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Posts published in “Day: February 7, 2014”

The future majority leader?

carlson CHRIS


Pardon the crystal ball gazing, but by next January Washington state’s senior U.S. Senator, Patty Murray, will become the next majority leader of the Senate, succeeding the acerbic Nevada Senator Harry Reid.

Most pundits will say this is two years premature, that Reid intends to be Majority (or Minority) Leader through 2016. That may well be in fact what happens. The dynamics of the 2014 mid-term elections, however, will change that and history will tap Senator Murray.

She will be the first female to hold that position, but then she has constantly surprised friends and befuddled critics since the Mom in Tennis Shoes first jumped from the Washington State Senate to the United States Senate.

First, full disclosure - I go back with the Senator to the very beginning when she declared against the ethically challenged incumbent Senator Brock Adams in the 1992 Democratic primary.

The Seattle P-I assigned a reporter to do a profile before the primary and thus it was I took a call and was asked why I was supporting her. Because of my long association with Cecil Andrus, and my subsequent work with Kaiser Aluminum as the v p for government affairs some in the media at least thought my support was noteworthy.

My response became the lead: “Patty Murray is the right person, in the right place at the right time with the right message and she’s going to win.” Over a dozen lobbyists and government affairs types called to ask me if I’d lost my marbles.

Besides being smart, and having the courage of her convictions, Senator Murray is a tenacious campaigner, and one who opponents and critics constantly underestimate. Their bodies are strewn across the political landscape.

Consider: she is one of only two members of the Senate ever to defeat four sitting members of Congress - in her 1992 primary she defeated Congressmen Don Bonker; in the general she defeated Congressman Rod Chandler . In 1998, she defeated Congresswoman Linda Smith, and in 2004 Congressman George Nethercutt.

One could make that five if you counted former congressman and senator, Brock Adams.

Senator Murray has many assets but one not often cited is the obvious capacity to grow into the various roles she has had to play, from chair of the Veterans Committee to twice running the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Today, with the seniority she has accumulated she is chair of the Budget committee and sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee as well as retaining her seat on Veterans Affairs. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Tough to improve Fairview Avenue (Boise Statesman)
truckers propose field tax increase for roads (Lewiston Tribune)
Ethic inquiry on McMorris Rodgers (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Materne opens processing plant at Nampa (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa gets new women's shelter (Nampa Press Tribune)
Yellowstone quake a hoax (Pocatello Journal)
Winter storm hits (Pocatello Journal)
Pocatello council on initiative on gay rights (Pocatello Journal)
Bonner Commissioner Bailey seeks another term (Sandpoint Bee)
Bill tries to nullify EPA (Sandpoint Bee)
Bill would set jail time for CAFO filming (TF Times News)
Jerome plans overhaul for wastewater treatment (TF Times News)
Bill would require medical treatment for children (TF Times News)

Winter hitting hard (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
School graduation percentages vary (Portland Oregonian, KF Herald & News, Pendleton East Oregonian)
Groundwater shutoffs discussed (KF Herald & News)
Cuts possible at Southern Oregon University (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Homeless center at Ashland (Ashland Tidings)
Medford school trike begins (Medford Tribune)
Corrections pays some workers for not working (Portland Oregonian)
Gun bill generates debate (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)

Everett College union lawsuit moves (Everett Herald)
Charges for more bikini baristas (Everett Herald)
Tri-Cities developer Young dies (Kennewick Herald)
Winter storm hits hard (Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Longview News)
Lockdown at Clallam prison continues (Port Angeles News)
Seahawk parade sell phone use daunted system (Seattle Times)
Tesoro will increase rail car contingent (Vancouver Columbian)
Concurrance on replacing Zaepfel Stadium (Yakima Herald Republic)