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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rodney Tom. Republican or Democrat?

posted by on July 18 at 11:16 AM

The PI’s got a story on Rodney Tom. Tom is a Democratic state senator from the Eastside suburbs (who used to be a GOP state house member from the Eastside suburbs) who’s now running for Dave Reichert’s U.S. House seat.

First, though, Tom has to take out the well-funded, campaign-tested, progressive Darcy Burner. (Here’s a story by Eli on Burner from last year.)

Tom’s also got to overcome his voting and doning record as a rank and file GOPer, which the PI article documents: supported privatizing social security, donations to Rossi. One thing they miss: Tom also votedólast year as a Demóagainst the Dem bill to reign in Glacier Northwest’s mining expansion on Maury Island.

Tom’s response to his conservative positions is that he’s a better fit for the bi-partisan district. I think, pointing to his recent voting record as a Dem (Maury Island non-withstanding) he should say: “Just like ex-smokers are the most vehement anti-smokers…”

Seriously, though, I was excited about Tom last year when he switched parties. (I think his move exactly mirrors the zeitgeist of the bi-partisan 8th.) And, I was also impressed with how Tom used his new status to lead on hot button issues for the Dems: gun control and sex ed.

I think the well-funded Burneró$185Kó will squash Tom, but I do think a D primary in this long-coveted turf is a good test lab for sorting out the identity of the Democrats.

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Thanks for pointing out Rodney Tom's bad vote on the Maury Island bill in the last session. Let's see if he values environmental votes and contributions enough to see the error of his ways and vote correctly in the next session.

Thanks also for linking to the previous comment thread, in which I mentioned the names of several House members who were said to be hostile to the Maury Island bill, to wit, Democratic Reps. Eddy, Springer, and Clibborn. All of them appear to be supporting Rodney Tom.

I like Rodney Tom and I am glad that he is a Democrat. I wish he was not running against Darcy Burner, whom I have supported with my time and my money, and who continues to have my active support to win the primary and the election.

But if Darcy and Rodney run positive, issue-oriented campaigns against Dave Reichert and not against each other, and if they thereby can create more Democratic voters and increase Democratic turnout in the 8th CD that will enable us to capture this seat, then the contested primary will have been worth it.

Posted by ivan | July 18, 2007 11:52 AM

Think he has become perfect on gay issues (can you report?) so even if he is a bit conservative in places he has got my vote. You can't keep running again and again in the 8th District. Rodney Tom is one of those candidates that cannot seem to lose so if I were Reichert I would be very afraid of him.

Posted by Touring | July 18, 2007 1:32 PM

Hear hear for Rodney Tom running. People who have views should run. Get the debates going. LOTS MORE people should run.

Running = competition = makes them all more accountable.

Rodney in the race will probably actually make him more Dmocratic to prove his bona fides. It will sharpen up Darcy Burner on the experience issue. It will help her be sharper on attacking Reichert. Yes a pain in the ass for her but we should value competition.

2008 is looking to be a good year for D's, if Darcy can't win then she is definitely over and out and Rodney Tom is then next in line if he runs any kind of decent campaign.

PS- I'm voting for Darcy but bring it on Rod baby, give her your worst.

Posted by Jill | July 18, 2007 1:38 PM

Josh - Politicians are "bipartisan". Constituents are not gathering together to hash out a consensus or agreement regarding their political persuasion.

The voters of the 8th are not "bipartisan". The district is not "bipartisan". The mix of Republican voters and Democratic voters is about even, trending Democratic.

Posted by Daniel K | July 18, 2007 8:44 PM

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