I’ve told this story to a number of people, and now that the primary’s over I can share it with everyone.
One sunny afternoon last May I was doorbelling on Capitol Hill, and knocked on the door of a house whose owner was hosting a charity fundraiser in her back yard. I was invited in, and spent about twenty minutes talking to the homeowner and her guests, enjoying tea and crumpets, and so on… until the homeowner asked my position on HB 2117, a bill that Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) introduced last session that would have prevented local governments from banning breeds of dogs. I started to answer by noting that our family pet is a pit bull mix, which we rescued after Moses Lake banned the breed and overwhelmed local animal shelters with a sudden influx of dogs—and the homeowner threw me out of the house before I could finish the sentence! It turned out that I’d knocked on the door of Ellen Taft, who has spent the past 20 years on a personal crusade against pit bulls, and who just might be the only voter in existence who would vote against a candidate solely because of the type of dog he owns.
By coincidence I happened to meet Rep. Appleton a few days later, and of course had to tell her the story of how one of the bills she introduced got me thrown out of a house. Also, and likely not by coincidence, Ellen Taft wrote a four-figure check to one of my opponents. The irony is that, had I been allowed to finish my answer, I’d have said the state government needs to delegate more decision-making authority to cities, and that HB 2117 seems like a step in the wrong direction in that regard—but I also would have said that breed bans are ineffective and wrong, so eventually I’d have been thrown out of the house regardless.