Washblog

The debate that never was!?!

I attended the Candidates Forum at the Thurston County Dems meeting last night hoping to see the two contenders for Democratic Party Chair, Dwight Pelz and Mark Hintz, square off. But as you now know, Dwight was a "no show" at this first debate. Paul Barendt stood in for him. Though I was at the debate last  night, I didn't see why Paul spoke (somewhat) for Dwight. Paul acknowledged that it was Obama's groundswell movement that gave us such an overwhelming victory in WA State. Paul also allowed that Dwight and the State Party should be credited with "handling" the massive turnout that Obama instigated.

When a question from the audience asked what were the candidates' "vision" for the future of the Party Paul understandably declined to answer for Dwight. So we don't really know what the current Chair sees in the future for maintaining the "Campaign for Change" legacy that Obama has bestowed on us.

It was disappointing that so many Thurston County Dems, Mark Hintz and Paul Barendt weren't able to have a dialogue with Chairman Pelz as he is seeking to lead the Party again. As an Officer of the Party myself, I'm looking for dedicated leadership that will inspire us to move forward together.

We must insist upon the need for more open communication between grass/netroots, Party activists and, of course, Party officials. It is the only way we're going to "democratically" agree on policies and operational procedures to meet the serious economic challenges we face in WA today.

When Democrats come together for discussion, our leaders must be there to listen and then lead.

Luis Moscoso
Secretary, WA State Democrats

(25 comments) Comments >>

Gregoire-Rossi Wrangle over Children's Health Care

Yesterday's The Olympian ran an insightful piece by Adam Wilson on Washington state's history of wrangling over how/if to insure the state's children in the Gregoire/Rossi era (http://www.theolympian.com/news/story/617863.html).  A glance at the figure included tells the story-the number of children with Medicaid has increased dramatically under Chris Gregoire's watch.  The full story is well worth a read as it looks at Rossi's budgets in the state senate and efforts on his parts to reduce the number of kids on Medicaid without having a mechanism to see that they are insured elsewhere.  It demonstrates how this has been a top priority the Governor.

(2 comments, 251 words in story) Full Story

Pat O'Neill - Change for Whitman County

Pat O'Neill,
Democratic candidate for Whitman County Commissioner is making a strong race against a two term Republican incumbent.

He actually won in the primary by 223 votes.

There hasn't been a Democratic Commissioner in Whitman County since the late 80s

And only two in the entire 32 years I've lived here.

Pat is winning because he is running a strong grassroots campaign. 11 hour days of constant doorbelling.

The incumbent has admitted he didn't pay much attention before the primary, but he sure is now! More below the fold.

(208 words in story) Full Story

Senator Cantwell gets $2 Million approved for Doppler Radar in SW Washington

 A U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee has approved a $2 million request from Sen. Maria Cantwell for a Doppler radar and other equipment needed to track weather patterns along Washington state's coastline. reads the first paragraph in an article at Daily World, an Aberdeen, WA newspaper.  

  Good news indeed! Especially to those of us in Southwest Washington counties who experienced the December 2007 storm (hurricane strength storm!) that flooded out Lewis County and had four counties in SW Washington declared FEMA disaster areas -  my county, Pacific, and neighboring counties, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Thurston.

A deserved shout out of thanks to Senator Cantwell.

read more below the fold

(39 comments, 1004 words in story) Full Story

(re)Agonizing the Defeat of Prop 1

They're still kicking the Prop 1 dead horse over on Horse's Ass. Lee writes:

I can't even begin to understand what the hell the Sierra Club was thinking when they actually convinced themselves that siding with Kemper Freeman to kill this plan would somehow lead to less roads (and therefore less global warming, as their "logic" went).

We left-wing opponents didn't side with Kemper Freeman Jr. We opposed a bad plan. Unclear scope of work. Unending taxing authority. Regressive taxation. Starting work that'd need more funding to finish.

Sorry, but no thank you.

That Kemper agreed with us just shows that even a stopped watch is right twice daily.

(3 comments, 677 words in story) Full Story

Gregoire Pushes for Rainy Day Fund

Washington State Budget and Policy Center released its brief of the Governor's plan to set aside a portion of the State revenue for a "rainy day fund." The Seattle Times reports that "the state would set aside 1 percent of its anticipated general-fund revenues at the start of each two-year budget cycle." The fund will be capped at 10% of the State's annual revenue, approximately $1 billion. The fund will provide relief in an economic downturn or a State emergency.

(402 words in story) Full Story

PCO's - e-doorbelling? Online activism creeps forward.

A friend of mine from work, we'll call him "Rick" (because that's his name, HAR), has put together this fine website, just for his precinct.  Rick is in the 45th, which enjoys the fine leadership of Ralph Gorin (friggin' salt of the earth, is that man), and bestowed upon us Laura Ruderman, one of our pioneer eastside Democrats in the state Legislature.  I know I'm leaving folks out, but they'll have to get over it, because they're not the point.

The reason I highlight this website, and Rick, is because this is exactly the kind of thing we need to be doing to start winning at the local level.  Rick is in a large rural district, and it can be tough to get out to every house - not to mention the propensity of rural folks to keep you the hell off their land - so he needs a backup method for reaching Dems in his neighborhoods.

NOTE:  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HOST A PCO WEBSITE AT THE EXPENSE OF ACTUAL DOORBELLING.  RESULTS MAY VARY.  MISUSE OF TECHNOLOGY CAN RESULT IN ELECTORAL LOSSES OR ASS-KICKING FROM SWITZERBLOG.

I don't have a ton to add - there are some issues with this website, and Rick's heard about my concerns, things he could improve, etc. (and he's heard from many others).  I'd like to add your voices to his consideration - take a poke around the site and offer your feedback in the comments thread; I'll make sure Rick has a link to this thread so he can take your thoughts into account and perhaps get a dialogue going (I bet he'd be willing to put one of these together for your precinct, if you're nice to him).

(9 comments) Comments >>

Arthur quoted with link to Washblog in today's Seattle Times article

Weren't we surprised this morning to see today's Seattle Times article; 'Cantwell's stance on Iraq keeps volunteers away, party chief says' by David Postman, Seattle Times Chief Political Reporter, May 5, 2006.   Arthur's writings at Washblog with a link to Washblog were quoted in the Seattle Times!

I'm not surprised as much that Arthur would get quoted since I have long admired his ability with words both in writing and in oral presentation.  He has a knack of what I call putting in words an immediate visual picture snapshot of the concept he's trying to express.  But, I am surprised that Seattle Times would take notice of Washblog - a blog, no less, and give it credibility.  I'm pleasantly surprised to see someone out there is actually reading Arthur's writings at Washblog.  Someone at the Seattle Times.  My moment of pride in my husband, indulge me.

more below the fold; Arthur attending tomorrow's meeting with Sen. Cantwell...

(8 comments, 1175 words in story) Full Story

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