Inside Opinion

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Tag: Adam Smith

Oct.
9th

For Congress: Kilmer, Smith, Reichert and Heck

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

The greater South Sound region is a nexus of four of Washington’s 10 congressional districts, which translates into generous representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and a quartet of choices on election days.

This year, two of those choices – in the 8th and 9th districts – are slam dunks. The other two – in the 6th and 10th – are tougher. Our take:
The 6th District – which embraces the Olympic Peninsula and slips a finger across the Narrows into Tacoma – was represented for decades by Norm
Dicks, a legislative giant now headed for retirement.

Competing to replace him are state Sen. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor and businessman Bill Driscoll of Tacoma. Either would be a capable member of Congress.

Driscoll, a member of the extended Weyerhaeuser clan, has shown an impressive sense of duty as a Marine Corps officer. Kilmer is vice president of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County; he has effectively served in the Legislature since 2005.

Kilmer has already demonstrated, in office, an uncommon understanding of trade, business taxation, smart regulation, job-creation and other fundamentals of economic growth – which is certainly something the United States needs at the moment.

The 8th District, which once covered East Pierce and King counties, was extended deep into Central Washington last year by the state redistricting commission.

Dave Reichert, a Republican, has tenaciously hung onto to this swing district for six years despite ferocious Democratic challenges.

He’s an even better fit for the new, more conservative 8th, and his extensive experience in public life gives him a decisive edge over this year’s challenger, Karen Porterfield of Issaquah.
Read more »

July
14th

Our primary endorsements for the U.S. House

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

The U.S. House of Representatives may be the most partisan room in the Western Hemisphere, yet Washington voters pick their candidates for it with a nonpartisan primary. It’s one of the state’s many political incongruities.

The top two vote-getters in August – regardless of party – will proceed to the November election. But despite the top two system, most Washingtonians align with either the Republican or Democratic Party, and they’re looking for candidates who reflect their views and have a fighting chance in the general election.

That’s why, except in the 9th Congressional District, we endorse a candidate from each party for the South Sound’s House seats.

• 6th District (Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Olympic Peninsula)

A rush of candidates is seeking to replace Norm Dicks, who is resigning from this seat after a long and distinguished congressional career.
His anointed successor – broadly supported by the Democratic establishment – is state Sen. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor. The Democrats know who they want, and we won’t second-guess them.

On the other side is a slew of Republicans. The strongest among them are Bill Driscoll, Doug Cloud and Jesse Young. Cloud and Young are principled, determined candidates who’ve hungered for this seat for a long time.
Read more »

July
13th

Adam Smith on the ‘scary’ prospect of Bush-Cheney officials in a Romney administration

Here’s an interesting piece by U.S. Rep. Adam Smith writing for Foreign Policy. It moved on the wire late this afternoon – too late for us to run over the weekend in the print edition. It might get in the paper next week.

Romney’s Embracing Cheney Is a Scary Thing Indeed

By Adam Smith
(c) 2012, Foreign Policy

A large majority of Americans agree that President Barack Obama has a strong record protecting our nation’s security and that he has the right vision for American leadership in the world. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s proposals, in contrast, promise to return us to the discredited doctrines and reckless policies of the George W. Bush administration. We’ve seen that movie before, and it doesn’t end well.

That is why it’s particularly worrisome that on Thursday, Romney attended a GOP fundraiser hosted by former Vice President Dick Cheney at his home in Wyoming. It’s fitting, really, since Romney has called Cheney a “person of wisdom and judgment.”

As Romney considers possible running mates, it’s worth remembering that he pointed to Dick Cheney as the “kind of person I’d like to have” working with him. Likewise, the policies that Romney has advocated – like indefinitely leaving our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example – are continuations of the Bush-Cheney doctrine, version 2.0.

It’s no secret that Cheney was the driving force behind the Bush administration’s failed foreign policies: starting the war in Iraq with no plan to finish it, bullying our allies around the world, and watching while Iran and North Korea moved forward with their nuclear programs because the Bush White House couldn’t bring the international community together to confront these threats. Read more »

Nov.
10th

Gratitude’s great, but better yet, hire a vet

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

On this Veterans Day, take a moment to thank past and present military men and women for their service.
That gratitude likely will be appreciated. But what they might appreciate even more is a job.

The economy’s been tough on many Americans, with unemployment stalled at about 9.6 percent. It’s been even worse for many U.S. military veterans transitioning to civilian life. They’re facing a record jobless rate of 11.8 percent.

Those leaving active-duty military service aren’t the only ones experiencing employment challenges. National Guard and reservists coming home from sometimes multiple deployments often find that their jobs no longer exist because their employer has downsized or gone out of business. Others are finding that some employers are reluctant to hire someone who might be called up again.

In times past, being a veteran was something positive to list on a job application. Now some vets aren’t mentioning their military service; they perceive an anti-veteran bias – particularly against service members who have been deployed to war zones, due to widely publicized mental health issues experienced by some. Read more »

Oct.
11th

For Congress: Re-elect Dicks, Reichert and Smith

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

This is one of those “throw the bums out” years. But the South Sound’s three U.S. representatives aren’t bums, and it would be dumb to throw them out.

In fact, the region could lose much of its influence in Congress if Norm Dicks of the 6th Congressional District, Dave Reichert of the 8th and Adam Smith of the 9th lost their jobs.

In terms of raw clout, Dicks is the mightiest of the three – one of the mightiest in the country, for that matter. His 34 years in the House and parliamentary skills have landed him in positions of enormous power in the House Appropriations Committee: chairman of the defense subcommittee and vice-chair of the interior subcommittee.

As such, he has helped secure Washington’s share of the federal budget, steering countless appropriations toward the state and the 6th District, which covers the Olympic Peninsula, University Place and parts of Tacoma and Lakewood. Federal funding of the cleanup of Puget Sound, for example, has multiplied many times over on his watch. Dicks is also one of Congress’ leading authorities on defense and military policy, which makes him an ideal advocate for Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Read more »

Aug.
18th

No election-night blood bath, just some slow bleeds

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

If Washington voters are mad, they largely kept it to themselves this election.

The anti-incumbent fever supposedly sweeping the nation didn’t materialize in any big way Tuesday night. With few exceptions, incumbency conferred its usual advantages as sitting politicians enjoyed healthy leads.

But the armor wasn’t without some chinks. A number of Democratic state senators appear to be in trouble – and some experts read signs of distress in the returns for U.S. Senate and the state’s only open congressional seat.

Read more »

July
10th

Our picks for Congress in the 6th, 8th and 9th districts

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Anti-incumbent fever is fueling crowded congressional races across the country. The South Sound is not bucking the trend.

A slew of candidates is out to unseat battle-tested incumbents in Pierce County’s three congressional districts. This reflects a national pattern: Across America, a record-breaking number of congressional challengers who have entered this year’s midterm election.

The Pierce County races depart from the national script in one way: It’s Republican Dave Reichert, not his two Democratic colleagues, who faces the heaviest competition from the opposite party. Nationwide, the opposite is true: There are almost twice as many GOP challengers as Democrats.

Some challengers are taking on truly vulnerable officeholders. Others are hoping to catch a gargantuan wave of voter outrage.

Read more »