Business-friendly Orcutt the right choice for new 20th district

2012-08-22T00:50:00Z 2012-11-06T11:33:48Z Business-friendly Orcutt the right choice for new 20th district Longview Daily News
August 22, 2012 12:50 am

Aug. 21 Daily News editorial

Between his last election and this one, Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt estimates he lost 100,000 constituents and gained 100,000 new ones when his hometown of Kalama was redrawn into the 20th District.

“I’ve been out introducing myself to a lot of new people,” Orcutt told The Daily News’ Editorial Board. “If there was a festival or parade inside the district this summer, I was probably in it.”

Orcutt, to us, seems a good philosophical fit for his new district, which now includes almost all of Lewis County, one of the most conservative in the western part of the state. On the November ballot, he’ll be opposed only by another Republican -- political rookie John Morgan of Rochester -- as no Democrat appeared to be anxious or willing to test Orcutt on his new turf.

We endorse Orcutt for a sixth term. While we don’t endorse all of his positions, we’ve always found him to be philosophically consistent and responsive to constituents’ requests. We also share his opinion that the state House of Representatives might be the best arena for his service.

“I was sounded out about running for the U.S. House in 2010,” he said, “but I had no problem passing that along to Jaime (Herrera Beutler). I enjoy where I’m at. I think I prefer being one of 98 to being one of 435.”

Orcutt is unapologetically pro-business and is usually a reliable vote in the House for any measure easing what Orcutt perceives as a regulatory burden Washington places on commerce.

At the same time, he has an independent streak that occasionally casts him as the “1” in a 97-1 vote.

“I vote my core principles,” he said. “Not a straight party ticket.”

These core principles made Orcutt an early signatory of the Grover Norquist “I will never vote to support a tax increase” pledge, a stand rejected by, among others, GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. Orcutt favors repeal of the new state law legalizing same-sex marriages -- all but mandatory for anyone running this year as a Republican -- but does so in a way that troubled us and may trouble some voters.

“Marriage should be between one man and one woman for the purpose of creating and raising children,” he said. “To me, the last part has to be in the definition. It all comes back to having the raising of kids at the core of a marriage.”

We can think of other reasons why people might want to get married -- or why married couples might choose not to have or raise children. Whatever their gender, Orcutt sounded as if he’d deny them permission to wed.

Orcutt’s range of pro-business positions includes being in favor of the two coal terminals proposed for Washington and being in favor of limited, exploratory mining near Mount St. Helens.

“We’ve got to stop saying ‘no’ to these proposals in Washington,” he said. “They can be executed safely. We need the jobs. Cowlitz County is where the rails, the road and the river come together. We need to show we’re open for business.”

That’s Orcutt, and it ought to play well in his new territory. It actually played quite well in his old one as Orcutt will be seeking a sixth term in the House.

We found Morgan, the 49-year-old owner of a trucking company, to be refreshingly direct. His campaign will be limited in that he’s promised not spend more than $5,000 and hasn’t had time to make many personal appearances.

“I’m not taking any corporate money,” he said. “I’m also not a polished politician. But, if we keep electing the same guys to do the same things, we’ll never get out of this fix we’re in.”

This is Morgan’s first bid for public office, however, and he’s chosen to start at a level that strikes us as overly ambitious. Orcutt is our choice for Position B in the 20th.

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - August 22, 2012 2:24 pm
    I thought you had both progressive and conservative voices on this editorial board. How come you always sound so conservative? Do you allow the progressives to speak or are they gagged or something? You just sound bias, democrats are just as pro business, we just consider everything and you don't seem to, Orcutt sounds like a bobble head doll for business. Who wants that?
  2. Edward Phillips
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    Edward Phillips - August 23, 2012 6:18 am
    He (Orcutt) is very conservative and shows very little flexibility of mind or attitude. Where is the independent streak in his voting record?
    ed phillips
  3. OldIrish
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    OldIrish - August 23, 2012 6:34 am
    119er, yes, the notion that Dems are summarily "anti-business" is incorrect. As far as Orcutt and many other Republicans go, well, it would be much easier to join them on their platforms if they would keep their screwball social ideas to themselves. I'm pro-business but I'm really tired of conservatives beating me over the head with their bibles.
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