Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Political Desk: US Senate

Let me not bury the lede: Patty Murray for US Senate.

She was here when we moved out, and she has done nothing to convince me that she's hasn't been effective and positive in her job. Her successes are notable, and this "mom in tennis shoes" has proven to be an effective Senator both for the county and the small chunk she represents. She plays well with others (even those across the aisle) and throws elbows when she has to. Good call.

So this goes against all your griping, right? Well, no.

Right now Ms. Murray, as a Dem, has been in the minority in the Senate. For most of the past eight years, Washington has been divided government, initially between the GOP-held house and the Democratic Senate. And so nothing was really accomplished. Yet with the last Senatorial election, the GOP seized the Senate as well. AHAH! Faced with a lame duck presidency, they will get some things moving, even if it may be in the wrong direction. Activity!

No such luck. If anything, this most recent Congress has been MORE inert than previous ones. There are bright spots, and Ms. Murray is one of them, but for the bulk of her GOP Brethren, they could be Disney Automatronics in desperate need of a upgrade.

So I'll say upgrade. Chase the Dastards out, but keep Ms. Murray.

But who else is running?

On the Republican side, the leading candidate is Chris Vance, who comes out of the State Legislature, another hotbed of stoic inertness in the face of the common good. Odd that his writeup in the Voter's Pamphlet does not mention his work as Chair of the Washington State Republican party. Back during the Dino Rossi for Governor campaign, he was all over the media and remained for years as the go-to guy for a good GOP establishment quote. It is not a question of leaving it off, as he has been one of the high-level Republicans to denounce the current GOP presidential candidate, Mr. Trump. There's a lot of bi-partisanship rolling around in his write-up, and I expect him to be the "other" candidate in the fall.

And over on the Libertarian side, we have one candidate there, and if you're willing to consider the Liberts for the top spot, you should check them all the way down. The candidate is Mike Luke, and to his credit, he actually has positions on his writeup in the Voter's Pamphlet. He is against the TPP, against war, and for marijuana. I'd swear he was a Democrat, but like many Libertarians, he is a former Republican.

And the rest (of which their are many) have write-ups that range from impassioned pleas to personal statements to tone poems. All have a "Preferred Party" (Washington State doesn't officially recognize the part system in the primaries, but there is a wink and a nod at who the establishments want), and some of these parties have their own strange spirit.

Phillip L. Cornell (Prefers Democratic Party) is rocking on economic justice, and also dislikes the TPP.

Sam Wright (Prefers The Human Rights Party) likes universal health care and taxing capital gains.

Uncle Mover (Prefers Republican Party) is perennial candidate Mike the Mover, who uses his space to speak of the importance of marriage and how Congress can't fix divorce, only we can. Sort of a Prairie Home Companion moment, there.

Zach Haller (Prefers Independent Party) provided no information or headshot. Therefore I will provide the information that he is the Lost Prince of Gemworld, and seeking to garner support to return to his homeland and take the throne.

Donna Rae Lands (Prefers Conservative Party) wants you to know that she successfully fought against a government that wanted to put a Sewage Treatment Facility uphill from her home.

Moahammad Said (Prefers Democratic Party) supported Bernie Sanders, has a long list of other things he supports, including traditional marriage, expanded states' rights, and the U.S. Congress to meet in states by rotation. Which are core Sanders values, I guess.

Eric John Makus (Prefers Republican Party) lists being an author in his work history, so naturally I had to scout that down. His own site declares he wrote two reference works, and a check on Amazon indicates two books by Eric J. Markus - The Los Angeles Town Compass and the Seattle and Puget Sound  Town Compass, both of which are phone numbers conveniently arranged. Mr. Makus also has the best second-best campaign slogan this year - Makus Great Again.

Alex Tsimerman (Prefers Standupamerica Party) endorses Donald Trump, which is more than the chosen Republican candidate wants to do. He also wants to "Stop fascism with idiotic face". I never noticed this before, but the header of the Voter's Pamphlet says that "King County Elections is not authorized to edit statements, nor is it responsible for the contents within."

Dr. Pano Churchill (Prefers Lincoln Caucus Party) will take on a slew of "Big" opponents who have been doing bad things to the country, and promises to Reboot Washington. Probably by turning it off and waiting a few seconds, then turning it back on.

Ted Cummings (Prefers Independent Party) also will take on the Big Banks and Wall Street. It is almost like everyone wants to take on the Big Banks these days. It is like playing Pokemon Go.

Thor Amundson (Prefers Democratic Party) says nice things about Washington State (one of the best states of the union) and will not take PAC money. He will "stir the very dredges of the old guard in Washington." I'd buy a ticket to see that.

Scott Nazarino (Prefers Republican Party) has stood up for numerous issues, and understands our economy through his work in the Financial Services Industry.

Chuck Jackson (Prefers Independent Party) declares that we are under a Tyranny of Debt. He also lists his Education as School of Hard Knocks with a major in U of L (I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's the University of Life).

Jeremy Teuton (Prefers System Reboot Party) also wants to reboot the system. It is the name of the tin. But I've already used by reboot joke for Dr. Churchill.

Most of these candidates are at the highpoint of their electoral arc - they have their 15 minutes of fame and 300 words to get their message out, and maybe sway a couple votes. They are in general against big government and big business, but have a faith that the system is not broken, merely sprained, and needs only bed rest, not walking on it, and chicken soup for the soup to get it up on its feet again.

And people wonder why I'm so grumpy.

More later,