Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Patty Murray

Nov.
1st

Your vote counts – especially in this election

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

If ever there were an election in which the vote of individual Washingtonians counted, it’s the one happening today.

The most obvious reason is right at the top of the ballot, where Republican Dino Rossi is asking voters for the job now held by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. Political analysts from coast to coast think this race could decide whether the Democratic Party – facing possibly catastrophic congressional losses – can cling to its control of the Senate by a finger-hold.

And the Senate contest appears excruciating close. Most recent polls have shown Murray ahead by a hair, a few have shown Rossi ahead by a hair, and it’s anyone’s guess how the late votes will break. Murray has exceeded expectations in the past, but Rossi in 2004 achieved a statistical tie running for governor against Chris Gregoire.

It’s easy to imagine this race turning on a few thousand ballots ­– or fewer. Given the stakes, a slight margin of Washington ballots could go a long way toward shaping the nation’s direction in coming years.

The fights for two or three of Washington’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives might also be decided by small margins. In the South Sound’s 9th District, a Republican tsunami could conceivably help Republican Dick Muri edge out U.S. Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma, further eroding President Obama’s base of support in Congress.

While the Murray-Rossi race has sucked up most of the media oxygen in recent weeks, a monumental battle over the state Legislature will also be decided today. As in the congressional races, the Democrats are mostly playing defense. They’ve enjoyed comfortable majorities in both the House and Senate in recent years, but those majorities will almost certainly be whittled down.
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Oct.
29th

As goes the state, so goes the Senate?

In case you’ve been wondering why you’re seeing so many ads in the Senate race between Patty Murray vs. Dino Rossi, check out the new installment of Nate Silver’s Political Calculus, posted last night on The New York Times.

Silver’s math-intensive analysis shows that Washington is more likely than any other state to decide whether the Republicans take control of the Senate. (And you wondered what math majors do for a living.)

With polls pointing to an ultra-tight outcome, the same advice goes for both Democrats and Republicans: Get the ballot in.

Oct.
18th

Murray-Rossi race the ‘linchpin’ for GOP’s Senate hopes?

Why are President and Mrs. Obama coming to Washington to campaign for Patty Murray, and why is so much money flowing into the U.S. Senate race between the incumbent Democrat and her Republican challenger Dino Rossi?

Chris Cillizza, who writes the Fix blog for The Washington Post, suggests its because both parties recognize that GOP hopes for taking over the Senate rest on Rossi’s victory.

If Rossi wins, Cillizza writes, it “could be the linchpin on the narrow hopes Republicans hold out for control of the chamber. Both national parties are pouring millions into the race – and

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Oct.
9th

Re-elect Patty Murray to the U.S. Senate

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Dino Rossi is aiming to clear a high hurdle this year, far higher than the ones he missed in his 2004 and 2008 runs for governor.

Challenging an influential, three-term U.S. senator is not the same as vying for the governor’s mansion against a political equal, or even the freshman incumbent.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has amassed considerable power and political skill since she was elected to the Senate 18 years ago. Voters don’t send such a forceful advocate packing without very good reason.

That Rossi’s come this close – recent polls put him neck and neck with Murray – is testament to his appeal, strong campaign and the resonance of his fiscally conservative message.

But Rossi fails to make the case that Washington would be better off without Murray.

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Oct.
7th

Murray’s attack ads stretch facts beyond recognition

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Every high-stakes political campaign is built on a certain amount of hyperbole.

Politicians are never as perfect – nor their opponents as flawed – as the caricatures crafted to win elections.

But license to exaggerate isn’t permission to spin attacks out of thin air. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray would do well to keep that in mind. Two of her recent attacks on Republican challenger Dino Rossi are contortions worthy of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

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Sep.
29th

Memo to Patty Murray: You misquoted me

For the record: I never asked Dino Rossi if if he thought Boeing workers should have a level playing field.

Patty Murray’s campaign has been making hay for more than a week now about Rossi’s response to a question I posed during the Senate candidates’ joint appearance at The News Tribune last week.

I have resisted weighing in until now. I have my own theories why Rossi answered the way he did, but it’s not for me to try to explain his answer. Only he knows what he was thinking.

But last night, I caught Murray’s new ad that includes footage of our endorsement interview – and puts words in my mouth.

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Sep.
20th

Watch our endorsement interview with Murray and Rossi

It took some doing, but we were able to get U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and challenger Dino Rossi together for today’s endorsement interview. The link is available here.

We haven’t typically done endorsement interviews side-by-side, preferring instead to meet with candidates on an individual basis. This year, we began switching it up and have found that joint appearances work especially well when the competitors are already well known to us and we’re looking primarily to compare positions and temperament.

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.

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