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.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Taking it to 'em in Eastern Washington

Supporting Democrats in Eastern Washington is not throwing your money away.

In the 4th, Doc Hastings is vulnerable. The rule of thumb is an incumbent is safe unless there is an explicit reason for the voters to turn him out. Here there is. Doc as the disappearing chair of the Ethics Committee has been the doorman for the House of Corruption, Tom DeLay's lapdog. He's also the tactician who made the Medicare drug bill fiasco a reality. Opposing him is a truly good man in Richard Wright. Wright is the perfect counterpoint -- compassionate rather than cold; honest and straightforward rather than secretive and conniving, and as a successful businessman with a dozen physical therapy clinics, he's just the man to re-write the drug bill and help a transition to universal health coverage. A simple swap of Wright for Doc would raise the integrity level in the House by 15 points.

In the 5th, GOP incumbent Cathy McMorris is of a different gender and not quite as dumb as Dave Reichert, but of the same ask-no-questions party line mold. She has a big problem in the demographically gifted Peter Goldmark -- rancher, scientist, environmentalist, farm advocate. If Goldmark can split the small towns and farms, then carry Spokane with it's 65% of the voters, he wins.

Your money may be well placed in these races. Early support is very big, not only to finance campaign activities, but to demonstrate seriousness to future donors. If either or both of these candidates get close to winning, it will at a minimum force a defense of these seats by Republicans and draw off action from other races. Also, the GOP smear machine will not be quite so convincing in October if it has to fire in four directions (Cantwell, Burner, Wright, Goldmark), rather than one or two.

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