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The Seattle Times endorses torture, destruction of habeus corpus, the Iraq Debacle. They endorse the Republican House leadership's handling of the Foley matter. They endorse warrantless wiretapping. The endorse pharmacists withholding prescription drugs from patients. They endorse ignorance in the form of a sitting Congressman who answered a debate question on the consolidation of media with, "That's an issue I'm not familiar with, and I'll have to pass on that question." (Video here.)

Are they really for all of these things? For torture, for the destruction of key components of our constitution, for the disastrous Bush non-plan in Iraq? It doesn't really matter, because they've endorsed it. They endorsed Dave Reichert and Republican control of Congress. They stand behind the Rubber Stamp.

So they endorse these things, but what to do they really stand for, what do they really believe? The one thing we know for sure is that the owners of The Seattle Times, as well as its editorial board, vote their pocketbook. If one thing drives The Seattle Times, it's publisher Frank Blethen's raison d'etre, getting rid of the Paris Hilton tax.

How do we know that? They tell us so, and in absolutely uncoded words:

Initiative 920, the measure to repeal Washington's death tax, is a reasonable measure.

So not only does the editorial board of The Seattle Times endorse the repeal of Washington's version of the Paris Hilton tax, the papers owners, and some of its officers, are funding the campaign.

Jill Mackie, vice president of public affairs for The Seattle Times, made an in-kind donation totaling $1,000, which she said was for providing consultation to the campaign. . . . The Seattle Times, owned by the Seattle-area based Blethen family with the McClatchy Co. holding a minority stake, has a history of battling for estate tax repeal at the federal level. . . . The paper's publisher, Frank Blethen, organized newspapers to print free advertisements condemning the tax in the late 1990s, in addition to more traditional lobbying methods.

Given all the reasons for not endorsing what David Reichert has done and has represented in his two years in Congress, you have to wonder whether this vote had anything to do with it. From Reichert's press release:

Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08) voted yesterday to approve H.R. 5638, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006, which will provide permanent estate tax relief. . . .

"It is simply unconscionable that the federal government levies a tax upon the passing of a loved one - a tax on money that has already been taxed, I might add," Rep. Reichert said. . . . "Permanent relief from the death tax is important for family-owned businesses such as the Seattle Times Company, a fourth- and fifth-generation family business that is a fixture in our area. By approving this important measure, we are once again taking bold action to reduce unnecessary and unjust taxation on the American people."

The Seattle Times owners and editorial board presumably will be voting their pocketbooks this November 7, not only on I-920, but on the Congress that they think will forward their goals. We assume residents in Washington's 8th district will vote their own interests as well, and they don't mirror those of the wealthy owners of The Seattle Times.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Oct 15, 2006 at 02:57 PM PDT.

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