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, June 23, 2006

McGavick working hard to inflate his image

In recent weeks, the McGavick campaign and the state Republican Party have been working overtime attempting to inflate and embellish the former Safeco executive's image to make him more attractive to Evergreen State voters.

They're having to work around a major problem: the fact that Mike McGavick is in cahoots with the Republican establishment in Washington D.C. - you know, the guys who are currently in power and doing a fine job of disparaging the Constitution, not to mention wrecking our nation's financial health, environment, and international reputation.

McGavick's handlers and their lackeys know that the people of Washington State don't think very highly of Dubya or the Republican controlled Congress Bush holds on a leash. So that's why they're doing everything they possibly can to try and sell Mike McGavick as something he's not - because they know Mike won't win if voters know what he really stands for.

To that end, they have been working hard to convince the press corps that McGavick is moderate, that he's independent, that he cares about issues important to Washingtonians, and that he represents change.

(None of these claims, of course, are true). But for example:
  • McGavick recently claimed that he's long supported increased vehicle fuel efficiency (CAFE standards), and then snidely suggested that Maria Cantwell was late to the issue. Darryl at Hominid Views did some investigating and found out that the exact opposite was the case: Maria was active in pushing for more stringent CAFE standards very early in her first term, while Mike has no public record on the issue.
  • Just today, McGavick tried to take credit for Maria Cantwell and Brian Baird's success in getting the Republican Congress to maintain the state sales tax deduction from the federal income tax, dispatching a laughable, self-congratulatory press release. As David Postman succinctly states on his blog at the Seattle Times, McGavick is "trying to become the non-incumbent incumbent, getting credit for the good things while continuing to criticize the dysfunctional nature of Congress."
  • All this week, Republicans have been crowing about new polling numbers from GOP pollster Rasmussen Reports which purportedly show that Maria Cantwell's lead over McGavick is narrowing. David Goldstein explained yesterday why the poll is irrelevant and Republicans are just full of hot air.
  • A few days ago, McGavick criticized the right wing Free Enterprise Fund for airing a TV ad showing Maria's head superimposed on a vulture's body. (The ad harshly criticizes Sen. Cantwell for voting against permanent repeal of the estate tax). McGavick issued a statement calling for the ad to be pulled. The statement is meant to make Mike look like a moderate and the civil campaigner he claims to be. (But how "civil" is it to dishonestly assert you're a leader on an issue and your opponent isn't; when the truth is actually just the reverse?)
  • McGavick has also spoken to the Mainstream Republicans of Washington State, complaining about the "name calling and partisanship" that goes on in D.C. What we want to know is why Mike is so cozy with the very establishment that he's spending so much energy criticizing. As Joel Connelly notes in his column this morning, McGavick has had fundraisers with mining industry lobbyists, oil industry lobbyists, Sen. Ted Stevens (an establishment figure if there ever was one), stumped with Republican Senators Saxby Chambliss and Mitch McConnell, and dined with financial services executives. McGavick, Connelly correctly concludes, is a Bush Republican.
Connelly also compared the Cantwell campaign to the Army of the Potomac in the same column, saying it was "clunky" and "unwilling to move boldly, or move at all."

We disagree with that statement.

Now, of course the Cantwell campaign could be doing better - because there's always room for improvement. But the campaign has made some important strides in recent weeks, including the debut of a brand new website with a blog, multimedia, tools for organizing events, and information about Maria's positions on the issues.

The communications team has been busily relaying information to the press about Maria's work in the U.S. Senate fighting for energy independence, preserving Net Neutrality, ending National Guard equipment shortfalls, and so on.

The fundraising staff have been doing their part, carefully building up a war chest while McGavick has wasted money on huge advertising efforts that haven't done much to help his candidacy.

President Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear with Cantwell at a fundraiser in late July, which will undoubtedly give a huge boost to the campaign.

While McGavick's handlers are working to inflate Mike's image and loudly trumpet nonexistent accomplishments, Maria Cantwell is toiling away in our nation's capital, fighting for Washingtonians and holding the Bush administration accountable for its abuses of power.

McGavick's team is going to try and sell the former executive to the people of the Evergreen State as an unRepublican Republican. But unfortunately for Mike and his handlers, the Cantwell campaign isn't going to let them distort the truth over these next few months - no matter how hard they try.

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