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Press Coverage

October 15th Article from the Faith and Freedom Network

I have seen it before, but not with an apology.

The Seattle Times editorial board is so far left, they can't do the right thing---and this time it's with an apology.

The Times editorial board admits that, "In this of all years, change is needed in government in all levels."

"But," they say, "the board is sticking with the incumbent Democratic Rep. Rick Larson," over Republican John Koster in the 2nd Congressional District.

"Koster," they say, "is a distinguished, fiscally prudent and responsible public servant, no question," and has run a very good campaign.

They continue, "His [Koster] experience in local government, as a state lawmaker and as a dairy farmer would certainly be a benefit in Congress."

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"Non-Endorsement" Article from the Seattle Times

In a close call, The Seattle Times editorial board endorses incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen for the 2nd Congressional District.

IN this of all years, change is needed in government at all levels. But in the 2nd Congressional District, in a tough call, The Seattle Times editorial board is sticking with incumbent Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen as he seeks a sixth term.

His challenger, Snohomish County Councilman John Koster, is a distinguished, fiscally prudent and responsible public servant, no question. His experience in local government, as a state lawmaker and as a dairy farmer would certainly be a benefit in Congress.

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Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010

Everett Herald endorsement / 2nd Congressional District 

Send capable Koster to D.C.

In a decade as the 2nd District's congressional representative, Rick Larsen has kept a relatively low profile. The cerebral Democrat has focused appropriately on key local issues, including anything involving the Navy or Boeing, and helping to connect small exporters with potential customers.

His position on the Armed Services Committee has been helpful to Snohomish and Island counties, and he scored a victory, along with Sen. Patty Murray, with the designation of the Wild Sky Wilderness.

Still, after five terms in the House, Larsen lacks the get-it-done reputation of other members who have assumed greater leadership roles, or who have had a major impact on the nation's legislative agenda. We're left thinking that the 2nd Congressional District can do better.

This year, Republican John Koster represents a highly capable alternative. He has earned our endorsement for his varied experience, in business and government, and a get-it-done attitude that seems well suited to the economic challenges the nation faces. 

Read more...

From Adam Radman on Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:22 AM

The Rick Larsen Campaign recently launched a new line of attack on John Koster by attempting to mislead voters about the actual meaning of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The goal of the Pledge is to protect taxpayers and businesses from taxes increases. The Larsen campaign's charges follow the patently false claims made by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) earlier in the year – claims that the non-partisan FactCheck.org agrees are "blatantly false."

Read more: http://www.atr.org/rick-larsen-campaign-caught-telling-lies-a5383

FROM THE SEATTLE TIMES: Posted by Bruce Ramsey

In commenting about the Tea Party movement, Rep. Rick Larsen told the Seattle Times Editorial Board Aug. 2 that he had been to one of their demonstrations and that they were well-meaning people. “I don’t question their integrity,” he said, “but I question where they want to take things.” In other words, he had a policy disagreement with them. Which is fine.

On Aug 3, the Republicans pointed out a video at the campaign site www.ricklarsen.org smearing Larsen's Republican opponent, John Koster, for praising the Tea Party. This video includes shots of signs that make the Tea Party folk look like racists and weirdos, such as Obama-as-Hitler signs.

I’ve only been to two Tea Party demos, one of them a Rick Larsen town hall at a baseball stadium in Everett last year—an event about the health-insurance bill—and the other April 15 this year in downtown Bellevue. In both cases the only Obama-as-Hitler signs were by the LaRouchies, who are not Tea Party people. They are gate-crashers. I didn’t see any racist signs among the Tea Party people, but I know there have been some tasteless ones, to say the least, at other demos. The progressives have made much hay from these signs, trying to brand the whole movement with them. And that is what Larsen’s people are doing here.

And so—a reasonable, respectful candidate in person and a nasty, unfair attack ad on the same candidate’s Internet page. This is politics today.

Brian Walsh
2010 Race of the Day: Seeing Red in Rainy Northwest
At first glance, Washington’s Second Congressional District might seem like an unlikely target for Republicans. After all, the Pacific Northwest is not often considered friendly territory and incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen has cruised to re-election the last several cycles. Though Larsen has held this seat for ten years, the Second District is actually a classic swing district that nearly went Republican in the 2004 presidential election. And don’t forget that Washington saw one of the most drastic swings in the country during the 1994 Republican wave, when voters ousted Democrat House Speaker Tom Foley.

Republican Congressman Jack Metcalf held the Second District seat for three terms before retiring in 2000, when Larsen won an extremely competitive open seat race over Republican State Representative and dairy farmer John Koster. Now, after winning a seat on the Snohomish County Council, Koster is back and running a remarkably strong campaign against a Democrat who hasn’t had to defend his record to voters in several years.

Unlike the former lobbyist Larsen, Koster has real-world experience running a business. He grew up working on his family’s dairy farm in northern Snohomish County and eventually took it over himself, owning and operating the business for 23 years. Koster expresses a firm belief in the American Dream and has carried an appreciation for hard work with him throughout his career.

Koster pivoted from the dairy farm business into politics when he ran and served for three terms in the Washington State House of Representatives.  He earned a reputation as a fiscal watchdog and founded the Conservative Caucus, a group of legislators dedicated to growing the economy through lowering taxes and cutting spending. After his time in the State House, Koster returned to public service with his election to the Snohomish County Council, which he chaired in 2004. Koster is currently the only Republican holding a seat on the Council.

Larsen cut a moderate profile during his first campaign in 2000, attempting to walk down the middle of the road in this politically diverse district. Since then, however, he has embraced the Democrats’ agenda in Washington, D.C., consistently supporting bailouts, government takeovers, tax hikes, and spending sprees. While Larsen often acts like an entrenched incumbent who need not fear the political consequences of his actions, his “politicians-know-best” attitude has gone a long way toward alienating independent voters who have previously backed him. By unapologetically supporting Nancy Pelosi’s agenda nearly 99 percent of the time, Larsen has effectively worn out his welcome in Northwest Washington.

Thanks to Washington’s unique primary election system, Koster has already beaten Larsen once. Koster took 49 percent to Larsen’s 46 percent in the 2000 all-party primary before Larsen edged Koster out 50-46 in the general election. Early signals show that Koster holds the early momentum. Polls show Koster within striking distance, and his impressive fundraising efforts have earned him a spot as a ‘Contender,’ the second level of the NRCC’s three-tiered Young Guns candidate recruitment and development program.

The Second District is cut from the northwest corner of Washington, with the vast majority of its area made up by Snohomish County north of Seattle, the agriculture-heavy Skagit County to the north of that, and Whatcom County along the Canadian border. Aside from agriculture, the district also contains several military installations and a major Boeing manufacturing plant. The Cook Partisan Voting Index rates the district as a marginal D +3.

Without a doubt, John Koster is a strong Republican candidate who can turn the Second District red once again and restore fiscal sanity to Congress. Be sure to check out his website at www.kosterforcongress.com, follow him on Facebook, and help John send Rick Larsen back to his career as a lobbyist on Election Day.

Larsen, Koster in race for election cash

Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen is doing pretty well raising money for what he expects will be a grueling fight for re-election.

So, too, is John Koster, the Republican who poses the greatest challenge to the five-term incumbent this fall.

Larsen raked in $319,288, while Koster collected $210,118 in the three-month period ending June 30, according to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

Larsen does enjoy a sizable advantage on Koster in the amount of cash in their campaign accounts at this stage.

The Everett resident has hauled in just over $1 million in this election cycle and had $833,672 on hand at the end of the reporting period, according to his campaign staff. Koster had $211,000 available, federal records show.

Trailing by such a large sum isn’t disappointing, Koster’s campaign manager said.

“I think at this stage we’re one of the top challenger races ever conducted in the 2nd Congressional District,” Larry Stickney said. “We’re a going concern.”

And one fed by donations from individuals not special interest political action committees, he stressed.

Stickney cited federal statistics posted earlier this week showing two-thirds of Larsen’s contributions come from PACs while 96 percent of donors to Koster are individuals.

Koster did receive $5,000 from the PAC led by his best known endorser, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Larsen and Koster are two of five people vying for the seat representing an area that stretches from Everett to the Canadian border and includes all of Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

Bellingham’s Larry Kalb, a leading voice among progressive Democrats, reported $2,338 on hand at the end of the reporting period. Democrat Diana McGinness and Republican John Carmack, both from Bellingham, received no contributions, according to the federal reports.

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican Clint Didier, an Eltopia farmer and former professional football player, reported $220,000 in contributions in the second-quarter including a $5,000 check from Palin’s PAC.

Didier’s fundraising total this election is now roughly $570,000, though after deducting what he’s spent, he had only $103,000 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period.

“I am so humbled and proud that so many people are sending me their hard-earned money,” Didier said in a news release. “We’re seeing $5 and $10 donations from people who say they wish they could send more.”

Didier is far behind Republican Dino Rossi and the incumbent, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in the race for money

Rossi, the Sammamish businessman who entered the race in late May, hauled in $1.4 million by June 30 and didn’t spend much in that first month. Murray, of Whidbey Island, received $1.6 million in contributions and ended the latest reporting period with $6.8 million on hand.

Republican Paul Akers, a Bellingham businessman who is mostly self-financing his long-shot campaign, took in $20,688 and ended with $13,020 this period, according to his campaign.

Overall, he’s poured nearly $240,000 of his own money into the effort and spent a large chunk on a series of television commercials which ran in the spring.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep Jay Inslee, D-Wash., is awash in campaign funds as he faces the challenge of two Republicans and an independent.

Inslee reported $208,217 in contributions and ended the period with $1.32 million on hand, an amount that dwarfs his foes.

Republican James Watkins of Kirkland collected $63,000 to push his total for the election to $210,000, his campaign reported. He had $64,000 on hand as of June 30.

Republican Matthew Burke of Redmond and Independent David Schirle of Lynnwood did not have information posted online by 6 p.m. Thursday.

Reporter Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



The fleeting Twitter mention of his opponent was enough for Larsen to immediately fire off a bring-on-Sarah-Palin press release:

In order to help her national ambitions, Palin has asked her most radical supporters to "target" Democrats across America. She even uses crosshairs in her literature, upping the rhetoric and literally taking aim.

"She can target me and put Northwest Washington in her crosshairs, but it won't stop me from fighting for what I believe is right," Larsen said.

He would've been better off sticking to issues or at least stopping there. But Larsen added that the endorsement would mean Koster was "opening his campaign war chest to a potential landslide of out-of-state contributions." That left him wide open for Koster's return fire:

Larsen did not mention that 65% of his campaign war chest ($736,671 as of March 31) has come from political action committees (including $1000 from BP), nearly all of whom list addresses from out of state. In comparison, Koster raised $168,717 (as of March 31) with 97% coming from individual donors from Washington State.

"It appears to me that Rick Larsen is suffering from a case of Washington D.C. beltway hypocrisy and arrogance," said Larry Stickney, Koster's campaign manager.

Larsen's stumble ended up giving more credibility to Palin's endorsement than warranted. It also feeds what Clint Didier said about his Palindorsement: "People want someone to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and take on Washington, D.C. - a citizen statesman, not a polished politician - just like Sarah and the grassroots are doing."

What does this say about politics and Democrats when they're losing ground to someone who yesterday tweeted: "Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man's efforts have been futile." God bless us all.

Here's yet another sign that the current political environment is helping Republicans with their recruitment efforts: One of the GOP's leading House recruits from the 2000 election is making a comeback.

Snohomish County Councilman John Koster, one of the few Republicans to ever seriously challenge Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), announced that he's running against Larsen again this year.

"Rick Larsen offers Washingtonians a failed socialist ideology that punishes prosperity and produces mediocrity. It has failed millions of people every time it has been tried - government cannot spend us into prosperity," Koster said in a statement.

Click here to read more @ Politico.com

Republican Snohomish County Councilman John Koster announced today that he will challenge U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Everett, for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Koster, who ran for the same seat unsuccessfully in 2000, served three terms in the state House and has served on the Snohomish County Council since 2001.

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Koster attacked Larsen’s “socialist agenda” and labeled the five-term congressman a “puppet of the Peolsi-Reid Congress.”

Click here to read more.

I am very pleased to report that Snohomish County Councilman John Koster is running for U.S. Congress in Washington's Second Congressional District against current representative Rick Larsen.

Koster's a conservative's conservative. He lost to Larsen in 2000 by a thin margin -- the only time he's ever lost a general election -- but this time, combining Larsen's many missteps with John's record and the voter mood, if Koster can get his message out, he will win.

Click here to read more.

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I'll continue to stand against the over-reaching, micro-managing arm of government.

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Contact the Koster Campaign

info@KosterforCongress.com
Phone: 360-631-6055

Paid for by Koster for Congress 2012.