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Empowering Democracy: Meet the Candidates, Support Ukraine, and Uncover the Truth with Investigative Reporter Dominick Bonney!

In this newsletter: 

  1. Meet the Candidates

  2. Cathy McMorris Rogers Give CD5 To The Dems

  3. 84? We Need 16 More!

  4. Entering The Third Year of Support For Ukraine

  5. Special Report From Investigative Reporter Dominick Bonney

Central Washington Candidates


Maria Beltran will be launching her State Senate campaign tonight, Monday February 26th, at Single Hill Brewery in Yakima from 5:30 - 7pm. Stop by and meet the candidate. Maria's political chops already give her a strong leg up and that coupled with her long standing commitment to her community makes her a worthy candidate. 



Chelsea Dimas kicked off her campaign for State Representative from her office in Sunnyside last Saturday February 17th. Chelsea is a new generation of politician with an impressive resume. Take time to learn more about her by checking out the campaign website. 




Thank you CMR!

When I ran for Congress, I received a lot of good advice, and I remember clearly what Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown told me. She stated that when she ran for Congress in 2018, she underestimated the importance of rural voters, which she believes may have cost her the race. Despite having an enormous war chest, she literally could not spend it all in the short span of the election.


The Union Bulletin recently published an article stating that this was the best time for Democrats to flip Washington’s Congressional District 5 (CD5), and there is a good reason for it because we know what needs to be done. Rural Americans United is predicated on learning from the many mistakes made by individuals like myself, others, and truly listening to our constituents, even when what we hear goes against what we personally believe. It is still more important to listen and act on the interests of our constituents.


From a numbers game, we know we can win in CD5 because that is what the voters are telling us. Recently, Spokane elected a Democratic Mayor, and the incumbent is exiting long before her career needs to end. Additionally, as reported by Politico, Whitman County voted for Biden in 2020 by 10%, in Walla Walla County Biden lost by only 6%, and in Spokane County, it was only 4%. These three counties make up approximately 80% of all voters, and a Democrat losing by single digits anywhere East of the Cascades is considered a Swing District if not an actual win.


Party politics is often a nuanced dance by politicians, but by listening to constituents, we already know some platform positions. The first is to stay away from education or find a way to support parents' roles without bringing up culture wars. The Republican Party has made a rally cry out of homeschool, voucher programs, dismantling the Department of Education, breaking the teachers' union, anti-WOKE, and anti-LGBT+. Abortion is another kill stroke for rural Democrats. A woman’s right to autonomy over her body is absolute, but this most delicate issue must be framed in context of everyone’s right to bodily autonomy; it is freedom of self-determination.


Immigration is a focal topic of the 2024 elections, and Democratic candidates will need to be well-positioned to address their constituents. In CD5, immigration as an issue, at least on the surface, appears more straightforward than in neighboring CD4. Data shown by DataUsa.io indicates that CD5 is a majority White district (82%), with persons identifying as non-White and non-Hispanic making up the majority of remaining residents. This coupled with a high citizenship rate of over 97%, suggests that an immigration platform can be less nuanced, and therefore a Democratic candidate can take a stronger position and hold that ground. In CD4, where the Latinx population is roughly 50% and citizenship is below 90%, more dimensions must be included in any meaningful discussion of immigration; dimensions that affect people’s lives in real and meaningful ways. It is hard to imagine anywhere else in the country where so many factors come into play with regard to immigration than in CD4.


Discussing money in politics, it's important to note that simply throwing money at a campaign doesn't guarantee success. As Lisa Brown shared with me, she had more money than she could spend, yet it didn't secure victory. Every politician, consultant, and voting record will show you that facts don’t win elections; emotions do. Having strangers or candidates making aggressive promises at the last minute will win few favors. To truly win, we must connect with the hearts and minds of people on the issues that matter most to them and be there every day. Rural Americans United understands this, which is why we've launched our pro-democratic messaging campaign. We are educating, reminding, and persuading people that democratic values mirror theirs most closely and will give us the future we all deserve.


Entering the 3rd Year of Support for Ukraine


Greetings,

We are now entering the third year of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which began with Russian military forces attacking a sovereign nation without cause or provocation. That was on February 24, 2022. Since then we have staged weekly Peace Demonstrations as a way to remind others in our Yakima community of the suffering and sorrow that the Ukrainian people have been forced to endure. With the recent murder of activist Alexei Navalny in a remote Russian prison and Congress failing to send additional aid to Ukraine, our need to stand tall for Ukraine is more urgent than ever. 


This slideshow represents our demonstrations for the year of 2023. We come together every Thursday at the corner of 40th and Summitview avenues. Our loyal demonstrators bring signs, flags, sunflowers (the national flower of Ukraine) and, most importantly, they bring hope. Never forget what Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor, once said: “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”





Long Live Democracy!


Leslie & Spencer


Investigative Reporter, Dominick Bonny Writes. . . 


Josh McPherson is the pastor of the biggest church in Chelan County. He's been called a Christian Nationalist but takes issue with that term. That's because it's not expansive enough. 

 

 

"I'm a Christian imperialist," he told Glenn Beck on the far-right media personality's podcast last Saturday. McPherson's preaching became overtly political during the Covid pandemic and he and his followers have spent considerable time and money trying to influence city council, school board and county sheriff elections in the region.

 

Examining Christian Nationalism is the latest infatuation of "parachute journalists" who live in major urban centers and visit rural America to cover stories about how the other half lives. But for those of us in Eastern Washington, Christian Nationalism is just a new name for an old idea. I'm Eastern Washington born and raised, and I'm interested in examining the types of stories that small-town papers and other outlets tend to avoid due to the social and commercial power that is often brought to bear against any media outlet that asks uncomfortable questions of those in power.

 

In this first article featured by Rural Americans United, I break down Beck's interview with McPherson and you can read more about McPherson and his family's impact on the politics and society of North Central Washington on my Substack here.

 

Dominick Bonny

Reporter, filmmaker 




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