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.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

7:00 Tonight in Wenatchee

The keynote speaker for a benefit for Richard Wright and Peter Goldmark that is being billed as the "largest ever Democratic event in Central Washington" will be popular Montana governor Brian Schweitzer.

Goldmark, the Democratic candidate from the 5th Congressional District, will fly his single engine plane to Helena and return to Wenatchee for the Chelan-Douglas County Democrats’ annual Jefferson Jackson dinner.

The fundraiser at the Wenatchee Convention Center starts at 7:00 PM, after a private reception, and runs to 10:00. It could be a galvanizing event for a new breed of straight-talking, high quality Democrats running for office in the Red Zone.

Schweitzer has a 70% job approval rating in a state with a majority of registered Republicans. The Montana legislature is now controlled by Democrats and the Democratic US Senate candidate, Jon Tester -- another Montana farmer -- is likely to beat the long-term Republican incumbent, Sen. Conrad Burns.

The burly, funny Montana rancher reportedly volunteered for the keynote address when he found out Wright was running against long-time Tom DeLay lapdog and House "Ethics" Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.

Tickets sold have topped 430, but there may still be room at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

There is a lot of buzz about Schweitzer. Newsweek's Howard Fineman and others have written about his political acumen and his never-talk-down-to-the-people populist charm. He is a champion of the environment, alternative energy and clean coal technology.

Schweitzer aims to make Montana a "lobbyist-free zone" and worked with Montana's libertarians to significantly curtail the Patriot Act there.

High Plains Democrats like Schweitzer, Goldmark and Wright have a real chance to connnect the blue across the top of the country, from Washington through Montana and into the Dakotas and Minnesota.

These guys are not going to touch the Second Amendment, but they are up to their eyeballs in integrity, intelligence and competence.

It should be fun.

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