Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

Campaigning for U.S. Senate: Murray versus Rossi

The incumbent: Patty Murray (prefers Democratic Party)
Born in Bothell, Wash., Patty Murray has served on the U.S. Senate since she was elected in 1992, becoming the first female senator to represent Washington. She currently sits as the Senate Majority Conference Secretary, the fourth-highest ranking in the Democratic Party.

The challenger: Dino Rossi (prefers Republican Party)
A native from Seattle, Wash., Dino Rossi worked in commercial real estate before serving on the state Senate from 1997-2003, when he decided to run for governor. Rossi participated in both the 2004 and 2008 gubernatorial elections but was unsuccessful in ousting current governor Christine Gregoire.

Where they stand on:
Health care:

Murray: Sen. Murray wants to lower long-term health care costs, eliminate lifetime and annual caps, and stop health insurance companies from dropping individuals based on pre-existing conditions or due to illness. She wants to increase health care professionals in areas such as primary care. She serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, as well as the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Rossi: Rossi wants to repeal the health care reform bills passed by Congress in March 2010, and reduce health insurance premiums for middle class families and senior citizens. He supports allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines and advocates individuals and small businesses having access to the same discounts and tax deductions as corporations.

The economic stimulus:

Murray: Helped pass the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and advocated investing in job creation programs. She supports grants for youth employment and legislation to teach financial skills in schools.  Murray also supports funding to help avoid foreclosures in the housing market and promotes “tax fairness.”

Rossi: Supports in-state economic growth and job creation and wants to reform taxes and eliminate “consumption tax” as well as tax loopholes that favor the upper economic classes. He advocates using unspent bailout money to reduce the national deficit, reducing overall government employment and exorbitant salaries and benefits.

Murray: Supports reducing dependency on foreign oil and helped pass legislation to provide tax credits for renewable and alternative energy. She advocated regulating the Bonneville Power Administration (The BPA is a federal agency based in Portland, Ore., that provides electricity for the Pacific Northwest.) for stable energy prices and supports higher standards of fuel efficiency in motor vehicles. She also supports tax incentives for investments in clean energy projects and policies.

Rossi: Promotes domestic energy production and reducing the need for foreign energy. Rossi promotes environmentally and fiscally responsible practices and opposes cap and trade policies. He wants to enhance safety policies for energy production on land or offshore, and advocated that polluters be held financially responsible for environmental damages.

Rick Larsen in Red Square on Oct. 8th.

Campaigning for the U.S. House of Representatives: Larsen versus Koster

The incumbent: Rick Larsen (prefers Democratic Party)
Born in Arlington, Wash., and residing in Lake Stevens, Rep. Rick Larsen has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2001. Considered a moderate in the Democratic Party, he currently holds seats on the Committee on Armed Services, the Budget Committee, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The challenger: John Koster (prefers Republican Party)
Also born and raised in Arlington, Wash., John Koster serves as operations committee chair on the Snohomish County Council and on the Snohomish Agricultural Advisory Committee.  Koster also served three terms as a state representative in Olympia, and ran for Congress against Larsen in 2000.

Where they stand on:
Health care:

Larsen: Advocates publicly funded health care and health care provisions for families, veterans and Medicare. He voted in 2009 in support of health care reform.

Koster: Discourages a public health care option and advocates free market policies with individual choice. Koster supports reforms of pre-existing condition standards, “portability” of health insurance policies and supports tax credits for premiums on health insurance.

The economic stimulus:
Larsen: Consistently votes in favor of in-state labor laws and encourages the stimulation of the Washington job market. He also encourages support systems for small business and community banks, not just large corporate entities.

Koster: Promotes the limiting of “big government” spending and opposes the economic bailout and stimulus package. Koster also opposes new or raised taxes. He supports the free market and free enterprise.

Larsen: Supports investments in alternative and clean energy policies, as well as tax credits for clean energy. He advocates increasing the budget authority of the BPA in order to modernize Washington’s electrical grid and lower people’s energy bills.

Koster: Supports investment in “green energy” policies, but also advocates further exploration of the energy policies currently in use on American soil, including oil drilling, hydroelectric, coal and nuclear power. Koster encourages implementing safety policies for energy exploration within the country, and advocates eliminating dependence on foreign energy. He opposes the cap and trade policies.

Due to the inconsistency of information from other resources, all information was gathered from the respective candidates’ campaign websites, and from the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate websites.