With Washington’s 2017 Top Two election set to conclude in less than ten days, the fight for control of the Washington State Senate has been heating up.
Voters across the 45th Legislative District (Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Sammmish) — who will decide which party controls the Senate in 2018 — are now receiving mailers for and against both major party candidates on a near daily basis.
Republicans are predictably trying to use taxes as a bogeyman, using the specter of an income tax against Democratic candidate Manka Dhingra.
Democrats, meanwhile, have seized on Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund’s past tweets (which they saved from oblivion) as fodder for their own attack mailers.
Englund’s campaign has now responded to the Democratic ads with a special mailer denouncing “the same special interest groups that attacked Senator Andy Hill”. Englund’s campaign says the Democrats are “falsely accusing” her of holding positions she doesn’t actually hold. The mailer states:
Jinyoung Englund believes in a woman’s right to choose her own health care and will not vote to change the state’s current laws that were adopted by a vote of the people.
Jinyoung Englund believes in man-made climate change, and in the science that supports it. She worked for a nonprofit in Africa over 10 years ago after she graduated from UW. Jinyoung witnessed firsthand the importance of protecting and being good stewards of our environment.
Jinyoung Englund shares our Eastside values and will fight to protect them, ensuring we continue to have world-class schools and an outstanding quality of life.
Jinyoung Englund supports the paid family leave legislation adopted this year with strong bipartisan support. That’s the kind of pragmatic problem solving she will bring to the Senate.
After seeing this mailer, the Democratic Party wasted no time in putting together a graphic showcasing a number of Englund’s past tweets, in which she:
- Harshly attacks Planned Parenthood, the nation’s most high profile provider of reproductive health services;
- Criticizes Barack Obama for supporting a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions, including terminating a pregnancy;
- States that the addressing climate crisis is not as important as combating terrorism, the Islamic State group, or reducing the federal deficit.
Here’s the graphic:
Englund’s campaign says voters need to “listen to the facts”.
Well, the fact is, Englund did previously espouse the positions that Democrats are accusing her of holding, and we know that because of these tweets. We have evidence of what Englund believed before she was recruited to be a candidate in the 45th. (Evidence is very useful for establishing facts!)
Englund now claims to have a very different set of positions on the issues.
It’s almost as if she is saying, Please, please believe me, I’m not an extremist like the Democrats claim I am… Honest! I’m a socially liberal Eastsider just like you.
We wonder: When, exactly, did Jinyoung become the socially liberal Republican she now claims to be? She only registered to vote in the 45th District in April. As of this summer, she’s being marketed as a Republican in the mold of Dan Evans.
Or so we’re all supposed to believe.
We know Jinyoung didn’t hold these positions before she moved into the 45th District a week prior to announcing her candidacy — she was tweeting the Republican party line throughout 2015. But today she’s the party’s only hope for keeping its grip on the Washington State Senate, and she’s running in a district that Hillary Clinton won. So she has reinvented her political identity in the hopes of insulating herself from Democratic attacks. Quite the self-serving move.
People can and do change their minds on the issues, but it’s hard to believe Jinyoung’s sincerity here given the circumstances. Republicans are desperate to remain in power, and in her they have someone who will say whatever they need her to say — and do whatever they need her to do — in order to win.
Democratic Party leaders point out that if Englund wins, the Republicans stay in power in the Senate. Regardless of what Jinyoung says her views are today or tomorrow, she is slated to become Mark Schoesler’s twenty-fifth vote should she win. She would be an enabler of continued Republican extremism and obstruction.
“Jinyoung Englund is taking the ‘alternative facts’ of the GOP to a new level in Washington State,” said Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlowski.
“Jinyoung is simply lying about her positions – and her own words prove it. She has touted her ‘tech credentials’, but she should know that she can’t erase her conservative anti-choice and climate-denying stances by deleting a few tweets – the Internet is forever. Face it, Jinyoung is lying about her positions now – how can anyone in the 45th Legislative District trust what she says?
“Republicans must be getting desperate to resort to this kind of deception. For Jinyoung to say that she’s pro-choice or she cares about the environment when her own words in the past contradict that is astonishing.”
“Up and down the ticket, from Donald Trump to Jinyoung Englund, Republicans are counting on misleading voters in a desperate attempt to win power. The fact of the matter is, Jinyoung Englund is a liar whose conservative stances on countless issues make her the absolute wrong choice to represent the 45th District.”