US Senate: Of the People, by the Millionaires

Up in the Progressive Northwest state of Washington, the sole state-wide Senate debate occurred, and there were THREE candidates in the debate. Yes, the Libertarian (Guthrie) was there too, but only because he donated over $1M to his cause. The other candidates are Maria Cantwell (D), former sort-of Real Networks exec who cashed out at the top of the boom, and Mike McGavick (R), recent insurance company CEO and former Chief of Staff for a Senator who is playing himself as an outsider (ya, right).

Why only one state-wide debate? Because the incumbent says so. But of interest is that the Libertarian candidate is given equal time in the reporting.

Three of the candidates in Washington’s U.S. Senate race largely stuck to their campaign themes during the only debate to be televised statewide.
Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell touted her Senate work on energy policy, while Republican Mike McGavick talked about fighting terrorism and reforming government programs. Libertarian Bruce Guthrie repeatedly attacked both major political parties and said he supported decriminalizing marijuana and drug and alcohol testing for members of Congress.
McGavick, who is trailing Cantwell in the polls, ignored Guthrie and saved his criticisms for the freshman senator. He jabbed her on deficit spending and her immigration policies. Cantwell supports more surveillance on the southern border of the United States, while McGavick said he backs building a fence to stop people from entering the country illegally.

Hmmm, alcohol testing of members of Congress? Not so sure about that one! DC Restaurants are sure to protest. But if Congress continues to enact alcohol and drug rules, the Congress should not be exempt.

When asked during the debate how three millionaires could relate to the issues facing Washingtonians, Guthrie responded: “I’m, by the way, the poorest millionaire up here tonight.”

And this guy basically bought his way into the debate. I think that is a good thing, not criticizing, as he is stirring the pot and putting his money behind it. And he doesn’t have a chance. Noblese Oblige.

FILED UNDER: 2006 Election, Congress, Terrorism, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.


  1. Scott says:

    Um, not sure about how well you got the fact that the drug and alchohol testing of our reps in DC was more of a joke than and actual bill sitting on Guthrie’s desk awaiting rubber stamp. You are just not used to someone cutting loose at such a scripted marshmallow throwing contest that these debates usually are.

    Guthrie had about a week to polish up for the debates once he had confirmation that he was in the debates, the other two had months of coaching and training to be on track.

    I think Guthrie did great and I agree with him that Adair and Dixon should have been in the room too.

    You may not be bored yet of the two party system, but so many others are.

    So bring on the indie candidates puh-leaze.