I’m scratching my head over The Spokesman-Review’s endorsement (Oct. 5) of Michael Baumgartner for 6th Legislative District senator.
You agree with Baumgartner’s Democratic opponent Rich Cowan that new revenues are needed in the area of transportation. You state that a transportation fix is necessary for the prosperity of our state and region. You criticize the mostly Republican coalition running the Senate for lacking the courage to put a transportation package to a vote. You state that Cowan is a smart and capable candidate with “a compelling story and a reasonable agenda.”
Your main argument is that Cowan’s election might put Democrats in control of the Senate. Democratic control of the Senate is, in fact, what we need to break the Republican logjam preventing passage of a transportation budget.
Like you, I applaud Baumgartner’s attempt to convince his Republican colleagues to pass a transportation package that would, among other things, finish Spokane’s “freeway to nowhere.”
However, I would not argue this as a reason to vote for him in the absence of evidence that he would have any more influence with his coalition next year than he did this year. If such evidence existed, you would undoubtedly have cited it.