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As we bask in the glow of our big health care win this past week, my thoughts start to turn towards the 2010 Midterm elections, and my political life here in the 4th District of Washington State.

I've been living in territory occupied by Representative Doc Hastings since 1995.  Yes, THAT Doc Hastings.  Tom Delay's waterboy during the ethics hearings.  The man to whom party loyalty means everything.  The Candidate of No.  He hates the stimulus but he cashes the checks.  He hates health care reform even though he's on Medicare.  A Republican rubber stamp.

A great candidate and a unique set of circumstances might actually led Jay Clough, a young former Marine and a progressive voice, challenge for Doc's seat.  But he needs your help, and he needs it this weekend.

The 4th District is reliably Republican, the most red district in Washington State.  But the Democrats here are loyal and fierce.  Every election, 40% of the district votes for the Democrat running against Doc.  That means there needs to be a ten point swing for us to be competitive in a congressional race.

One of the ways I knew that this election cycle was different in the 4th was a letter that Doc Hastings sent me yesterday.  Usually it's to tell me how he disagrees with everything I've just argued in a letter I've sent him (sometimes I have time to waste). This time it was to announce a local town hall in Zillah, Washington.  He's already held a Q & A session in Prosser, a town of about 5000 people.  That is to say, Doc's already campaigning.

He never does that. Sometimes he doesn't campaign at all, and he usually agrees to only one debate. His job has been so safe in the past he can ignore us altogether, both before and after the election.  This time he's a little nervous, and not just because we have a real candidate in Jay Clough to challenge him, but also because there is a Tea Party candidate running as an independent.

In other words, a third party candidate might siphon some votes from Doc and put us closer to start with, and that has him worried.  As well he should be.

The first quarter fundraising reporting deadline closes on March 31, in just four days.  Let's take a page from Howard Dean's 50 state strategy and take the fight to the Republican Party where they think they are safest.  Let's make them spend money on seats they thought were already won.  Let's give Jay Clough a fighting chance to make serious ad buys, and to build a campaign that has a real chance to upset.

Go to Jay's website and check out his views and his biography.  Then help him out by making a $5, $10, $20 or $50 donation.  Early donations draw more donations later as people see how serious a candidate is about making a challenge.  Let's see if we can find a thousand Kossacks out there to give him the financial bump he needs.

You can also become a fan for Jay on Facebook, just by following the link on his website.

I had a nice conversation with the candidate yesterday, and he's agreed to answer our questions and those from the Kossack community, so post them below if you want me to ask them, and all future interviews will be published here soon.  Thanks for your help!  I have faith in this community, and I'm in for the first $100.

Update 1 Jay is actually a Marine Corps veteran and served as an infantryman from 1995 - 99, not an Iraq War vet as I said earlier.  My mistake...

Originally posted to gtnoah on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 08:52 AM PDT.

Poll

Sure! I'll donate a bit towards Jay's effort to take down Doc Hastings

28%2 votes
0%0 votes
14%1 votes
14%1 votes
42%3 votes

| 7 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, Kitsap River, Jacques, halful

    "What we have is not a system. It's a health care catastrophe with an organization around it." -- Dr. Carl Olden

    by gtnoah on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 08:52:31 AM PDT

  •  Hi Neighbor (0+ / 0-)

    As another resident of the 4th, I echo a lot of your comments.  I would hope that Doc could be defeated and I know Jay is a very good guy.  However, I'm going to put my major effort into making certain that Patty Murray gets reelected.

    I'm certain she's in good shape and is very well liked even here in the Republican-dominated Tri-Cities, thanks to her efforts in getting more Hanford dollars and lots of new jobs, jobs, jobs for this area.

    If, as time goes on, I see that Sen. Murray is a true lock, then I'll really work hard for Jay and hope to get the "doctor out of the House!"

    •  I hear what you're saying.. something else to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River

      consider though.  I'm working for Murray too, especially if Dinosaur Rossi puts his hat in the ring. But even a $10 donation helps out.

      Glad to meet another Progressive in the 4th - there's more of us than we think.

      "What we have is not a system. It's a health care catastrophe with an organization around it." -- Dr. Carl Olden

      by gtnoah on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 09:05:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would like to know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River
    Mr. Clough's position on torture and accountability.

                Thank you very much,
                      For Dan,
                      Heather

    Planning a March for Legal Accountability for Torture in Washington, DC, September 4th, 2010, the Saturday of Labour Day Weekend.

    by Chacounne on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 09:10:46 AM PDT

  •  First, the primary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Charles CurtisStanley, danmitch

    I assume this teabagger challenger to Doc Hastings will challenge in the primary, but what about the general? Doesn't our top-2 rule mean that said teabagger won't be able to run in the general unless s/he gets enough votes to beat Hastings?

    Hi from WA's 6th district, over to the west of Puget Sound. Good to see a couple of actual progressives from the 4th.

    Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

    by Kitsap River on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 09:48:48 AM PDT

    •  All good questions (0+ / 0-)

      We'll see how the teapartier turns out - will she run as an independent, a disaffected Republican, or as a write in candidate? (her supporters are pretty motivated)

      Since we have top two - it could conceivably be the teabagger vs. Hastings in the general.  More likely, though, they will split the Repub vote and Clough comes in second or possibly first.  In doing that, the teabagger will have drained funding away from Hastings, and her supporters may be disaffected enough to not vote at all.  

      Remember, we only need ten points.  It's never been too big a mountain to climb.

      "What we have is not a system. It's a health care catastrophe with an organization around it." -- Dr. Carl Olden

      by gtnoah on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 09:37:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When will the 4th be able to field (0+ / 0-)

    a Hispanic candidate?

    Does Clough speak spanish?

    I lived in Mabton and Yakima in the early 90's and the demographic of most of the district was 30% hispanic and about 10% spanish speaking only. (With an additional 20,000 not eligible to vote)

    Between some of the right wing spanish radio and the overwhelming signal of spanish language Catholic propaganda stations the influence of their vote was split.

    Has this changed? Are the Yakamas ready to join a coalition yet?

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 09:55:33 AM PDT

    •  I think the Latino population (0+ / 0-)

      of the 4th has been hovering around political critical mass for about five years.  From my vantage point, there are issues with unity (Radio KDNA for example, as a symptom), and the population is somewhat segregated in terms of 1st/2nd/3rd generation immigrants among themselves and native born American Latinos.  That is, we tend to speak of the Latino population of the valley as a single entity, and I think that's clearly not the case.  This makes political organization, registration and participation particularly difficult.

      I can tell you that if/when that voting bloc does get organized, they will revolutionize the politics of the valley, and the smart candidate will recognize this.  I will ask Jay about his language skills when I interview him, which will hopefully be soon.

      As for the Yakamas, they tend to lean heavily Democratic anyway (were a big presence at my precinct for Obama), and now there is a bit of money behind their support due to successful casino operations.

      The biggest single factor remaining to bring these voters to the polls for us is, literally, to start reaching out, fielding candidates of color, and actually representing their concerns instead of just expecting their support because they don't like Republicans overall.

      "What we have is not a system. It's a health care catastrophe with an organization around it." -- Dr. Carl Olden

      by gtnoah on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 09:33:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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