"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.


The single most striking number on the regional quarterly congressional campaign finance reports may have been this: $1,568,720. That’s the amount Mike Erickson, who ran against Democratic incumbent Darlene Hooley last year, says his campaign remains in debt. (Consider for a moment the pressure for hard and immediate fundraising he would have been under as an incumbent had he won. Consider the difficulty of it now.)

All right – according to the FEC paperwork, he owes it to himself, at least as a direct matter. But is it not forgiven, or wiped off, for some particular reason?

Apart from that, the most striking thing to emerge from the Federal Election Commission database – the day after the filing deadline – may have been an absence: In Idaho, only two people, incumbent Republican Representative Mike Simpson and 2006 candidate Sheila Sorensen, have filed their second quarterlies. (Simpson reports a modest $74,789 on hand, but better than the $219,597 debt Sorensen reports.) There’s no filing yet in the database from any of the active or prospective 1st district candidates in this cycle.

Nor much from challengers in Washington and Oregon. The region’s House leader for cash on hand – and no debt – is Washington Democrat Brian Baird, at $817,165. Oregon Democrats David Wu and Earl Blumenauer and Republican Greg Walden, and Washington Democrat Adam Smith all have more than $400,000 on hand. The rest have smaller amounts, mostly somewhat over $100,000.

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