Dianne Foster, guest writer and political junkie in quarantine
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Once again it’s that time of year, and I’m compiling my personal recommendations about this year’s primary. Overall, I must say I feel sad; there are so many right-wing Libertarians running in this Voter’s Guide, yet I see no Green Party progressive candidates. Has the whole country shifted to the right, or am I just an old radical hippie yearning for a better world? Often I found the choice was between bad and worse, with a few highly talented people here and there. I sincerely recommend reading the entire Voter’s Guide, as laborious as it is, just to see what’s out there. It wouldn’t hurt to check out some of the candidates’ webpages as well.
In the 2nd Congressional District race, I’m working for Jason Call for Congress. He is the Bernie-crat and former math teacher who is also a former member of the WA Democrats Central Committee. Jason Call is from Marysville, he favors the Green New Deal and Medicare for All; he opposes endless wars. His website details re-organizing the police to eliminate the racist aspects of that agency.
Jason Call is running against incumbent, Rick Larsen, who has voted with Trump on too many issues: Larsen voted for the biggest Defense budget ever - $738 billion, which is three times greater than China’s military budget and 10 times greater than Russia’s. That budget includes funding for a complete rebuild of our nuclear stockpile, and funding for the multi-billion-dollar boondoggle of the F-35 fighter jets. Even Michael Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush, wanted to decrease the military budget. But the “New Dems” on the House Armed Services Committee, like Larsen and Adam Smith, are aligned with Republicans and are pushing for more money for the military.
In addition to adding seven new deafening Growler jets to the Navy fleet that has converted the Olympic Peninsula into a permanent “electronic warfare range” over the protests of local residents, Larsen is now proposing a bill to convert the Nevada Wildlife Refuge into a bombing range that threatens 850,000 acres of pristine wilderness and endangered desert tortoises.
Further, Rick Larsen has never met an oil pipeline he didn’t like. He opposes the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. (My question for Rick is: Who decides who doesn’t get health insurance?)
Larsen supports the worst “free trade” agreements: giving power to Fortune 500 companies, offshore jobs, and cheap-labor countries. Though he claims there are labor and environmental protections, we in the Trade Justice Alliance know these are not enforceable, as a TJA conference call this week confirms that five Mexican labor leaders have been assassinated in the last two months, since passage of the USCMA (TrumpTrade). Many of us in the Washington Fair Trade Coalition have argued with Larsen (and DelBene) in the past about these issues, but they both stand with corporate money against their constituents’ interests. Is it any wonder Larsen has a $500,000 election fund from defense contractors and big business PAC’s? (Opensecrets.org).
For Whatcom Superior Court Position 2, I favor COB attorney James Erb. I was impressed with his previous campaign for Whatcom County prosecutor and his dedication to restorative justice instead of incarceration for nonviolent offenders.
Whatcom Superior Court Position 4: Jim Nelson is highly qualified and experienced, as well as a member of the Community Food Co-op and Community Theater Bellingham. (And, he is not endorsed by certain right-wing, local law enforcement officials, whom I won’t name.)
PUD: Christine Grant is part of a movement to make utilities, like PSE, public again, instead of privately owned by foreign corporations.
Governor: Jay Inslee, for obvious reasons. If you have time, read all the gubernatorial candidate statements. One very right-wing religious guy from Bothell blames Inslee for the pandemic. (Like, really? Where do these guys get their ideas anyway?)
Lieutenant Governor: Michelle Jasmer. She is an amazing superwoman from Orting who is of Portuguese, African, and Irish heritage. She raised three daughters and put herself through college, earning a BA, MA and Ph.D. She advocates for tuition-free college, and believes when it is easier for women to own their homes, it reduces domestic violence and child abuse. She is not another neo-liberal like Denny Heck, who is a “free trader,” in spite of his progressive-appearing statement.
Commissioner of Public Land: Hilary Franz. She has wisely managed wildfire prevention and conservation, (though I do like her strange opponent’s position on 5G networks - Steve Sharon - as I believe he is right about the danger to animals, insects, and people from 5G/EMF.)
Superintendent of Public Schools: Chris Reykdal. I’m recommending Reykdal even though I argued with him at the last Democratic Convention over his outsourcing of the GED program to a computer company, (Pearson). Sadly, all the other candidates are worse!
State Treasurer: Mike Pellicciotti. He is simply so much more qualified than the corrupt incumbent.
Secretary of State: Gentry Lange. He wants to get private corporations like Diebold out of the vote counting business. Hurray!
40th Legislative District State Senate: Liz Lovelett.
40th Legislative District State House: Alex Ramel.
42nd Legislative District State House: Alicia Rule.
Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kreidler. He’s been great at holding insurance companies’ “feet to the fire” for consumers.
Attorney General: Bob Ferguson has done an awesome job of suing the Trump administration over their backing of powerful corporate interests, like drug companies, while never taking PAC money.
Congressional District-1 – I have no recommendation for this U.S. House position. I am not a fan of “free trader” DelBene, who votes for corporate interests while being “liberal” on the easy cultural issues. There are no good challengers though, and it’s not my district.
What are the rest of you thinking?