Legislators are beginning to pace

March 28th, 2012 by Ken

By Jan Teague, President/CEO Washington Retail Association

Why pace?

Well, it’s election season and opponents are out there campaigning and raising funds while current legislators can’t raise money during session. I have started seeing some unique information coming out. Legislators are getting their newsletters out trying to get around the problem of not being able to campaign. They want to let people know that they are doing legislative business, did legislative business, and plan to continue to do legislative business.

Senator Mary Margaret Haugen sent out an update that said she was working hard in special session and soon would be announcing that she was running. I thought that was a subtle way of getting out the word that she would run again. Meanwhile, Republican state Representative Barbara Bailey announced Tuesday that she would run for the Senate seat.

Democrats sent out a similar announcement this week that Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown would be seeking re-election. Brown will be facing Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, a Republican, who launched a campaign this week to unseat Brown. It would be Brown’s first election challenge from an opponent with a successful record of campaigning.

At the same time, it’s growing evident that the incumbents are beginning to worry about when they can start to openly raise funds. Every day matters when it comes to fund raising. The loss of 30 days of a special session might make the difference between getting enough cash for their campaign to convince voters to keep the same people in office. In these poor economic times when many voters are not happy, every fundraising day matters. At some point, the leaders who are negotiating the budget and who are also the key leaders for the party’s re-election efforts will realize that their party’s entire future is being dragged down by the budget stalemate. The House has a large Democrat lead, but the party’s Senate lead is slim. Three new Republicans can change control.

Could there be new party leadership on the horizon for the Republicans in the Senate? The pacing will turn into racing before you know it. But maybe it won’t be soon enough for some.

(Editor’s note: The above article appeared in the Washington Retail Association Newsletter.)

Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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