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.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

BIAW using "Walking for Washington" program to promote its slate of candidates

Yesterday, I wrote an extensive post about the BIAW's efforts to take over the State Supreme Court, giving a background of the BIAW and its abuse of the retro rebate system (the cash cow it gets all its money from).

Today, I read an alarming diary on Washblog written by a Democratic activist who had a personal experience with someone working as part of the BIAW's "Walking for Washington" program:
My wife was doorbelled Tuesday night 7/11 by an attractive young woman, a recent graduate from our daughter's high school who said she worked for "Walking for Washington". She was bearing a palm pilot.


They didn't want to talk to me, just my wife. (I'm already on the walking lists as a Democratic donor.)

She stated they are a "nonpartisan research group doing a survey, gathering information about Supreme Court candidates".

She asked:
  • Do you know who Steve Johnson is? My wife said yes.
  • Would you support him? My wife said no.
  • Do you know who John Groene is? My wife said no.
  • Out of these four issues, what is more important: gay marriage, criminal justice, property rights, abortion (pick two)? My wife picked gay rights and criminal justice.
  • Do you support legalizing gay marriage? My wife said yes.
She stated "All we ask is that everyone participate in the political process".

Walking home from the bus stop the next evening I saw another doorbeller who was not knocking but just dropping slim jims [brochures] at selected households.

After I turned a corner I went up on a neighbor's porch to see what he was dropping: a two-sided slim jim promoting John Groen for Supreme Court on one side and Steve Johnson for Supreme Court on the other.

We did not get one at my house, apparently because my wife gave an unfavorable response.

So, here's how it works in a nutshell: They send out a pretty information gatherer with a palm pilot the first day, and drop literature the second day to folks they've just identified (and while the names are still relatively fresh in the minds of their targets).
Here's more about the "Walking for Washington" program from the Seattle P-I:
A conservative Christian group that led the unsuccessful fight to block Washington's new gay rights law has teamed with the heavy-spending homebuilders' lobby to try to elect right-leaning candidates to the state Supreme Court.

The Faith & Freedom Network asked in an e-mail Wednesday for recruits who "want to help elect conservative judges to the Supreme Court and get paid to do it."

It said the network is "teaming with Walk for Washington to offer part-time paid positions; doorbelling, surveying & precinct canvassing" for $10 an hour continuing "through Election Day."

The Building Industry Association of Washington, or BIAW, which promotes a conservative, pro-property-rights, anti-regulation political agenda, is by far the biggest donor -- at least $121,048 so far this year -- to Walking for Washington. The program is run out of BIAW headquarters in Olympia by the builders' political director, Elliot Swaney.
What's clear is that the BIAW is attempting to bring allies on board in its effort to stack the state Supreme Court with ideologically tilted justices. The corporate cons are teaming up with the theocons.

This is not a threat that can be taken lightly.

The BIAW and its allies are using the "Walking for Washington" program to heavily promote their slate of candidates, which so far consist of Groen and Johnson. They are trying to erase the advantage of incumbency that Justices Alexander and Owen enjoy by raising more money and employing a high tech field effort for voter targeting.

FairPAC needs to organize to counter this threat - fast. The BIAW and its allies already have a head start, and the primary and general elections are approaching rapidly. There is simply too much at stake: the right wing cannot be allowed to buy control of the judicial branch.

Justices Alexander, Owens, and Chambers (as mentioned previously) are the incumbents running for reelection this year. You can follow the links to their websites to learn more about them. You can also contribute to their campaigns to help them fight back against the BIAW and its slate of candidates.

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