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Hans Zeiger wants to shift campaign conversation; Dawn Morrell defends record

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Sep. 20, 2010 at 9:22 am with 12 Comments »
September 20, 2010 9:23 am

There’s at least one thing Hans Zeiger likes about the Girl Scouts. From his news release:

As laughable as my teenage descriptions of the Girl Scouts are, let’s talk instead about a skill that our legislature could learn from the Girl Scouts: fiscal responsibility.

The fact is, Zeiger never wanted to spend his campaign for state House talking about Girl Scouts and Islam.

But inflammatory content in the Republican candidate’s writings made them easy targets for Democrats.

Now he wants to change the subject to his opponent’s record. Rep. Dawn Morrell, he says in a release issued late Friday, has supported regulations and taxes that have hurt the state’s economy.

Let me repeat that I have moved on from my immature adolescent writings. Meanwhile, Rep. Morrell must defend her repeated unsustainable budgets, including the one written as recently as last year. As the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, she has been a reliable vote for more taxes, more spending, and more government.

Morrell responded by contrasting herself with Zeiger and his attacks on people’s faiths. She said in an e-mail:

As a nurse, mom, and longtime advocate for military families (like mine) and vets, I was drawn to public service by life experience and wanting to make sure EVERYONE, regardless of religious or education or economic standing, has a voice.

At a candidate forum Saturday, the two candidates were polite and mostly avoided direct attacks. Morrell defended legislative Democrats’ record passionately to the small audience at a South Hill church, talking about the “sleepless nights” and “tears” she went through while helping build the state budget.

She particularly lashed out at accusations from interest groups that Democrats’ cuts were too harsh. “I didn’t create this national recession,” she said. “It was created and passed down to me. I spent time trying to save the programs that needed to be saved to make sure that people were taken care of. And it makes me very angry when people (who) don’t work as hard at it (criticize.) Well, bring me some problems and bring me some ideas to make those cuts, but don’t just say that we made cuts that hurt people because we wanted to, because we didn’t.”

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. lgcnelson84 says:

    I feel like I heard the same “It’s easier said than done” argument a week or so ago at a debate between Adam Smith and Dick Muri. When backed into a corner about why they voted the way they did, we’re told that they’re “open to ideas and suggestions”.

    How about instead of trying to make the rest of us feel like feeble minded little people, defend your votes with some facts and promises for the future?
    Dont just point the finger back at the rest of us and darn near dare us to do a better job than you, because we just might take you up on it.

  2. SteveVermillion says:

    This will certainly be an interesting race. Zeiger has no practical experience and doesn’t have to defend his votes. He only has to defend his 150 articles filled with hate and disgust–which he won’t defend. He now views his comments as “laughable”. If he thinks they are laughable, one wonders if he has ever reflected back and wondered how many people and organizations were hurt, directly or indirectly, by his laughable comments. Maybe he is now mature, but he is certainly arrogant and egotistical.

  3. I think Dawn has done a good job with an overwhelmingly awful situation. Like she said, she’s not the one who created this recession, but she is the one who has to help get our state through it. It’s hard, deciding what to cut and what to save. And she does truly care about people, as you would expect from a nurse, and has a great record on healthcare.

    And Hans? You can’t tell people to look at Dawn Morrell’s past but not look at yours. But if you want to “distract” voters from your “immature adolescent writings,” maybe you could talk about something else from your past. Like maybe a job you had or an anecdote about your mortgage or… Oh wait. You don’t have any of those things. Exactly what are your qualifications again?

  4. puyallupdoc says:

    I posted a comment a few days ago on Hans Zeiger’s blog offering my concerns as a constituent and a critique of his sloppy handling of the “article controversy.” He responded by deleting my comment and disabling the comment feature on his blog. I guess delete-and-ignore is his preferred method of dealing with issues. I am reposting my comment here as an open letter of sorts to Mr. Zeiger. At least here it’s safe from his rampant deleting.

    Mr. Zeiger –

    I do not appreciate you dismissing the controversy started by your own writings as an act of “desperation” from your opponent. The questions and concerns raised by your articles are coming from voters young and old, Democrat and Republican, from every walk of life this district encompasses. I myself am a Republican. That does mean I owe you blind loyalty simply because you have an R next to your name. I will read about a candidate, study their resume, and yes, ask them to take responsibility for themselves by asking them to defend their words and actions. I have had phone and email discussions with Rep. Morrell and while I do not agree with all of her decisions, she at least has the courage to admit to and offer explanations of them. Whether you have that same courage remains to be seen.

    You say Rep. Morrell has a record to defend and as an elected official, she certainly does. But you also have a record to defend: the record of your life experience. You are an unknown to the 25th and in lieu of elected experience, you must rely on your past – your ENTIRE past, not just the moments you handpick to show to voters – to establish and validate your views. And the fact is, your past includes that three-year period in which you wrote some of the most intolerant, immature, and ill-informed articles I have ever read. You may have grown since then – and I pray to God you have – but they are still YOUR words, Mr. Zeiger. No one made you write them – not your parents, not Rush Limbaugh, and not the political culture. No one made you post them to public forums. You made those poor decisions on your own and you are now learning that most decisions – even ones made in early adulthood – have consequences to them.

    You write and speak much of manliness and honor, Mr. Zeiger. Then be a man of honor. Stop the excuses. Stop blaming your actions on your youth or talk radio or the political climate. Stop the cowardly hiding of your past. Own up to it. Apologize to the groups you attacked. And DO NOT write off the concerns of voters as mere distractions to your platform. It is our right and duty to scrutinize our politicians. Rep. Morrell knows this. And if you want to enter the game, then you better know it too.

  5. I find it disgusting that Zeiger calls his lifetime of hate-filled rants “laughable”. Discrimination is not funny, cruelty is not funny, publicly disrespecting others religion is not funny. Maybe Mr. Zeiger should get out in the real world at some point and actually meet people – or better yet join the military instead of running for public office because he has nothing else to do.

    A big thank you to Steve Vermilion for putting in his time and effort to run for office. It is not an easy thing to do. Your dedication to your community and your country is obviously heartfelt and I wish you the best.

  6. funny like funny ha ha? is the ‘cult of islam’ like a funny clown to you Hans? Wow.

  7. He picked on the Girl Scouts. Seriously? The Girl Scouts? My question is, Why did he exclude the Brownies? Are they not just as guilty? Are not the Brownies actually a feeder group to the Girl Scouts?

    Enquiring minds and all..

  8. Not sure I’d call the Girl Scouts fiscally responsible. They have cornered the delicious packaged cookie market and yet they only sell them part of the year and you need a connection to get any. What kind of business plan is that? Why can’t I just buy your cookies online or at the store? Stop the insanity Girl Scouts! :)

  9. WTG, puyallupdoc! I applaud you for trying to have a direct conversation with this young man.
    While it is true that many of us make mistakes in our youth, not all of us sit back and BLAME youth for our actions. What transpires throughout our lives is the metal that forges us in adulthood.
    This is a confused kid that had (?) some very disturbing viewpoints less than a decade ago. I doubt that he has changed his outlook, or that he ever will.
    Another observation, off subject: Ziegler, Rossi, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck…has the Republican Party become a magnet for all the political nut jobs recently? Where do they FIND these people? Great fodder for fledgling comedians, I’m sure!

  10. hanszeiger says:

    puyallupdoc and others, I’m happy to correspond by email at hans@hanszeiger.com. Thank you.

  11. hanszeiger, it sounds like puyallupdoc already tried talking to you and you blew him off. You should’ve responded to him when he posted on your blog. That’s the whole point of having a blog.

    Coming to an old comment thread and offering your email address is a cowardly move. You are obviously afraid to discuss this issue in a public forum.

  12. For what its worth, I think Hans deserves a chance. As a gay man, I have strong reservations about putting a “conservative” in office. I have known about his incindiary book about the boy scouts for a while now. If one read it, one would think that all he needs is a can of gas and some kindling and that he would torch the homos to hell. That said, he has run his campaign as a pragmatic moderate. That’s what we need. MODERATES. He seems to have grown from his original positions. While we would not agree on all issues, he has shown some mature ability to be flexible with what the voters need, and not his own agenda.

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