Yakima Herald (Editorial) - In her 12 years as a U.S. senator, Maria Cantwell has assiduously tended to issues affecting Central Washington and the state as a whole. The senator has supported efforts to increase apple exports and to ensure the Farm Bill benefits specialty crops, including the fruit industry that drives the Yakima Valley economy. Cantwell, a Democrat, also worked with Republican Congressman Doc Hastings to secure $1.5 million to study storage options for the Yakima River Basin.
Cantwell also fought to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which assists in financing the export of American products. Her high-tech background — she was an executive for RealNetworks in the 1990s — gives her an understanding of technology issues that keenly affect the Puget Sound region. She also has been a strong advocate for Boeing.
Cantwell has a strong handle on state issues and has been effective at advocating them. The Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board endorses Maria Cantwell for a third term in the U.S. Senate.
Opposing Cantwell is a freshman state senator, Republican Michael Baumgartner of Spokane. Baumgartner in the Legislature has preached fiscal conservatism, much in line with his party, and he touts an ability to work with Democrats on issues like pension reform and consolidating agencies. He argues he can bring that kind of bipartisan practicality to a political body that sorely needs it.
Baumgartner’s most striking opinions regard foreign policy, and he brings an interesting set of experiences that no doubt have shaped his world view. High school and college studies took him to France and the Middle East, and he worked as a State Department officer in Iraq as war raged in 2007-8. He followed that with a stint in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor who advised a counternarcotics team. Baumgartner says the U.S. should pull its troops from these trouble spots sooner rather than later, and he faults Cantwell for supporting current U.S. policy, which he views as keeping Americans in harm’s way far too long.
This seat once was held by a senator who made a name for himself in foreign affairs, Democrat Henry Jackson, who died in office in 1983. And certainly there is a place for foreign-policy expertise in the World’s Most Deliberative Body.
But with economic concerns dominating the landscape, we like how Cantwell delivers results that benefit the state both at home and overseas. Her work warrants a return to Washington, D.C.
As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.