Newsletter - September 2014

NEXT KCDW MEETING SEPT 24TH Location: Hale’s Alehouse. Our speaker will be Judy Arbogast, the Democratic Candidate for 26th LD Senate. NO RSVP required. 
Note: as Hale’s Ale is closing at the end of the month, our October meeting will be at another location. Stay posted! 
Special Webmaster Note (9-16-2014): The September meeting has moved to Red Lobster, 3208 Nw Randall Way, Silverdale, WA 98383, (360)613-0105.

by Jo Fox Burr 

Al Capone committed many horrific acts for which he was never punished. What finally brought him down was tax evasion - in other words, money problems. We keep watching Republicans pull off shenanigans that seem amoral if not criminal for which they often suffer no consequences. Many of these relate to their eternal quest for riches for themselves and/or their donors. Yet lately, some of these quests for riches – money – are not working out so well. 

The most stunning example of this is the recent conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife for doing favors for a wealthy vitamin executive in exchange for over $165,000 in gifts and loans. His attorney claimed the prosecutors were simply trying to criminalize what he called routine political behavior. Really? At least one of the jurors who had voted for McDonnell and thought he was ‘a terrific governor’ nevertheless felt the facts compelled her to convict him. 

Then we have Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is under investigation for collusion between his campaign committee and various independent advocacy groups during his recall fight. In the disastrous Citizen’s United decision which allowed unlimited donations to advocacy groups, the Supreme Court argued that the “absence of prearrangement and coordination of an expenditure with the candidate…undermines the value of the expenditure to the candidate.” They claimed that without coordination these groups might even negatively affect a candidate’s message. Therefore, without cooperation everything was OK. Well, evidently Walker himself encouraged donors to contribute to one of these groups and even directed one of his consultants to have this group coordinate campaign themes. Further, one of his advisors also advised this group and was directed by Walker to oversee all ads produced by all the so-called independent groups. His lawyer has stopped denying he did any of this, but is now simply implying that since everyone does this, it is therefore not a crime. A lot of us speed occasionally, but it is still a crime. If not convicted, Walker could still face severe political backlash. 

Maybe one of the more bizarre shenanigans involves a link between Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, and Mitch McConnell. Recently McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, resigned because of an FBI investigation into his part in a payola scandal during the 2012 Iowa Presidential caucus. Ron Paul’s campaign bought the endorsement of a State Senator who had previously endorsed Bachmann. Her campaign had also paid for the same endorsement. Paul’s campaign offered more. Benton, who was Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign chair, evidently participated in this. Whether McConnell will suffer fall out is unclear, but Rand Paul might. Some credit Benton for Rand Paul’s successful Senate campaign and assumed he would be a major player in his presidential campaign. Now Rand Paul is minus a crucial advisor. 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s problems are too extensive to detail here. However, one participant in his troubles is his long-time mentor and former Chair of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson. His law firm has greatly benefited financially from Christie’s tenure as Governor. Samson felt so far above the law he did little to hide his actions, but could now face some serious criminal charges. 

Then we have candidates such as Eric Cantor who wrongly felt the security of having $5.7 million for his campaign would ensure his victory over an opponent who had only raised $231,000. Recently on the Charlie Rose show, John Heilemann, co-author of Game Change, commented that all the money thrown into GOP Senate races so far has done little to change anything. Locally, Tim Sheldon (the faux Democrat) out-raised Irene Bowling by significant amounts before the primary, yet she still came out on top. 

Money is not necessarily the root of all evil, but for those Republicans who obsessively focus on obtaining it, it is leading some down the road to overconfidence and/or corruption. To sustain itself money is not enough. For the long term, a party needs to have ideas for the general good and the ability and willingness to enact them. 

Kitsap County Democratic Women
Date: Sept 24th (Wednesday) 
Time: 11:30 a.m. lunch; 12:30 meeting. 
Place: Hale’s Alehouse (Special Note: The September meeting has moved to Red Lobster, 3208 Nw Randall Way, Silverdale, WA 98383, (360)613-0105.)
Speaker: Judy Arbogast, 
26th LD Dem. Senate Cand. 

Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee 
Date: Sept 15th (Monday) 
Time: 6:30 p.m. Desserts; 7:00 p.m. mtg 
Place: Eagles Nest 

23rd Legislative District Democrats 
Date: Sept. 22nd (Monday) 
Time: 6:30 p.m. social; 7:00 p.m. mtg. 
Place: Poulsbo Library 

26th Legislative District Democrats 
Date: Oct 2nd (Thursday) 
Time: 7-9 p.m. 
Place: Kitsap Rm, Givens Center 
1026 Sidney Rd, Pt. Orch 

35th Legislative District Democrats 
Date: Sept. 20 (Saturday) 
Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
Place: North Mason Sch. Adm. Bldg. 
Hwy 3, Belfair 

23rd LD Salmon Dinner and Auction
Date: Sept. 26th (Friday) 
Time: 5:30 p.m. Cocktails; 
6:30 p.m. Program begins 
Place: Kiana Lodge 
Cost: $50 per person, 
Speaker will be Jaxon Ravens, Chair of the Washington State Democrats, with Derek Kilmer as the Keynote speaker. 

“Politics isn't about big money or power games; it's about the improvement of people's lives” – Paul Wellstone