Sunday, August 15, 2010

(UPDATED with video) WA Primary Election: "In the 34th District, a lively race divides the party"

UPDATE: "U.S. Rep. McDermott says "Most important election" of his lifetime," video (03:31).
West Seattle Blog video of Congressmember Jim McDermott visiting the 34th District Democrats and telling them this year's election may be the most important one in his lifetime.

Vashon Maury Island Beachcomber:
At issue is the fact that the 34th District Democrats — a politically influential organization in what is largely considered a single-party stronghold — changed its rules recently in order to ensure it could make sole endorsements.

In the past, several Democratic candidates would sometimes win the coveted local party endorsement. But at a time when a new primary system is said to have weakened political parties, the 34th District — by a vote of its membership — recently decided to issue only sole endorsements.

And earlier this year, it threw its collective voice behind Stone, a 57-year-old community organizer who has been a stalwart in the local Democratic party and who has made a name for herself in campaign finance reform circles.

“She’s been a volunteer and leader in the party for many years,” said Tim Nuse, who chairs the 34th District Democrats. Noting her upbringing in White Center and her years of political activism in West Seattle, he added, “She has a breadth of knowledge and experience throughout the district.”

But Ivan Weiss, an Islander and the former chair of the 34th District Democrats, supports Fitzgibbon, a 23-year-old former aide to Sharon Nelson and a young man he calls a “legislative prodigy.” He’s also harshly and openly critical of the local party’s decision to endorse Stone.
Heavey, 30, whose father, by the same name, is a well-known judge and former state senator, sounds a slightly more conservative note. Heavey, an aide to King Councilwoman Jan Drago, calls for “performance-based government” and zero-base budgeting — a system of governance that requires every line item to be reviewed rather than built on existing budgets.

More taxes, he said, are not the answer, in large part because voters won’t tolerate them. “The message from the voters (during this election) will be clear — that we need to do more with less,” said Heavey, who was endorsed last week by The Seattle Times. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Publicola covers the money side of this race here and here. The West Seattle Blog has interviews with Marcee Stone, Joe Fitzgibbon, Mike Heavey and Mac McElroy. It should be noted that McElroy is not a member of any "party"---but he's in the picture anyway.

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