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Postman on Politics

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

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June 14, 2008 4:46 PM

Democrats approve platform

Posted by David Postman

The draft platform was just approved by unanimous consent, with no amendments. I pointed out some interesting points in the document here.

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June 14, 2008 2:12 PM

Pelosi has big plans for country

Posted by David Postman

I had an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Seattle yesterday. She was there for a fundraiser, to make a video for Congressional candidate Darcy Burner and to visit the Seattle VA hospital.

Pelosi and Burner talked with me at the Fairmont Hotel and we covered a lot of ground. My story isn’t on the homepage this afternoon, but you can find it here.

pelosi_for_postman_blog1.jpg

MORE: Linda Jansen, a Seattle reader, saw this morning's story and sent this e-mail:

You forgot to mention that Cindy Sheehan is running against Pelosi. She was the power center that kept the Dems from cutting off the funding for the war in Iraq, which you so blithely quote her as saying requires better management. How about the fact we never should have gone there and need to GET OUT!

Since Sheehan was just here in town and you are a political reporter, I'm assuming you knew about Sheehan's challenge. Shouldn't you include the above info about Sheehan, just to have the appearance of fairness?

I'm going down to SF to help Cindy get rid of Pelosi. We've got to get these Congress people to respond to the will of the people or this whole place is going down.


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June 14, 2008 12:26 PM

Objection from the Gregoire camp

Posted by David Postman

A Gregoire campaign staffer says my post below made it sound like there was no genuine support for the governor among the more than 1,000 Democrats here. For the record, there was genuine support for the governor in the room, and even among those organized and encouraged to show support. It was just an awful lot of organization for a candidate, with no primary opposition, before her own party's convention.

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June 14, 2008 11:33 AM

Democrats' draft platform

Posted by David Postman

Here is the current draft of the Washington state Democratic Party's platform.

A few interesting items in the draft. Many speakers in the past two days talked about how the extended battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was good for the Democratic Party. But the platform calls for:

Significantly shortening the process of selecting Presidential nominees and allowing for
accessible and meaningful citizen participation;

Democrats mention free trade in several places in the platform. It says Democrats want

  • International trade based on fair trade including living wages and environmental protection; …
  • Only those multilateral trade agreements that are conditioned on environmental , health and safety standards, human rights and workers rights, and which support transparent democratic processes;
  • Strict health, safety and environmental standards worldwide, as well as worker rights and welfare internationally. …
  • Renegotiation of treaties such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that fail to promote human rights, labor rights and environmental protections;

The draft calls for a federal “cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolence” and a “progressive tax system at both the federal and state level,” and “Immediate restoration of voting rights of felons upon completion of parole.”

On education, the party’s draft is in opposition to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s support of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, and calls for

Abandoning the WASL as a mandatory high school graduation requirement;

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June 14, 2008 9:42 AM

The Democratic convention

Posted by David Postman

State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz was just talking about the race for attorney general between incumbent Republican Rob McKenna and Democratic challenger John Landenburg, the Pierce County executive. He said McKenna was best remembered for "his role as Sherman from Rocky and Bullwinkle."

Pelz also had amoment of silence for former state party chairwoman Karen Marchioro who for the first time in 40 years was not attending a state convention. She died last year.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is the chairman of the convention.

Gov. Chris Gregoire is about to speak. Her campaign organized an orchestrated demonstration to show excitement about her appearance. Staff handed out signs to volunteers who were strategically placed around the hall and told to give the signs to people on the convention floor.

But apparently the spontaneous show of excitement didn’t come exactly as planned. “They’re supposed to be walking right behind her,” said one Gregoire staffer. “What just happened there?” asked another.

I’m not sure who this show is designed for. It’s not the press, because the organized volunteers were lined up to block our view of the stage and the video that played on big screens. I suppose, though, it is meant to excite Democrats here, to rev up the base.

Gregoire is now attacking Dino Rossi for the budget he helped write when he was chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Left unsaid, as always, is that the budget was co-written by former Democratic Gov. Gary Locke and approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Gregoire told Democrats that there is a great story to tell about progress over the past four years. She told them are the “story tellers” and sid they need to tell everyone they know, “because if we can get the word out about what we have done we win in November.”

She also criticized radio ads sponsored by a PAC controlled by the Building Industry Association of Washington. The ads criticize Gregoire’s record on transportation.

I thought I was running against Rossi. But I guess I’m running against the BIAW. So in November we’ll send them a message as well.

The governor even has a marching band. It just marched in at the conclusion of her speech.

MORE:
Sen. Maria Cantwell just spoke to the convention. She was a Hillary Clinton backer and she said:

I do want to see a strong Democratic woman in the White House and that’s why I’m so glad that Michelle Obama will be the First Lady of the United States.

Cantwell got big cheers for saying she plans to continue to investigate high oil prices.

Just like with Enron, this senator is going to stay on the task until we have transparency in oil markets and understand why we are paying record oil prices.

Sen. Patty Murray and Gregoire lost Spokane County in their last elections. But Cantwell won here in 2006, showing, she said, “that a Democrat can win in Eastern Washington.”

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Recent entries

Jun 14, 08 - 04:46 PM
Democrats approve platform

Jun 14, 08 - 02:12 PM
Pelosi has big plans for country

Jun 14, 08 - 12:26 PM
Objection from the Gregoire camp

Jun 14, 08 - 11:33 AM
Democrats' draft platform

Jun 14, 08 - 09:42 AM
The Democratic convention

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