August 03, 2006

45 Minutes With Darcy Burner (WA-8)

Darcy Burner, running in the highly competitive 8th Congressional District of Washington State sat down for a taped interview with me last September. Do you want to know why it took nearly a whole year* to get around to transcribing** 12 pages worth of 12 point text? You do not.

Iíd say that this interview was given before she was cool, but really she was just waiting for the rest of us to come around. However, reading this should make one thing perfectly clear: good ideas and principles donít have a sell-by date. Subjects included values, healthcare, education, the war, the Hanford nuclear facility, energy, civil liberties, the Critical Areas Ordinance, poverty, the cost to the District of gutting the Clean Water Act, healthcare, salmon, campaign finance reform, why Democrats can win the District and corporate involvement in politics. Enjoy.

Update: Check out the follow up interview with Darcy Burner from September, 2006.

Q: Why are you running for Congress?

DB: Because I have a 2 year old. It made me take a step back and look at what kind of a world it is weíre building and what kind of a world it is weíre creating for my child and other children and you know, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. At its core I think that thereís a huge problem with making sure that people who work hard and play by the rules get a fair chance.

We have a government in power right now that is working for exactly the opposite. Theyíre trying to stack the deck in their own favor at the expense of all of the rest of us. We have to have people who are willing stand up and do the right thing, people who are in a position to do that in government.

Q: How do you see that fitting with the values of the Democratic Party, and how do you see those values?

DB: The four biggest values of the Democratic Party are [these]:

Opportunity. The idea that everybody should have the opportunity to do well. We should create a world in which, regardless of your origin, regardless of how poor the family you grew up in or where you were born, that Ö if you work hard you can do well in the world. Opportunity is one of the real core values of the Democratic Party that really differentiates us from the Republicans.

A second one is this idea of individual liberties and individual rights. Certainly that encompasses what we think of as civil liberties, but also this idea that each of us has sovereignty over aspects of our own lives and that the government has no right to interfere with that. The government has no right to tell me what religion to believe, the government has no right to tell me what I should think of President Bush, the government has no right to tell me that I should drink lowfat milk instead of whole milk, given my druthers, and the government has no right to tell me what kind of medical decisions my doctor and I make about my body. The idea of individual sovereignty and individual liberty is one of the core values of the Democratic Party, that we own ourselves and are entitled to our decisions.

The third big thing is the idea of equality. That we are all equal under the law, regardless of our religion, or the color of our skin, or our gender, or whether we were born in this country or somewhere else, or who we elect to date. A very broad-based equality under the law is a core value of the Democratic Party.

I think the final one, and I think this has become really apparent in the last few weeks, is the idea of responsibility. We each have to take responsibility for doing the right thing and for behaving in ways that are responsible to ourselves and the world around us. That government itself has an obligation to behave responsibly. Itís not responsible to take an organization thatís responsible for peopleís lives like FEMA is and stock it with cronies and have thousands of people die who didnít have to. So instead of it being $20 billion in damage, itís $200 billion in damage. Thatís just irresponsible, and thatís the Republicans and not the Democrats. Itís irresponsible to spend trillions of dollars more than we bring in through tax money because we decided that weíd rather do no-bid contracts for Halliburton and tax cuts for the wealthy, thatís irresponsible. Thatís leaving debt to our children and our grandchildren, which is completely unreasonable.

I think that those are the four core values of the Democratic Party. The idea of opportunity, liberty, equality and responsibility.

Q: How does that translate into your strategy for running in the 8th District and delivering that message to people there?

DB: I think that the biggest problem the 8th has right now is that there are a large number of people who are not feeling like the way that the government is behaving is giving them a fair chance. That the policies that the current administration and the Congress that supports it are pursuing are bad for the District and bad for the people of this country. I think communicating that clearly by pointing out specific votes, for example, that Congressman Reichert has taken have substantial negative impact on the District and talking about what the alternatives are, very clearly. That we can have a government that works to give everybody a fair chance. That we can have a government that makes responsible use of taxpayer dollars and invests those dollars in programs and infrastructure that makes peopleís lives better. If we show that contrast, communicating that clearly is most of what itís going to take to win the District.

I mean some specific examples of things that Congressman Reichert has done that are incredibly counterproductive are, he voted to defund the Clean Water Act. Which means in Carnation and Redmond thereís an interesting situation where the residents of Carnation are all on septic because thereís no sewage treatment plant there. Those septics are polluting a watershed which a significant amount of Redmond draws its drinking water out of. And so the city of Carnation needs to install a sewer system, but Dave Reichert voted to defund the portions of the Clean Water Act that would have allowed for grants and low interest loans to build that sewer system. People in Carnation are looking at hundreds of dollars per month per household every year for the next 50 years to try to pay for this sewer system, which is just unaffordable, because Dave Reichert decided to cut those funds. I mean, those are the kinds of investments in our communities that we need to be making.

We need to be making investments in road infrastructure, we need to be making investments in schools, and heís not doing that. At the same time that heís voting to do these huge no-bid contracts for Halliburton, a huge no-bid contract for Carnival Cruise Lines for an incredibly inefficient solution to the New Orleans housing problem, huge no-bid contracts in Iraq. They can find money to send to their cronies, but somehow they canít find it for American citizens who actually need the investment.

Q: Any other key Reichert votes?

DB: He voted to store more nuclear waste at Hanford. I donít know what kind of congressperson from Washington State votes to store more nuclear waste at Hanford, but he did. He voted against allowing stem cell research. He voted just recently to allow religious discrimination in hiring for Head Start programs. He is not representing the interests of the people in the District at all well. Thereís a whole list on my website.

Q: What you said about Hanford touches on our energy issues, with some in Congress pushing nuclear energy as a solution for the countryís needs and expanding nuclear research. What do you think we should do about energy?

DB: I think there is a real opportunity right now in terms of investing in clean energy. Thereís an opportunity both because as a country we have massive energy needs that weíre going to have to fulfill and that petroleum canít be the long term answer, thereís just not enough of it. And also because the rest of the world is dramatically increasing their need for energy as well. So you know that somewhere somebodyís going to be building the technology to extract solar energy, somebodyís going to be building more and more efficient solar panels. Somebodyís going to be building more and more efficient wind turbines. And I know that theyíre working on fuel cells and hydrogen energy.

So the question doesnít become, ĎAre these sources of energy going to come into play?í They clearly will. The question becomes, ĎDo we do the investment here?í So that we both create the jobs here to manufacture the basis for this clean energy, and have strategic control over them. So we donít have to worry about getting our supply cut off like we do with the oil supply right now. So we can decide that weíre going to make those investments, or we can sit back and wait while other countries do. Iím sure that China will. Weíre in a position to be able to make huge headway there.

I think that Congressman Inslee and Senator Cantwell have been working very hard on something called the New Apollo Project, which is very much a step in the right direction. If we can regain control of Congress in 2006, I think one of the early things that will happen is a significant investment in this country in alternative energy.

Q: Before, youíd also mentioned that education policy was a big issue for you. Could you talk about that?

DB: Sure. A huge component of the opportunity story is that we do a very broad, universal, high-quality education for every child in this country. And weíre increasingly finding, as industries change more and more rapidly, that we have to have education policy in place for adults, as well. Thatís one piece of it, because itís good for one of our basic ideals, which is opportunity. But it also makes a huge amount of sense fiscally.

Every dollar that we invest in quality early childhood education programs like Head Start, brings back into society between $14-17 worth of return, which is a huge return on investment for us. Thatís increased taxes paid into the system because of increased productivity, itís decreased crime and decreased incarceration costs. These are terrific investments for us in society to be making fiscally, and terrific investments to be making from a moral standpoint. So I look at something like Head Start and I say we should make Head Start, or programs like the early childhood education program that the military has, available essentially universally for every child in this country. Every child in this country should have access to quality, early childhood education. It makes sense fiscally, it makes sense from the perspective of pursuing our values, and it makes sense in terms of us building the kind of a workforce that want to have in this country, 20 and 30 and 40 years from now. So why weíre cutting funding for Head Start, itís completely counterintuitive on every rational level.

At the other side of the educational system, the Republicans have also cut funds for student loans, theyíve cut funds for Pell grants, theyíve cut funding to universities. That has a huge impact, particularly on the ability of middle class and poor students to be able to pursue higher education at all, which again, is bad for us on all counts. Itís bad for us from a fiscal perspective, that they earn less, that theyíre less productive, they contribute less to society. That decreases our overall productivity, it takes potential industry leaders completely out of play, because they canít get the education they need, and it decreases opportunity, that broad-based opportunity weíve talked about.

Again, itís bad fiscally, itís bad from the perspective of pursuing our values, itís bad from what we want to build for this country. And yet, itís what the Republicans are doing.

And when we look even at No Child Left Behind, No Child Left Behind as itís actually implemented, both in its early precursor form in Texas and as weíre starting to see nationally, itís all about pushing kids who arenít performing out of the schools so they donít count against you on the standardized tests. So instead of giving them any kind of education, we simply push them out, which I would say leaves large numbers of children very far behind.

Q: Do you see the PATRIOT Act as helping us fight terrorism here at home?

DB: I think that there are probably a handful of provisions in the PATRIOT Act that are good tools, that are legitimate for law enforcement to use, but there are also a lot of provisions of the PATRIOT Act that are clearly unconstitutional and unacceptable. I find it unconscionable that Congress renewed event those provisions that it knew very well were unconstitutional. The idea that we have this contract between the citizens of this country and the government, in the form of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights, and the other amendments, means that we donít pass laws that violate the basis of that contract. There are clearly provisions of the PATRIOT Act that do.

Q: Particular examples?

DB: A lot of the provisions related to things like sneak-and-peak warrants. The Constitution clearly says that you are not allowed, as government law enforcement, to do searches and seizures without warrants and reasonable cause. They have under the PATRIOT Act, these very broad provisions that allow them to spy on people to gather information without ever getting a specific warrant, and thatís unacceptable.

Q: An issue that comes up a lot here in Washington State is the protection of wilderness areas and salmon, which sometimes comes into conflict with the interests of property owners. How would you see your role in Congress in relation to those two interests?

DB: Thatís actually a really huge issue in the 8th Congressional District. The tension between property owners, particularly in rural areas, and some of the environmental laws that are in effect right now. This came up really recently, with the passage last October of King Countyís updated Critical Areas Ordinances, which were designed to protect environmental quality and affected mostly the unincorporated areas of the county, so the rural areas of the county. And the initial draft of the Critical Areas Ordinances made it so that very reasonable uses that people had expected to make of their property and were making of their property would have been illegal under that first draft. So, there was a two-thirds set aside for property in rural King County, where youíd have to allow two-thirds of it to grow in native vegetation. The original didnít include a grandfathering clause. Youíre a farmer? Set aside two-thirds of it. You bought an acre out in Duvall so that your kids could have a regulation soccer field? Too bad, youíre going to have to let in grow up in weeds. And of course thatís not reasonable.

I think that the updated versions, what they eventually passed and have implemented in terms of the Critical Areas Ordinances, are much more reasonable than that. But unfortunately, it has really exacerbated the tension between the environmental community and people who own property in rural areas. And of course the updates to the Endangered Species Act that Congress passed last week also bring that issue into play.

I think as a society, we absolutely have to look at how we protect our environment. How we protect endangered species, how we protect the quality of our air, how we protect the quality of our water, so that we have a sustainable world that weíre living in. At the same time, it behooves us to do that in ways that donít ask a really small number of people to shoulder all of the burden on behalf of all of the rest of us. So I think that thereís a balance that can be struck, in terms of saying, Ďlook, if we make it so that you canít make reasonable use of your property through no fault of your own, then as a society we will shoulder the cost of preserving that more broadly than just on you, if you can no longer make any use of your property.í Thatís not an unreasonable thing for us to do. And we donít have a very good model right now.

We tend to be talking in these extremes right now. Either we say that we have environmental protection thatís absolute, and if thereís something endangered, the property owner just has to eat the cost, or at the other extreme you have people saying, Ďyouíre not allowed to restrict what I do with my property at all.í Which is equally unreasonable, because what I do with my property and what you do with your property affects all the people around us. Itís not like, if I decide to bury nuclear waste in my backyard, it isnít going to affect my neighbors. Of course it is. If I increase runoff into some stream off of my property such that it substantially hurts the salmon population, that has an effect that goes far beyond just the bounds of my property. So I think thereís a balance we can strike there, wherein of course there are reasonable restrictions that can and should be placed on individual property owners that might have a negative impact on the rest of the environment. At the same time, where there is a special situation and the property owner is really disproportionately impacted through no fault of their own, we can help with some reasonable way as a society to compensate them.

Q: What do you think about the move to include farmed salmon in the counts of the total wild salmon population?

DB: Is that like calling ketchup a vegetable? My understanding is that the farmed salmon are substantially different than the wild salmon in a number of ways, not the least of which is the propensity to get diseases and lack of genetic diversity. I would therefore probably be disinclined to count farmed salmon in the salmon count. The best available science tells us theyíre fairly different, they probably arenít an equivalent substitute.

Q: A lot of peopleís conception of the 8th District is, Ďoh, thatís where Microsoft is,í but thereís a lot of poverty in this District and weíve been hit by a lot of job losses. What do we do as a society about people who are just down on their luck and having a hard time making it back up?

DB: Do I get to tell you a story?

Q: Sure.

DB: I have a friend who used to baby sit for my son and she is married to a guy who was a long-time Boeing employee, an executive who specialized in operations. Really bright guy, really hard working, who got laid off by Boeing just after 9/11. Heís worked hard and played by the rules his whole life, both of them have. After he got laid off, he immediately started looking for another job and started collecting unemployment. He continued to look for another job, and eventually of course, the unemployment benefits ran out. They sold their house, they spent their entire retirement savings, they lost basically everything. And heís currently driving a shuttle van for Airport Express, because he canít find a job that uses his skills. Thatís a huge problem, not just for him, but for us as a nation. Heís got the abilities and the motivation to substantially add to productivity in this country, and itís being wasted. As a country we are worse off when talent like that gets wasted.

And weíre in the middle of this huge economic transformation, which is being caused both by increasing globalization, and by substantial changes in technology, such that jobs that looked 10 years ago like a career that you could have for your whole life just vanish. We know in the long term that this transition to a global economy and to an economy where technology dramatically increases productivity is a good one. But in the short term, there are these huge transition costs. And as a society, as the wealthiest society that the world has ever known, we have the opportunity to invest in people, to make the transition less painful for them and less painful for society. Unfortunately, the current administration is choosing not to do it.

We should be investing in things like the energy technologies I talked about earlier so that we have new industries, new manufacturing industries to replace some of the manufacturing industries that have gone away. But manufacturing industries that are based on new technologies and new needs, rather than trying simply to protect the old ones, which we canít really do. We should be looking at how we retrain people for the kind of jobs that exist today in this economy and what we can do to help them transition.

We have a huge shortage of nurses in this country right now, and thatís only going to get worse as the Baby Boomers age. Why is it that we donít have really aggressive programs in place to make it possible for people who have the desire to become nurses and the basic talents that it takes to be able to make that transition without becoming homeless and having their families starve in the process. We are the wealthiest society the world has ever known and weíre going through a huge economic transition right now that we know is for the best, and the cost of that transformation, we are currently allowing that to fall on the heads of the people who can least afford it. Thatís unacceptable.

Q: Part of that transition cost is also healthcare. People often lose that when they leave a job and they might get COBRA, but itís hard to afford that on unemployment. Figures came out recently indicating that an individually purchased policy for a family of four costs more per year than the gross minimum wage. What do we do about this?

DB: Ah, the third rail. Clearly, healthcare is a huge part of the problem. Another anecdotal story, Iím full of anecdotal stories.

My sister decided a couple of years ago, after having struggled with her husband to put a roof over their heads and food on their table with two small children, finding that on the kinds of jobs they could get as high school graduates, that it wasnít possible to do that. They spent much of the last 10 years in my parentsí basement. She decided, ĎItís time for me to take control of my own life, Iím going to go back to school and become a licensed practical nurse.í Which takes another 14-16 months of schooling. She applied for Pell Grants and she applied for student loans, and my parents helped subsidize her substantially so that she could get through that program. She got through the program, she got a job working as a nurse in a doctorís office, she got health insurance. It was the highest paying job sheíd ever had, they were in a stable position, they said, ĎOkay, finally we have made it to a point where things are sustainable.í And being in their early thirties, they said, Ďwell, if we want to have any more children, now is the time to do it. We have health insurance, we have jobs that pay us enough, we have our own place, letís have one more child.í

She got pregnant, immediately had complications. Complications that were life threatening not only to the baby, but also to her, because she was hemorrhaging so much blood. She was put on bed rest, lost her job, lost her health insurance partway into this pregnancy, which of course requires substantial healthcare. Her COBRA cost, for health insurance, was $1200 a month. I donít think that they were grossing $1200 a month on his salary, much less being able to pay rent, feed their children, and make sure their kids had shoes that fit. So she found herself in this really terrible situation where if she hadnít had a family that was really willing to really bend over backwards to help her, and my parents have compromised their own ability to have a secure retirement in order to help my sister, thereís a good chance she and the baby wouldnít have survived.

The good news is that the story has a happy ending, that sheís fine and my niece Lily is at this point, I think, three weeks old, but they have these debts, my parents have spent down their savings and this would have been devastating under most circumstances.

That story is not unusual. If you get really sick and you lose your job, you lose your health insurance, and then what happens? We have to figure out how we are going to make some basic level of health care available to everyone in this country as not just a good thing from a human perspective, but also, again, as a fiscally sound investment. Because people who arenít able to get routine medical care, who arenít able to get decent health care for basic things, end up being much less productive and much more expensive in the long term. If you have a five year old who gets strep throat and doesnít get antibiotics for it, you end up with an adult who potentially has heart conditions and canít work.

These are basic investments that we should be making. And one of the things I did when I was at Microsoft was take a look at a breakdown of how every dollar that we spend in this country on healthcare is spent, what does it go for, and the estimates are that between fifty and sixty-five cents out of every dollar goes to administrative overhead. There are disagreeing numbers, but itís in that range. Thatís because we have this incredibly inefficient system of all these different health insurance companies, different billing forms, different billing codes and if the doctor gets the billing code wrong, you have to resubmit it six times. Itís incredibly inefficient and it doesnít do a very good job of providing health care to people who need it.

The most efficient health care providers in this country, in terms of value for dollars spent, are Medicare and Medicaid. So clearly we need to commit to providing some basic level of healthcare for everybody. And Iím not saying take away peopleís choices of doctors, Iím not saying that we donít allow people to go beyond that in terms of whatís available for their healthcare, Iím not saying that companies like Microsoft wonít offer benefits far beyond the basic level. Iím saying that we can easily afford this as a country, to provide basic healthcare for everyone. And it doesnít make sense for us, from an economic perspective not to be doing it.

Q: Do you see this as possibly an extension of existing programs?

DB: Yes, one of the things that you can do is take a look at the existing programs that are working and build off of them. I think you could probably build off of the existing Medicare program and just expand eligibility over time.

Q: Youíve been talking to people in the District, business owners, people at their doors, what are you hearing back, what are people concerned about?

DB: A wide variety of things. There is a significant amount of dissatisfaction with the people currently in power in government, which I donít think comes as a surprise to anybody. And that dissatisfaction extends to a whole bunch of arenas. Thereís obviously dissatisfaction over Iraq and the way itís being handled. Thereís dissatisfaction over the problem of health care, is actually one that comes up over and over again. Thereís a huge amount of dissatisfaction over the state of the economy. We can have the experts tell us is doing really well over and over again, but we know better. I mean, maybe the economy is doing really well if youíre an executive at Halliburton, but for most of the rest of us it doesnít necessarily feel that way.

I think that there are real concerns over the level of corruption and abuse of power in government right now. I mean itís interesting that people on the inside have known for a while that there were these incredibly unethical fundraising caucuses happening through Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, but itís really interesting to watch the American public react as that stuff becomes public. I think that people are shocked and dismayed that their elected leaders would turn out to be such a disappointment. I donít understand how they can decide to be such dreadful human beings. The idea that they would lobby against their potential clients and then go up to those potential clients and say, Ďnice business youíve got here, it would be a pity if something regulatory happened to it, but for a mere half a million dollars we can make the threat of regulation go away.í And then of course they would just stop lobbying against their clients. Thatís how they raised the vast amounts of money that they funneled into these campaigns, sometimes legally, sometimes as these indictments show, not legally.

I donít know when the government became the mafia, but Iím dismayed.

Q: Do you think we need stricter campaign finance regulations or just to enforce the ones weíve got?

DB: Well I think that we certainly need to enforce the campaign finance regulations that we have in place. But I also think that we need to take a really hard look at corporate contributions to politics, including corporate soft money contributions to politics, which are at the heart of a lot of the problem. If itís relatively straightforward for them to launder corporate soft money contributions into hard money contributions, which clearly they have been able to do, and then apply those hard money contributions to get candidates elected, then theyíre in a position, frankly, to be able to blackmail corporations into donating large quantities of money. And thatís bad, thatís bad on all counts.

Itís bad for us citizens, who would like the people to be represented in government, rather than merely corporate interests. Of course people also have an interest in corporations providing us jobs and services and products, itís not that corporations are inherently bad. I wouldnít say that Costco is inherently bad. But I donít want politicians to be in a position to be able to blackmail Costco. And Iím using Costco arbitrarily; Costcoís an aboveboard, good, beyond reproach company, just to be fair. I donít want anybody to be able to blackmail them, and I donít want any of those corporations, like Halliburton, to be able to so disproportionately influence what happens in politics.

This is a government of, by and for the people, and we have to remember that. Itís not a government of, by and for the money. Itís not a government of, by and for the stuff. Itís government of, by and for the people. Campaign finance laws have to be set up in such a way that thatís the end result, government by the people.

Q: So what do you see that individuals running for office can do to reassure the public about their own campaigns and their own intentions?

DB: Well for my part, Iím pretty careful about who Iím taking any money from to make sure I donít have any conflict of interest. I think that Rep. Reichert might be well served by returning all of the contributions he got from Tom DeLayís PACs.*** I know that Tom DeLayís been doing a huge amount of fundraising for him and we have to question where Reichertís allegiance lies, given all of that money. I know there was a Republican Congressman yesterday who announced that he was returning the money he received through ARMPAC, for exactly that reason.

Donít accept tainted money, rule number one.

Q: So are there any other issues that youíd like to talk about?

DB: I think we have to take a hard look at what kind of people we want in government, and then we have to work hard to elect them. I know in Washington Stateís 8th Congressional District, we can win it in 2006. I am running to win it. I am running to win it not because I have delusions of being the next Tom DeLay, Iím running because I think we need somebody in the seat who will represent the people of the District.

George Howland in an article a week and a half ago described me as a blue-collar, military brat turned soccer mom, geek, which is a pretty accurate description, but also a great description of the 8th Congressional District.

I get what itís like to worry about how youíre going to buy dinner for your family tomorrow night, how youíre going to pay the rent. Thatís my siblings, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, and certainly me earlier in my life, that would exactly describe us. I remember my parents struggling to figure out how they were going to get grocery money; every single month. I also understand how much opportunity can make a difference in terms of peopleís lives. I have been incredibly fortunate in my life, I was given an opportunity to work my way through college. To get student loans, to get scholarships, to get grants and got a degree in computer science. I went to work in the high tech field at what turned out to be a very good time, and now have the ability to say that Iím going to spend the next 13 months of my life doing nothing but trying to win this seat for the people of the 8th Congressional District, because I donít have to worry about bringing in a paycheck. I donít have to worry about how Iím going to feed my son next week.

We can continue to elect people who hate government and try to dismantle it. But if we do that, weíre not going to get people who create government that makes the investments in the country and people that we deserve. Or we can elect representatives who believe in the people of this country and the promise that this country has, and who will do everything they can to see that promise fulfilled.

Q: So you see the District as winnable for the Democratic Party because Ö?

DB: A whole bunch of reasons. For one, it turns out that the District is actually a Democratic District. This is a District that voted for John Kerry, itís a District that voted for Al Gore, itís a District voted for Patty Murray. Itís a District that tends to vote on the progressive side when ballot initiatives come through. Itís a District that voted to increase funding for home health care aides, that consistently votes for education levies. This is a District that by its nature is somewhat progressively Democratic.

It has a lot of independent thinkers who want, who demand, that we have a government thatís fiscally responsible, which I think is a completely reasonable demand. I mean, I know that the classic profile for the District is socially progressive, fiscally conservative, which I think also describes me.

It is also the case that the District is incredibly dissatisfied with the Bush administration and with the Congress that supports him. Dave Reichert has done very little in Congress to show that he has the best interests of the District at heart. His votes are going to really hurt him when it comes time for reelection, because he has been voting with Tom DeLay. [Unintelligible], a big long list of votes and 92-97 percent of the time, depending on where we are in the cycle, he votes with Tom DeLay. Because Tom DeLay is feeding his reelection machine and he cares a whole lot more about getting reelected than he does about serving the people of the District and I think that that will come back to haunt him.

* There might be a month out of the last year wherein something didnít go grimly wrong, or a number of time-consuming things decide to all happen at once, but offhand I canít think of one. Fourth worst ever and it isnít over yet. Uncle.

** This dialogue has been de-ummed, de-burred if you will, and some of my questions trimmed for clarity, but this is pure Burner.

*** Reichert received the maximum of $20,000 from DeLay's ARMPAC, and more than $150,000 total through other DeLay fundraising efforts. Both Bush and Gingrich are happy to stump for him though, so no worries that Reichert has been abandoned following the indictment of his generous former patron.

Posted by natasha at August 3, 2006 09:38 AM | WA Politics | Technorati links |

Good interview. There is another candidate running in the Third Congressional District in California, Dr. Bill Durston, who is also running a grass roots campaign. He is running against a machine fed, career politician, Dan Lungren, who has been side stepping debating Dr. Durston for months. Those of us who are working for him are passionate about his ideals and his courage. He is one of the "Fighting Dems", a Viet Nam vet, and Emergency Room Physician who has put his family into a pressure cooker to conduct this campaign for our future. He is the real deal, check him out

Posted by: Marilyn Sabin at August 3, 2006 11:44 AM