Eagle Forum Agenda | December 2002 - January 2003


Inside Report: Election 2002

What happened in Washington State?

Election News Around the Country

Expanding Opportunities for Washington Eagles

Taxpayer Action Day in Olympia

Introducing WashingtonVotes.org


Election 2002

Why the Democrats Lost

Shell-shocked Democrats are frantically trying to figure out what hit them on Election Day 2002. They may or may not figure it out but a thorough analysis of events and attitudes leading up to November 5 reveal some reasons why Democrats got trounced and Republicans achieved a historic victory.

No Political Vision

The Democrats stood for nothing and offered no positive agenda. Instead they ran on the politics of fear and hoped to scare Americans into voting for them, especially blacks and seniors. It bombed.

Baghdad Jim

This could go down as the most brainless move of the election. On the eve of the election, 3 anti-war congressman, including Jim McDermott from our state, went to Iraq and stood with Saddam Hussein and denounced our very popular wartime president. Is it any wonder Americans do not trust Democrats with national security?

Wellstone memorial

An over the top memorial service became an unruly political rally where the Vice President was uninvited and Republicans were booed. By using the death of a colleague to score political points the Democrats found out that character does matter.

Why the Republican Won

Other Democrat missteps came into play that worked to Republican advantage such as putting union protection ahead of Homeland Security and the appalling obstruction of the president’s judicial nominees. These issues helped to energize Republican voters along with the following decisive factors:

Persuasive Political Vision

Americans are becoming a more serious people and in times of peril we need adults in charge. Voters saw a Republican party with a higher purpose. On issue after issue quality candidates stepped forward with a (mostly) conservative vision for America—strong national defense, permanent tax relief and other issues that deeply concern American families.

Christians voted

Exit polls reveal that religious conservative voters reversed a ten-year decline in voting and increased to 16 percent of those casting ballots. This was very evident in the South where 75 to 85 percent of religious voters went for Republican candidates. This should translate well into a family friendly, pro-life agenda in Congress.

The Ground War

The biggest difference in this mid-term election was the tremendous voter turnout of Republicans, thanks in large part to a very successful get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort by the Republican Party and conservative organizations. Indeed, activating the grassroots in the final 72 hours paid off with huge dividends for many candidates.

President Bush

Never underestimate the influence of a very popular president who is willing to risk his reputation and political capital to regain the Senate. President Bush visited 17 states in 15 days and it resulted in an energized electorate that handed him a tremendous victory.

What Can We Expect?

Republicans now control the House, the Senate and the Presidency. It looks like the obstructionism of the Daschle Democrats has ended and now it’s time to pass a budget, confirm judges, and strengthen the economy. The new Republican leadership team is solidly conservative and because pro-life voters tipped the balance we are cautiously optimistic they will advance family friendly legislation: a partial-birth abortion ban, a ban on human cloning, the faith-based initiative and additional tax relief.

As for the Democrats, they may try to cast themselves in a moderate image but they have chosen leftist Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco as their leader. It appears the Democrats are heading in the wrong direction.

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What Happened in Washington State?
By Thomas L. Jipping

In analyzing election results in Washington State, we contacted three state leaders for their perspective on the November 5 election. Due to space we could not print their answers in full but they can be found on our web site at www.waeagles.com

Bob Williams, president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a free market public policy research organization based in Olympia. Website: www.effwa.org

Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research at Washington Policy Center. Washington Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to low taxes, limited government and individual freedom. It does not advocate or endorse any legislation, political party or candidates for public office. Website: www.washingtonpolicy.org

Chris Vance, chairman of Washington State Republican Party. Website: www.wsrp.org

1. Why did the national Republican sweep not affect candidates in Washington State?

Bob: “The Republican sweep did not affect candidates in Washington state because they did not campaign on a clear agenda; limited government; tax cuts; reduced regulations; improving the climate for job creation; improving our health care system; etc.

They [the Republicans] knew Ref. 51 was bad for the taxpayers, but they not only did not criticize it; they had no options and they still have no options. They need an agenda and they need it before January 1.”

Paul: “Party identification tends to be weaker today than it was in the past, so many voters, especially independents, judge each candidate individually. For that reason recruiting strong candidates is essential for any party. Most incumbents were re-elected because challengers didn't present voters with a convincing reason to change.

A further reason is that Tim Eyman is probably drawing away some of the urgency people might otherwise feel to vote for Republicans. In other states citizens concerned about the heavy tax burden have a strong incentive to vote for candidates (usually Republicans) who advocate tax relief. In Washington, however, passage of one of Mr. Eyman's initiatives brings tax relief, regardless of which candidates win at the polls.”

Chris: “First, I’d like to note that it is all but certain that Republicans have won the majority in the state Senate. The GOP has not held a clear majority in either chamber of the state Legislature, so this is an enormous achievement. In 2002 we got almost no national attention for the simple reason that we had no statewide elections for governor or senator. That will not be the case in 2004 when will get much more national attention because we will have races for both senator and governor. And of course, with President Bush up for re-election, we should have a significant White House presence.”

2. Did Washington voters send a mixed message by voting conservatively on Ref. 51 and I-776?

Bob: “Washington voters had a clear message--they don’t trust politicians with their money and they don’t believe them when the politicians say they are being accountable.”

Paul: “The common thread here is that these days most voters simply don't trust public officials to faithfully represent the will of the people. As one disillusioned Seattle resident put it, ‘We voted against building a new sports stadium, and we ended up with two.’”

Chris: “The people of Washington have a history of voting more conservatively for specific tax-limitation measures, but at the same time voting for candidates of both parties.

We know that when it comes to tax-limitation measures the people of Washington vote more conservatively. But when it comes to electing candidates, we know this is very much a swing state.”

3. What changes need to be made in order for Republican candidates to win elections in Washington State?

Bob: “1. Recruit good candidates. 2. Develop a farm team as a source for future candidates. 3. Implement the Georgia grassroots plan.”

Paul: “There is a strong sense that we have a leadership vacuum right now in state government. Even many Democrats comment on Governor Locke's low-key leadership style. That creates an opportunity for another party to win next time, but they'll have to come up with good ideas and strong candidates to do it.”

Chris: “The biggest challenge Republicans face right now is finding good, strong, credible candidates for Governor and U.S. Senator. I have made this one of my top priorities for the year ahead.

Most importantly, of course, we need candidates who can win! Both Gov. Gary Locke and Sen. Patty Murray will be extremely vulnerable when they are up for re-election in 2004.

The 2002 elections gave us here in Washington good reason to take heart: voters in Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii, three of the most liberal states in the nation, elected Republican governors. If they can do it there, we can do it here!”

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Election News Around the Country

Elections Produce Big GOP Gains in Legislatures

In addition to making historic gains in the U.S. House and recovering control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans defied history in state legislative elections on November 5. Normally in midterm elections, the president’s party loses about 300 seats across the country but this year the GOP gained 225, resulting in Republicans holding a majority of state legislative seats for the first time since 1952.

Voters More Conservative

Voters generally came down on the conservative side of statewide ballot questions on November 5. Nevada approved a ban on gay marriage by 67-33%. Measures to increase taxes lost in Washington, Missouri, and Virginia; but Massachusetts voters voted to keep their state income tax. Proposals to legalize medicinal marijuana and decriminalize possession of marijuana were defeated in Arizona, South Dakota, and Nevada. Measures to allow voters to register and vote on election day were overwhelmingly defeated in Colorado and California.

Voter Turnout

Newly analyzed election numbers by the non-partisan Center for the Study of the American Electorate reveal that Democrat registration and turnout has steadily declined since 1994. Republicans, on the other hand, have seen moderate increases in support in every region except the far West and New England, both liberal strongholds. About 40% of eligible voters cast ballots on November 5.

Jumpin’ Jim Thinking of Jumpin’ Again

Senator Jim Jeffords cost the Republican Party control of the Senate in May of 2001 when he became an independent and then voted to make Tom Daschle Majority Leader. Now a new election has been held and the Vermont Senator has quietly offered to caucus with the Republican majority if he can keep his Environmental and Public Works Committee Chairmanship. After causing his former party and the President two years of Senate gridlock we hope the decision will be an easy NO! His motives then and now are solely about acquiring and keeping power.

Voters Choose Life

If November 5 is any indication (and we think it is) voters overwhelmingly rejected pro-abortion candidates and instead voted for pro-life candidates in large numbers. While the Eagle Forum PAC won 61 of the 75 races they supported, the National Abortion Rights Action League and pro-abortion Emily’s List lost 27 of 32 races they backed financially.

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Expanding Opportunities for Washington Eagles

Two years ago the Lord was gracious to “expand our territory” by allowing us to grow from operating as a local Eagle Forum chapter to leading the statewide organization under the national leadership of Phyllis Schlafly. It has been a privilege to build a team of active and informed citizens across our state and be a voice for conservatives in our communities and Olympia.

As a result of this remarkable growth we have desperate need of equipment that will allow us to organize our projects and record keeping in a more efficient and productive way. We have great need for a multi-functional database to keep our various records organized. It will save much time and money!

As we have grown we have begun to take our pro-family and faith-based message into the four corners of our state to mobilize and strengthen the grassroots. A portable computer would enable us to more effectively share our vision with a compelling Power Point presentation in communities all over the state.

Knowing of your commitment to conservative, pro-family issues, we are asking you to prayerfully consider contributing to our special computer fund. Any amount, large or small, will help us reach this goal.

Your gift is your opportunity to join us in spreading the pro-family, pro-faith, pro-freedom message that we desire to take to the people of Washington State.

If you can to help us with the purchase of a computer you can mark the enclosed insert and return it in the envelope.
Thank you!

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Taxpayer Action Day in Olympia!

Meet us in Olympia! Washington Eagle Forum will be in Olympia for this very exciting day and we hope you will join us as well.

On January 14th, Evergreen Freedom Foundation is sponsoring a rally in Olympia! Tax increases are guaranteed next year unless we taxpayers tell our representatives otherwise. As our state sinks further into debt, lawmakers have been unwilling to reduce expenditures. They will start this next legislative session more than $2 billion in the red and no place to go to get more money—except from us! And most would rather dip into our pockets again than cut a budget item and offend their special-interest friends.

Ironically, the Washington Education Association has chosen that day to bring teachers to Olympia to demand more money from the legislature. Many districts will close schools that day so union members can attend (an option most private businesses cannot afford). This is also the day our governor delivers his State-of-the-State speech. It will be a hot time in Olympia that day!

Please join us and bring your children and friends with you! Rain slickers will be provided, along with hot drinks, restroom facilities and a private security detail. Legislative leaders and distinguished guests are scheduled to speak.

Please call with your questions and RSVP to Jeanne at Evergreen Freedom Foundation at (360) 956-3482 or jmontgomery@effwa.org.

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Introducing WashingtonVotes.org

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation and the Washington Policy Center have jointly launched WashingtonVotes.org. This valuable site will allow individuals to stay informed on legislative actions.

WashingtonVotes provides free access to all bills introduced to the Washington State Legislature. When a person does not know the bill number, the website will offer a topical index or keyword search engine to locate bills. Individuals will have the ability to post comments about pending legislation, send comments to their legislators, and sign up for e-mail alerts to track bills of interest.

WashingtonVotes.org is up and running and will be available for the upcoming January 2003 legislative session, WashingtonVotes will track all legislation in real time and real-English, allowing individuals to follow the legislature as events transpire. Biographies of elected state officials, along with voting records, also will be posted.

An informed citizenry is essential for effective government and we are thrilled that EFF and the Washington Policy Center are undertaking this monumental project. We are excited about WashingtonVotes.org’s potential to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on what is taking place in Olympia.

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