As we all know by now, Jaime Herrera, state representative for Washington’s 18th district, seems to have finally made up her mind and is solidly running for the seat Democrat Brian Baird intends to leave next year.
I say finally because Jaime initially announced she was running within 2 hours of Baird’s announcement, only to come out the next day saying she was “seriously considering” running. Tuesday, after spending at least the whole weekend “seriously considering” jumping in, she announced she was indeed going to run for the Republican nomination.
She says several people have been after her for some time to run, which I know is at least somewhat factual as many GOP party officials were asking her of her intent last spring after she won against Democrat VaNessa Duplessie to retain the state representative seat she had just been appointed to a few months earlier in December 2007. At that time, she let it be known she was not running, had just gotten married, happy in her job, all of the usual denials.
Jaime says of herself on her web page “I’m not more of the same.” An odd statement considering the speed her campaign being put together indicates to me that she is a favorite of party insiders all the way back to Washington D.C. as her entry into the race is the only one to merit any mention the Hill, “a congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session, with a special focus on business and lobbying,” the ONLY announcement of her running that made no acknowledgement of others already in the race several months ahead of her.
Undoubtedly placed there by Jaime’s former boss and political mentor, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane.
But think a minute, when was the last time you heard any politician, Democrat or Republican running and admitting they actually were “more of the same?” Don’t they all claim to be “not more of the same” and if a challenger, saying something along the lines of “America is on the wrong track” and we need them to put us back on track?
Returning from her job with congresswoman Rodgers in Washington D.C. and winning the appointment to replace Richard Curtis after a 10 year hiatus from the state as rapidly as she did concerns me, though. Another local blogger who has been involved with Clark County politics several more years than I have been says he knows of some shaky dealings that won her the appointment. Although I attended the meeting where she initially won against several others, I had been a PCO only 2 days and do not have the behind the scenes knowledge he does.
I will be watching his blog, Clark County Politics as he reveals what he knows.
Still, I have some concerns of my own with Ms. Herrera, beyond the appearance of opportunism by jumping into the race so soon after Brian Baird announced he was not going to seek his seat again.
Looking over Interest Group Ratings for Jaime, we see she earned,
· 100 from the Washington Farm Bureau, 88 from the Association of Washington Businesses,
· 100 from the Washington National Federation of Independent Businesses,
· 33 from the Washington Conservation Voters,
· 71 from the Washington Children’s Alliance,
· ‘A’ from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund,
· 20 from the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
Her voting record looks fairly conservative, which causes me concern seeing she has such a low rating from unions, yet supported and voted ‘yes’ on 2 Union supported measures, HB 1329, Providing collective bargaining for child care center directors and workers, HB 1389, granting employees of nuclear power plants a legal and binding document on interest arbitration and shortly after she was appointed to the state house, HB 2449, Providing collective bargaining for child care center directors and workers.
Collective bargaining is unionization, if you don’t realize it.
Both measures on child care collective bargaining were strongly supported by the SEIU, whose members in St. Louis, Missouri this summer were video taped beating up a Black man, Kenneth Gladney, who was in opposition to the health care reform bill, the Washington Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.
Opposition was from YMCAs of Washington; Washington Parents for Safe Child Care; Washington Policy Center.
Ms. Herrera also accepted campaign donation from the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) during her 2008 run. Her endorsement page lists SEIU Local 925, SEIU Local 775 NW and SEIU Local 1199 NW as endorsers in 2008, among several other Unions.
Did she vote with Unions in an effort to bring her Union rating up? Conservatives usually don’t fair well with Unions nor do they receive support from them usually.
She claims, “I’ve worked with both Democrats and Republicans on important issues.”
President George W. Bush went to Washington D.C. with a strong record of reaching across the aisle as the governor of Texas and we saw how much cooperation he received from Democrats over his 8 years as President, didn’t we?
Jaime is no doubt very attractive, but if a seasoned politician like Bush and many other conservative Republicans who have been sent to Washington D.C. couldn’t get cooperation back from across the aisle, how does she expect to as a novice?
Most people I talk to have told me they are tired of Washington Insiders, party favorites who say they will not follow the direction of party leaders, but owe party leaders and special interests for their office and end up doing just that.
The rapidness of Jaime’s ascension in the political hierarchy, as well as announcing within 2 hours of Baird announcing his retirement smacks of political opportunism. This is a large part of what the TEA Parties have been protesting against across America.
The speed with which the party seems to be dumping a strong candidate who has been doing the legwork, building his support across the district and preparing to break six figures in campaign funds troubles me greatly.
This is part of the very action that cost the party congressional control and the White House as conservatives abandoned the party.
We do not need another elected official who parrots the party line while saying they will not follow the direction of party leaders.