Saturday, July 24

Jay Inslee's Campaign Kick-off

Today I attended Jay Inslee's campaign kickoff in Edmonds, WA. Today also marks the beginning of a 100-day countdown to the general election.

"Today, July 24th, 2004 in Edmonds, Washington is the beginning of the decline and the fall of the Bush empire"
-- Jay Inslee, First Congressional District

In his twenty-minute speech, Rep. Inslee went on the attack against President Bush's policies and the war in Iraq. He cited numerous failed policies, calling this "the most imporant election since the civil war." Rep. Inslee then motivated the crowd to spend the next hundred days supporting local candidates, going doorbelling, and working to defeat President Bush in November. Rep. Inslee is going to spend his next hundred days helping other Democratic candidates getting elected, as he is running unopposed in the First.

Rep. Inslee touched on his New Apollo Energy Project, to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. He also briefly spoke about foreign policy, the environment, and civil liberties, but motivating the crowd to volunteer was really the central theme of the event. Rep. Inslee then introduced Joe Wilson, the former ambassador to Africa who came to prominence last year.

"Her and I have been subjected to the worst possible attacks... and I will not stand by while my wife is sacrificed on the altar of 16 words that the President should have never, ever uttered."
-- Joe Wilson, Ambassador

Joe Wilson spoke extensively on how his life has changed after his wife was exposed as a CIA operative. The right-wing smear campaign against Joe Wilson is continuing, despite an ongoing criminal investigation. He believes that this is in an attempt to surpress free speech. "Who will stand up to the government, and who will stand up to the government if they can crush Joe Wilson?" Mr. Wilson's appears undaunted in the face of the opposition, and he's continuing with courage.

Mr. Wilson also recounted the events leading up to the famed 16 words in the State of the Union address. Three months before Mr. Wilson spoke to the media, the CIA was actively working to prevent the President from including the British intelligence on African uranium in the speech. As Mr. Wilson put it, "they'd probably like to blame the entire war on me."

Mr. Wilson also endorsed Jay Inslee, and encouraged the audience to get out and to encourage others to vote in November.

Voters I spoke with in the crowd said they were attending to show their support for Jay Inslee. When asked what their main concerns were, many responded with education, the environment, and employment. Selected voter interviews with photos are available here.

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