Letters to the Editor

Rep. Reichert should not seek re-election

Please permit me to again implore Congressman Reichert not to seek re-election. My supplication is not due to any personal animosity. It is intended as an employment history evaluation and review.

According to available records, Mr. Reichert has never worked in the private sector of the economy. He served six months of active duty in the Air Force Reserve near the end of the Vietnam War and joined the King County Sheriff’s Department in 1972. In 1997, he was appointed to the office of sheriff by then King County Executive Ron Sims (now with HUD) of critical areas ordinance fame. He received full credit for the Sheriff’s Department’s arrest of serial killer Gary Ridgeway in November 2001. In 2004, he won the 8th Congressional District Republican nomination with 45 percent of the votes cast in a four-way race, in my opinion solely on name recognition. I believe that his social work degree should have raised a red flag to the party officials responsible for scrutinizing potential candidates before allowing him to file as a Republican.

The 8th Congressional District has been a Republican district since its creation following the 1980 census, first held by Rod Chandler and then by Jennifer Dunn (RIP). To be fair to Mr. Reichert, his predecessor started the 8th District representative’s trend to accede to every whim of the environmentalist/preservationist lobby.

I don’t wish to impugn Mr. Reichert’s career accomplishments as a law enforcement officer, however, he has been in his current position for nearly six years and the laurels he garnered in 2001 have withered. With six years of a congressman’s base salary of $174,000 per year totaling $1,044,000 and staff salaries totaling $921,952 for 2009 alone, and three campaigns averaging $4 million each during which it is glaringly apparent that he sold a significant portion of his principles to the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club, I think that we can put paid to any monetarily remunerative gratitude that may have been owed to then Sheriff Reichert.

We need to keep this congressional seat for the Republicans, but I feel that Mr. Reichert’s adherence to party principles and hence political reliability have been so woefully subpar that he is undeserving of retaining his current position. I beseech him to make a few maudlin comments about wanting to spend more time with the grandchildren and announce his decision not to seek re-election rather than suffering the indignity of a landslide defeat in an election cycle that the Republicans are sure to win.

A closing comment in my previous letter that he might consider becoming a night shift mall cop may have seemed a bit harsh. Whether he has the good grace not to seek re-election or subjects himself to the ignominy of total defeat, I promise to feign total surprise if his cronies appoint him Seattle police chief next February.

Edward D. Neil


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