Tag Archives: Bill Driscoll

6th District forum schedule change

A forum for 6th Congressional District candidates that was to have been hosted by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce Sept. 26 has been canceled, because only one of the two candidates would have been able to attend, Coreen Haydock, the chamber’s executive director announced Monday.
Haydock declined to say which candidate would have been the no-show. Derek Kilmer, who was the lone Democrat in the primary, is running against Republican Bill Driscoll, who beat out four Republicans and one Independent candidate. Kilmer and Driscoll are vying for the seat that longtime Congressman Norm Dicks, a Democrat, will vacate when he retires at the end of the year.
The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce will host a debate between Kilmer and Driscoll from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at Peninsula High School, 14105 Purdy Drive Northwest Gig Harbor, WA 98332. An RSVP via the chamber’s website, www.gigharborchamber.net, is requested. For information, call 253-851-6865.
On Wednesday, the Port Orchard chamber will host a forum among candidates in the 26th and 35th state Legislative races from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at the Port Orchard Pavilion, 701 Bay St., in downtown Port Orchard.
There is no cost, but RSVPs are appreciated; 360-876-3505.

6th Congressional District endorsement talk

Typically we shy away from making big splashes out of endorsements. By the end of the campaign there will be so many that it’s usually better to just let the candidates produce a list, which is what most of them do at some point any way. That’s how you knew that Chris Henry endorsed Charlotte Garrido. (It was NOT the Kitsap Sun’s Chris Henry.)

A couple in the 6th District Congressional Race are worth mentioning. I’m kicking myself now for not mentioning former Republican U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton’s endorsement of Republican candidate Bill Driscoll in July when it happened. I have two reasons to regret that call. One is for the reason the (Tacoma) News Tribune called attention to it. Gorton and fellow Republican Tom Huff both served on the state’s redistricting commission and split their allegiances in the Congressional race. Gorton, as mentioned, endorsed Driscoll. Huff endorsed Jesse Young.

The other reason to mention it then was because Young had listed Gorton as one of his endorsements in his 2010 bid for Congress. Gorton switched horses, as it were.

On Wednesday Democratic candidate Derek Kilmer announced what his supporters certainly have to consider significant news. On Sunday I was interviewed by a couple of local knuckleheads who produce a weekly online radio show. They asked me if Driscoll’s military experience was a plus for him. It’s an easy “yes” on the question, and it’s one of the things Driscoll emphasizes, the other two being businessman and non-politician.

Kilmer, in landing the endorsement of retired Washington Army and Air National Guard Major General Timothy Lowenberg, can hope to soften whatever impact Driscoll’s military experience is having. Lowenberg will chair Veterans for Kilmer, going with the candidate to veterans meetings.

“I am supporting Derek because of his intellectual rigor, work ethic and diligence in making well-informed, fact-based decisions on policy issues,” said Lowenberg in the statement issued by the campaign. “He is knowledgeable about foreign and domestic security matters and committed to serving those who serve our nation in uniform. He will be a Congressman our service members and their loved ones can count on – and will reflect great credit on the citizens of his district.”

In August Lowenberg contributed $500 to Republican Rob McKenna in the governor’s race.

Bill Driscoll may be optimistic, but so much favors Derek Kilmer

There is a new poll in the right column. I see someone has already voted in it.

Speaking of surveys, an earlier post referred to survey work done by Republican Bill Driscoll, running to replace Democrat Norm Dicks in the 6th Congressional District. His campaign didn’t release the questions, but sent a fundraising pitch suggesting the polls show he has a shot.

Another poll with a pretty huge sample size (40 percent) was the 2012 Primary. In that one state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, polled about as well as anyone might have expected. Out of seven candidates he pulled in 53.4 percent of the votes. Sure, Kilmer was the only Democrat. But for Driscoll to have the shot he thinks he has, he has to hope the anti-Barack Obama sentiment in the 6th District is overwhelming, that Mitt Romney manages to have people excited by November and that people get to know Driscoll by then, too. And not just get to know him, to like him more than they like Kilmer.

It’s not impossible, and turnout for the primary was low. But you also can’t assume that those for whom Jesse Young or Doug Cloud was the first choice will automatically go with Driscoll in the general election. Most will, but the question will be whether there would be enough. Recent electoral history suggests Kilmer’s percentages in the general election might even go up from where they ended in the primary.

Driscoll is campaigning as a “Non-Politician.” It’s one of the titles on his website, between “Marine Corps Veteran” and “Businessman.” Running as an outsider can work sometimes, when the general public is mad at the incumbents. The public was mad at Congressional incumbents in 2006 and in 2010. They probably will be again in 2014.

In this race there are no incumbents. The Democratic candidate, though, has a political record. Unfortunately for Driscoll, Kilmer’s record is not as polarizing as, say, Nancy Pelosi.

On Monday Kilmer was recognized by a Tacoma company that makes residential wood boilers. They acknowledged Kilmer for his help in getting regulatory prohibitions against those boilers removed. Washington had been the only state where wood boilers couldn’t be sold. The result of Kilmer’s efforts with state regulators, said Greenwood Clean Energy’s president, Michael Kuehner, was the company took work that had been occurring in Canada and Mexico and brought it to Washington. That’s 16 jobs, with an outlook for double that, according to the press release Kilmer’s campaign sent out.

Over the next three months, look for Kilmer to repeat that story, and the one about the theater and apartment development in Bremerton, and the new hospital in Gig Harbor.

Driscoll has a different kind of record. He will tell you that he volunteered to rejoin the Marines long after he had to. That will certainly play well with many. He will also ally himself more with Republican fiscal ideals, which again will play well with many.

Driscoll also says he will go after bipartisan solutions, but Kilmer makes the case he has a record of working across the aisle in Olympia. And Kilmer’s focus on business certainly casts him in a different light than, say it again, Nancy Pelosi.

If you go to Washingtonvotes.org, you can parse out Kilmer’s record.

During the 2011-12 session there were more than 2,000 bills introduced in each chamber. More than 700 passed and there were nearly 1,100 votes. Of those, only 55 were decided by a margin of 10 or less. I picked that number as the marker where a single vote is most important. Kilmer voted against his party on seven of those votes, 12.7 percent of the time. By comparison, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, (He’s the one running against Democrat Maria Cantwell for her Senate seat. He’s also the one who had unkind words for a reporter from Publicola. Look it up.) voted against his party four times in those same 55 votes, or 7.3 percent. Tim Sheldon, D-Shelton, known as a maverick for voting against the majority of his party often, voted against his party 81.8 percent of the close votes. I guess that means if Sheldon were a Republican he would have voted against his party 18.9 percent of the time.

In the House I upped the vote difference to 20 or less. There were 158 of those. Republican Jan Angel voted against her party 12.7 percent of the time, same percentage as Kilmer. Democrat Larry Seaquist went against party 4.4 percent, and Democrats Sherry Appleton and Kathy Haigh each voted against their party three times, 1.9 percent.

Of the 51 bills Kilmer introduced as the prime sponsor, 41 had Republican co-sponsors.

Here’s another stat Driscoll will have to overcome. In the two previous Congressional election years that were run with the Top Two format, Norm Dicks ran against multiple candidates in both. In each primary he topped 50 percent. Worse for Driscoll, Dicks’ percentage went up in each general election.

The penny in the picture tells you why Derek Kilmer’s name appears before Bill Driscoll’s in the poll on the right. In the past I’ve gone alphabetic, but decided to flip a penny here. Heads it’s Driscoll. Tails it’s Kilmer. You see what happened.

If you read on you can read the press release Kilmer’s campaign sent about Greenwood Clean Energy’s praise for Kilmer.

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Bill Driscoll says survey shows he has a shot in 6th if people know his views – Updated

Bill Driscoll, Republican candidate for the 6th District Congressional seat, sent a copy of a memo suggesting he’s got a shot at beating Democrat Derek Kilmer.

I responded to the email asking if I could have a copy of the questions Moore Information asked, the ones that led to the following paragraph:

“Importantly, after a series of questions on the Kilmer and Driscoll records, Driscoll moves out to a 9 point lead over Kilmer (48% to 39%.) The movement in the ballot test is almost entirely attributable to Driscoll’s improvement with Independents after they heard messages about each candidate. In fact, on the educated ballot Driscoll led 53% to 25% among Independents.”

UPDATE: Driscoll’s camp declined to offer those, saying the the survey was mostly for internal campaign purposes. Kilmer’s campaign declined to comment.

It is worth noting that normally I don’t make much out of surveys that come from campaigns. Since hardly anyone who isn’t affiliated with a campaign polls our area, that pretty much means I seldom do anything with surveys. Without the questions I have no idea the reliability of the data on this letter, which includes a request for donations. If Kilmer releases a similar letter referencing a survey, I’ll post that one to be fair.

The entire email follows.

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Congressional race even in money between Kilmer, Driscoll

FEC filings are in for the second quarter of 2012 and Democrat Derek Kilmer and Republican Bill Driscoll far outpace the other candidates, which is not a surprise to any of them.

Kilmer issued a press release saying he raised more than $455,000 in the second quarter, putting his overall total at $$816,142. Again, much of Kilmer’s money is from individual donations, but he picked up a fair chunk this time around from PACs and other committees.

The bulk of Driscoll’s money comes from his own savings. The candidate has contributed $520,000 of his own money and picked up $312,395.72 from individuals. He has another $1,000 from PACs and a few hundred from other sources, putting his total at $834,032.93. Driscoll has spent about $122,000, while Kilmer is right around $100,000.

Jesse Young has raised about $141,000 with $88,000 coming from the candidate himself.

Doug Cloud has given his campaign about $53,000 of the near $72,000 he has raised. No new information was available on Stephan Brodhead, who originally loaned his campaigned $133,000, or David “Ike” Eichner, who in the last FEC filing had no money raised.

No information was available about Eric Arentz, an independent.

We’ll dig more into who’s contributing in the coming days.

Whether the money will matter will be a compelling question in the coming days on the Republican side.

Clearly Driscoll hasn’t been hurt by it. He’s airing commercials and has picked up some significant endorsements. But Cloud went into this race with the highest name recognition and Young only stopped campaigning between 2010 and this election between the 2010 primary and the general election that year, if that long.

Kilmer raises money, pushes pie, at Bremerton fundraiser

Steve Rice introduces the candidate Derek Kilmer, who waits in the shadows.

Derek Kilmer, state senator and candidate for Congress, held his Kitsap kickoff fundraiser at the offices of Rice Fergus Miller Tuesday evening. It was hard to do the count, but I’d guess there were as many as 200 people there, give or take a few. Among them were several of the same people who attended the Rob McKenna event. The suggested donation was $50.

Kilmer is among seven candidates seeking to replace fellow Democrat Norm Dicks in Congress. All but one, Indepent Eric Arentz, of the other candidates are Republicans: Stephan Brodhead, Doug Cloud, Bill Driscoll, David “Ike” Eichner and Jesse Young.

Jordan Schrader of the (Tacoma) News Tribune wrote a nice profile of the race, notable for former state GOP Chairman Chris Vance’s take on the race.

From the story:

“It still includes downtown Tacoma and more areas of the state that elect Democrats than (elect) Republicans,” former state GOP chairman Chris Vance said. “It would be a pretty big upset for a Republican to win this race.”

Vance – who knows something about tough races for Congress, having lost to U.S. Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma in 2000 – said he had written off Republicans’ chances in the 6th until Driscoll decided to run. With a well-funded candidate, his party has a shot – maybe a 20 percent chance, Vance figures.

On Tuesday Steve Rice said Kilmer is smart, well meaning (“He’s going to make the right decision.) and decent, that he would be proud to have Kilmer as his representative.

Kilmer, in addition the stories about his Norwegian grandparents and unwittingly knocking on the door of Norm Dicks’ mother, gave his vision for what government could do. He doesn’t see government as a job creator, but thinks it helps the private sector create jobs. Evidence: The parking garage in Bremerton, which led to a 10-screen movie theater.

Kilmer said jobs are needed locally. “I don’t want our community’s top export to be our kids.” He said he doesn’t want government to be big, but he doesn’t want it to be hindered by the “belief that government is too incompetent to do anything right.”

The Gig Harbor Democrat said he sat with the Seattle Times editorial board earlier in the day. He said he wouldn’t name names, but that one of his opponents said, “Education is overrated.” He disagrees. Let’s see if the Seattle Times tells us who said it and in what context.

Kilmer also said members of Congress should be working to solve problems, not counting successes by how bad the other party looks. The most common question he gets asked, he said, is why he’s running when Congress is so broken. People also ask him how he can run when he has two young daughters at home. (They’re 2 and 6.) He said he’s running for his daughters, and specifically because Congress is broken.

Kilmer also stated his commitment to ways government can serve people, drawing on the experience of his grandmother. Her husband (Kilmer’s grandfather) died 31 years ago. Kilmer said her life would have looked quite a bit different had she not had Medicare and Social Security. He also said no one should go broke by getting sick.

State Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, finished the evening saying if Kilmer wins she’ll feel the same as she did when her brother left for college — sad to see him go but knowing he will be doing great things. She spoke of his reputation among state Senate members in both parties as being respectful and humble, that he is adept at gathering allies from both sides because of those traits.

It being a Kilmer event, there was pie.

Fifth Republican joins Congressional race

A fifth Republican announced today he’ll run for Congress in the 6th District.

Bill Driscoll, a former Marine who has also been in the forest products business, issued a statement saying he put $500,000 of his own money to put him even with Democrat Derek Kilmer’s “$350,000 in special interest money.” (For more about Derek Kilmer’s money, read our story from Monday.)

Driscoll’s statement says career politicians have failed, that he would focus on jobs, a strong defense, making sure veterans get the benefits they’ve been promised and balancing the federal budget.

Filing week begins May 14. The entire Driscoll statement follows:

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