Washington's 8th District is a swing district that has never really swung, at least as far as its congressional representative is concerned. It is a large district that straddles King and Pierce counties, and includes the upscale and populous Bellevue and Mercer Island, the sprawling 'burbs of Kent and Renton, and great rural expanses to the south (where, I understand, EVERYBODY VOTES). While everyone makes note that it goes one way or the other in presidential elections, it has safely put a Republican in its seat for every Congress since its creation.
There is a lot less insanity and a lot more earnestness at this level, which is good. Let's move through the Voters Guide, and I will struggle to pull quotes from them, out of context, for your amusement.
Dave Reichert deserves his own writeup, because, in many ways, he is the embodiment of the three laws I set out at the beginning of this. His pull quote is respectable but trips the Irony Alarm - "Today we see two competing philosophies in this country: Those who believe we should grow the size of government and allow its deep intrusion in people's lives, or those who believe the American people already know what's right for them, their families and communities." Oddly, he's endorsed by the party that has increased the size of government and intruded deeply into people's lives.
Tom Cramer (Note, his robocalls remind us that it is Cramer with a "C") is pretty earnest, upping the ante in being anti Wall Street, pro middle-class tax cuts, and pro medicare. Take THAT conservative politics! Also calls out the H1B visa program, which may be what really chafes his hide.
Boleslaw (John) Orlinski has shown up before. Positions himself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Most of his statement tend to lean towards the fiscal conservative part of that political sandwich cookie.
Keith Arnold has the quotable pull-quote of the guide - "Reichert's party of "no" has used their Audacity of Nope to block and reverse anything that benefits the middle or lower class." He also warns that some candidates that claim to be preferring Democrats are flying under false colors. Yes, if only we had SOME way of identifying party preference other than a self-declared preference.
Susan DelBene (Del-BEN-ay - her robot also called) is a progressive technocrat with solid experience in a tech company. Because that trick always works. Here's the pull quote "The incumbent has been in elective office for 14 years. He and his colleagues in Congress have demonstrated they don't have the expertise or the political courage to solve the fiscal and economic challenges we face". True, but he's only been in THIS elective office for 6 years (and he's doing a better job of making the "needs a new broom" argument by touting his 33 years of service).
Ernest Huber is what we used to call a stem-winder. He unleashes on all sides with eloquent machine-gun precision, sparing no one. There are a lot of good bits, but here's his quote: "If you want more of Obama, then vote for Reichert. If you want a lot more of Obama, then vote for DelBene. If you want no more of Obama, then vote for me, Ernest Huber."
Tim Dillon bemoans the end of the American Dream, goes after deficits and budget cuts, and namechecks God. Light on specifics, other then we're going to get through this if we all come together. Right now. Over me. (shap-pock!)
Caleb Love Mardini also cares about the American Dream, and wants to revive it (this is an 8th level clerical spell). He argues well for public funding of political campaigns without using those buzzwords. We're also going to have to come together. Pull quote taken out of context - "We’re going to have to try things." (What are going to try? THINGS! How are we going to try them? TOGETHER!"
Robin Adair provides the most artistic of the Voters' Guide Statements, it is an avant garde work leavened heavily with Significant Capitals and "air quotes", along with the sly corporate irony of using "Goggle" as opposed to "Google" (thought I think Goggling something would be much more fun). There a lot of things I can pull out of context, but I think the most effective is "I have redefined economic Crashes." Good to know.
Last Chance to See - So, today begins the last week for the TOLKIEN: MAKER OF MIDDLE-EARTH exhibit at the Bodleian. So if you're able to go and hadn't made up yr mind, it's now...
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