Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Lillian Kaufer is running for State Senate in Snohomish County’s 44th LD; a position currently held by republican, Dave Schmidt. She is the mother of two beautiful and charming daughters and, with her husband Patrick, owns and operates a successful small business in the district. She has experience as a paralegal and has been a strong voice in leading the fight to stop Wal*Mart’s further encroachment into the area. Lillian is articulate and passionate when it comes to the issues that most directly impact working families. She is a force in her LD and is growing as a formidable candidate every day. She does face a primary opponent in this race and has accepted that challenge as further motivation to get out into the precincts and spend much of her time meeting the voters of the 44th face to face.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to put some questions to her between events in her busy campaign schedule
TLS: So why would someone who is raising two children and running a small business with your husband want to run for state senate? What was that catalyst that caused you to declare yourself a candidate?
Lillian: Actually, I had a pretty nice gig going for me. I worked out regularly at LA Fitness, my girls would compete in Cheerleading and my husband and I have built a pretty successful business. Then Bush happened. I learned a lot about the impact of conservative policy through some great blogs and decided I had to do more than just vote. I volunteered for Kerry and other Democratic candidates in the 2004 election cycle and when Kerry lost, I figured that I can't change DC, but I can make a difference here in Washington. Since then, I became a PCO, joined the Executive Board for the 44th LD and have been an active Democrat in the district helping raise money and building the grassroots.
I had thought about running for some time but wasn't sure what I would run for. At the State Democratic Crab Feed in February, I spoke with Jackie Minchew, Carol Cates and Kelly Wright. They talked me into considering a run for State Senate. After speaking with (Snohomish County Dems Chair) Mark Hintz, (WSDCC Rules Chair) Todd Nichols and (44th LD State Rep.) John Lovick about it, I decided to go for it. I have been fighting the Mill Creek Wal-Mart and speaking at County Council and City Council about living wage jobs, health insurance and responsible development over the past year. I did a show with Dave Ross on Fair Share Healthcare and had received some media regarding these issues. I am very passionate about Democratic principles and values and have been actively fighting to move our agenda forward. What better way to be effective than to serve as the next State Senator for the 44th Legislative District?
TLS: So how is the campaign coming? How many doorbells and phone calls? How many volunteers do you have helping you? Of course, my least favorite question but the one that seems to drive the “powers that be”, how’s the fundraising coming? I hear you have (Former 8th CD candidate turned major fundraising force) Randy Gordon supporting your campaign. Will he be helping in that regard?
Lillian: The Campaign is going so great. After a difficult beginning where some of the old guard of the Democratic Party tried to discourage me, the grassroots really came in behind me with support and the sole endorsement of the 44th Legislative District Democrats. Many of the PCO's, Wal-Mart fighters, Working For Change activist members, and friends have pulled out all the stops. I have 98 volunteers on the board now and we have doorbelled 7,632 doors as of Monday, June 26. We have knocked out 5 more precincts this week.
What is impressive and amazing to me is the fact that 99% of the $27,327.83 raised as of June 26 is from individual grassroots contributors. That is just incredible. People who have never given to a political campaign or helped in one have stepped up to support a true Democrat to represent and fight for working families.
And yes, Randy Gordon is helping me. He has decided to turn his Congressional PAC into a Progressive PAC and will be donating $1,400 to my campaign as well as helping to raise money for me through his network of associates. I met him at Yvonne Ward's kick-off and he gave me 3 minutes to talk to him. He was immediately excited about my campaign and came out to my house party Saturday June 24th with his girlfriend Jean. Jean by the way is the woman responsible for writing and passing I-120, establishing a Woman's Right to Choose in Washington State, she is an incredible lady.
TLS: There has been some controversy surrounding your campaign and “Labor”. I noticed, for instance, that the State Labor Council has endorsed your primary opponent. What is your relationship with the local labor folks and why do you think you will have their full support when you win the primary?
Lillian: Labor had recruited and promised my primary opponent their support if he ran. They were not aware of my intentions to run until March. I have the support of the largest labor organization, United Food and Commercial Workers and the Teamsters Everett Locals. After a few "controversial" episodes, constant contact and further discussions with labor leaders have proven to be fruitful. I appreciate and respect their decision to keep their promise to my opponent and expect that when I win this primary, they will in fact be behind me 100%. I have been fighting for working families and on labor issues on my personal time over the past year and will continue to do so in the State Senate.
TLS: The incumbent state senator from the 44th LD, republican Dave Schmidt is considered by many to be a moderate who exudes family values. Do you have some particular issues that you believe you will be able to challenge him on? Have you done much research into his voting record?
Lillian: Hate is not a "family value", nor is ignorance or leaving our children and parents under funded and neglected. Senator Schmidt only changed his voting patterns this past session as he has his sights set on running for County Auditor next year and knows that a Bush Republican would never win him that seat in this County. But a Bush Republican he is. The man became an overnight environmentalist only this past session. Before that, he had only a 15% voting record on environmental issues. He has never been on the side of working families, supported living wage jobs or access to health care. Do not let Schmidt fool you, he is no moderate and I will be making certain that the 44th District voters are reminded of how far right he really is. He will not even support medically accurate sex education for our youth. I believe Snohomish has had enough conservatism to last a lifetime, and we want change.
TLS: In the 44th, you have two strong Democratic State reps in John Lovick and Hans Dunshee. Have they been very helpful to your campaign to this point? Being a first-time candidate, who have you been looking to for advice and mentoring?
Lillian: Hans and John have been incredibly supportive in my campaign. Hans supports me entirely and has helped train me on doorbelling and public speaking. They have made appearances at my house parties and the kick-off in show of support and have given me a great amount of positive encouragement. We coordinate our doorbelling so that we are not overlapping each other. I have also received a great deal of help and encouragement from (Snohomish County Councilman) Dave Somers who went through a very similarly grueling primary last year. My consultant John Wyble has been a treasure. He makes running for office fun and has been a great friend. (38th LD State Rep.) John McCoy, who also had a tough primary when he ran, was the first to endorse my campaign and he is full of wisdom and great compassion. Todd Nichols and Millie Judge are great resources and have given me great advice as well as Mark Hintz and a number of other wonderful long time Democrats. Most recently, (37th LD) State Senator Adam Kline has also jumped on board. He has given me some great pearls of wisdom and support and I am ever so grateful for all the help and support from these folks, our local grassroots Democrats and many more. I could not do this without any of them. This is truly a group effort.
TLS: Finally, what can folks, both in and out of the district, do to help your campaign? Are you set up to receive online contributions? Do you have an events calendar so that folks might be able to come and give you a listen and get to meet you?
Lillian: I have a Website at lillianforsenate.com and do accept online contributions through PayPal or you can print out a form and mail in a check. The Website has events listed and we have several events coming up in July as we just finished a very busy June. Most importantly, if you live in a district with a strong Democrat and no challenger, please consider coming over and joining our grassroots canvassing outings or offer to phone bank out of reach precincts. We will be out canvassing in groups every weekend in July in different areas of the district. If you prefer, you can do your own precinct or one without a PCO on a weekday or at your own pace. Contact the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up to help.
In addition to receiving the sole endorsement of the 44th LD and the various Labor groups she mentioned, Lillian has been endorsed by the Progressive Caucus of Snohomish County Democrats and Democracy for Snohomish County. She certainly has the support and endorsement of this blogger. If you would like to put some time in to support a good Progressive Democrat, here are some of the July events from Lillian’s calendar:
Please join one of Lillian's canvass parties listed below:
July 8, 11am at Thomas Lake Albertsons parking lot
July 9, 11am at Thomas Lake Albertsons parking lot
July 15, 11am at Mill Creek Staples parking lot
July 16, 11am at Mill Creek Staples Parking lot
July 22, 11am at Marysville Location TBD
July 23 11am at Marysville Location TBD
July 29 11am at Lake Stevens Location TBD
Chad (The Left) Shue
Posted by Chad Shue at 8:08 PM