Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: June 12, 2010”

Non-establishment tea

At the Washington Republican Convention at Vancouver, it's the establishment over here, and the Tea Party people over there. The twain meet only erratically, it seems.

This might, in theory, have been a moment for unification and coming together, notably in the Senate campaign which features - as the two apparent leaders - former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi and former football player Clint Didier. Rossi was the hard-get for the establishment, the guy people in both Washingtons' Republican leadership council wanted as standard bearer against Democrat Patty Murray. Didier is the Tea Party guy, matching up well in mood and rhetoric to what they're looking for. He even interrupted his weekend for a quick meeting with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who may have ticked off Tea Party people elsewhere but still seems in good graces among those in Washington.

So the Tea Party appeared, according to a range of accounts, to be much more happy with Didier. And when both major candidates spoke to the Tea people, you get things like this (as reported in the Everett Herald):

Where Rossi avoided direct answers to most of the questions, Didier didn’t, and his answers were what they wanted to hear.

For example, on whether each backed Arizona’s controversial law dealing with immigrants, Rossi responded that the nation needs a “tall fence and high gate” to deal with those crossing into the country illegally.

Didier simply said, “Yes ma’am, I am 100 percent behind it.”

The Washington primary election won't, of course, result in a party nominee - just two candidates who go on to November. Those two, presumably, will be Murray and Rossi. What it won't do is give closure to some of the Didier people who may wonder how many non-Republicans, or RINOs, sent Rossi on his way to the fall.

Hart on and in taxes

The story this last week about state Representative Phil Hart, R-Athol, being slapped with $300,000 in tax liens (from 1997-2003 and two more recent years) almost slipped by - people get into financial arrears, on a basic level there's nothing shocking there - except for a few points that should be noted before this slips away.

One is that Hart is quite influential among very conservative Republicans; in the Panhandle, he's among the must-get endorsements if you're running with Tea Party and other very ideological conservatives. He has become influential enough that he was a key lever behind the ouster of incumbent Republican Senator Mike Jorgenson, from his district, by Steve Vick; the extent of Hart's involvement has been a matter of some dispute, but he apparently recruited Vick to run. In a contested open-seat race in the other House seat in the district, Vito Barbieri, a Hart ally, won the race. He has a power base in Kootenai County; he's one of the real influentials in that area.

This should be noted too: Hart is a member of the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, the key locus for tax policy in Idaho.