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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 22, 2007 11:14 AM

GOP chair wants vigorous protests against Clinton

Posted by David Postman

State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser says today "is a defining day for Republicans in our state." He says party members need to protest tonight's visit by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to "to show how our principles and ideals differ from those of the Democrats."

In calling for the protests, Esser turns nostalgic for 1994 when a conservative crowd heckled Clinton, then First Lady and starting a campaign for health-care reform, appeared in downtown Seattle.

Instead of the thoroughly left-wing crowd that was expected, a vigorous group of conservative counter-protesters showed up to oppose Hillary Care, energizing a national movement that pulled the plug on Hillary's dreams of socialized medicine and ultimately acting as a catalyst for the '94 Republican revolution.

It is a huge stretch to claim that the protest against Clinton here was either what killed health-care reform or lit the fuse on the '94 GOP takeover. If anything the protests were an early sign of what was already happening across the country.

If the Westlake protests are now part of Republican lore, it's worth refreshing our memories about that day. The protesters were recruited and encouraged by talk show hosts on KVI. There was a lot of shouting and crosstalk between Clinton supporters and opponents. And it got ugly. As Joel Connelly has reported:

Signs called the first lady a "witch." As Clinton's limousine exited the Westin garage, passenger Sen. Patty Murray recoiled at hearing the bellowed shout: "Kill the bitch!"

Esser sent out his call for protests in an e-mail to supporters this morning that said:

URGENT: Hillary Clinton In Seattle Today - Let's Send Her A Message

But he's also looking for money. And he's taking a page from the liberal netroots.

When President Bush visited Seattle a month ago, Democrats raised over $100,000 in online contributions. Their most liberal elements called it a "show of strength" and we as Republicans need to take the left wing very, very seriously. The Democrats are thoroughly committed to an agenda of larger government and higher taxes, and will not give up their iron grip on state government voluntarily.


Today, grassroots Republicans can send a message right back to Hillary Clinton and Christine Gregoire by contributing here (link) to help us spread the word about Hillary's dismal record and the danger she poses to our state.

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