Exercising the Franchise, Part 3.
Next up is the first race affected by King County's new "non-partisan" ballot. Of course, a non-partisan ballot doesn't mean that the candidates are not partisans. Dow Constantine wears his Democratic partisanship on his sleeve, understandable given the typically Democratic local electorate and, frankly, unavoidable give his history as a Democratic Party official and legislator at the state and county levels.
Susan Hutchison, on the other hand, is less forthright. She bobs and weaves, dissembles and lies like, well, like a Republican. That, despite her constant protestations, is exactly what she is, of course. No, she's not a registered Republican, but I'm not a registered Democrat, either. Not having partisan registration in our state, though, doesn't mean we don't have parties. Party identification in Washington is demonstrated in other ways. Financial contributions, for instance, like the thousands of dollars she's contributed exclusively to Republican candidates and causes, are one way to signal partisanship. Running for partisan political office, something Hutchison has considered and explored, is another. She certainly left no question about her partisanship in the minds of the Republican activists and financiers that she courted when she contemplated challenging Maria Cantwell.
Her obfuscation now, along with her lingering celebrity from her days as a TV news reader, an anticipated light off-year turnout and her abject refusal to answer any question that might reveal her partisan stripes have combined to make this race much closer than it should be here in Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Obama country.
Vote for Dow. Do it now.