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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Snip-snip: N. Spokane Corridor photo op today

Break out the giant scissors. We're having a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the North Spokane Corridor.

Make that another ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Today at 11 a.m., the powers that be will be holding a “Celebration of Progress” for the much-discussed roadway, a thoroughfare so deeply ingrained in the Spokane mythos that Mike Lowry once said that the oldest politician was the one who could claim the oldest date when he first made a speech mentioning what was then called the North-South freeway.

The celebration is to mark the opening of the northern half of the corridor. So that would be the North North Spokane Corridor, presumably.

This being an election year, the celebration will include politicians, including Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who disagree on many things, but not on whether the roadway deserves federal money.

It's at 11 a.m., where the corridor intersects with Parksmith Road. For directions, go inside the blog. (One interesting thing to note in the directions: “The event cannot be reached from the North Spokane Corridor. You must use Market Street.)

Let's hope the scissors have been sharpened, because nothing ruins a good photo op like a ribbon that refuses to be cut.

McMorris Rodgers backed national park at Hanford

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, on Thursday backed a proposal creating a national park at three sites central to the creation of atomic weapons, including Hanford.

The vote was bipartisan in its support and opposition. It failed 237-180. It needed supermajority support to move forward. The bill's sponsor was U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Washington.

You can read more about the proposal here.

9/11 remembrances

Flag placed in a name of a victim of the 9/11 attacks at the Ground Zero memorial in New York.

Sept. 11 is traditionally a day for politicians to reflect on their thoughts and remembrances of that day in 2001.

Today was no different. Inside the blog are some comments from local office holders about the day. You can read them by clicking here.

Parker gets honorary gig on McMorris Rodgers’ campaign

State Rep. Kevin Parker has plenty of time on his hands, politically speaking.

The Republican from Spokane's 6th District doesn't have an opponent in this year's election. So over the weekend, he signed on as honorary chairman of Cathy McMorris Rodgers' congressional re-election campaign.

According to the press release, she is pleased and he is honored. She wants him to help her campaign “move forward”. He wants to make sure the campaign stays in touch with voters while she's back in that other Washington.

The press release also contains some bio information on Parker, such as his co-ownership of coffee shops, serving as a leadership instructor at Fairchild Air Force Base and adjunct business prof at Whitworth University.

He was also “honorary commander for Fairchild” last year, it notes. We're guessing as honorary commander of the base, Parker didn't get to order launches of any of the planes. Perhaps this honorary gig will be more action-packed.

Watch McMorris Rodgers’ speeches at GOP convention

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has kicked off the last two nights of the Republican National Convention as the gathering's host.

She hasn't generated much national attention, though as the host, she probably isn't supposed to.

Here is her first night's speech:

Click inside this post to watch her speech from Wednesday.

McMorris Rodgers: I’ll debate 10 times if Cantwell will debate 39

Democrat Rich Cowan and Republican Mike Baumgartner seem to have a shared problem of getting the incumbents they want to unseat to debate with them as many times as they want. Or at all.

Cowan, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives against Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, proposed 10 debates, one in each county for Eastern Washington's 5th Congressional District. McMorris Rodgers agreed to two, both in Spokane. One would be sponsored by Greater Spokane Inc., the other by KSPS-TV, which has handled a 5th District debate for years, even in those elections when no one else cared to.

Baumgartner has proposed 39 debates, one in each county of Washington state, against Democrat Maria Cantwell. So far, Cantwell hasn't agreed to any, although there are several invitations pending.

In replying to Cowan's letter requesting 10 debates, McMorris Rodgers used Cantwell as her leverage in accepting two: “I contemplated following the lead of our junior senator and only schedule debates with my opponent when she has scheduled debates with hers.”

But folks in Eastern Washingo deserve to hear a discussion of the issues, so she was agreeing to the GSI and KSPS invitations. “Additionally, if you are able to encourage Senator Cantwell to debate Mr. Baumgartner in all 39 counties, I would be happy to debate you in all 10 counties located in the 5th Congressional District. We could arrange our debates in tandem with senate debates as well.”

A spokesman for the Cantwell campaign said she has dozens of invitations for a variety of forums, debates and editorial boards, as well as “a large chunk of September” that will be taken up by the Senate's work schedule.

“We will debate,” Kelly Steele  said, but there's no commitment at this time on how many times, when or where. That will likely become clear in early September, he added.

This leaves us at Spin Control pondering the question of which is stranger: Ten debates in Eastern Washington, which would essentially be one a week between now and the election? 39 debates across the state, which would essentially  be one every other day between now and the election? Or one candidate conditioning her debate schedule on her opponent convincing a candidate for another office to debate an opponent of another party?

Feel free to weigh in, in the comment section.

McMorris Rodgers GOP convention “host”

Tropical Storm Isaac might be bad news in general for the Republican National Convention, but the storm clouds at least have a silver lining for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

The storm is shortening the convention by one day, by knocking out all but the official opening from today's agenda. McMorris Rodgers was among the long list of people scheduled to speak from the podium tonight on the theme of “We can do better.”

Now, the Eastern Washington congresswoman won't be making that speech, but will be on the stage for the three remaining nights as the convention's “host.” This may sound a bit strange when one considers her district is pretty far from Florida — you can't get much farther without leaving the lower 48. When one throws a party, the “host” is usually the person whose house the party is at, or who is paying the bar tab at the restaurant, and neither of those descriptions fit.

“I wouldn't look at it from a geographic perspective, but from a national political perspective,” her spokesman Todd Winer said.

McMorris Rodgers has been involved in the Mitt Romney presidential campaign for months, and is currently campaign co-chairwoman for Washington state, campaign liaison to the House of Representatives, co-chairwoman of Farmers and Ranchers for Mitt and co-chairwoman of Women for Mitt.

The title of convention host is a new rule for this GOP national convention, Winer said. McMorris Rodgers, who had been slated for a seven-minute speech in the original game plan, will speak from three to five minutes at the beginning of each night's events, explaining who the speakers are and the evening's theme. (There's a different theme for each night.) . She'll be on the stage a fair amount, throughout the convention, Winer said.

For the complete “Order of Business” for the convention, click here.

Local notes on GOP convention

UPDATE: U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, has been given an expanded role at the Republican National Convention.

 

The Republican National Convention is in Tampa this week, if Hurricane Isaac doesn’t blow the GOP into the next county. They just released a revised schedule, because Monday is going to be a quick opening and then folks will mostly hunker down.

That moves the speech by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, of Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District, to Tuesday. She still has a prime-time speaking gig, at least on the East Coast, sometime between 7 and 8 p.m. The original speech was going to go 7 minutes, her staff said. We'll see if she has to cut back.
State Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, who would like to be U.S. Sen. Baumgartner, R-Wash., also will be in Tampa. No speaking slot, but his campaign says he’ll be available for interviews through Tuesday. Not sure if the national press corps knows to use a five-second delay on live broadcasts, in case they need to bleep out anything.
Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed and his brother Roger Reed, a Spokane attorney, are both Romney delegates to the convention. Sam is an avid Coug, so look for WSU colors during shots of the state delegation.

  

McMorris Rodgers agrees to two debates

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has decided to debate her Democratic opponent twice before the November election.

After this month's primary, Democrat Rich Cowan challenged McMorris Rodgers to debate him in each of the 5th Congressional District's 10 counties. After her town hall meeting on Thursday in Spokane, McMorris Rodgers said that she responded to Cowan in writing by agreeing to his request - but only if Washington's Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell agrees to debate her Republican rival in all 39 of Washington's counties.

So, in orther words, her answer was no — though it's worth noting that her decision to debate twice is twice as many as she agreed to in 2010.

McMorris Rodgers gets speaking part at GOP convention

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is doing about everything she possibly can to make sure Mitt Romney gets elected.

She's his campaign co-chairwoman for Washington state. She's is the campaign liaison to the House of Representatives.  She's a co-chairwoman of Farmers and Ranchers for Mitt. She's a co-chairwoman of Women for Mitt.

Later this month, she'll get to make a prime-time pitch for Romney at the Republican National Convention.

McMorris Rodgers is on the list of speakers announced today for the first day of the convention. She'll be following House Speaker John Boehner and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky,  and preceeding Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Ann Romney. Announced theme for the night: We can do better.

The evening schedule starts at 7:45 p.m. Eastern, so that's 4:45 p.m. Pacific.

Earlier in the day, viewers can see the “roll call of the states” for president. That's when people in funny hats stand at a microphone and say things like “Madam Chairman, the great state of West Dakota, home of a buncha things you never heard of but we think are damn special so we're going to take this opportunity to list them all…cast their six and one-third votes for the next president of the United States Mitt Romney, 2 and one-third votes for the other next president of the United States Ron Paul, and one-third vote for the bartender at our Holiday Inn who made the best margaritas we ever had last night.”

McMorris Rodgers back from other Washington

Got a question for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers?

The congresswoman, a Republican, will be meeting with constituents this week across parts of the sprawling 5th congressional district, including a town hall event Thursday in Spokane.

Here's the details:

WALLA WALLA — 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Port of Walla Walla, Airport conference room, 310 A St.

DAYTON — 3 p.m. Wednesday, Weinhard Hotel, 235 E. Main St.

SPOKANE TOWN HALL — 6 p.m. Thursday, Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln.

Mo. rape comment ripples into Wa.

Waves from a comment by a Missouri politician Sunday that women are rarely pregnant from a “legitimate rape” rippled across country to Washington state today, with fellow Republican Senate candidate Mike Baumgartner calling it ignorant and Democrats trying to tie a link to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, who won a primary for the right to challenge U.S. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, stepped in it Sunday during a radio interview. According to an Associated Press report, he was asked if he would support abortion for a woman who was raped, and replied: “It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

He later  said in a statement he misspoke and insisted he has “deep empathy for the thousands of women who are raped and abused each year.”

But some Republicans were already calling for him to get out of the race, GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney termed the comments offensive and other candidates were quick to follow suit.

Among them was Baumgartner, who this morning issued a statement that the comments were inexcusable: “To belittle the trauma rape victims go through is extremely offensive and I am horrified that he would show such little empathy.”

He also suggested candidates “call a truce on the culture wars” and go back to talking about the economy and fiscal problems.

That's probably not going to  happen soon. Sen. Maria Cantwell's campaign quickly fired back that Baumgartner signed on to a Spokane County GOP platform that defined life as stretching from conception to natural death, and said he would make an exception for abortion in cases in which a woman's life is in danger but not an exception for rape cases.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was trying to tie Akin's comments around McMorris Rodgers' neck, saying they co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which as originally written tried to change an exclusion in the law from rape to “forcible rape.” That suggests that some kinds of rape and incest are consensual and health care could be restricted accordingly, the group said. Wouldn't be surprised if the DCCC was sending out a cookie-cutter press release in most of the bill's 227 co-sponsors.

Local GOP opening ‘Victory Center’

Spokane area Republicans are apparently pooling their resources for the fall campaigns to open a “Victory Center” where GOP candidates and their supporters, from the presidential level on down the ballot, can set up.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said statewide candidates and campaigns will run their Eastern Washington operations out of the center, to “reach out to voters and to make certain Republican voters mail in their ballots.”

They're holding a grand opening at 5 p.m. Monday at the center, which is in the Pier 1 Building, off Division oat 111 West North River Drive.

McMorris Rodgers: ‘I voted to save Medicaid’ with block grants

 

In defending her budget votes to a group of activists this week, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Gov. Chris Gregoire and legislators are in a better position to know what’s best for Medicaid, the program that provides medical care for low-income residents.

“I voted to save these programs,” McMorris Rodgers said of her vote for a House GOP budget plan crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

But the budget plan she supported makes a significant change to Medicaid that Gregoire strenuously opposes. It would turn the federal share of that program into a “block grant”, a lump sum payment.

“I remain strongly opposed to any congressional effort to impose Medicaid as a block grant program in Washington,” Gregoire wrote in a recent letter to the Wall Street Journal. . .

Murray, Crapo, McMorris Rodgers on list of “Best”

Take all 535 members of Congress, and select out 30 for special recognition via a “Best of Congress” award.

In that group of 30, place Washington Sen. Patty Murray and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dave Reichert and Adam Smith, and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo.

That kind of list was just announced. Who gave them the award, and for what?

Answer inside the blog.

Congressional candidates take stand on 15 topics

We have posted the answers to a Spokesman-Review candidate questionnaire from each of the four candidates for the Congressional seat representing Eastern Washington.

You can read the candidates' opinions on 15 topics, including taxes, same-sex marriage, immigration, marijuana, abortion and the North Spokane freeway at the following links:

Rich Cowan

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Ian Moody

Randall Yearout

McMorris Rodgers makes a Top 25 list

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers made the cover of a national magazine, and landed on its Top 25 list.

She's sharing the list and the cover  with some pretty high profile Democrats. And while the cover of National Journal is not the cover of the Rolling Stone, for political types it  might be better. 

The political magazine named the Eastern Washington Republican to its list of Top 25 Influential Women in Washington, D.C.

She made the list with First Lady Michelle Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Nancy Pelosi and California Sen. Diane Feinstein.  The list included some other Republicans, too, including Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former Rep. Susan Molinari.

The list is alphabetical, so there's no numeric ranking. A link to the whole story is here.

A copy of their article on McMorris Rodgers can be found inside the blog.

High court may be done with health care act, governor’s race is not

OLYMPIA – When a divided Supreme Court settled the question of whether federal health care reform is constitutional Thursday, it turned up the spotlight on the issue for Washington’s hotly contested governor’s race.
Now the question is, how long before that light dims?
Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna, one of the original plaintiffs in the failed multi-state challenge, said he was surprised at the ruling but insisted he was relieved, not disappointed.
Former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, Inslee’s likely Democratic opponent for governor this November, was happy: “I always believed this was constitutional. I had no qualms in voting for this bill.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who disagreed so strongly with McKenna’s decision to draw Washington into the court battle that she filed as a “friend of the court” on the other side, was both celebratory and caustic.
  

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Cowan: Stop bickering over health care law

As his Republican opponent continues to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Democratic congressional candidate Rich Cowan said it's time to “put aside the partisan bickering.”“

Cowan's likely opponent in November, four term Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, was one of the go-to commentators for the House GOP on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today and called for Congress to “repeal and replace the law” in the face of the narrow decision that said the law is constitutional. She also blasted some scatological messages she said that came from national Democrats in the wake of the decision, and sent out a fund-raising appeal for the National Republican Congressional Campaign that asked those who also find the messages crass to donate $3 to “show Democrats what Mom-power looks like.” 

Cowan said the court “did the right thing for our health care today” and cited some popular features that will continue, such as extended coverage for young adults on their parents' insurance and an end to coverage denials for pre-existing conditions. And he played the “I understand these things because I'm in the private sector” card.

“As a business owner I have experienced first hand how important basic, affordable health care is to employees,” he said in a press release. “here are parts of this law that can be improved, like cost containment and access issues, but it is time to put aside the partisan bickering and put America back to work.”         

To read the Cowan press release and the McMorris Rodgers fund-raising e-mails in their entirety, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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