Sunday, July 17, 2005

Local Politics

You try to get away, but they keep pulling you back in. Three things, all from last Friday.

First off, Dino Rossi, who has been saying he’s not running for Senator against incumbent Maria Cantwell for a while, officially announced he is not running for Senate (this actually got national play, but then again, so did Pink Floyd announcing they would not tour). He says it’s for family (And that’s OK), and that he can do more for Washington State as a governor instead of a senator (debatable, but wait for item #2). But of course, not willing to leave well enough alone, he had to put in a dig at Cantwell anyway:

"I think the people of Washington sense that they're not getting their money's worth with the incumbent," Rossi wrote. "She has proven herself unable to work across party lines, which does our state no good."

Which is pretty typical GOP-style, but is undercut by the timing of item #2 (which ran in an article in the Times right next to Item #1, but, fortunately for Rossi, did not include the above quote). Enron is cutting a deal over its gouging of the western states, and the pacific coast could see about 1.6 Bill coming back, (at the moment, its only confirmed at 22.5 Mill for Washington, but more to come) That ain’t chump change, and will probably go to making Washington State a better place to live. And the person who is credited for bringing in the money to Washington? Maria Cantwell. If this is what Rossi means by “Unable to work across party lines”, I hope she keeps it up.

Finally, a district judge, to no one’s surprise, overturned the top two primary currently in place. Righties and Lefties alike are overjoyed with this turn of events, since it keeps out those who might not be “pure of heart” from their proceedings. It is no secret I liked the “Blanket Primary” we had, since it encouraged the maximum number of people to get involved, and would actually tend to get people on the ballot who actually appeal to a moderate audience (Yes, there were righties who would vote for the most lefty dem in hopes to have a weaker opponent, but I think that’s a WMD argument – more fiction than reality, a political boogieman). Of course, with the replacement "Montana" Primary, you can still vote in the GOP primary if you're a Dem, but now you have to screw up the entire GOP ballot, not just one race. Hey, good going, there. So Dunn of the 9th and Edmonds of the 1st get to cry "do overs" and start again.

Oh yeah, and both sides declare that this has been argued from the standpoint of the “The political 'right of freedom of association”. This grinds me two ways. First, I thought the PEOPLE, not political parties, had constitutional rights. And second, how is it freedom of association to exclude people? Its that sort of post-millenial mental jujitsu that our establishment seems to relish in, that ends up with things like people having freedom of speech, but only if they exercise it far away from anyone who might listen.

OK, I’m done. I'm going to try to find something less painful. More later.