Inside Opinion

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Tag: Dave Reichert


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.
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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.
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Harbor tax hurts Port of Tacoma every which way

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The Port of Tacoma faces some tough challenges, the biggest of which – the global economy – is beyond anyone’s control.

But one of its problems could be fixed relatively easily by Congress. A perverse federal harbor fee puts both Seattle and Tacoma at a disadvantage compared to the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert in British Columbia. U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, has been looking at a legislative solution; we hope he’ll act soon.

The fee in question is the Harbor Maintenance Tax, .125 percent of the value of cargo imported through U.S. ports. Port of Tacoma officials estimate that it adds an average of at least $150 to the cost of every container unloaded in Puget Sound. Canada imposes no such tax, and the $150 or more that shippers save by going through British Columbia amounts to a big penalty against Tacoma and Seattle. Read more »


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.
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A clean bill of health for Dave Reichert

A rather vile post on the two weeks ago, “What’s wrong with Reichert’s brain?,” speculated that the head injury U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert suffered last February had more or less left the 8th District Republican a confused punch-drunk unfit for Congress.

The author, David Goldstein, cut-and-pasted excerpts from a UCLA medical website into lurid accounts of Reichert’s injury and theorized that the congressman had an atrophied brain – “Which leaves me wondering if the 8th CD is on the verge of re-electing a congressman with an… um… intellectual disability.”

Well, Reichert just paid our editorial board a visit today. If he was suffering from any brain damage, he did a heck of a job covering it up as he lucidly answered questions ranging from fiscal policy to Afghanistan to bipartisanship. He was vague at points, but it looked like the deliberate vagueness of a politician denying targets to the opposition. His challenger, Suzan DelBene, also employed tactical vagueness when she came in, only a lot more of it.

Reichert got his head whacked by a branch while he was cutting firewood; the doctors found a large residue of blood in the right side of his cranium and drilled a few holes in his skull to relieve the pressure. This week, he released a letter from the attending physician for Congress, Brian P. Monahan, who wrote, “You have received close follow up and completed an uneventful recovery and your symptoms resolved completely,” Monahan wrote.

Reichert can joke about it now. “I’m fine,” he told us. “It’s brain surgery; yes, there’s a recovery period. It did push my brain to the right so I made my Republican friends happy. But it’s moved back to the center since then.”
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The great debate debate

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (6th District) gets a knock here from the Wall Street Journal for campaign debate-evasion.

This isn’t a new, startling or scandalous phenomenon – though Dicks certainly shouldn’t be invoking spurious legislative obligations, if the WSJ has it right.

Sitting-pretty incumbents are never eager to roll the dice by sharing a forum with their challengers. What’s in it for them? They’ve got little to gain, and challengers trying to close the gap have little to lose. And if they get shut out, they’ve got the “Why is my opponent afraid to debate me?” line.

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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.

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Seattle Times disses Reichert

In something of a shocker, the Seattle Times didn’t endorse incumbent Congressman Dave Reichert for re-election in the 8th District. The paper even referred to the non-endorsement as an “unusual step.”

Instead the Times editorial board came out today for Democrat Suzan DelBene, whom we also endorsed along with Reichert, and Republican Tim Dillon, a Yarrow Point City Council member whom we didn’t meet (he had a schedule conflict).

Here’s our endorsement.

The Times’ editorial was fairly scathing, saying “Reichert opposed financial reform, but was unable to explain what he did or did not like about the

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