Politics Linnea Noreen’s Excellent Suicide Mission
I had the insane pleasure of meeting someone who’s running against U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-7) yesterday afternoon. Excellent!
Pleasure because it’s time for McDermott to go, and while this candidate doesn’t have a chance in hell—she’s 29, has never held public office, and doesn’t have record of political accomplishments—I think her suicide mission will remind people that McDermott doesn’t have a birth right to the seat.
Her name is Linnea Noreen. She’s running as an Independent.
I put off meeting her for weeks because I thought she was just going to be some kook. (My bizarre colleague Adrian Ryan has something to do with her campaign, which I can’t quite figure out.)
I was wrong. She’s smart and serious, and has a sense of fun about her campaign. (She’s holding 18 nominating conventions in the next week, including 3 at Tiki Bob’s. More on that in a second.)
She also acknowledges that she’s not going to win, but says she wants to set an example for young people that “it’s possible…and after I do this high profile race, I think young people will run for things like city council and state Senate.”
She describes herself as “very liberal on social issues” and “responsible on fiscal issues.” Sounds trite, but, indeed, she seems to revel in a third-way sensibility of maverick and common sense solutions that don’t adhere to left or right dogma.
She does have the annoying habit of saying repeatedly of her platform that “no one is talking about what I’m talking about” …while not really delivering on the claim.
For example, on transportation, she says we need to coordinate all the disparate efforts into one comprehensive regional plan…which everyone I know has been saying for years.
She’s against the GOP’s “No Child Left Behind” approach on education & against the Democrats “just throw more money at the schools” approach…but says little more than she’s for “local control.”
She says the Democrats are wrong to fold their arms and refuse to admit there’s a problem with the Social Security system, but says little more than people should have more options. “There should be some of that,” she says about private accounts.
On housing, she says we should abandon the Section 8 system and opt for a system that works more like food stamps…an idea I didn’t quite get.
The coolest thing she said was on Iraq. She said the solution begins with getting the reconstruction contracts to the Iraqis…basically, “make them stop wanting to shoot us” by giving them economic opportunities rather giving economic opportunities to Haliburton.
She didn’t put it this way, but I came up with a sound bite for her: “Before we transition the fighting to Iraqi troops, let’s transition the economy to Iraqi people.” (She says she’s against a steadfast pull out date.)
Noreen’s resume features a stint with the YMCA, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce & most recently, she worked as a program coordinator for Seattle Works, a group that tries to get young professionals engaged politically by getting them on boards and commissions.
Because she’s running as an Independent, she has to get 1,000 signatures to be on November’s ballot. Sounds easy, but the state has made this a crazy proposition by requiring third party candidates to get all those signatures at a series of nominating conventions over the course of one week. And the conventions don’t count unless each convention garners at least 100 signatures. So, Noreen’s holding “conventions” all over the city. Here’s her campaign’s explanation of the whole very confusing signature thing.