DelBene is exactly the kind of "smart moderate" publisher Frank Blethen and his editors consistently say they want. That's their words, not mine, from the Seattle Times' 2010 endorsement of DelBene over Republican incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington's old 8th CD. Back in 2010 the editors praised DelBene for her "sharp business and entrepreneurial skills," and her "unambiguous" approach to financial reforms. In 2012 they now lament that "we know her only from the campaign trail." Go figure.
However, the Arlington Republican's very conservative social views — against a woman's right to choose and gay rights — and his skepticism that humans have any role in climate change disqualify him for our endorsement.
Two years later Koster's war-on-science/war-on-women pedigree is apparently no longer a disqualification. "We disagree with Koster on social issues," the editors now write, "but in Congress right now, his fiscal viewpoint and elected experience are what’s needed."
Uh-huh. But the thing is, Koster is more than just "very conservative." Koster is a self-proclaimed Tea Partier with deep roots in the far-right, secessionist, Patriot/militia movement. In fact, as Dave Neiwert documents over on the national blog Crooks and Liars, it was Koster who did the secessionists' bidding in Olympia, sponsoring bills for the creation of Skykomish, Freedom and Pioneer counties.
That's not just "very conservative." That's extreme. And perhaps that's why when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor came to Washington in May to raise money for Republican candidates, Koster was nowhere to be seen. Or why when House Speaker John Boehner flew out for a $1,000 a plate fundraiser a few weeks later, again, no Koster. Or why just last week, when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave a 15-minute stump speech on behalf of Rob McKenna in a banquet hall adjacent to Koster's headquarters, Christie never even mentioned Koster's name.
Koster is the only Republican in Washington in a close congressional race, yet Republican leaders like Cantor, Boehner, and Christie wouldn't be caught dead in a room with him. But the Seattle Times wants us to believe that Koster can "find common ground" in Congress? Talk about extreme.