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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Rep. Rick Larsen discusses bipartisan platform in Bellingham

By Max Brunt

Rep. Rick Larsen talked about bipartisan tactics against Trump during a campaign event at Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen.

A small crowd of about 50 gathered to hear Larsen, D-Everett, discuss his positions on topics ranging from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the preservation of national parks at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3.

Robert Glorioso, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 106, introduced Larsen.

Rep. Rick Larsen at the Bellingham waterfront. // Photo courtesy of Carryn Vande Griend.

Glorioso said the Local 106 supports Larsen.

“He supports firefighter issues, and firefighter issues support our communities,” he said.

Larsen supported a grant to pay for the department’s fireboat, the Salish Star, in 2015.

Larsen is running on a moderate-progressive platform, according to his Facebook. He discussed bipartisan cooperation against Trump in Congress, and how there is a powerful progressive force forming against Trump.

“People ask me, ‘What’s the possibility that the House will flip?’” Larsen said. “We shouldn’t be talking about possibilities. We should be talking about probabilities. Because the probability of the House flipping, as we stand here today, is pretty high.”

Larsen also talked about limiting gun violence, addressing homelessness in Whatcom County and the opioid epidemic.

He said the jail shouldn’t be seen as the No. 1 mental health facility, and that law enforcement needs to help addicts with options for treatment rather than simply incarcerate.

Protesters opposed to Larsen picketed the event outside the brewery.

District 2 Rep. Stonewall Jackson Bird, of the Green Party, is running against Larsen.

“He’s voted for every war funding bill that was ever presented,” Jackson said. “As a result, we’re spending more than half of the federal discretionary budget on bombing people across the world.”

Members of the group Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve also protested. They objected to the increased activity on the Whidbey Island Navy Base.

Larsen said he supports the men and women of the navy, but he understands the residents of Whidbey have complaints, such as noise generated by EA18G “Growler” aircrafts on the base.

“I’ve been trying, and will continue to try, to ensure that no matter what number of Growlers is on Whidbey Island, the Navy is doing more to address the noise issues,” Larsen said.

Whatcom resident Bob Burr said he still isn’t entirely convinced that Larsen is the best choice to be Whatcom County’s representative.
“I’ve always been a thorn in Rick’s side, but I’ve warmed up to him,” Burr said.
He still needs to hear from all of Larsen’s competition before he makes up his mind.

“If there was another democrat who had more progressive views, I would support them,” Burr said.


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