Inslee stumps for Bowling

Just kidding. You're not really invited.
Just kidding. You’re not really invited.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was scheduled to be in town on Sunday for a campaign fundraiser for 35th Legislative District Senate candidate Irene Bowling, a Democrat.

We asked permission to go, but were informed the event at the Rice Fergus Miller building in Bremerton was closed to the press, not unusual for a fundraiser. We were disappointed, though, because we had an invitation. It was sent to us via Twitter from the 35th Legislative District Democrats. We should have been suspicious, though, because Twitter is unreliable. Remember, it was on Twitter that we first read that Dewey defeated Truman.

Suggested contributions for the fundraiser ranged from $50 for the “guest” level to $500 to be considered a “host.” While “guest” sounds right for me, $50 does not.

Inslee’s presence demonstrates his interest in seeing the state Senate taken back by Democrats, and Bowling’s race is against Tim Sheldon, a Democrat. Let me explain. He is a Democrat, but caucuses as a Republican, a reality that demands two weeks’ time for Washington State Civics teachers. In English class it makes for a complicated sentence diagram with lots of subservient clauses and semicolons.

Inslee wants Democrats in the Senate because he has big ambitions to tackle carbon emissions and would like the 2015 Legislature to cooperate. If Republicans are in charge of one of the chambers he fears his proposal will be as popular as a Richard Sherman biography at Crabtree and Evelyn. (They sell books, right?)

To get a Democratic majority Inslee is being aided by California billionaire Tom Steyer, who this week dropped $1 million into a committee, NextGen Climate Action Committee-Washington Sponsored by Tom Steyer. Steyer’s organization followed that with a news release saying it will target 25 percent of the voters in Washington. He’s doing the same in Oregon.

So far the committee hasn’t spent any real money, but this is what the news release said about Washington:

NextGen Climate will focus on races where there is an opportunity to discuss climate issues with voters, including, but not limited to supporting Tami Green in the 28th Senate District and Matt Isenhower in the 45th Senate District.

Whether any Steyer money finds its way to the 35th depends on party polling, which will reveal whether voters in the district are bucking the common assumption that voters who picked Republican Travis Couture in the primary will mostly side with Sheldon in the general election, since Couture was eliminated from the race. Sheldon thinks he’ll pick up most of Couture’s voters because he is more conservative. Bowling believes she will get most of the Couture voters, in some part because she is not Tim Sheldon.

An earlier $250,000 contribution to an independent committee set up to campaign for Bowling made some think there were signs Bowling could beat Sheldon. That changed when $225,000 was returned, leaving some to wonder what the polling says now.

As of Friday Bowling had raised about $150,000 and still had about $55,000 of that unspent. Sheldon has raised more, about $290,000, and has about $100,000 left to spend. A word or two from the governor might close the gap at least a little.

2 thoughts on “Inslee stumps for Bowling

  1. Hi Mr. Gardener:

    Your blog yesterday was much more detailed about 594 and not almost fluff compared to today’s front page effort “Inslee pressing to secure Senate.” Yesterday you provided lots of details about controversies around 594–half a page worth. Today I must ask, does it really make sense that any governor would back a senatorial candidate based on one issue (carbon tax in this case)?

    Think of all the issues facing the last legislative session–school funding, mental health, ferries, tax breaks for corporations, roads, and health care (Medicaid too) to name a few. Does it make sense for a governor to strongly oppose one powerful senator for only one reason?

    At least with the 594 blog I could evaluate your opinions. Today, I just don’t feel you are sharing the major facts? Am I wrong?

    With regard to 594 get the legal background on relevant gun control judicial decisions from retired Judge Russell Hartman. I just heard him speak over the weekend. I think he is a grad of Harvard and the UW.

    I have never met him, you or Inslee. I rely on the Kitsap Sun.

    John Freeburg
    Bremerton.

  2. Mr. Freeburg,

    You are correct that there are a number of issues for which Inslee would prefer to have a real Democratic majority in both houses. Thanks.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

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