by paul spencer
Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 02:22:22 AM EST
and I'm here to help. Well, the first part isn't quite true yet, but the second part is a simple summation of my life.
Y'all might remember that I ran for an office in the Washington State Legislature in 2010. Here's a link to my post-election diary .
So - it's a serious campaign this year. As stated in the linked diary: "The outcome was fully expected, due to the history of the last 20 years in rural WA. Going forward, though, folks are aware that I'm running again in 2012; and they're aware that I'm a stand-up progressive Democrat, who promotes similar policies to the ones that created a Democratic Party majority here from the '30s to the early '90s."
Some of the reasons that the 2010 outcome was expected was that the Tea Party uprising was at its peak, that there was no nation-wide or state-wide election to motivate the Party troops, and that many independents were disappointed in the President's (and the Democratic Congress') general acquiescence to Bush' policies.
Some of the changes that should improve my prospects for election in 2012 are that there are nation-wide and state-wide elections, that the Republican Party is showing sectarian strain, and that many independents now identify Republicans as "the Party of No". (A recent small-business survey showed a strong majority denouncing partisan division in government. One thing that the Obama administration does well - acting the adult in the kindergarten.)
On the Legislative District level, this year's re-districting brings the Republican incumbents into our area as virtual unknowns. In addition the foci of the relevant issues change from almost purely agricultural matters to renewable-energy, tourism, and forests.
My opponent for Position One, House of Representatives is an even older retired guy than me. He's a nice guy from all accounts and entirely ineffective in the Legislature. A Yakama friend of mine is running against a known asshole for Position Two.
As stated, this time it's serious. True to my wonkish nature, my strategy is based on writing 8 bi-weekly, quarter-page ads in the relevant local newspapers. The ads will primarily be issue papers, and the target is the independents who read newspapers (fairly common in the rural U.S.). The Democratic Party base is mostly the responsibility of the "Coordinated Campaign" - meaning the hired staff for the combined campaigns of the President, Senator Maria Cantwell, and our candidates for Governor and most of the other State executive offices.
Here's my basic campaign stance (not changed much from 2010):
"Paul Spencer retired in 2008 from a career in manufacturing, starting 'on the floor' in 1971, working into supervision in both production and technical fields. He is familiar with the state and federal laws that cover Safety, Environment, Energy, and County Government. Homeowner in Skamania County since 1980. Co-founder and first Director of the Skamania County EDC in 1985 to promote economic diversification via destination-resort tourism. The EDC was instrumental in the creation of the Skamania Lodge and subsequent tourism development. In 2006 he worked to obtain signatures on the petitions that brought Initiative 937 to the voters. I-937 and related legislation have been major factors in the development of wind-based generation of electricity in our state (particularly Klickitat County). Secretary of the Skamania County Democrats, Democratic Party State Committeeman, and member of the Agricultural and Rural Caucus. Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the Univ. of Texas in 1970. Graduate work in Materials Science (Metallurgy). Honorable Discharge from the US Air Force in 1968.
"Major issues for our district include:
"Jobs! In particular, we need jobs associated with building affordable, workforce housing. Also, as our candidate for Governor, Jay Inslee, says:
Support for development and deployment of renewable-energy-based power generation.
"Support for utilization of biomass (particularly forest-derived) for combined-heat-and-power facilities on a small-scale, distributed basis with an emphasis on industrial or municipal heating applications. (Full disclosure: Spencer is involved in promotion and development of such a project.)
"As our Superintendent of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark, has promised, we need:
Sustainable resource management (timber, water, soil) state-wide on both public and private lands, balancing exploitation of resources with protection of our citizens' safety and health.
"Support for public education. Washington is a natural resources state. Our agricultural sector - including our timberlands - must bear more of the state's financial burden in this regard. In return we must redevelop relevant vocational training to serve these economic engines.
"Building a diverse agriculture with an emphasis on local market development, local processing, and high nutritional content.
"CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) in the Yakima valley appear to be strong sources of groundwater and air pollution. We need to regulate these operations with a view toward mitigation.
"Spencer supports an increase in taxes on the super-wealthy in order to spend on long-term investment in smaller, local business with both feet in our state. Spend on infrastructure that supports greater energy autonomy for our citizens. It can start in Districts like the 14th, where we have high-quality wind and solar (and biomass) resources. We need 'Roosevelt' Democrats who support small-business and working people in rural districts,
"Spencer's strategy is to challenge independent voters to consider that the rural forested and agricultural regions of our state are short-changed by their tendency to elect Republican politicians in a state with a solid - and stable - Democratic Party majority in the State Legislature. The Republicans are the "Party of No" at the federal and state levels. Their theory is that, if the majority party cannot deliver government, then voters will give the Republicans their turn at control. It's not working. We rural citizens will be well-advised to elect old-school, 'Roosevelt' Democrats such as Spencer, who support our interests and can negotiate with the urban Democrats on a collegial basis."
I have some additional statements on education in the state, Seniors' issues, and public transportation; but the main points have to fit on one page for the various campaign announcements and fora.
Be glad to read any criticisms or additions.