Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Parsing Dave Reichert

Posted by Warren Peterson on August 23, 2009

I agree with the President on some things. I don’t agree with the President on a lot of things.” Congressman Dave Reichert – November 6, 2006 CNN interview on support of President Bush.

Just under the surface, conservatives have had their concerns with Congressman Reichert but it erupted into the open when Reichert was one of only eight Republican House members to vote for the flawed 1,300 page, written on the fly, Cap and Trade bill. One well-known conservative Seattle talk radio host called his vote “a deal breaker.” The dreaded RINO (Republican In Name Only) label was applied but is that fair? To judge him on his support for President George W. Bush, not fair, but on his stands on issues is fair.

Comparing Reichert’s ratings by eleven special interest groups to those of Steny Hoyer, House Democrat Majority Leader, on the Left and John Boehner, House Republican Minority Leader, on the Right, Reichert lands in the moderate center.

ReichertChartpr025

Source data web sites for each of these organizations are listed in pdf format at the below site:

Reichertrating031

Looking at his sponsorship of legislation, he is a moderate Republican. Most of his major campaign contributions come from traditional Republican sources.

Bottom line, Dave Reichert is a centrist Republican not likely to bolt the Party, particularly with Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker’s chair. Equally unlikely would be a successful Primary challenge from conservatives. Parts of Reichert’s 8th Congressional District include once solid Republican state legislative districts east of Lake Washington. Once because they are now firmly in the D camp meaning there is no strong conservative base upon which to build a campaign. Reagan Dunn, a popular King County Council member and son of the late Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn, Dave Reichert’s predecessor, might be able to parlay his council district base (largely outside the 8th Congressional District, however) and his famous name into a credible challenge but at the high risk of ultimately losing the seat to the Democrats. Additionally, with a new baby in the house, he may not relish a yearlong, no doubt, contentious campaign. Congressman Reichert plays well in his swing district. He has been elected three times by increasing margins. Next year should be a good year for Republicans. Bottom line, go with Dave in the 8th and concentrate on defeating Democrats like 3rd District Congressman Brian Baird.

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