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Posts published in “Day: June 7, 2008”

The Truth-o-Meter

We've added a new widget to the site - scroll down and to the right, you'll see the truth-o-meter. It's not strictly a Northwest thing, but we think it might be useful.

There, you'll see statements made by or about candidates, and marked as truthful, halfway or (in the really bad cases) "pants on fire." And you can click through to the main site and check out whatever statements you might have heard by or about the candidates, to see what the background and facts are.

A good many people have difficult sifting this stuff. The truth-o-meter might actually help.

Some quick snark

The Tri-City Herald's Olympia reporter/political blogger Chris Mulick has started a new feature, "setting the record straighter," offering a bit of snark at spin he encounters. Herewith a recommend to keep an eye on it, and an excerpt from the first edition:

— The state Republican Party last month issued a press release referring to 8th Congressional District Democrat Darcy Burner, who is taking her second shot at unseating U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, as a “chronic candidate for Congress.” So I guess that makes Dino Rossi a “chronic candidate for governor.” And I don’t know what that makes Reichert, who has run for Congress one more time than Burner.

— The state Democratic Party has increasingly been trying to demonize the Building Industry Association of Washington and its support for Rossi. This week it issued a press release titled “What Olympia’s most powerful special interest lobbyists want Washington to ignore: Rossi’s abysmal transportation record.” That’s funny. I doubt all those labor lobbyists would mind if you heard that message.

WA: It’s filing time

More to come later, but for a now a few notes on the candidate filings in Washington, noting that a few more party additions could yet emerge . . . though probably not many . . .

bullet Overriding impression. No great surprises, which can emerge at the end of the process, but didn't seem to here. Did notice a few more primary contests in places where they might not have been expected. Could this be in part out of a strategy (by either party, in various places) to lock up a given office in the primary by running two candidates? After all, this is a top-two primary - so if, for example, two Republicans can each outpoll a Democrat for an office, they've foreclosed a Democrat from winning the office at all.

bullet Contested. All nine U.S. House seats have major-party contests shaping up. At this point, the only one that looks really serious is in the 8th district. All of the state offices are contested too (we'd be looking at - in this order - governor, attorney general and public lands as developing the most interest). But the simple presence of candidates (a pretty substantial number, overall) offers the possibility at least for more.

bullet Ten candidates for governor. Of course, it comes down to Democrat Chris Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi. But how can you completely ignore Will Baker? Remember him? At least this time the Republicans can count their blessings that he's allying himself instead with the Reform Party . . .

bullet McDermott. Of all major Washington officeholders, one who could prospectively be strongly affected by top-two could be Representative Jim McDermott, who in his central Seattle district just ain't gonna be beaten by a Republican, but could possibly lose to a fellow Democrat in a November top two. That would still take a strong candidate, of course, and there seem not to be such this time around, though there are two other Democrats running in the district this year and two others with no party preference (and, oh, one Republican). One of them, though, does have a memorable candidate name: Goodspaceguy Nelson. Describes himself as a Democrat.

bullet Legislative. On the other hand, legislative seats overwhelmingly look to play out as they normally would; relatively few feature primaries involving incumbents, and a lot of the contested seats have the traditional one-D/one-R lineup. But some of them could play out in unexpected ways. We'll keep an eye on the District 8 House seat being vacated by Shirley Hankins, a strongly Republican area where the candidate roster runs: 4 Republicans, 1 Democrat. Who clears the primary: The top R plus the D, or the two top Rs?

bullet Creative party time. You're supposed to put in the proper party name in the "prefers" category; but not everyone does. Some Republican candidates write in "G.O.P.", and in District 11 House candidate David M. Morris wrote, "Cut Taxes G.O.P. Party". (Note: the P in GOP stands for "party.") And there are some parties . . . have you ever heard of the party selected by Senate 40 candidate Timothy "Cleaver" Stoddard, the Salmon-Yoga Party?