Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Back in 2008, after eight years of the George W. Bush administration, the economy was headed to Hell in a handbasket at an alarming velocity, and "Republican" was very nearly a dirty word. So when former state legislator Dino Rossi sought to unseat Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire in the 2008 Washington gubernatorial race, he simply avoided using the word. Instead, on the ballot after Rossi's name was "prefers GOP party." The Democrats, predictably, cried foul, claiming that Rossi was out to confuse the electorate. Indeed, despite the fact that news media constantly describes prominent Republicans as members of the GOP, nearly twenty percent of Washington State Republican voters were unaware that the Grand Old Party were the Republicans.

But now it's four years later, and the Obama administration abetted first by Democratic majorities in both house of Congress and now by a Democratic Senate have done the unthinkable - re-rehabilitated the Republican Party. (The Republicans lay down in a coffin and closed the lid. One wonders how the Democrats avoided getting their act together enough to show up with nails.)

So when I came across a sign with no obvious partisan affiliation on it, I was a bit intrigued. Perhaps, I reasoned, we were seeing some of the "a pox on both your houses" at work, and some independent candidates were going to make a run for office, and had enough organization behind them to have some signs erected.

A Dawn McCravey sign. The larger ones aren't any easier to find her party on.

No such luck. Dawn McCravey is a member of the GOP. It says so on her sign. Right there, after where it says "for State Senate." While it's easy to see in a photo taken from several inches away, from a moving car or several feet back, it's nearly invisible. See for yourself. Back up a ways from the screen, and you'll see it's the first thing that becomes difficult to read. (Incidentally, I received a robo-call from the McCravey campaign yesterday. Listening to the message on my answering machine I waited to hear if she'd make any mention of her partisan affiliation or any partisan endorsements. Sure enough, not a one.)

A Shahram Hadian sign. You've really got to search this one.
But gubernatorial candidate Shahram Hadian takes it a step further, not even putting his first name on his campaign signs. But let's see if you can find his party affiliation in his sign. Look carefully, because it's actually on there. Down at the bottom, in the "Paid For" section.

Granted, Washington is considered a solid Blue state. We don't see many national campaign ads on television, and the presidential contenders only come this way to beg money from technology millionaires - those who aren't self-funding their own campaigns for political office, anyway. The state's pretty much a lock for the Democrats, and people know it. But still, there seems little point to the bait-and-switch tactic that seems to be in play here. If you have to sneak into office under cover of the public's ignorance, they're not likely to back you if you actually get there.

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