Spin Control

Murray actually does do budgets

Sen. Patty Murray is getting flak from all sides after her appointment as co-chairman of the budget cutting supercommittee.

Republicans and government watchdog groups continue to complain that she's also the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has as its sole raison d'etre the raising of money for the electing of Democrats to the Senate. It's a reasonable complaint that will probably only be silenced if the committee comes back with budget proposals that go against entrenched interests AND pass Congress.

But Grover Norquist, the leader of Americans For Tax Reform -- which gets candidates to sign pledges to never, never, never raise taxes, ever -- levelled one that seemed a tad uninformed in a recent issue of The New York Times.

"The lady from Washington doesn't do budgets," Norquist reportedly told the Times.

As genteel as it is for Norquist to refer to Murray as a lady (a term that probably sends some of her feminist supporters up a wall) the real problem is that the premise just isn't true. She's on the Budget Committee. She's on the Appropriations Committee. She has been and continues to be the head of Appropriations subcommittees. The main criticism of her by opposing Republicans has been that she uses the budgeting system too well and taps it with earmarks. That requires strong knowledge of the system, not a lack of knowledge of the system.

One must allow, of course, for the prospect that a commie, pinko publication like the Times misquoted Norquist -- on the budget part, if not the lady part. But if not, researchers for Americans For Tax Reform might want to try a Google search before firing their next salvo.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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