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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Esser Outtakes

posted by on January 31 at 12:03 PM

I’ve interviewed new Washington GOP state chairman Luke Esser a couple of times in the last few days since he was elected Saturday by the GOP rank and file to replace Diane Tebelius.

Excerpts from the interviews will appear in this afternoon’s print edition of The Stranger, but I had to leave some stuff out.

Thanks to Slog, I can post the cutting room floor right here. So, here are a couple of interesting quotes from Esser.

Esser on Dave Reichert: “If not for his larger-than-life persona as the sheriff who caught the Green River Killer, he would not have survived 2006.”

Esser on the viaduct: “The worst thing right now is this phony option. This fantasy land option. The mini-tunnel. The engineering and cost analysis has not been done. For the governor to want Seattle to be presented with this phony option is very misleading. Gregoire seemed to say that at first, but then she seemed to change her mind. We need stronger leadership than that on regional transportation issues.”

[Esser told me he couldn’t speak for the entire GOP on the viaduct issue, but he says his position as a legislator (he was a state senator from Bellevue until he got his ass kicked by GOP Rep turned Democratic state senate candidate Rodney Tom last year) was this: Seattle could do a tunnel if it could raise the extra money above and beyond the $2 billion plus the state had kicked in for a rebuild.]

Esser on Tebelius: “There wasn’t a particular difference between me and Diane ideologically. We’re both conservative Republicans. [Check. Esser practically filibustered against the gay civil rights bill in Olympia last year; voted against cost of living pay raises for teachers; voted against fixes on 520 and 405 because he wouldn’t support a gas tax—this was a senator from the Eastside?; voted against stem cell research; and voted against closing the gun show loophole.]

Anyway, more Esser on Tebelius, and warning, he uses a sports metaphor: “You have to put yourself in a position to win even if you know the political winds aren’t going your way this time. If you lose a game by a lot of points [without giving it your all] it sets a bad precedent for the close game that’s coming up. You always have to be in a position to win.” Esser criticized the local GOP for not raising enough money last year and for leaving its state political director position empty. Esser, who already axed Tebelius’s communications director, says he will be filling the top spots like the political director in the next few weeks. He also says he wants a full-time communications director working out of Olympia to coordinate the GOP message with the GOP caucus.

Esser had also blamed the GOP losses here on the GOP’s image at the federal level: the war, budget deficits, and GOP corruption. He mentioned Mark Foley and Duke Cunningham by name. So, I asked him if local GOP voters were against the war in Iraq now. “I wouldn’t say that at all,” he said.

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You should have asked him if he is going to promote more “Democrats love Gay people and Gay people = Sex predators that want to kill your kids.” Fear mongering mailers and robo-calls that we saw in the 26th LD and across the state.

Posted by Jake of | January 31, 2007 12:44 PM

That is some glass house Esser lives in, calling out Mark Foley by name as the ruination of the Rep. party.


Posted by Foleygate | January 31, 2007 1:21 PM

Luke should quit is $84,000 job with the AG's office effective this past monday. He has been running the state GOP party while drawing a state salary and this vialates RCW 42.52. Also Rob McKenna who Luke works for has broken his oath of office by facilitating Luke's continued employment while he spends his time running the GOP.
Its just more corruption from your friends at the GOP.

Posted by Particle Man | January 31, 2007 1:38 PM

The the real question Particle Man is how many pigs did he fuck when he was running?

Posted by Jake of | January 31, 2007 2:42 PM

Hope Luke has fun with the GOP cock-us.

As Wonkette plaintively begged last fall, is there even one heterosexual Republican left or are they all self-hating homos?

Posted by Original Andrew | January 31, 2007 3:41 PM

I think it is fascinating that the state GOP came so very close to having
Rossi become the state's governor. That certainly would suggest they are not dead in the water, however Esser appears to represent the state GOP's financial base which is particularly conservative both in in its social and political foundations.

I am curious if the Rossi showing was a fluke, and regardless of who the GOP puts up as a future candidate, they will fail. Esser's belief that federal GOP failures have led to failures within the state to support its GOP are interesting in that would substantiate the notion that Washington state's GOP has no particularly strong popular support. That surely doesn't spell well for the future of the state's GOP, and it certainly would question what Esser is going to do. Logic would demand fielding candidates who appeal to the liberal bias of the state's population...especially on west side, however will the GOP's financial and political base allow that to happen?

Lastly, might we see a new faction of the Republican party develop in this state whose interests and platforms
are outside those of the current GOP base? The time certainly would be
ripe to see this happen.


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | January 31, 2007 7:09 PM

now the real, real, real truth - Josh

did he put his hand on your leg during the interview?

with that little squeeze thing?

the big time outing of a slime machine, Luke Esser, is the next explosion in the fucking face of the right wing, I can't wait for that event

fun, fun, fun - please Stranger, get the video - we all know it is out there

Posted by sidney | February 1, 2007 6:34 AM

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