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.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Long shot candidate gets some press

In what may be the first feature story since she announced her candidacy, Democratic challenger Hong Tran got her first published interview in the Vancouver Columbian.

In essence, Tran accused Cantwell of being too supportive of the Iraq War and inconsistent on the environment.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Finally some major disagreement - on a spurious issue

In the midst of a campaign that continues to be mostly dull the Republicans have finally trotted out an issue on which the centrist candidates disagree. A constitutional amendment aimed at banning flag-burning in the U.S. failed to win Senate passage by a single vote. Cantwell and Murray both voted No.

According to the report, McGavick "has been 'vocal' in support of the flag-burning amendment, campaign spokesman Elliott Bundy said in a telephone interview. Yet Bundy said McGavick doesn't plan to press the point in campaign ads because 'it hasn't proven to be a big issue.'"

So is this a significant issue or not? What does Mark Wilson think? Or Aaron Dixon? Or Bruce Guthrie? If you know, please tell us!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

McGavick gets offensive

At the same time McGavick unveiled a new section of his Web site to detail his record in turning around Safeco he sent emails to supporters asking for money.

Sez Mike!:

"Dear Supporter, When I first entered the race for United States Senate, Maria Cantwell had a 20-point lead over me. With your help, we've closed that gap and the latest Rasmussen Reports poll shows that I'm within 4 points and closing in fast. Our campaign is surging ahead and Cantwell's support is eroding because voters hear our message of civility and common sense as opposed to business as usual in Washington, D.C. I'm within 4 points of Maria Cantwell and closing in fast...let's keep this momentum going!"

Yeah, right. There are two things to note about this. In fact, the erosion in Cantwell's support has been nearly 4 times the increase in McGavick's support. That is to say, roughly 25% of the electorate are either undecided or told Rasmussen they would vote for for a third party candidate if they had the chance. This is up 5% from 6 months ago. So, McGavick had practically nothing to do with closing the gap.

Second, McGavick wants good fundraising numbers for his FEC report, because the media will gauge the success of his campaign on his financial support. Every serious candidate has this concern. But given his lackluster performance in the polls, I don't see what he has to crow about.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Green Party openly courts LGBT community

In what has become a regular routine of national press releases highlighting local candidates, the National Green Party issued another press release featuring Aaron Dixon and Green Party candidates of other states. Today's release highlights the Green Party's support for LGBT civil rights.

Libertarian Party candidate Bruce Guthrie also attended Seattle's Gay Pride Festival yesterday to show his support for marriage equality and other LGBT issues.

No other Senate candidates appeared.

Friday, June 23, 2006

McGavick takes the high-roller's ground

The Seattle Times reports that McGavick wants a television commercial that shows Cantwell's head superimposed on a vulture's body dropped. The ad, sponsored by the Free Enterprise Fund, advocates repeal of the federal estate tax. The group has refused to pull the ad. Meanwhile, P-I columnist Joel Connelly points out that McGavick is taking lots of funding from fat cat Republicans, and that talking the talk is not walking the walk. In Connelly's words, McGavick is "pledging to be Bambi while cavorting with Godzilla."

So, perhaps McGavick is merely the 2006 model of the Republican "compassionate conservative."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

McGavick on Drudge

Don't know how long it will last, but if you pull up DRUDGE REPORT 2006 at the top of the page is a McGavick video! Must have cost lots of bucks, appealing to Drudge conservatives.

I wonder if Cantwell will turn up on DailyKos?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cantwell accused of discriminating against veterans

From deep in the hills of Appalachia comes frontal attack on Cantwell for sabotageing international marriage and romance for veterans. The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, of which Cantwell was a prime sponsor, introduced regulation of international romance by requiring background checks and profile reviews of clients by so-called marriage brokers, among other things.

The writer claims Cantwell "desperately presented false and misleading testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 14, 2004 (falsely) claiming international marriage brokers were involved in human trafficking of women into the United States. A DOJ study had already concluded no such correlation."

Noting that veterans are among those most affected by the law, the writer concludes, "People living everywhere should have the right to choose whom they marry without government interference."

Hmmm. Wonder if the sentiment would hold true if the veteran wanted to marry someone of the same sex?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cantwell grandstands her stand on the war

Choosing the Senate floor to reiterate what she thinks about the Iraq War Cantwell stays her course, calling for:

Appointment of a special U.S. envoy to help build international support for the new Iraqi government. Cantwell suggested someone with the stature of former Presidents Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush.
A summit meeting involving U.S. allies, Iraq neighbors and the United Nations to forge a regional security agreement, protect Iraq�s borders and revive reconstruction efforts.
Encouraging the United Nations to appoint a U.N. high commissioner for Iraq similar to one coordinating international efforts in Bosnia.
Formal congressional investigations of the Haditha incident and �all credible allegations� of misconduct by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

When asked about Cantwell's speech, McGavick said "The bottom line for me when it comes to the war in Iraq is to support the course we are on."

What good Republicans we are!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

McGavick has an opinion on war

Apparently, when talking to the Vancouver Columbian McGavick expressed concern about the power of the executive branch. Says the Columbian:

"The legislative branch has failed to defend its authority to declare war under the War Powers Act and scarcely debated the Bush administration's new policy of pre-emptive war, McGavick said. That's dangerous, he said, in a time when the United States has the 'unilateral destructive power' to take over another nation 'in a day.'"

Well, that's nice. What do the other candidates say?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cantwell has new web site has a new look. No doubt she could not be outdone by the McGavick site. Even the Bruce Guthrie site and the Hong Tran site are better than the old Cantwell site. The others...well, lets just say they could still use some help.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Putting in the fix

Well, after a bit of arm twisting it turns out the 38th District Democrats have withdrawn their endorsement of anti-war candidate Mark Wilson. Don't want to lose any funding for the so-called "Coordinated Campaign" do we?

Meanwhile, Seattle Times writer Joni Balter takes Cantwell and McGavick to task for their stands on the Iraq War and ANWR oil, respectively.

Anybody heard anything about the other candidates? Didn't think so.

Anti-flag-burning rally in Olympia

Citing a poll of 501 Washington voters, activists showed up in Olympia to support a constitutional amendment against flag burning. Cantwell is against it. Even McGavick agrees there are more pressing issues in Congress.

What about the other Senate candidates? Anybody know? Tell us!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gay marriage, flag burning and estate tax become campaign issues

While the Ds fume Senate Rs are setting the debate agenda on issues near and dear to the hearts of Republican neo-conservatives--gay marriage, flag burning and the death tax.

Cantwell says nobody cares and McGavick says he gets asked about these issues all the time. Hmmm. Could it be they have different audiences?

Finally Joining the Big Boys & Girls

Maria Cantwell's other challenger, Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Guthrie, has finally joined the big boys and girls with his campaign website, From the looks of it, it has potential although substantive content is under development. All importantly, however, the Click N Pledge function works well, for those of you who want to see Maria have to answer Bruce's challenge from the left, especially Maria's support of W and the Iraq War.