This is not a political blog, its a fish blog, but unfortunately sometimes the two overlap. Midterm elections this week were a vivid reminder of that fact, where Washington voters had the dismal choice between Patty Murray and Dino Rossi. Murray a three term Democrat has been woefully absent from the discussion over what to do about the four lower snake river dams and appears much more interested in pandering to lobbyists and ensuring her own reelection than addressing the needs of her constituents. Rossi on the other hand is a realestate barron with enough money to fund his continually failing political aspirations who happily takes handouts from the Building Industry Association of Washington, the same organization that is constantly on the wrong side when it comes to habitat protection for endangered species, the same organization that petitioned for the delisting of endangered upper columbia steelhead. You can see it wasn't a pretty choice. In the end Murray won, barely.
Hopefully the close call serves as a wakeup call that a politician is defined by their responsiveness to the people they were elected to serve, not by the photo-ops and political star power that lines up on their side. Our political system, indeed most of our institutions seems woefully removed from the citizens which fund and support their very existence. The two party system which we live in almost ensures ineffective government where the two parties are guaranteed a hegemony over political discourse and are therefore preoccupied by their election prospects and the petty disputes with their political adversaries.
Please stop the bullshit and do something.
In Oregon the situation looks a lot better. John Kitzhaber eeked out a win over his republican opponent, ensuring that Oregon will continue to lead the region with progressive efforts to restore and protect wild salmon. Kitzhaber is a well known advocate for wild salmon and serves on the board of Oregon Trout.
Only time will tell what this election will mean for our region but we can only hope it wont be more of the same from Washington's senate delegation.