Last night, Democrat state House Speaker Frank Chopp and his socialist challenger Jess Spear (a protégé of Kshama Sawant) faced off in a debate. Surprisingly, according to the Seattle Times, the two actually found something to debate about.
Chopp trumpeted his accomplishments during his 10 terms in the state House, specifically pointing to the addition of “$1 billion to the state’s affordable housing fund” and “expanding health care for poor children.” Spear was not impressed. Raising the problems currently facing our state, she warned the small crowd in attendance to pay attention to the “forest and not get distracted by this or that tree.”
Can’t you just hear Sawant’s influence in that reply?
Chopp defended himself the way Chopp always defends himself, he blamed Republicans. According to Chopp, the sparseness of the hypothetical forest—education funding and just about every other problem—is the fault of Republicans. Never mind the fact that Democrats have been in control of Washington State for decades (Chopp himself being the state’s longest-serving House speaker) or the fact that Chopp has absolutely no qualms about taking credit for popular Republican policies he desperately fought against—like freezing college tuition.
Having won the August primary with 80 percent of the vote, Chopp is expected to easily win re-election. But, until that happens, the Chopp-Spear race does provide some comic relief