Posts tagged: Maria Cantwell
OLYMPIA — With the primary over for everything except the certification, losers are apt to be endorsing winners who will move on to the general.
So it's no surprise that U.S. Senate candidate Art Coday, who finished third, has endorsed fellow Republican Mike Baumgartner in his run against incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell. Republicans endorsing other Republicans, or Democrats endorsing other Democrats don't qualify as news, even in the dog days of summer.
But Baumgartner picked up the endorsement of another of his primary rivals. Democrat Timmy (Doc) Wilson.
Wilson finished fourth. He ran on what some people would consider a “progressive” platform, calling for an immediate end to wars and higher taxes on the upper income segments, more investment in infrastructure and technology. This week he endorsed Baumgartner, who doesn't share his views on taxes, over fellow Democrat Cantwell, saying he thought the challenger would do a better job of working with both parties to get things done.
So that's good news for Baumgartner. Bad news: adding Coday's votes and Wilson's votes to his total — and all the rest of the challengers, for that matter — still leaves Baumgartner about 150,000 votes behind Cantwell.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell easily finished first in last week's state primary, and topped Republican challenger Mike Baumgartner in many Spokane County precincts, as the map below shows.
But when one considers the ABC vote — Anyone But Cantwell — she won fewer precincts, as the map above shows.
For a closer look at the map, click on the PDF version below.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell easily topped the field in last week's state primary, and finished on top in Spokane County, which is the home of her general election challenger, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner.
Using Monday's ballot report, here's a look at how Cantwell did against Baumgartner in Spokane County.
For a closer look, check out the PDF version of the map.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell talks with Daryl Romeyn, a candidate for Spokane County commissioner, at the county Democratic Party's fund-raiser in Riverfront Park.
Every couple of weeks, some national pundit or cable news talking head ruminates about the “enthusiasm gap” for a certain set of voters.
Sometimes the gap is diagnosed among Democrats, who were oh so excited to vote for Barack Obama in 2008, but now, not so much. Other times the gap is prognosticated among Republicans who backed a different candidate in the primaries and now the best they can say about Mitt Romney is “at least he's better than Obama.”
If there is an enthusiasm gap in Spokane, it may be for a primary that takes place the first full week in August. This observation comes not from polling or deep analysis of ballot returns (cursory analysis, however, says they are nothing to brag about) but from a brief stop at the Spokane County Democrats' salmon bake and Obama birthday celebration Saturday night.
Normally, if you put together a warm clear summer night on the north bank of the Spokane River, offered baked salmon and liquid refreshments whose containers must reveal their alcoholic content, you could draw a decent crowd of Democrats. Throw in the chance to see the party's U.S. Senate candidate, the wife of its gubernatorial candidate and a passel of other local office seekers, and offer cupcakes to mark the president turning 51, you could count on what used to be called a rip-snorter of a time.
Saturday's turnout was, in the view of several longtime Ds there, disappointing. Not abysmal, but not outstanding, either. Sen. Maria Cantwell and other candidates dutifully worked the crowd. Supporters of one or another of the Democrats in that crowded 3rd Legislative District state rep race eyed each other warily, and asked those on the sidelines “Who do you think will win?”
(My answer at various times: 1. I live 300 miles away; I don't know. 2. It may come down to turnout. 3. It's possible the two Republicans could split the GOP vote in such a way that two Democrats will make it into the general. 4. The wild card could be the Tea Party vote. 5. The wild card could be the Christian Conservative vote. 6. It could depend the independent vote in Hillyard, or the lower South Hill, or the northwest part of the district. 7. Ask me who will win the state treasurer's race. There's only one candidate in that one. I actually believe any combination of 2 through 6 could happen, but 1 and 7 are the only things I'm sure of.)
The real problem for the salmon bake may be the problem for the primary. It's summertime, and the living is easy, as “George Gershwin once astutely observed. Easy living does not often galvanize people to political action. (Editor's note: Earlier version of this post wrongly attributed the lyricist of the song until an alert reader pointed out our mistake.)
A weekend political event must compete with a trip to the lake place or the favorite campsite or that promised trip to grandma's, or even a backyard barbecue. Yes, the ballots were mailed out some two weeks ago, but for voters who've been gone on some multi-week peregrination and are just returning from the mountains or parks or beaches or Disneyland or wherever, they are tucked in among the bills, the offers of new credit cards, back-to-school ads and outdated magazines.
Some uncast primary votes could easily be lost in the summer shuffle. If that's the case, pundits may spend much time dissecting the upcoming returns for an enthusiasm gap.
A reader had a question about a claim in a recent campaign commercial for Sen. Maria Cantwell, in which the incumbent Democrat touts her record on expanding aerospace jobs: “I also helped Boeing win the Air Force tanker contract worth billions.”
What gives? wrote a reader, who wondered if the contract even had been awarded.
It was, in 2011, after a torturous back and forth between Boeing and Airbus. It’s for more than $30 billion, so they pulled out all the stops, including heavy lobbying by officials of the places that stood to gain from the contract. Everyone from the Spokane business community to Gregoire to the state’s congressional delegation, Democrat and Republican, linked arms and said that the plane Boeing would use for the new tanker, a modified 767, was a wonderful aeronautical marvel and that Airbus A330 was a flying hunk of foreign junk.
Under the axiom that success has many fathers, Cantwell was a part of that lobbying effort.
But as taxpayers and people who may someday have the KC-46A flying over Spokane, we should fervently hope that the Air Force paid no attention to the lobbying, and picked the best plane for the mission. Or is that too naïve?
The U.S. Department of Transportation will give the state $10 million for the North Spokane Corridor, to be used to help relocate some railroad tracis and extend a bike trail.
A joint announcement from U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the state will get the money from the feds on Friday.
The money is known as a TIGER grant, which stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. It will be used to relocate 7.5 miles of BNSF rail lines near the Freya Street interchange, and to extend a bike and pedestrian trail for 1 mile into Hillyard.
All three members of Congress described the North Spokane Corridor — also known by some as the North-South Freeway — as a top priority for them and the community.
OLYMPIA — Some races are starting to fill up quickly on the first morning of filing week as many of the expected candidates and a few surprises turn in their forms and fees.
The top of the ballot for the Aug. 7 primary, the U.S. Senate race, had three names before lunchtime: Incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner of Spokane's 6th Legislative District were “givens.” But filing first was a previously unheralded candidate, Chuck Jackson of Snohomish. He listed Republican as his party preference, and scaryreality.com as his e-mail provider.
The statewide race attracting the most attention so far is secretary of state. Incumbent Sam Reed is retiring, and five candidates already want to take his place. First in the blocks, and perhaps the first person to file this morning at 8:00 a.m., was Sam Wright of Olympia, who lists his preference as the Human Rights Party. Perhaps more recognizable to a larger chunk of the state's electorate is former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, listing Democrat as his party preference. Democratic State Sen. Jim Kastama also wants that job, as does Democrat Kathleen Drew, a former state senator, and Karen Murray of Quincy, who lists the Constitution Party as her preference.
On a local note, Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase filed for the County Commissioner seat being vacated by fellow Republican Mark Richard.
Everyone thinking about running for political office this year, take note: You have less than a week to make up your mind. Everyone talking about running and acting like they’re already a full-fledged candidate, take note: It’s not official until you file your paperwork and pay your fee.
Candidate filing week starts Monday morning, and ends when the office where that paperwork and fee must be deposited closes on Friday. Here’s a tricky part – because of budget cutbacks, some county elections offices close as early as noon on Fridays, others at 4 p.m., and some stay open until 5 p.m. Anyone planning to wait until the very last minute to build suspense would be wise to make a phone call to the appropriate office and check when that last minute is.
For some positions that’s the county elections office in the county seat; for others, it’s the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia. How do you know what goes where?
Go inside the blog to read more, or to comment.
The New York Times recently discovered a phenomenon about Washington that most state residents take for granted. We tend to elect women to office.
Last week, “All the News that’s Fit to Print” included a story about the evolving nature of women in politics that focused on Gov. Chris Gregoire and Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. That’s because Washington is the only state with women in all three of those statewide positions. That will end next year, the Times noted, because Gregoire’s not seeking re-election and the likely replacements are men.
It also mentioned the state had a woman as chief justice of the state Supreme Court, an earlier woman governor, Dixy Lee Ray, and Seattle has a woman for mayor back in the 1920s.
Had it looked just a tad east, the Times might have discovered Eastern Washington residents are even more prone to female representation, with a woman as their U.S. Representative, and until the beginning of this year when Spokane’s chief executive left office, many city residents north of the river had a woman as mayor, a city councilwoman and a state senator.
The fact that Mary Verner lost to David Condon doesn’t suggest residents are any less likely to elect a woman. Rather, it suggests that women may have achieved something close to equality in local politics, where their gender wasn’t a major factor in their election or unelection.
Still, it’s a decent article, with a great photo.
OLYMPIA — You never know who will show up in the “wings” of the Senate or House chambers.
That's the area behind the curtains, off the main floor, where members come and go, chat, discuss legislation.
On Monday, two former legislators who have now gone on to bigger things bumped into each other as Sen. Maria Cantwell was leaving the Senate Democratic Caucus room, and Sen. Patty Murray was going in.
Both are in the state during the Presidents' Day recess in Congress.
Tim Egan of the New York Times profiles Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington in today's edition.
It's an overall flattering piece, characterizing her as a populist warrior against Wall Street villains.
OK, it has one unflattering jab:
“Through two terms, she has been almost an invisible senator. In person, she underwhelms, a charm deficiency that has given rise to a nickname of “Senator Cant-smile.”
It also concludes with a look at the 2012 election to which some Republicans might object: “She faces no significant opposition in her run for a third term next year.”
This might cause state Sen. Mike Baumgartner, a Spokane Republican who has announced a campaign, to remark something like: “So, what am I? Chopped liver?”
Apparently in Egan's assessment, the answer would be yes.
OLYMPIA — The upcoming special session of the Legislature may complicate campaign cash-grabbing for some candidates, but give others a leg up.
State law bans state elected officials from accepting campaign contributions during a special session and from 30 days before a regular session until that session ends.
The freeze, as it's called, starts on Nov. 27, the day before the special session starts, and continues until that session ends. If the special session lasts past Dec. 10 (something for which you could get really good odds, if Vegas bookmakers were foolish enought to bet on Legislatures) the 30-day ban in front of the regular session kicks in, so the freeze continues into January, February … and however long it takes for the Legislature to finish the rest of its business.
Will they need a special session to get everything done? Who knows. But they've need them for the last two years.
So incumbents up for election in 2012 might not be accepting checks from Thanksgiving weekend until sometime in mid March, at the earliest. Their challengers who aren't in office can.
Also affected are state elected officials who will be running for some other state office. So State Attorney General Rob McKenna's campaign for governor is frozen out, starting Nov. 27. But his chief Democratic challenger, Rep. Jay Inslee, isn't because the law doesn't — in fact, can't — cover federal officials.
That principle that a state can't put limits on federal candidates works in reverse, too. State Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, for example, isn't barred from raising money for his campaign for U.S. Senate against incumbent Maria Cantwell. Neither are any of the other legislators who might run for Inslee's old seat, once they know where the boundary lines are.
State Sen. Mike Baumgartner made his “official” announcement today that he's running against Maria Cantwell next year.
If that sounds familiar, it's because he was on television Friday evening, and in this newspaper Saturday morning, saying he'd run. That may have seemed pretty official to most folks.
Baumgartner previously said he'd make an announcement today, but did an interview with KING-TV on Friday for that station's weekend public affairs show. He said he was running with cameras running; KING and its Spokane sister station KREM had it at 5 p.m. Friday, and KXLY had a brief mention by 5:30 p.m. Generally speaking, The Spokesman-Review does a single story about a candidate's announcement and will wait for an “official” announcement that we know is coming as long as the candidate doesn't make some other kind of public pronouncement. When that happens, as it did in this case, we posted Friday and published Saturday that we would have posted today and published tomorrow.
So let's call today the official unveiling of his campaign website and the unveiling of the obligatory campaign video on YouTube. And there's nothing more official for a campaign than having a web site and a video, no?
Well, nothing except maybe drawing a first strike from the opposing party. State Democrats were quick to brand Baumgartner as a far-right extremist for signing the 2010 Spokane County Republican platform which calls for such things as withdrawing from the United Nations, eliminating the U.S. Department of Education, returning to the gold standard and repealing the Endangered Species Act.
Baumgartner did sign the platform, but said it has about 120 planks; he agrees with some but has spoken out against others, such as withdrawing from the UN.
Expect the platform to come up on a regular basis as Baumgartner tries to get some name identification on the West Side.
Sen. Mike Baumgartner at his desk on the Senate floor this spring. File photo.
OLYMPIA — State Sen. Mike Baumgartner of Spokane is being discussed for the political equivalent of an upgrade, as a candidate for U.S. Senate against Democrat Maria Cantwell.
Baumgartner said Wednesday evening he's “taking a strong look at it” after being urged to get into the race by some supporters. He said he and wife Elinore will make a decision “in the next few weeks.”
It would be a big jump for Baumgartner…
No one pays Spin Control for advice on their media events, but we sometimes offer it for free. Thus do we raise an eyebrow to Sen. Maria Cantwell's plan to hold a press conference at a Seattle microbrewery this weekend to discuss federal Small Business Loans.
Nothing against the SBA program know as the Small Jobs Act, which Cantwell helped get passed. Or Elysian Fields Brewing, which is using the program to expand production and add 35 workers. Good for them.
But Cantwell is holding the event at 10:45 a.m. Sunday. And the brewery won't start making beer until August.
A Sunday morning event at a brewery? Really? And the facility isn't brewing beer yet? Wouldn't it make more sense to do it on a Friday night when Elysian had some product to display?
Worse yet, the US women's soccer team starts its World Cup match against Japan at 11:45 a.m.
Gotta wonder how much coverage Cantwell will get coverage from that small sliver of the Seattle news media that is not in church or prepping to be glued to their television sets watching the World Cup.
The U.S. Senate is considering a new bill designed to help small breweries with a tax cut, which will in turn create jobs.
Or so says a press release from Sen. Maria Cantwell, who is a co-sponsor of the legislation, along with Sen. Mike Crapo. So microbrews apparently have bipartisan support, considering Cantwell is a Democrat and Crapo is a Republican.
The proposal for a tax cut isn't surprising, nor is the claim it would help create jobs. It's a rare piece of legislation that isn't introduced with a compliment for how many jobs it will create or save.
The most interesting thing about it is the title: The Brewers Employment and Excise Relief Act.
Which means its acronym is the BEER Act.
Do you suppose they have one person in a room somewhere whose job is coming up with bill titles that make catchy acronyms? And if they do, is this among the highest-paid staff members in the entire Congress?
As for the BEER Act and its potential salutory effects on Washington state, you can read Cantwell's press release inside the blog. Click here to read or to comment.
Washington state elected officials are practically giddy this morning as the European manufacturer of Airbus announced it will not contest the Air Force decision to give a humongous tanker contract to Boeing.
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. officially bowed out of the competition this morning, saying it will not appeal last Thursday's award of a $30 billion-plus contract for the first phase of replacing KC-135 tankers.
Here are a couple official yippeeee!!! statements.
From Gov. Chris Gregoire: “The decision by EADS is more proof that Boeing submitted the best proposal to the U.S. Air Force, and provides the public with more assurance that Boeing will build the most cost-effective and safest refueling tanker that best serves our military and our taxpayers. There’s no doubt Boeing and its workforce build the best planes in the world. I congratulate the 11,000 Washington aerospace workers that will play a role in manufacturing the next tanker, and look forward to seeing the first tanker come off the line.”
From Sen. Maria Cantwell: “Today is a proud day for all Washingtonians. Today’s announcement makes official what Washingtonians know in our bones: We build the best airplanes in the world. Even with the deck stacked against them, Washington aerospace workers prevailed over long odds, stiff competition and illegal foreign subsidies. Boeing, its workers and my colleagues in Congress never gave up in fighting for these 11,000 jobs.”
Remember that when EADS won the contract in 2008, Boeing challenged the decision and the Air Force had to start all over again. This decision suggests that Boeing can get going with the R&D portion of the contract.
Sen. Maria Cantwell was named Monday the chairwoman of the senate panel that oversees aviaition.\
Technically, it's known as the aviation operations, safety and security subcommittee of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which is admittedly two long names with lots of commas. It's main goal right now is to handle the Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill, to modernize air traffic control systems and expand airport capacity, which was described by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as the first “jobs bill” of this Congress
Of course, Washington has a few more ties to aviation than just its airport. There's that company that makes many of those planes that fly in and out of the airports. You know the one. Starts with a “B”.
Being watched almost as closely as what President Obama says tonight are the locations of where the honorable members of Congress will sit.
Put another way: Who's your date for the State of the Union?
Traditionally, the Democrats sit on one side of the House and Republicans on the other, which explains why sometimes half the crowd gives a standing ovation and the other half sits on their hands at various points.
But in the new spirit of bipartisanship, members of Congress are asking colleagues of the other party to cross the aisle and sit with them. This is what we know so far about with whom members from Washington and Idaho will be sitting:
Patty Murray, Washington's senior Democrat in the Senate, will be sitting with Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. Maria Cantwell, the state's junior Senate D, will be sitting with Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican. They've been working together on some climate legislation, an aide said.
Mike Crapo, Idaho's senior Republican in the Senate, will be sitting with a group that is regional as well as bipartisan. He, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., have an area staked out that they all prefer when watching a presidential speech. They'll be joined by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Word is that they like the place because it's possible to make a quick exit as soon as the president says “Thank you, and goodnight.”
James Risch, Idaho's junior Senate R, said he was sitting in an area surrounded by Democrats and Republicans, but that's not too unusual, he added.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, an Eastern Washington Republican who is part of the GOP leadership in the House, invited Lucille Roybal-Allard, a California Democrat to watch with her. McMorris Rodgers said she ran into Roybal-Allard earlier in the day, and they noticed that they were wearing similar outfits. She asked if the Los Angeles congresswoman wanted to sit together, and when Roybal-Allard asked if there'd be room, McMorris Rodgers assured her they'd make room.
No word yet on seating partner for Rep. Raul Labrador, North Idaho's freshman Republican.
The bipartisan seating was first mentioned by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Various sources on Capitol Hill have described this as something akin to asking or being asked to homecoming or Sadie Hawkins Dance. At least they don't have to pass notes in Study Hall to find out if some one just likes them or REALLY LIKES them.
After regular missives for months from the folks at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, things had been quiet for two whole weeks.
In other words, since the election in which the NRSC’s guy, Dino Rossi, lost to Democrat Patty Murray.
They didn’t call, they didn’t write. After months of sending us clips of national stories about what a great guy Rossi was, diatribes about Murray or links to polls that showed he was beating her, it seemed like they’d forgotten about this Washington.
Not so. Today they’re back, with an e-mail blasting…Maria Cantwell. She committed the cardinal sin of voting for Democratic leadership. Imagine that, a Democrat voting for a Democratic leadership team. A senator from Washington voting for a leadership team that includes Patty Murray, the other senator from Washington.
The press release contains most of the standard stuff, such as a suggestion that Cantwell “put her party bosses’ reckless, job-killing agenda ahead of the best interests of her constituents.” The best interest of Washington state voters is debatable, even if it is usually debated by people in Washington state.
But the curious thing in the NRSC statement is the assertion that Cantwell’s vote for Democratic leaders “puts her at odds with her state’s voters.”
Considering that the state’s voters just re-elected Murray by at least 100,000 votes over NRSC recruit Rossi, wouldn’t it put Cantwell at odds with Washington state voters to vote against the Democratic team?
The real purpose of the e-mail is contained in the final line, however: “Washingtonians will no doubt elect a fiscally responsible leader as their next U.S. senator in 2012.” No hint yet as to the identity of said fiscallly responsible leader.
Washingtonians shouldn’t feel too special, however. The NRSC prepared 13 similar press releases targeting Democrats up for re-election in 2012. They just swapped out the name of the senator and the state.
So there you have it. The first shot in Washington state’s 2012 senate race.