NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Suzan DelBene gets boost from EMILY’s List, DCCC; Roll Call now rates WA-01 “Leans D”

The last forty-eight hours have been pret­ty sweet for Suzan Del­Bene and her cam­paign team. The good news just keeps rolling in fol­low­ing her big win in this mon­th’s win­now­ing elec­tion, which end­ed Tues­day.

First, the DCCC has con­firmed that Del­Bene will receive pri­or­i­ty sup­port over the next three months as she bat­tles John Koster for the posi­tion of U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Wash­ing­ton’s 1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

Del­Bene will be part of the DCC­C’s “Red to Blue” effort (although the 1st Dis­trict has­n’t been held by a Repub­li­can since the 1990s, so it’s tech­ni­cal­ly not a dis­trict that would be going from red to blue).

“[On Tues­day], the vot­ers of the 1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict said loud and clear they want a mem­ber of con­gress who will deliv­er results, not rhetoric. They want some­one who will stand up for the mid­dle class, get our econ­o­my back on track, pro­tect Social Secu­ri­ty and Medicare,” said Del­Bene in a state­ment. “Being named to the Red-to-Blue pro­gram is anoth­er show of the grow­ing sup­port and momen­tum we’ve received as we move onto the gen­er­al elec­tion.””

Sec­ond, Del­Bene received a hefty and enthu­si­as­tic endorse­ment today from EMI­LY’s List, which only sup­ports pro-lib­er­ty Democ­rats for Con­gress.

“Suzan is an expe­ri­enced busi­ness leader and savvy entre­pre­neur who has used her sharp skills to help strug­gling fam­i­lies get back on their feet,” said Stephanie Schri­ock, Pres­i­dent of EMILY’s List.

“She’s a pro­gres­sive cham­pi­on who is com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing clean ener­gy, expand­ing access to health­care and eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty, and hold­ing Wall Street account­able. Wash­ing­ton fam­i­lies need lead­ers like Suzan to fend off Tea Par­ty extrem­ists, and EMILY’s List is proud to sup­port her can­di­da­cy.”

EMI­LY’s List had stayed neu­tral dur­ing the win­now­ing elec­tion to avoid burn­ing bridges with any of the can­di­dates. (Dar­cy Burn­er, Lau­ra Rud­er­man, Suzan Del­Bene are all strong, pro-lib­er­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic women.) Now that the gen­er­al elec­tion matchup has been unof­fi­cial­ly set, the orga­ni­za­tion is free to endorse… and it has. In the last elec­tion cycle, EMI­LY’s List raised near­ly forty mil­lion dol­lars to help elect its can­di­dates in key races across the U.S.

Third, the race in WA-01 has now been rat­ed “Leans Demo­c­ra­t­ic” by Roll Call, one of the more wide­ly read jour­nals of D.C. pol­i­tics.

Roll Call offered this expla­na­tion for the upgrade:

DelBene’s vic­to­ry brings the best news for House Democ­rats. Even in the state’s most com­pet­i­tive House dis­trict, it will be dif­fi­cult for Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cil­man John Koster ® to paint Del­Bene as too lib­er­al for the dis­trict. DelBene’s abil­i­ty to self-fund — she donat­ed $1.9 mil­lion to her cam­paign for the pri­ma­ry — in a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cycle makes this an uphill climb for Koster.

Accord­ing­ly, Roll Call is chang­ing its race rat­ing for Washington’s 1st dis­trict from Tossup to Leans Demo­c­ra­t­ic.

Koster and his Repub­li­can friends were prob­a­bly already plan­ning to define whichev­er Demo­c­rat made it through the win­now­ing elec­tion as too lib­er­al for the dis­trict. That move is part of the clas­sic Repub­li­can play­book — they use it in pret­ty much every com­pet­i­tive dis­trict in the coun­try.

The only places where they don’t use it are dis­tricts they’ve writ­ten off… and those locales get brand­ed as pop­u­lat­ed by cra­zies or whack­os (I’m not para­phras­ing; those are lit­er­al­ly labels the oth­er side dis­mis­sive­ly uses).

State Repub­li­can Par­ty Chair Con­cern troll Kir­by Wilbur, a for­mer con­ser­v­a­tive talk show host, had been hop­ing that Dar­cy Burn­er would be Koster’s gen­er­al elec­tion oppo­nent, fig­ur­ing that Repub­li­cans would be favored to pick up the seat if Burn­er (whose is more out­spo­ken than Del­Bene, but holds sim­i­lar views on the issues) end­ed up as the Demo­c­ra­t­ic stan­dard-bear­er.

Wilbur should be care­ful what he wish­es for.

In 2005, Repub­li­cans were glee­ful when it was announced that Howard Dean had been elect­ed chair of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Dean was prompt­ly mocked and derid­ed by Repub­li­can oper­a­tives and right-wing blogs. But Repub­li­cans weren’t laugh­ing on Elec­tion Night in Novem­ber of 2008, when Dean’s rein­vig­o­rat­ed DNC helped pro­pel Barack Oba­ma into the White House.

Del­Bene’s cam­paign says it’s all hands on deck and full speed ahead for the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion. They’re already get­ting orga­nized so they can be pre­pared for the home stretch in Octo­ber… as is John Koster’s camp.

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