An Open Appeal to Darcy Burner


It seems to me that the best way to think about the new First is that it is full of “business democrats.”    How can a KOS netizen serve THEIR interests?

I suggest you build your campaign around what I call the “Lego model. ”  Imagine you had bought  Lego pieces at garage sales while driving from Medina through to Winthrop on an a campaign bus tour.

You’ld get good prices for some expensive boxed sets that celebrate high tech.  Building a MilleniumFalcon from a Lego set is fun!  But, the really cool pieces  would be in boxes that do not fit in all that well.    North of Woodinville the Lego people are more likely to be independent small business folk than Microsoft Leads.

What could you build out of this collection?

One issue seems obvious … foreign trade.

Let me give you one example.  You should speak out for the  Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  If Obama succeeds in negotiating this agreement, the TPP will  create an Asia-Pacific regional trade market between the United States and Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. As Eric Shinfield reports at Crosscut, ” 64 percent of all state exports went to Asia-Pacific countries in 2009. And Washington’s major retailers and manufacturers source a significant portion of their global supply chain from the Asia-Pacific region, from apparel to airplane parts. 2012 will be the year to watch TPP; particularly whether the agreement can be successfully negotiated if countries like Japan and Canada want to join mid-party.”

By the way, while Sarah Palin may be able to see Russia from Wasilla, we .. WA state, are in a great position to trade with Russia! The former Soviet Union is the newest member of the World Trade Organization. They are also a potential competitor and collaborator for Boeing and a major source of raw materials including oil.  How can the Feds encourage trade with Siberia?

The other big issue is Canada.   The new First Congressional District borders Canada.  They are our natural partner in promoting the Northwest. Unfortunately the feds tax Washington state trade by imposing  The Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) on the value of the goods being shipped through ports. Canada benefits because the tax is not assessed on importers who route cargo through non-U.S. ports and then move their cargo into U.S. markets by land.

Fed visa policies also obstruct our pacific trade. Visa applications from  China or Brazil can take as long as six months. We also do a very poor job of marketing the UW as a destination for Asain students.  Did you know the UW has NO office that helps Chinese students event though they are the largest “minority” on campus? The Feds do not help here either, making it very hard for Asian graduates of the UW to stay on and get jobs here.

Back at building something out of Legos, I wonder if a netroots gal can take on issues like these?


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