"Independent." "Bipartisan." "Listens to you."
These are just a few of the buzzwords you're sure to see splashed across political ads this fall. Republican candidates here in Washington from U.S. House down to local offices are desperate to proclaim independence from their party. Especially as Republicans in swing districts have realized that the "Trump Effect" may act more like kryptonite for their campaign.
This is especially true when it comes to Republican Chad Magendanz of the 5th Legislative District. Magendanz represents the Eastern part of King County, stretching from Issaquah to Carnation and Snoqualmie. This rapidly-growing swing district is becoming more diverse - and more progressive - every year.
Here's what Magendanz doesn't want his constituents to know: in 2016 he voted with the Republican Party leadership in Olympia 90 percent of the time.
Fuse analyzed all 429 final votes taken on bills in the state House this year. There is a tradition in Olympia for legislatures to vote with their party on procedural motions and then vote their conscience on final passage, so we thought that using final votes would be the most fair standard. For the small number of bills where legislators overruled Governor Inslee's veto, we used the original roll call vote. We then compared the voting record of Representative Magendanz to the Republican Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen. These votes came on both small, uncontroversial bills and major pieces of legislation that will impact working families in our state for years.
Who is in Charge? Since Magendanz is voting with the Republican leadership nearly every time, who is he taking his cues from?
The real decision maker is a very conservative legislator who is unknown in most of Washington. Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen represents the 39th district, another large district covering the rural east side of Snohomish and Skagit counties. Kristiansen holds many extremely conservative views, including opposing abortion, opposing universal background checks for gun purchases, blocking action to fight global warming, supporting Tim Eyman's self-serving initiatives, opposing transit funding, and refusing to close tax loopholes to fund education. A candidate holding Schoesler's extreme views would have almost no chance of being elected in the independent 5th District. Not surprisingly, Magendanz doesn't want you to know that he follows the lead of his very conservative Republican leadership 90 percent of the time.
The Votes So what was Magendanz actually voting on? Here are few examples of bills he followed his party leadership on.
- Instead of funding education, Magendanz voted with Republican leadership to create a new tax break for construction of aircraft maintenance facilities.
- Voted with Republican leadership against a bill to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work.
- Voted with Republican leadership to undermine our state's voter-approved clean energy laws.
We expect our leaders to represent their constituents and voice their conscience, not their party, on the major issues facing our state. For all of his rhetoric about independence and moderation, Representative Chad Magendanz has faithfully voted the Republican Party line 90 percent of the time. The voters of the 5th Legislative District deserve better.
No candidate authorized the ads promoting this post. Paid for by Fuse Votes, 1402 3rd ave #406, Seattle, WA 98101. Top 5 contributors: Fuse WA, Fast PAC, SEIU 925, New Direction PAC, Our Votes Count.