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A protest vote goes against Murray

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
June 25, 2010 9:37 pm

At the first night of Democrats’ state convention, Sen. Patty Murray delivered a strong defense of the work the Democratic Congress has done despite Republicans’ “efforts to stop progress.” (More on that in tomorrow’s paper.)

But there are also Democrats who don’t think the party has moved fast enough.

Some of the dissent surfaced Friday during meetings of caucuses, the groups within the party organized around issues, ideology or demographics.

In a protest vote, the Progressive Caucus voted to endorse Bob Burr, a little-known Democratic challenger to Murray.

It was not a repudiation of Murray but a statement on one issue, caucus chairwoman Judith Shattuck said. It’s meant to show “that we’re serious about publicly financed elections,” she said. Shattuck said Murray has ignored the issue of public financing of campaigns, which supporters say will reduce control of politics by wealthy interests.

Shattuck didn’t foresee progressives causing a more public schism: “The Democratic Party is a big-tent party,” she said.

And party Chairman Dwight Pelz said in an interview earlier today that while he expects dissent, he’s not expecting a big showdown over the platform, Saturday’s main event for many activists. There’s no “vitriol in the air,” Pelz said.

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