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July 20, 2006

The BIAW Targets the State Supreme Court

Andrew at the NPI Blog has been doing a series on the "Walking for Washington" program the BIAW (Building Association of Washington) established to try to elect super-conservative Republicans to the State Supreme Court.  A week ago, Andrew read about how robust this program was becoming when an alert voter discussed it over at Washblog.  Dennis Higgins reported that an attractive young neighbor was knocking at doors obtaining information on how people felt about various judges running for the Washington State Supreme Court.

Andrew did his customary, thorough research and found that the "Walking for Washington" program was funded and organized by the BIAW to promote its slate of candidates for the State Supreme Court.  It was started in 2004.  The program pays conservative activists to knock on doors around the state, do voter ID and drop literature, according to PDC reports.  Andrew says, "the 'Walking for Washington' program has reported a total of $254,632.24 raised, with $173,717.18 spent". 

This program has slipped under the political radar.  Here we've been rightly congratulating ourselves on doing so well in the state legislature and in the federal races.  In the meantime, the right is out there trying to turn our Supreme Court into something that can stop any progressive agenda we develop in the state, just as the U.S. Supreme Court will be able to sway policy for a generation even as progressives manage to take back Congress and the Presidency.  There are a lot of big state organizations that have contributed to "Walking for Washington", including the Washington Restaurant Association, the Realtors PAC, the State Farm Bureau and a long list of other corporations.      

Given the judicial candidates they are supporting, Steven Johnson and John Groen to replace incumbent Justices Susan Owens and Gerry Alexander, this program and these financial backers are working to strike down worker and environmental protections.  Kudos to Andrew for focusing attention on it.  More boos to the BIAW for trying to subvert our democracy yet again.

UPDATE: Turns out Neil Modie at the PI has an article up this morning as well on the BIAW's financing of Groen and Johnson. 

Hat tip to Mickey in the comments.

Posted by Lynn Allen on July 20, 2006 at 08:09 AM in Candidate Races, Strategery | Permalink


Andrew needs to get this story into the mainstream Seattle press, in a big way. Newspapers, talk radio. He should call Robert Mak of King 5 and have him do a piece about it on his show this Sunday.

The blogs are great at scouting out stories and getting the ball rolling, but we in the blogosphere can't effect real change if we are just talking to ourselves...

Posted by: mickey | Jul 20, 2006 8:47:12 AM

Just noticed the Seattle Times is covering this story. (that'll teach me to work too many hours to sit and read the paper) I still think Robert Mak's show is a good idea.

Posted by: mickey | Jul 20, 2006 9:53:16 AM

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