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Spin Control

Posts tagged: luke esser

Fackler enters race for state GOP chairman

Curt Fackler, former Spokane County Republican chairman, is joining the race for the state GOP chairmanship. Current chair Luke Esser wants to keep the job and at least two others from western Washington are interested.

In a letter sent out today, Fackler questions the effectiveness of the party's statewide election efforts over the last 10 years, noting that “the last three party charis have been Seattle area attorneys.” Time for a change, he says, to someone who can recruit a broader range of candidates.”

Fackler has run thrice, unsuccessfully, for state Insurance Commissioner, losing in the primary in 2008, 2004 and 2000. But because of this he says he understands the challenges of recruiting and running statewide.

As Spokane County chair, Fackler was able to work with the Libertarians and the more establishment wings of the party for the 2008 election. He could appeal to the Tea Party wing that might feel their favorite candidate for the U.S. Senate, Clint Didier, got the short shrift once leaders in the other Washington settled on Dino Rossi for the race.

Unknown at this point: Will party officials look askance at Fackler's decision to run as an independent in the 2008 insurance commissioner primary, or chalk it up to a willingness to try unusual tactics to knock off a Democratic incumbent?

State reorganization meeting is a week from Saturday.

Gregoire budget would dump presidential primary in 2012

OLYMPIA — One casualties of the state’s revenue gap in today’s budget proposal by Gov. Chris Gregoire would be Washington’s 2012 presidential preference primary.

The state estimates it would save about $10 million by scrapping the primary, which was mandated by voters in a 1989 initiative but has met with limited acceptance from the state’s two major political parties.

Democrats essentially ignore the results of the primary, choosing all of convention delegates through the precinct caucus through state convention system. Republicans have used varying formulas to award at least part of their delegates from the results of the primary and the rest from the caucuses. In 2008, the split was about half and half.

Along with saving money for a statewide mail-in ballot, it would also save the quadrennial jockeying to get a primary date that’s close enough to the beginning of the process that there’s still some doubt about the parties’  nominees, but not so close that Washington is clumped in with a bunch of states and dwarfed by them.

Washington is also the only state that has both a primary and caucuses and two different systems by the parties for apportioning presidential delegates.

State GOP Chairman Luke Esser, while giving Gregoire some credit for an overall budget that “is a step in the right direction toward fiscally responsible government,” was critical of cutting the primary, saying it contradicts the will of the people expressed in the initiative.

“And it disenfranchises military voters serving overseas and many other voters. The voice of the brave members of the armed forces fighting for freedom in faraway lands will be silenced because they can’t attend a preinct caucuses, as will the voices of those who must work during the caucus, who are home-ridden or tending sick children,” Esser said.

Probably an easy call for Gregoire, he added, because Democrats have always ignored the primary results.

But Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, said he reluctantly agreed with Gregoire the state can’t afford a primary in 2012 under current conditions. Reed said he hoped it would be back in 2016.

The state canceled the 2004 presidential primary to save about $6.8 million during a one-day special session in December 2003.

Does Scott Brown’s victory have legs (or wings) to WA?

 OLYMPIA—Washington Republicans wasted little time trying to draw connections between a Democratic Senate loss in Massachusetts and election prospects in the Evergreen State.

Washington Democrats conceded that the loss of a supermajority in the U.S. Senate complicates plans in the Legislature. They can’t expect Congress to adopt health care reform or a stimulus package before they have to patch a $2.6 billion budget hole and leave town.

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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.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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