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, August 07, 2006

BIAW's Walking for Washington flooding Eastside neighborhoods with literature

The Building Industry Association of Washington's "Walking for Washington" program, which I have previously written about here, here, and here (see this post if you want to know who else is bankrolling) has ramped up its efforts to promote its slate of candidates for Supreme Court to voters.

BIAW Slim JimWalking for Washington paid workers are flooding Eastside residential neighborhoods with literature, according to reports we've received from activists and even our own members.

In many precincts, the BIAW's hired hands don't even appear to be bothering with voter identification - they're just leaving literature at the door of every house.

The most common piece is this slim jim, which features photos of both candidates and a short, bulleted list touting each candidate's background.

The side featuring Johnson bears this footer:
NOTICE TO VOTERS (Required by law): This advertisement is not authorized or approved by any candidate. It is paid for by Building Industry Association of Washington, PO Box 1909, Olympia, WA 98507
(Emphasis is mine).

The BIAW knows, after Dino Rossi's narrow defeat in 2004, how important King County is to the outcome of any statewide vote. King County is home to at least a third (if not more) of the state's total population.

Seattle, which tends to vote heavily Democratic and liberal, is figured to be a lost cause - but the Eastside and the southern part of the county are not.

The BIAW is attempting to use its Walking for Washington field program to convince suburban and rural voters to support its own slate of candidates (Stephen Johnson and John Groen). What they're trying to do this year brings back memories of the BIAW's 2003 committee to pass Initiative 841 - Workers Against Job Killing Rules.

The committee purported to represent organized labor when in fact it represented its nemesis - the BIAW. Its paid media, especially TV ads, were successful in confusing voters. Initiative 841, a sweeping repeal of ergonomics rules, ended up passing, though not by a large margin.

I've talked to many people since the 2003 election who accidentally voted the wrong way on I-841 because they didn't understand the issue. The BIAW's literature is carefully scripted. It never mentions that Steve Johnson is a Republican. It also does not contain buzz phrases like "property rights", which it makes it sound more neutral and less ideological.

It does, of course, contain the addresses for Groen and Johnson's websites.

But there can be no doubt that Walking for Washington is an operation created to help ensure an ideological takeover of the state Supreme Court - a right wing ideological takeover.

Justices Alexander and Owens are the incumbent justices the BIAW has targeted. Please 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.

If you've had literature dropped off at your house, or if you've been approached by a Walking for Washington worker who came to your door - or both - please let us know about your experience.

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