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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 22, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Wednesday briefing: Dems capitalizing on Akin blunder; forget about it, it’s Spokane

Good Morning.

Democrats are falling all over themselves with unbounded enthusiasm. Republican Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri and his off-the-wall crack about rape and pregnancy — he said women’s bodies somehow reject pregnancy in cases of  “legitimate rape” — are an irresistible gift for the D’s.  And they accept.  It took U.S. Sen. Patty Murray about 10 minutes — OK, it was 48 hours — to send out a fund-raising letter on behalf of Akin’s Missouri Senate opponent, Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Here is an excerpt from her -hurry-up–and-send money letter:

“You’ve probably heard about Todd Akin’s offensive comments by now. So let’s stop and think about what it really means, and what we can do about it.

It’s one of the most revolting comments I have heard in a while. On Sunday, Todd Akin — the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri — said pregnancy from rape is “really rare” because, “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

Todd Akin does not belong in the U.S. Senate.”


McCaskill is/was considered one of the most endangered Dems in the Senate. She was trailing Akin before his inflammatory comments and is still trailing him in Democratic polling.


Washington’s other senator, Maria Cantwell,  up for re-election against an anti-abortion candidate, Michael Baumgartner, also did not waste time trying to raise money off the Akin blunder. She, too, sent out a fund-raising letter on behalf of herself and her Senate colleague Monday. It read in part:

  “Akin’s response is so unbelievable, so callous, so insensitive, and just so outrageous, I barely even know where to start.

But here’s one thing we can do right now: stand up and support Claire McCaskill and make sure Todd Akin isn’t elected to the Senate.

These comments were not poorly chosen words from a long-shot candidate, and this isn’t his first time getting involved in this issue. Todd Akin is a Congressman from Missouri, and he recently partnered with GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan to sponsor legislation that would redefine rape to only include “forcible” instances.

And this isn’t the isolated position of some zealot in Missouri. Maria’s opponent right here in Washington state also opposes the right to choose, and in the case of rape would force the victim to have her attacker’s child.”

In fairness, folks, the Politics Northwest blog ran similar comments of outrage from fellow Republicans two days ago. Attorney general Rob McKenna and others came out in unison telling Akin to hit the showers.


 What is going on in Spokane? State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane and  running for election, has posted a picture on his Facebook page that has Republicans and Democrats alike telling him to remove it. The photo, as you can see below, is a tad personal. It features Shea campaigning in front of the house of his opponent, Amy Biviano. I checked the page Tuesday and the posting was still there, even though Spokane County Republicans urged him to take it down.
















For future reference, Secretary of State Sam Reed is an optimist. Remember, his forecast of 46 percent participation in the earlier-than-imaginable Aug. 7 primary? The final number, says spokesman David Ammons, was 38.5 percent.

Two business-oriented groups are supporting Initiative 1240, the charter school measure.


A lot of time and money has been spent trying to figure out younger voters, those roughly ages 18 to 29. They had something to do with Barack Obama’s 2008 victory. But why are they so glib? Detached? Will they or won’t they turn out in 2012?  An opinion piece in the New York Times offers some insight.


How about it? Like us on Facebook, Seattle Times Politics: Election 2012. Follow us on Twitter @SeaTimesPol.


Comments | More in Education, homepage, Politics Northwest, State Legislature, U.S. Senate | Topics: amy biviano, claire mccaskill, Maria Cantwell


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