The Sunday Observer: Outside money and mischief in the 3rd Congressional District
Plus a big negative campaign against Randall in the 26th District
If you were interested in the outcome of a hot congressional race with a bizarre set of political dynamics — let’s just say this year’s contest in Southwest Washington’s 3rd District — why would you spend $750,000 on a candidate polling in the high single digits who figures to run fourth in next month’s primary, well out of contention for the November election?
Reading this piece on the infusion of cash from Troy Brynelson of Oregon Public Broadcasting and ruminating on the intriguing question it raised yielded just one plausible answer: Sabotage. And digging into the bare-minimum disclosure on the dark-money political action committee “backing” Heidi St. John’s far-right challenge to incumbent GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, the circumstantial case that this is straight-up meddling just got stronger.
Here’s why you should care about this: This is an unseen player, likely from thousands of miles away, looking to change the outcome of a Washington State election by deceit. It’s almost certainly one of the myriad Republican groups working around the country to wrest the House from the Democrats. If it works, it will likely help save Herrera Beutler’s bacon and prevent a wide-open race for her seat that Democrats might well win.
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