Washington Conservatives Need To Step Up Their Game

Imagine my surprise this morning when I saw this post of Erick’s while I was writing the following.

Despite holding a narrow lead in the polls, Susan Hutchison trails Dow Constantine in fundraising in the King County Executive race. The Seattle Times reports that since August 10, Hutchison has raised just $32,000 while Constantine has raised $102,000.

So, Conservatives, tell me…what’s the problem?

Here’s a bit of news for you. It’s not enough just to whine about the lack of quality, conservative candidates. Sometimes you actually have to “do something.” In this case, that something is showing your support for a conservative candidate by contributing to her campaign.

It’s not my intention to debate the merits of Hutchison as a candidate or a conservative. All you really need to know is that she is by far the more conservative of the two candidates. That should be enough. King County voters are lucky to have a conservative choice for Executive at all. If that statement confuses you, look at the Seattle mayoral race. And don’t think that you’re off the hook if you live outside of King County. Let me remind you, King County is the tail that wags the Washington dog. And if that statement confuses you, look at the current occupant of our Governor’s Mansion.

Check out this chart, taken from Open Secrets.


Throw out the 8th District. After all, it’s not every day you get a gift like Darcy Burner.

Focus on the districts with Democrat incumbents, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9 and look at the fundraising disparity. As bad as this looks, for some of the candidates it tells only part of the story; over $19,000 of Larry Ishmael’s total contributions of $51,730 were self-financed.

The bottom line: I don’t care who you are or how righteous your cause, you simply can’t go after a $1.3 million juggernaut like Norm Dicks with $17,000 in your war chest. To put it another way, you can’t put out a five-alarm fire with a water pistol.

It’s a chicken-and-the-egg condundrum: conservatives would support a “quality candidate” but quality candidates are hard to attract if this is the level of support they can expect.

Candidates for public office are already risking a lot. They risk a public defeat. They risk a loss of privacy. They risk old skeletons coming back to haunt them. They risk vicious treatment by the opposition and the press and families are no longer off limits. On top of all that, it seems as though asking them to self-finance their campaigns is just asking them to risk too much. Conservative candidates need our financial support. No support, no candidates, end of story.

Cross posted at It’s Only Words.