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In 2000 I attended Rick Larson victory party the night he won his first term when he narrowly beat John Koster in their last match-up. The 2nd had been an open seat as a three term Republican was retiring.

22 months later facing his first race as an incumbent, in an atmosphere of jingoistic hysteria Rick put doing the right thing over doing what was considered the politically expedient thing. He stood up against the conventional stupidity and cast a vote against the Iraq War. I was proud of the principled stand Rick made, while being dismayed that AUMF had passed.

In fact I was so alarmed by the passage of AUMF, that in the weeks following the vote I turned to blogging out of frustration mixed with my desperation to stop an asinine war. I was ready to try anything, even something new to me like blogging.

Back to this year, from Saturday's Seattle Times:

GOP challenger John Koster faces off against Rick Larsen in 2nd Congressional District

Koster outpolled Larsen by 298 votes in the August primary and last week earned recognition from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which paves the way for party financing in the general election.

Koster, who's been endorsed by Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and state tea-party activists, hopes to ride the national wave of conservative Republicans who have upset moderate opponents. A recent KING-TV poll showed Koster leading Larsen 50 to 46 percent, with the rest undecided and a margin of error of 4 percent.

While listening to a round table discussion between local political reporters on public radio their consensus was that we probably won't know the final outcome for the 2nd until around Thanksgiving. That's how close this race is. That afternoon I sent Larsen $40.

But Koster has advocated individual retirement accounts and health savings accounts as more fiscally sound alternatives to government spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Koster comes across as more passionate, more energetic and more ideological than Larsen. He wants the U.S. out of the United Nations. He wants to eliminate the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service (he favors a flat tax).

Koster wants to do all of that and more. He answered yes to all 20 questions on Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty questionnaire.

Here is a sampling of the Campaign for Liberty's libertarian dictates.  

Campaign for Liberty questionnaire.

  1. Will you oppose any attempt to nationalize our health care system, including any sort of public option for insurance?
  1. Will you oppose so-called "Cap and Trade" legislation?
  1. Will you vote to eliminate the IRS?
  1. Will you vote against any budget that increases our debt?

But Koster's latest kerfuffle involves another pledge he made to the extreme anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration.

Koster's pledge on illegal immigration issues raises questions

The national group endorsed Koster in his race against Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., after the Republican vowed to play the impeachment card if Obama isn't tough enough on immigration.

"If I thought (the Obama Administration) were failing to protect the borders of this county, I would do that," he said.

Koster signed the group's pledge that says if he's elected he will:

"Use the full power of my office, including impeachment if necessary, to insure the Executive Branch secures America's border immediately and begins to adequately enforce the existing immigration and border laws of the United States, which were enacted by Congress at the behest of America's citizenry."

Koster is the only candidate for federal office in Washington state to sign the pledge.

The 2nd district's biggest newspaper the Everett Herald has endorsed Koster.

Herald endorsement / 2nd Congressional District

He has earned our endorsement for his varied experience, in business and government, and a get-it-done attitude that seems well suited to the economic challenges the nation faces.

Get it done? Is the editor of the Herald kidding? If Koster adheres to all the rigid libertarian dictates he pledged to uphold, he is far more likely to Get it brought to a screeching halt.

President Obama weighed in too in an e-mail:

Obama emails on behalf of Rick Larsen

They’ll do everything they can to repeal Wall Street reform that puts you, the consumer, first and prevents big banks from irresponsibly gambling with our savings ever again.

And they’ll work to block our efforts to jump-start a clean-energy economy, reform our broken immigration system, and get more Americans back to work.

We cannot let that happen, and that’s why we all need to fight to get Rick Larsen to Washington, to keep America — and Washington — moving forward.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

you might notice the Bellingham Herald's absent blogger resembles someone on this blog.

Koster is also a Climate Zombie:

And get this, Koster even wants to repeal the 17th Amendment?!?

Koster wants to undo the direct election of Senators and take things back to the way they were prior to 1913. In his call for repealing the 17th Amendment we get a glimpse of the real John Koster, a loony reactionary.

Also see Joan McCarter's front page piece: WA-02: Rick Larsen takes on the Tea Party

Rick Larsen gets high marks from Liberal groups I respect. check them out at Project Vote Smart

Last week both candidates have been running ads about Social Security. First a cutting Larson ad slamming Koster's plan to privatize Social Security, then Koster coming back with a vehement denial that his plan was really privatization.  

Here in the 2nd we really don't need a reactionary, impeachment prone, anti immigrant, climate zombie going to Congress to implement Ron Paul's agenda.  

Koster thinks the ideological straight jacket of the Campaign for Liberty is a good fit for him and the 2nd District. People here in northwest Washington have a very different perspective than the people around Victoria Texas do, so why should we have a Ron Paul clone to representing us in Congress?  

In an election that may be decided by as little as a couple hundred votes every little bit will help keep the 2nd District Blue:

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:09 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The 2nd discrict deserves Larson no Koster (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willisreed, millwood

    Lets make it happen.

    I was so sure I'd be supporting Rick Larsen again, I kept his yard sign from 2008,or was it 2006? No matter its up in the yard now.

    "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:47:05 AM PDT

  •  Koster on Social Security (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, Lefty Coaster

    Just this morning the Larsen campaign put out a new video proving Koster's extreme stand on privatizing Social Security.

  •  added dKos-standard tag (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    So that searchers will be able to associate this diary with WA-02.

    grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

    by N in Seattle on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:27:00 PM PDT

  •  If it makes you feel any better... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle

    Larsen won his last three re-elections with over 60% of the vote.

    NY Times says it's a solid Dem win. Link here.

    Five Thirty Eight says it's leaning Dem (77% chance of Larsen winning if election is held today). Link here.

    Cook says D+3, leaning Dem. Link here.

    And you just have to think that the more Koster opens his mouth, the more he'll scare the voters.


    Also, that poll that showed Koster ahead 50-46% is from Survey USA, which recently (in WA races) has been even more tilted to the right than Rasmussen. Something's weird about their methodology.

    I'm far more worried about WA-03 than WA-02. Which doesn't mean we should be complacent.

    "Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat." - John, Viscount Morley

    by Dbug on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:34:23 PM PDT

    •  You might want to give this a listen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      KUOW  Weekday Roundtable Their  panelists see a far different situation in the 2nd District than you do. Anecdotally I see many more signs around for Koster than I do for Larsen.

      "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:03:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Luckily - yard signs don't vote (eom) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        N in Seattle
      •  weellllll... (0+ / 0-)

        Eli and Erica have gone full-pundit in their ever-increasing penchant for seeing the political scene as a horserace without a speck of nuance or complexity.  Though Josh Feit seems to have gone even farther along the "he said/she said" and "gotcha journalism" road than Erica.

        Joel professes to know from nuance, but he's stuck in the Scoop-Maggie world of his heyday.

        And of course, as a climate-change scientist and meteorologist, Cliff Mass has little-to-no interest in politics.

        IOW, I'm not impressed with any gloom-and-doom out-of-their-asses "punditry" from those panelists.

        grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

        by N in Seattle on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 03:32:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

          Especially on Joel Connelly, who I shared a table with one day at Netroots Nation 2010, and who as a longtime resident of the Second District knows it better than the rest of the panel combined.

          "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

          by Lefty Coaster on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:31:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My neighbor the judge has (0+ / 0-)
        a Koster sign. I want a Larsen sign, but can't find one.

        Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

        by orson on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 07:39:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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