Topic: Mitt Romney
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January 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM
President Obama easily carried Washington state last year with 56 percent of the vote to Mitt Romney’s 41 percent. That granted Obama all of the state’s 12 Electoral College votes.
But some Republican state lawmakers want to change the rules in a way that would have peeled off some electoral votes for Romney.
The proposal, House Bill 1091, would divvy up Washington’s electoral votes by results in each of the state’s 10 congressional districts, with the remaining two votes going to the statewide winner.
In 2012, that would have given Obama nine electoral votes from Washington while Romney would have taken three.
Supporters say that would be a fairer result for more conservative parts of the state that are constantly outvoted in statewide elections by the Seattle area.
“A lot of voters today feel disenfranchised and feel like their vote doesn’t count,” said Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, the prime sponsor of the bill.
Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, a cosponsor, said the proposal was about “trying to balance the interests of state that is very diverse, politically.”
The bill is unlikely to go anywhere in Olympia given Democratic Party control of the state House and governor’s office.
But similar proposals are being pushed by Republicans in many states, including battlegrounds like Ohio and Virginia, as part of a national GOP strategy to gain a potential advantage in future elections. Only two states, Maine and Nebraska, currently apportion their electoral votes by congressional district.
Democrats have cried foul, accusing Republicans of trying to rig a game they can’t win under the current rules.
Washington State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz pointed to an analysis showing Romney, despite losing the national popular vote, would have defeated Obama if the apportionment by congressional district had been in place nationwide in 2012.
“The Republican Party has a choice. Are they going to listen to the changing demographics of America and pay more attention to people of color or women? Or are they just going to steal the election?” Pelz said.
Not all Republicans are enthusiastic about the idea either. Asked about the proposal last week, Rob McKenna, the former attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate, said, “I think it would be wiser to focus on what we [Republicans] need to do to be more competitive across the country.”
House Bill 1091 is scheduled for a public hearing at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee.
December 26, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Romney’s enthusiasm for the job: There was a moment during the presidential campaign that offered an unusual clue to the inner thoughts of Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann. Late in the presidential campaign, Ann Romney told reporters one day that this would be her husband’s last attempt to become president. On Oct. 18, in the heat of the campaign, Ann Romney said, in essence, if Romney doesn’t win this time, he won’t run again. Her comments were noticed, but not that much. This week, Romney son, Tagg, went a step further regarding the fire in the belly. He says his dad wanted to be president less than anyone he had met. Hadn’t heard that before.
Armed guards in schools: Reaction continues to the NRA’s proposal for armed officers in the nation’s schools. Presidential candidate and retiring Rep. Ron Paul says, How about no? But, did you also know that a school system in New Jersey was already planning to hire armed guards for its schools. Piers Morgan had some strong comments on gun control, which led to a petition for his deportation.
The Huffington Post presidential vacation slide show: President Obama and his family are vacationing this week in Hawaii. He stands at the ready to return to Washington, D.C., to meet with whomever is willing to help settle the whole fiscal cliff problem. But, while he is golfing or body surfing or whatever he is doing, The Huffington Post offers a great slide show of presidents on vacation. Good, clean fun. Such trips are expensive, too. Update: Obama is heading back tonight.
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December 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Remember that Super PAC that popped up in Redmond last year with hopes of raising $1 million to promote Republican Mitt Romney in Washington state?
It turns out Pivot Point Washington raised $24,465 according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month — about 1/50th of its goal.
Oh yeah, and Romney lost.
“I guess from that standpoint, it didn’t go that well,” said the group’s founder, Redmond entrepreneur David Shemwell.
Shemwell, a 60-year-old technology firm owner who told The Seattle Times in August his Super PAC had already raised “tens of thousands of dollars,” said Wednesday that the group’s fundraising suffered mostly because Romney’s campaign gobbled up all the money from potential donors.
“We had a great kick off,” he said. “It just didn’t quite pan out.”
Romney raised about $7 million from Washington state, according to the FEC. Obama raised $16.7 million.
Obama won the state 55.8 percent to 41.7 percent.
Shemwell said that Pivot Point Washington printed 6,000 Romney yard signs and ran two different commercials on Black Entertainment Television in Washington and Ohio. Shemwell, who is white, said he chose BET because he saw that Republicans were not targeting African Americans.
“Both political parties have gotten too comfortable just focusing on their base,” he said. “Most of the PACs are simply run by people that are campaign people that don’t happen to be on the campaign, and they’re wasting their money repeating the same ads as the candidates.”
So, Shemwell said, “we thought we would take a hack at it.”
November 6, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Democrats were happy that President Obama beat Mitt Romney tonight, but there was one name they mentioned almost as much as Romney: Karl Rove.
The Democrats, gathered at The Westin Seattle, gleefully celebrated how Rove’s Crossroads GPS Super PAC did not win every race it invested in.
Nobody celebrated more than attorney general hopeful Bob Ferguson, who weathered millions in attack ads from national groups (although he also benefited from national ads attacking opponent Reagan Dunn).
“I have one message for Karl Rove and the $3 million his Super PAC spent in this state,” said Ferguson, who was leading his race. “The office of Attorney General is not for sale.”
Dwight Pelz, the chairman of the state Democrats, then took the stage and called for a moment of silence “for Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers” and all of their wasted money.
November 6, 2012 at 9:53 PM
Washington state Democrats predicted that President Obama’s re-election would send a message to Republicans that they need to be more open to compromise.
Obama was narrowly winning the popular vote in early returns, but Democrats gathered for an election night party at The Westin Seattle viewed it as a meaningful sign.
“The American people slapped the Republicans upside the head,” said Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, in an interview after easily winning re-election. “They said, ‘you can’t just be negative. You have to work with him.’
“Their whole attitude for the past four years has been to undermine Obama,” McDermott added, of Republicans. “That is over.”
Maria Cantwell, who was easily winning re-election to the U.S. Senate, said that Obama staying in office and Republicans keeping the U.S. House of Representatives signaled that voters want more bipartisanship.
Other Democrats were more ecstatic.
Rebecca Black, a Seattle software engineer, could not contain her excitement after Obama’s victory was announced at The Westin. She burst into repeated cheers of “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
“Our country is saved,” she said later. “We will continue our path to recovery. I can’t tell you how relieved I am.”
November 6, 2012 at 7:18 PM
It’s early, but Washington state Democrats gathering for an Election Night bash at The Westin Seattle are feeling good.
About 200 of them had trickled into the Grand Ballroom by 7 p.m., crowding around televisions displaying election results (on CNN) and chatting while holding alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and cocktails were each going for $9).
Outside, a nearly 8-foot-tall ice sculpture held “Obaminator,” a mixture of vodka, blue curacao and rosemary.
Vicki Tompkins, a 62-year-old Seattle resident, said the Democrats are very happy with the returns from the East Coast, which showed President Obama beating Republican Mitt Romney in Michigan and Pennsylvania, among other states.
“I think we’re going to do it,” Tompkins, wearing a pink Obama shirt and clutching a Scotch and soda, said of re-electing the president. “We’re feeling very optimistic.”
Dwight Pelz, the chairman of the Washington State Democratic Party, predicted Obama would win 56 percent of the vote in the state, just short of the president’s 57 percent in 2008.
“It’s going to be a great night for Democrats,” Pelz said.
About 1,000 attendees are expected at the party.
November 6, 2012 at 3:04 PM
If you want to cover tonight’s Republican election night party, you better bring some money.
News reporters attending the party at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, which will feature gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna and other top Republicans, are being asked to pay $150 for Internet and another $40 for power — plus taxes and fees.
Internet and power will be free to reporters at the Democrats’ party at The Westin Seattle.
Kirby Wilbur, chair of the Washington State Republican Party, said the fees are not meant to make it more difficult for journalists to cover the event.
“It wasn’t our call,” Wilbur said. “It’s the hotel, and they charge everybody.”
The Hyatt corporation is owned by the Pritzker family, which is well known for its support of Democrats –Penny Pritzker was Barack Obama’s presidential campaign finance director in 2008. Wilbur said the party had no other choice for location because it’s “the biggest place available in Bellevue.”
The paying-for-access dynamic is playing out nationally as well.
Poynter, a media news outlet, reported today that journalists will have to pay between $75 and and $1,000 just to get into Republican Mitt Romney’s election night party. Some major broadcast news organizations are being asked to pay $6,500 for their workspace, according to the report.
Admission to Obama’s party will be free for credentialed reporters.
October 24, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Who said the third of three presidential debates has the biggest impact? Let’s go to the actual viewership, which was not bad, 59 million plus, but considerably less than the first two presidential debates this cycle. Coming out of the debates, the campaigns offered new ads and pitches. Romney’s latest ad, for example, makes hay of what he calls Obama’s “apology tour.”
Obama went to Florida and asked people at large rallies, Who do you trust? Hint: Not that Mitt Romney guy.
For one of the more clear-eyed takes on the long-term impact of the latest debate, read Charlie Cook of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report
From the reject Referendum 74 campaign: Preserve Marriage Washington, the group against gay marriage, is out with a new ad that features people talking in a sharp Northeastern accent.
Tacoma in the rear-view mirror: When the Washington Redistricting Commission completed its work nearly a year ago, one of the most dramatically redrawn districts was the 9th Congressional District, a seat currently held by Rep. Adam Smith, Democrat from northeast Tacoma. The new 9th, which covered a lot of Pierce County, has moved further north. And while it still includes a piece of Tacoma, the district now includes South Seattle, Mercer Island and Bellevue. Smith recently and quietly moved his family to Bellevue, he says, to be closer to the center of the district.
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October 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM
If you’re unhappy with both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, it turns out you have some other choices for president.
Forty-three other choices, in fact.
In addition to six minor parties who qualified for the ballot — Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), Virgil Goode (Constitution), Rocky Anderson (Justice), James Harris (Socialist Worker) and Peta Lindsay (Socialism & Liberation) — 37 other candidates have filed as write-in candidates with the Washington Office of the Secretary of State.
The write-ins won’t appear on ballots, which have already been mailed, but officials will look out for spelling variations and compile the results.
The office announced the full list Monday.
It includes eight Washington state residents, including three from Seattle.
Two of the more interesting names are from out of state, though: Roseanne Cherri Barr, of Atlanta, Ga., is included as a candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party.
And Santa Claus, who apparently hails from Incline Village, Nev., is listed as an independent candidate.
October 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM
The third and final presidential debate between Republican Mitt Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama took place tonight, and we chatted about it in real time. By now, more and more voters have made up their minds. But the race is close — tied, according to some polls. The debates have been more persuasive than many people anticipated. Reread the chat below for commentary from readers and top-notch political reporters and editors.
We fed in tweets from Seattle Times news partner Seattle Globalist, which held a debate-watching party tonight at Liberty Bar on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The Globalist blog describes itself as “a daily ‘hyperglobal’ blog covering the connections between Seattle and the rest of the globe.”
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