The Republican candidate for Norm Dicks’ seat just entered the race and wrote himself a $500,000 check to “level the playing field.”
That’s like showing up for a football game and spotting yourself three touchdowns “just because.”
This is what’s wrong with our democracy today, this notion that being wealthy automatically qualifies you to run for office, because you don’t have to talk to people and convince them to donate to your campaign. If you’re part of the 1 percent, you can just write yourself a check.
This is why I appreciated people like Norm Dicks, who cared about the 99 percent, the folks who wear Carhartts, not pinstripes, to work. Norm served the 6th District well. He came to the Harbor often, listened to us and cared about jobs.
Norm endorsed Derek Kilmer, who’s dedicated his career to creating jobs for everyday people. In college, he specifically studied the question of how to create jobs in timber country, because when he was young, he watched the parents of his friends lose their jobs during the timber crisis.
Lynn Kessler knows and endorsed Derek Kilmer for the same reasons: he cares about jobs out here. The fancy word for it is “economic development.” It boils down to caring about your neighbors and knowing what it’s like to struggle and scrap and wonder how you’re going to ever save up enough to buy a house or send your two kids to college. It’s about surviving when you can’t find a job and unemployment runs out.
People who write themselves checks for $500,000 to run for office don’t have the same worries as you and me.
There are people in pinstripes — and black robes — who believe that corporations are people, and that money is a form of free speech. This is why our national campaign laws have become a joke. You don’t need to ask all kinds of average people to donate $20 or $50 or $100 anymore. All you have to do is convince one of the 1 percent to write a truly fat check. Or write yourself one.
There’s something rotten in Denmark, and it isn’t the fish.
Vini Elizabeth Samuel