Who knew moderate Democrats were so hip? A group of corporate Dems in the state legislature, the self-styled "Roadkill Caucus" (because they are in the middle-of-the-road, hahaha, get it?), has a Facebook page and everything. Next thing you know they’ll be on The Twitter. And for a hokey state legislative caucus, they’ve amassed quite a fan following of 157. It’s too bad so many of their cheerleaders are devoted to unseating other Democrats.
A sizeable portion of Roadkill’s fanbase are comprised of people who have devoted their lives to undermining Washington State’s Democratic Party. They include prominent employees of such reactionary stalwarts as Enterprise Washington, Evergreen Freedom Foundation, the Washington State Farm Bureau, and the Washington Business Association (WBA)—Washington State’s Chamber of Commerce, an organization that favors suing the federal government if healthcare reform passes. Ah, centrism.
Most of these groups are actively working to unseat vulnerable Dems this year. A quick perusal of Roadkill’s fans include numerous operatives dedicated to purging the legislature of Democrats.
A few of my favorites:
Denny Eliason of WBA is pulling for Gregg Bennett against senator Rodney Tom of the 48th district (who shares many of the Caucus’ values, but isn’t a member). He is also attempting to get the 41st Senate district back into the GOP fold—which would be a blow to Democrats who only just brought the seat into their column when Fred Jarrett, Deputy King County Executive and then-state senator, switched parties in 2007.
Valerie Huntsberry organization, Enterprise Washington, is trying to pick off Tom as well, along with several other vulnerable Dems. Previous experience shows that her organization is awfully good at directing tens of thousands of dollars against vulnerable Democratic seats. In a 2008 report, Enterprise Washington bragged about their victory in Spokane's 6th Legislative district where they helped unseat incumbent Don Barlow by spending more money on voter communication than the Republican candidate himself.
Chris Strow, formerly Republican Representative for the 10th district, who is backing Joe Fain against 47th district Senator Claudia Kauffman, yet another moderate Democrat (but not a member of Roadkill) who is believed to be particularly vulnerable this year.
The Roadkill Caucus is new this year, the brainchild of corporate Democrat Steve Hobbs, Senator for the 44th district. But it does seem odd that the seasoned legislators involved in the group are being applauded by some of the most vehement enemies of their own party. It seems odder that their fans are targeting other legislators who share the group’s business-oriented moderate ideology, but haven’t affiliated with Hobbs’ newly minted caucus.
CORRECTION: I meant Rodney Tom, not Ross Hunter.