WA-04 is an opportunity to elect an independent Democrat and get rid of a Republican party hack. Doc Hastings is known for little else but rolling over for corporate interests and the party bosses.
He was directly complicit in the Medicare Part D drug fiasco, having personally held the vote open long past its appropriate conclusion so additional lawmakers could be frogmarched into the chambers to pass the thing.
The result: Eight months of needless confusion followed by endless years of billions in excess profits to pharmaceutical corporations.
Who was the chairman of the House Ethics Committee during the past two years, years of unparalleled corruption, corruption that brought down the once-invincible "Hammer" DeLay?
It was Doc Hastings, from right out there in Central Washington. Friend to Jack Abramoff. Yes, lovable Doc Hastings. That's not a farmer's tan he's wearing.
You'd think Hastings would have gotten some goodies for his home district with all this abetting of corporate subversion, but no.
Hanford remains a problem. NAFTA -- which Hastings was told to vote for, so he did -- has burned Central Washington farmers who can't compete with the low-wage countries.
Doc is just warming a seat for the GOP until he can move out onto K Street in the other Washington.
Hastings web site is featuring his bill on the Kennewick Man. Any real platform is hard to find. Iraq is AWOL. On trade, he has managed to translate "mealy-mouthed" into print.
If you want answers on agriculture, talk to Peter Goldmark in the 5th.
Hastings' photo ops are in front of V.A. facilities at the same time he's supported the Bush budgets which screw veterans. And he's the last man alive who still professes to believe the Bush garbage about Social Security.
Hastings has no answers except the tried and true. Blame it on activist judges, he told a recent water resources meeting, and he proceeded to call out the "activist" Portland judge. Cut taxes, is a favorite. Never mind exploding debt or high-priced wars.
Perhaps his highest profile issue is tax cuts. He has wrapped himself in the estate tax. Who in his district is subject to the estate tax, I don't know. Likely less than .00001 percent of the voters. (Farms are exempt.)
Why do I know Richard Wright will be independent? Because he has not gotten the support he deserves from the Democrats, either state or national. It's as if they think Central Washington is too dumb to hold Hastings to account.
This is the year when lock-step Republicans get walked off the plank -- it's in the polls. But with support from the party absent, Wright will have little incentive to hold too close to the party line when he's elected. Voila, independence! That may be a good thing considering his district.
This next month is critical. Support the Wright campaign at the official site. Or if you want to wake up the DCCC, write in Wright at the DCCC's site. That is, click on the link and type "Richard Wright (WA-04)" in the "Other" space.
The picture is Doc fresh from his official House web page.