Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Archives: July 2008


Our primary endorsements in the 2nd District

For state Sen. Marilyn Rasmussen’s seat: challenger Kelly Mainard, R

For House Position 1: two Democrats – Ray Harper and Chuck Collins against incumbent Republican Rep. Jim McCune

For House Position 2: Incumbent Rep. Tom Campbell, R

Here’s our editorial:

Voters in the 2nd Legislative District don’t want for choices this year.

All three incumbents are facing challengers this year. That’s encouraging. The district, which encompasses Southeast Pierce County and parts of Thurston County and includes Spanaway, Orting, Eatonville and Yelm, could benefit from some fresh blood.

It is telling that someone like state Sen. Marilyn Rasmussen, a 22-year Democratic veteran of the Legislature, has attracted two strong Republican opponents.

Read more »


When politicians crash

In this case, that would be Tacoma City Councilman Rick Talbert, a recent fitness convert who’s had a rough spring and summer.

I posted here earlier this year about Talbert and Pierce County Councilman Shawn Bunney, who are good friends, teaming up to lose weight and get fit. Both took to bike riding and got advice from nutritionists and a trainer. Talbert set a goal of participating in the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco.

Both shed a lot of weight, but Talbert has hit roadblocks (and I don’t mean Frisko Freeze.) In May, he tore a hip flexor 11 miles into the Tacoma City Half-Marathon. Then during an early June bike ride with his son, his son stopped suddenly to avoid a turning car, but Talbert, following behind, didn’t.

The result: a broken left femur, at the point where the joint meets the hip. Talbert reports:

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Reichert and Burner in the Eighth Congressional District

These endorsements will appear in Thursday’s News Tribune:

It’s not surprising for a Republican in a year trending anti-Republican, but U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert faces five challengers this year as he runs for re-election in Eighth Congressional District.

Three are Democrats: James Vaughn of Orting, Darcy Burner of Carnation and Keith Arnold of Auburn. Two are running as nonpartisans: Boleslaw Orlinkski of Bellevue and Richard Todd of Snoqualmie.

Burner commands broad support from the Democratic Party, as well as its nomination. She’s the obvious choice for Democrats and other voters leaning Democrat this year. Reichert is the

Read more »


For state Supreme Court: Johnson, Fairhurst

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s News Tribune:

Voters should return the sitting Supreme Court justices and Pierce County Judge Sergio Armijo to the bench.

The state Supreme Court races this year are largely quiet affairs, for better and worse.

Washington certainly doesn’t need a repeat of the nasty battles for the bench that marred the 2006 election.

But this year, the campaigns have slipped so far below the radar that voters risk missing what might be their only opportunity to weigh in.

The new top two primary doesn’t apply to nonpartisan positions, meaning judicial races will continue to be decided in the primary if any candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. That will happen in at least one race, and probably both.

There are a few reasons for the sleepy campaigns. The ballot is more crowded this year, and special interest groups that poured money into the 2006 races have turned their attention elsewhere.

Meanwhile, no challenger has mounted a vigorous campaign – which probably has as much to do with the sitting justices themselves as the lack of money for opposition.

Justices Charles Johnson and Mary Fairhurst are smart, capable jurists.

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Thursday editorials: More endorsements

1. Supreme Court endorsements: Charles Johnson, Mary Fairhurst

2. Superior Court endorsement: Sergio Armijo

3. 8th Congressional District endorsements: Dave Reichert & Darcy Burner (for the primary only)

About our editorials:

If you have comments or questions about these topics, please email them to Editorials represent the consensus view of The News Tribune’s editorial board.

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Chinks in the armor of DNA evidence

DNA evidence has freed innocent men. Could it also be putting some behind bars?

That’s the troubling question raised by so-called “Arizona searches” of state DNA databases, so named for the Arizona crime lab analyst who has discovered startling similarities in the genetic profiles of unrelated felons.

FBI officials argue the research is misleading. When law enforcement goes looking for a DNA match, it constrains its search to a specific profile – thereby eliminating room, or at least much of it, for false matches.

Say the FBI is right. There’s still a snag big enough

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Owen & McCraw for lieutenant governor; re-elect Sam Reed, Brian Sonntag and Mike Kreidler

Owen, McCraw for lieutenant governor

Washington’s lieutenant governor essentially has two duties: fill in for the governor when he or she is incapacitated or out of the state, and preside over the state Senate and its Rules Committee.

Of the five candidates for the position, Democratic incumbent Brad Owen is qualified to fulfill both responsibilities. But Republican attorney Marcia McCraw shows enough intelligence and promise that she rates a co-endorsement in the Aug. 19 primary. The top two vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 3 general election.

Owen, who is seeking his fourth term, was a Senate leader from Shelton during his 14 years representing the 35th Legislative District. He runs a tight ship in presiding over the Senate, requiring that senators conduct themselves with decorum and respect for each other and the institution. When the Legislature is not in session, he leads trade missions, hosts visiting dignitaries and visits schools promoting substance abuse prevention.

McCraw, a business and real estate attorney in Seattle, has worked as a policy analyst for King County Councilwoman Jane Hague on Eastside rail corridor issues. A Mandarin speaker, she would use the office’s “bully pulpit” to cultivate more trade with Asia. And as a longtime community activist, she would promote more volunteerism.

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