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, October 26, 2006

Darcy Burner completely destroys Reichert's cash advantage in final weeks

Conservatives like to warble about how Darcy Burner is a newcomer to politics. (Funny how Republicans deride "politicians," and then turn around and attack someone for wanting to get involved.)

They shouldn't be singing too much tonight, though, as Burner, who was supposedly too young and too green to compete, has now virtually tied Republican incumbent Dave Reichert in money raised. Less than one-thousand dollars separate the two candidates, a drop in the bucket in a big-time US House race.

Money isn't everything, of course, but in "conventional wisdom" terms it's one key measure of qualification, like it or not. Burner is fully competitive and then some.

Plus, let's face it, none of the people who spout conventional wisdom saw this coming. It's a mighty testament to not only Burner and her fortitude, but the inherent srength of people power.

Burner has has raised more money than Reichert in the first two and one-half weeks of October, Daniel Lathrop notes on Strange Bedfellows at the P-I. Also--
With the Democratic and Republican parties able to spend unlimited amounts on their own TV ads, the candidates' money is not what will determine the outcome of this brutal fight for partisan supremacy. Still, this is another sign that voters in this suburban Seattle district will have a lot of say in whether whether Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, or Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., is Speaker of the House come January.
Another piece worth reading from the P-I is yesterday's feature story on the race by reporters Chris McGann and Charles Pope. A snippet:
Like other Republicans, Reichert has been weighed down by events and policies far removed from his district -- Iraq, corruption, declining support for President Bush.

This year, voters are looking far beyond the candidates themselves, well aware that their choices could redirect the national agenda.
Another item to note as we move towards the end of this week is one Lynne at Evergreen Politics caught on Saturday. Despite all the GOP talk about senior issues, Reichert apparently blew off the AARP. Allen quotes from the AARP page about WA-08.

Will you support or oppose allowing Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate lower prices for needed prescription drugs? Will you support or oppose imposing an annual limit on federal Medicare spending?

AARP Response

Medicare Part D is now helping millions of people in Medicare save money on their prescription drugs. But while those with Part D coverage are saving, the actual cost of prescription drugs continues to increase at a rate greater than general inflation. AARP believes that more must be done to bring down soaring drug costs and supports allowing Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate lower prescription drugs.

Proposals have been made in Congress to put an annual limit on how much money the federal government spends on the Medicare program. AARP opposes arbitrary limits on Medicare funding.

Candidate Response: Darcy Burner, Democrat

While it has reduced drug costs for many participants, taken overall, the Medicare Part D program is a disaster. It is too confusing, too expensive, too punitive for late subscribers, and it contains intolerable coverage gaps for some (the infamous "donut hole"). All of these problems must be corrected quickly, for the benefit of both users and taxpayers. The most logical first step is to allow Medicare to use its collective purchasing power to negotiate with manufacturers for more favorable pricing. This is just good business sense. I strongly oppose arbitrary spending limits on Medicare spending; such limits are unfair and unnecessary. Our focust must be on making this program far more efficient and weeeding out waste to drive down costs.

Candidate Response: Dave Reichert, Republican

Candidate did not respond to AARP questionnaire.
Hmmm. Ignoring seniors and the AARP, that's not smart. Maybe Reichert should so some investigating of AARP issues. When he doesn't want to take a stand, that's what he does, right?

Finally, as the GOP continues with their outdated attempts to scare voters into thinking Democrats want to raise taxes, it's worth noting what Burner herself had to say about the issue earlier this month. (Bold is ours.)
This week voters in the 8th district are seeing the first of what will be many advertisements from the Republican attack machine. They’ve begun by accusing me of wanting to raise taxes. Before they distort my views, let me set the record straight and make it clear where I stand.

First, I do NOT support raising taxes on working families. In fact, I think that the Bush policies which have shifted the tax burden onto the middle class are destructive. We need to relieve that pressure, while at the same time stopping the runaway debt Bush is burdening us with. I approach this the same way I have approached managing finances in my role as a businesswoman or in my household: balance the budget while making the best investments possible.

I find it unconscionable that the Bush administration wants to pile their debt onto our children, while slashing the investments in education, infrastructure, and technology development that would secure a better future for everyone. It is especially awful to do it in order to pad the nests of profitable corporations and the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

Our current tax system places an unfair burden on middle class and working families – and the Bush administration and Republican Congress have made it worse. The President’s tax policies are bankrupting future generations for the short-term benefit of those who already get the most from this country.
You can visit Burner's web site for more information.

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