Darcy Burner and Suzan DelBene, candidates for the 1st CD

In her 2006 and 2008 campaigns for Congress, Darcy Burner did not stake out strongly progressive views — presumably because she needed to appeal to conservatives in the southern part of the old 8th CD.

This year Darcy is sounding much more progressive, as well as being a much better speaker.

Darcy Burner on TV

But is Suzan DelBene significantly less progressive in her policy pronouncements than Darcy Burner? Suzan’s issues page indicates support for all the correct progressives policies:  the Buffet rule, reinstating Glass Steagall, protecting Social Security and Medicare, clean energy, repealing DOMA, protecting freedom of choice, etc.

Some people have made the argument that Suzan DelBene is more likely to protect Microsoft’s state tax breaks, given her husband’s role as head of the Office division at Microsoft.  This seems plausible. And people have criticized DelBene for having lots of money.

But Darcy too came from Microsoft, and if there are rich progressives, it’s a good thing to support them. Besides, DelBene is running for US Congress, not for the Washington State House or Senate.  Would she protect Microsoft in the US House?

In other words, what concrete evidence is there to suggest that Suzan will be significantly less progressive than Darcy?   [Yes, see addition below.] Is DelBene being supported by corporate forces within the Democratic Party?  Is there concrete evidence that Suzan would protect Microsoft’s tax breaks? (Perhaps it’s just fair to presume that, and perhaps choosing DelBene would expose Democrats to populist charges of elitism.) Also, if Suzan DelBene wins the primary (unlikely) would/should local progressives support her?  I presume so.   In their eagerness to support Darcy, do progressives risk alienating DelBene?

Suzan DelBene
Suzan DelBene

At this point my preference is for Darcy Burner over Suzan DelBene. But I’m not aware of any solid information that would suggest that DelBene wouldn’t be a good choice.  If you have such information, please share it.

BTW, I notice something odd.  It feels acceptable to call DelBene and Burner by their first names. I wrote “Darcy” and “Suzan” earlier.  But when talking about male candidates, it feels less acceptable to call them just by their first names. We don’t call Steve Hobbes “Steve.” We don’t call Adam Smith “Adam.”   But I have heard progressives call Dennis Kucinich “Dennis.” So maybe this is all a function of familiarity and ideological and geographical proximity. If the male candidates were local to our district and if we agreed with their policies, we might call them by their first names. Not sure…

Solid Evidence

After writing the first version this article I found the solid evidence I was looking for.

According to this article by Chad Shue, Suzan DelBene has said that she would caucus with the New Democrats.  In a video she says:

I would most likely not be in the Progressive Caucus. I would expect to be in the New Democrats Caucus. I think that’s a place that is fit for what I think needs to happen in terms of getting our economy moving and for breaking this idea that Democrats aren’t also supportive of business in our economy and I think that’s where the New Democrats have made a lot of progress.

Here’s the 52 second video.

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