Michael Baum­gart­ner, cur­rent State Sen­a­tor (6th‑R) and oppo­nent to Maria Cantwell, came to West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty today to talk to stu­dents with slight­ly gram­mat­i­cal­ly incor­rect cam­paign material. 

A few stu­dents stopped to talk, but most stu­dents were hud­dled around the very enthu­si­as­tic evan­gel­i­cal preach­er yelling to stu­dents in Red Square or were tar­gets of three Mor­mon mis­sion­ar­ies spread­ing their mes­sage across the square (who are nor­mal­ly viewed as quite both­er­some by stu­dents). All this activ­i­ty was quite a sight, and Baum­gart­ner was rel­e­gat­ed to one cor­ner of the square.

Approach­ing Baum­gart­ner to ask him about his views, he talked about end­ing the war in Afghanistan (actu­al­ly a good way to speak to stu­dents) and about sup­port­ing edu­ca­tion (but noth­ing about his sup­port for the Zarel­li bud­get which would have cut 30 mil­lion from high­er edu­ca­tion. He spoke a lot off fluff, but not much more.

Even if Baum­gart­ner came on a more nor­mal day, the response would­n’t have been any more warm. The pol­i­tics of West­ern aren’t favor­able to a can­di­date of his ide­ol­o­gy, and Baum­gart­ner’s spon­sor­ing of a bill which hurts repro­duc­tive rights, among oth­er issues, will not sit well with stu­dents. Bet­ter luck next time.

Update: The Stranger has their own take on Baum­gart­ner’s vis­it to campus.

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