Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Suzan DelBene

Oct.
11th

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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Oct.
7th

A clean bill of health for Dave Reichert

A rather vile post on the thestranger.com 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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Aug.
5th

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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July
10th

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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