October 01, 2006

...at least that's likely the reaction of a lot of serious political observers to the news Bruce Guthrie is loaning his campaign $1.2 million, immediately injecting a degree of incredible unpredictability into Washington's US Senate race.

I join others in not having the slightest idea of how to analyze this move; it's simply so unheard of one doesn't know where to begin. In theory, Guthrie was previously on track to pull more votes from Cantwell than from McGavick, yet only truly impacting the race if it becomes as close as Gorton v. Cantwell in 2000, or Rossi v. Gregoire in 2004. What impact will $1.2 million have, however? Will it be used with effect or will its impact be negligible? Will he be the Ross Perot of Washington state, or the Steve Forbes?

Who the heck knows? The fact Guthrie's loan triggers the Millionaire's Amendment for both Maria Cantwell and Mike McGavick complicates matters even further.

Personally, I'm stunned how he's emptying his personal finances to undertake this loan. You can't argue with his passion, but you do have to question the rationality of the move.

Whatever the answers to the multitude of questions created by this turn of events, it is undeniable we are about to witness a truly unique election for this state.

Please discuss.

UPDATE: In follow-up to Richard Pope's question in the comments, I did some checking. Based on the discussion of "Increased Individual Contribution Limits" in this brochure, and based on the 2004 estimate of Washington state's voting age population (needed for the formula noted in the brochure), it appears on quick calculation that Cantwell and McGavick can now accept contributions for the general election up to $6,300 - three times the normal limit - based on where Guthrie's trigger of the Millionaire's Amendment falls. His $1.2 million loan actually comes close to hitting the next threshold, which would allow Cantwell and McGavick to raise $12,600 per person for the general, but not quite.

Posted by Eric Earling at October 01, 2006 06:49 PM | Email This
1. Who the hell is Bruce Guthrie

Posted by: stinky tuna on October 1, 2006 06:42 PM
2. What a moron. Why not use that money for some good. Hell if he wants to help libertarians why not fund some local races. That amount of money should be able to get some libertarians elected to local office. In this race 1 mil is a drop in the bucket. At best he might hit 1 or 2%.

You almost feel bad for his family now that he has just squandered a lifetime of asset accumulation on a fool hearty run for senate.

Posted by: Giffy on October 1, 2006 07:22 PM
3. Guthrie's money will net McGavick about 5 votes.
Rather than "wish & hope" this somehow turns the tide...it's high time McGavick go 100% negative on Cantwell.
She has plenty from her mysterious accumulation of wealth to it's disappearance to her lies about how she will finance her campaign.
Then there is her voting record....
and the issue about her intimate generosity to Dotzhauer.
It's time to start firing.
Rossi waited about 3 days too late.
The ballots go out in less than 3 weeks and McGavick is very much 6-10 points behind with zero traction to get any closer.
Guthrie ain't gonna do it...unless HE uses that $1.2 million to really launch on Cantwell (which I doubt he will do).
Perhaps Guthrie isn't planning on spending any of that money.
The mere ANNOUNCEMENT got him more attention than he has received in his entire life!

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on October 1, 2006 07:31 PM
4. Mr. Cynical, you might be on to something there--maybe he WON'T spend the money. As Giffy intimated, you almost hope he doesn't waste his family's money in this manner. It all sounds very Quixotic.

Bill H

Posted by: Bill H on October 1, 2006 07:50 PM
5. Guthrie is plenty smart on this item. He is loaning his campaign 1.2 million, and will get a lucrative job offer next week from the Cantwell campaign, for joining her bandwagon. She did it once, and she can do it again.

Watch and wait.

Posted by: GS on October 1, 2006 08:29 PM
6. I don't think the Millionaire's Amendment will benefit anyone other than Aaron Dixon.

If the other candidate has a fundraising advantage of at least twice the excess "Millionaire" candidate donations, they don't get to have larger contributions.

Since Cantwell and McGavick have at least $2.4 million to spend on the general election, Guthrie putting in $1.2 million of his own money won't raise their contributor limits.

I could be wrong, but that is how I understand the law works.

Posted by: Richard Pope on October 1, 2006 08:40 PM
7. Guthrie is calling the anti-war crowd's bluff.

He'll lose- none of 'em have the principles of Guthrie, they've all been bought off like Mark Wilson- except they get "reelecting a Democrat senator" instead of cash.

But next time some anti-war leftie starts spouting off, just ask 'em if they supported Guthrie or Cantwell- and if they admit to Cantwell, tell them they got the war they voted for. The anti-war crowd's credibility in this state is going to be toast, thanks to Guthrie (and Wilson).

Posted by: Captain Wierd on October 1, 2006 08:50 PM
8. Speechless doesn't begin to describe this turn of events.

Personally, I'm more a Libertarian than a Republican, but unfortunately a Libertarian can't get elected, at this time. For now I'll hold my nose and vote for a R if for no other reason than to keep the nanny-state Ds out of office.

Just a minute while I sneak over to my neighbor's house an "borrow" one of his tin foil hats....be right back....

OK, tin foil hat in place, adjusting for best reception....We know that Maria is buying off her opponents. WA is a blue state, but Maria is such a weak candidate and poor senator, that she knows she's vulnerable. Maria has has raised over twice as much money as McGavick. The mother ship relays that Maria made a promise to Guthrie that she would cover the loan if he ran to siphon off votes from McGavick.

Time now to return the tin foil hat. I should be able to sneak into my neighbor's house; he and his wife have some friends over and they're sitting around the kitchen table, morosely sipping lattes, lamenting the police state in which we now live. Hopefully I can be there for them when their sons are drafted and sent to die in a war for oil....

Sorry, the tin foil hat was still on...

Posted by: Obi-Wan on October 1, 2006 08:51 PM
9. I guess he smoked too much pot this morning!

No, I have had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Guthrie recently and I thing he is a great guy with some misinformed opinions, but I can not imagine him spending 1.2 million this late in an election for a third party? I bet he doesn't spend it.

Posted by: Andrew Roberts on October 1, 2006 08:59 PM

You deserve Cantwell!

Posted by: GS on October 1, 2006 09:54 PM
11. Ladies & Gentlemen -

I just deleted two comments from our old friend Steve/Conservative not Republican (which is who GS was referring to), loyal readers know his work and why it's now gone. His current meme is that I'm responsible for the reprehensible actions of Mark Foley. Classy.

My only question now is what happens when the arguments between the voices in Steve's head come to blows? How does that play out?

Posted by: Eric Earling on October 1, 2006 10:06 PM
12. Former Rep Foley is a pervert, which has nothing to do with the fact that he's gay.

Republicans kick people like him out of Congress.

Dems celebrate and re-elect; 1) Murderer Teddy KenneDrunk (D-MA); 2) Gay prostitute enabler Barney Frank (D-MA), and 3) Child rapist, Gerry Studds (D-MA).

Dems celebrate killers and child molesters as heros of their party.

The difference between the two parties could not be more clear.

Posted by: Obi-Wan on October 1, 2006 10:54 PM
13. I saw my first impressive McGavick ad before the Seahawks game. He said he balanced the Safeco budget (which left unsaid he reduced payroll) in order to keep jobs and make the company profitable.

Nutroots people says cutting jobs in time of crisis was a bad thing, but here McGavick made it a positive, IMO.

Posted by: swatter on October 2, 2006 07:23 AM
14. swatter,
So McGavick says he cut 1,400 Safeco jobs to save others, eh?

Posted by: Sammy on October 2, 2006 08:00 AM
15. Mr. Cyniacl is wrong,

People already know about Cantwell. What they need now is to know about McGavick. Is he worth their vote? Or is he just as bad, in a different way?

Posted by: Greg D on October 2, 2006 08:53 AM
16. I used to work at Safeco when McGavick was hired to take over for Roger Eigsti. Roger Eigsti was a very smart, well-liked, and effective leader, but he did not recognize the need to move to credit scoring on Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance underwriting. Consequently, Safeco profits took a dive in the late 1990's and into 2001. McGavick did what needed to be done when he took over, he moved to credit scoring and cut expenses to turn around the P&L. I can't say that he was particularly well-liked, but he was effective. He did tend to be pretty arrogant and thought that he was smarter than everyone else in the room, but I can't fault his success. Safeco Stock was down around $20-25 a share when he took over and was in the high $50's when he left.

Bill H

Posted by: Bill H on October 2, 2006 09:15 AM
17. Surprising all this speculation about Bruce.

I've known Bruce for about 8 years or so, as Chairman of the Whatcom co. party he's been very active and run for Congress in the 2nd twice.

Bruce has principles, he hasn't made a deal with Cantwell (he wants to defeat her), and he can take votes from her. Bruce is running on the left because his principles lead him to those positions. If you just say he's for Gay Marriage, against the patriot act, against the war in Iraq, that just doesn't tell the whole story. I suggest you check his web site to see what he means by Gay Marriage, he wants government out of the marriage business completely. He told me that he thought that getting rid of Sadaam was a really good thing, that we've won the war and we should leave now. http://www.bruceguthrie.com/

Don't worry about Bruce's family (he's read Ayn Rand), he's responsible for his own family not anyone else. Bruce is building a new family with his new wife in Seattle, and God bless them. He's not going to ask the government for help. His first wife died of cancer (after a long battle) and it seems the assets he's using is what he built with her. I think that to Bruce, it's what Grace would have wanted him to do. I think that it might be a fitting memorial to Grace if Bruce can really make a difference in this race.

Like Tobacco, Bruce doesn't smoke dope, he doesn't like either, but we have liberty in this country, the power to make those decisions were never given to the government, they were retained by the people. Where in the constitution is that power given to the government? Just because you can't find any basis for anti-drug laws, doesn't mean that you are an addict, it's a bit of a stretch. With Grace's long battle with cancer, he experienced first hand how government's control of drugs can kill people. Bruce understands that we are all responsible for the decisions we make good or bad, isn't that a conservative view?

People say Bruce is an idealist, I think it's sad that people think things like the Constitution, and responsibility are thought of as idealism and not what is thought of as customary. I think it is just as important to Bruce that people start to think of the Constitution again, and each person being responsible for their actions.

Vice Chair, WCLP

Posted by: Libertarian Larry on October 2, 2006 09:20 AM
18. And that is the bottom line as far as I am concerned. I think, at least, I would trust him more than the other to at least attempt to reduce the federal bureaucracy.

Sorry, Sammy, that is a feel good (bad) story against McGavick that really doesn't cut it with us who want to cut the federal spending. Like I said, it was one of the better ads I have seen.

Maybe this is the time to note that on my TiVo, I am seeing a lot of Cantwell ads regarding how she is going to reduce the cost of gasoline. These were done and aired prior to the 25% decrease in prices. I haven't seen any of these, lately. Sammy, do you think she was so good she did all this already?

Posted by: swatter on October 2, 2006 09:21 AM
19. Larry, I have been philosophically libertarian since I read Atlas Shrugged in 8th grade. I was the only one in my high school English class to vote for Hospers/Nathan in the 1972 election (we weren't old enough to vote but we took a class vote). I even voted for a number of Libertarian presidential candidates.

However, I don't think a third party will gain any traction until voting rules are changed. What needs to happen, is a two part election (i.e. a runoff election), where you can vote your conscience in the first round, and then if no candidate gets at least 50% of the vote, there is a runoff between the top two.

I think a lot of people would vote for a Libertarian candidate if they felt they would not be wasting their vote. With a runoff, that would not be an issue. If your candidate did not make it into the runoff, then you could vote for the better of the two remaining candidates.

Had this method been in place in 1992, I don't think Bill Clinton would have ever been elected president.

Bill H

Posted by: Bill H on October 2, 2006 09:33 AM
20. Bill H. I have to agree on the election. That's the Libertarian party position. Each party should put their candidate on the ballot in the general election. If nobody wins by more than 50%, then the top 2 go to a run off maybe 2 weeks after the general is certified.

If Bruce gets more than 5% statewide, we will be a "major party" again, and that would be a big step in the right direction. We became a "major party" when Ruth Bennett won 8% of the vote for Lt. Govenor. It was because of her that Dino won the election, it's just R's could stop it from being stolen.

Vice Chair WCLP

Posted by: Libertarian Larry on October 2, 2006 09:38 AM
21. Wow! A friend sent me this link since I have met Bruce and I am very excited that a principled person has stepped up to the plate and is trying to make a difference.

I went to his website and made a contribution. How many of you have contributed to ANY candidate? Most of you just seem to spout or whine. How about putting YOUR money where your beliefs are?

I respect Bruce for doing just that.

Posted by: Ruth in Florida on October 2, 2006 10:05 AM
22. I have met Bruce a few times, and through my conversations with him I am convinced of one thing. HE WANTS NOTHING MORE THAN TO UNSEAT MARIA CANTWELL! He disagrees with her on almost everything. Expect Bruce to be very critical of her stance on Iraq...Remember, he is the peace candidate, and this can only be good for Mike!

Posted by: jacob on October 2, 2006 12:33 PM
23. "15. Mr. Cyniacl is wrong,
People already know about Cantwell. What they need now is to know about McGavick. Is he worth their vote? Or is he just as bad, in a different way?
Posted by Greg D at October 2, 2006 08:53 AM"

Gee Greg, read Stefan's latest thread on Cantwell/Dotzauer. People DO NOT necessarily know Cantwell....do they?!!
It is time to fire....and keep firing.
This is a friggin' Election CONTEST....not a huggy-kissy Festival.
We are talking about electing someone to be ONE of an elite 100 in our Nation's leadership.
Maria LIED when asked about why she loaned Dotzauer that money. SHE LIED!!!!
Of course she know...and should have said it is nobody's business.
Instead, Maria lied.
What else is she lying about, huh???

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on October 2, 2006 01:00 PM
24. it's high time McGavick go 100% negative on Cantwell.

Name me the last Republican that won statewide by doing this?

He/She doesn't exist. D's can get away with it because voters in Washington are predisposed to vote for them anyway. When they are already suspicious of you, going on the attack virtually never works.

He does need to focus on some disagreements with Cantwell that Washington voters agree with him on, but he can't just run around trashing her. He's got to sell himself.

Posted by: Cliff on October 2, 2006 07:23 PM
25. If you read the P-I and Times stories carefully, you will see that Guthrie is only pretending to put up the money so as to get into a TV debate. He signed a piece of paper saying he will loan the money, but he doesn't expect to actually use it. There's no reason to believe he has that much money to loan. And, of course, as a "former part-time college instructor", living in Bellingham, the idea that he mortgaged his home for $1.2 million is very far from plausible. This is almost certainly a complete fake.

Posted by: Steve on October 3, 2006 04:12 PM
26. Steve

Bruce has that much and more to loan to his campaign. Read my post earlier. These are assets that he and his first wife built. He has a very nice house on top of Alabama Hill, and certainly could get a big chunk just from that.

These things are a bit more complex than that, with all the filing requirements etc., you can't just fake something like this.

Vice Chair WCLP

Posted by: Libertarian Larry on October 3, 2006 04:50 PM
27. WOW! Look at 'em scatter. You'd think somebody turned the light on in a filthy kitchen.

If there has EVER been more solid and irrefutable PROOF that money talks and baloney walks in politics, Guthrie's move is that proof.

And it really doesn't matter if he ever spends a dime of that money. You guys are talking about him now, and you weren't before. Bruce has had more press coverage in the last 3 days than he has had in the entire rest of the campaign season, and regardless whether he gets into the debates.

And what IS the big deal anyway? Does anybody really think that Cantwell and McGavick didn't also buy their way into the debates?

And where did everybody get the idea that only Democrats and Republicans had money? Who funds the CATO Institute and Americans for Limited Government? Democrats? Republicans? Give me a break!

Finally, everybody knows that the US Senate is a Millionaire's Club anyway. Why should it be so surprising that one of the announced candidates demonstrates that he already qualifies?

Posted by: Richard Shepard on October 3, 2006 10:06 PM
28. Bruce is really impressing me with his campaign, I am a libertarian at heart and this is the first time I will be able to vote with a clear conscious.

Posted by: Isaiah on October 8, 2006 07:01 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?