Category Archives: Jay Inslee

Early, in Some Cases Way Early, Campaign Maneuvers

In general, we don’t make a lot of fuss over most endorsements or advertising. On endorsements we’ll usually provide a list of them, but we don’t write a story every time a candidate is endorsed by Washington Ichthyologists or the ASB President at Klahowya. For negative ads there might be a story or two, say when a candidate’s photo is doctored to make him or her like the victim of bad plastic surgery or it’s alleged that the candidate wants to sterilize sections of Poulsbo.

On Thursday we received notices that cause us to make two exceptions. Attorney General Rob McKenna has endorsed one of Jay Inslee’s challengers. The other is a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad highlighting alleged negatives of someone who has not publicly stated an intention to run. Both developments make sense, but it doesn’t mean there’s little surprise.

The DSCC’s Web site, Dirty Deals Dino for Senate charges that Dino Rossi has profited mightily from his campaigns even though he lost.

“In 2004, after I lost my first race for governor, I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself – until I realized that this was not a political setback, but a business opportunity! I had lots of great ideas – and a rocking stump speech. Why not use those things to make a tidy little profit? The “nonprofit” Forward Washington Foundation was born. Forward Washington – which is what I called my campaign, too – was supposed to improve the state’s business climate. And it did! Without Forward Washington, my former political aides might have been out of work, and I would have had $75,000 per year less to live on! Of course, those whiny Democrats complained that I was evading campaign-finance disclosure laws. They were just jealous that the state’s Public Disclosure Commission found that the foundation had raised a whopping $360,000 from unidentified donors. When I left my foundation to run for governor again, I worried about my income loss, but it helped that the foundation spent nearly $10,000 on copies of my book to give to donors. Thanks, guys!”

The site doesn’t just focus on Rossi’s defeats. The committee argues that Rossi was put into politics by shady types and benefited from industries he supported when he was in office.

That I know of, there are no other negative ad campaigns against any of the announced candidates. The reason is simple. Scroll down the list of the dozen or so candidates who have announced they’re running against Democrat Patty Murray and see if you find someone who has better name recognition than Rossi. See anyone who immediately is a stronger bet against the incumbent?

McKenna’s endorsement of Republican James Watkins surprises me only because there is another Republican in that race. Why it makes sense is because it’s clear that McKenna is the favorite to carry the Republican banner in the governor’s race, while Inslee has been emerging lately as a strong possibility among the Democrats. Inslee has been blistering McKenna lately over the AG’s decision to challenge the constitutionality of the health care reform legislation just passed. posted a video of Inslee calling out McKenna. The video appears in a blog post longing for Inslee vs. McKenna in 2012.

Watkins’ press release references that potential race in announcing McKenna’s endorsement.

“We’ve shown that Congressman Inslee is vulnerable, and Congressman Inslee has shown us that he’s not terribly interested in being the 1st District’s representative, but is already itching to start his 2012 campaign for governor. (See here and here)

“With the support of Attorney General McKenna and people throughout the 1st District who want change in Washington, D.C., I look forward to retiring Mr. Inslee this November so he can devote himself full-time to seeking yet another political office.”

McKenna, for his part, is quoted only in endorsing Watkins.

“James has the real-world experience and solid principles to be a great congressman working for the 1st District,” said McKenna. “He will make a big difference in D.C. and help put our nation on a better path.”

Still, if Inslee were to lose his congressional seat, it would seem to hurt his chances to be the Democratic ticket bearer in 2012. If you’re one to believe there were political machinations in McKenna’s decision to challenge health care reform, it would not be a stretch to see it here, too.

About Watkins’ point that “We’ve shown that Congressman Inslee is vulnerable,” you may recall we took a look at that claim made by Watkins using a survey he commissioned.

The owner of the company that performed the survey was mentioned on another site.

Finding out who paid for the poll also is critical, said pollster Bob Moore of Oregon-based Moore Information. If a candidate has paid for it, then the numbers can’t be taken at face value, he said, and reporters should do everything they can to speak to the pollster about the results, not someone working with the campaign.

“The pollster may get some numbers that the campaign doesn’t like, and won’t release,” Moore said.

I contacted both the pollster and the campaign. The pollster told me I’d have to get the information I wanted from the campaign. A staffer from Watkins’ campaign contacted me Thursday by e-mail, stating in part:

“Since the poll has some information we would prefer not to have the Inslee campaign get wind of, we’re not going to release all the details.”

So that means either Watkins got some info the campaign is saving to lob onto Inslee later, or the pollster got some information the campaign didn’t like. Either way, without that information I don’t know how we can assume the conclusion “Inslee is vulnerable” is any more credible than an ad suggesting a candidate for the House wants to dump Hanford nuclear waste into the Columbia River.

Inslee Is on the Phone and Talking Energy

Hello? Mom, it’s Jay Inslee.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee will be holding a telephone town hall sometime today. Phone calls will go out to residents in the First Congressional District. No inbound phone calls.

In the meantime the congressman says Barack Obama’s plan to drill offshore “doesn’t make an energy policy.”

The idea that we are going to solve our energy and economic problems by drilling offshore is not supported by fact.  Evidence should inform our national energy policy and evidence tells us that new drilling won’t satiate our hunger for foreign oil.  The United States has a mere 2 percent of the world’s oil reserve while consuming a quarter of the world’s oil supply. New drilling won’t change this fact.”

Inslee calls for caps or prices on carbons to help alternative energy compete.

The press release follows.

Continue reading

Is Poll on Inslee Vulnerability Accurate? — Updated

At 6:10 Thursday evening I received in the inbox an e-mail from the James Watkins for Congress campaign saying that Jay Inslee, the Bainbridge Island Democratic incumbent congressman, was vulnerable in the First Congressional District race in November. That conclusion came from a survey done by Moore Information of Portland.

Here are some words of warning. I’m not at all saying Inslee isn’t vulnerable. That is entirely possible. Given the difference in national surveys we are seeing about the health care reform bill, it’s really hard for me to know. Plus, November is a long, long time away, especially in a non-presidential election year.

However, I feel justified being somewhat skeptical of these numbers. Watkins commissioned this survey, and we don’t have the questions, information about the demographics of the people surveyed, or any other information that would be helpful in deciphering these numbers. That kind of information is critical in trying to determine whether a poll accurately reflects what people feel.

That sentiment is confirmed by a blog posting by Jim Small of the Arizona Capitol Times. Small quotes Bob Moore of Moore Information in an earlier post.

Finding out who paid for the poll also is critical, said pollster Bob Moore of Oregon-based Moore Information. If a candidate has paid for it, then the numbers can’t be taken at face value, he said, and reporters should do everything they can to speak to the pollster about the results, not someone working with the campaign.

“The pollster may get some numbers that the campaign doesn’t like, and won’t release,” Moore said.

If we see the script with the questions, the demographic information and the cross-tabs from the survey, then that goes a lot farther in trusting the results. Last night I asked the Watkins campaign and the polling company for that information. I particularly want to see it in light of this item I found about surveys the company did in New Hampshire leading up to the presidential primary in 2008. As you read this info, bear in mind it does come from a site that is pro Democratic Party.

Friday, March 26, 4 p.m. UPDATE: I received an e-mail from the campaign saying they would check with the pollster. I got a response from the pollster saying I would have to get that information from the campaign.

Skepticism is not cynicism. I just want to see more data. Here are some other clips featuring Moore.

Here’s a 2007 story about polling Moore did for Dino Rossi. The company is still helping Rossi these days.

Moore Information was referenced in a 2003 column here about former Gov. Gary Locke.

When I added “push poll” to the search I got this 2004 column from Wisconsin on Moore Information polling in the presidential race.

Here’s a 2008 Newsweek story that mentions Moore, but is about negative campaigning generally.

After all that, I decided to go ahead and share the e-mail and the memo I got. If Inslee’s campaign wants to commission a survey and publish selective results, I’ll do the same. The rest is after the jump.

Continue reading

Health Care War Continues in Washington

On Tuesday the president signed the health care reform bill, which to some is a BFD, and I’m not talking about fire departments. Locals were talking about it. Also on Tuesday some state attorneys general, including ours, joined in a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of some of the bill’s provisions.

In response the Legislature might write into the budget a provision limiting the AG’s ability to offer such a lawsuit.

It all made for interesting radio on KIRO Tuesday. State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Gov. Chris Gregoire and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, were all on the Dave Ross show. McKenna made a repeat appearance on the Dori Monson show.

If you’ve got a few minutes, and if you’re here you clearly do, listen to the conversations. They’re available after the jump.

McKenna is clearly in the position that elements of the bill are unconstitutional, and he goes to some length to argue why. Gregoire and Inslee both say his interpretation is wrong, but spend more time talking about what impact it would have if McKenna’s case is ultimately upheld in the courts. If you’re a fan of the bill, that should worry you.

The U.S. Justice Department plans to defend the bill, so it isn’t as if no one thinks the bill passes muster. The problem comes, though, because the attorneys general could win. McKenna argues that they’re only going after particular elements of the bill, but Inslee and others argue that the elements they’re going after are pins that hold the whole thing up. Kill the mandate and you’ve essentially killed the bill.

The next question, then, is do Republicans really want to win this fight? If they do, will it give Democrats the opening to put forward something closer to a single-payer system? Dave Ross argues that if you turn this whole thing into a tax, rather than a forced entry into the market, you probably don’t get the same constitutional debate. At least those kind of cases have been argued and settled in the past.

Continue reading

A War Within Washington on Health Care Reform

The argument between Gov. Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna is something we probably could have predicted in January.

McKenna was in Kitsap County and stopped by our offices. We asked him about health care reform and he very pointedly brought up the very issue that on Monday became part of the national conversation. He’s joining other states in suing the federal government, arguing that it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to mandate that someone buy something.

Since his announcement the governor, a former attorney general, State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidleer and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, have all come out critical of McKenna’s decision.

The was among the first to argue that this fight will prevent McKenna from being governor in 2012, saying he was difficult to criticize up to this point.

“Democrats will now try to tar him with the same brush they’ve used to dispatch every GOP gubernatorial candidate for the past 25 years. And it looks like McKenna has just given them at least some of the paint they’ll need.”

The official statements follow the jump. There will probably be many more.
Continue reading

Newsweek Credits Inslee Deal for Saving Health Care Reform Bill

Much of the narrative surrounding the health care bill was that a group of pro-life House members were key in saving the legislation. Newsweek writer Jonathan Alter reported that what U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, and his group dealing with reimbursement rates was “more pivotal to the outcome of the health care bill in the House than Bart Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats.”

From Alter’s piece:

” So it was no surprise that agreement by President Obama to re-state the obvious in an executive order (that the Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortion was still in effect) would be enough to secure Stupak’s vote.

But if the little known regional disputes hadn’t been resolved there would have been no bill.”

We received a press release from Inslee’s office after 3 p.m. Saturday about the deal, which was finalized about 12 hours earlier. The next morning we received updates that the House had the votes. Inslee’s press release suggests that the agreement was a key one, but it doesn’t suggest, as Alter does, that it was “the” key one.

Inslee’s release follows the jump.
Continue reading

Inslee Is in Copenhagen

Inslee’s office sent the following:

Rep. Inslee Joins Speaker Pelosi’s Delegation to Copenhagen

(Washington, DC) – This evening, Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) will be joining Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The delegation will spend several days, beginning Thursday December 17th, meeting with lawmakers and scientists from around the world to address climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases.

“I’m honored by the Speaker’s invitation to join her on this critical trip to Copenhagen,” said Rep. Inslee. “This year the House took a major step in addressing global warming while laying the foundation to become the leader in the new energy economy. Copenhagen is a real opportunity to address what the facts are telling us; the earth is warming and humans are primarily responsible.”

Congressman Inslee, a respected member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, member of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), and was one of the lead proponents of H.R. 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

“An international agreement to address global warming will drive the growth of the clean tech industry, allowing America’s innovative and entrepreneurial talents to flourish,” Rep Inslee continued. “We are in a race with other countries to capture these clean tech jobs, and Washington State is well positioned to lead.”

Washington Legislators Lead Call for Return to key Bank Regulation

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee both have their names on bills that would restore the 1933 Glass-Steagall act. The bill would require commercial and investment banks to operate separately.

Washington Democrat Cantwell is joined by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. in sponsoring the Senate Bill.

Inslee, a Bainbridge Island Democrat, is a co-sponsor on a bill forwarded by New York Democrat Maurice Hinchey. From Inslee’s press release:

“If we allow banks to become too big to fail, than we will have done little to succeed,” said Rep. Inslee. “When I voted against the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, I did so because I feared that consolidation in the financial industry could wreck the economy. That fear was substantially realized and today we should adopt one principle – never again.”

In 1999 Glass-Steagall was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. A Bloomberg story on the restoration has one expert calling it “crazy,” but another saying the 1999 move has been acknowledged as a mistake. From the story:

“Trying to split them up is crazy,” John Douglas, a former general counsel at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. who leads the bank regulatory practice at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in New York, said in a telephone interview. “The integration of the securities and banking function came about because of the need of large corporate customers to have integrated banking and securities services.”


“We cruise along for 80 years without a major calamity infecting the entire financial system and then less than eight years after the repeal of Glass-Steagall we have a financial meltdown in this country,” Camden Fine, president of the Washington-based trade group for about 5,000 smaller U.S. banks, said in a telephone interview. “That’s no accident.”

I did a search for the 2009 bill and couldn’t find it yet. It might be too early yet. For the 1999 bill I did confirm that Inslee voted against it, but he was one of only 57, including four Republicans, who did. U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, was among the 362 House members who voted for it. In the Senate the vote was pretty much party line, 54-44. Washington Republican Slade Gorton voted for it while Democrat Patty Murray voted “nay.” Only one Democrat, South Carolina’s Ernest Hollings, voted for it. No Republicans voted against it.
In the Senate both Republican Slade Gorton and Democrat Patty Murray voted for it. Thank you Bob for the correction. Indeed I was looking at the wrong vote.

Inslee’s press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Inslee Has an Opponent in 2010

Assuming Democrat Jay Inslee runs for re-election for his First District U.S. House seat in 2010, one of his first opponents out of the box is Redmond’s James Watkins.

On Watkins’ site there is no mention of which party he belongs to, but I did find one tweet that claimed him is a Republican.

On his site he favors less regulation and bureaucracy, criticizes deficit spending and quotes Ronald Reagan. He’s also posted on the Puget Sound Conservative Underground site.

We’ll post more when we have more.

Inslee, Dicks Host Pelosi in Seattle

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. will be in Seattle touring Swedish Medical Center’s Medical Home Pilot in Ballard today. She’ll be accompanied by our congressional representatives and Seattle Democrat Jim McDermott.

All three voted Saturday in favor of HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which passed the House 220-215.

The press release follows:
Continue reading

Inslee, Dicks Trumpet Major Health Care Reform

Rachel Pritchett has a story about a new program Harrison Medical Center is offering for those facing end-of-life questions one story commenter mentioned would be grounds for some to bring up “death panels.” That, of course, was a statement coined most famously by Sarah Palin, regarding end-of-life counseling, which sounds like what Harrison is offering.

Wellllllll, speaking of health care and reform things, our two members of Congress (Democrats Jay Inslee of Bainbridge Island and Norm Dicks of Belfair) scheduled a press conference last week to announce major changes in how Medicare money will be distributed. The bigger story, perhaps, is that if this does make it in the bill that lands on the president’s desk, it has the potential of changing the health care system in what would seem to be a big, big way. From the joint press release:

“Today we have announced that we will no longer stand for inefficient care that costs taxpayer dollars and lives; and we will instead change the way reimburse care – rewarding quality over quantity,” said Congressman Jay Inslee (WA-01).

I linked to Dicks’ version, because there is also a link to the bill’s actual language.

The first part of this is a move to change Medicare reimbursement rules to change what seems to be the geographic disparity, which was explained to a major degree in a story in The New Yorker in June.

If you take the time to read the New Yorker piece, you’ll see much about the pay-for-service model so often discussed. Explained in simple terms, it means doctors get paid for every service performed, whether each service contributes to better health or not. Many think there are better ways to do it. The New Yorker story points to salaried doctors at the Mayo Clinic, but suggests the salary model is shrinking in use.

A writer for suggests the changes Inslee and Dicks are proposing would occur before rates in public option would be tied to Medicare.

The second study, which would take place over two years and be subject to congressional review, would implement a plan to base Medicare payment on quality of care rather than volume. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said that current problems with Medicare reimbursement needed to be fixed first before establishing programs such as a public health plan option based on Medicare rates.

A Huffington Post piece opines that changes recommended in one of the studies would be required:

Lest you suspect that this might be the typical, run-of-the-mill Congressional study, generating lots of chin-stroking but no real action, yesterday’s agreement gives this particular IOM study teeth. The Secretary of HHS would be bound to implement the IOM’s. Only a joint resolution of disapproval passed by both Houses of Congress could stop it. And such a resolution would be subject to Presidential veto.

Inslee Consorts with the Hollywood Elite

Local conservatives can have two reasons to growl in the same photo, thanks to this picture captured by the Associated Press.

I can tell you this, though. There was a time when a lot of men in America wished they could be Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh. “Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic.”

Boy am I embarrassed. I saw the words “Sigourney Weaver” and my brain went right to “Susan Sarandon.”


“Gozer was very big in Sumeria.”
“Well, what’s he doing in my ice box?”

We were still saying “ice box” in the 1980s.


Notes from the Health Care Field

I’m back from vacation, in time for the president’s address on health care. I couldn’t watch it live because I was in a Bremerton City Council meeting, in which they discussed new incentives for employees to leave.

In the e-mail inbox upon my return were a few references, direct and indirect, to the town halls.

One was a Daily Kos recap of the Norm Dicks event. The coolest part was the fact that the writer’s brother-in-law gets to play bass for Steppenwolf. Enjoy that magic carpet ride, and the veal!

Additionally there was some criticism of our coverage of the Poulsbo event. I judged the audience to be pretty evenly mixed. I did a walk-through before the event started and then judged based on the different eruptions and applauses throughout. An e-mailer suggested I way overcounted the opponents of health care reform, saying there were more supporters there. The writer may be correct. A colleague of mine who attended also judged the supporters outnumbering the opponents based on the number of people standing during different ovations. When I went to the Norm Dicks event, however, I judged my initial speculation about Poulsbo to be about right. Another entry on Kos (I’m having trouble finding it.) suggested we intentionally oversold the impact of the opponents. All I can say to defend myself is that I wrote what I thought to be correct.

The video after the jump shows Keli Carender, who is with the King County Young Republicans. Some raised the “astroturfer” claim when that was revealed. She is, however, a registered voter in Kitsap County, confirmed by the county elections office. The King County group, she told me by e-mail, is the strongest Young Republicans group in the state and has members from Pierce and Snohomish counties as well. She has an apartment in Seattle, but her permanent residence is here.

I also received two e-mails from someone who wrote to the Kitsap Sun at first, then a second note that also went to Keith Olbermann. I’ll include the text of both of those after the video, which is after the jump. Bottom line is the writer believes we’re socialists or worse.

Last night I did finally get to see the speech as it was being rebroadcast on BET. I’ve yet to see the Republican response, which I’ll get to today. Before I saw the speech, however, I heard Michael Medved. The conservative commentator is against the move to have the government involved in health care, (I’m shorthanding his stance, but I think that’s accurate.) but said Obama did a good job. He said most of the points were those no one could argue with.

On facebook some of my “friends” were heaping praise on Obama. Another didn’t criticize the speech, but questioned the constitutionality of the health care move. Another asked whether so much of the speech should have relied on the emotional punch provided by the segment dealing with the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

As always, feel free to leave your thoughts.

Continue reading

‘That’s a Lie!’ Claim Leveled at Inslee Examined

During the health care conversation we’ve been having I’ve been delighted with the work done by the St. Petersburg Times on its PolitiFact site.

I’d love to take the live stream videos we’re doing on the town halls and fact check them. Seriously, I have fun injecting reason into the debate. The trouble is it takes an awful lot of time to check everything. I’m not saying I won’t do it still, but I can’t promise I’ll get to it over new developments in the Bremerton boardwalk and vacation.

Nonetheless, I thought I’d at least address one of the first moments of the town hall. If you go to the 9 minute mark of the live steam you’ll see Inslee discussing why the conversation is happening.

He said during the past two years 87 million people were without insurance at some point.

“That’s a lie,” yelled someone in the audience. Scott Park, who was interviewed for an earlier story on health care, has taken credit for the outburst, saying Inslee immediately corrected himself and went back to the 46 million figure most often cited. I didn’t think his memory was quite accurate, so I went back to the video.

On the issue itself, I had recalled Inslee saying that sometime “during the last year” that 87 million had been without insurance, so I was wrong on that. He clearly said during the last “two years.” Then the comment about that being a lie.

My brief amount of checking on the 87 million figure led me to this news story referring to a study that backs up what Inslee said.

After the “lie” was called, Inslee said 46 million are the most chronic cases, not having insurance ever. That number is based on a census study. He wasn’t correcting himself, he was referring to the more commonly used number.

If you go specifically to the PolitiFact entry on the 46 million, even the 46 million can be considered both an undercount and overcount.

I haven’t looked very hard at the study, but so far haven’t found outright criticism of it yet. I’m sure there is some.

So, in my opinion, because studies can reach incorrect conclusions, what Inslee said might have been wrong, but it wasn’t a lie.

Park emphasized that he wasn’t calling Inslee a liar, but said the information itself was a lie. The reason, he said, is that 87 million figure will be the one used to justify the kind of health care reform that’s being proposed, when in reality even the real number could be in dispute.

Town Hall Coverage Even When We Win the Lottery

Looking for me at the town halls? I’ll be the guy in this chair.

Since I’m scheduled to take vacation beginning Tuesday (It would have been tomorrow, but there are town halls I don’t want to miss.) I thought I’d get this out there now.

A group of us here at the Kitsap Sun have pooled our resources and purchased several Mega Millions lottery tickets, which means we would share the $330 million prize up for grabs. Having increased our collective odds from 1 in 750 million to 1 in 10.7 million, we’re feeling pretty good about the idea that come 8 p.m. or so tonight we’ll be figuring out ways to spend our money.

Of course, even with our newfound riches we will still keep our commitment to covering the heck out of the two Kitsap town hall meetings on health care. Our plan is to live stream the events for those who can’t go. I’ll also be live-blogging and we’ll have a nice video after the fact. That’s the plan, anyway. We’re still working on logistics.

Logistics, I assume, will take care of themselves when we are all able to flash money at any problems that come our way. True I will cover the events, but don’t be surprised when you see me sitting up front tapping away at my computer while seated in the Surf Chair I’ll have flown in overnight from somewhere in Scandinavia. By Monday I hope to have a motorized version. Maybe I can make it street legal.

For those of you thinking the lottery is a tax on the stupid, I encourage you to read this wisdom that comes from Canada.

“One actuary was even quoted by a wire service as saying if you bought a ticket with three or four other adults, it would be more likely that all of you would be dead within the year than be winners of the top prize.

“But here’s the thing. Despite a better grasp of the laws of chance than most, the actuary admitted that he too had bought a ticket.”

See you in line at the Sev.

UPDATED: Inslee Announces Town Hall Dates; Dicks to Speak at Invite-Only Event in PA

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee’s Kitsap town hall will be on the 29th of this month. The location is North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo in the gym. The time is 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, will attend a forum Friday put on by Clallam County Democrats, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

Meanwhile the Seattle Times reports the story about the baseball stadium town-hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens.

By the Way, There Will Be an In-Person Town Hall

I admit it. Sen. Patty Murray’s press secretary Alex Glass is right. Members of Congress have been coming to the community and talking about health care and not getting much attention until now. “I honestly think it was because there wasn’t this frenzy, and people like to watch the frenzy,” Glass said.

Murray, herself, was in Bremerton in July for a health care workforce event at Harrison Medical Center. As for town halls, that’s not a forum she prefers, said Glass. The interaction is better at smaller, round-table events. She probably won’t be in Kitsap during this recess, Glass said, but will be traveling the state discussing health care. And she has had the telephone town-hall meetings.

I’ve called the office of U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, but have yet to hear back on his plans over the break.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has had nine forums on health care this year. She doesn’t have any planned over the break, but will have three events during the break that are open to the public. I know of one, so far. It’s next Friday in Pend Oreille County where she’ll address multiple issues, including health care.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, said he will have two town halls, probably within the first couple weeks of September. One of those will be on this side of the water. They’re still working on dates, times and location.

Even if you blanche at the sight of the name “Paul Krugman” or “New York Times,” I think you might find his take on the town halls today interesting. He believes the people shouting at these events are not just shills trucked in from elsewhere, even if he thinks some of their anger is misguided.

” . . . while the organizers are as crass as they come, I haven’t seen any evidence that the people disrupting those town halls are Florida-style rent-a-mobs. For the most part, the protesters appear to be genuinely angry. The question is, what are they angry about?”

I won’t spoil the ending for you, or the beginning for that matter. Seriously, go read it.