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Thursday, February 1, 2007

If the Elevated Wins, Chopp Loses

posted by on February 1 at 10:15 AM

Why is House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43, Capitol Hill, Wallingford, U-District) so sternly opposed to Mayor Nickels’s $3.4 billion-plus tunnel? Yes, it’s the price tag. But more important to Chopp: He’s out to save Democrats statewide come November 2008. His caucus members have told him point blank: We cannot go back to our districts and tell voters we caved to snooty Seattle.

That’s very big of Chopp to think of his colleagues, but you know which Democrat might get rubbed out come November 2008? Frank Chopp. The ugly, environmentally dangerous, neighborhood-destroying freeway on the waterfront is not popular in Chopp’s district.

If the elevated gets the green light in next month’s Seattle-wide vote, that’ll also be a green light for candidates to line up and challenge Chopp, who caved to the reverse-snooty, suburban and rural districts.

P.S. To an old friend who used to talk to me (isn’t Gilbert having a great year?). Anyway, “Reverse-snooty.” Isn’t that like something you’d come up with? Are your boys going to run somebody against Chopp?

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you know what Democrat might get rubbed out come November 2008? Frank Chopp.

Mwha, ha, ha, ha , ha..

You gotta be kidding me. Please tell me is the lack of BC bud that you’re smoking. Not gonna happen man.

Personally, I am all for a transit option and I agree that "The ugly, environmentally dangerous, neighbhorhood-destroying freeway on the waterfront is not popular in Chopp’s district."

I do hope Chopp gets his ass kicked out and replaced with somebody with a backbone, however, a good chunk of his voters are gonna give him a pass, if he senses he is in trouble, he is gonna knock on more doors and another chunk will vote on the name recognition alone, and unless he gets a permanent parking space at Rick’s strip club, Seattle’s silly voters aren’t about to give him a pink slip. Frank is no chump when it comes to campaigning and regardless of what people say, it takes dough and Frank can raise plenty of it. And you can bet the Dems, labor, non profits, housing developers will be right behind him when he cashes in on past favors. If somebody is really gonna take him on, it would have to be somebody with more name recognition than some obscure populist.

It aint gonna happen. He is as safe as Mcdermont.

Posted by SeMe | February 1, 2007 10:39 AM

Quite true, Josh. For as long as Chopp has served in the House, it's never been clear where his true loyalties lie - to the people and interests of the 43rd district on the one hand, or to the collection of interest groups for who he has been a champion (namely, the House Democratic caucus, the housing and human services community, unions, and to some extent environmentalists). If he does force another 100 years of elevated freeway on his consituents, a primary challenge in 2008 would become quite likely. It's worth noting that the other center of gravity in the district's politics, Ed Murray, is vocally anti-elevated, and known for trying to recruit electable gay candidates to run for the legislature (although none of them took him up on it in the open-seat race in 2006). He and Chopp have never been particularly close.

Posted by Trey | February 1, 2007 10:45 AM


You honestly can't be serious, can you? In order for someone to take out Chopp they would have to have a shit-ton of money to spend - and as SEIU showed us in 2004, it is very hard, if not impossible, to take out an entrenched powerful Dem in a safe Seattle district (and they spent how much in IE money in that race?). Chopp is doing his job - protecting the Democratic majority. I can't think of anyone in the 43rd who is popular enough to take out the Speaker.

Trey - Um, so Jamie wasn't electable, even though he was, um, what's that word again....oh yeah - elected? Grow up.

Posted by Willis | February 1, 2007 11:00 AM

empty threat. the 43rd isn't as progressive as you think, and the stranger doesn't speak for it anyway. the elections that count in the state leg for dem dominated seattle districts are primaries which are dominated by old people who are generally more conservative (just ask jamie pedersen). and the 43rd is not up in arms about the viaduct-- certainly not enough to boot the founder of the fremont public association and speaker of the house out of office.

Posted by wf | February 1, 2007 11:29 AM

Willis, I didn't mean to imply Jamie Pedersen wasn't electable - obviously, he was the choice of 23% of Democrats who voted in the primary, and was elected. He simply wasn't one of the individuals recruited to run by Murray. No need to be so defensive...

Posted by Trey | February 1, 2007 11:30 AM

Frank Chopp isn't losing any sleep over the viaduct (tunnel/retrofit/surface option). He'll be reelected easily and probably without serious opposition. Get real, Josh.

Posted by J.R. | February 1, 2007 12:53 PM

Pure vs. Chopp

From the political savants at the Stranger.

Wow, how droll.

Most of the city agrees with Frank, we can live with the rebuild, let's get rolling and let the State spend their three billion.

Posted by sidney | February 1, 2007 1:02 PM

#3: Labor is just one partner in a campaign and isn't necessarily the most influential. See 36th run against Helen Sommers and Lynne Dodson's races this past Fall. Both were heavily backed by labor, but neither won.

Labor is an important ally, but they are but one piece in the political puzzle.

Posted by proof | February 1, 2007 1:11 PM

TRUTH - Jamie was recruited by Ed, then Ed lost his nerve.

From the inside.

As things heated up Murray had second thoughts as he will need the Gay Block Vote to make it to Congress..... and that is his goal.

Plus other candidates weren't doing strong well funded campaigns and with the strong, focused help of the SGN and Murray's late endorsement and all the media play, Jamie had a real chance.

Smart predictors in the gay community said Jamie would win by 210 - 225 votes. Missed by a few.

So, so ... and Frank Chopp with Dems in power is just getting rolling. The Italian Bear is on the move.

Posted by all knowing Mary | February 1, 2007 1:17 PM

Mary, I'm not sure which alternative reality you're currently living in, but as to the facts in this plane of existence, you should probably just ask Murray if he ever recruited Pedersen to run for his seat. If he's feeling candid, you'll get an earful. But, back on the subject - the point is not whether Chopp would lose to a challenger, but whether he will suffer the embarrassment, inconvenience and indignity of a sitting Speaker being challenged from within his own party. That would draw statewide media attention and could do as much to undermine House Democrats in the 2008 cycle as would caving to snooty Seattle.

Posted by Trey | February 1, 2007 1:28 PM

I know you can do better than this scenario.

Posted by David Sucher | February 1, 2007 1:47 PM

David @ 11:

Recent postings indicate otherwise.

But silly journalism isn't Josh's sole property, or Erica's, or the Stranger's. A case in point is the front-page story in today's P-I by Chris McGann, that tells us -- seriously -- that the Viaduct issue COULD HAVE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR GREGOIRE -- because -- wait for it -- BLAIR BUTTERWORTH says so!

As for Chopp, he is about as vulnerable as Margarita Prentice is, which is to say, not at all.

Posted by ivan | February 1, 2007 2:01 PM

We stopped talking because I decided you were an unrepentent doofus.

Posted by Confidential from that old friend | February 1, 2007 2:23 PM

Right - I forgot that anyone who doesn't agree with Ivan 100% of the time is "silly".

I really need to keep that in mind.


Posted by Willis | February 1, 2007 2:33 PM

Ugh. I regret every penny I gave to Ms. G during the recount fiasco. Just for all this political gamesmanship I will not vote for her ever again. Nor Chopp.

I am still astounded how:
1. incompetent the Seattle State legislature caucus is.

2. short sighted and stupid the rest of the state is. Is it seriously worth messing up the single most important economy and port in the entire state for some petty insecurity? I guess so.

Posted by golob | February 1, 2007 2:37 PM

golob - well if you get lucky, maybe the R's will run Luke Esser, comback kid, and Val Stevens on the same ticket --- or the comeback of Ellen Crasswell..... and the anti-witchcraft, anti-abortion, anti-gay cabal.

Whatever the Democrats in Washington do or not do, compared to the alternative they are wonderful. Sorry to break the news.

Posted by sidney | February 1, 2007 2:49 PM




Posted by Bert, sometimes Bertie | February 1, 2007 2:54 PM

Why do you refuse to acknowledge and support the Steinbrueck compromise?

Without Repairing the Viaduct, the Surface option doesn't even have a chance of getting on the wish list.

Posted by David Sucher | February 1, 2007 3:50 PM

Willis @ 14:

Nobody in this world takes me less seriously than I take myself, and no one is sillier than I am.

Posted by ivan | February 1, 2007 3:58 PM

Good to know.

Posted by Willis | February 1, 2007 4:08 PM

1. NO ONE is unbeatable. Cynthia Sullivan's defeat proved that several years ago. With a viable candidate with name recog. and the relentless ENERGY to campaign (like Ferguson had when he beat Cynthia and Carolyn Edmonds), Chopp can be beaten. I, for one will work tirelessly to raise money and campaign daily to remove Chopp.
2. The Oly crew had better dummy up about the "snooty" Seattleites because the "snooty" Seattleites are the ones who vote a lot of them in.....and I'm keeping track of which of them are trying to cram an elevated piece of ugly trash down our throats!
3. And as a resident of the 36th.... SEIU would have been successful in taking out Helen (particularly given the $$ they had) IF they had run a better campaign. People in my district including a labor leader were turned off by the incredible nastiness of the campaign. Many people voted AGAINST THE CAMPAIGN not for Helen.
4. Gregoire's lack of decisiveness, flip-flopping so many times, Kerry is shaking his head, and shrill bitching about Seattle could very well have political consequences!

Posted by MHP | February 15, 2007 9:22 AM

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