Jay Inslee(D) is our US Representative in the 1st District. He was originally elected to the House in 1992 from the 4th District, but proved too liberal for his Central Washington constituents and was defeated by Doc Hastings after one term. After moving to the west side, he ran for Governor in 1996 but was defeated in the primaries by Gary Locke. In 1998, he defeated two term incumbent, Rick White for the House seat in the 1st District.
Inslee received a rating of 4 for 2007 from the American Conservative Union and has a lifetime rating of 9.39, which makes him our third most liberal legislator, after Patty Murry (3.11!) and “Baghdad Jim” McDermott (2.23!!).
Following are a few position statements from Inslee’s Campaign Website. Let me just say in advance that any candidate for office in the Puget Sound region almost needs to be an over the top, tree hugging whackadoodle even if moderate on other issues.
Since the election of George W. Bush to the White House, Jay has lead efforts in the House to stop many of President Bush's policies. He voted against the war in Iraq because it was little more than a blank check justified by intelligence falsifications, and he voted against the $87 billion reconstruction package because it was fiscally reckless and did not adequately support our troops. Jay continues to lead the Congressional Iraq Watch, which has held over 25 vocal critiques on the House floor to hold the administration accountable on the House floor.
Jay is the Congressional leader on the New Apollo Energy Project, an effort to make America the world leader in clean energy technologies, which will create millions of family waged, high trained jobs for Americans. He is an outspoken advocate for moving the United States towards energy independence to avoid national security threats, and he is a tireless advocate for policies that address the threat of global warming.
On the environment, Jay is widely recognized by his colleagues as a national leader in protecting our clean air, water, and pristine national forests. His record has not gone unappreciated--the League of Conservation Voters has twice recognized him as an "Environmental Champion" and the Sierra Club has given him a "100 percent" environmental rating. Jay is the prime sponsor of the Roadless Protection Rule and has passed amendments to stop Bush's anti-environment policies…
Here's a random sample of issues in which he's been involved.
Introduces a resolution to impeach Alberto Gonzales over the firing of US Attorneys
What makes all this truly astonishing is that Inslee is not necessarily viewed locally as particularly liberal! This is probably because of a combination of voter apathy and media bias. It was an eye-opener for me to see how few hard news articles I could find about Inslee. Almost everything was an Op-Ed piece, in which he was portrayed as a champion of everything good.
He was re-elected this year by a margin of 68/32 over his (rather weak) opponent, Larry Ishmael. The county by county breakdown is King (70/30), Snohomish (67/33) and Kitsap (66/34). Even so, (and keeping in mind that I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl) I believe he could be defeated by a more moderate opponent, although that person would have to be well-financed and have prior name recognition (always a problem for our Republican candidates). Rumor has it that he may run for governor again in 2012. If that were the case, I think this seat could definitely be won by a moderate Republican.