Posts tagged: chris marr
The campaign of state Sen. Chris Marr this week falsely accused his Republican opponent of withdrawing from a weekend candidate’s forum “at the last minute.”
The candidate’s forum was held on Saturday at the North Spokane library, 44 E. Hawthorne Road, and was sponsored by the American Association of University Women.
Marr, the Democratic incumbent, is in a high-spending battle with Baumgartner to retain his seat representing one of the most competitive districts in the state.
Judy Blair, public policy co-chairwoman of the association, said Baumgartner never accepted an invitation because of a scheduling conflict.
“He wasn’t able to attend from the beginning,” Blair said.
Here’s what Marr’s campaign said in a news release: “Recent Spokane resident and 6th District political candidate Michael Baumgartner today withdrew at the last minute from a non-partisan forum set up by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Washington, in what was supposed to be an informative session with Baumgartner and 26 year Spokane resident and longtime business leader Chris Marr.”
Baumgartner and Marr would not have appeared in the same forum, anyway. Blair said she split candidates who face each other on the November ballot into two events to keep the discussion civil. Eight candidates appeared in two different forums.
Marr said Tuesday that he heard secondhand that Baumgartner cancelled soon before the event.
Click on the image to get to the PDC’s interactive map on legislative campaign spending.
A Spokane legislative district is tops in the state for money raised by candidates, and near the top for spending that money before the August primary.
The 6th Legislative District – which curves around central Spokane’s core from the Whitworth and 5 Mile arreas to the South Hill – is often a pricey political battleground. Its last three state Senate races have been the three most expensive Senate races in state history, with the 2008 contest between Democrat Chris Marr and Republican Sen. Brad Benson at the very top of the list with nearly $818,000 spent for a seat that pays just over $42,000 per year.
This year is likely to follow that trend …click to go inside the blog and read the rest of this story or leave a comment.
Shelly O’Quinn’s legislative race, like nearly every political race worth a darn, may be leaving some supporters with hard feelings, nagging questions and what ifs.
Wednesday’s ballot count showed O’Quinn has no real hope of moving out of third place, which is no doubt vexing to supporters who believed she was a candidate with great potential to be a rising GOP star. While they try to figure out why she lost, some apparently have come up with a theory that it was Democratic perfidity that helped do her in.
The theory, recounted by one supporter, is that Democrats were afraid that freshman incumbent John Driscoll would have a much harder time in the general against O’Quinn than John Ahern. There’s some logic to that speculation:
Driscoll beat Ahern, a well-entrenched encumbent, two years ago, so history is on their side.
Ahern outpolled O’Quinn, but she outspent him.
The Gallatin Group, a regional public affairs organization that has people who follow politics the way others follow Gonzaga basketball, opined as such in an election eve epistle titled “Pondering Politics in the Inland Northwest”: Here’s our prediction. In an Ahern vs. Driscoll match-up, Driscoll wins. However, the Gallatin office is split in our prediction that if O’Quinn manages a win tomorrow the seat will return back to its Republican roots with an O’Quinn victory in November against Driscoll.
So wily Democrats could try to sway the outcome of the primary by voting for Ahern now, then switching to Driscoll in November. Or so the speculation goes.
Speculation is one thing. Facts are something else.
One, it assumes Democrats are organized enough to hatch the plan, and execute it by having willing Driscoll voters cast ballots for Ahern. Democrats have shown themselves to be anything but organized this year. Were they that organized, they’d have fielded candidates in the 4th, and recruited a congressional hopeful who could win at least one county in the 5th District.
B, it ignores the fact that Washington voters love to split tickets on their own.
Lastly, if there was some kind of plot that could overcome the ticket-splitting tendencies of the electorate, it would show up in the vote totals when comparing the votes for the House race with those in the 6th District Senate race. Democrat Sen. Chris Marr pulled down about 2,000 more votes than fellow Democrat Driscoll, while Ahern and Quinn combined for about 4,000 more votes than Republican Senate hopeful Mike Baumgartner. Considering that Marr and Driscoll have similar voting histories that would attract the same partisan support, if something fishy is going on, a pattern would likely emerge. Ahern would consistently do much better in precincts that Marr won handily as Democrats crossed over to vote for him to help Driscoll down the road; O’Quinn would consistenty run stronger in precincts where Baumgartner ran far ahead of Marr.
As the maps below show, that ain’t what happened. At least not consistently.
Setting aside the fact that there were much bigger swings in the Marr-Baumgartner race, which is common in a two-person contest, what happened was this: Ahern did very well in some of the precincts where Baumgartner did very well, but O’Quinn also ran strong in some strong Baumgartner precincts. And both had successes and failures in precincts that Marr won handily.
What the maps show more conclusively is that Ahern won because he won more of those same Republican-leaning precincts that Baumgartner won, and by bigger margins. It’s a pretty simple equation. Win more votes in more places, and you win the election.
This map of the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Chris Marr and Republican Michael Baumgartner indicates that voting went as usual in the 6th Legislative District. The Democrat won precincts closest to central Spokane; the Republican won Indian Trails, the far South Hill and areas outside city limits.
(Map by Jim Camden)
OLYMPIA – Small distilleries will be able to produce more liquor under a new law that triples their maximum capacity to 60,000 gallons.
The law, signed Thursday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, is a reflection of the fast growth of the Spokane’s “craft” distillery, Dry Fly, which was the first such operation in Washington since Prohibition when it was set up in 2007.
The original limit for craft distilleries of 20,000 gallons was essentially a guess, Dry Fly co-owner Don Poffenroth said Thursday. The Spokane operation is about three-fourths of the way to hitting that original limit and wants some room to expand, although it probably wouldn’t reach the new limit..
“I don’t think so, but I also never thought we’d grow this fast,” he said. But the higher limit is becoming a national standard, and the new law also allows distilleries to make liquor for a private customer from his or her own grain, without that counting against the 60,000 gallon limit.
At least four other craft distilleries have opened and several others have obtained permits, but Dry Fly remains the largest operation in Washington.
Gregoire paused before signing the bill, looked at its sponsor Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane, and asked: “Where are my samples?”
Replied Marr: “I tried to stop by a state liquor store and it wasn’t open at 10 in the morning.”
Even if the store had been open, he would not have been able to buy any of Dry Fly’s wheat whiskey, he added. That product is in such limited supply it usually sells out the day it’s released.
OLYMPIA — Sports analogies in politics are often imprecise and overused, but they can be fun.
After “cut off” this week, when bills that don’t get out of their original house are for all intents and purposes dead, Senate Democratic staff compiled a spreadsheet of whose bills were still alive.
It’s pretty straight forward math, sort of like a batting average:divide bills introduced into bills passed to get the percentage.
It shows that some people introduce lots of bills, but only get a few passed. Others start with fewer but get a bigger pass percentage.
Sen. Lisa Brown, for example, only introduced two bills, but both of them passed. So she’s batting 1.000, which tells you two things: Brown, as majority leader, is judicious about the bills she sponsors; and members of her caucus are smart enough not to tick of their leader.
Sen. Chris Marr, another Spokane Democrat had the third highest batting average at cutoff, at 57.14 percent, with 12 of his 21 bills still alive.”And without steroids,” he noted.
Only Brown and Sen. Kevin Ranker of San Juan Island (6 for 10 or .600) were doing better at this point.
As any ball player will tell you, the Ws are what count in the end. But while the season is still being played — er, session is still underway — stats make interesting conversation.
OLYMPIA – The Legislature would be able to raise taxes this session and next with a simple majority vote under a bill approved Tuesday in the state Senate.
In the most contentious Senate debate this year – one that constantly invoked “the will of the people” and at one point became a showdown between grandmas in the chamber – Democrats suspended the need for a supermajority on tax increases imposed by voters in 2007.
Just hours after a 26-23 victory, however, they said they’d made a
mistake and intended to suspend all the requirements of Initiative 960,
including the need for statewide advisory votes on any tax they choose
to raise. Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, the bill’s prime sponsor,
said in an evening press release the majority party will bring up a new
version to the Senate floor “as soon as possible … to suspend I-960 in
full until July 2011.” (WEDS update: Senate Democrats expect to introduce a bill to “fix” that problem sometime today and suspend all of I-960 for that time period. No time table at this point but watch Spin Control for updates.)
To read the rest of this story, click here to go inside the blog.
State Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane, will have a challenger in the November election.
Republican Michael J. Baumgartner, 34, filed paperwork last week with the state Public Disclosure Commission indicating that he will run against Marr for the senate seat representing the Sixth Legislative District, one of the most competitive districts in the state.
The competitive nature of the district attracts a lot of money, and Marr has a head start in fundraising. As of this week, Marr reports having raised about $180,000 for this year’s campaign.
Reached Monday evening, Baumgartner confirmed his run and portions of his resume. This is his first run for office. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an employee of the U.S. State Department. He’s a graduate of Pullman High School and Washington State University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Baumgartner said that in Iraq he worked closely with Ryan Crocker, the Spokane Valley resident who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
Photos of Baumgartner in Afghanistan can be found at redcounty.com, a GOP blog.