'Surprise' attack unlikely in Iraq
It all actually seems sort of gentlemanly, like setting an appointment for a duel or maybe marching troops into battle accompanied by a marching band.
Moving on up: Among the hurdles between state Rep. Sarah Casada, R-Puyallup, and her goal of unseating Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma, add this one: She doesn't live in the 9th Congressional District.
She's close. Could probably throw a brick into the district from her place. But when she filed for office last week her address showed her in the 8th. Why doesn't she run there? Well, likely because that seat is held by GOP stalwart Jennifer Dunn.
House rules and state law say that lawmakers need only live in the state they represent, not the district. (Which means, of course, Doc Hastings actually chooses to live in Pasco.)
Casada said her address is only a problem if her opponent or the media make an issue of it. She has represented many Pierce County voters who are also part of Smith's district in state and local political office for 12 years.
Plus, she said, she's looking for a new residence. After raising a family, she and her husband "are downsizing," perhaps to a condo, and are looking at a neighborhood in the 9th. But "this is not because I am running for Congress," Casada said. "We have been talking about it."
Casada's campaign has hefty fund raising to do to catch up with Smith. As of the end of June, she had less than $4,000 on hand, compared to his $413,000. Casada said she's been the underdog before and noted 200 volunteers are working on her campaign.
Smith's chief of staff, Alixandria Wade, says Casada should run against Dunn: "We think it is difficult to ask people to vote for you if you can't even vote for yourself."
In other real-estate news: Twenty-nine legislative candidates will get a free ride to office because no one filed against them. Seven face only intra-party primary contests, and four have to worry only about third-party opponents in the November general election.
The Associated Press quoted party leaders as saying it was hard to find candidates because the work is getting so much tougher, campaigns are more expensive and the job probably doesn't look like a lot of fun because of serious state-budget problems.
Democratic campaign consultant Christian Sinderman said he's also heard another reason: "You get to deal with that huge deficit and you don't even get to work under a marble dome." The Legislative Building is closed for renovation. Lawmakers will meet in temporary quarters — the Senate in the old state library and the House in portable buildings erected next door.
A race is born: One late filing will likely create a competitive race. Laurie McDonald Jonsson of Medina will run as a Democrat for the state Senate in the 48th District, the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Dan McDonald, R-Yarrow Point.
Two incumbent Republican House members, Luke Esser and Steve Van Luven, had already announced they would give up their seats and run against each other for the Senate seat. Libertarian Christine Lawniczak has also joined the race.
Jonsson and her family are major Democratic donors. They have hosted fund-raisers at their home with guest lists that included Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. She is a millionaire businesswoman and Princess Cruises "Love Boat" heiress who on her own built and sold a cruise-ship company, invested in real estate and started a luxury-travel business.
Follow the money: The state Public Disclosure Commission is trying to get more up-to-date information to the public about who is paying for state campaigns. The quickest access ever to campaign-finance details can be found at www.pdc.wa.gov/scr/SummaryReports/2002.asp.
You can see who has raised how much from whom, where the most expensive races are, and how money has been raised by committees supporting and fighting ballot measures.
Linguistics of law: It was difficult to get a sense of the tone of a letter the PDC sent to the state Republican Party last week about $6.6 million worth of campaign contributions it got from the national party in the past two years.
The letter, from assistant director Susan Harris to state party Chairman Chris Vance, explained that the law required that the contributions be returned because they were not accurately reported to the commission.
But was the commission ordering the GOP to cough up the money? Here's what the headlines said:
"State GOP told it should forfeit millions in contributions" — The Seattle Times.
"State GOP must forfeit millions" — The Olympian.
"State GOP asked to forfeit $6.6 million" — The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review.
They're so polite in Spokane.
I believe that is the case.
Inside Politics was written by Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman with contributions from government and political reporters. He can be reached at 360-943-9882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.