Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Dawn Morrell


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

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.

Read more »


Democrats glad to save GOP House candidate Hans Zeiger’s writings from going out of print

Hans Zeiger

Democrats can’t help but be worried about the political future of Rep. Dawn Morrell, who despite her four terms in the Legislature garnered just a hair over 40 percent of the primary vote. Even if you assume she’ll pick up the votes of everyone who chose a Democrat in the 25th District House primary, that still leaves her far short of the majority she’ll need to defeat political newcomer and Republican Hans Zeiger.

Democrats have ground to make up, so no doubt they have been looking for an opening to target Zeiger. Now he’s given them one.

Zeiger, the author of two books and many columns, essays and blog posts about politics and local history, recently had his writings taken down from a number of websites, including Intellectual Conservative.

Morrell’s campaign and the House Democratic Campaign Committee noticed the missing articles Saturday, the HDCC said. The group opened its general-election season campaign with a news release questioning why the articles, more than 50 by their count, were disappearing. The HDCC said Zeiger was taking them down to hide his “extremist” views. Field Director Alex Hur said: “Voters deserve to know what a candidate’s values really are.”

Zeiger told me those articles don’t all represent his values anymore, so he had them removed. They would be a “distraction” from the campaign, he said.

Articles coming down aren’t from very long ago, mainly 2003 and 2004. But Zeiger is just 25, and he was in college at the time. He said he’s “grown up since age 18 and 19 when the really provocative stuff was going up.”

Democrats also point to more recent pieces that are still up, but mostly they highlighted the columns that have been pulled, many still archived by Google.  One criticizes the Girl Scouts for welcoming lesbians and consorting with Planned Parenthood:

Read more »


Environmentalists sort out ‘champions’ from ‘duds’

An environmental group praises Reps. Skip Priest and Geoff Simpson as “champions” while singling out Reps. Christopher Hurst and Troy Kelley and Sen. Tim Sheldon as “green duds.”

Washington Conservation Voters released its scorecard today, ranking each legislator on their environmental votes in 2009 and 2010 on a scale of 0-100.

South Sound legislators Hurst, Kelley and Sheldon are among five Democrats — the others are Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Rep. Tim Probst — who come in for criticism.

Hurst’s and Kelley’s votes in this year’s special session to put energy-efficient upgrades of schools on the ballot weren’t enough to save them from the group’s ire. The Conservation Voters website says Hurst and Kelley earned low 44 percent ratings when they “voted against clean water, against the protection of our shorelines, against energy efficient televisions, and against transit for Pierce County.” They call Hurst’s record “shameful” and “likely (to) backfire on him in the near future” and say Kelley is “severely out of step with both his party and his constituents.”

Read more »


Independent seeks House seat

Three candidates have filed to challenge Rep. Dawn Morrell, including a newcomer to the race who is running as an independent.

Brian Shaner, who will be listed on the ballot as “Prefers Independent Party,” is a business owner from Puyallup.

Shaner says on his website he founded Eyedeel, a media arts company.  He calls for lower taxes and a smaller state budget.

Republicans Hans Zeiger and Steven Vermillion have also filed to take on Morrell, whose position as House Democratic Caucus chairwoman makes her Pierce County’s highest-ranking House member. It’s a swing district that bears watching for voters’ reaction to

Read more »


Primary coming in 25th District

A pair of primary fights are shaping up in the 25th Legislative District.

Democratic Rep. Dawn Morrell of Puyallup faces three challengers so far, including one from within her own party, albeit a recent convert.

Ron Morehouse ran against her in the last election as a Republican. “The big problem was, I ran as a conservative Republican back in 2008 and even on Election Day I didn’t have the support of the party,” he told me.

A couple of unions asked him to run this year as a Democrat, the physician’s assistant said.

“I haven’t changed, and I believe that

Read more »


Which Democrats are immune to tax ads?

The answer: Not very many.

A number of freshmen and swing-district Democratic legislators were cut loose by their party to go their own way on tough tax or budget votes. But very few voted no across the board.

If the key bills are the main tax package, the tobacco taxes, and the operating budget that depends on both of those tax increases, the list of Democrats who opposed all three is small. I only see four: Rep. John Driscoll of Spokane,  Rep. Tim Probst of Vancouver, Sen. Tim Sheldon of Potlatch, and just one from Pierce County:

Read more »


House votes for taxes

Hours after its unveiling, the tax compromise cleared the House by a vote of 52-44.

All Republicans and a few Democrats voted ‘no’. South Sound Democrats who broke with their party included Reps. Christopher Hurst, Troy Kelley, Mark Miloscia and Larry Seaquist, who opposed earlier versions of the tax package, plus Rep. Geoff Simpson, who switched to a ‘no’ vote from his support last time around.

Rep. Dawn Morrell, who had voted ‘no’ on earlier versions of the bill, switched to a ‘yes’ vote.


Senate OKs tax credit for job creation

Lawmakers have done little this year to jumpstart the job market, but their attention is turning to jobs in the final days of session.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and lawmakers were discussing today the possibility of voter-approved construction bonds or a tax increase on toxic materials to pay for stormwater projects.

Then there’s the sales tax break to technology companies that build their data centers in Washington. House Democrats hadn’t caucused on that as of this afternoon, and Caucus Chairwoman Dawn Morrell said she expects a vote to wait for the special session.

Senate Democrats are touting today a tax

Read more »