Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) came to her home town of Bothell, WA to kick off her campaign for re-election. She joked with the crowd that she thought her experiences as a teacher of four-year-old kids was good training for the Senate. I appreciated her humorous candor because I’ve discovered that great leadership and solid parenting require the same skill set.
I was looking for Patty’s deputy campaign manager Alex Glass when I almost collided with Patty coming out to greet the crowd. Oops! Fabulous photo op, eh?
George R. Frazier, Korean Veteran
Sen. Murray was the first woman appointed to the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Her beloved father was disabled in World War II. Her constituent staff kicks serious butt for veterans ~ especially veterans with PTSD. That’s why I went to the rally. I believe so strongly in the value of Soldier’s Heart: Close-Up with PTSD in Vietnam Veterans by Vietnam veterans William Schroder and Dr. Ronald Dawe that I think it needs to be on sale at all the PXs and on the shelves at all the Veterans Administration libraries.
After Bill Schroder read my review of his wonderful book, he sent me a complimentary copy which arrived just before I left for the rally. I wish he could have seen the veterans caress the book with tears in their eyes. Every one of them wanted to keep the book. When I told one veteran that I was at the rally to lobby for it to be readily available to guys like him, the tears spilled onto his cheek.
One of my frustrations with Patty is that she’s fairly tone-deaf to the issue of domestic violence and child abuse. This surprises me because Lifetime did a survey back in 2000 to ask women registered voters ~ without prompting ~ their number one issue. Abortion came in at #8 on their priority list. Equal pay came in at about #4. Our #1 issue? Yep. Domestic violence.
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) is the only national politician from Washington State who addresses domestic violence in any meaningful way. Why? He’s a survivor of child abuse. He gets it. That’s why this blog’s first endorsement is going to Rep. Reichert. I don’t care that he’s a Republican. He knows how to reach across the aisle and work effectively on bipartisan solutions. My kind of politician. I’d vote for him if I could.
Senator Murray is similarly able to achieve bipartisan solutions. She understands that people need good-paying jobs for our economy to have a hope of achieving a recovery. To this end, she was a major force in giving the Defense Department a reality check on contracting with a foreign company for fighter planes. She thought it was pretty pathetic that our own government was exporting jobs.
Because she sits on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, the Defense Department was compelled to respond to her common sense concerns.
When mothers rally in Washington, D.C. on October 1 to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I’m counting on Sen. Murray’s staff to welcome them because appropriations for funding of domestic violence prevention programs sucks. We spend as much in one day on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as we spend in a whole year to prevent domestic violence.
I’m endorsing and supporting Sen. Patty Murray because she’s fierce on the issue of veterans with PTSD. Why do I care? Viable treatment protocols for PTSD are being developed to help returning veterans. Sen. Murray is making sure this gets funded and gets done. Also, I’m exceedingly concerned about the inevitable spike in domestic violence cases when soldiers return home from a war zone. I don’t believe the military ~ especially here in Washington State ~ does nearly enough to protect the spouses and children of these veterans.
Patty has the kind of common sense that’s rare in too many of our politicians. She started out in politics at the grassroots level lobbying the state legislature. Some guy told her in 1980 that she couldn’t accomplish anything because she was “just a mom in tennis shoes.” She proved him wrong, and tennis shoes have become her trademark. The lady in the above photo won an autographed tennis shoe and some exceedingly treasured face time with Patty after the rally.
State Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-32nd LD)
Sen. Maralyn Chase was wearing a super-cool campaign shirt designed and made by her sister. She’s one of my favorite politicians in Olympia because she’s fierce about human rights, and she’s taking on the system for their failure to protect abused and neglected disabled adults. Wow! She’s got me doing a happy dance!
The highlight of my evening at the rally was meeting Amanda Pethrus who is visiting from Sweden and working on Patty’s campaign. Amanda’s mother is active in politics in Sweden, and Amanda aspires to follow in her footsteps. I think she has a great future.
Staff and Volunteers on Patty’s Campaign