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.

Monday, October 31, 2005

P-I's Connelly praises McGavick

In today's column Imagine a Senate race with no mud P-I commentator Joel Connelly says, "A very early look at McGavick's campaign indicates something far different: an upbeat, look-to-the-future Senate campaign. We could use one."

Of course, he heeps praise on Cantwell too, but that really isn't any surprise.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

ROLL CALL - Cantwell votes for funding increases for children's programs

Funding votes for a smorgasboard of kid's educational and after school programs were up in the Senate this week and Cantwell voted for all of them. (Murray too, for that matter) Nonetheless, none of them passed. No doubt the votes followed predominately partisan lines, and so kid's programs may become a campaign issue in 2006.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Cantwell holds on to lead as Rs run for cover

The 10/27 Strategic Vision poll shows Cantwell leading McGavick by 9 points and Hutchison by 14 points. Meanwhile the Rs are reeling from the shock of the Libby indictment. As P-I reporter Neil Modie put it, "the best news, such as it is, might be that the midterm elections are still a year away,..."

Friday, October 28, 2005

Cantwell scores

After crowing for weeks about price gouging, and in the face of record breaking oil company profits, Cantwell has managed to get a Senate inquiry into energy prices launched. Time will tell if it means anything.

Democratic challenger to Cantwell appears in Longview

Former Libertarian Mark Wilson, now Democratic challenger to Maria Cantwell, told the Cowlitz County Democrats that the U.S. should bring U.S. troops home immediately, and received applause when he called the war "illegal (and) ill-conceived." He also criticized Cantwell's support of the US Patriot Act and for Condolezza Rice as Secretary of State. Several members of the audience expressed dissatisfaction with Cantwell's voting record.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

McGavick makes it official

Appearing on KIRO radio in Seattle, Safeco CEO Mike McGavick offically announced his intent to challenge Cantwell for her US Senate seat.

McGavick's campaign advisors will include campaign advisers include radio-talk-show host John Carlson, Western Wireless Chief Executive John Stanton and the Rev. Joe Fuiten, an influential conservative religious leader.

Meanwhile the liberal Seattle P-I is taking Cantwell to task for her muddled response to the war in Iraq.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ds build strategy to retake Congress

With the Rs on the ropes after twin blows from Hurricane Katrina and the DeLay indictment (not to mention across the board declines in poll approval ratings) the Ds are seeing hope that they will make significant gains in Congress, if not retake control, in 2006. According to American Prospect Online, a left-leaning magazine, the Ds have been developing their campaign message:

"The preliminary version leaders have been outlining calls for making college universal in the 21st century, getting the federal budget under control, achieving energy independence, creating a new national institute for science and technology, and providing health care to all working Americans." says the mag.

By the way, among the players hard at work on the 2006 agenda for the Ds is none other than Maria Cantwell.

Noticably absent is any mention of Iraq. The American Prospect noticed too. "Given that Democrats lost the last two elections based, in large measure, on national-security issues, coming up with a coherent, unified national-security agenda and stance on America’s involvement in Iraq would seem to be job one for Democratic agenda setters."

The key word there is "unified." The Rs, who have claimed the law-n-order torch for years, have managed to parlay national security into a mandate. Nobody who opposed the war in Iraq was given any credibility. The reasons for that could probably fill a book. In any event, until the Ds (or some other group) can develop a credible alternative to "staying the course" the Rs are going to keep this issue. Consequently, it remains an issue on which Cantwell is vulnerable, particularly from the left.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Roll Call - Republican majority shoots self in foot

In the same week the Senate voted itself a payraise, it also narrowly defeated a minimum wage increase (Cantwell supported both).

What was Frist thinking?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Former KIRO Newswoman Susan Hutchison considers challenge to Cantwell

Speaking to the UW College Republicans Hutchison confirmed speculation that she might compete with Safeco Insurance executive Mike McGavick for the Republican nomination.

Having watched the pre-cycle posturing for a few months, I think this race will be won and lost on women's issues. I also think a woman, regardless of political preferences, will have a much better chance to beat Cantwell than a man.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's official - Cantwell, Clinton & Feinstein team up

Don't look now but Women Senate 2006 is on the horizon.

Cantwell goes after Asarco

Nevermind the bankruptcy, clean up your mess! So says Cantwell in a letter to the bankruptcy judge.

DNC Chair attributes Cantwell win in 2000 to Native American vote

Howard Dean, speaking to an INDN's (Indigenous Democratic Network) List Campaign "boot camp" told the audience that Cantwell won in 2000 because Native Americans supported her.

There is probably some truth to this. As I recall Gorton had done some things the NAs were pretty upset about.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tebelius abandons U.S. Senate race

Diane Tebelius, the woman who may have provided the strongest substantive challenge to Cantwell in 2006 has abandoned the U.S. Senate race, and endorsed McGavick.

Tebelius, who is a former DOJ prosecutor and is well connected in Republican circles, was also a woman. Cantwell already has a history supporting legislation supporting women, such as regulation of international marriage brokers and beefing up sex offender registration laws. And given the inclinations of Washington voters to support women in high offices (2 Senators and 1 Governor), I suspect gender will be a major factor in the outcome in 2006.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

McGavick very much in the race (maybe)

According to The Hill Mike McGavick's "exploratory committee" raised $660,000 last quarter to Cantwell's 1.6 million. But this is nothing to sneeze at since McGavick hasn't officially declared anyway. In addition, there are the personal fortunes of both McGavick and Cantwell to take into account. This 2006 Senate campaign could be one of the richest and most colorful in quite some time.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Is an ill wind blowing against the Rs?

Here is more evidence the Republicans are going to have trouble holding on to their congressional majority, let alone expanding it.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Democrats (including MC) challenge Bush on Iraq policy

In a letter to President Bush and signed by Cantwell and 38 other Democratic Senators and the lone independent, Democrats laid the groundwork for making the war in Iraq a 2006 campaign issue.

Republicans' 2006 Senate prospects sour

According to "The Hill," Republicans are shying away from challenging incumbent Democrats. Bush’s poll numbers are sinking, the Iraq war grinds on and millions remain displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In addition, says the report, "Many conservatives, dismayed by the president’s willingness to expand the federal government, say that months, if not years, of growing discontent may finally take its toll in 2006, when they expect Republican House members and senators to face unexpected primaries from the right."

Here in Washington Mike McGavick, the candidate annointed by the state party leadership, is still "exploring" a race, while state RNC committeeperson Diane Tebelius and former TV newscaster Susan Hutchinson are considering a run.

So, while it is generally thought that Cantwell is vulnerable there is appearing to be a major question whether the Republicans will be able to mount a unified campaign against her.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Cantwell on energy advisory board

Two years ago, apparently, Maria Cantwell was invited to join the Apollo Alliance a labor based policy group dedicated to energy independence. This is likely her source for her claims that the oil companies are "price gouging."

Apollo's mission is described in its "petition", to wit.

Support a bold new vision for American Energy Independence!
I know that America can do better than another oil dominated energy policy, and I want real investments in new energy now! I call on you to find the courage, vision, and common sense to reject big-oil dominated energy legislation which makes us more dependent on foreign oil.
Instead, I ask that you commit to developing a 21st century American energy policy that will ...
> Free America from over-reliance on unstable and undemocratic oil regimes through real investments in modern energy-saving technologies.
> Create millions of new jobs here in America through real investments in the energy industries of the future and strategies to re-tool our communities for high-performance energy efficiency.
> Protect our natural environment through real investments in pollution-reducing technologies like bio-fuels, energy efficient buildings, solar and wind power, and a new generation of clean power plants.
> Reduce gas prices by helping Americans reduce oil demand through real investments in hybrid cars, renewable fuels, and efficient mass transportation.
It is within our grasp to move America to a modern day energy policy, if we can just reject the failed big-oil energy policies of the past. Mr. President and Members of Congress, I ask again that you provide us the leadership we need to rid America of its dependence on foreign oil an create a new clean energy economy.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cantwell on the Hillary wagon again

Accoring to Hillary Clinton is urging Katrina Aid for Illegal Immigrants. This outlet reports supporters of the move include Cantwell.

Hmmm. Its a good bet this will not play well in eastern Washington. The question is how it will play in King County.