Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Michael Baumgartner

Oct.
10th

Give Maria Cantwell a third term in the U.S. Senate

Maria Cantwell

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Democrat Maria Cantwell has a smart, respectable Republican challenger for her U.S. Senate seat – freshman state Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane.

Baumgartner is particularly knowledgeable about Middle East policy, but he doesn’t make a good case for replacing the cerebral, hard-working incumbent. The News Tribune editorial board recommends that voters give Cantwell a third six-year term.

A former state legislator who served a term in the U.S. House, Cantwell was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 by defeating the incumbent, Slade Gorton. Since the economy went south, she has focused with laser-like intensity on creating jobs, helping business and pushing for Wall Street reforms.

Cantwell isn’t one for partisan bickering, instead working to educate her colleagues and build coalitions for legislation that is often more wonky than “sexy.” Prime examples are her efforts to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, an agency that helps finance exports of many manufacturers, including Boeing; to pass tax credits for employers who hire veterans; and to invest in freight and transportation infrastructure. Read more »

July
19th

In these primaries, the best candidates are self-evident

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

We put a fair amount of work – interviews, homework, discussion – into most of our primary endorsements. In a few cases, we don’t have to.

We don’t interview or endorse statewide candidates who don’t have a major party behind them. We like the idea of electing a good maverick as much as anyone, but the odds only stretch so far. The days when George Washington could get elected by ladling out rum from town to town are long gone. If you don’t have a big organization and at least some money behind you, you can’t beat an opponent who does. Like it or not, that’s the way elections work.

Nor do we invest time in felons, cranks, vanity candidates, candidates who’ve invented their own parties, candidates whose statements are riddled with spelling errors, and other sure losers. Their names may appear on the ballot; that doesn’t make them viable candidates.

Here are three primary races in which the strongest Democratic and Republican candidates are self-evident:

• For the U.S. Senate, it’s incumbent Maria Cantwell and challenger Michael Baumgartner.

Cantwell we all know. Baumgartner is a state senator, former U.S. diplomat and economic development specialist.
They’re opposed by Mike the Mover, perennial pest Will Baker and several more respectable candidates with minimal or no experience in public office. Enough said.

• For governor, the only real choice is between Attorney General Rob McKenna and former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee.
Read more »