Opinion

It’s official: Dems stand for offending no one

Kitsap County Democrats took a leaf from the Republican campaign book on Saturday and passed a party platform that was for all things bright and beautiful, offensive to no one.

It almost went into the history books as the first one anyone can remember when no one offered any amendments, but they took pity on a young woman who turned in an amendment too late to be considered and considered it anyway.

It added the words, “Healthy families are the foundation of enduring communities.”

It took all of seven minutes in a group where platforms have been fought over until the wee hours. They then let their hair down in a dozen resolutions that included supporting censure of the president, asking U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell to renounce her support of the Iraq war, opposing NASCAR, supporting paths to permanent residency for illegal aliens and calling for the elimination by the state of the word marriage, calling all joinings by one man and one woman, two men or two women, civil unions.

A bunch of candidates showed up to speechify, led by U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks of Belfair, who blasted President Bush as “the weakest president we’ve had in modern history” and said he’d give his right arm to have Nixon back.

The candidate who got the most applause, however, was a young woman named Kyle Taylor Lucas of Shelton, who will run against Sen. Tim Sheldon of Potlatch, a fellow Democrat but scorned for being too cozy with Senate Republicans.

The place was Olympic High School, where 119 delegates out of a possible elected 228 gathered, a far cry from the 630 that jammed the auditorium in 2004.

The 23rd District produced 74, the 26th 26 and the 35th, 19. They elected 48 delegates to the June 3 state convention in Yakima, 28 from the 23rd, 12 from the 26th and 8 from the 35th.

There were signs on the front curtains proclaiming “Democrats support military families.” “A lot of people think Democrats don’t support the troops,” said county Democratic chair Sharon Peterson, “but that’s not true. We want to bring them home.”

They OKed censure of the president after refusing an amendment that called on Congress to pursue a fact-finding investigation leading to impeachment of the president. “You don’t want Maria Cantwell answering questions about this,” said Jim Sharp.

They declined to amend the resolution on immigration reform by saying, “It is the responsibility of the federal government to secure our borders to ensure those entering our country are legally authorized to do so.”

An effort also was made to soften the anti-marriage term resolution by saying instead that marriages and civil unions were co-equal in legalities as to rights and benefits, but they let it stand the way it was.

Tom Donnelly wanted to shift emphasis in transportation from movement in cars and trucks of people and cargo with rail and mass transit, which they OKed after eliminating the part that said financing of all state capital projects, including ferries, be paid by tolls.

They opposed Initiative 933, requiring governments whose regulations cost use of private land to pay the owners or excuse them from conformance and urged better pay for community and technical college faculty, a 10 percent raise and annual increments.

A resolution that lost would have shifted more foreign policy decisions to the United Nations, banned land mines, ordered withdrawal from Iraq, prohibited use of the word war and cut the military budget by one third. Bob Dietz protested that this was proposed legislation, not resolution material.

There were 45 diehards left when they wrapped it up at 4 p.m.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA., 98340.

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