Posts tagged: Afghanistan
The ding dongs Michael Baumgartner will hear this weekend won’t be from ringing the doorbells of potential voters.
They will be wedding bells.
(OK, that was dumbest lede ever, sorry.)
Republican Michael Baumgartner will get a break this weekend from the state’s costliest legislative race to get married.
He and his fiancee, British citizen Eleanor Mayne, aren’t just going to the Courthouse. They’re getting hitched in front 200 or so people on Sunday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in downtown Spokane. Reception to follow at the Spokane Club.
The unusual timing, Baumgartner said, is related to Mayne’s citizenship. She was granted a fiance visa in August, giving them three months to make it official.
Baumgartner acknowledged at a debate that will air tonight on KSPS that wedding planning has taken him from the campaign trail. But he says he doesn’t regret having to take time from the contentious race.
“I’m excited to be getting married to the love of my life,” Baumgartner said after the debate.
The race between incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr in the Sixth Legislative District has been highly contentious. Both sides accuse the other unfair, negative campaigning.
Baumgartner said he met Mayne when both worked for Civilian Police International, a company that had a contract to run a wheat seed distribution program in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Baumgartner was there from December 2008 until August 2009.
A generation after serving in Vietnam, Rep. Walt Minnick sat in the auditorium at West Point Tuesday surrounded by men and women in cadet gray uniforms being told by a president their lives could be sacrificed in another Asian country.
“It was an honor to be here, a generation later,” said Minnick, an Army veteran who was one of seven members of Congress asked to attend President Barack Obama’s speech on raising troop levels in Afghanistan. “There was rapt attention in that room. Their futures are on the line.”
Sen. Maria Cantwell got a mention from President Obama Friday in his speech about Afghanistan and Pakistan.
She was one of three members of Congress cited by the president as he backed their idea on economic development for the war-torn region. Cantwell, Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Peter Hoekstra have proposed “Reconstruction Opportunity Zones” for those areas, where most goods that are made there could be imported to the United States duty-free.
To qualify, a proposed ROZ would have to make progress toward establishing a market-based economy and the rule of law, protecting of human rights and workers’ rights, and other key benchmarks.
It was one of two bills Obama said he wanted Congress to pass to help his policies to the two ‘Stans.