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What do Ryan, Murray have in common? Russell Wilson

Photo courtesy of Sen. Patty Murray's office.

Russell Wilson has been the key to the Seahawks' success this season. But he has also had a role in something a bit bigger — the agreement on the federal budget worked out by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Coming in to negotiations over the budget last fall, the two didn't share much in common except an admiration for Wilson's abilities as a quarterback — at the Seahawks for Murray, at the University of Wisconsin for Ryan. After the budget deal was announced, the two joked on Meet the Press about Wilson being a common line in their negotiations.

Today Murray presented Ryan with an autographed Seahawks No. 3  Wilson jersey. Ryan presented her with some Kringle, which is the official Wisconsin state pastry, and some cheese.

No word if they plan to both don jerseys to watch Saturday's game together and share the snacks.

 

Sunday Spin 2: Say what?

Last week’s opening session of the committee to reconcile House and Senate budgets offered 29 members of Congress the chance to expound – some might say bloviate – on the task. Opening the floor to professional talkers can be dangerous, but Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the committee chairman, was fairly diligent in keeping members to their allotted five minutes.

As they talked, however, it was clear that Democrats and Republicans may speak the same language, but speak past each other. The National Journal did a quick analysis of the 50 most-used words in the opening statements by Ryan and Vice Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash. For Murray, the most common word was “budget”, which she said 14 times. Ryan said “budget” four times, but his most common words were “debt” and “economy” at eight utterances each.

Murray said “economy” a couple times, but didn’t say “debt” once.  Ryan didn’t say “sequestration” or “compromise”, words Murray said seven times each.

The conference committee needs a compromise budget by Dec. 13 in order to head off talk of another government shutdown. After the 29 opening statements, four words come to mind.

Good luck with that.

Congress talks budget

Sen. Patty Murray hands the gavel signifying chairmanship of the Budget Conference Committee to Rep. Paul Ryan.

Key members of the Senate and House sit down today to try to find a compromise on the 2014 budget. Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential candidate and House numbers guy, is the chairman of the conference committee. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, is the conference vice chairwoman.

We're “live tweeting” the hearing.

 

Did VP Biden Go Too Far In Debate?

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Thursday’s vice-presidential slugfest has quickly become a debate about Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s grin. Mr. Biden’s smirking, emotional and aggressively sharp approach toward his rival, Representative Paul D. Ryan, prompted cheers from Democrats who had been desperate for the kind of in-your-face political rumble that President Obama did not deliver during his debate with Mitt Romney a week ago. But Mr. Biden repeatedly mocked and interrupted Mr. Ryan in ways that led Republicans to use words like “unhinged” and “buffoon” and “disrespectful” in the hours after the fast-paced, 90-minute exchange ended. The question by Friday morning: Did Mr. Biden go too far?/Michael D. Sheer, New York Times. More here.

Question: Did Biden go too far?

Gubernatorial debate tonight; U.S Senate Friday

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan aren't the only debate on the schedule tonight for Washington voters.

In a sense, they are the opening act for Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna, who will debate in Seattle at 9 p.m. (Although some people might argue the governor's debate is more like the second movie at the drive-in double feature, the one many people don't bother to stay up to watch all the way to the end. But it's all about personal preferences.)

The debate is such a huge deal in Seattle that it is on most of the city's broadcast stations, and most are supplying a moderator or questioner to the show. In Spokane, KREM-TV is carrying it.

Ryan v. Biden is a 90 minute event, which starts at 6 p.m. local time. McKenna v. Inslee is scheduled for 60 minutes.

Speaking of debates, what is likely to be the only debate of the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Mike Baumgartner occurs Friday, also in Seattle at KCTS-TV, the public television studio. The Spokesman-Review will be there for same day coverage on the web and print coverage the next morning. It will air in Spokane next Tuesday, on KSPS-TV, channel 7.

The folks at KSPS worked mightily to bring a second Senate debate to Spokane, but the Cantwell people have so far only agreed to one debate, total.

There's a precedent for Cantwell agreeing to a late debate in Spokane. That happened in 2000, in her run against incumbent Slade Gorton, when no one was sure until the last minute whether she'd appear at a Rotary-sponsored debate. Her campaign said no, then it said yes, but she almost didn't make it because fog was delaying flights that morning at Spokane International Airport.

If something similar happens this year, it may not appear on the tube. Late commitments are hard to work into a television schedule.

Ryan in WA today, Clinton on Saturday

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will be in the Seattle area later today for two fund-raisers. The Wisconsin Congressman is attending an evening reception, where tickets start at $1,000, followed by a separate dinner, tickets $25,000.

Those events aren't open to the public or the news media. The only chance for the cameras to catch him is this afternoon when he lands at Boeing Field. With this schedule, Ryan appears to be taking a cue from the Obama playbook, which often uses the Seattle area as a campaign ATM with private fund-raisers and little or no public events.

No public events makes it hard to mount a “spontaneous” demonstration by the other party, so Democrats are settling for a “rapid response” telephonic press conference with several people who will likely excoriate Ryan on his proposed changes to Medicare. It's actually a pre-response, because it's scheduled to happen a couple hours before the veep nominee gets to town.

On Saturday, former President Bill Clinton will be in Seattle for a fund-raiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee at the Convention Center. Tickets start at $150; getting a photo with the former POTUS costs $5,000.

Clinton is apparently a draw, even before his convention speech last week.. An Inslee spokeswoman said they've had to expand the space reserved for the fund-raiser after selling more than 2,000 tickets.

Romney on WA ballot, judge rules

OLYMPIA — Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be on Washington’s presidential ballot this fall because the Republican Party meets the rules for being a major party in the state, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled this morning.

Judge Thomas McPhee denied a request by the state Libertarian Party to keep Romney’s name off the ballot, which argued Republicans hadn’t complied with rules for nominating Dino Rossi as the official GOP nominee in the 2010 Senate race during their state convention that year.

Republicans were split between Rossi and Clint Didier, who was popular with Tea Party elements of the GOP, and didn’t get a chance to nominate either at their convention. When Rossi qualified for the general election in the Top 2 primary, the party’s State Central Committee endorsed him and all other Republican candidates who made it through the primary.

Political parties have control over selecting the candidates they will support, McPhee said in denying the motion to keep Romney’s name off the ballot. The state also has a valid argument that Republicans are a major party based on the results of the 2008 presidential election, he added.

The decision won’t be appealed, J. Mills, an attorney for the Libertarian Party, said. But it could make minor parties change their strategy for 2016… .

To read the rest of this item, click here to go inside the blog.

Ward: Reagan Repubs In The Know

On the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans Facebook wall, Jeff Ward writes: “Gov. Romney's pick of Congressman Paul Ryan for Vice President may have surprised many but not Congressman Raul Labrador. He predicted the pick at last Tuesday's special meeting of KCRR. Thanks to Rep. Labrador for his keen insight and the window into whats going on in our Nation's Capitol. You can expect more insights, predictions and analysis from our great speakers at KCRR at Fedora — Thursdays at noon.”

Question: Are you a political insider/outsider?

Poll: Royal Budget Plan? No

  • Wednesday Poll: 95 of 174 respondents (54.6%) voted that they don't support Congressman Paul Ryan's proposal to rein in the federal budget. 75 of 174 respondents (43.1%) do. 4 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: How much of the royal wedding coverage do you plan to watch Friday?

Labrador Backs Ryan’s Budget Plan

Rather than the evil effort to give more tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting services for the poor and elderly that opponents have portrayed it as, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, says the Republican budget proposal is actually an attempt to save the country from bankruptcy. The “Path to Prosperity” proposal, also referred to as the Ryan plan after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, would revamp the Medicare/Medicaid system and reduce federal spending by upwards of $4 trillion over the next decade. Speaking to about 100 people at a town hall meeting in Lewiston Tuesday evening, Labrador said the first thing people need to understand is the plan wouldn't affect Medicare benefits for anyone who's 55 or older/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Photo: Lewiston Tribune)

Question: Do you support Congressman Paul Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' proposal?