Reading List

In case you missed it, the Seattle Times addressed earmarks this week in the story $4.5 million for a boat that nobody wanted. If you want to investigate more, the Times provides an earmarks database that allows you search by member of Congress or recipient.

I took a brief tour of Norm Dicks’ earmarks and in almost every case there is a Bremerton connection. We do have a shipyard here, so it’s no accident these contractors would have offices here. And I did find a few cases where Dicks was part of the earmark for companies that didn’t donate.

The New York Times has a story about how the left wing of the Democratic Party is making it tough for the party as a whole.

The tension between Democratic lawmakers and their base has been most visible on the Iraq war, where the insistence by some of the most outspoken antiwar groups on setting hard deadlines for the withdrawal of American troops has often handcuffed Senate Democrats trying to reach a bipartisan deal on legislation to change the war strategy.

The (Yakima) Herald-Republic has a profile on Republican U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings.

Indeed, Hastings doesn’t much trust the news media and doesn’t comment much publicly, especially when he’s in conflict with his own party or with major lobbying groups allied with the GOP, such as the National Retail Federation. That has happened.

Last year, Hastings urged his Republican colleagues not to support a business tax relief measure that would have cost Washington state nearly $700 million a year in revenue. Through Rules, he was able to get the bill pulled. He later received praise from Gregoire and Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton.

“Doc’s … one of their most loyal guys, but this was too much for him,” Dicks said at the time.

You may recall that Hastings ousted Democrat Jay Inslee in 1994 to win the seat, so he’s partially responsible for Inslee moving back west and becoming one of our reps.

13 thoughts on “Reading List

  1. The Seattle Times ran an article earlier in the year showing how earmarks in this state are at record highs. They did not correlate the earmarks with donations to the state level politicians.

    Norm is essentially doing the same thing as what is behind SEED. The politicians think they know better on how to create jobs than the private sector. Just watch the political contributions of the companies that move into SEED (if any companies move in).

    One other trick to get around donation limits is to provide a bonus to an executive and then encourage them to attend a political fundraiser.

  2. “Why wasn’t I alerted about this and allowed to vote?”

    Were you a member of the US House? Do you sit on that committee? Were reporters banned from the room? no? Can you access CSPAN and the House docket from the web? Did you get to vote in he 2006 election for your Congressional Representative?

    Did you really expect Norm’s office to call you up and ask you how he should vote on all of the daily issues that they deal with?

    I make it an issue to find out what my congress members and congress as a whole are up to.

    Good luck in getting a majority of voters to be able to even NAME Norm’s 2006 opponent let alone vote for him. Norm was re-elected with over 70% of the vote.

    “Out with Norm Dicks.”

    Really? He was such a big NASCAR supporter too.

  3. Jake,

    Hell I even heard the sarcasm in her voice. It was a joke big guy.

    Still on NASCAR, your dinner conversations must be fun…

    Have a good weekend

  4. Pipe down, Jake. And get back to work….

    Even if I wasn’t being cheeky – which was obvious – that Norm supported one issue or another isn’t relevant to those of us who don’t judge leaders on the basis of single issue decisions.

  5. Actually I can’t wait until the radical corporate right starts up the smears against our elected officials. They are going to paint the horrible NASCAR corporate welfare deal like everybody was going to get a free puppy and race track and the mean old fiscally responsible Democrats said no.

    I also have printed out the report on construction labor employment statistics from over the last three years of the Gregoire administration. They are off the charts and construction labor employment has never been better. So when the whiners start their pie in the sky rants about how great the corporate welfare package would be for local construction we can show them the facts that they have never have had it better and that’s even without the corporate welfare racetrack. It was progressives that passed the transportation package and fought Tim Eyman to save it.

    The rightwing is going to be complaining about NASCAR in 2008 but they are not going to have any traction with the issue. It’s going to fire up a few in their fringe but the vast majority of voters are with us.

  6. Mr. Metcalf,

    I would disagree that there is no corporate welfare begind the local construction boom. If you remember, Boeing was provided several tax breaks that you would consider corporate welfare. I am sure that there is a large contributing factor to construction and the current Boeing boom and success of the 787.

    Is the transportation package you are refering to sound transit? The one that is twice as expensive and goes half the distance that the voters originally approved?

  7. I was referring to the 2005 transportation funding package for Washington State that was passed by the Democratic controlled State Legislature and the Governor in 2005. The rightwing tried to stop it with their “Gas Tax Repeal” and they failed at the ballot.

    Kitsap County is not a Sound Transit county.

    The record labor construction statistics ( http://stats.bls.gov/eag/eag.wa.htm ) that I mentioned are for building construction, roads and that such. Directly benefiting the construction groups that were for the corporate welfare for NASCAR package.

  8. At what point is there too much taxation? Should we just send all of our paychecks to olympia and let them take care of us?

  9. I totally agree with you. The middle class and the working poor are taxed too much by our states regressive consumption based sales tax. The problem is this state has the most regressive state taxation that pinches working families and lets the rich off with out paying their fair share.

    If I were in the legislature I would try to pass an amendment to reinstate the legislature with the power to reform the state tax structure and pass the recommendations of the 2002 Gates Commission on Taxation.

  10. I couldn’t care less about partisan tap-dancing and low brow smear campaigns.

    The world is a bigger place, and in that arena there is room to poke fun at people who don’t get the joke.

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