Writings and observations

Over on the Horse’s Ass blog a commenter reported on a Google experiment he ran, to see on how many web pages the word “Bush” – as in President George W. – showed up on the web site of Republican Senate candidate Mike McGavick. The answer was: none.

This seemed an intriguing tidbit, so we checked it out. We ran the check and got the same result. Then we switched to Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell’s campaign site and ran the same search. The answer this time: 11 pages.

Is this is a trend?

If you move to what may be the most strongly contested House race in Washington, in the 8th district, the campaign site for Republican incumbent Dave Reichert has 105 pages with “Bush” in it – supposedly; but most of those seem to be empty placekeeper pages. And try searching for “Bush” or “George Bush” using the campaign’s own search tool, and you get 0 responses. Try the Google experiment on the site of Reichert’s Democratic opponent, Darcy Burner, and you get 35 hits on what mostly seem to be real pages.

The campaign web site for 5th District Representative Cathy McMorris turned up no hits. In the 4th District, Republican Doc Hastings’ site did bring up eight Bush pages.

In the case of Oregon’s lone Republican U.S. representative, Greg Walden, a Google search says his campaign site mentions “Bush” only once, in a reprint of a newspaper article.

There tend to be more references on the campaign web sites of Republicans in red Idaho.

But without pressing the point too far, it does seem reasonable to say that in Washington and Oregon, a number of Republicans are stepping cautiously in linking themselves to the White House these days.

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Oregon Washington

Not sure what this means, whether good or bad. But it does seem noteowrthy that when Washington Governor Christine Gregoire got herself a Democratic-controlled legislature with which she worked relatively closely and appeared to get on well, and in a short and efficient session, she nonetheless kept her veto action highly active.

Not sure, as indicated, what this means. But she has so far vetoed or partially vetoed at least 23 pieces of legislation this year.

It was a wide range, too. Some are simply pieces of fiscal bills. But others are much broader. Here’s the list, taken from information on the governor’s website:

1439 Relating to electronic and web-based bidding. Signed / Partial Veto* 03/31/06
2381 Relating to allowing the reintroduction of beavers into the historic habitat of the species. Vetoed 03/28/06
2418 Relating to affordable housing. Signed / Partial Veto 03/30/06
2575 Relating to establishing a state health technology assessment program. Signed / Partial Veto 03/29/06
2673 Relating to creating the local infrastructure financing tool demonstration program. Signed / Partial Veto 03/23/06
2688 Relating to the law enforcement officers’ and fire fighters’ retirement system plan 1. Signed / Partial Veto 03/30/06
2973 Relating to creating a career and technical high school graduation option for students meeting state standards in fundamental academic content areas. Signed / Partial Veto 03/20/06
3079 Relating to health care services. Signed / Partial Veto 03/27/06
3115 Relating to establishing a foster parent critical support and retention program. Signed / Partial Veto 03/30/06
3127 Relating to education. Signed / Partial Veto 03/20/06
3159 Relating to the excise taxation of food products. Signed / Partial Veto 03/30/06
3261 Relating to strengthening the review process by the indeterminate sentence review board by adding two members to the board and allowing victims to provide input at board hearings involving offenders sentenced under RCW 9.94A.712. Signed / Partial Veto 03/29/06
6234 Relating to insurance fraud. Signed / Partial Veto 03/28/06
6241 Relating to transportation funding and appropriations. Signed / Partial Veto 03/31/06
6330 Relating to the establishment of the Washington trade corps fellowship program. Vetoed* 03/31/06
6369 Relating to excise tax exemptions for water services provided by small water systems. Vetoed 03/29/06
6384 Relating to the capital budget. Signed / Partial Veto 03/31/06
6386 Relating to fiscal matters. Signed / Partial Veto 03/31/06
6411 Relating to collective bargaining agreements. Vetoed 03/29/06
6412 Relating to superior court judges. Vetoed 03/29/06
6428 Relating to providing electronic product recycling through manufacturer financed opportunities. Signed / Partial Veto 03/24/06
6555 Relating to research and services for special purpose districts. Signed / Partial Veto 03/29/06
6781 Relating to environmental remediation. Vetoed 03/29/06

Busy, busy, even while a huge load of other bills were signed.

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Washington

Gooding, Idaho’s namesake was Frank Gooding, a governor of Idaho around the turn of the century and one of the state’s most ferocious Republicans ever. And one of the founders, as a practical matter, of what is now the Idaho Republican Party. You’d expect that the place named after him – both county and its seat – would be Republican. It most certainly is. The only tinge of Democrats you’ll find here is the county’s link, as part of a legislative district, to Blaine County, which outvotes it and sends those Democratic legislative delegations to Boise.

Gooding is a farm town and food processing place, a whole lot like many of the small towns in southern Idaho. It is conservative Republican.

So how is it that an apparently lively chapter of Drinking Liberally is running there?

It meets on Fridays at Rowdy’s Pub and Grill. And it is lively enough to have scheduled a list of guests running forward to May 12, including a batch of statewide candidates include Jerry Brady (for governor) and Larry La Rocco (for lieutenant governor).

Boise and Moscow chapters are easier to fathom. Gooding takes us into a whole new plane . . .

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Idaho