Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Senators on the Run

It's 2006. Do you know where your Senator is?

No, I'm serious. I was just thinking about this the other day. I sort of expect my senator to be one of two places. Either they are in Washington, the DC version, working on making my life a little nicer, or they are in Washington, the state, talking to people like me to find out what we want to make our lives a little nicer.

In reality, I have no idea where they are. They're like teenagers with the family car. They could be anywhere. I mean, ANYWHERE.

Neither of my state senators say explicitly where they are at any moment on their government web sites, and we find out about them only when they make news. Maria Cantwell is pretty easy to track at the moment, since she's running for re-election. Patty Murray, on the other hand, could be in China for all I know. OK, she actually WAS in China, on some trade mission, but I didn't know about it until our local media hunted her down to see if she would endorse the Democratic candidate for Senator from Connecticut (She does - no surprise).

And, to digress a bit, I don't really need to know where you're going to pop up next. I'm just curious where you've been. Maybe even a regular feature in the newspaper, with a colorful map. And part of this comes out of those long Presidential vacations where the news reports would dutifully talk about brush-cutting in Texas, then the Prez pops up in a fundraiser somewhere in Utah, and no one wonders if he's got a clone.

[And, digressing further, those long, frequent vacations have become a thing of the past, recently. He's been more at the job of late (It helps that protesters have staked out his "ranch"). It's been our Republican-controlled Legislature that has been taking long, festive breaks. I mean, looking at Rick Santorum's government web sight for the legislative calender, it shows August practically barren, except for a header reminding us that GOP is moving America forward. Uh-HUH. Which brings me back to the question of "Where is your senator?", so I guess it isn't much of a digression]

What I'm getting around to that my former neighbor, Rick Santorum is going to be in town tomorrow. He's fundraising for his re-election bid, which is doing so badly the GOP has had to call in help from the Greens. Anyway, he's rattling his tin cup on the "GOP-Strong East Side", at Daniel's Broiler in downtown Bellevue (I've eaten there - nice place - good view of the lake and Seattle, where the real power is, in the distance). The hosts for the event are the Faith and Freedom Network, some religious outfit. Then in the evening, he's off to stylish Mercer Island to beg for cash alongside failed Senatorial Candidate Nethercutt and failed Gubinatorial Candidate Rossi. No idea who he's sucking up to between about 4 and 7 - if he's smart, it will be Microsoft (where the REAL, real power is). Anyway, all the details we have are here, because none of the major dailies want to talk about it.

Now my point is NOT that the Pennsylvanian Senator's re-election campaign is being run out of Alexandria, Virginia (check the invite), but that most of the folk in PA don't probably KNOW he's out here huxtering for bucks. And won't find out from THEIR local media, unless he puts a foot in his mouth or something equally dramatic shows up. I'm sure that most of his constituents think he's still in Washington (the DC, not the state), or at least touring the state he is supposed to represent in attempt to at least convince people to vote for him. But perhaps I'm just old-fashioned.

But if you ever wondered how far Santorum would go to get re-elected, we now know its at least as far west as Bellevue, Washington. And should the good senator gets re-elected, there will be those out here who will be glad to remind him who helped him get there. But I'm sure we'll have Pennsylvania's best interests at heart when we put the squeeze on him.

More later,