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Monday, March 20, 2006

Reichert Pushback, Day 2

Posted by on March 20 at 15:55 PM

In my recent profile of eastide Congressional hopeful Darcy Burner, I wrote about two criticisms that Burner, a Democrat, is making of her opponent, Republican Congressman Dave Reichert.

The first is that Reichert is too far right for his moderate eastside district. The second is that as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Reichert has been stalling anti-terrorism measures recommended by the 9-11 Commission, including measures to help first responders communicate better during a terror attack.

On Friday, Reichert’s campaign hit back against the charge that he is too far to the right by issuing a press release hyping Reichert’s credentials as a moderate. And today, his campaign issued another press release announcing that Reichert has received an early endorsement from the Seattle Firefighters Union, Local 27.

The announcement is clearly intended to deflate criticism that Reichert, a former King County Sheriff, is ignoring the needs of first responders now that he’s in Congress.

But Burner’s campaign manager, Zach Silk, counters that Reichert’s endorsement by a group of firefighters outside of Reichert’s district doesn’t change the fact that Reichert’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security is sitting on six measures—four of them sponsored by Republicans—that could make the country safer from terrorist attack and help first responders communicate better in emergencies. He also points out that last year, Reichert “failed to back the popular COPS program which would relieve pressure on some of our most important first responders, police officers.”

Silk continues:

With all due respect, the Seattle Firefighters Union is clearly out of touch with the needs of first responders in the 8th Congressional District.

When you look at the record, Republican Dave Reichert has been a disappointment for first responders. It’s not enough to sit on some subcommittee in DC — people in the 8th Congressional District expect results.

The endorsement that’s really relevant for this race is the State Council of Fire Fighters, and we feel like we have a strong shot at their endorsement.

P.S. For those following the Great Burner Debate, it’s still raging in the forums.

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I love that you are covering this race.

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