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Posts Tagged ‘Norman D. Dicks’

Norm Dicks is The Voice (VIDEO)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

A retired member of Congress probably has a few more career options than the rest of us when we leave our jobs. “Championing legislation” might not be a skill marketable should U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, apply for a job at Supercuts. So if you’ve got a cosmetology degree you might have a leg up on him there. But I don’t think our 36-year congressman is going to be hurting for options.

On Sunday in Tacoma, at a party honoring his career, Dicks took to the mic and showed his versatility. He can not only make a lasting mark on Tacoma and Bremerton and do whatever opportunity arises for a former college linebacker, the congressman can sing.

You might want to interpret “can sing” the way all of us “can sing.” At least he knows the words. Like Buckwheat, once Norm Dicks sings a song, it’s eternally his.


First-world congressional problems

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Dennis Kucinich is Milton.

Most jobs you’re actually allowed to pack up your stuff and leave the building forever before you’re displaced from your desk. I mean imagine your boss telling you in two weeks you have to leave, and for that two weeks you have to move all your stuff to the room with the vending machines.

That’s akin to what’s happening in Congress. I guess it’s how things work there, because nobody complains about it that I know of. I didn’t know that was how things operated and I had the experience of a highly educational internship as a reporter in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1986, when John McCain, John Breaux, Harry Reid and Tom Daschle gave up their House seats for ones in the Senate.

I learned all about this office shuffling on Thursday. I had read the story about newly elected Congressman Derek Kilmer picking number 65 out of 70 for office space. (In that competition, that high score is a bad thing.) But it hadn’t occurred to me that Norm Dicks would already be out of his space. I mean now it makes sense. Like “duh.” I should have had my first clue when I saw all the furniture in the Rayburn hallways.

But on Thursday I knew his staff was in the Rayburn building. I went there and looked at the directory on the wall to find out which office belonged to our soon-to-be retired politician. I found the number, went to the location and found a California flag outside the door. The office now belongs to George Miller, D-Calif. I asked the cherubs inside the front office where Dicks’ office had gone to and was told it was in the basement cafeteria, where all the “retirees” from the building were placed. I put that word in quotes, because not everyone down there is retiring by choice.

“Basement” in this case isn’t as bad as it sounds, and there is a separation between the room of cubicles and the actual eating area.

After finding Dicks’ main cubicle (No. 36) I was told my contact there, Chief of Staff George Behan, would be there in a while. So I waited in a comfy chair nearby and was looking over emails when in my view I saw Cubicle 27, the current landing spot of U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. You may remember that Kucinich considered becoming “D-Wash.” but wasn’t exactly welcomed by local party brass and he wasn’t gerrymandered out of his district as expected. Instead, he was put in the same district as Marcy Kaptur, another Ohio Democrat who also wasn’t looking to retire. She beat him in the primary, which set the stage for Kucinich being found in a cubicle smaller than mine, straining his neck to talk on his cell phone and wondering where his stapler went.

Dicks, by the way, being the ranking Democrat in Appropriations, has office space in the committee offices and he has his own office space in the Capitol itself. From my perspective, he still looks like a member of Congress.


Three locals, one former local, to attend Democratic national fete

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Former Bremerton local Jack Arends will join four others, including outgoing U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks of Belfair, in Charlotte, N.C. for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Arends is the son of Bremerton City Councilwoman Carol Arends and helped with her 2009 campaign. He now lives in Everett.

He will be joined by Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman, Bremerton’s Brittany Duff and Belfair’s Marcia Hamilton.

The convention is Sept. 3-6.

Word on the street is Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be the nominees. Still working to confirm that.


One lawmaker, one change, one entirely different result in the Boeing/EADS contest

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Boeing’s rival for the Air Force contract announced it wouldn’t contest the decision Friday, prompting statements from nearly every Washington politician we ever deal with.

Excuse the tardiness of this post. I was off work much of last week.

For a glimpse of how one change can make such a major difference in a thing like a contract, read Rob Hotakainen’s story from the McClatchy DC bureau and you’ll get an education on politics in government and how U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, pushed for one change in the contract process that may have changed the entire outcome.

From the story:

Dicks pressed the issue at the 2008 congressional hearing after learning that the Pentagon was using a 25-year timeframe to examine costs. After the hearing, the defense subcommittee voted to require the Pentagon to consider the cost of operating the new tankers over the longer 40-year lifecycle.

And then later:

In a conference call with reporters, a top Boeing official said the lifecycle costs were key to winning the contract, which will produce 50,000 jobs nationwide, many of them in Washington state and Kansas.


A Theory on Redistricting

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Dick Morrill at Crosscut makes the case that Olympia is the most likely central location for the next congressional district Washington is likely to get as a result of the Census. If his postulation is correct, that has huge implications for us.

Morrill writes:

The new Tenth, with Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum, and Thurston counties on its south, would need to add the Olympic peninsula counties of Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, and Grays Harbor, plus 80,000 or so, probably from Pierce County rather than from Kitsap.

Some of that territory is currently in the Sixth Congressional District. So Morrill writes:

The Sixth (Democrat Norm Dicks), having lost the peninsula counties, might logically combine most (or all) of Kitsap and western Pierce, including Tacoma.

It is worth noting that these theoretical maps contain the possibility that both of our current members of Congress would be in new districts. Norm Dicks, whose official residence is in Belfair, would be part of the new 10th. Jay Inslee would become part of the Sixth if all of Kitsap was pushed. Political realities, as Morrill acknowledges, would seem to come into play here, unless Dicks and Inslee were to suggest that where they live should not play into the redistricting conversation. That could happen, I suppose, if Inslee is intent on running for governor and Dicks decides to retire. Otherwise, I don’t see it. And I would also think there would be some resistance within Kitsap County about losing one of two members of Congress with whom to ask for favors.


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