Category Archives: Democrats

35th Dems Side with Incumbents

The 35th District Democrats met over the weekend and endorsed all three legislative incumbents. State Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch and state Reps. Fred Finn of Olympia and Kathy Haigh of Shelton all received the party’s nod for re-election.

That might not merit even a blog post sometimes, but in the 35th such an endorsement is not a given.

In 2006 the party endorsed Kyle Taylor Lucas over Sheldon, who has always been registered as a Democrat but often votes contrary to how the majority in his party would have him vote.

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.

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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.
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Five So Far for Treasurer

In speaking with Carl Olson, Kitsap County Democratic Party chairman, yesterday about the possible ascension of Norm Dicks to Defense chair, I asked him if he would tell me who has requested application packets for the open treasurer position. He did.

They are:

Daryl Daugs
Isaac Delgado
Rob Gelder
Meredith Green
Kathryn Quade

The applications are due by Feb. 19, so there could be more.

Legislators Want Sheldon to Lose a Job

Democrats looking to rid themselves of state Sen. Tim Sheldon, “D”-Potlatch, have introduced a new tack.

The Seattle Times’ Jim Brunner has the story.

Legislators, including sponsor of the rumored House version of Senate Bill 6588 state Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, want elected people to pick one elected office and not hold on to another that pays more than $500. Sheldon is also a Mason County commissioner. If they upped that minimum to $751 it would exempt a Republican who’s on a city council. Otherwise you’ve got a Republican and a Democrat who seems to be the only one happy he calls himself one.

Sheldon is up for re-election for his Senate seat, assuming he runs. One Republican, Daniel Griffin of Allyn, has signed up with the Public Disclosure Commission to run against Sheldon as a Republican.

If you read the story, read it to the end.

Is This a Good Year for the GOP?

A blogger at asks who will run against Norm Dicks, Sixth District Democratic congressman from Belfair. From the site:

“Norm Dicks is a powerful man and it will take another strong man to run against him.”

The writer, Scott, then posts videos of Randy Neatherlin, who ran two unsuccessful campaigns for the state House seat currently held by Fred Finn. In the first he ran against a longtime incumbent. In the second he was outspent pretty handily, a point Scott makes. And Scott points out that 2006 and 2008 were bad for most Republicans. He then writes:

“The writer for the Kitsap Sun (Steve Gardner) called him the Republican Obama for his speech in Kitsap.”

No I didn’t.

What I did do is post an e-mail from someone who compared Neatherlin to Obama and in another post I agreed generally with someone who said he was the highlight of the county’s 2008 GOP convention. He was. By far he got the most applause of any of the candidates and probably more than the “Up with People”-like group that performed at the beginning.

Did I call him a Republican Obama? No, I did not. I would not. I can’t think of anyone besides Ronald Reagan who could move people with a prepared speech as effectively as Barack Obama. I would have taken this up privately with Scott, but ResistNet hasn’t yet approved my membership.

Could Neatherlin beat Norm Dicks?

Could Doug Cloud, who has lost twice but as yet is the only candidate registered with the Federal Elections Commission to challenge the longtime incumbent?

Given what’s happening in Massachusetts tonight (As of this writing, Republican Scott Brown was beating Martha Coakley, a Democrat, in the race to replace Edward Kennedy.) is this the year to try?

Naysayers Turn Into Supporters For Josh Brown’s Reelection Bid

Brynn Grimley writes:

Facing the start of his final year as County Commissioner, Josh Brown has decided to give it a go for another four years.

The 28-year-old, (soon to be 29) was sworn into office at 25 years old amidst skepticism and doubt that he would be capable of running a county with roughly 250,000 residents and an overall budget of around $300 million.

When Brown took office Jan. 1, 2007 he became the youngest commissioner to hold the post. He also was the youngest elected official to sit on the various regional boards and commissions that come with the job.

Now Brown is the senior county commissioner (Commissioner Charlotte Garrido does have a prior stint under her belt), and as of Jan. 1, 2010 he will be the senior elected official sitting on regional boards like the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council.

Other elected officials making up those boards were elected after Brown took office.

But as the new kid on the block three years ago, Brown faced a lot of criticism.

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola was one critic who didn’t sugarcoat his opinion in various blog posts on his personal Web site.

He has since changed his tune.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that I didn’t support Josh when he ran for office the first time,” Coppola said. “I have to say after working with him over the last two years, I have become a supporter.”

At the time of Brown’s election Coppola was not yet mayor, but as an outspoken business leader he shared his opinions about Brown’s run for office — most of them negative — on his blog. (Anyone interested in specifics can refer to the 2006 archive on Coppola’s blog).

Now after seeing Brown in a leadership role, Coppola admits: “He’s much smarter than I gave him credit for.”

“In the areas where I have worked with him, he has proven himself,” he said. “I was skeptical of his abilities because of his young age and his lack of experience in an elected office.

“I’m impressed with his ability to take on challenges and his knowledge,” Coppola said. “He will have my full support,” in his bid for reelection.

Long-time Silverdale resident and business owner Ron Ross was also skeptical at first.

In fact, Ross’s son Robert Ross filed a lawsuit against Brown just before he officially took office, questioning his residency. (A judge ultimately ruled in favor of Brown after a trial in February 2007).

Reflecting on commissioners that have held the post since the 1950s, Ron Ross believes Brown has “been one of the best commissioners we’ve had in years and years.”

“He’s really, for his young age — forget his age. He’s been exceptionally good,” Ross said.

Ross initially couldn’t fathom how a 25-year-old could lead the county.

While there are still areas where he believes county government as a whole can improve, Brown has easily proven himself as the best person for the job in Central Kitsap, Ross said.

“I don’t know who is going to run against him,” he said, “but he would be hard to beat.”

And what about that lawsuit? While he said his son Robert still wonders about the residency status, he doesn’t have any major complaints about Brown since taking office.

“I think my boy feels like Josh is a good commissioner,” he said. “Josh has not offended my boy with any decisions he made and I talk to him every day.”

Ross and his wife Nadean have also supported Brown’s efforts in Central Kitsap through a donation of $1 million to the Silverdale Haselwood Family YMCA.

Brown initiated the partnership between the county and the YMCA group to build the facility at the proposed community campus in Silverdale.

It’s that collaboration, between the county and its citizens that Brown hopes to continue to build if reelected, he said.

“The next four years we’re going to see a lot of changes in our county,” he said. “The role of the county is going to continue to change. We need to find ways to communicate better with the public about what’s happening.”

Carl Johnson, a longtime civic volunteer, said he supports Brown’s run for reelection because of the job he has done since taking office.

Johnson ran for the position of Central Kitsap Commissioner as the Republican candidate in 1994 against Democrat Phil Best and again in 1998 against Democrat Tim Botkin.

“I think despite his youth, he’s demonstrated a particularly remarkable commitment and ability to work within the county government and work with the players that he has to work with,” Johnson said. “I think he has demonstrated a very non-partisan approach to decision making.”

Proving himself to naysayers and gaining support across the political aisle are just some of the ways Brown has tried to close the partisan gap while in office, he said.

“I like the challenges,” Brown said. “For folks that maybe thought I didn’t have the experience or the ability, I knew in my heart that I did. And I’m a really hard worker.”

Brown’s election Web site is:

Is Bremerton the Beer Caucus?

The Dude, charter member of the White Russian Caucus, though he often consorts with legislators from Seattle.

This is really a topic more suited for another writer, one you might know, who because he now works for a competitor I won’t name. I’m not trying to insult him (Oh dear, now you know his gender.) by suggesting he’s an expert in mind-altering substances. But almost anyone is more of an expert than I am, given that I have chosen a life in which I really only get anything close to high when the dentist shares some killer nitrous. Unfortunately my dentist lives by a code himself, so we’re both on our best behavior around each other. The point is I’m no expert on the subject matter, and could really only guess at any place’s intoxicant of choice. Then again, I do read police reports.

In political circles you have your caucuses. Our nine legislators are free to call themselves the Kitsap Caucus without any fear of copyright claims from us. We’re that noble.

Steve Elliott on OpEdNews, in a pro-marijuana decriminalization post that insists Washington’s Speaker of the House, Frank Chopp is missing part of that which makes him a man (Actually, there is a pair of said parts and they are not socks or trousers.) suggests legislators could be broken into caucuses that have yet to be made official, the intoxicant caucuses. From the blog entry:

“Chopp, who grew up in Bremerton, WA, likes to describe himself as a ‘Bremerton Democrat’ (translation: ‘I’m almost like Norm Dicks. Besides, I don’t smoke pot; I drink beer. Vote for me, please!’), presumably to distance himself from the ‘effete Seattle liberal’ image that scares him so badly . . .”

It’s not the first time “Bremerton Democrat” has meant that the speaker drinks beer. In 2007 Josh Feit at “The Stranger” wrote:

“First elected to the state house from Seattle’s 43rd District in 1994, Chopp, who likes to refer to himself as a ‘Bremerton Democrat’—meaning a beer-drinking, blue-collar, populist 26th District Democrat, as opposed to an effete, latte-sipping, pot-smoking 43rd District Democrat . . .

In both references Bremerton’s preference for beer over marijuana is, I guess, intended as an insult of sorts. Frankly, I know many people who think “beer” is probably being too general and too kind to the “We’re working on it” city. A random sample of stereotypical assumptions freely offered by co-workers within earshot led to the irrefutable conclusion that the beer of choice in Bremerton is anything that comes in a 40-ounce bottle, because it is more easily pilfered from the Sev.

We could be high (And by “high” I mean “wrong.”), of course, so we ask you dear readers to come up with your own thoughts for what the intoxicant of choice in Bremerton is. While we’re at it, let’s include Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo and Port Orchard. Don’t feel limited to legal substances, because I know that would be a particular challenge for Port Orchard. Remember, Seattle is claiming marijuana (despite there being not a single White Castle restaurant in the city) and possessing marijuana will get you more than a stern reprimand that kills your buzz.

The Danger of Blackballing the Moderates

You commenters resurrected an old post and began discussing whether there’s room for moderates in either party. The practice of dredging up old posts is, by the way, awesome.

Here you get two stories about party members being punched from within.

The first is a great read about New York Republican Dede Scozzafava, whose last name has become a verb, thanks to the work on one side by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and on the other by the Obama White House.

The second story relates to U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, who voted against the health care reform bill. The piece points out that Baird hasn’t ruled out supporting the bill in the future, but he wanted information about costs before he would vote “yes.”

I generally don’t like giving away endings, but the last two paragraphs in the first story, the one from the Washington Post, probably sums up best the danger in insisting on party purity tests.

From the story:

Those conservative forces now descend on Florida, where former House speaker Marco Rubio, who on Monday received the endorsement of the Club for Growth, might shove aside centrist Gov. Charlie Crist, who was once on John McCain’s short list for running mate. And Scozzafava has a warning.

“There is a lot of us who consider ourselves Republicans, of the Party of Lincoln,” she said, her face now flush. “If they don’t want us with them, we’re going to work against them.”

Bremerton Not Big Enough For Daugs?

Former candidate for state representative and Bremerton mayor, and 35th District Democratic party leader Daryl Daugs has lots on his mind. On Facebook he posts:

“Daryl Daugs is contemplating a position in D.C.”

Personally I’m waiting to move to the nation’s capitol when they move it to the Pacific Northwest. I mean, really, have you ever been to D.C. in the summer? Seriously.

Steves Might Ask for Your Vote in 2012

Back in December when the rumors that U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, might get a cabinet post were beginning to fade, we nonetheless mentioned that one person supposedly interested in replacing him was renowned traveler Rick Steves of Edmonds.

The rumors are back.

This time is speculating that Inslee wants to run for governor in 2012.

Everybody knows that Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01) has long had his eye on the governor’s mansion, and is widely expected to give up his House seat to run for our state’s top office in 2012.

I never got an answer from Steves about the rumors, but horsesass did. Well, it’s from a publicist, so that’s only kind of a response.

This, of course, presumes Gov. Chris Gregoire doesn’t seek another term, which might not be a valid presumption.

26th District Grows By One

State Rep. Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, was optimistic the last legislative session would end on time for him to see his new baby born. He was right by a long shot. A copy of his message was shared with 26th District Democrats Friday. I’m not one of those, but I saw the message. Now you can too.

Jennifer and I are pleased to share the exciting news regarding the birth of our second little girl. Despite Sophie’s desire to name her “KoKo” her name is TESS ANTONIA KILMER.

She was born Thursday (7/23) at 7:23 pm. She was 8 lbs and 4 ounces and 19 inches long. The baby is doing well, and after going into quadruple overtime with the pregnancy, mom is happy to welcome Tess to the world. We’re all thrilled to see our family grow!

Did you know former Kitsap Sun reporter Chad Lewis was named by his sisters? I bet you didn’t. It’s a great story. If I get his permission I’ll share it with you.

Party Divisions

There is a lot you can read these days about divisions within the Republican party, primarily on a national level, with Sarah Palin seeming to often be at the focal point.

Locally, however, the most pronounced division is within the 35th District Democratic Party. You may recall that in 2006 there was an effort to replace incumbent state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, with Kyle Taylor Lucas. Sheldon received 57 percent of the vote in the Primary, which at the time was a pick-a-party affair. If you as a voter picked “Democrat,” you had to choose between Sheldon and Lucas. If you picked “Republican” you only had Mark Shattuck as an option. Yes, Sheldon won easily, but it technically wouldn’t have qualified as a landslide. And there are still many Democrats who would love to see Sheldon lose at least one of his elected positions.

So I was somewhat surprised when I read a blog post on the official site for the 35th Legislative District Democrats. With Daryl Daugs’ resignation as chairman so he can focus on his run for Bremerton mayor, Nancy Frank became chairwoman. In a post to fellow Democrats she wrote:

“If we are to maintain a strong Democratic representation in at the state level we must assure the re-elections of Representatives Kathy Haigh and Fred Finn, along with Senator Tim Sheldon.”

As of this reading there was one comment in response to the post, submitted by a reader calling himself Mike Mosbarger:

“I am a Democrat because of the issues that I believe in, I will support candidates that support those beliefs. I am not convinced that Senator Sheldon supports those beliefs.”

Could this be a sign that Democrats would support Lucas (She was the press contact for Green Party congressional district six candidate Gary Murrell in 2008.) or another Democrat more in line with party basics than Sheldon should he decide to run again in 2010?

Well, here’s one reason backing Sheldon now might make sense to some in the party, even if they don’t like most of his views. Absent a successful court challenge, the 2010 election will be top-two again. This has the effect of everyone in the district being able to vote for anyone, not just for those in the same party. Remember that 57-43 percent win for Sheldon in the primary? In the general election, when everyone in the district could vote for him, Sheldon received 72 percent. Is there any reason to suspect that Democrats would have any better luck in replacing Sheldon under the top-two system than under the pick-a-party? If there is, I don’t see it.

From the Archives: 2005 Condo Loan Approvals

Because there has been some call for more details from 2005, here are a couple of stories about the county and city approval of the Harborside loan contract. They were both approved the same week, the county on Monday and the city on Wednesday. I found the Bremerton story in the archives you can access. For whatever reason the county story isn’t on there, so I grabbed it out of the archives we can get to.

Kitsap County

Feb. 14, 2005:

Construction might begin in May on 78 upscale residential condominiums on the downtown Bremerton waterfront. The project got a boost Monday from the Kitsap County commissioners.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to back up $22 million of $42 million in loans the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority will seek to finance the units, known as the Harborside Condominiums.

The condos will be housed in two six-story buildings to go up in the existing parking areas between Second and Fourth streets north of the Kitsap Conference Center.

About half already have been reserved by buyers, including three of the four $1.2 million penthouses, said Housing Authority head Norm McLoughlin.

The units will range downward from that figure to a low of $308,000, he said. All will have views of the water. The authority is developing them as the city of Bremerton’s Community Renewal Agency, said spokeswoman Sarah Lee, and are the third leg of its “$500 million public/private effort to bring new jobs and businesses, tourists and residents downtown,” she said. The first two were the Kitsap Conference Center and the Norm Dicks Government Center.

McLoughlin said the conference center brings visitors, the government center brings employees and now the condos will bring residents downtown, and make it “a 24-hour city.”

The county’s Monday action shows the commissioners have determined “that it will be in the best interests of the county to participate with the authority in financing of the project,”he said.

The county agrees to make loans as and when necessary to support debt service payments on authority bonds in the amount of approximately $22 million.”

The county is not actually providing the financing for the project. Bremerton City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on another $2 million in contingency loan funds for the project.

McLoughlin said the 78 units are just the first phase of the ultimate plan. They are to be followed by 122 additional units in two larger buildings on the same site, he said. The total project cost is $120 million.

“We’re looking forward to getting this back on the tax rolls,” McLoughlin said in thanking the commissioners for their action. Private buyers will pay property taxes on the completed project.

Lee said Portland-based Sienna Architects designed the condos “on the scale of premium high-rise condos in Vancouver, B.C., and Seattle, with wide spans and floor-to-ceiling windows.”


On Feb. 16, 2005, the “Bremerton City Council unanimously approved a $2 million loan contingency agreement to help fund the Harborside Condominiums waterfront development should its financing fall through.”

Read that story here.

Blogger Puts Inslee Name Out for 2012

A Washington Education Association blogger who attended a conference Bainbridge Island Congressman Jay Inslee spoke at puts his name on a list of two as potential governor candidates in 2012. The other name is fellow Democrat Lisa Brown, Senate majority leader.

The blogger writes, “That speaks to our capacity.” I’m not sure what that means.

Any other suggestions three years away?

Bozeman Leaving City for Port CEO Job

Check the Sun’s main page for most of the latest information on the resignation of Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman. There’s no scandal afoot. The mayor is taking a new job as CEO at the Port of Bremerton.

The story on the main page has information about what will happen in Bremerton and at the port.

I just got off the phone with George Behan, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks’ chief of staff. He said Dicks was surprised by the news. Behan said he was in an Interior Appropriations Subcommittee hearing with the congressman when he got the message on his Blackberry. He passed the news along to Dicks in between questions of the head of the U.S. Forest Service.

“He was absolutely stunned,” Behan said of Dicks.

One of our wonders was whether this was hiring was done with someone pulling strings from above, but every indication I have is that few people knew this was going to happen and were as surprised as we were to learn about. The port, in the midst of an effort to be more transparent, managed to keep this one under wraps pretty well.

And from what we can tell, state law gives the port every right to do just that when it comes to hiring someone.

Two Wins for Rolfes

A bill to let crime victims weigh in when the criminal is eligible for work release passed both houses of the Legislature. So did a bill that would make National Guard members deployed overseas eligible for county benefits they currently don’t get. Both bills were sponsored in the House by state Rep. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island.

The work release bill was one she tried during the last session. It sailed through the House but never made it to the Senate floor for a vote. This time she got state Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D-Bainbridge Island, to sponsor a companion bill in the Senate. Rolfes’ bill passed 96-0 in the House and Thursday it made it to the Senate floor, where it received a 45-0 vote.

The bill was written at the request of a constituent who had been a crime victim. The constituent didn’t like that she didn’t have any formal way of noting her objection when someone who had been convicted of a crime was eligible for work release and was going to be working close to the constituent’s home. Rolfes’ bill was given more detail between the time it died in the Legislature and when it was written this time around.

The National Guard bill had a similar history. It sailed through the House in 2008, but didn’t get a vote in the Senate. Rolfes got state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, to sponsor a companion bill. In the House her bill received a 96-0 vote, then passed 48-0 in the Senate Tuesday.

The National Guard bill, which also applies to reserves, is a reflection of our modern wars. The bill expands the definition of the term “veteran,” which previously didn’t include guard are reserves.

Both bills await the governor’s signature, which isn’t likely to happen in any hurry.

Speaker Bails for Croatia? WaMu Employees to Get Punished for Staying with Company

State Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, sent me an e-mail with a note reading “Congrats to Frank.” I’ll attach the e-mail after the jump. It reports House Speaker Frank Chopp is taking an ambassadorship to Croatia.

I’ve already been duped successfully today on the rumor that “Lost” was going to end this season. It’s not. So I was prepared for this to be a hoax and given that I can’t find the story anywhere else, I presume this is an April Fool’s joke.

The reporter named in the story, Drew DeSilver from the Seattle Times, does have a story that isn’t so funny today. In Congress’ rush to penalize those at AIG who received bonuses after the company was bailed out by the federal government, the legislative body may also end up punishing Washington Mutual employees who agreed to stay on with the company while it transitions to Chase.

No ex-WaMu workers contacted by The Seattle Times were willing to be identified in print.

The first employee quoted, scheduled to be laid off in June, said she and her husband are counting on her bonus check to pay for continued health-insurance coverage for themselves and their two children, as well as to cover other expenses until they find new work.

Her husband, who works elsewhere, also expects to be laid off this summer.

“I realize there’s anger on the part of a lot of people” over the AIG bonuses, she said.

“But I’m a very, very middle-class employee. I’m not living a lavish lifestyle.”

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