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.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Roger Freeman’s former legislative aide joins Republican Party to run for Legislature

Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of his idol Mark Milos­cia, Fed­er­al Way City Coun­cilmem­ber and for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­isla­tive assis­tant Mar­tin Moore announced today that he is join­ing the Repub­li­can Par­ty and will run against Demo­c­ra­t­ic State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Car­ol Gre­go­ry for the seat held by Free­man pri­or to his death last Octo­ber.

Moore, thir­ty, belonged to the 30th Dis­trict Democ­rats for years and sought both their sup­port and that of the King Coun­ty Democ­rats when he ran for Fed­er­al Way City Coun­cil. How­ev­er, he drift­ed away from the par­ty after back­ing Mark Milos­ci­a’s bid for the Sen­ate as a Repub­li­can last year, and con­se­quent­ly, he did not par­tic­i­pate in the spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus to draw up a list of names to suc­ceed Free­man, though he clear­ly wants to be Free­man’s suc­ces­sor.

King Coun­ty records show that Moore has served as a Demo­c­ra­t­ic precinct com­mit­tee offi­cer in the 30th Dis­trict for mul­ti­ple terms, and I under­stand he was also a del­e­gate to the State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­ven­tion in 2012 and 2010.

Moore has long had an asso­ci­a­tion with Mark Milos­cia; he man­aged Milos­ci­a’s unsuc­cess­ful cam­paign for state audi­tor in 2012 and remained close to Milos­cia and his fam­i­ly after the cam­paign end­ed. I have no doubt Milos­cia played a major role in recruit­ing Moore into the Repub­li­can Par­ty. The Repub­li­cans need­ed a can­di­date to go up against Car­ol Gre­go­ry, and who bet­ter, they fig­ure, than an acolyte of Mark Milos­ci­a’s? Milos­cia had no trou­ble get­ting elect­ed last year.

But Mar­tin Moore is not Mark Milos­cia. For one thing, Moore has only been on the bal­lot once before, as a can­di­date for city coun­cil. For anoth­er, Moore’s sto­ry about his trans­for­ma­tion into a Repub­li­can sim­ply does­n’t check out.

Moore told the Seat­tle Times’ Jim Brun­ner, “The par­ty has become so incred­i­bly intol­er­ant of peo­ple who might dis­agree with them on some issues… The par­ty has shift­ed enor­mous­ly, and it’s gone to the far left.”

This is utter non­sense, and Moore knows it. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s posi­tion on issues like repro­duc­tive rights and LGBT civ­il rights has been unchanged for years. It’s true that when Milos­cia ran for audi­tor, he was harsh­ly crit­i­cized by some Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists for his views on those issues. But oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists strong­ly defend­ed him and worked to build sup­port for his can­di­da­cy.

Milos­cia was not dri­ven out of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty; he left it of his own voli­tion. The Repub­li­can Par­ty came call­ing, and Milos­cia respond­ed to its siren song. Now Moore is doing the same thing, undoubt­ed­ly at Milos­ci­a’s urg­ing.

But, as I said, his sto­ry just does­n’t check out. Milos­cia, who is Catholic, has long been known as a par­tial con­ser­v­a­tive opposed to abor­tion under any cir­cum­stances, and opposed to mar­riage equal­i­ty. Milos­cia accepts what his church teach­es.

Moore, how­ev­er, has pre­vi­ous­ly told the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty he sup­ports repro­duc­tive rights. When Moore ran for Fed­er­al Way City Coun­cil, he filled out a King Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic ques­tion­naire which asked the ques­tion, “Do you sup­port women’s absolute right to repro­duc­tive free­dom?” Moore’s answer was YES.

But now that Moore is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Mark Milos­cia, he has aligned his views with those of his idol­’s, and those of the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s.

Repub­li­can oper­a­tive Kei­th Schip­per, who was briefly Rod­ney Tom’s cam­paign man­ag­er before Tom decid­ed to bow out of pol­i­tics, has already been put in charge of Moore’s nascent cam­paign for state rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Schip­per has wast­ed no time mak­ing Moore sound like anoth­er dis­hon­est Repub­li­can foot sol­dier. Take a look at this excerpt from his press release:

Democ­rats have had a firm grip on Olympia for 30 years and what do we have to show for it? Declin­ing wages, a court order to reform and fund our schools, crum­bling roads and bridges, sky­rock­et­ing col­lege tuition, and an inef­fi­cient and inef­fec­tive gov­ern­ment… It has been the Repub­li­cans who have put the peo­ple – not spe­cial inter­ests – first.

If Moore real­ly believes that the par­ty of George Bush, Jeb Bush, Exxon­Mo­bil, BP, the Koch broth­ers, Mitt Rom­ney, and Shel­don Adel­son is the par­ty of the peo­ple, I have a large and very expen­sive bridge to Ida­ho I’d be hap­py to sell him.

It is not accu­rate to say that Democ­rats “have had a firm grip on Olympia [mean­ing state gov­ern­ment] for thir­ty years”.

(Kei­th Schip­per, inci­den­tal­ly, is very fond of using Olympia in his press releas­es as a metonym for state gov­ern­ment. We don’t do that because Olympia is a city in its own right, home to near­ly fifty thou­sand peo­ple.)

While Democ­rats have held the gov­er­nor’s man­sion since 1985, they have not con­tin­u­ous­ly con­trolled the Leg­is­la­ture or all of the oth­er exec­u­tive depart­ment posi­tions (there are a total of nine) dur­ing that time.

Though Wash­ing­ton tends to vote Demo­c­ra­t­ic in statewide races, Repub­li­cans have held the Sec­re­tary of State’s office since the 1960s, and for eight years of this young cen­tu­ry, a Repub­li­can was the attor­ney gen­er­al.

A quick look at the his­to­ry of the Leg­is­la­ture shows us that Repub­li­cans con­trolled both hous­es of the Leg­is­la­ture in the 1990s; they con­trolled the state Sen­ate for two years in the ear­ly 2000s, and they con­trol the state Sen­ate now.

It is the Repub­li­cans who have his­tor­i­cal­ly stood in the way of progress on all the fronts Moore’s quote refers to, and are doing so again today.

In the late 1990s, Wash­ing­ton’s labor move­ment spon­sored an ini­tia­tive to increase the min­i­mum wage and require the Depart­ment of Labor & Indus­tries to adjust it upwards in the future. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty sup­port­ed this ini­tia­tive, which passed over­whelm­ing­ly. The Repub­li­can Par­ty opposed it.

In 2005, Gov­er­nor Chris Gre­goire and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture passed a land­mark trans­porta­tion pack­age to invest in crum­bling roads and bridges. Repub­li­can talk show hosts John Carl­son and Kir­by Wilbur launched an ini­tia­tive (I‑912) to repeal the pack­age’s main fund­ing mech­a­nism, which was endorsed by the Repub­li­can Par­ty. Vot­ers, how­ev­er, defeat­ed their ini­tia­tive.

And, over the course of the last fif­teen years, the Repub­li­can Par­ty has reg­u­lar­ly sup­port­ed Tim Eyman’s repeat­ed attempts to wreck state gov­ern­ment and choke our com­mon wealth. Like Eyman, the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s agen­da has been to put the needs and wants of pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions ahead of the pub­lic inter­est.

It is no acci­dent that our schools and oth­er vital pub­lic ser­vices are under­fund­ed: they got that way prin­ci­pal­ly thanks to Eyman’s destruc­tive ini­tia­tives and Repub­li­cans’ scorched earth oppo­si­tion to mean­ing­ful pro­gres­sive tax reform.

We’ve now had divid­ed gov­ern­ment for two years, and despite Rod­ney Tom’s boast­ing, it has­n’t pro­duced any results for Wash­ing­ton State. We end­ed up with an oper­at­ing bud­get that can’t even be called mediocre after com­ing dan­ger­ous­ly close to a gov­ern­ment shut­down, and Sen­ate Repub­li­cans spent so much time quar­relling amongst them­selves behind closed doors that they could­n’t even man­age to craft a trans­porta­tion pack­age they liked and bring it to a vote.

This year, we are sev­er­al bil­lion dol­lars short of the amount of mon­ey need­ed to ful­fill our oblig­a­tions, but Repub­li­cans — led by my obsti­nate state Sen­a­tor Andy Hill — deny there’s even a prob­lem. They seem inca­pable even of basic arith­metic.

If Mar­tin Moore wants to make these peo­ple his new polit­i­cal best friends, that’s his choice. But as he’ll soon dis­cov­er, the very things he has just squan­dered (trust and authen­tic­i­ty) mat­ter more than any­thing else in pol­i­tics.

And as the Repub­li­cans will soon dis­cov­er, his can­di­da­cy will not enjoy the same cred­i­bil­i­ty or sup­port that Milos­ci­a’s did.

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2 Comments

  1. This comes as a sur­prise, giv­en my under­stand­ing that Mr. Moore was an active demo­c­rat. What comes of his bid will be left for 30th LD vot­ers to decide but from my neg­a­tive expe­ri­ences deal­ing with him as leg­isla­tive staff makes me won­der if the Repub­li­cans know what they’ve signed up for…

    I’ve had the dis­plea­sure of arrang­ing a hand­ful of meet­ings with the late Rep. Roger Free­man through Mar­tin. All that can be said about Mar­t­in’s admin­is­tra­tive skills is that they’re the worst I’ve ever expe­ri­enced — that is only to com­ment on the instances when he was at his desk or actu­al­ly returned my mes­sages. The word bum­bling comes to mind. What his for­mer employ­er saw in him, I can’t say. But, Roger Free­man was always a for­giv­ing soul.

    It’s dif­fi­cult to think of per­son less pre­pared than Mar­tin Moore to be a leg­is­la­tor.

    # by South County Advocate :: January 20th, 2015 at 9:42 PM
  2. ndrew,
    Thanks for this arti­cle. As you know, I was one of those who sup­port­ed Mark when he ran for State Audi­tor. I did so because in part to defend the rights of Catholics — just as I sup­port reli­gious tol­er­ance for all reli­gions. I am not a Catholic. But I know many good peo­ple, includ­ing many good Democ­rats who are Catholics. There should be room for all reli­gions in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty.
    At the same time, you are cor­rect in every­thing you have said about the draw­backs of the Repub­li­can par­ty. I believe that both Mark and Mar­tin have made a major mis­take in mov­ing to the Repub­li­can Par­ty. I under­stand that their motive was to get elect­ed — as the Repub­li­can par­ty has a boat load of mon­ey. But this pow­er comes at a ter­ri­ble price for them. Mak­ing deals with the dev­il always leads to dis­as­ter in the long run. I hope the vot­ers of the 30th LD sup­port Car­ol Gre­go­ry. She is a for­mer teacher and the State leg­is­la­ture clear­ly needs the voic­es of more teach­ers.
    Regards,
    David Spring, Par­ent and Teacher

    # by David Spring :: January 21st, 2015 at 8:53 AM