It’s the second most important election in the country writes Jonathan Rauch in National Journal, because “The race puts a fundamental principle at stake.” It’s the race for Washington State’s 5th congressional district, the crown jewel of the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress.
In 1994, House Speaker Tom Foley sued the voters to overturn a term limits initiative and was defeated by a challenger who pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress. That challenger was George Nethercutt. Now, three terms later while most who self-imposed term limits are, in fact, keeping their pledges George Nethercutt is playing Pinocchio, breaking his word to the voters and trying to stay in power.
In fact, Nethercutt’s portrayal is so real, that movie posters starring George Nethercutt as Pinocchio, produced by U.S. Term Limits, are going up all over Spokane. (You can get one free at “USTermLimits.org“.)
Rauch writes, “Nethercutt himself has offered all sorts of arguments. Some of them are pathetic . . . Others are irrelevant . . . Some are crass . . . Still others are simply weird.” That nose just keeps growing. Will Nethercutt win? Spokane voters must decide.
The long-nosed Nethercutt does have a big financial advantage in the race gained by breaking another longtime promise never to take more than a third of his campaign funds from PACs. Nethercutt has incumbency going for him, but not character.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.