Stevens all right for her causes

  • By Jerry Cornfield / Herald Columnist
  • Saturday, July 3, 2004 9:00pm
  • Local News

State Sen. Val Stevens is a “right wing radical fanatic.”

She said it. I swear on the Declaration of Independence.

On a farm in Marysville, at a fundraiser for a fellow Republican, Stevens recounted winning her first election to the House of Representatives in 1992 in the old 39th District.

Her seatmate was “liberal socialist” Hans Dunshee of Snohomish. He’s actually a Democrat.

“I’m not calling anyone names,” she said. “He wears that liberal socialist label very well. I’m proud of my right-wing radical fanatic position as well.”

I joined in a group grin at her self-deprecating revelation and self-evident truth.

This is not news for even the most casual observer of the political scenery. Stevens is a true believer who’s made piety a policy.

Most lawmakers promote the profound importance of the “Three Es” – economy, education and environment; Stevens pursues the prodigious power of the “Three Gs” – guns, gays and God.

Democrats deride her demagoguery. Republicans, well, they like her votes. Otherwise, they’re so silent you can hear their eyes roll.

Stevens delivered gun owners a long-sought victory this year. For the first time, Washington is recognizing concealed weapons licenses issued by those states with regulatory guidelines that mirror ours.

Her biggest fight brewing is against those wanting to legalize gay marriage. In 1998, state lawmakers passed the Defense of Marriage Act and overrode a Gov. Gary Locke veto to make it law.

It’s under attack in King and Thurston counties, and same-sex couples married in Oregon are suing to overturn state law and win legal recognition of their unions. Stevens is riding shotgun in a minivan of interveners to both suits.

On June 14, she solicited state representatives to hop in the van, warning that Attorney General Christine Gregoire might not put forth a “full and forceful defense” when the cases are heard this fall.

Gregoire, who is running for governor, had told legislators she won’t make the moral and religious arguments cast about when lawmakers passed the Defense of Marriage Act. Gregoire said she would not be offended if they entered the fray. Stevens took her up on the offer.

“We want to make certain it is protected,” she told me. “Marriage should not be between two brothers, it should not be between cousins, it should not be between a brother and a sister. There are reasons that we do not allow a brother and sister to procreate. How are we going to prevent that from happening?”

Stevens’ soldiering extends beyond the courtroom. She is helping mobilize voices and bodies statewide against gay marriage and engage them in the national campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit same-sex unions.

I’m sure the insurgents who signed the declaration 226 years ago today never envisioned such discourse on marriage. But in crafting rules for our republic they plowed the field for raucous debate and paved the way for proud right-wing radical fanatics such as Stevens.

Birthday cake anyone?

Reporter Jerry Cornfield’s column on politics runs every Sunday. He can be heard at 7 a.m. Monday on the Morning Show on KSER 90.7 FM. He can be reached at 360-352-8623 or jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

People look out onto Mountain Loop Mine from the second floor hallway of Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mining company ordered to stop work next to school south of Everett

After operating months without the right paperwork, OMA Construction applied for permits last week. The county found it still violates code.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Arlington woman arrested in 2005 case of killed baby in Arizona airport

Annie Sue Anderson, 51, has been held in the Snohomish County Jail since December. She’s facing extradition.

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Everett
Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

The Nimbus Apartments are pictured on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County has the highest rent in the state. Could this bill help?

In one year, rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in Snohomish County went up 20%. A bill seeks to cap any increases at 7%.

A Snohomish County no trespassing sign hangs on a fence surrounding the Days Inn on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Meth cleanup at Edmonds motel-shelter made matters worse, report says

Contamination has persisted at two motels Snohomish County bought to turn into shelters in 2022. In January, the county cut ties with two cleanup agencies.

A child gets some assistance dancing during Narrow Tarot’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Lucky Dime in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Drive-By Truckers, Allen Stone headline 2024 Fisherman’s Village lineup

Big names and local legends alike are coming to downtown Everett for the music festival from May 16 to 18.

Sen. Patty Murray attends a meeting at the Everett Fire Department’s Station 1 on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Sen. Murray seeks aid for Snohomish County’s fentanyl, child care crises

The U.S. senator visited Everett to talk with local leaders on Thursday, making stops at the YMCA and a roundtable with the mayor.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Brenda Mann Harrison
Taking care of local news is best done together

The Herald’s journalism development director offers parting thoughts.

Lake Serene in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)
How will climate change affect you? New tool gives an educated guess

The Climate Vulnerability Tool outlines climate hazards in Snohomish County — and it may help direct resources.

Ken Florczak, president of the five-member board at Sherwood Village Mobile Home community on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How Mill Creek mobile home residents bought the land under their feet

At Sherwood Village, residents are now homeowners. They pay a bit more each month to keep developers from buying their property.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.