Cantwell Watch

A site dedicated to tracking what U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wa) does (or doesn't do) to warrant her reelection, or ouster, in 2006.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Spinning the Roberts vote

While the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (remember the market) applauds Cantwell's purely symbolic vote against Roberts as a recognition that she needs the support of the left, the Everett Herald (remember the market) more correctly labels it as a gamble that could lose Cantwell the political center she needs to win the 2006 election.

Other pure symbolic votes came from Akaka (D-HI), Bayh (D-IN), Biden (D-DE), Boxer (D-CA), Clinton (D-NY), Corzine (D-NJ), Dayton (D-MN), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Mikulski (D-MD), Obama (D-IL), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Sarbanes (D-MD), Schumer (D-NY), Stabenow (D-MI).

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Cantwell makes the rounds

ABC News reports Cantwell will be in Boston to attend the "Women Senate 2006 fundraiser with Barbara Lee". Other guests will include Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein.

Its a Party!

Bipartisan pork clears another hurdle

Federal legislation, sponsored by Cantwell, to designate a trail through the Cascades to commomorate the Ice Age has cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Doc Hastings (R), has sponsored a similar bill in the House.

Cantwell opposes Roberts' nomination as chief justice

Cantwell has decided to oppose the Roberts nomination because he refused to address questions about privacy and abortion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cantwell "fights" for agriculture

Well, its true, some of it anyway. Agriculture is an important source of jobs in Washington state. And Wazzu has a pretty good ag program that was slated for cuts under Bush's budget. So Cantwell reports in her "Weekly Update," that actually comes out irregularly, that she "fought to save the $179 million in Hatch Act funding."

No telling how she "fought" or how much of that $179 mil will make it to Washington State.

But it sounds good, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Polling Data

"If the election for United States Senate were held today and the candidates were Maria Cantwell, the Democrat or Mike McGavick, the Republican, whom would you vote for?"

Sept. 2005 - Cantwell (D) 49%; - McGavick (R) 39%; - Undecided 12%

Aug. 2005 - Cantwell (D) 46%; - McGavick (R) 38%; - Undecided 16%

Source: Strategic Vision
Methodology: Telephone interviews to 800 registered Washington state voters, conducted from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21, 2005. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rs open field in challenge to Cantwell

This weekend the state Republican Central Committee repealed the so-called 11th commandment, i.e., to not speak ill of a fellow Republican. The rule, adopted in the Reagan era, and which included a $5,000 fine for violations, had often been criticised as an incumbent protection device. Particularly interesting is the fact that the chairperson of the committee that recommended repeal was Diane Tebelius, who is considering a run against Cantwell, and who is not the first choice of many leading Republicans for the nomination.

Diane Tebelius tests the waters

Former DOJ Attorney Diane Tebelius, well known in Republican circles, is back from Kabul, where she was an election observer. AP Reporter David Ammons profiles her contemplated challenge to Cantwell in this article.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

McGavick still exploring

Amidst lots of speculation and fawning, Mike McGavick is still exploring his candidacy for US Senate. He has no deadline for leaving SAFECO. His concession to the demands of politics?--Two blackberrys, one for the office, one for the campaign.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Weighing the odds

Here Charlie Cook of the National Journal weighs the odds of a "tidal wave" shift of power in Congress in 2006 to the Democrats. Aside from identifying the strengths and weaknesses of both the Ds and Rs, he concludes: its too early to tell.

Flag issue may burn brightly in '06 race

The Hill, a newspaper about Congress, reports that Republicans in the US Senate are staging a vote on a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning for a few months before the 2006 elections, all for the purpose of targeting Democratic senators, including Cantwell, who oppose such an amendment.

If this is the best the Republicans can do, they are in pretty deep trouble.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Diane in Afghanistan

Potential Cantwell opponent Diane Tebelius (R-Bellevue) is in Afghanistan to monitor elections. Her blog is here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Local Republican meeting called "arm twisting session"

RNC chairman Ken Mehlman was in town recently to do the usual stuff, including attending a Mariners game with Mike McGavick, who, as of this writing is still "exploring" a candidacy against Cantwell. Prominent state Republicans have publicly backed McGavick in an apparent bid to dissuade primary challengers. Being advised of this State Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt called Mehlman’s visit with McGavick “an arm-twisting session.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Maria reports to her supporters.

In her "Weekly Update" today (delivered courtesy of the Senate Democratic Caucus) Cantwell talked about:

Helping Victims of Hurricane Katrina

"[D]eeply saddened by the recent devastation" she supported the $10.5 billion emergency aid bill passed on September 1, and the $51.8 billion relief package passed on September 8.

As for the FEMA failures, she says: "An independent commission worked four years ago, and there is no reason we should not turn to one now." Meanwhile FEMA didn't heed the 9/11 Commission, says Republican Slade Gorton.

Standing Up to Price Gouging

As previously reported Cantwell is convinced "profiteering at the gas pump" must be stopped, and she has introduced a bill to give President Bush increased investigatory and regulatory powers. As if more regulation is going to reduce prices.

Finally, if you are visiting the Washington, D.C. area, Maria is hosting a coffee for constituents on September 15th.

There. Don't you feel better now, knowing your Senator is watching out for your interests?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Cantwell to address music industry summit

While Mike McGavick is addressing insurance industry bigwigs, Maria Cantell, who is described as a "leading figure on media and technology policy," is addressing the Fifth Annual FMC | Policy Summit 2005. Maybe that's why she has 40 celebrity donors to her campaign.

McGavick appears on Big 'I' CEO Panel - Addresses Disaster Preparedness

Mike McGavick, likely the major Republican opposition to Cantwell in 2006, was given the spotlight at a recent convention of independent insurance agents and brokers. Noting that people are attracted to "geographically interesting" places which also happen to be where natural disasters often happen, McGavick said government can't shoulder the entire burden of large catastrophes, making it all the more important that the policymakers in high risk states be more hospitable to the insurance industry. "We should want the private sector to be the lead responders," said McGavick.

This presents an interesting question: How does a "hospitable" regulatory climate lead to insurance companies who are the "lead responders" to natural disasters?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cantwell taken to task for proposing gas price controls

Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune says Cantwell proposed the wrong answer for high gas prices when she proposed giving the president power to control gas prices.

"A lot of people grew anxious seeing long lines forming last week, as motorists rushed to fill their tanks in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But Cantwell apparently enjoyed the sight well enough that she'd like to make those lines a permanent feature of the landscape. If so, she has the right approach. The government does many things badly, but one thing it knows how to do is create shortages through the vigorous use of price controls," said Chapman.

Cantwell supports giving native Hawaiians indian rights

According to the National Center for Public Policy Research proposed senate legislation, "The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S. 147)," co-sponsored by Cantwell, would create a Race-Based Government for Hawaii. According to the report: "The bill would essentially create the nation's largest tribe overnight, with approximately 240,000 members in Hawaii, 60,000 members in California (making Native Hawaiians, perversely, California's largest tribe) and 100,000 members throughout the rest of the United States."

So, is America a melting pot or not? Or are we going to see a string of "The (fill in your favorite race, creed, color or sexual orientation) Government Reorganization Act(s) of 20XX" in the near future?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Cantwell joins the chorus

Both Democrats and Republicans, including Cantwell, lamented soaring fuel costs yesterday at a Washington DC hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Several remedies were proposed, such as temporary repeal of the federal gas tax.

But Cantwell isn't satisfied with that. She is convinced the oil companies are price 'gouging', but "I just don't have the document to prove it," she said. And so she plans to introduce legislation that will give Bush the power to impose price controls on petroleum products.

Uh, Maria. Do you really think THIS president would exercise that power if he had it?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Selected Campaign contributors to CANTWELL

Click here for a list of celebrity donors to the Cantwell campaign. McGavick has no similar list, yet.

Cantwell's main opposition Mike McGavick is still exploring

In the same month Cantwell gets her first major endorsement Mike McGavick forms his Exploratory Committee.

While McGavick's background looks strong its pretty clear he is in no rush to get into the campaign, even though a college student grabbed the site and put up a parody, including a spoof slogan, "It is time for a man to represent Washington," which looked like a jab at the female incumbent. Then a Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist, not realizing the site was a spoof, took the candidate to task for being insensitive before learning he had been duped. The site has since been sold to McGavick's campaign for an unknown sum. Maybe that 7.3 million salary is too hard to give up.

League of Conservation Voters Endorses Cantwell

The League of Conservation Voters, a national environmental group, has already endorsed Cantwell for re-election. Cantwell was one of two senators nationwide who earned a 100% rating on LCV's 2004 National Environmental Scorecard.

The LCV, with an average annual budget of around 1 million, has a fairly good track record, having ousted 23 of 37 alleged "anti-environmental" candidates, and having 80% of the candidates it has endorsed win since 1996.

From the looks of things, this endorsement will mean a few hundred thousand in the Cantwell campaign treasury.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Coming senate vote on death taxes.

The Club For Growth, founded by Cato President Ed Crane along with others, has targeted several senators, including Cantwell, with a TV ad campaign to repeal death taxes. The Senate is expected to vote on the matter this week.

Given her credentials, I can't imagine why Cantwell would vote to repeal death taxes, except that she is deemed to be vulnerable in 2006. This is one vote to watch, because it could show who Cantwell sees as her prime constituency.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Cantwell asks for investigation of FDA failure to approve 'morning after' pill

Led by Hillary Clinton, a group of 12 senators, mostly Democrats, and mostly women, and including Maria Cantwell, have asked the GAO to find out why the FDA has delayed deciding on over-the-counter sales for "Plan B", a 'morning after' contraceptive.

It's beginning to look like Cantwell has pretty firmly hitched herself to the Clinton wagon. Time will tell whether that's a good idea.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Today this and another blog I post to got "spamed" with several obviously impertinent Anonymous comments containing links to commercial sites. Henceforth, if you want to comment on this or the other site, Washington Libertarian Review, you will have to register. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Rubbing elbows with the Chinese

Assuming the Boeing strike is averted, Cantwell is scheduled to attend a tour of the Everett plant with Chinese President Hu Jintao next Monday.