The Weekend, Debate Comment, Erratum

Dear Group,

There is lots to do this weekend. I received my ballot in the mail today, Thursday. Nearly all registered voters in Washington State will have theirs by Saturday. “Ballot drop” puts all the campaigns in Get Out the Vote (GOTV) mode. 

Much of GOTV mode is spend nudging folks who have already been contacted to actually fill out and turn in their ballots. There are several fun facts worth memorizing and talking up with everyone who’ll listen:

1) You don’t need to make a choice in every race to submit a ballot (It’s probably a good idea to have the right candidates in mind in the area you are canvassing so you can offer suggestions if it comes up.)

2) You don’t need a stamp. Just put it in your mailbox before the post-person comes by and off it will go. (Or take it to the dropbox at a library.)

3) Once you vote the campaigns can learn you voted and will quit knocking on your door within a couple days! 🙂

4) You can check to see if your ballot has been received by going to

This is where the rubber meets the road after so many months of preparation. It seems hard to imagine there are still people out their who haven’t studied up yet, folks who aren’t sure if they’re going to bother to vote, but there are. I keep meeting them on their doorsteps. Meet them, smile, nudge them. Canvass. Don’t wake up on November 7 and wish you had done more. On Saturday (check out the detail in the box above) we’re headed to Deer Park. Join us. Check out this and many, many other opportunities at: under the “Events” pull-down or, more directly, right here

Or, sign up with your favorite State Democratic candidate. There are competitive races in all Districts. GOTV canvassing for any Democratic candidate is likely to help all of them. It is all good.

The Debate Comments:

I’ve attended two Lisa Brown/CMR debates in two days, one at the Fox and one with Rotary 21 at the Spokane Club. They both get gold stars for participation, for managing to answer questions on the fly without a major stumble. From my very partisan viewpoint, Lisa looked relaxed, poised, and in command. At both debates McMorris Rodgers’ lead-line was how fast the economy growing. Excitement! Optimism! The economy today certainly is fired up. It is fired up as though one started with a nice warm fire in the fireplace with a few sticks to add on and then, instead of the sticks, you threw a gallon of gasoline on it. To me the economy feels like early 2008. Wages are a little up, but so is inflation, the stock market is wobbling around, and Trump’s trade wars have everyone on edge who isn’t part of the Fox News faithful. When the crisis comes, as it always does, Trump, McMorris Rodgers and the Trickle-downers won’t have the tools soften it. They have already blown a massive hole in the budget. They have no wiggle room. McMorris Rodgers seems to think the economy can and will roar on forever and produce jobs, jobs, jobs. Somehow that will save us from a fate from which the economy has never before been spared–the next downturn of the business cycle…or worse. 

Twice in two days in two debates McMorris Rodgers boasted of her bipartisan legislative successes. Here is a transcript of my audio recording of her words at the Spokane Club on October 18:

I’m proud of a record of leadership and results…all the legislation I’ve introduced that has passed the House and Congress has enjoyed bipartisan support. I’ve had 10 bills that have passed, five signed into law, everything from forestry to agriculture to small businesses to healthcare to helping kids with disabilities. I am proud to be someone who works across the aisle.

That statement is damnably difficult to fact check, since she doesn’t specify the time period. Is it all fourteen years? If so, then, really, just ten bills? On the other hand, if she means the current two-year Congress, the 115th. then things don’t add up. See During the 115th Congress, it sure looks to me as though McMorris Rodgers did not introduce (personally “sponsor”) a single bill. She co-sponsored three that became law, none of them in the least bit controversial. Click and see for yourself. Click around and see if you can discover anything I couldn’t. I don’t see the evidence of leadership in bill passage that she claims. I see a cheerleader for the Republican national agenda.


After Wednesday”s (October 17) email entitled Citizens United Comes to Spokane County several readers replied and noted I had written Avista Utilities where I should have written Avsita Corp. Technically, Avista Utilities is a highly regulated utility that is a subsection of Avista Corp. As a utility it operates under different accounting rules than the Avista Corp. Avista Utilities cannot legally contribute to a PAC (Political Action Committee) or a candidate. Avista Corp. maintains accounting that keeps Avista Utility earnings separate from its political speech activities, that is, Avista Utilities cannot claim political speech as a cost of its doing business as a utility when asking for a rate hike. Still, some part of Avista Utilities’ net earnings from our utility payments accrues to Avista Corp, and thanks to the Citizens United ruling Avista Corp can spend its money on political speech. For me, Avista Corp’s $200,000 independent ad buy in favor of two candidates whose campaigns have generated less than $100,000 each is a disgusting example of partisanship in favor of the party that engineered Citizens United. It is a local reminder of the current Republican Party’s thirst for power.

Come on out this weekend and canvass. Your country needs you.

Keep to the high ground,