The criteria for receiving a Life of the Party endorsement is that the candidate be 100% pro-life and oppose the violations to the inalienable right to life which have been given a legal pass. The candidate must oppose abortion without discrimination (and be willing to introduce, co-sponsor and vote for legislation that defines personhood as beginning at conception), oppose euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the destruction of embryos for the purpose of research.
Once it is determined that more than one candidate in the same race meets the above criteria, then we look at stands on other important issues and then at campaign viability. Upon reviewing all of these factors, Clint Didier is the clear choice for pro-life voters!
I first met Clint in January at the March for Life. He was one of only two candidates running for this office (past or current) who attended the March. I had a chance to speak with him there and asked him directly where he stood on these issues, and was so refreshed by his willingness to take such an emphatic stand for life without fear of who would overhear or who I would tell. It's been far too long that we had a viable candidate for a statewide race willing to do so. Here is the bold statement you will find on his campaign website:
I am pro-life – from conception until natural death. Our Declaration of Independence states our inalienable rights are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: and “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…” Therefore, it is the express job of government to protect all innocent human life. Taking a public policy position otherwise leaves all lives in jeopardy.
Issues and Viability
On Clint's "Issues" page, every Republican, conservative, and/or independent who identifies with the Tea Party movement will find strong statements on the issues that most concern them. Clint is a well rounded conservative that could unite a broad coalition on issues alone. His charisma and passion for the issues inspire those who hear him speak and his former NFL super bowl ID has a certain draw that attracts voters otherwise not engaged. He now makes his living as a farmer. Clint is a grassroots candidate who attended the Tea Parties before he was a candidate, and was asked to speak at one of them in the Tri-cities area. I hear it was a real barn burner. People began asking him to run. He recently received the endorsement of Sarah Palin and has gained a great deal of support from people in the Campaign for Liberty and the Tea Party movement.
Why not Dino?
Dino Rossi has long enjoyed popularity among Republicans. He's a charismatic guy too, in a different sort of way. But Dino does not meet the criteria for a Life of the Party endorsement. In both of his races for Governor, he chose to dodge the question every time it was asked by the media. He would say something like, "My wife and I are Catholic and believe every soul has value." That sounds like a pro-life statement without actually being one. Nancy Pelosi says things like that. Ted Kennedy did too. But he makes no mention of when the soul begins. He would also repeat the line, "I'm not running for the Supreme Court. I'm running for Governor. The Supreme Court has taken this issue out of my hands." It wasn't, but that's another story. Now, he can no longer use that line as a candidate for U.S. Senate, where they vote to confirm Supreme Court justices. Further, it is not up to the Supreme Court to write laws, it's up to our Congressmen and Senators. Now that he's running for the U.S. Senate, he has only slightly modified his rhetoric. From the Seattle Times:
With regard to social issues such as abortion, Rossi said that he and his wife are Catholics who believe "every soul has a value" and that he would vote his conscience if such bills came before him.
But he said he never sponsored such legislation when in the Legislature and didn't intend to in the Senate. "That's not why I'm running," he said.
What we don't know from this statement is "what does his conscience say about abortion?" And why won't he sponsor any such legislation?
But one might say, "well, this is a strategic position because he can't be elected in a 'liberal state' like Washington if he takes a pro-life stand in public." Nonsense! Ronald Reagan, a fearless advocate for the right to life, won the state of Washington in a landslide. And since then, Americans are increasingly more pro-life, a majority, That certainly includes the state of Washington (get beyond trying to win a majority of King Co. on this issue , there is more to this state than King Co.) While it's probably true he can't win on a strong pro-life position alone, it doesn't help to hide the position that the pro-aborts suspect you have. They'll malign you anyway. And besides, does it make sense to trick the pro-abortion-choice voters into voting for you because of your willingness to take the issue off the table? Do the ends justify the means?
In addition to his dodging of the issue, when asked in private, Rossi has said that he supports legalized abortion in the cases of rape and incest. This has been charactarized as a reasonable (and populist) position in the pro-life community, but it is far from reasonable. We cannot discriminate in regards to the right to life for innocent children, based on something their father or mother has done. And it is a giant loophole in so-called "pro-life positions" that will keep abortion legal as long as these exceptions are accepted by the pro-life community. We must choose candidates who see this! It is time to stop compromising.
UPDATE: Dino has now added a little more detail to his position on abortion. He will NOT introduce any legislation on abortion, and will NOT make abortion a litmus test in voting to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee.
A clear distinction
We have a clear distinction between a solid pro-life candidate and someone with a compromised position who frequently dodges the issue. A choice between a grassroots candidate and the establishment's choice. Both men are charasmatic, can raise money, and are viable. Let's pick the one who will stand on his principles without compromise and work to protect innocent human life! If we in the pro-life community will join with the supporters he already has, we can get him over the finish line!