Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: politics

April
7th

A day to remember the better angels of our nature

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

The people who read these pages hail from dozens of faiths, including Judaism and Islam, and many others are nonbelievers. They don’t look here for homilies.

But from any perspective, the commemoration of Easter – the most sacred of Christian holy days – is a deep and rich tradition.

Even the new breed of combative atheists would acknowledge (if ruefully) that belief in the resurrection of Jesus has had sweeping effects on history.

We’d like to think just about everyone could buy into one assumption implicit in Easter: that mankind is capable of redemption.

The human race can be a vicious, dishonest, self-centered, out-of-control species. We’re at our worst when reaching for power, wealth or revenge, and we spend a lot of time reaching for all three.

Elections are the gentlest way of transferring power from one party to another, but they can be uncommonly nasty. This year’s presidential contests don’t seem any uglier than elections in years past; still, they’ve been rife with raw malice.
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May
27th

Rossi will give Murray a run for her $6 million

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Dino Rossi’s entry into Washington’s U.S. Senate race bodes well – for voters, if not his party.

Rossi may have but a slim chance of beating Sen. Patty Murray, but he’s the only Republican in the hunt with any chance of besting Murray.

Neither of the other Republican frontrunners, former NFL player Clint Didier and state Sen. Don Benton, are much of a threat to a three-term incumbent with a $6 million war chest. Rossi, with his statewide name recognition and electoral history, will force Murray to defend her record.

Rossi’s showing will depend partly on how the two-time gubernatorial candidate makes the transition from state politician to national hopeful.

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May
25th

Politicians’ right to lie

The very good FactCheck.org website gets to the truth behind issues and what public officials say about them. It also answers questions in its weekly mailbag feature. It recently got this plaintive e-mail from a Yakima man:

Week after week you expose the lies and distortions being propagated by our politicians. What is so depressing is that this behavior continues nonetheless, week after week.

I think that it should be a felony for a politician (or anyone else for that matter) to deliberately mislead and lie to the American voter. If a lie in a campaign ad isn’t deliberate, I don’t know what is. But in the name of “freedom of speech” politicians are allowed to twist, distort and outright lie with impunity. And it will continue if there are no negative consequences. The reality is that sometimes people win BECAUSE OF their lies and distortions (e.g. remember the Swift Boat campaign?). Read more »

Jan.
23rd

A bigger role for big money in U.S. politics

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

So corporations and unions are short on opportunities to sway elections? Radio and television aren’t saturated enough with vicious hit jobs on the candidates they oppose?

Such is the logic of the U.S. Supreme Court, which shook decades of once-settled law Thursday by striking down crucial limits on corporate “campaign speech” – i.e., campaign spending.

The court’s five-member conservative majority overturned major precedents, a key provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, and much of a 63-year-old law that barred companies and unions from raiding their general treasuries to mount media blitzes for or against specific candidates.

And just in time for this year’s congressional elections. Expect moneyed interests to play an even bigger role in the looming political battles than they had in the past.
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Sep.
4th

Liars, damned liars and politicians

Let this serve as a warning to any political candidate who might be tempted to play fast and loose with the truth in the heat of battle: The Public Disclosure Commission may not be able to get you, but you’re not beyond the reach of the courts.

A jury in King County decided this week that King County Council member Jane Hague defamed an opponent’s chief supporter in 2007. The suit stems from a campaign mailer sent to more than 20,000 homes that described a supporter of opponent Richard Pope as someone who “tops law enforcement’s list with

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