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, October 21, 2006

Seattle P-I endorses Darcy Burner in strongly worded editorial

Congratulations are in order to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for their sound logic and sound decision in the 8th Congressional District race:
This newspaper didn’t endorse Republican Dave Reichert for the 8th Congressional District House race two years ago because he then faced a bright, terribly well-informed Democrat whose votes we believed would better represent the district and serve the nation.

This time, Reichert faces an even more substantial Democratic challenger in Darcy Burner.

Nonetheless, we believe it’s only responsible to be able to first make a case for removing and incumbent, no matter how impressive the challenger.

Reichert is a man seemingly pulled into elective office, first when the King County sheriff’s position to which he had been appointed was changed to an elected office, and then when asked to run for Congress, largely on the strength of his fame in the Green River case.

Once in Washington, D.C., to his credit, Reichert bucked House leadership and President Bush on some controversial votes, including stem cell research and the disgraceful business of Terri Schiavo.

But Reichert has been on the wrong side of votes regarding minimum wage, tax cuts, Tom DeLay’s ethics and, most recently, detention and trial of foreign detainees.

Burner, a former Microsoft manager, is as informed in her views as she is forceful in delivering them. Frankly, at a P-I Editorial Board session, it was difficult to tell who was the incumbent because her answers carried weight.

From how to balance the federal budget (and how urgent it is to do so) to how crucial it is to reduce human contributions to global climate change to Congress’ role in Iraq war policy, Burner has the better grasp of the issues and the greater passion to deal with them.
The P-I is also endorsing Senator Maria Cantwell for reelection on Sunday, as well as Washington State's six incumbent Democratic congressmen. In those races the P-I has endorsed in, all of their positions correspond to ours...thus far.

This endorsement is obviously a very ringing recommendation of Burner, but unlike the Seattle Times' Kate Riley, the author of this editorial did not craft something excessively prejudiced. Reichert was given fair consideration by the P-I, whereas Darcy was not by the Times (and this is clearly evidenced in the editorial that appeared on their opinion pages).

Three years ago, this organization, through its Permanent Defense division, joined a multitude of other voices in stressing the importance of having more than one newspaper in the greater Seattle metropolitan area.

The owner of the Seattle Times (Frank Blethen) has not only proved this year that diversity of opinion is critically important, but he has actually argued for it, editorializing on many occasions against media consolidation and the elimination of voices. Yet he has also made it clear he wants to see the P-I shut down and has claimed the Seattle area market can only support one newspaper.

We believe that's called a double standard.

If Frank Blethen truly cared about the community, he would not work so hard to remove hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for our state schools, he would not be fighting to eliminate the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and he would not make poor editorial decisions that hurt the Times' crediblity.

Our region is very fortunate to have a choice in print media.

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