Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

France, France, Kennedy and France Discover Norm Dicks

Ouch. The Greensboro, North Carolina, News-Record reports:

ISC also has tried to reach out to U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., a Bremerton native whose district includes a potential track location.

Four top ISC officials have contributed $8,000 to Dicks' campaign, according to The Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C., research group that tracks money in politics. The four -- ISC chairman Bill France, ISC chief executive officer Jim France, ISC president Lesa France Kennedy and ISC board member Brian France -- each contributed $2,000 to the Dicks campaign in December.

Records show that none had contributed to Dicks' campaign before.

International Speedway Corporation has met a lot of resistance to their proposed new NASCAR-capable speedway. They want it to be in Kitsap County, Washington -- and want public financing and tax breaks to make it more profitable for them. Few people seem enthusiastic about their proposal.

Congressman Norm Dicks has been around for a long time, and doesn't need any donations from ISC. He may have an opponent in this year's election, if the GOP can come up with someone willing to be thoroughly beaten. It's not that Dicks is a great man: It's just that he's good enough, and incumbents are hard to beat when they're good enough.

Will anyone else notice what the News-Record article pointed out?

Note this January 27 article in the Kitsap Sun, in which Dicks was reported to have spoken favorably about the speedway proposal:

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, urged state lawmakers Thursday to keep an open mind about a proposal to build a speedway for NASCAR races in Kitsap County.
Dicks stopped short of offering an official endorsement of the proposal, acknowledging there is opposition to it. What he did say, however, came close to a thumbs-up.

"I don’t think there’s any problem with these numbers," he said of the funding package. "I see nothing but a positive sign for Pierce County and Kitsap County."

The congressman’s remarks are not likely to have an impact in Olympia this year.
His remarks didn't cause the legislature to reverse course in mid-session this year, but Dicks is an influential guy. When he says it looks pretty good, others are willing to take a closer look in preparation for next year's legislative session.

The timing isn't good: campaign donations in December and nice words in January.

Dicks should have thought to tell the ISC people to please not donate to his campaign. Their money isn't needed, and the potential hassle isn't worth it.


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