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July 08, 2006

Kudos to Wilson; Kudos to Cantwell

News came out earlier today that Mark Wilson will be supporting Cantwell and working actively for her campaign.  Mark relates in an email to Howie (see entire email below) that he talked with Maria one-on-one and believes that they are close enough on the Iraq War issue now that he can withdraw with a sense that the issues he cares about will be addressed and championed in the Senate.  Kudos to him for taking such a position of integrity; kudos to Cantwell for bringing him around; and kudos to whomever worked behind the scenes to bring all this together.  And I'm glad that Dal Lamagna is also going to be actively working to relect Maria; his support from the progressive side of the Democratic Party will be appreciated.

I have been gravely concerned about this election and the tear in the fabric of our unified Democratic opposition to the Bush Administration that this primary election might have engendered.  I greatly appreciate that we have the opportunity to heal our differences and unite behind Maria with the enthusiasm that will take her back to the Senate where she belongs.  As Goldy says, she is not Lieberman and Wilson was not Lamont. 

We need every seat we can get in the Senate and can not afford to lose this one to the likes of McGavick.

Here's the email that Mark Wilson sent out (compliments of Howie):

    I am deeply grateful for all your support. As I have come to get to know many of you I have discovered great treasures of the heart and a vast wealth of the spirit from which I draw hope, courage and confidence.

    Now, though, is the time for unity.

    After 16 months of campaigning in Washington State for the US Senate, I have come to terms with issues of deep conscience.
    In all consideration, my opinion is the best remedy for meeting the challenges of the future, and to be victorious, is for me to withdraw my candidacy for the US Senate and to endorse and work with Senator Maria Cantwell for re-election.

    This is not a concession. My conviction is that supporting Senator Cantwell is the surest way to winning for us all.

    I stated all along that my goal in this effort was not to run against anyone, but to run for everyone. This has been a campaign of our values. And, that the highest priority is that we Democrats retain this important seat.

    Senator Maria Cantwell is the best choice for achieving that important goal. The fact is that Senator Cantwell has time and again stood, face in the wind of adversity, and persevered on our behalf. Now is the time to get behind her and push.

    Please join me in this important effort.

    Not long ago Senator Cantwell withstood the blowing chill from the north and courageously faced down Ted Stevens from Alaska and won a critical environmental victory on ANWR.

    There have been many instances, time and again, where her character has shined. With a Democratic majority in the US Senate she will rise and shine on our behalf again and again. Of this I am sure.

    I have had a deep and personal one-on-one conversation with Senator Cantwell. I came away convinced we are on the same path when it comes to solving the crisis in Iraq and the potential crisis with Iran.

    We agree there must be no permanent American military bases in Iraq.

    We are also in agreement that every American should have access to quality health care. We could not get any further from these important goals and remedies than with an insurance executive.

    Think about it. Access to health care or an insurance executive. You can't have both.

    The Bush, Cheney, McGavick Republican policies have been tragic for the people of Washington State, for the United States and for people all around the world. It will take tremendous effort to get on course away from the rocks of the Bush, Cheney, McGavick nightmare. But, with a Democratic majority in in congress in 2006 we can do it.

    As Democrats though, we cannot merely stand upon the rubble of the Republican ruins.

    We must articulate a clear resolute vision for the future with sound policies grounded in peace, progressive renewable energy solutions, access to quality health care, true human and civil rights including LGBT equality, while protecting a woman's right to choose and fiscal responsibility.

    We must lead the way to hopeful future for our children.

    Getting Americans back to work in good paying family wage jobs that cannot be exploited overseas to the lowest common denominator is critical.

    Getting control of an out of control system is possible with instant runoff voting and clean money public funded campaigns.

    This is the foundation for fair access to serving in our communities for those whose call to service is deafened by big money in politics.

    Unlike McGavick, who is able to campaign every day, Senator Cantwell still has a full time job-- representing us. On top of her job she is campaigning. She needs our support and help to unify all progressives behind her. She asked and I've agreed to work with her to help engage her campaign with you and all progressives.

    My values and issues have not changed. My strategy has.

    I will be taking an active full-time role in Senator Cantwell's re-election campaign. I will be a constant voice for the peace and justice community, for veterans, military families and labor. We all need to be fully engaged.

    The Bush, Cheney, McGavick policies have been tragic for the world, the United States, and for us here in Washington State. Mike McGavick, whatever he might say if elected would be another vote for the Bush Administration.

    You know we cannot do this without your help. It is time for the Washington State Progressive, Peace and Justice democratic community to come together again as a family united, working for our common goals for a hopeful future with real meaning for everyone.

    United our voice has resonance and is heard. Together we will win with Team Cantwell in 2006.

    I am excited about bringing our voices forward in this campaign. I am at your service.


    Mark Wilson

Posted by Lynn Allen on July 8, 2006 at 10:22 PM in Candidate Races | Permalink


One of the questions your desire for unity does not address is the issue of democratic process. Challengers from within the party are a necessary force for examination of issues related to the party's performance. Wilson's acquiescene may serve the purpose of reassuring you of a unified Democratic Party, but consider the following post from nancyg's blog from 6/14/06:

At our State Convention in Yakima, there were several attempts to suppress dissent and fair campaigning that occurred which all Democrats should know about.

1. When we first went in to register at the convention Friday morning, the people behind the registration tables were "Coordinated" Campaign (aka Cantwell campaign) employees, all wearing Cantwell shirts. The Credentials Committee later filed a minority report about it, saying their committee members have always handled registration in the past, and should have been allowed to do so this time. The Committee was not even asked about being replaced by Coordinated Campaign staff--the job was simply taken away from them. The committee also expressed consternation about the inappropriateness of overt campaigning at the registration desks.

2. When we got into the convention floor itself, we were quite early. There were tall signs on each end of our chair rows that said ‘Whatcom’. At the bottom of each sign was a Cantwell bumper sticker. Another delegate and I pulled the stickers off, since our county has not endorsed Cantwell and doesn't endorse candidates before a primary. A delegate from Kitsap behind me said I couldn’t remove the sticker. I explained to her that our county doesn't endorse before a primary, so the sign was misleading with the sticker attached. She hurried off to find staff. (By the way, people in several other counties were also removing the stickers. It wasn't just us.) Later I came back and saw the Cantwell stickers had been replaced. I went to remove it again, and was physically accosted by the Kitsap delegate, who began hitting me vigorously over the head with her convention packet (not a trivial amount of paper). I was astonished. She grabbed my arm when I tried to step back out of her way, began shouting, and there were immediately three Cantwell campaign staffers all around me. They told me I couldn’t remove the stickers. I said, ‘She was hitting me!’ They only repeated that I should leave the stickers alone. I said, ‘Our County doesn't endorse primary candidates who have challengers. The sticker is misleading.’ They then said the signs were the property of the state party and I had to leave them alone. I asked if the signs belonged to the state party or the Coordinated Campaign. They said they were working together on this, and the stickers had to stay in place. Not wanting to be beaten over the head again, and seeing that the number of campaign employees closing in around me was now up to five, I went back to my seat. I seriously thought I might get hauled out of the convention altogether had I pursued it further at that moment. And they were definitely Coordinated Campaign employees, not state party staff. However, once the majority of delegates were on the floor, we added Wilson and Tran stickers to our Whatcom signs. Other counties did the same. Some also used peace or Out of Iraq stickers to clarify the message on their county signs. The campaign staff didn't interfere any longer when there were so many more people around to see their behavior.

Posted by: Greg | Jul 9, 2006 11:26:55 AM


Believe me, I feel your - and nancyg's - pain. The Cantwell campaign staff threatened to have me arrested for staging a lone, silent protest against the Senator's continuing support for the Iraq War as I stood OUTSIDE ON THE STEPS at the Obama/Cantwell event at Garfield High a few months ago. I have since learned from people high-up inside the democratic party about some of the truly dirty things the Cantwell campaign has been engaging in. I believe that Wilson's retirement from the primary is a non-event. It will not convince Cantwell's most fervent critics to cast a primary vote for her, and there's no telling if they will show up to support her in November. She dug this hole all by herself, putting the future make-up of the Senate at risk. I will (very reluctantly) be giving her my vote in the fall, but in the primary? NO WAY. You are right about primaries being part of the democratic process, and though Hong Tran is still in it, Cantwell never got a real challenge from inside the party. And that's a damned shame. She needs to be held accountable for her hostility to the U.S. Constitution (Iraq War Support, Patriot Act votes, Alito cloture).

And her campaign staff needs to be outed for their lies and dirty tricks. After November, I plan to do whatever I can to make sure those corrupt campaign practices are made public. Each and every one of her campaign staffers deserves to be strung up on barbed wire. Since way back to her days at Real Networks, Cantwell has shown herself to be a coward. She never takes responsiblity for her actions, and never goes on the record about anything she is afraid may come back to bite her in the ass later. Is it any wonder she spent so many months running away from her constituents' legitimate questions about her Senate record?

With a coward like Maria, it's par for the course.

Posted by: shoephone | Jul 9, 2006 8:37:37 PM

Sour grapes make for bitter whine. Mark Wilson, to his credit, has moved on and so should you.

Posted by: teh.grassroots | Jul 10, 2006 6:01:10 AM


I personally think these are two different issues. I just wrote a piece on the need for transparency in the state Democratic Party and cited the emails that have been going around, NancyG's included, although I did not name her since I didn't know how public these were. It's entitled "Know that the Waters Around You Have Changed" and is a few posts prior to this one. We need for the Party to be both democratic and transparent and the incidents that you and shoephone are talking about simply cannot occur if we are to be united. I get that. Nevertheless, given the givens of this race and the importance of this race nationally for the ability of the Democrats to take back the Senate, I stand by my sense that we need to unite and get behind Maria.

Posted by: Lynn | Jul 10, 2006 8:25:05 AM

Sour grapes? Whine?
That's obnoxious.
Cantwell works for us and holding her feet to the fire over truly reprehensible actions (AUMF, PatriotAct, bankruptcy, Alito, etc) is our responsibility.
Moreover, this is the fourth report I've heard of Cantwell's staffers acting like young Republicans - it's also reprehensible and I fully support shoephone in her desire to expose this nastiness - it's undemocratic and unDemocratic.
I'm voting for Tran in the primary, and hope to have a guest blog up about her on DownWithTyranny within the week.
Cantwell might not be Lieberman, but take away his national press access, and they're not so different. Blech!

Posted by: leftofliberal | Jul 12, 2006 10:08:17 PM

In Spokane on July 15, 2006, in Grant Park during the Perry Street Fair, I spoke to Democrats at a table they had set up. I wanted to hear from them about Maria Cantwell's pro-war and anti-democratic votes. They threatended to call the police and actually went to the table of a candidate for Sheriff and had some of his plain clothed Sheriff's deputies come down to make sure I stayed away from "threatening them" with my free speech. So I went home and got my anti-Cantwell flyers and returned to the park.

In March 2006 I picketed alone against U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell in front of the Federal Building in Spokane, WA. Sen. Cantwell's Spokane offices is in that building. Maria Cantwell, as you may or may not know, is a multi-millionaire Democrat, pro-war, wishy-washy on right wing judges, & always with a finger to the political winds. While picketing alone in front of that building, I drew the attention of several federal security guards. Shortly thereafter, in front of the adjoining Post Office property, I was approached by a man who handed me a business card & a pink post-it note. The business card identified him as Paul Zambon, U.S. General Services Administration Property Manager, (Cell # 509-990-6599 e-mail paul.zambon@gsa.gov). He told me 41 CFR 101-20.4 prohibited my presence & activities without completing an application. I reminded him that on a brass plack in front of the Federal Bldg is a copy of the Bill of Rights and that I was going no where. Later that morning, standing across the street continuing my leafletting in front of the Spokesman-Review newspaper building, their guard came out & told me to get out of the front of their building. I told him as a taxpayer I owned the sidewalk and was going no where. Now my congresswomen are going to block access to them via e-mail? In fact, both Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell have already implimented this blocking system, as I know from the return messages I received attempting to send them copies of this message at their until recently functioning e-mail addresses. Sometimes the Democratic party is a disgrace to the word democratic, as in "democratic process". In Washington state we have alternatives on the left to voting for Cantwell in the 2006 elections. Large numbers of us intend to do so.

Well, now pro-war Democratic US Senator Maria Cantwell is coming to town. Below you will find the details of the event followed by the text for a flyer you can copy and print for that event. Be sure to bring your camera (better yet an observer with camera) and audio recorder for self protection as it is almost a certainty that in the course of expressing your free speech rights you will be subject to provocation if not assault.

Protest location and details:

Spokane County Democratic Party salmon feed on Aug. 13 at 5 pm.
Tickets: $35. Must preregister. Riverfront Park, North Picnic Shelter
www.spokanedemocrats.org (324-8525)

Text for flyer:


AKA Maria "can't bloody well vote against 'em,
so might as well vote for 'em" Cantwell.

Maria voted to:

• Create the Patriot Act on October 25, 2001 and then to re-authorize
it on March 2, 2006.
• Pass the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of US Armed Froces
against Iraq in 2002 and every congressional appropriation for the war
since. A Cantwell spokesperson vehemently asserted that the Senator
continues to support the war. (Vancouver Columbian, August 8, 2005.)
• Stop the filibuster of extreme right-wing Judge Alito on January 30,
• Pass the Central American Free Trade Agreement in summer 2005.

Other Maria Cantwell facts:
• 4th largest recipient of lobbyist/lawyer money in the 2006 election
funding cycle with $676,835.
• Spent over $14 million dollars in campaign funds from 1999 to 2006.
• Has not given back several thousand $$ in Jack Abramoff related
contributions, including $2000 from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla
Indians and $1000 from the Saginaw Chippewa.


Posted by: David Brookbank | Aug 8, 2006 10:28:07 PM

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