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

Friday, February 03, 2006

Maria Cantwell deserves our support

In recent weeks I've been hearing from a number of activists who are clamoring to figure out a way to get rid of Washington State's junior senator, Maria Cantwell, who they feel isn't doing a good job of standing up to the administration and isn't progressive enough.

Some people are even trying to draft Jay Inslee to run against Cantwell in the primary (and our friends on the right shouldn't get excited, because there is zero chance that Jay is going to do it). So far, the only person who has declared he's running against Cantwell is perennial candidate Mark Wilson.

David Goldstein explains why activists ought to give Cantwell their support:
...Taking her entire term as whole, she has been a good senator… a hard working senator… an effective senator… and a surprisingly more progressive senator than many people give her credit for. According to Progressive Punch, Cantwell has a progressive voting rating of 88.73 percent, ranking her in the Senate’s top 20, only a couple notches to the right of Sen. Patty Murray.

But most importantly, she is an incumbent, Democratic senator, and she absolutely will be the party’s nominee in November.

Yet I keep hearing from whiners complaining that they can’t support Cantwell because of this vote or of that… suggesting that real Democrats should support real Democrats… like, you know… former Green/Libertarian candidate Mark Wilson.

Get real.

First of all, even if Wilson had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the Democratic nomination – and he doesn’t – there is absolutely nothing to suggest that he possesses the qualifications to serve as a US senator. But even more importantly, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that he’d be even remotely as progressive as Cantwell!
Maria Cantwell isn't a perfect Senator (who is?) but her voting record speaks for itself. She has a good reputation. Local officials I've talked to here on the Eastside, when I've asked about Maria, have told me that Cantwell has been attentive to their concerns and is a very hard worker.

Time and again, Maria has risen to the occasion to fight for her constitutents against some very powerful business interests (including Enron and big oil conglomerates).

And her voting record shows it. She's more progressive than the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who is widely admired by activists around the country (Reid comes in at 81.35% compared to Maria's 88.7% - the closer to 100% you are, the more progressive your voting record).

We know that Republican Mike McGavick will have a well funded campaign with plenty of resources and party backing at his disposal (heck, the party's already endorsed him).

To those Democrats who are contemplating not supporting Cantwell, I ask you: would you rather have Mike McGavick representing you? That's your other choice.

There's no way we're going to be able to take back the United States Senate if we don't support our own progressive Democratic incumbents. We need to keep Maria in Congress working hard for the people of Washington State.

I've said this before and I'll say it again now: This organization is certainly ready to do what it can to help reelect Maria Cantwell in 2006.

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