At the start of the 2014 election cycle, Democrats labeled the 42nd legislative district’s state Senate race as competitive. Then, in the August 5th primary, incumbent GOP Sen. Doug Erickson walked away with a cool 56.94% of the vote.
That harsh reality check wasn’t enough to deter Democrats from pursuing the 42nd LD’s Senate seat—of course, they don’t have a whole lot of other options. Democrats need to pick up at least two state Senate seats, and not lose any of their own, in order to re-take control to pass Jay Inslee’s many tax-raising plans. The list of Democrat’s realistic targets is short. So, presumably out of desperation, Sen. Erickson remains among the left’s top targets.
The left’s desperation has manifested itself in a website exclusively dedicated to distorting Sen. Erickson’s legislative record. The website matches the look and tone of another site devoted to attacking Republican Mark Miloscia in his bid for the 30th Legislative District’s Senate seat. Both website’s top contributors include the Senate Democrat Caucus’ Kennedy Fund, the State Labor Council (DIME PAC) and the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) State Council. And, perhaps most importantly, both websites are paid for by subsidiary PACs of New Direction which, as Shift has reported, is the left’s group for coordinating negative campaigns.
New Direction PAC is attacking Sen. Erickson using the fake name “Sensible Leadership for Whatcom.” Additionally, the group is targeting Mark Miloscia under a similar phony name, Principled Leadership in the 30th District. Sen. Steve O’Ban also gets a liberal attack PAC targeting him (the 28th District Citizens for Real Democracy), as does Sen. Andy Hill (via the really poorly named Eastside Integrity PAC). New Direction’s top donors are the who’s who of liberal special interests groups—including the Kennedy Fund, the Washington State Labor Council, and SEIU State Council, plus the Teamsters, FUSE Votes and Washington Conservation Votes (WCV).
As SHIFT recently reported, WCV is especially eager to target Sen. Erickson. The national League of Conservation Voters (LCV)—WCV’s parent PAC—has developed into a Democrat subsidiary in recent years, and once again has a “Dirty Dozen” list for its top election-year targets – and to likely make billionaire donor Tom Steyer happy (since he has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to LCV), Sen. Ericksen is on it.
The Democrats’ end goal is clear. In fact, organizations like WCV readily admit to the role in pursuing a tax-raising agenda. During a recent fundraising breakfast, WCV leaders “boasted that they helped elect Inslee as “the nation’s greenest governor” in 2012.” Their goal for this year is to “hand him a sympathetic Legislature to further his climate-change agenda.”
As we have done in the past, SHIFT will continue to report on how liberals have organized their election-year attack network. Notably, pumping money into the New Direction PAC to develop their negative campaign strategies.