Inside Opinion

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Tag: Norm Dicks


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.

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Read somebody’s lips – the VAT tax is on the table

For months now, the Obama administration has been floating – somewhat at arm’s length – the idea of a European-style value-added tax.

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, an Appropriations Committee chairman and major power in Congress, was in for a visit yesterday. He brought up the VAT entirely on his own – which suggests he’s getting invested in the idea. He sees it as a short-term tax dedicated exclusively to paying down the federal deficit.

And he sounded exasperated at his Republican colleagues’ “read my lips” opposition to any conceivable new taxes. “What if some modest adjustment is what it

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Dicks gets shot at raising House’s ethical bar

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks is making a good first mark as he embarks on a powerful role in Congress.

Dicks, the Belfair Democrat who became chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee this month, is the co-author of House Democrats’ new ban on corporate earmarks.

He and Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, announced the rule last week.

Earmark reform is both timely and overdue. Days before House Democrats unveiled the ban, an ethics investigation had cleared Dicks and other members of Congress of trading earmarks for campaign contributions.

That investigation certainly helped bring the issue to the fore, but so too did changes in congressional leadership. The late chairman of the defense subcommittee, Rep. John Murtha, was a notorious pork barreler and had resisted past efforts to curtail such dictates.

Asked by The New York Times if Murtha’s death helped clear the way for reform, Obey said, “I’m not going to comment on someone who’s gone. All I will say is that Norm Dicks understands the process.”

Understand the process, he does.

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