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May 31, 2006

Feel the Buzz

Rahm Emanuel came to town yesterday evening to show his support for Darcy Burner.  Emanuel, Congressman from Illinois and Chair of the DCCC, the organization charged with getting more Democrats elected to the House of Representatives, joined ex-Republican Rodney Tom, currently running as a Democrat in the 48th LD for the State Senate, and Dwight Pelz, Chair of the State Democratic Party in touting Darcy.  The event was held at the new Community Center at Mercer View on Mercer Island and it was jammed.    

There is a lot of buzz surrounding Darcy and her run to unseat Dave Reichert.  The crowd was ready to trade Reichert in for a fresh, determined new representative and they seemed to like what they saw in the “Microsoft Mom”, as Emanuel called her.

Rodney Tom started off the proceedings, sharing how happy he is to be a Democrat and how much he thinks his district, which is entirely within the 8th CD, is behind Darcy.  After the event I asked him why he was glad he’d made the switch.  He said he feels welcome when he is in rooms with Democrats whereas he’d felt shunned in recent years at Republican events for being too much of a moderate.  He also said he thinks the 48th district, which includes Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland, is definitely leaning Democratic and fits both where he is and where Darcy is.

Dscn1011 Next up was Dwight Pelz who talked about why we need to take this seat.  The room burst into applause when he said, “When we do, we will investigate those bastards.” 

Pelz also announced that Bush will be coming to raise money for Reichert in June.  That is how seriously the Republicans take the Burner campaign.  Bush is only campaigning publicly for a few candidates around the country, mostly because his support is generally not very helpful to candidates.  Pelz said that polling has indicated that only 24% of voters in the 8th CD approve of the job that Bush is doing.  Since Reichert is a Bush supporter down the line, it’s hard to see that voters won’t turn him out of office in favor of Darcy, who is far more in tune with the voters in the 8th.

When Rahm Emanuel stepped up to the microphone to talk about Darcy, he began by saying, “This Microsoft Mom is going to win.”  Emanuel reminded us that we have added more debt over the last five years than at anytime in American history.  He talked about how much money special interests like the oil and pharmaceutical industries have made off the current Republican Congress.  The oil industry spent $98 million lobbying this Congress and received $18 billion in return in laws that favored them.  He said, “That’s a far better return on their money than anything else they could do.”  He added, “Voting for Dave Reichert is voting for the same course in the future.  It’s time for a change.”

Dscn1007 Then Darcy stepped up to talk with the audience.  Darcy talked about her working class background and the opportunities she had and made in life – as a national merit scholar who went to Harvard and then worked in the high-tech industry.  She talked about how brother, who is in the military, has served one tour in Iraq and will serve another.   She talked about how she wants to make a good world for her 3-year old son to grow up in.   

She said, “We have an opportunity to change this Congress.  This race is 1/15 of the needed change.  This 1/15 is in your hands.  I need your support.  Help me by volunteering.  Help me by contributing.  Thank you.” 

I did not know most of the folks in the audience.  They were not the old Democratic hands.  They were local to the eastside, people out to either find out about who Darcy is or to support her as she came to their neighborhood.   But they liked what they heard.  They applauded for her and they applauded when Dwight or Rahm reminded them that we need to turn out the Congress we currently have in the “other Washington”. 

It was great to have Rahm here in our state.  He is doing a great job of making sure that we have the best possible chance of taking back our Congress.  The DCCC has identified a set of candidates, Darcy included, who have the best chance of helping do just that and he has helped raise the national money that will help the DCCC make this happen.

However, one old hand, who asked not to be quoted, did say that it is up to us in this area to give Darcy the support she needs to be independent of the national Democrats.  I agree.  I think the more money we can provide for Darcy’s campaign, the easier it will be for her to be her own person.  She is independent by nature and not inclined to kowtow to anyone, Democratic establishment included.  Nevertheless, the more we can fund her from the grassroots right here in this state, the easier it will be for her.  Help do that.       

Posted by Lynn Allen on May 31, 2006 at 07:02 PM in Candidate Races | Permalink

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