Sound Sound voters have a clear choice between candidates for the newly created 10th Congressional District, and should have no trouble selecting Denny Heck.
Heck best represents the moderate-to-progressive views of Thurston County voters, advocating for a balanced approach of cuts and revenue increases to the budget and focusing on housing and job creation as the keys to economic recovery.
Muri fits the stereotypical right-wing Republican mold, often reciting GOP talking points, denying climate change, opposing same-sex marriage and favoring a no-abortion law except if the mother’s life is endangered.
Muri has already signed Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge not to vote for any legislation that increases taxes without being matched dollar-for-dollar by spending cuts.
The sharp difference between candidates extends to their experience in both the public and private sectors.
Voters elected Heck to four terms in the state House of Representatives. He served as the House majority leader and later as the chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner. He made two failed attempts at higher office, one for the superintendent of public instruction and most recently for a Congressional seat in the old District 3.
Heck has been successful in business, investing early in Real Networks and starting his own businesses, including a multi-state business training company that employs 300 people and co-founding TVW, Washington’s answer to C-SPAN.
Muri is a 22-year Air Force veteran who serves on the Pierce County Council. He made a failed attempt for Congress two years ago, running against popular Rep. Adam Smith in the old 9th District. He has no private-sector experience.
Heck’s broad experience has inspired an evenhanded and comprehensive campaign platform that is far superior to Muri’s.
Heck believes America should invest in infrastructure and education, adopt immigration reform that offers a pathway to citizenship, balance regulations between consumer safety and free enterprise, and recognize that housing will lead us to economic recovery.
Muri, on the other hand, recites standard GOP party positions. He likes the Ryan budget, favors keeping the Bush-era tax cuts, ending farm subsidies and says the federal government should concern itself primarily with transportation and defense.
Muri would abandon national education policy, including a near-elimination of the Department of Education.
On social issues, Muri wants marriage to remain between a man and a woman, and says he doesn’t know a single person voting to approve R-74, despite statewide polls showing a clear majority favoring the ballot measure.
Muri is simply too far right on social and economic issues to appeal to a majority of Sound Sound voters.
Heck’s moderate, bipartisan approach could help fix a Congress that has focused on denying President Barack Obama a second term, and has abandoned any will to solve problems.
Heck opposes the voucherizing of Medicare or Social Security, and supports the Affordable Care Act, which he says extends the solvency of Medicare by eight years. He admits there is waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare system that must be eliminated, but points to a recent study that found those same problems are driving 30 percent of all health care costs.
On immigration, Heck again takes a moderate view. He supports efforts to improve employment verification along with a clear path for undocumented people to attain residency and citizenship. He says undertaking employment verification by itself would wreck U.S. industries, such as agriculture.
Asked where he differs from his national party’s platform, Heck says he favors a less drastic restructuring of the estate tax and, although he supported going into Afghanistan, he would have brought the troops home sooner.
On every account, Heck offers voters a more thoughtful, independent choice than his opponent.
Heck is the best representative of the voice Sound Sounders want in the other Washington.