Tag Archives: Senator Maria Cantwell

Senate Republican Leadership Continues to Block Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports

Republicans who are in the majority in the US Senate and in the leadership continue to block electronic filing of Senate campaign finance reports required by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). US Senate candidates only file quarterly reports. Currently the US Senate reports are the only campaign finance reports on the Federal level not filed electronically with the FEC. They are first filed in paper copies with the US Senate, copied and then transferred to the FEC. This significantly delays by 2-3 weeks or more the public and media being able to get timely reporting of campaign contributions and spending.

Democrats joined by Republicans and Independents continue to try to get the US Senate to join the computer age and file copies electronically with the FEC.  Senator Jon Tester of Montana in February 2015  filed SB 366 – the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act. Some 45 Senators have signed on to date – 32 Democrats, 11 Republicans and 2 Independents.

This is not a new issue but Majority Rules wrote about this seven years ago, including “US Senators Still Trying to Figure out Computers and the Internet ” and “An Open Letter to Senator Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell“.  Senator Cantwell has since signed onto this legislation both in this Congressional session and the previous one. Senator Patty Murray for some reason has not. She should.

The Center for Public Integrity in a 2015 post entitled “Senators resist the internet, leave voters in the dark” noted that:

In a throwback to the age of typewriters and snail mail, Senate candidate must still, by law, submit their official campaign finance reports on paper.
A bipartisan bill — known as the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act — would force Senate candidates to file digitally, just as presidential candidates, U.S. House candidates and political action committees have done for nearly a generation.
Paper campaign finance records are more difficult to analyze and aren’t readily available to the public for days after being filed. Digital records are publicly accessible and easily searchable from the moment they’re submitted to FEC officials.

Some Senators have decided to voluntarily file electronically. In the same Center for Public Integrity post it was noted that 20 Senators were listed as also filing their second quarter 2015 reports digitally -16 Democrats, 2 Republicans and 2 Independents.

As GovTrack.us notes:

These reports are important because they list how much money candidates have raised and from which individuals/sources. This transparency in turn can help reveal potential conflicts of interest and indicate which issues an incumbent or potential politician may prioritize while in office. For example, on the presidential race, these numbers have revealed which candidates rely more on Super PACs versus individual donors, or which candidates billionaires have donated to.

The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that the bill would save approximately $500,000 per year through factors such as reduced printing costs.

If your Senator is not a supporter of SB 366 urge them to do so. The public has a right to campaign finance information in a timely manner. In fact while they are at it they really should be doing monthly reporting, not quarterly. Washington State has been doing monthly disclosure by candidates for years and it helps citizens see who is supporting candidates and where money is being spent.

Why aren’t Senators Cantwell and Murray Co- Sponsors of the Resolution to Change Filibuster Rules?

by Steve Zemke

Good question. Why aren’t Washington State Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray co-sponsors of Senate Resolution 10 introduced earlier this month. The filibuster has been used effectively by Republicans to stop legislation the Democrats supported. Then the Republicans turned around and blamed the Democrats for not addressing critical issues facing America. It’s past time to change the rules to allow the Senate to do the people’s business. Let’s do it now.

Senate Resolution 10 – A resolution to improve the debate and consideration of legislative matters and nominations in the Senate was introduced Jan 5, 2011 by Senator Tom Udall and has 24 other co-sponsors. Washington States two Senators are not among the sponsors.

The other Senators besides Tom Udall supporting Senate Resolution 10 are:

Mark Begich [D-AK]
Richard Blumenthal [D-CT]
Barbara Boxer [D-CA]
Sherrod Brown [D-OH]
Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
Robert Casey [D-PA] Chris Coons [D-DE]
Richard Durbin [D-IL]
Al Franken [D-MN]
Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
Kay Hagan [D-NC]
Thomas Harkin [D-IA] Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
Frank Lautenberg [D-NJ]
Joe Manchin [D-WV]
Jeff Merkley [D-OR]
Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
Frank Lautenberg [D-NJ]
Joe Manchin [D-WV]
Jeff Merkley [D-OR]
Barbara Mikulski [D-MD]
John Rockefeller [D-WV] Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
Debbie Ann Stabenow [D-MI]
Jon Tester [D-MT]
Mark Udall [D-CO]
Mark Warner [D-VA]
Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI]

A post on Daily Kos gives more details on what Senate Resolution 10 would do in changing the rules of how the US Senate operates. Every two years the US Senate has the opportunity to change their rules at the beginning of their current session.

Clear Path to Debate: Eliminate the Filibuster on Motions to Proceed

Makes motions to proceed not subject to a filibuster, but provides for two hours of debate. This proposal has had bipartisan support for decades and is often mentioned as a way to end the abuse of holds.

Eliminates Secret Holds

Prohibits one Senator from objecting on behalf of another, unless he or she discloses the name of the senator with the objection. This is a simple solution to address a longstanding problem.

Right to Amend: Guarantees Consideration of Amendments for both Majority and Minority

Protects the rights of the minority to offer amendments following cloture filing, provided the amendments are germane and have been filed in a timely manner.

This provision addresses comments of Republicans at last year’s Rules Committee hearings. Each time Democrats raised concerns about filibusters on motions to proceed, Republicans responded that it was their only recourse because the Majority Leader fills the amendment tree and prevents them from offering amendments. Our resolution provides a simple solution – it guarantees the minority the right to offer germane amendments.

Talking Filibuster: Ensures Real Debate

Following a failed cloture vote, Senators opposed to proceeding to final passage will be required to continue debate as long as the subject of the cloture vote or an amendment, motion, point of order, or other related matter is the pending business.

Expedite Nominations: Reduce Post-Cloture Time

Provides for two hours of post-cloture debate time for nominees.

Post cloture time is meant for debating and voting on amendments — something that is not possible on nominations. Instead, the minority now requires the Senate use this time simply to prevent it from moving on to other business.

Washington voters should contact Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray and urge them to support Resolution 10 now!

Send an  email to Senator Patty Murray

Send an email to Senator Maria Cantwell

Senator Cantwell Opposes Republican’s Attempt to Cut Washington’s Minimum Wage!

Thank you Senator Cantwell for speaking out against the phony hypocritical tactics of the Republicans in Congress regarding their so called minimum wage increase.

In a guest post on the Northwest Progressive Institute’s blog Cantwell said:

I cannot support what amounts to a minimum wage penalty for over 122,000 Washington minimum wage earners. Why would the federal government work to lower the maximum wage rather than setting a minimum protection?

I am not buying this cynical Republican ploy.”

Workers and families not just in Washington State, but also in California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Alaska, would actually see a decrease in their already low wages because of the so called tip provision.

But in a sop to the Restaurant Industry, the proposed legislation in Congress does not just affect these seven states. It would put into law for all states the use of tips to pay the minimum wage. The new Federal statute would preempt any future action by other states to raise state minimum wages in the future, without including tips in calculating the minimum wage base.

Republicans in the same bill are also pushing to further cut estate taxes for multimillionaires. The estate tax is frequently on property and stocks that have appreciated in value. Eliminating the estate tax on this property lets this appreciated value escape taxation when it is passed on to the next generation.

Loss of funds from the estate tax will further limit the ability of the Federal Government to provide a safety net for our country’s most needy families. This is too great a cost to trade off for a minimum wage increase that actually cuts the wages for many present working families.

Again thanks Senator Cantwell for speaking out and helping to clarify what the Republicans are actually proposing!

This is another reason why Senator Cantwell deserves our help in getting re-elected. As I was driving home today I heard on the radio that McGavick says he supports this legislation.

You can make a donation to support Senator Cantwell’s re-election by clicking here on the MajortiyRulesBlog ActBlue link. All monies will go to the Cantwell campaign.

You can also help the campiagn in other ways by going to the website for the Cantwell campaign.

"The fish are dying…Kill the fish for California…We want dogs to die"

A reminder of the scum that was Enron!

Below is my transcription of part of one taped conversation beween traders on Enron’s West Coast Trading desk before Enron collapsed. See below to hear audios and see transcripts of other taped conversations. Thanks to the Snohomish PUD in Washington State for fighting to make these recordings public.

Excerpt from Stupid Enron West Coast Trader Desk Conversation:

I know, me too Sonny, you know see, you should be the Senator or some kind of Congressman there in California because it, it, you know what I hate, Sonny
I hate when people are talking stupid. Ha ha

I do too, heh, heh

What we, because you know the more water…. I don’t think they have much water left, Bonneville doesn’t.

Oh really?

It’s getting hot up here. The thing that saved us is it’s never been hot up here.

Uh, Huh.

It’s fucking 90 degrees up here.


So they‘ve got to keep all their power here. Nothing forced them to keep their power here so they said oh, California here you come and –it’s beautiful.

Oh, man.

And so my thing is, is you know these guys are just fucking loving it because they’re just getting paid 250 but we’re like, you’re killing the fish, you know, by sending all this water down there. We’re trying to get the fish agencies to rally around us – to keep the water up here.

Oh, oh you’re literally killing the fish?

Yeah man, you’re taking the water out of the river man, and not covering the eggs. Now, you know, the fish are dying cause, you know

The salmon you mean or what?

The salmon. Yeah. You push that button up here…

Oh yeah you got to go with the tree hugger button …

Yeah, exactly our motto is Do you save the Californians or do you kill… kill the fish for the Californians? That is basically the motto.

Oh yeah, you want to ….you kill the Californians huh?

That’s what I’m pushing for…

Heh, heh

I won’t … you know. Our motto up here is we want the dogs to die.

That’s mean, isn’t it?

No that’s true. But that’s a big conflict is, you know, they think short term to keep the lights on in California. We’ll do anything to keep the lights on in California. We like, even kill the fish? Then the fish people, oh yeah, that’s right. So then we rally around that.

So is that going to work?

Aah trying to …

We’ll find out next week, huh?

Yeah. So this is kind of look … That’s my life man.

Yeah, that sounds exciting.

The above is part of just one taped conversation between traders on Enron’s West Coast Trading desk before Enron collapsed. Some other conversations have gotten a lot of play but I thought this one was of local interest to Washington ratepayers. In total some 24,000 hours of tapes exist. The Snohomish PUD sued to make the tapes available. They are still not all available, and Enron and FERC have opposed making more available.

Senator Maria Cantwell handed out a CD that included this conversation at her press conference last month where she challenged Enron’s paltry compensation proposal on electricity contracts that Enron overcharged the Snohomish Public Utility District. She also argued that all the Enron se tapes need to be made public, not suppressed and hidden away.

Thanks to the Seattle Times you can hear the rest of the above conversation at

There are a number of other audios and transcripts. This one is part of the one that starts “The big conflict is …” near the bottom of the page.

You can also read the posted Seattle Times transcript of this conversation at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/local/links/enron-240.pdf


Rip Van Winkle Green Candidate Dixon Wants to Run for What?

Incredible! The Washington State Green Party candidate Aaron Dixon who recently declared he is running against Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell is really Rip Van Winkle. He has been asleep since 1998.

Talk about name familiarity on the ballot – Aaron “Rip Van Winkle” Dixon. Sure out does the Republican candidate Mike Mc????.

As first reported on Horsesass.org yesterday Dixon hasn’t voted in Washington state since 1998. But hey, there’s a plus, he can’t be blamed for voting for Ralph Nader. Neil Modie today in the Seattle PI also followed up to confirm that Dixon is a non-voter.  See “Green Party Senate Hopeful not a Voter”

In a new blog today, Horsesass.org points out that isn’t his only problem. Some sleuthing on public records by Republican Richard Pope points out a number of other problems Dixon has.

Aaron Dixon has seriously further eroded the Green Party’s credibility. And the Green Party is just as responsible. Reminds me of McGovern’s run for President and his choice of Thomas Eagleton for Vice-President. Seems no one really checked on Dixon’s skeletons in his closet either. They were just happy to have someone run.

Dixon should withdraw from the race and the Greens should withdraw their support for him.

We need to encourage people to participate in the process of democracy and should appreciate Aaron Dixon’s courage to run. It is not an easy task. But he also needed to be realistic, both in his chances of winning and in the reality of his personal life.

To criticize Senator Maria Cantwell for her record representing Washington State in the US Senate while at the same never having voted in the Washington State race in the first place that she fought and won over Slade Gorton is the height of hypocrisy. It means he also didn’t vote against George W Bush. He was missing in action sleeping.

Maybe Dixon can start his rehabilitation by voting in future elections. Right now he has no credibility. If he can’t vote in local and Washington State elections or national elections like for President, how could one ever trust that he would vote in Washington D.C.?