Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: September 7, 2007”

No satisfaction

Darlene Hooley
Darlene Hooley

Acommenter had some questions about our account of last week's Brian Baird town hall meeting at Vancouver - it didn't seem so raucous to that person. It certainly did to us.

By way of comparison, we'd suggest viewing a town hall meeting at Salem yesterday, held by Representative Darlene Hooley.

Around 100 to 150 people attended, and mostly they were a good deal more supportive. But that's relative: There was a little shouting here and there - related to one kind of weaponry there, she was (after saying she was unfamiliar with some of the allegations) angrily asked, "how can you not know?"

Unlike Baird, Hooley remains staunchly anti-war, from her initial vote against the war to more recent votes for an exit from the country. "I won't allow another blank check for this war," she said. "I'm in favor of a rapid end to this war . . . We need to bring our troops home," and drew some applause on that.

Even so, this was a roiling audience. One Vietnam vet said that "I am more angry now than I have ever been with my government," and added that "I am angry with you" - for not being more visibly anti-war, for not delivering more speeches and showing up in the papers more often on the subject.

Several people called for impeachment of the president and vice president, and seemed no more than marginally appeased when she said, "impeachment is in the constitution and should never be off the table for any president." An attempt to invade Iran would probably result in impeachment action, she suggested. The crowd - and it seemed to be mostly uniform in view - did not seem to entirely think that was good enough, but she fended off open revolt.

Should note again, here, that this was in Salem, a place traditionally conservative and Republican (less so these day, true); and Hooley's district is politically marginal, maybe a little more Republican on balance than Democratic. But she's no doubt getting a good feel for where things are these days.

Balloting I-960

Washington courtsThere will be a temptation on the part of Washington I-960's supporters - where is that email from Tim Eyman; they're running late - to make of today's state Supreme Court ruling a larger endorsement than it is. You can hear it coming: Court backs I-960! Court upholds I-960!

What the court said in Futurewise v. Reed is that the initiative can go on the ballot. That's pretty much it.

The court's conclusion:

Appellants challenge the constitutionality of I-960. Such a challenge is not subject to preelection review. While the disputed sections of the initiative may be subject to constitutional challenge, if passed, the initiative does not exceed the scope of the legislative power. The initiative therefore may be placed on the general election ballot.

Elsewhere, the court specifically says that in this decision "we do not review the validity of I-960." And seems to leave open, almost to suggest, several lines of attack if it passes.

Will it pass? It might; but we suspect the public hasn't formed much of a view of it yet, since it sounds like an arcane procedural thing. Procedural it may be, but far from arcane, and it merits a spot near the top of the heap for serious political discussion in the weeks ahead.