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Posts published in “Day: March 14, 2008”

Bunn to the House – a different House . . .

Jim Bunn

Jim Bunn

We'll get into the Oregon House filings generally shortly, but first attention has to be drawn to the filing that most specifically caught our eyes (and not just because this is in our home district).

The district is 24, taking in most of Yamhill County and a precinct or two of Polk, a historically Republican district still leaning that way but by smaller margins than formerly. The seat is held by Republican Donna Nelson, now departing and heading for a run at the county commission (which is nonpartisan in Yamhill). Nelson had been winning by substantial margins but in 2006 she was nearly overtaken by Democrat Sal Peralta. This year, another prospectively strong Democrat, Al Hansen of McMinnville (a well-connected former council member in the district's main city), is in; the odds initially favor Republican retention but the seat should be watched closely.

That's the setup for the Republican situation, which until this week had two competitors, both from the small city of Yamhill: restaurant owner Jim Weidner and carpenter Ed Glad. Neither has much visibility around the district, though Glad has been involved with political activities across the fence, and Weidner seems to be positioned a little more toward the right. Our sense is that Weidner logically would run stronger in the Republican primary, but a lot would depend on the scale of campaigning each might undertake. Or so matters seemed to sit.

But all the participants were taken unawares by what happened this week: The entry of Jim Bunn into the Republican primary. This is a development worth some attention outside the district, because the Oregon 5th U.S House district will be a hotly-fought property this year - and Jim Bunn was its last Republican representative.

A shorthand version of the story . . . (more…)

WA Xgr: Over and out


At Olympia

As relative quiet settles on Olympia's capitol mall with legislative sine die, a moment for reflection on what this year's exercise in Washington lawmaking may mean for the state and its politics.

It was not a dramatic session; a good deal of the more dramatic ideas (good and bad) never got very far. It did not change the face of the state. But some pieces of activity may make a difference in some corners. (Home finance and gay rights may stand out in that category.) Politically, it can't be said to be a wildly persuasive calling card for Democrats heading into election, but it also gave Republicans not a lot of useful ammunition. It may be a harbinger of a new political dynamic, however, as Democrats internalized their sweeping majority status enough to start splitting and cracking their caucuses, and feeling some comfort with rejecting (in at least one significant case peremptorily) proposals from a governor of their own party.

Seattle Sonics fans may be aggravated that legislators turned down a public finance proposal team owners wanted. But that was a deliberate choice, and our guess is that it was a political winner.

Despite the large Democratic majorities, "Democratic" proposals didn't get an automatic pass, and a number of Republicans walked away thinking they got better than they might have expected. Consider the item in the David Postman blog on how Republicans representing some of the most flood-beaten parts of the state say they were well satisfied with what they got from Democratic leaders and Governor Chris Gregoire. (House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis: “The governor’s office was great to work with.”) That significantly undercuts Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi's blasts at poor governance from Gregoire and the Democrats.

Or consider Tim Eyman, who reported in his email blasts that, while a lot of bad stuff (from his perspective) surfaced in the legislature, little of it got far. He concluded, "Working together, we beat back a lot of bad stuff. Good job." Not an endorsement of the Democrats, of course, but recognition that his side wasn't simply rolled.

So Washington politics now smooths on into the filing time . . .