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.

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Mark Miloscia files paperwork to challenge Tracey Eide as a Republican in the 30th LD

Des­per­ate to solid­i­fy their ten­u­ous hold on the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate, top Repub­li­cans have once again recruit­ed into their ranks a can­di­date repeat­ed­ly elect­ed to the Leg­is­la­ture as a Demo­c­rat with Demo­c­ra­t­ic vol­un­teers and dona­tions.

Mark Milos­cia, who pre­vi­ous­ly served sev­er­al terms in the state House as one of two of the 30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­tric­t’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has decid­ed to run against his for­mer col­league Tracey Eide for Sen­ate. He filed his paper­work today with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion and also launched a cam­paign web­site.

Mark Miloscia files as a Republican

Mark Milos­ci­a’s C1 for State Sen­ate, filed with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion ear­li­er today.

But unlike Rod­ney Tom, Jim Kas­ta­ma, and Tim Shel­don, who defect­ed to the Sen­ate Repub­li­can cau­cus in 2012 (Kas­ta­ma has since left the Leg­is­la­ture); Milos­cia plans to cam­paign as a Repub­li­can. His C1 form lists him as a Repub­li­can, and he calls him­self a Repub­li­can on his new cam­paign web­site, cre­at­ed with Nation­Builder.

Milos­cia has report­ed­ly long been inter­est­ed in mov­ing up to the state Sen­ate, though he chose to vacate his seat to pur­sue a bid for audi­tor in 2012.

Democ­rats Craig Pride­more and Troy Kel­ley also decid­ed to forego return­ing to the Leg­is­la­ture in the hopes of suc­ceed­ing Bri­an Son­ntag, result­ing in a crowd­ed four-way race. Milos­cia fin­ished well behind every­one else in the August win­now­ing elec­tion, cap­tur­ing only 9.77% of the vote. Kel­ley and Repub­li­can James Watkins went on to the gen­er­al elec­tion; Kel­ley pre­vailed and took office in ear­ly 2013.

There had been spec­u­la­tion that Milos­cia might seek to regain a seat in the House by chal­leng­ing Repub­li­can Lin­da Kochmar.

But evi­dent­ly, the Repub­li­cans approached Milos­cia with a bet­ter offer. No doubt he was promised big bucks (and per­haps even a com­mit­tee chair­man­ship) if he agreed to be their can­di­date for Sen­ate against Tracey Eide.

Screenshot of Mark Miloscia's website

On his new cam­paign web­site, Mark Milos­cia says he has joined the Repub­li­can Par­ty.

On his web­site, Milos­cia claims he switched par­ties “only after months of care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion”. In a blog post enti­tled “Choos­ing a par­ty”, Milos­cia (who could def­i­nite­ly use a spelling and gram­mar check­er) writes:

[C]ould Par­ty heroes like a Pres­i­dent Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, or the evan­gel­i­cal Rev. Mar­tin Luther King JR, be sup­port­ed by today’s Demo­c­rat [sic] lead­ers and activists?

Before, I’d felt there was a place as the Par­ty pub­licly pro­mot­ed a “big tent,” and respect­ed cul­tur­al diver­si­ty. Some lead­ers worked to insure [sic] that can­di­dates like myself, had a place.

Not any­more. Today, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty asks for our votes and mon­ey, but they will nev­er sup­port can­di­dates like JFK, RFK, MLK JR, or even a lib­er­al Tip O’Neill again.

A grow­ing seg­ment, tol­er­ant in name only, now com­plete­ly con­trols the par­ty with lit­mus tests and inter­est groups.

And on his about page, Milos­cia writes:

Today, it’s the Repub­li­can Par­ty that offers a big tent, wel­com­ing dif­fer­ent views… Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­cans don’t insist that every­one believe and vote exact­ly the same way.

Uh huh. Either Mark Milos­cia has no idea what he has signed up for, or the mon­ey he’s been promised is doing the talk­ing for him. If he thinks the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty is con­trolled by inter­est groups with lit­mus tests, he has no com­pre­hen­sion of what Repub­li­can pol­i­tics are like. The Sen­ate Repub­li­can Cau­cus, which Milos­cia now aspires to join, is dom­i­nat­ed by extrem­ists and is dys­func­tion­al to its core.

Milos­cia has long depict­ed him­self as a prin­ci­pled “pro-life” Demo­c­rat, but it’s  evi­dent to us that he is actu­al­ly an oppor­tunist like Rod­ney Tom and Tim Shel­don… in our view, the worst kind of politi­cian there is.

Milos­cia may have felt reject­ed in the wake of his cam­paign for audi­tor, after many Democ­rats declined to con­sid­er his can­di­da­cy due to his oppo­si­tion to mar­riage equal­i­ty, repro­duc­tive rights, and ini­tia­tive reform. But in defect­ing, Milos­cia is turn­ing his back on all of the peo­ple who have stood up for him over the years.

What Milos­cia fails to admit on his web­site is that there were a num­ber of pro­gres­sive Democ­rats who loud­ly and enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly sup­port­ed his cam­paign for audi­tor, regard­less of what­ev­er dis­agree­ments they may have had with him on pol­i­cy direc­tions. Appar­ent­ly, those friend­ships aren’t worth as much to Milos­cia as the mon­ey the Repub­li­can Par­ty is will­ing to spend on his behalf.

Repub­li­cans are eager to expand the play­ing field, so to speak, to make it hard­er for Democ­rats to regain the state Sen­ate. If Repub­li­cans could man­age to cap­ture Tracey Eide’s seat, Democ­rats would then need to defeat three Repub­li­can incum­bents instead of two to get a major­i­ty. Hence their recruit­ing of Milos­cia.

When Milos­cia ran for audi­tor, he appeared before a num­ber of Demo­c­ra­t­ic groups and proud­ly espoused Demo­c­ra­t­ic ideals. In the can­di­date ques­tion­naire he sub­mit­ted to the King Coun­ty Democ­rats, he began an answer to the ques­tion, Why should the coun­ty sup­port you over your oppo­nent? by stat­ing:

Democ­rats need to elect the best per­son who can suc­ceed in man­ag­ing an agency ded­i­cat­ed to per­for­mance and improv­ing gov­ern­ment with the use of audits. This per­son needs to be able to pas­sion­ate­ly cham­pi­on gov­ern­ment improve­ment, gov­ern­ment pro­grams and Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­er­ship.

Milos­cia went on to describe his pri­or­i­ties as fol­lows:

My issues should be no sur­prise for I have not been silent on our press­ing needs as a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

I have been a con­sis­tent and vocal cham­pi­on for solv­ing these three most press­ing issues fac­ing our state today:

  1. Restor­ing vot­er trust in gov­ern­ment and Democrat[ic] leg­isla­tive lead­er­ship so we can start pass­ing need­ed tax and pro­gram reform poli­cies to help edu­cate our chil­dren, take care of the elder­ly and those less for­tu­nate.
  2. Revers­ing the wage inequal­i­ty gap caused by the war on unions and the mid­dle class which will also improve tax col­lec­tions and help gain vot­ers’ con­fi­dence.
  3. Improv­ing the Qual­i­ty and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty of Gov­ern­ment, School pro­grams and bud­gets through the use of per­for­mance man­age­ment and per­for­mance audits.

As State Audi­tor, I will cham­pi­on those best prac­tices that fur­ther these goals.

If Milos­cia thinks the Repub­li­can Par­ty is inter­est­ed in any of these pri­or­i­ties, he’s delud­ed. Today’s Repub­li­can Par­ty is the par­ty of Grover Norquist and Tim Eyman, of Rush Lim­baugh and Ann Coul­ter, of Scott Walk­er, Rick Sny­der, and Paul LeP­age. Its agen­da is to wreck gov­ern­ment, evis­cer­ate pub­lic ser­vices, and destroy the rights of work­ing men and women. It is vir­u­lent­ly anti-labor.

The par­ty has embraced scorched-earth tac­tics and hostage-tak­ing to accom­plish this. Its modus operan­di is obstruct, obfus­cate, and oblit­er­ate.

Per­haps Grover Norquist said it best:

I’m not in favor of abol­ish­ing the gov­ern­ment. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bath­tub.

In join­ing the Repub­li­can Par­ty, Mark Milos­cia has turned his back on his Demo­c­ra­t­ic friends and vin­di­cat­ed his crit­ics. He’s part of the Par­ty of No now. Too bad.

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