Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

U.S. Senate race: Murray ad hits air; poll shows challengers ahead

Sen. Patty Murray enlisted some veterans to help her with a campaign commercial that could help counter the ad blitz by a conservative business group.

A new poll suggests she has a reason to get out on the airwaves: Rasmussen Reports says Republican challengers Dino Rossi and Clint Didier both have 48 percent and she has 45 percent in head-to-head matchups.

Murray’s new ad hit the airwaves about a day after the American Action Network, a group that bills itself as a non-profit “think tank” to promote center-right policies, unleashed its “dirty tennis shoes on our backs” spot. The group’s board includes former Republican senators George Allen and Norm Coleman, and some executives from investment or drug firms, but it’s not technically a campaign ad because it only talks about Murray, not any of her opponents, and asks viewers to sign a petition to her. (You can read more about it, and see it,at this previous post.)

It’s not just on TV, it’s got prominent spots on some political blogs.

Murray’s ad features veterans from all the uniformed services who talk about things she’s done to help them either in the military or after they got out. Some are people Murray met during her terms, others came to the campaign offices and asked what they could do to help, a spokeswoman said.

And, unlike the think tank ad, Julie Edwards said, all are real people, none are actors.


The Rasmussen poll suggests a slight shift since June when “Murray and Rossi were tied as they have been in virtually every survey this year. Since the beginning of the year, Murray has earned 46% to 48% of the vote, while Rossi’s support has ranged from 46% to 49%.  Incumbents that fall short of 50% at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable, but worrisome for Murray is that this is her poorest showing of the year. She was reelected to a third term in 2004 with 55% of the vote.”

The biggest shift is that Murray led Didier last month. Rasmussen also tested her strength against Republican Paul Akers, and Murray came out on top, 46% to 41%, but a slight shift from June’s 48-38 lead. The poll was conducted on July 14, which was after the dirty tennis shoe ad aired, but before Murray brought out the vets ad.

Ad smacks Murray in the sneakers

A business group is launching a television ad against Sen. Patty Murray, trying to scuff up her image as a “mom in tennis shoes.”

The ad which hits the airwaves this week, from the American Action Network, shows a woman from the knees down with shiny white tennis shoes that get dirtied up as she steps on a prostrate man, woman and child, a not too subtle attempt to represent businesses, families and children. The group calls the ad a “small business advocacy campaign” and offers viewers at the end a website where they can sign a petition to Murray and view a two-page list of legislation that she supported and they oppose, or she opposed and they supported.

The Murray campaign fired back today that it’s nothing but a campaign plug for Republican Dino Rossi from his “Wall Street friends.” Among the legislation that she supported and they don’t like are health care reform, expanded child health care programs and increases to the minimum wage. Those are policies that actually help businesses, workers, families and children, the Murray campaign says.

By one account, the group is spending $750,000 to air the ad in Washington state, a month before the Aug. 17 primary.


 

More on Rossi, Murray, sinners and saints

As noted below, the Murray campaign was forced to pull its video jabbing Dino Rossi for his sinners and saints comment because it was using a copyright song without permission.

It all stemmed from a comment Rossi made to the National Journal about attracting undecided voters:”In the old adage, there are saints and sinners and those who can be saved. The saints are with us, the sinners are not. And the ones that can be saved are the ones we will be talking to.”

What seemed strange about that comment was not its content, but the fact that Rossi considers it an old adage. It doesn’t sound like any old adage I’d ever heard, despite a Catholic upbringing and 12 years in parochial school. A search in Bartlett and Google didn’t turn up anything, either.

Has anyone else ever heard that saying, or anything remotely resembling it. And no, the Billy Joel song that the Murray campaign used in the video it had to pull does not count.

Murray campaign pulls ‘Sinners & Saints’ video

Patty Murray’s Senate campaign was forced to pull a video that jabbed GOP challenger Dino Rossi because it was using a Billy Joel song without legal permission.

“We have not received any complaints,” campaign spokeswoman Alex Glass said today. “We did it out of an abundance of caution.”

The one-minute video that was being circulated by the campaign and Democratic sources, and posted on YouTube, took a swipe at Rossi for comments attributed to him in a recent National Journal article. In describing his chances of winning over uncommitted voters, Rossi was quoted as saying: “In the old adage, there are saints and sinners and those who can be saved. The saints are with us, the sinners are not. And the ones that can be saved are the ones we will be talking to.”

That prompted Democrats in Washington state to respond with “who you calling a sinner?”

The Murray campaign produced a quick video with some big business GOP supporters, questioning their sainthood, and Murray with veterans, moms and kids, asking if they were sinners.

In the background, they played portions of Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young,” including the lyrics:

They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun.

“It did seem to be the perfect song,” Glass said…

Murray v. Rossi on Petraeus

As expected, the Senate confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the commander in Afghanistan.

Also as expected, Petraeus became a bone of contention in Washington state’s U.S. Senate campaign, although not from the candidates themselves.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray voted for Petraeus (as did everyone else in the Senate. “It is incredibly important that our troops on the ground have a qualified, experienced commander like Gen. Petraeus.”

Republican senatorial candidate Dino Rossi also said nice things about the general: “The U.S. Senate’s vote to confirm him today demonstrates they have the same confidence I do in Gen. Petraeus’s ability to lead a successful counterinsurgency campaign.”

Mark this day on the calendar, folks. Murray and Rossi are pretty much in agreement on a topical issue.

Rossi didn’t mention Murray, but the state Republican Party lapsed into a “voted against before voting for” refrain. They called her vote a “direct contradiction” to a vote three years ago against condemning a smear campaign against Petraeus by MoveOn.org.

That’s a reference to an ad the liberal group ran probably best known by it’s headline “General Petraeus or General Betray-us” questioning his statements on the progress of the Iraq war when Congress was voting on the surge in that country.

The state GOP claims Murray was “AWOL” when Petraeus needed support. But it careful reading of the record shows that’s not really accurate…

Poll: Murray, Rossi still tied

Patty Murray and Dino Rossi are tied in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, each with 47 percent of the people responding to automated calls on June 22.

A month ago, Rasmussen had the race at 48 percent Murray, 47 percent Rossi — which means there’s been no change in the race. Why? Because the survey of 500 people has a margin of error of 4.9 percent, so a 1 percent shift is meaningless. In fact, Rasmussen has essentially had the two candidates in the same ballpark for months: Murray has ranged from 46 percent to 48 percent, and Rossi from 49 percent to 46 percent.

When asked about a potential November matchup between the other two leading GOP candidates, Murray does slightly better. She leads Clint Didier 48 percent to 40 percent, and leads Paul Akers 48 percent to 38 percent.

One caveat about the poll: Each matchup contains a few percentage points for “some other candidate” which is apparently part of the automated script that’s read before the person is asked to press a button to show support for a candidate. In the general election in Washington, there is no “other candidate.” It’s just the two top voter getters from the Aug. 17 primary, and a space for a write in.

The poll also suggests Washington voters are about evenly split between supporting and opposing repeal of national Health Care Reform, about one in five considers  him or herself a member of the Tea Party movement, and three out of five think U.S. troops should be sent to the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration. (Apparently they didn’t ask about sending troops to the Canadian border…)

To read more about the poll, click here to go to the Rasmussen site.

Revenue day, Dad’s Year: Wassup June 17

Washington State’s economics experts will tell folks how well or how poorly they expect the state to do as far as collecting revenue in the coming months and years at 10 a.m.

It’s the Revenue Forecast, which is made roughly quarterly, and lets state officials know whether they need to make any corrections in the budget. The state is already holding its breath to find out whether it will get some $480 million from the federal government in extra Medicare/Medicaid payments, and any drop in tax revenues will be a secondary jolt.

Speaking of that extra fed money, which is known as FMAP for federal medical assistance percentage, the U.S. Senate is supposed to try yet again to get 60 votes to move a bill with that in it sometime today. An attempt earlier this week failed.

Also in Congress, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have a resolution giving Spokane a congressional high five for being the home of Father’s Day, 100 years ago. In honor of the centennial, the resolution establishes 2010 as Father’s Year. Even though by June 17 it’s actually more of a half year, please resist the urge to go out and buy a tie a day through Dec. 31

For full text of the resolution, go inside the blog:

Murray lauds Kitara McClure

While Republicans who want her job are gathering in Vancouver, Sen. Patty Murray is holding a fundraiser today in Seattle with a special guest and prizes.

It’s her annual “Golden Tennis Shoe” Awards, which Murray gives to people she believes make a difference in state residents’ lives. One of the awards goes to Kitara McClure of Spokane, for her at-risk teen drop-in center at Northtown Mall called PONY TALES, (which is an acronym for a really long name that”s inside the blog.) McClure is also the multicultural director at Spokane Community College.

The special guest is Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Other shoe winners include Marcelas Owens, a Seattle youngster whose mom died after losing medical insurance who became sort of a poster child during the health care reform debate.

The award’s name, of course, comes from the oft-repeated story of how Murray got into politics after being told by some recalcitrant officeholder that he wasn’t going to support an issue and she couldn’t do anything about it because she was “just a mom in tennis shoes.”

Benton quits Senate race, backs Rossi

Just a week after saying he was sticking in the U.S. Senate race, State Sen. Don Benton dropped out and endorsed the man he labeled the “establishment” candidate, Dino Rossi.

In a press release, Benton, a Vancouver Republican and former chairman of the state party, said the party needs to “consolidate our resources and work together to put our country back on track.”

“Therefore, since this campaign has never been about me, I have decided to do what is best for my country, my party, and my fellow Washingtonians: I am stepping aside to endorse Dino Rossi,” Benton said in a press release.

Rossi formally entered the race last week, after months of speculation which drained much of the attention from Benton and the dozen or so other Republicans already running. Benton officially entered the race in February, and had raised $121,000 by the end of March; Rossi’s campaign said Thursday it raised $600,000 in one week.

After Rossi made his candidacy official last week, Benton vowed to stay in the quest to be one of two candidates to survive the Aug. 17 primary. As a three-term incumbent and the only recognizable Democrat in the race, Patty Murray is expected easily to take one of those spots, leaving one for the crowded field of challengers.

Benton called Rossi a friend, but suggested he had the wrong connections: “We can no longer look to the establishment to turn our economy and our country around. The people want an independent voice that will take on both parties and stand up for common sense and fiscal responsibility.”

All announced candidates must file their paperwork and pay the filing fee by next Friday to have a spot on the primary ballot.

Rossi: We’ve got more Facebook friends

Dino Rossi may have just introduced a new metric into the U.S. Senate campaign: Facebook friends. And he’s ahead.

A press release marking  his one week anniversary of getting into the race suggests he’s way ahead on that score: “In just the first week, we have signed up over 2,500 people online, attracted over 20,000 Facebook followers, third most of any US Senate candidate and nearly twice that of Senator Murray and raised over $600,000, including nearly $200,000 online.” 

So clearly, Murray’s going to have to get busy getting people to “friend” her or someone’s going to write about Rossi’s ongoing Facebook advantage, and what she’ll have to do to overcome it. And then, before you know it, they’ll be exploring any Twitter gap she might have, and then talking about how he’s so much better at campaigning in the new media.

One reason why Rossi may be doing so well: Go to his campaign website, and there’s not much to do except watch his YouTube announcement speech, signup to follow the campaign on Facebook or Twitter or by e-mail.

Or donate, of course.

But no long biography, no boringly detailed issue analyses or white papers, no calendar of campaign events…at least not as of Thursday afternoon. It’s the perfect site for web surfers with short attention spans.

Patty Murray, Larry Craig and trees: Wassup June 3

Sen. Patty Murray is in Spokane this afternoon to makr the celebration of a local company, McKistry Co., with Mayor Mary Verner. They’re whooping it up at 1:30 p.m. at the Great Northern Building, 802 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

The city’s Father’s Day Centennial Celebration Committee will be planting a tree in honor of Dad’s Day at 2 p.m. at Grant Elementary School, 1300 E. 9th Ave. Why a tree and why Grant? you may ask. Because the person who invented Father’s Day, Sonora Smart Dodd was from Spokane and her son, Jack, went to Grant Elementary and later grew up to be in the U.S. Forest Service. (Bet you thought Father’s Day was invented by Hallmark.)

And just when you think late night television has forgot all about former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, the Daily Show features him on a segment about the perks one misses when leaving the Senate. John Oliver dying to ask about one aspect of flying back to Idaho, while Craig is talking about another aspect, is pretty funny…and Craig demonstrates he still has his singing voice.


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Evan Bayh’s Senate Retirement
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Mercer staying in U.S. Senate race

Skip Mercer confirmed this afternoon that he’ll stay in the U.S. Senate race, but will file as an independent rather than a Republican.

Mercer was out of the country on a research trip last week when Republican Dino Rossi announced that yes, he was indeed running for the Senate. In a list of other announced candidates in Spin Control, Mercer’s wife Lisa said the Seattle physicist and University of Washington professor was likely to stay in, but not as a Republican.

Skip Mercer said he had initially planned to run as an independent anyway. But his treasurer had written in Republican when filing some forms. “Philosophically, I’m basically a conservative.”

Given the state’s Top Two primary which advances the first and second vote getters regardles of party, Mercer thinks that everyone basically runs as an independent, anyway. But he’s cautious about his chances.

“I think anybody running against Patty Murray or Dino Rossi is a long-shot,” he said. But in travelling around the state pre-Rossi, Mercer said he and some other candidates found significant support for someone running who wasn’t an established politician or a lawyer.

Coday drops from U.S. Senate race

Art Coday, one of a flock of Republican candidates who were in the U.S. Senate race, said today he’s getting out and supporting Dino Rossi.

Coday said he’ll run for an open state House of Representatives seat in the 32nd Legislative District instead.

Coday, a Shoreline physician, said none of the other candidates’ views matched his perfectly, but he’s been a longtime supporter of Rossi, backing both of Rossi’s bids for governor.

“I think highly of each of these guys,” Coday said. “I think Dino has the best chance of beating Patty Murray.”

Rossi, who has been discussed as a possible candidate for months, officially entered the crowded race on Wednesday. Staying in are (alphabetically) Paul Akers, Don Benton, Clint Didier, Skip Mercer, Sean Salazar and Craig Williams.

And, of course, Murray, a Democrat seeking her fourth term. In the state’s Top Two primary system, they all appear on the ballot together (along with anyone else deciding to file next month). The two top vote-getters go on to the November general election, regardless of party preference.

Suddenly, Washington senate seat in play?

National political experts are taking Dino Rossi’s entrance into the race fairly seriously. Two “name” politicos — Cook Political Report and Rothenberg Political Report — are “upgrading” the state’s status from ho-hum to looky there.

Or whatever words they use to connote boring races and exciting ones.

The Rothenberg Report had rated it as clear advantage for Democrats and Patty Murray, but with Rossi in they moved it to Narrow Advantage Murray.

The Cook Report moved it to Toss Up, from Solid Democrat. The Cook analysis is longer, but not always consistent. For example, it notes that Murray is ahead of Rossi by 4 percentage points in one recent poll, but ahead of a generic Republican by only 3 points. (So having a name like Rossi  jump in is at best a wash, folks.) But at least it points out that the polls are all over the map.

It also has a bit of history, noting that Washington voters sometimes pass over experienced incumbents in favor of change, as they did with House Speaker Tom Foley in 1994.

“Foley was well-liked and his position certainly gave Washington a great deal of clout in Congress, but neither could save him in an election that was about change,” they write. (Except that Foley made some campaign mistakes, and some voters bought the concept that their vote counted for more if they could oust the speaker of the House, so the parallels aren’t exact here, either.)

Anyway, this attention is good, regardless of your political persuasion. As long as the contest is believed to be close, more national political pundits will come to the state to watch the candidates and talk to the voters … and spend expense account money on hotels, restaurants, bars and rental cars. A hot U.S. Senate race through November would definitely be good for the economy.

Gregoire: Rossi’s been running all along

OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire said she’s not worried about fellow Democrat Patty Murray’s chances against here two-time opponent Dino Rossi. But trading a three-term incumbent like Murray for Rossi or any Republican challenger “would be a disaster for the state” by losing so much clout and hard work.

Mary Lane Strow, a spokeswoman for Rossi, replied: “Spoken like a true goverment insider. I would expect nothing less from another career politician.”

Asked about the potential matchup between Murray and Rossi at a morning press conference, Gregoire said if asked for advice, she’d urge Murray to compare their records for the last six years. Rossi gave up his state Senate seat in 2004 to run for governor, and has been in business since then, except for his 2008 rematch against her.

“What’s he been doing since 2004. Where’s he been? Talk about what she’s done, talk about what he’s done,” she said. “What has he done? He runs on ‘I wrote a budget once.’”

Strow countered that Rossi has been in business, “helping to contribute to economic growth” since leaving office.

“While Patty Murray has been sitting in Washington, D.C., spending massive amounts of tax dollars and bringing on huge debt levels…Dino has been working in the private sector,” she said, adding that politicians “tend to look down on people who work in the private enterprise.”

A poll released Monday shows Murray in a close race with Rossi or any Republican candidate, and with less than half the voters contacted saying they were ready to vote to re-elect her. Incumbents below 50 percent are generally considered vulnerable for re-election.

Gregoire said she thought there were other races around the country, particularly for governor’s posts, where the incumbents were in more jeopardy than Murray.”I’m not worried for Patty because Patty’s never taken anything for granted in a race.”

And she defended the opposition research against Rossi underway by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, even though he’s not yet officially in the race, as merely “due diligence”.

“I don’t think it’s any less fair than him holding…12 candidates at bay. What has been the issue that has taken him so long to make up  his mind,” she said.

Countered Strow: “That’s lawyer speak for dumpster diving. I’m sure Christine Gregoire is deeply concerned about the other Republicans in the U.S. Senate race.”

Rossi said as recently as Friday that he’s waiting for all members of his immediate family to be on board with a run, and trying to make sure he can put together all the pieces of a campaign. But he also told the Mainstream Republican Conference that his wife is “100 percent” behind him if he decides to run — a comment that some of the political activists in the room took as a sign he’d enter the race.

“I think he’s been running all along,” Gregoire said.

WA Poll: Jobs top issue, state on wrong track

More voters think Washington is “seriously on on the wrong” track than going in the right direction, a new survey by University of Washington researchers says.

More than half approve of the job President Obama is doing, and slightly les — 51 percent — approve of Sen. Patty Murray’s job performance. But less than one in three give Congress good marks for the work its doing.

Less than half say they’re planning to vote to re-elect Murray in November, and two out of five would either vote for Dino Rossi or any Republican candidate runnign against her.

The Washington Poll, which was released today, has more voters giving Gov. Chris Gregoire  bad marks than good marks for her job performance. While her overall numbers are relatively close — 44 percent say they approve compared to 47 percent who say they disapprove — those who feel strongly about it are much more likely to say they disapprove. Nearly a third, 30 percent, say they strongly disapprove compared to 17 percent who say they strongly approve.

Gregoire’s numbers look good compared to the Legislature. Only about one in three approved of the job the Legislature is doing, while 43 percent disapproved.

Attorney General Rob McKenna fared better than Gregoire or the Lege, with 41 percent saying they approve of the job he’s doing and 23 percent disapproving. But more than a third (37 percent, say they have no opinion or have never heard of him; less than one in 10 had no opinion of Gregoire.

Democrats currently have a slight edge in upcoming legislative races, the poll suggests, but nearly one in five voters polled was undecided when asked if they planned to vote for a Democrat or Republican candidate for the Legislature this fall.

The poll flagged something that could help Republicans and pose a problem for Democrats in the legislative elections: 60 percent said they support a two-thirds majority vote for the Legislature to raise taxes. The state had such a law, enacted by voters, until this year when Democrats in the Legislature voted to suspend it.

More than half the voters surveyed said they would for an initiative to institute a state income tax on those making more than $200,000 and another initiative to end the state ownership of liquor stores. Both proposals are among ballot measuers in the signature-gathering phase.

Voters surveyed were about evenly split on the new taxes the Legislature approved to support the budget, on the  health care reform approved by Congress, and on McKenna’s decision to sue the federal government to block some aspects of that reform from taking effect.

There was strong support for repealing the state’s civil and criminal penalties for possession of marijuana, something the Legislature considered briefly but didn’t pass.

The poll showed increasing support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country and becoming citizens “but only if they meet certain requirements like working and paying back taxes over a period of time.

Want more poll results? Click here to see the full Washington Poll Issues and Opinions May 2010.

 

Murray, Cantwell disagree on Wall Street regs

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell see eye-to-eye on most things. The two West Side Washington Democrats have fairly similar voting records.

But they parted ways today on the Senate’s Wall Street regulation bill. Murray voted yes, calling it “the strongest consumer protections in our history:”

Cantwell voted no, saying it allows Wall Street “to continue to exploit loopholes.”

And yes, they are talking about the same bill.

To read their separate takes on the bill, which passed the Senate, go inside the blog.

Palin backs Clint Didier for Senate

Clint Didier has something that the 10 or so other GOP candidates looking to challenge Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate don’t have… and we’re not talking about Super Bowl rings here.

Support from Sarah Palin.

The former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate tweeted “be inspired by patriot running for U.S.Senate to serve his state & our country for all the right reasons!Go #86.”

The number is a reference to Didier’s NFL jersey, not a shout out to Special Agent Maxwell Smart.

This could definitely be considered an up and down week for Didier, with this being the high point, and a news report earlier in the week that the opponent of federal government spending is himself the recipient of some six figures worth of subsidies and other farm program payments from the federal government.

The ever-vigilant Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee took a break from firing volleys at not-yet candidate Dino Rossi to call Didier the “Tea Party candidate.” Which isn’t really a slam in some parts of the state.

Playing the Will Rossi Run game

OLYMPIA – The favorite game among the political “experts” these days is Will Rossi Run?

It’s sort of like Trivial Pursuit without the board, but the cognoscenti award themselves colored wedges by ferreting out clues as they roll the dice and run in circles. No winners yet, except maybe the polling firms, which are cleaning up.

Depending on whose poll you like in the last fortnight, Murray is comfortably ahead or Rossi is surging ahead or they’re in a statistical dead heat. Never have so many been polled so much for so little clarity.

The fact that Rossi has come no closer to announcing his candidacy than “You never say never” discourages no one from playing the game because the Legislature is out of session, the governor’s race is two years off, most of the congressional races are thought to be shoo-ins for the incumbents, and we political reporters have columns to write and expense accounts to justify.

Oh, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which apparently has even less to do than West Side political reporters, calls or e-mails almost daily in an effort to scuff up Rossi before he gets in the race, if he gets in the race. . .

WA Sen Race: Rollin’ in pollin’

Washington’s U.S. Senate race may not be on most people’s radar yet. But if you’re a pollster, you’ve gotta love a race with a three-term Democratic incumbent, 10 announced Republican challengers. one potential but unannounced Republican challenger and the national political machines ready to jump into anything with the slightest provocation.

Today there’s word of an Elway Poll which has Sen. Patty Murray up 51% to 34% over Dino Rossi, who’s thinking about the race but hasn’t committed to it yet. The same survey has her up 51% to 27% over Don Benton; 50% to 24% over Clint Didier and 50% to 26% over Paul Akers.

Which is a big difference from yesterday’s Rasmussen Report poll that was:

Murray 48% Rossi 46%
Murray 52% Benton 38%
Murray 51% Didier 36%
Murray 49% Akers 35%

Which was different from the mid April SurveyUSA poll that was:

Rossi 52% Murray 42%
Murray 46% Benton 44%
Murray 46% Didier 44%
Murray 45% Akers 44%

Which was different from the late March Research 2000 poll in Daily Kos that was:

Murray 52% Rossi 41% (they didn’t do the other candidates)

Which, in turn, was different from the Moore Information poll in late January, that was:

Rossi 45% Murray 43% (also did not do the other candidates)

So take your pick, but remember when partisans start talking about “the poll results”, you have to ask “Which poll results?”


Murray on new tanker bid: Enough of ‘Endless delays’

Sen. Patty Murray’s staff has apparently peeled her off the ceiling enough to get a comment on reports the Pentagon will delay awarding the bid for a new Air Force aerial tanker yet still again. To wit:

“These endless delays come at the expense of our men and women in uniform, American workers, and our economy. I want to hear directly from the Pentagon on why we are again delaying this contract for a company that has had ample time to bid and compete. I also want to know why we continue to bend over backwards to accommodate an illegally subsidized foreign company.
“Concession after concession has been made to keep Airbus at the table. Yet we have seen no bid and no sign that they are willing to play by the rules. In fact, all we have seen are delay tactics and repeated efforts to gain U.S. market share and undercut American workers.
“Boeing’s workers have the know-how and product to build these tankers.  They are ready to compete.  It’s time to stop playing the waiting game and to move forward with getting these tankers into the hands of our men and women in uniform.”

Murray video smacks at Wall Street, GOP

Sen. Patty Murray created a link for voters to watch legislation designed to rein in Wall Street — well, her legislation anyway — and posted this video on her official Senate website of a speech on financial reform.

It’s not as well-produced as the Didier video below, but then, it’s not a campaign piece. Wink, wink.


Sis: Death Threats Are Out Of Bounds

There have been two recent events flying just below the media radar but which should be sounding alarm bells. Officials in California arrested Gregory Giusti for threatening the life of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In Washington the FBI arrested a Yakima man, Charles Alan Wilson, for threatening the life of Senator Patty Murray. The crime they’re charged with is isn’t just for making the threat, but making the threat with the intent to impede, intimidate, interfere or retaliate against an official in the exercise of her official duties. 18 USC 115 et seq. I raise that point to demonstrate that society has rendered illegal threats of violence as a form of political persuasion. This type of violent coercion is not protected political speech under the first amendment nor should our process be tainted by it/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question: Do you think we’re going to see an attempted assassination of an elected official within the next year? Or are the threats Sisyphus mentions above so much hot air from disgruntled, fringe people?

Rossi, GOP denounce threat on Murray

The state Republican Party and couldbe candidate Dino Rossi were quick Tuesday to denounce a Selah man’s death threat against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Rossi spokeswoman Mary Lane said he was “horrified by this awful news, prays for Sen. Murray’s safety, and condemns any threats made to any public official.” State GOP Chairman Luke Esser also condemned the activity: “Threats of violence have no place in our political process. We are pleased that this man has been taken into custody.”

The man in question, Charles Alan Wilson, allegedly called Murray’s office numerous times in recent months, most recently making threats over her vote for health care reform, using phrases that suggested he was armed and planned to use it. Wilson was arrested earlier Tuesday.

Health care is expected to be a major issue in the fall elections, but could violence against officials who voted for health care be a game-changer that works against Republicans?

Dino to Patty: Tell DSCC to take down the Web site

Dino Rossi may not be a candidate for U.S. Senate, but he is reacting strongly to an anti-Rossi for Senate Web site put together by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Rossi sent Sen. Patty Murray a letter over the weekend demanding she tell the committee to take down the “scurrilous” site if she can’t produce any proof of the “shady” deals it claims.

Although the site is an independent operation of the DSCC, Rossi argues Murray could stop it: “You are the fourth ranking member of the leadership of the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. Senate. The Democratic SenatorialCampaign Committee will do whatever they think you want them to do to support your re-election.”

(This is debatable. Should Murray call the DSCC and tell them to take down the site, someone — not necessarily Rossi, but someone else running for the seat — could claim it wasn’t an independent site.  But if Murray were to denounce all such campaign tactics and the DSCC were to announce in the spirit of good clean elections it was taking down the site even though it was technically accurate, then maybe it could be finessed. But, we digress.)

Rossi’s letter came with a separate letter from an attorney who contends there was nothing amiss about his real estate deals.

So judge for yourself: Does Rossi sound like a candidate getting ready for a campaign or like a private citizen who just doesn’t like having his name used in vain? Feel free to hit the comment button and weigh in.


Democrats trying to boost Rossi to knock him down?

Democrats may be paying Dino Rossi the ultimate compliment.

The guy is not a candidate against Patty Murray — not yet, anyway, and possibly not never — and yet they are going after  him hammer and tong. Or more accurately, Web site and Twitter.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has been working diligently to trash Rossi ever since his name surfaced as a measurable marker against Murray in some GOP polls. They may be taking these polls more seriously than Rossi himself, who appears content to let folks speculate by uttering the standard “in politics you never say never” line to questions about a run.

The polling numbers that make Rossi a viable candidate have to be taken with a certain degree of caution. The Republicans, see, have 11 candidates elbowing each other to take on the three-term incumbent, but not one of them has statewide name ID that makes a  head-to-head comparison worth the price of the poll. Clint Didier might poll well with sports fans, Don Benton with legislative political junkies, and a few of the others with GOP faithful who have caught their acts at the odd Republican luncheon or Lincoln Day dinner and liked what they saw.


Pentagon will wait for Airbus tanker bid

So this is  how much clout the Washington congressional delegation has: A day after five House members join in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to keep the schedule on track for building a new tanker to replace the KC-135, the Pentagon announces…

It will extend the deadline by 60 days so Airbus can submit a bid.

To be fair, the Pentagon gets so much mail that it’s possible Gates hadn’t even gotten around to reading the letter from Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Doc Hastings, Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen and others from around the country. Maybe if they’d have sent a singing telegram or something to stand out from the crowd and catch his attention. Maybe if they’d camped out in his office. Who knows.

IIt’s also possible that after nearly nine years and two high-profile failures in trying to find a suitable replacement for some of the KC-135 fleet, someone at the Pentagon decided “What’s another 60 days to see if we can finally get this right?”

In any event, the Air Force will wait an extra two months before closing off bids. Right now The Boeing Co. is the only one bidding on the contract, which could be worth as much as $40 billion. Airbus, which apparently  has lost its U.S. partner Northrop Grumman, says with the extra time it can come up with a proposal to use a version of its A-330.

The Pentagon’s decision really torqued U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, who said the World Trade Organization just confirmed Airbus gets illegal subsidies to build its planes. For the full text of her press release, go inside the blog.

Murray campaign tries to capitalize on Tea Baggers

Some people were shocked when a speaker at the Asotin Tea Party gathering suggested Sen. Patty Murray be “hung.”

Most were shocked at the suggestion of violence; a few language purists were appalled by the grammar.

Murray’s re-election campaign was so shocked that it included a video of Tea Party organizer Dianne Capps’ statement in its latest fund-raising appeal.

The letter, signed by Campaign Manager Carol Albert, suggests a line has been crossed from the normal campaign tactics. So for anyone who hasn’t seen the clip, she includes links to a page with the YouTube video (which includes the statement, the cheering crowd and the rest of the nearly two-minute news report from local Lewiston, Idaho, station KLEW ), and a page that allows one to donate from $25 to $4,800 to the Murray re-election campaign.

The YouTube clip is below. Most of it is a discussion of the Tea Party’s goals for organizing locals (they should probablyl be happy the Murray campaign is circulating that) but it does start with Capps making a stab at a cinematic reference to “Lonesome Dove.”

“What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd?” Capps asks. When she doesn’t  get much of a response, so she has to ask again, then provides the answer: “He got hung. And that’s what I want to do with Patty Murray.”

(Note to Capps:. Regardless of how Larry McMurtry writes, the past tense for stringing someone up by the neck is “hanged.”)

Tea Party organizers  have since insisted that Capps’s comments were taken out of context, that she was just filling time unexpectedly when another speaker didn’t show up, that her comments that she wanted to hang Murray with votes were edited out (KLEW says no such comments exist on their unedited versions of tape) and that the media is trying to  hype this as a way of discrediting the movement. OK, and that “Geld Obama” sign in the video is what? A misspelling?

Albert’s initial comment to the Associated Press about Capps’ comment was it was “unproductive.” Apparently, the Murray campaign is working on a way to make it productive — for them.



 

Newsflash: GOP says Murray, Obama agree

Vice President Joe Biden makes a stop in Seattle Friday morning to help raise money for Sen. Patty Murray’s re-election campaign.

Normally Spin Control wouldn’t care because a) it’s closed to the press except for a pool reporter which ain’t us; 2) it’s in Seattle, which is a bit of a schlep to see folks going in for breakfast; and thirdly we kinda already knew Murray was running for re-election.

Then Republicans called with notice of a special phone-in press conference Thursday in which Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was going to discuss Biden’s visit to Seattle for Murray. That was a phone call, rather than a schlep, so Spin Control dialed in…