Tag: Rick Larsen
When the sequester crisis that Congress created began to disrupt air travel, Congress moved quickly to fix the problem. U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, says he wishes his colleagues would show similar concern about disruptions facing kids, military personnel and elderly people from sequester cuts.
In remarks delivered on the floor of the House, Larsen called Congressional action to fix air traffic controller staffing “somewhere short of a profile in courage.”
“Sequestration is a little bit like the person who kicks a boulder, and then blames the boulder for his broken toe,” Larsen said. “Congress created this problem. We need to fix it.”
With industrial safety in the news after the horrific April 17, 2013 fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and other members of the Washington congressional delegation are pressing for results from a federal investigation into the April 10, 2010 refinery explosion that killed seven Tesoro workers in Anacortes.
Here is a link to the letter that the Everett Democrat sent to Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, also signed by U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.
UPDATE: After he saw this blog post, State Rep. Jeff Morris, D-40th, alerted us to the fact that he also sent a letter to the Chemical Safety Board dated March 28, calling for the board to get moving and finish its report on the Tesoro tragedy.
The Washington Department of Labor and Industries fined Tesoro $2.4 million in October, 2010, alleging “willful violations.”
The company appealed that fine,
but my efforts to determine the result of that appeal have not yet borne fruit. UPDATE: Jan Raish, spokeswoman at the state’s Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, said the appeal is still pending. The state and the company have been filing motions in the case but no hearing has yet been held. Raish said the typical case gets through the board in less than a year, but this one is a lot more complex.
The federal Chemical Safety Board apparently did announce some investigation findings in April 2011. In this Reuters report via Insurance Journal, the board blamed an improperly-maintained heat exchanger for the blast. The company denied that finding.
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, says the Navy plans to spend $127 million on construction projects at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
That includes $85 million for a hangar and training facilities for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
The air station has about 10,000 military and civilian employees, according to state statistics.
Larsen’s press release on the Navy’s plans includes this helpful link to the Defense Department’s proposed 2014 construction budget.
Here are the details emailed from Larsen’s press office:
WASHINGTON—The Navy plans to spend more than $127 million on construction projects at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, including $85 million for a , Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, announced today.
“My top priority is to invest in the foundation of long-term economic growth that creates jobs and opportunity in the Pacific Northwest,” Larsen said. “This major investment will create hundreds of jobs on Whidbey Island and secure the future of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island as one of the Navy’s most valuable Pacific assets. I am committed to making sure that Congress approves this funding so that Naval Air Station Whidbey Island continues to grow as a national strategic asset and local economic driver.”
The budget proposal includes $85.176 million for the construction of a P-8A aircraft hangar and training facilities, $32.482 million for facility improvements for the expanded EA-18G aircraft presence and $10 million to replace the fuel pier breakwater.
Larsen is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which will consider the defense budget proposal in the months ahead.
Larsen announced $7 million in funding for the design of the P-8A hangar last month.
By John Stark
U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have joined Whatcom County’s two U.S. House representatives, Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene in urging President Barack Obama to designate a national monument in the San Juan Islands.
Here is the joint press release from the four Democrats, which includes the text of their letter to Obama:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a joint letter sent Monday, the Northwest Washington Congressional delegation called on President Barack Obama to take action to conserve close to 1,000 acres of federally owned land on the San Juan Islands with a Presidential National Monument designation.
U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Rick Larsen (D-WA-2), and Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1) urged President Obama to make such a designation prior to the departure of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar later this year. Salazar has led the Administration’s efforts on conserving the federally owned lands in the San Juan Islands, including holding multiple community forums in Washington state over the last several years. Salazar announced on January 16 that he would leave the post and return to Colorado later this year.
In the letter to President Obama, Cantwell, Murray, Larsen and DelBene also announced their intention to reintroduce legislation in the 113th Congress that would conserve the land through a Congressional National Conservation Area (NCA) designation. Currently, there is no long-term comprehensive management plan for these lands, which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees.
“As the 113th Congress and your second term commence, we write to renew our support for the dual-track approach to conserving certain federally owned land parcels in the San Juan Islands that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM),” Cantwell, Murray, Larsen and DelBene wrote. “While we will continue to push for the swift passage of our legislation to conserve these areas, we want to make clear that we believe a National Monument designation offers another pathway that could expedite our shared goals. Before Secretary Salazar leaves office, we urge you to consider designating a National Monument in the San Juan Islands, bringing his and our efforts to fruition.”
The citizen-driven effort to preserve these lands has generated widespread, passionate support from the community. In February 2012, Cantwell, Salazar and members of the community held a public meeting in Anacortes to discuss federal efforts to preserve the land. In July 2011, Cantwell and Larsen held a community listening session in Friday Harbor to hear feedback on the effort to create a National Conservation Area. In April 2011, Salazar held a meeting in Washington state with state and local leaders to discuss San Juan Islands conservation efforts.
Permanent protection of the approximately 1,000 acres of federally owned lands would ensure it remains in its current state and publicly accessible, despite higher use. The federally owned lands include over 60 locations that range from pine forests to lighthouses and are visited by more than 70,000 people every year.
“A National Monument designation will protect the sensitive and beautiful BLM lands in the San Juan Islands and would make a lasting impact of the hundreds of hours of service made by local volunteers to care for the land,” said Tom Reeve, a member of the Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Conservation Area. “We applaud the leadership of our Congressional delegation and urge President Obama to act now to meet the call of San Juan islanders to preserve these cherished lands for future generations of islanders and visitors.”
Full text of the letter is below.
January 28, 2013
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As the 113th Congress and your second term commence, we write to renew our support for the dual-track approach to conserving certain federally owned land parcels in the San Juan Islands that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). While we intend to reintroduce legislation to protect these cherished lands permanently through a Congressional National Conservation Area designation, we fully support your alternative efforts to conserve these same lands through a Presidential National Monument designation (an authority that Congress granted as part of the Antiquities Act of 1906) if such a designation ensures the same level of community involvement as the legislative effort.
The BLM manages approximately 1,000 acres in the San Juan Islands that are important wildlife habitat and draw thousands of tourists every year. Secretary of the Interior Salazar has been particularly helpful to our efforts to preserve these lands. We greatly appreciated his visits in April 2011 and February 2012 to engage local stakeholders and discuss the best way to protect and preserve public access to these unique federal parcels. His willingness to listen to our local constituents and their concerns about the legislation and National Monument designation was instrumental in gaining local support for the dual-track approach. The volunteer community group that first developed the idea of a National Conservation Area, in addition to local, state and tribal stakeholders, now supports a National Monument designation as well. While we will continue to push for the swift passage of our legislation to conserve these areas, we want to make clear that we believe a National Monument designation offers another pathway that could expedite our shared goals.
Before Secretary Salazar leaves office, we urge you to consider designating a National Monument in the San Juan Islands, bringing his and our efforts to fruition. Thank you for your interest in the San Juan Islands. We look forward to working with you to protect these areas for future generations.
By John Stark
Many readers of Atlantic Monthly were startled a couple of weeks ago when they opened their December issue to find an report suggesting that violent crime might be reduced if more law-abiding citizens carried guns.
Among other things, this article by Jeffrey Goldberg directly addressed mass slayings like the Dec. 14 slaughter of innocents at a school in Newtown, Conn. Goldberg’s article appeared before that catastrophe, but the event naturally focused even more attention upon it even within the magazine and its website. Two of its best-known writers, James Fallows and Ta-Nehisi Coates, have already weighed in, challenging some of Goldberg’s arguments.
Fallows agrees that any attempt to ban guns would be no more than another futile example of the prohibition of something that millions of people will go on doing, no matter what the government says. But he also argues that it would be a big overreaction for large numbers of people to arm themselves so they can defend themselves against the next gun-wielding lunatic in a mall or a movie theater. He notes that the likelihood of anyone actually being confronted with that scenario is “vanishingly small.”
Coates’ short piece is an extended contemplation of the issue rather than advocacy of a position. He does note that sane, previously law-abiding people have used their guns to kill people inappropriately at times: ”What do we say to the ghost of Jordan Davis, shot down over an argument of loud music, by a man who was quite sane?”
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, in his “The Factchecker ” blog, takes a look at the research on whether concealed-carry laws have helped reduce crime. The bad news is, researchers are divided on the issue. No quick answer.
UPDATE: Here is a piece on Huffington Post by the mother of a deeply-disturbed 13-year-old boy that will give most people a very deep chill. Perhaps you have already read it. Lots of people on Facebook are sharing it–people on the far right as well as the far left, among my own FB posse. She titled the piece “I am Adam Lanza’s mother,” and it describes life with an intermittently homicidal and suicidal boy. Mental health professionals tell her that her best option is to get her son charged with a crime so that he can be incarcerated.
But it seems as though Adam Lanza was nothing like this woman’s son. The Washington Post reports. Until last Friday, the police in Newtown did not know who he was. As of now, there appear to have been no major warning signs before the slaughter.
I introduce this topic with some misgivings. This debate is already raging almost everywhere else, it seems–including on Facebook, where some longtime-friends seem to be coming to virtual blows over the issue. It’s not as though the world needs one more place to talk about guns. But there may be value in having a local venue for the discussion. As you craft your comments, stop and ask yourself if your comment is adding value to that discussion.
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen has weighed in this morning, calling for improved mental health services as well as a limit on high-capacity ammunition clips:
“My family and I join all Americans in grieving for the children, teachers and staff who had their lives taken from them in the vicious attacks at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Larsen said. “As the first children are laid to rest today, we must pledge never to forget the victims of this senseless act of violence.
“From the attack on Congresswoman Giffords that left six dead to the shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin, Oregon and Connecticut, it is too painfully clear that we must take meaningful action to make our communities safer. The 2008 Skagit County mass shootings that killed six brought this type of tragedy to our home. No single law can prevent the actions of a madman, but that is no excuse to not take action.
“I continue to hold my position that Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban and ban high-capacity ammunition clips above 10 rounds per clip, as proposed by Rep. McCarthy. These military-grade weapons serve no legitimate purpose in civilian life.
“We must close the gun show and private sale loopholes and strengthen background check requirements to make sure that criminals and the mentally ill are unable to purchase guns.
“Gun control is part, but not all of the solution. Mental illness has been shown to be a factor in some of these mass shootings. Mental illnesses are often misunderstood and under-diagnosed. Health providers need to give mental health the same attention that physical health is given. Congress should direct more research into mental illness and provide more funding for effective care of mentally ill patients.
“We have not seen the last of violent crimes in our country, but if Congress and the President act, we can make our communities safer and shrink this cycle of violence.”
By John Stark
U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen. will be at Squalicum Boathouse this morning (Thursday, Nov. 1) at 11:15 to discuss their “Jobs for Washington” program.
In case you just joined us, all four are Democrats. Cantwell and Larsen are campaigning for reelection. Inslee is in a close raise to fill the seat of departing Gov. Chris Gregoire, facing Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna.
Campaign aides say the Bellingham stop will focus on federal support for higher education, and Western Washington University students will be there to talk about Pell Grants and related programs that help students and their families pay for college.
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, has issued a statement slamming House Republicans’ spending priorities, which he says would protect defense spending while slashing help for the poor and elderly.
Larsen’s press release:
WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today (Thursday, May 11) voted to preserve food aid for low-income families and protect senior services in a budget debate today. Larsen voted against a Republican bill that seeks to eliminate automatic cuts to defense spending and replace them with greater cuts to domestic spending. The bill, which passed the House on a 218 to 199 vote, would undo the bipartisan Budget Control Agreement signed into law last August.
“House Republicans could not be more clear about where they stand. They want to shelter the richest Americans and let out-of-control spending continue at the Pentagon, all while cutting vital services for seniors, students and middle class Americans,” Larsen said.
“The bill Republicans approved today would give the Defense Department a free pass while cutting Meals on Wheels for 1.7 million seniors, cancer screenings for hundreds of thousands of women, and reducing or eliminating food stamps for nearly 50 million of the most vulnerable Americans.
“The ideological and stubborn support for unfettered growth in defense spending is as irresponsible as it is unnecessary. The Government Accountability Office recently reported that major defense programs had more than $44 billion in cost overruns last year. The Republicans now want to throw $8 billion more on top of that. We need to reshape the force for 21st century challenges, not just keep throwing good money after bad.
“Virtually every member of Congress I know agrees that we should replace automatic spending cuts with a structured deficit reduction package. I have long advocated for a bold and balanced approach to cutting the deficit. That will include a mix of spending cuts in defense and domestic spending as well as increasing revenue through fairer tax rates for the highest earners and elimination of tax subsidies to oil and gas companies and big agribusiness. The Democratic budget that I voted for would preserve vital job-creating investments in our transportation infrastructure and maintain support for students to go to college and seniors and veterans to get quality health care.”
End press release
Larsen’s district includes the city of Bellingham.
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, voted in favor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, despite complaints that it gives the government too much access to online communications between citizens.
The Obama Administration has threatened a veto. AP reports, via the Chicago Sun-Times.
In a press release, Larsen indicated that he shares some of the concerns about the bill, and will continue to work to improve it as the House and Senate work out a compromise version.
Here is Larsen’s press release:
WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, issued the following statement today after voting for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
“From personal communication on Facebook and Twitter to banking and e-commerce, a huge part of our lives are spent online,” Larsen said. “We must make sure that our personal data and communications are protected from foreign and domestic hackers.”
“Our nation’s cyber infrastructure is under a constant barrage of attacks. This legislation is designed to improve the sharing of information between the government and private sector so that these attacks can be better identified and protected against. The more closely the government and private sector work together to combat threats, the safer our personal data and nation will be.
“I am deeply concerned about protecting personal information from improper access and misuse. I sought to make sure that personal information shared between companies and government is kept to a minimum and with the strongest safeguards in place to protect personal privacy. I will continue working to strengthen those protections as the House and Senate negotiate a final bill.”
End press release
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, the Everett Democrat whose 2nd District includes Bellingham, has endorsed Suzan DelBene in the neighboring 1st District, which will include nearly all of Whatcom County outside the city beginning in 2013.
DelBene has also picked up an endorsement from Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen, according to her office.
Here is the statement from Larsen’s office:
“The First Congressional District race is critically important for Democrats this fall. As someone who currently represents large portions of the district, I know what it takes to win there, both as an open seat in 2000 and a hotly contested one in 2010.
“I have been watching the race closely and evaluating the Democratic candidates. I am looking for the person who can best run the kind of modern campaign that mixes the necessary organization, outreach to the big and small towns, and resources to deliver the positive message of restoring the middle class and protecting Medicare.
“That candidate must also push back against the tired Tea Party/Republican policies of the presumed GOP candidate.
“I am endorsing Suzan DelBene for Congress. Suzan DelBene has worked hard in the last few months to understand the issues in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties through aggressive outreach to local community groups and elected officials. She combines that with her clear knowledge of the needs of North King County.
“Suzan DelBene has put together the kind of organization to win the primary and this fall. I am not surprised by this as it reflects her success in business putting together successful organizations.
“Suzan DelBene has proved she can raise money competitively in this race, outraising all other Democratic candidates and crushing the lone Republican candidate in that aspect of the campaign.
“Most importantly, Suzan DelBene brings her moderate business background and a progressive outlook that best equips her to address the need for jobs and economic growth in the new distrtict.
“Suzan DelBene is passionate about restoring the middle class that was devastated by the Bush recession and will fight for all working families while protecting Medicare for seniors and educational opportunity for kids.
“All of this points to Suzan DelBene as the Democratic candidate who will win this fall.
“Democrats are blessed with a great group of candidates for the new First District. Suzan DelBene is a cut above. I am asking Democrats to support her.”
End of Larsen press release
Here is DeBene’s response:
BOTHELL – Congressman Rick Larsen (D-Everett) announced his endorsement of 1st Congressional Candidate Suzan DelBene today. The following is a statement from DelBene:
“Whether it’s standing up for veterans, seniors or the working families in his district, Congressman Larsen has always put the interests of his constituents first, ahead of special interests and I’m grateful for his support.
“I’m running for Congress to be a partner with him to make sure there is someone fighting for the middle class in Washington DC, and to put our country and our economy back on track.”
Larsen’s announcement continues a string of significant endorsements in recent weeks bolstering DelBene’s campaign. Recently Gov. Chris Gregoire, Snohomish County Councilman Brian Sullivan and Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen all have come out supporting DelBene.
For more information about Suzan DelBene, visit: www.delbeneforcongress.com
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, will be touring Port of Bellingham facilities this morning.
I’m guessing that the recent turmoil at the port will not be on anyone’s agenda but mine.
Among other things, we will be touring the Greenberry Industrial facility at the port’s Cornwall Avenue shipping terminal.
I’m still working on the frustrating task of seeking answers and straight talk about the forced resignation of Charlie Sheldon, the port’s executive director. Call me at 715-2274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything for me.
The online campaign against federal legislation to curb Internet piracy of copyrighted content is in the spotlight today, as Google covers its logo with a black banner and Wikipedia goes black to protest what they see as a stifling effect if Congress passes the “Stop Online Piracy Act” and the Protect IP Act.
Here is a balanced report from PC World. Among other things, advocates of anti-piracy legislation are arguing that past crackdowns (the court decisions against file-sharing outfits like Grokster et al) were also supposed to stifle freedom, but the dire warnings proved exaggerated.
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, says he favors moves to curb copyright pirates, but he opposes SOPA and PIPA in their current form.
Thanks to social media, opponents of the legislation have mobilized millions to contact Congress, and some are taking notice. Today, two Republican Senators switched from support to opposition, the New York Times reports.
UPDATE: Here’s a website that lists SOPA-PIPA campaign contributions to Washington Senators and Representatives. I have no immediate way of verifying its accuracy. Interesting to note that Larsen appears to have received significant money from pro-SOPA interests, but he is still opposing the bill at this point.
Darcy Burner has run two unsuccessful races for Congress, but her stances on health care, peace and open government have won her rave reviews from progressives. Now she’s running for the open 1st District Congressional seat that includes most of Whatcom County outside Bellingham.
The influential Daily Kos blog provided a flattering view of Burner in November 2011, when it appeared that the First District would be a safe seat for Democrats. But when the actual map-making was done, the 1st came out looking more like a tossup, with Republican-leaning areas of Whatcom County added to the mix.
But Burner isn’t deterred.
She’ll be visiting Whatcom County voters this weekend. Among other things, she said she’ll talk about agricultural issues. She thinks farmers who find ways to add value to their products should get federal encouragement. (Example: turning local milk into artisan cheese.) She also wants to support manure-to-methane power generation, which already has a small foothold here.
She’ll likely be asked about the Gateway Pacific Terminal project, proposed for the deep-water port site at Cherry Point. As of now, the primary cargo would likely be coal, and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, who represents all of Whatcom County under the old district map, endorsed that plan as a jobs creator almost as soon as it was announced.
Burner is taking a more cautious approach. She says she has talked with advocates on both sides of the issue. She said the prospect of generating more jobs from an underused deep-water port site is “intriguing,” but she isn’t willing to accept environmental degradation in return.
She would also prefer an export terminal that handles multiple cargoes.
“It would be great if we were transporting grain from eastern Washington,” Burner said. “I don’t know how real that is.”
Burner is convincingly passionate and animated when she discusses the need for more openness in Congress.
As legislation moves through the review process, every change in that legislation should be tracked, Burner said. As things stand now, key wording can be altered in a bill at the last minute, and there is no guarantee that those responsible can be identified or held responsible.
She also wants committee hearings to be live-streamed and available for public review, so that interested citizens can watch lobbyists slipping suggested questions to committee members during hearings. Burner says the hardware to record every hearing is already in place, but committee chairs are not required to use it.
“The process needs to be opened up,” Burner said. “We need a Congress that can’t be bought and sold … A tremendous amount of what’s wrong with our government can be fixed with more transparency and accountability.”
Burner already knows a great deal about the workings of Congress through her job as executive director of ProgressiveCongress.org. She left that post in November 2011 to start her Congressional campaign.
“Virtually everyone I’m talking to on both sides of the political spectrum believes that Congress is broken,” Burner said. “The rules are rigged against the American people.”
Susan DelBene, director of the Washington Department of Revenue, is entering the 1st District congressional race as a Democrat.
She is the latest entrant in the crowded scramble for the seat being vacated by Jay Inslee, who wants to be governor.
The First District now includes almost all of Whatcom County outside Bellingham.
Here’s the press release from DelBene outlining her qualifications:
Kirkland, WA — Former high tech entrepreneur Suzan DelBene announced today that she is leaving her current post as Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue, effective immediately, to enter the race for Congress in the newly redrawn 1st Congressional District.
“The 1st Congressional District is a diverse district that has been hit hard by the Great Recession. It needs a representative in Congress who has the experience and the innovative ideas that will get our economy back on the right track and create jobs, and I believe I offer those qualities,” DelBene said. “In Congress, I plan to work with President Obama and with members of both parties to break the hyperpartisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. in order to strengthen oversight of Wall Street, protect consumers and assist those in need, and boost the middle class.”
DelBene is a former senior level Microsoft executive. She has also worked in biotech and microfinance, and has helped launch two technology start-up companies. That private sector business experience, in combination with her recent high level government service, which focused on supervising more than 1,000 employees while working to streamline Washington State’s tax code to assist small businesses, immediately make her the most experienced candidate in the race on issues of job creation and economic recovery.
Prior to running the Department of Revenue, DelBene narrowly lost to incumbent Dave Reichert in the race for the 8th Congressional District in 2010. With redistricting, DelBene’s home is now located in the new 1st Congressional District, a true swing district open seat with many moderate Democrats and independent voters.
Politically, DelBene is not easily pigeonholed. A pragmatic and experienced leader, DelBene is known for her independent streak, analyzing each issue as it comes to develop thoughtful policy positions. A pro-choice social progressive who advocates for stricter regulation of Wall Street and rejects the anti-government extremism of the Tea Party right, DelBene is also a fiscal moderate who believes in working across party lines to enact reforms to streamline government and make it more efficient and responsive.
In her 2010 race, DelBene won wide praise for running a substantive campaign that emphasized thoughtful reform proposals. In endorsing DelBene over Reichert, the Seattle Times described her as a candidate with a “sharp business and entrepreneurial skills and an acute understanding of what went wrong” with the national economy and said, “her resume is a narrative of leadership and vision.” The paper praised DelBene’s support of tough Wall Street reforms that went beyond those offered by President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress, and approvingly cited her support for bringing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end.
And the Seattle Post-Intelligencer also endorsed DelBene, describing her as “an impressive political newcomer” and a “smart candidate” who would “quickly gain influence in Congress and bring needed skills to the job.”
In that campaign DelBene demonstrated strong fundraising skills, raising more than $4 million, including contributing $2.2 million of her own money. In announcing her candidacy today, DelBene stated that she will have the resources she needs to run a strong campaign.
“I did not make this decision lightly. I did my homework before deciding to enter the race. I believe I have the right skills and experience to represent the 1st Congressional District, and I am fully committed to winning,” DelBene said.
End press release
Here’s a list of other Democratic candidates who are running in the 1st District, provided earlier by Whatcom County Democrats:
• State Sen. Steve Hobbs, Lake Stevens
• Laura Ruderman, Kirkland, a former state legislator
• Two-time Congressional candidate Darcy Burner, Redmond (She will be in Whatcom County Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14, and I expect to have a chat with her.)
• Darshan Rauniyar, businessman, from Bothell
• Roger Goodman, Kirkland, a state representative.
The GOP candidates I know about at this point include Snohomish County Council member John Koster, who ran a tight race with Rick Larsen in the 2nd District two years ago; Greg Anders of Whatcom County; and Larry Ishmael, who tried to unseat Inslee in the past.
A proposed constitutional amendment to curb corporate political activities would not apply to labor unions.
This post from Tuesday, Dec. 13 noted that U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen has signed on to the amendment, prompting some discussion in this space about the scope of the amendment.
I asked Bryan Thomas, a Larsen spokesman, for clarification, and he replied in an email that the proposed amendment applies to corporations only. Here is the text:
`Section 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.
`Section 2. Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.
`Section 3. Such corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the people.
`Section 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.’.
Via a Facebook post, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen has announced co-sponsorship of H.J. Res 90, which would roll back the wide-ranging political rights of corporations as recognized under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
H.J. Res 90 would “expressly exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons by the Constitution of the United States, prohibit corporate spending in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the States to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures.”
Larsen’s Facebook post says: “I am usually wary about amending the Constitution because it is such a strong document. However, when individual rights are being diluted, strengthening those rights is the only remedy. That is why I am cosponsoring the House version of Senator Bernie Sanders’s amendment (H.J. Res. 90) to overturn the Citizen’s United decision. Corporations are not individuals and should not have political rights of individuals.”
Larsen’s Facebook announcement was getting praise from Bellingham and Whatcom County individuals who are generally less than enthusiastic about the 2nd District Democrat.