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.

Monday, May 22, 2006

McGavick sticks it to Washington taxpayers

Do you remember last month when (Lobbyist) Mike McGavick said:
I believe government's role is to provide citizens with opportunities for success. And I believe that comes through lower taxes and creating a climate in which small businesses can thrive.

As I travel throughout our state its clear that Washingtonians want lower taxes and more of their own hard-earned money in their own pockets. People tell me all the time that government doesn't need any more of our money. They believe lower taxes mean a healthier economy- and what the government really needs is serious reform. I couldn't agree more!
(Emphasis mine). That's funny. So Mike McGavick wants Washington State taxpayers to keep "more of their own hard-earned money in their own pockets."

If that's the case, then why is the McGavick campaign forcing Washington State taxpayers to pay huge expenses for the Vice President Dick Cheney's trip last month to raise money for McGavick's campaign coffers?
When Vice President Dick Cheney visited Washington last month to bail out his campaign, Mike McGavick said he and the GOP would pay the local costs for Cheney's Lobbyist! Mike fundraiser in Spokane – so that taxpayers wouldn't have to foot the bill.

News reports on Spokane television have revealed not only that security and other expenses are now at least twice the original projections but that despite his promises, McGavick is sticking taxpayers with the bill.

"Mike McGavick promised taxpayers he would not stick them with the bill for Dick Cheney's special interest whirlwind tour of Washington state," said Dwight Pelz, Chair of the Washington State Democrats. "Turns out that Lobbyist! Mike shoots about as straight as Dick Cheney when it comes to telling Washingtonians the truth."

As it turns out, when McGavick said he was "planning to reimburse taxpayers for the cost of the trip" he meant something different than the cost of the trip. And when McGavick said, "the party and we actually have to bear those costs, so they're not, they're not borne by the taxpayers" – that just wasn't true.

Read the facts for yourself.

BEFORE: McGavick Promised To Cover Costs, Not Leave Taxpayers on The Hook
  • McGavick said no taxpayer cost: "For the expenses that are borne directly by the Vice President when he does political things, the party and we have to actually bear those costs, so they're not borne by the taxpayers." [KREM 5 PM News, 4/19/2006 ]
  • KREM reported: "McGavick told us he is planning to reimburse taxpayers for the cost of the trip." [KREM 5 PM News, 4/19/2006 ]
  • KSKN reported: "US Senate candidate Mike McGavick says he will pay all the security costs for Vice President Cheney's Spokane visit." [KSKN 10 pm news, 4/19/06 ]
  • KREM reported: "When I asked Mike McGavick if it's worth the cost to taxpayers to bring a dignitary like a Vice President to Spokane , he said his campaign and the Republican Party would pay for it." [KREM 5 PM News, 4/19/2006 ]
  • KREM and KSKN have each reported on the costs to Spokane 's fire and police departments for the Cheney visit: over $20,000.
  • Twice Original Projections: "Vice President Dick Cheney's trip to Spokane will cost taxpayers about twice more than expected." "The bill comes out of the city's general fund--which is funded by taxpayer dollars." [KSKN 10 PM News; KREM 11 PM News, 5/15/2006 ]
  • Police and Fire Dept Shelled Out Cash: The police department spent over $17,000 and the fire department about $3000. [KREM 11 PM News, 5/15/2006 ]
AFTER: McGavick Says Local Taxpayers Will Pay
  • KREM reported: "When Mike McGavick told KREM Two News that taxpayers won't have to be burdened with certain expenses, he wasn't talking about security." [KREM 5 PM News, 4/24/06 ]
  • KREM reported: "Other costs, like overtime for law enforcement will be paid for by you, the taxpayer." [KREM 5 PM News, 4/24/06 ]
  • KSKN reported "McGavick's campaign says it will not reimburse security costs." [KSKN 10 PM News, 5/15/2006 ]
McGavick Shoots Back: Taxpayers Can Afford to Pay for the Cheney Visit Because He'll Cover the Cost of Air Force Two, But Is That Really True?

McGavick isn't giving a straight answer on whose paying for travel costs either. His staff is only saying they paid a "significant amount" for Cheney's travel expenses. Since the rest of the tab will be picked up by taxpayer, McGavick should disclose what his campaign actually paid and let taxpayers and voters decide if their promise to "reimburse taxpayers for the cost of the trip" is truthful and accurate or is just like their claim to cover local security costs.

BEFORE: "Definitely Reimburse"

McGavick staff: "Well we consider the Vice President's travel costs, which they have the Vice President flying over to be a direct expense that we should definitely reimburse for." [KREM 5 pm news, 4/24/06 ]

WHEN THE BILL COMES DUE: At least $160,000
  • "How much did Cheney's most recent trip out here cost? Using the House committee's figures, flight operating costs for Air Force Two totaled at least $160,000, probably more." [Connelly, Seattle PI, 4/19/06 ]
NOW: They Won't Say How Much…Significant Amount? Part? Contributed Already?
  • KREM reported: "McGavick's campaign as well as the Republican Party have paid a significant amount for Mr. Cheney's travel expenses. And that's it." [KREM 5 pm news, 4/24/06 ]
  • "A spokeswoman for McGavick said his campaign contributed to the vice president's travel expenses but did not specify how much or to whom the money was being paid." [Spokesman Review, 4/19/06 ]
  • KREM reported: "His spokesperson says McGavick will pay part of the vice president's travel expenses, but security is left to local taxpayers." [KREM 11 PM News, 5/15/2006 ]
So much for Mike McGavick's promises. He's now not only demonstrated that he would vote to continue the reckless, irresponsible policies of the Bush adminsitration - but that he and his campaign are also fiscally irresponsible themselves.

They just want to stick it to Washington taxpayers.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that (Lobbyist!) Mike! McGavick! is an extremist who would march in lockstep with D.C. Republicans on just about everything. Washington doesn't need a Senator who will be a rubber stamp for the careless and unaccountable Bush administration.

That's the bottom line: The Evergreen State simply can't afford Mike McGavick.

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