur­rent May­or of Fed­er­al Way. He pre­vi­ous­ly served as a Fed­er­al Way City Coun­cilmem­ber and as a King Coun­ty Senior Deputy Pros­e­cu­tor, defend­ing vic­tims of crime and work­ing to keep our com­mu­ni­ty safe. Fer­rell began his career as a pros­e­cu­tor for the City of Ren­ton, Wash­ing­ton before mov­ing into the King Coun­ty Pros­e­cut­ing Attorney’s Office in 1998.

If you had to choose, who would you vote for?

ANSWERS FROM UNDECIDED VOTERS:

  • Leesa Man­ion: 41%
  • Jim Fer­rell: 20%
  • Not sure: 36%
  • Would not vote: 3%

COMBINED ANSWERS (AGGREGATE), BOTH QUESTIONS:

  • Leesa Man­ion: 41%
  • Jim Fer­rell: 24%
  • Not sure: 33%
  • Would not vote: 2%

Our sur­vey of 687 like­ly 2022 King Coun­ty gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ers was in the field from Fri­day, July 22nd until today, Tues­day, August 1st, 2022. The poll was con­duct­ed entire­ly online for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute by Change Research.

Fol­low this link if you’re inter­est­ed in a detailed primer on the survey’s method­ol­o­gy along with infor­ma­tion about who took the poll.

Antic­i­pat­ing that there would be a high num­ber of vot­ers say­ing they weren’t sure when asked about this con­test, we devel­oped a two-part ques­tion. Since the voter’s pam­phlet state­ment for the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion has not been mailed to vot­ers yet and isn’t acces­si­ble, we opt­ed to source descrip­tions of the can­di­dates from their own cam­paign web­sites, which are avail­able to voters.

This approach allowed us to pro­vide respon­dents with infor­ma­tion about the can­di­dates that is (aside from some light edit­ing) iden­ti­cal­ly word­ed to what they’d see if they went to each can­di­date’s web­site and read their About pages.

Both can­di­dates have gar­nered a lot of endorse­ments from local elect­ed offi­cials. For exam­ple, Man­ion has the back­ing of Sat­ter­berg, Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine, Seat­tle May­or Bruce Har­rell, Asses­sor John Wil­son, and a third of the King Coun­ty Coun­cil. Fer­rell, mean­while, is sup­port­ed by the likes of Issaquah May­or Mary Lou Pauly, Des Moines May­or Matt Mahoney, Auburn May­or Nan­cy Backus, Ren­ton May­or Armon­do Pavon, and King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Pete von Reich­bauer. U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Adam Smith is also in Fer­rel­l’s camp.

Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty orga­ni­za­tions are most­ly for Man­ion, while police guilds have embraced Fer­rell. Fer­rell also has the sup­port of LiU­NA! Local 242, and the Seat­tle Build­ing Trades. Man­ion has UFCW Local 3000 and Team­sters Joint Coun­cil 28.

For those who are not reg­u­lar read­ers or sup­port­ers of our work, it’s impor­tant to know that the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute does not endorse can­di­dates, or engage in elec­tion­eer­ing for or against any can­di­date. We are not aligned with either of these Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney hope­fuls. We did not test any neg­a­tive mes­sages about either can­di­date in this sur­vey; the only infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed to respon­dents about them were the bio­graph­i­cal details pre­sent­ed above.

As men­tioned, this autumn, we plan to poll this con­test again and bring you one more Man­ion v. Fer­ell find­ing in advance of the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion. If you’d like to be noti­fied of when we pub­lish that and oth­er find­ings, you can sign up to be noti­fied of new Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate posts using the form to the right.

Sunday, July 31st, 2022

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (July 25th-29th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, July 29th, 2022.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN: The House on July 29th passed leg­is­la­tion (H.R. 1808) enact­ing a ban on mil­i­tary-grade assault weapons. Spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive David Cicilline, D‑Rhode Island, the bill revives a ban orig­i­nal­ly passed in the 1990s that expired dur­ing the Bush years. It would make it a crime “to know­ing­ly import, sell, man­u­fac­ture, trans­fer, or pos­sess a semi­au­to­mat­ic assault weapon (SAW) or large capac­i­ty ammu­ni­tion feed­ing device (LCAFD).”

“House Democ­rats are for Peo­ple Over Pol­i­tics,” said Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi. “And [we] say to our friends in this body, and down the hall, and wher­ev­er they are, your polit­i­cal sur­vival is insignif­i­cant com­pared to the sur­vival of chil­dren who are at the mer­cy of these guns. We believe that every Amer­i­can deserves to live in a safe com­mu­ni­ty, where they and their fam­i­lies can thrive.”

Five Democ­rats vot­ed against the bill, while two Repub­li­cans vot­ed for it.

The vote was 217 yeas to 213 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Peter DeFazio

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kurt Schrader

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Vot­ing Nay (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 10 aye votes, 7 nay votes

CHIPS AND SCIENCE ACT: The House on July 28th con­curred in the Sen­ate amend­ments to the CHIPS and Sci­ence Act (H.R. 4346).

The leg­is­la­tion would pro­vide about $76 bil­lion of var­i­ous types of sub­si­dies for domes­tic pro­duc­tion of microchips, and anoth­er $204 bil­lion of spend­ing on sci­en­tif­ic research and devel­op­ment pro­grams. A sup­port­er, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Eddie Ber­nice John­son, D‑Texas, called the bill “vital to ensur­ing a bold and pros­per­ous future for Amer­i­can sci­ence and inno­va­tion, main­tain­ing our inter­na­tion­al com­pet­i­tive­ness, and bol­ster­ing our eco­nom­ic and nation­al security.”

An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Frank Lucas, R‑Okla., cit­ed moves to tie the bill to “a mas­sive tax hike and spend­ing spree,” amount­ing to hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars, in the bud­get rec­on­cil­i­a­tion bill cur­rent­ly being negotiated.

The vote was 243 yeas to 187 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Vot­ing Nay (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 11 aye votes, 6 nay votes

Read More »

Saturday, July 30th, 2022

Casting your ballot in the coming midterms: A guide for college-bound Northwesterners

August is an excit­ing time of the year for many young peo­ple. Instead of return­ing back to well-trod­den high school cor­ri­dors, grad­u­ates are prepar­ing to move to oth­er cities or states to attend col­lege. Some of us are also turn­ing eigh­teen or have recent­ly come of age, and thus con­se­quent­ly are new­ly eli­gi­ble voters. 

When I took my bal­lot out of my mail­box for the first time, I was eager to final­ly vote. I will be vot­ing in a con­tentious midterm cycle that could deter­mine whether repro­duc­tive auton­o­my and vot­ing rights endure in this country. 

At the same time, I was curi­ous about my options for par­tic­i­pat­ing in our democ­ra­cy after I head to off to col­lege. For instance, I won­dered: Would I be eli­gi­ble to vote in Cal­i­for­nia while I was study­ing there in November? 

If you or some­one you know is in a posi­tion sim­i­lar to mine, here’s what you need to do to be pre­pared to vote this sum­mer and autumn. 

All aspir­ing vot­ers must first join the rolls before they are eli­gi­ble to cast a bal­lot. Vot­er reg­is­tra­tion looks dif­fer­ent for dif­fer­ent states, so online tools like vote.gov can help out­line the steps you will need to take to reg­is­ter or update your reg­is­tra­tion to vote based on your jurisdiction. 

Keep in mind that some states require vot­ers to have reg­is­tered a cer­tain num­ber of days before Elec­tion Day and may spec­i­fy a cer­tain num­ber of days required to estab­lish res­i­den­cy for the pur­pos­es of vot­ing in the juris­dic­tion. If you pre-reg­is­tered to vote when you were younger than eigh­teen, you can check the sta­tus of your vot­er reg­is­tra­tion using resources like voteamerica.com.

While it is not ille­gal to be reg­is­tered to vote in mul­ti­ple states, most states auto­mat­i­cal­ly unreg­is­ter vot­ers who have moved. 

You can choose to make sure that you have been unreg­is­tered in your pre­vi­ous home state by fol­low­ing the instruc­tions here

It is of course ille­gal and uneth­i­cal to vote more than once. You can only cast one bal­lot per elec­tion, even if you’re on the rolls in more than one jurisdiction.

Stu­dents gen­er­al­ly get a choice: they can vote in their home state or the one that they will be attend­ing col­lege in, and it’s pos­si­ble to switch between elections. 

How­ev­er, first term col­lege stu­dents who will be vot­ing in a new state should keep in mind that dif­fer­ent states have dif­fer­ent vot­ing require­ments. For exam­ple, some states require con­stituents to present state-issued IDs to cast bal­lots; oth­ers, like Wash­ing­ton, pro­vide mail-in bal­lots for all res­i­dents, and oth­ers still require vot­ers to make the trek to the polls. Vote.org has a use­ful tool to help you locate in-per­son vot­ing cen­ters if your cam­pus doesn’t have its own. 

For vot­ers who want to vote in their home state despite attend­ing school in a dif­fer­ent state, absen­tee bal­lots are the way to go. These bal­lots will be mailed to your school address, and you will mail them back to your home state after fill­ing out your vote. You can request your absen­tee bal­lot here. Make sure to keep the rules and dead­lines for absen­tee bal­lots in mind when deter­min­ing when to vote!

After cast­ing your bal­lot, you can keep an eye on its sta­tus using a bal­lot track­er. If your state does not have an online bal­lot track­er, you can reach out to your local elec­tion office to ask for infor­ma­tion about your ballot.

Regard­less of where you decide to vote in the future, make sure to get your bal­lots in on time so that your votes will count. Vot­ing in Wash­ing­ton’s Top Two elec­tion ends on Tues­day, August 2nd at 8 PM. Bal­lots must be in drop box­es by then, or be in the mail by the last out­go­ing col­lec­tion time that day. 

Hap­py voting!

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