Topic: Don Benton
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January 28, 2013 at 6:00 AM
New Obama in office: Many political observers are talking about President Obama’s inaugural address and how, in the second term, he may just let his views hang out there. He does seem to be developing new ways to maneuver around partisan gridlock. The latest example is gun control. Instead of calling up a bunch of moderate Democratic senators and twisting their jittery arms to support his policies, he is taking his case to the public. Their public. Interesting strategy.
Sarah Palin out; her fans’ worst nightmare: Palin has run her course on FOX. She is out as a Fox news contributor.
Washington Sen. Patty Murray is the new Senate budget chairwoman. Slate has a fascinating piece about Murray’s potential impact on budget negotiations.
Closer to home, Don Benton is the star of the local blogs. State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, barely won re-election. You will recall his race went into recount. But none of that is worrying the state senator these days. He’s a busy guy, introducing a lot of legislation, including a parental notification bill now gaining a lot of attention.
Avoid the crowd in the Seattle mayor’s race. How would you like to be a Seattle Port commissioner? The ad (below) has been appearing in a couple of media locales of late. It’s an ad aimed at filling the port commission seat vacated by Gael Tarleton who has gone to the Legislature. To the uninitiated, it looks like an ad for the four port seats that will be up this fall.
But Port Commissioner Tom Albro says the ad is designed to find good people to fill Tarleton’s spot and serve an important community institution. It doesn’t hurt if it raises the profile and awareness of the work the port does.
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November 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM
State Sen. Don Benton and Rep. Tim Probst are in a virtual dead heat in a battle that will determine whether Democrats maintain their 27-22 Senate majority or see it eroded by one position.
Probst, who lost the lead on Thursday, regained it Friday, out-polling Benton by just 16 votes out of nearly 56,000 counted so far. With Clark County election offices closed Monday, there won’t be another count until Tuesday.
Friday’s election tally showed that 3,580 voters returned ballots but didn’t cast votes in the tight Senate race, which cost the candidates and independent-expenditure campaigns more than $1.2 million. The 17th District includes part of Vancouver and nearby communities.
The Republican Party will gain one seat in the Senate if Benton wins. In other contests, the GOP picked up two seats, through Rep. Bruce Dammeier’s victory over Eric Herde for an open seat in the 25th District in Pierce County, and Rep. Barbara Bailey’s defeat of Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen in the 10th District, which includes Island County and parts of Skagit and Snohomish counties.
Those Republican wins were partly offset by Democrat Mark Mullet’s decisive victory over Republican Brian Toft in King County’s 5th District. Toft conceded to Mullet Friday.
September 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Editor’s note: This post was updated at 12:20 p.m. to include comments from state Sen. Don Benton.
We’re less than 50 days away from the general election now, which means that campaign attacks and responses are ramping up.
But while we’re used to hearing candidates complain that their opponent is distorting their records, it’s not everyday you see a lawsuit threat.
That’s exactly what’s happening in southwest Washington, where state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, sent a cease and desist letter last week to his Democratic opponent, state Rep. Tim Probst. The letter, written by Oregon attorney Peter Mozena, called for Probst to stop making three “false and misleading” claims about Benton — that he missed a lot of votes as a state senator, that he received compensation of more than $1 million as a senator and that he was forced to resign as the state GOP chairman.
“Your making such statements against Senator Benton puts you in a position to bear the liability for your actions under the law of defamation relating to public officials,” Mozena wrote in the two-page letter, released this week by the Probst campaign. “The damages to Senator Benton’s reputation would exceed one million dollars.
In an interview, Benton called the claims — particularly the one about him being forced to resign as state party chairman — “despicable,” “outright fabrications” and “blatant lies.”
In response, the Probst campaign put out a five-page memo defending the claims that Benton is disputing.
The memo cited WashingtonVotes.org as showing that Benton has missed 299 votes, or 12.1 percent of votes since 2009; The Columbian as reporting that Benton’s salary and office expenses totaled more than $1 million since 1996; and Roll Call and The Seattle Times as discussing Benton’s controversial departure from the state GOP chairman job in 2001.
“These are true and relevant job performance facts,” Probst said in a news release. “It’s disappointing that Benton’s instinct is to threaten people with frivolous lawsuits.”
Benton shot back that what was really disappointing was Probst choosing to publicize the dispute.
“He can defend his claims in court. Just let him lie it again and we’ll see how defensible his claims are,” Benton said. “The man is lying about my public service and is fabricating stories about my public service and if he continues to do so, I will absolutely take legal action against him for slanderous behavior.”
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