On a dark and rainy evening Thursday Feb 17 at the Sons of Norway Hall off N State Street & Champion in Bellingham, the Whatcom County Democrats held their monthly general meeting. Roughly 100 people turned out to see candidates for the US Congress from District 1 vie for support in the upcoming primary election. The four Candidates Darcy Burner, Suzan DelBene, Laura Ruderman and Darshan Rauniyar were each given 5 minutes to speak on their respective platforms, followed by a 10 minute Q&A session from the audience. The response from the audience was luke warm because they had heard many of the promises before.
Darcy Burner is a Harvard Graduate with a BA in Computer Science emphasizing Economics. She worked 10 years for companies such as Lotus and Microsoft. She helped with Howard Dean and John Kerry’s campaigns in 2004. She ran against Republican Dave Reichert in the 2006 8th Congressional District Race. Burner described current Congressional politics as “Democrats attacking a brick wall with water balloons.” She wrote “The Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” which Obama used for his Presidential campaign. In 2008, Burner became the President and Executive Director of ProgressiveCongress.org working with the Congressional Progressive Caucus on public health, civil rights, education, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity.
Susan DelBene holds an MBA from the University of Washington, She was a Vice-President at Microsoft and a Biotech entrepreneur. While serving as Washington State’s Department of Revenue Director in Olympia, DelBene watched special interest groups work against the interests of the middle class. Her campaign platform focuses on “how to improve public access to Congress”. DelBene believes that communication channels need to be expanded by holding town halls and public debates. If elected she will promote education, jobs and health care access for all Americans.
Darshan Rauniyar is a small business owner who immigrated to America from Nepal over 20 years ago. “The American Dream is fading,” Rauniyar states, “Washington DC does not reflect who we are as Americans”. His platform is to “Restore the American Dream” by reforming trade agreements which have allowed American jobs to be shipped overseas so that now twenty million Americans are out of work and fifteen million people lack health insurance. Rauniyar holds that the failure to fund education has caused America to fall behind Europe and most of the industrial world educational achievement
Laura Ruderman began: “I believe if you show up and work hard, you should expect some basic things. You deserve a living wage. You deserve affordable health care. Finally you deserve the right to retire with dignity.” As a three term State Legislator from the 45th District, Laura Ruderman combines government experience with a background as a Program Manager at Microsoft. She pledges to rebuild our economy by supporting key Washington State industries such as software, aerospace, biotech, and agriculture. She proposes making Washington State an international leader in clean energy production. Ruderman also champions the funding of post-secondary education for all students. She believes the country should balance the budget by letting the Bush administrations tax cuts to the ultra-rich expire.