May 6, 2010
11:54 AMThe Wind Machine
The Hill's Husky
Yesterday, Representative David Obey (D) of Wisconsin announced he would not seek re-election. This has set the political world of Washington, D.C. into a spin, because it presents an opportunity for Republicans to possibly pick up a seat in that party’s quest for a majority in the next Congress and because Mr. Obey is currently the long-time chairman of the House’s Appropriations Committee.
The connection to the Pacific Northwest is the person waiting in the wings for the purple robe that will drape the shoulders of the gold dispensing next chairman of Appropriations: Norm Dicks.
Representative Dicks, hard working and highly respected, stands next in line in terms of seniority for the chairmanship of this powerful committee.
To gain the chairmanship of Appropriations in 2011, Mr. Dicks must first be reelected to Congress this fall (highly likely), the Democrats must hold the House (likely), and his fellow Democrats must vote for him to be chairman (more than likely).
Norm Dicks has had ties to our tree fruit industry since he played linebacker on the University of Washington’s football teams of the early 1960s with quarterback Bill Douglas of the Lower Yakima Valley’s Douglas Fruit Company. After law school, again at the University of Washington, he joined the Washington, D.C., staff of U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson. There he interacted on issues with Ernie Falk, my predecessor at the Northwest Horticultural Council.
In 1976 he ran for Congress and was elected from the 6th District, which embraces Tacoma and Bremerton as major cities. Over the years, Mr. Dicks has taken a state-wide view of his job and consistently helped with the political needs of our state’s agriculture. His office’s door has always been open to the tree fruit industry.
I hope that Norm Dicks will be allowed the purple and gold in the 112th Congress.