Posts tagged: Michael Baumgartner
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.
Among the elected leaders and politicians running for office, it should be no surprise that John Roskelley won the race.
Roskelley, a candidate for Spokane County Commission, had the best Bloomsday time among all elected Spokane and Spokane Valley city leaders; state House and state Senate candidates for districts within Spokane County; Spokane County commissioner candidates; and gubernatorial candidates.
Roskelley is, afterall, a world-renowned mountain climber.
Here is the list of local politicians (plus a governor hopeful) who completed Bloomsday:
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.
Claim: “With (Marr’s) tax increases, it’s hurting my employees and my business and the last thing I need right now is an income tax,” said Julie (who doesn’t give a last name and claims to be a Spokane business owner).
Source: TV ad from “Spokane Families for Change,” a group made up this year. It is funded completely by Working Families for Change, which is funded completely by The Leadership Council, a committee aimed at electing Republicans to the state Senate. Among the top contributors are the Washington Health Care Association, the Building Industry of Washington and the Washington Hospital political action committee. By diverting money like this, the true source of the money does not have to appear on ads.
Truthfulness: Perhaps true if Julie sells cigarettes. False as it applies to income tax.
Analysis: Incumbent Democrat state Sen. Chris Marr voted this year to increase the tax on cigarettes from $2.03 to $3.03 a pack. He voted against the other taxes that the Legislature used this year to balance the budget.
It should be noted, however, that even though Marr voted against the final budget, he voted for an earlier version of the budget that assumed new taxes would be approved, saying he wanted to move the process forward.
Marr and his Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner both have taken strong stands against the income tax in general and the proposed income tax on next week’s ballot. The ad cites the Democratic Party platform as the source for its allegation that Marr backs an income tax. But Marr never signed or took a pledge to the party platform.
Claim: Baumgartner “supports corporate income tax that would harm small businesses.”
Source: Mailer from Marr campaign
Truthfulness: Half-truth, maybe even quarter-truth.
Analysis: What Marr doesn’t say is that Baumgartner would only support the creation of a new business tax if the state’s unpopular business and occupation tax were eliminated. And, technically, Baumgartner is supportive of a single-business tax, which is similar to a corporate income tax, but different.
Baumgartner has endorsed the Washington Policy Center’s proposed single-business tax, which is based on a tax in Texas. It’s a hybrid between the business and occupation tax, which is a tax on revenue, and an income tax, which would be a tax on profits. The proposed tax would be a tax on revenue, but businesses could deduct their cost of labor or cost of materials or $60,000 under the proposal from the police center, said Carl Gipson, who co-authored a report for the policy center about the single-business tax.
Businesses have long called the B & O tax unfair because businesses have to pay it even if they’re not profitable. Gipson said the group looked for alternatives a corporate income tax, in part, because of constitutional and other challenges to the creation of a corporate
income tax. Marr has said he opposes the policy center’s proposal.
Claim: “Chris Marr (D) has wasted too much time in Olympia. (He) voted to designate the Olympic Marmot the official endemic mammal of the State of Washington, voted to create Christmas tree inspectors, voted to require truth in music advertising (and) voted to designate the Lady Washington as the official ship of the State of Washington.”
Source: Mailer from “People for Jobs,” a group that gets all its money from Enterprise Washington’s Jobs political action committee, which gets its money mostly from business interests. Contributors include Comcast, Farmers’ Insurance and Puget Sound Energy. By diverting money like this, the true source of the money can be concealed on the mailers.
Truthfulness: The first sentence is for voters to decide. The second sentence is 100 percent true and could also be said about almost all Washington legislators from both parties.
Analysis: People for Jobs mailed at least three mailers targeting Marr so far this campaign season. All of them make some questionable connections to Marr, including one that talks about how someone stole $431,376 from a victims’ compensation fund - as if Marr had anything to do with it. He didn’t.
Imagine the ad that could have been produced if Marr had voted against naming the Olympic marmot the state endemic animal. Here’s a possibility: “Chris Marr hates school children. Marr viciously stomped on the dream of fourth- and fifth-graders at Wedgwood Elementary School when he voted against their proposal to honor the Olympic Marmot, which is found only on the Olympic Peninsula.” (Note to campaign operatives: It would be unfair to pullout the first sentence, use an ellipsis and post it on a mailer so it says: ” ‘Chris Marr hates school children ….’ — Spokesman-Review 10-29-2010.’ “)
The “marmot issue” really didn’t seem like a prominent campaign topic until this gem arrived in mailboxes. So let’s quickly review Senate Bill 5071 from 2009. Kelly Clark’s fourth-grade class had lobbied the Legislature for years on several proposals as part of her civics lessons. The marmot bill was the first to gain traction and pass. Final votes were 43 to 4 in the Senate and 84 to 13 in the House.
Claim: “Michael Baumgartner pledged to outlaw all abortions - and to not allow women and their families to decide what’s best when facing serious medical complications in their pregnancies.”
Source: Mailer from Healthy PAC, which is funded completely by Safety PAC, which is funded mostly by Service Employees International Union and Planned Parenthood. By diverting money like this, the true source of the money can be concealed on the mailers.
Analysis: This mailer is similar to a few other mostly misleading mailers against Baumgartner paid for mostly by unions through tactics that allowed them to be anonymous on the ads.
This claim is attributed to a Spokesman-Review article about the Spokane County Republican Party platform and to Human Life of Washington. The platform, which was signed by Baumgartner, defines life as from “conception until natural death,” but it does not specifically address if abortions should be allowed in cases when a woman’s life is at risk. Human Life of Washington CEO Dan Kennedy said his organization, which endorsed Baumgartner, does not ask candidates about their position about making an exception in cases when a woman’s life is in danger.
Baumgartner said he would support allowing exceptions in cases when the mother’s life is at risk. He said he would not support making exceptions in cases of rape. (Marr supports abortion rights and says he agrees with the state’s current laws related to abortion, which do not require minors to notify parents before receiving an abortion.)
Baumgartner added that he supports safety testing of children’s products (a similar ad falsely implied he didn’t. That mailer was paid for by Strong PAC, which is funded completely by CARE PAC, which is funded mostly by the Washington Federation of State Employees).
And here’s one from today’s paper about false claims made by backers of Al French, who is running against Bonnie Mager for county commissioner.
Two associations that gave money to a Republican group that is funding an ad against incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr criticized the spot and say they will reevaluate their political donation strategies in light of the commercial.
The Washington Health Care Association gave $30,000 to The Leadership Council, which is the fund dedicated to the election of Republicans to the state Senate. The Washington Hospital Association gave $20,000 to the council.
Leadership Council money has funded Spokane Families for Change, a political action committee created this month that paid for a commercial highlighting a 2005 sexual harrassment lawsuit against Foothills Automall. At the time, Marr was a co-owner of the dealership and a named party in the lawsuit. On Saturday, Dawn Fowler, the woman who filed the suit demanded that the ad to be removed from the air, called Marr “a good boss,” and said specific allegations regarding Marr in her suit that was quoted in the ad were untrue. She said she contacted Marr after seeing the ad.
“While we cannot stop the misleading and dishonest anti-Marr campaign ads, we want to make it abundantly clear that WHCA did not contribute money to the Republican Leadership Council for the purpose of preventing the re-election of Senator Marr,” said Washington Health Care Association President and CEO Gary Weeks in a letter to The Spokesman-Review.
Randy Revelle, treasurer of the hospital association’s political action committee, called Marr a “true champion of health care and hospitals,” in a letter to The Spokesman-Review.
The hospital association and health care association, which represents nursing homes, also gave money to the Roosevelt Fund, which is dedicated to electing Democrats to the state Senate. The health care association gave $800 to Marr’s re-election campaign.
Revelle said when his group gave to The Leadership Council, he did not know that the money could be transferred to political action committees that would target individual candidates.
Asked why the organization doesn’t simply give its campaign money to individual candidates, Revelle said the group has found it important to give to party leadership funds, but that policy will be examined.
“If you want to have access to the leadership, you need to participate in their funding programs,” Revelle said. “We just have to decide in the future if we should take that risk again.”
The woman whose sexual harassment lawsuit was highlighted in a recent campaign commercial against state Sen. Chris Marr demanded Saturday that the ad be pulled from TV.
In a hand-written letter released by the Marr campaign, Dawn Fowler said she was outraged when she saw the ad.
“I want voters to know (Marr) a was good and responsible boss,” Fowler said in the letter. “I have never contended that he was guilty of sexual harassment, as the ad claims. My issue was with co-workers and others at Foothills Auto, not Chris Marr.”
Marr is a Democrat in the midst of a heated re-election bid against Republican Michael Baumgartner.
In a brief interview Saturday afternoon, Fowler said that she reached out to Marr after seeing the ad and that all the words in the letter are hers.
“The families involved have worked to put this troubled issue behind us and move forward,” she wrote. “It’s too bad Chris’ opponents can’t just focus on real issues rather than bring up things to hurt other people.”
A new TV commercial began running this week criticizing state Sen. Chris Marr for running an auto dealership that settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with an employee.
The issue popped up in Marr’s first run for office in 2006. Marr, a Democrat, is in a heated reelection battle with Republican Michael Baumgartner.
We at Spin Control haven’t seen the ad yet, but we are told it was financed by a group called “Spokane Families for Change.”
According to the Public Disclosure Commission, Spokane Families for Change raised $80,000 from one donation from a Kirkland-based fund called “Working Families for Change.”
The Kirkland group’s $200,000 came entirely from three donations this year from “The Leadership Council.”
The Leadership Council’s has raised $827,000. The biggest donations are from the Republican State Leadership Council, Washington Health Care Association, the Building Industry Association of Washington, the Washington Hospital Association political action committee, Sabey Corp., Katsam, Anheuser-Busch, Bank of America, Comcast and MillerCoors.
Only four individuals with Spokane addresses are listed as contributors to the Leadership Council. They each gave $500: John Condon, Terrill Hunt, David Moore and Larry Moran.
The Ferris High School debate team will host a debate Wednesday between incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr and his Republican opponent, Michael Baumgartner.
The two candidates, who are fighting one of the most expensive state Legislative battles this year in Washington, hope to represent the 6th Legislative District, which surrounds central Spokane on the north, west and south.
The debate starts at 7 p.m. in the Ferris High School auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the Ferris Jazz Orchestra will play until the political forum starts.
(If you’ve seen the two debate so far this election season, you’ll find the boxing poster imagery quite relevant.)
KHQ is reporting that Republican state Senate candidate Michael Baumgarter deleted questions to him from Facebook users during a KHQ Facebook interview last week.
Mark Billings, executive assignment producer at KHQ, said the Baumgartner campaign admitted to deleting questions they felt were biased and likely written by supporters of his opponent, incumbent Democrat state Sen. Chris Marr.
This campaign season, KHQ’s Facebook page has hosted question and answer sessions with almost 10 candidates. Billings, who has organized the events, said candidates come to the KHQ newsroom and are signed on using KHQ’s Facebook account.
Billings said the session was monitored by a KHQ staff member, but that person was looking for cuss words and vulgarity. The moderator didn’t notice that some questions had been deleted.
Baumgartner, who was the 7th candidate to participate in the KHQ Facebook feature, was told that he had the right to “answer or not answer any question.” Billings said. He also was told that a moderator would be watching the posts and to check with the moderator if problems arose.
Billings said he did not specifically tell Baumgartner that he was not allowed to delete posts, but that ”I felt that was pretty clear.”
Here is a bit of what KHQ posted on Facebook earlier today about the incident:
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.
The state Public Disclosure Commission plans to send a warning letter to the campaign of state Sen. Chris Marr for not mentioning his Democratic Party affiliation in a TV ad.
Phil Stutzman, the PDC’s director of compliance, said the commission decided not to open a formal investigation because Marr’s campaign agreed to change the advertisement.
The PDC received a complaint about the ad from Curtis Fackler, vice chairman of the Spokane County Republican Party, on Sept. 23.
Stutzman said he viewed the ad and agreed it violated campaign law that requires candidate ads to list party affiliation.
Marr said the lack of a party affiliation in the ad was “an oversight” and corrected as soon as the campaign learned of it. A copy of it on YouTube was still available as of 5 p.m. today, but was pulled by 5:45 p.m.
Baumgartner said Marr is hiding his party affiliation, despite his position as the Majority Whip in the state Senate.
“It just seems that Marr is for some reason embarrassed to be running as a Democrat,” Baumgartner said. “The law says you should put your party affiliation on there and you should.”
Marr said he isn’t running from his party and said all his other advertising has listed the correct affiliation.
“If Baumgartner wants to make a big issue of it, I suppose they can,” Marr said. “I would say that there are more substantive things to talk about.”
Here’s the second in a series of videos with incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr and his Republican opponent, Michael Baumgartner.
They describe cuts that they think should be made to state government to help balance the budget.
The first video, where they answer: “Would you support raising taxes to help balance the budget?” is here.
Check back later this week to hear them giving their positions for paying to extend the North Spokane freeway south of Francis Avenue.
Here is the first of what should be several videos showing incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr and his challenger, Republican Michael Baumgartner, give their stance on the issues.
Meanwhile, the videos produced before the primary focusing on the other hotly contested race in the 6th Legislative District remain relevant.
Here are links to videos showing incumbent Democratic state Rep. John Driscoll and his challenger, former state Rep. John Ahern, talking about:
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.
Shelly O’Quinn, a Republican who lost her bid in the highly contested battle for state House representing the 6th Legislative District, said Wednesday that she is not allowed to endorse any candidates in the general election because of her job.
Incumbent Democratic state Rep. John Driscoll and former state Rep. John Ahern, a Republican, won the primary and will face off in November.
O’Quinn is the workforce development manager for Greater Spokane Inc., the region’s Chamber of Commerce. She said after the election she restarted her full-time work schedule.
“Due to the nonpartisan nature of our organization, I’m prohibited from making any political endorsements,” O’Quinn said. “I definitely hope that the Republican Party can unify. It’s important for the Republican Party and it’s important for the community.”
O’Quinn said because of her job, she did not endorse any candidates during the primary – though she was listed, as of Wednesday morning, on the endorsement list of state Senate candidate Republican Michael Baumgartner.
Baumgartner said Wednesday O’Quinn was listed as an endorser because she was one of more than 20 Republicans who were filmed saying, “We like Mike” or “I like Mike” for this youtube campaign ad.
Baumgartner said he understands O’Quinn’s job obligations and that her name will be pulled from his list of endorsements.
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)
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.