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Politics Northwest

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

October 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Koster’s past keeps coming up in KUOW appearance

KUOW radio host Ross Reynolds asked Republican Congressional Candidate John Koster Friday about his previous statements that he wants to eliminate some federal departments. And Koster played dumb.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he said. “I know my opponent has accused me of that.”

Koster is on the record during his 2010 campaign saying he wants to abolish the Department of Education, and he answered yes on a 2010 questionnaire indicating he supported eliminating the IRS and withdrawing from the United Nations.

Koster has backed off of those positions this year, in part to appeal to the swing voters in the newly drawn 1st Congressional District. On KUOW, he said he now thinks the U.S. Department of Education should have a more “administrative role” and let local governments handle the details, and that a flat tax is not realistic, but, theoretically, if that was approved, the Internal Revenue Service would not be necessary.

The two candidates revisited their usual points of disagreement in a 20-minute segment on KUOW’s “The Conversation.”  Koster said DelBene has “zero, absolutely zero, political experience,” while he worked across the aisle as a state legislator and Snohomish County Council member.

DelBene shot back with his voting record in the Legislature, where he opposed five of six budgets.

“You can’t say you’re bipartisan if you only vote no,” she said. She kept trying to steer the conversation back to his past, while he worked to steer it toward what he says voters are now worried about: high gas and grocery prices and an economy recovering too slowly.

Koster has a “100% pro-life voting record,” according to his own campaign site. But in public interviews recently, he says he would uphold the laws regarding abortion. People are more concerned about the economy, he said, and his “personal views” on abortion shouldn’t matter.

Koster worked on several pieces of legislation limiting abortion rights when he was a state legislator in the 1990s. He co-sponsored legislation that would have allowed insurance companies not to cover abortions, for example, and supported more strict parental notification laws.

Comments | More in homepage, Politics Northwest, U.S. House of Representatives | Topics: John Koster, Suzan DelBene

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