Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dave Reichert Disagrees With WA-08 Voters On Almost Every Substantive Issue


Phony smile on phony politician

There's been a lot of chatter that WA-08 incumbent Dave Reichert would abandon his congressional seat to run for governor against Jay Inslee. Although his name recognition is a healthy 53%, a new poll from PPP shows him scoring only 34% against Inslee's 45%. However, some of the other questions in the poll should give Republicans-- both in Washington and nationally-- more cause for concern. Support for de rigueur Republican positions is crumbling. And the crumbling support isn't just among normal voters; even Republicans are backing away from crackpot GOP positions from past eras.
Over the last couple elections voters in Washington legalized gay marriage and marijuana, and enacted background checks on all gun sales. Our newest poll in the state finds that all three of those new laws are even more popular now after being implemented than they were when voters first approved them.

In 2012 Washingtonians voted to approve gay marriage by 8 points. Now voters in the state say they support gay marriage by 20 points, 56/36. 78% of voters say that its being legal has either had a positive impact on their life or no impact at all, with only 22% claiming gay marriage has affected them negatively. Also 65% of voters in the state think gay conversion therapy should be illegal to only 14% who think it should be allowed. Majorities of voters across party lines-- 78/6 with Democrats, 63/14 with independents, and 51/27 with Republicans- think conversion therapy should not be allowed.

Also in 2012 Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana usage by 12 points. Now voters in the state say they support marijuana being legal by 19 points, 56/37. 77% of voters say marijuana being legal has either had a positive impact on their life or no impact at all, with likewise only 22% claiming marijuana legalization has affected them negatively.

Just last fall Washingtonians voted to legalize background checks on all gun sales by 18 points. Now voters in the state say they support background checks on all gun sales by 44 points, 68/24. 82% of voters in the state say extended background checks have either had a positive or no impact on their lives, while only 18% claim a negative impact. Even among gun owners 78% grant that extended background checks have had no adverse effect on their lives, and they support the policy 61/31.

Washington voters were on the leading edge of legalizing gay marriage, marijuana, and extended background checks. And since those policies went in effect the verdict has been no big deal, leading to their increasing popularity.
Although the DCCC gives Reichert a free pass to reelection-- which is very strange in a swing district with a PVI of R+1-- the Democratic candidate for the WA-08 seat, Jason Ritchie, is calling Reichert out on how out of touch his voting record in Congress has been with the voters in the district. Last month, when Congress failed to decriminalize medical marijuana by only 3 votes, Reichert was not one of the 35 moderates who crossed the aisle to vote for legalization.

"In 1998 the people of my State of Washington voted to become one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana," said Ritchie after Reichert's betrayal. "In 2012, they again set a precedent by voting overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana commercial sales. Our State Legislature responded and set up a reasonable regulatory and tax structure. This has happened without incident, except for intransigent Republicans like Rep. Dave Reichert who continue to insist their values should supersede the will of the people. His arrogant and baseless opposition only serves to marginalize him from the people he purports to represent. I strongly support marijuana legalization in Washington State and look forward to ending mass incarcerations for non-violent drug possession."

And it isn't just on medical marijuana where Reichert diverges from his own constituents. He has an ugly homophobic voting record-- a 0.0 lifetime crucial vote score! An NRA darling, Reichert also opposes commonsense gun regulations including the background checks that Washington voters passed (and have become increasingly fond of). Reichert also opposes the kind of comprehensive immigration reform that most people in the district support. Washington voters also back raising the minimum wage, which Reichert opposes. These are all issues on which Ritchie is aligned with the voters of WA-08 and on which Reichert is the odd man out. Reichert is also a supporter of unrestricted, unconstitutional surveillance on Americans by the NSA (unwarranted wiretapping and monitoring of emails, texts, etc.).

If you'd like to help replace Reichert with Jason Ritchie, here's the place.

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