U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner joined Eastside Representative Dave Reichert for a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Bellevue Hyatt last night. Supporters of Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene stationed themselves in the heat outside, shouting campaign slogans at passing cars.
But both got a little competition from a hot dog-brandishing longshot.Tim Dillon, an environmentalist, populist Republican taking on Reichert in the primary held his own $1-a-plate picnic fundraiser in a nearby Bellevue park. It was a three-way battle for support on the Eastside. Here's who landed the best punches:
* Her campaign supporters, by far the loudest contingent, kept shouting "all tan, no plan," a dig at Reichert's money-seeking companion John Boehner's perpetually bronzed complexion.
* So what's Del Bene's plan? The 30 or so people gathered outside the Hyatt chanted: "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!" It's pretty hard to give passing cars any specifics.
* Reichert's supporters mingled in a conference room while waiting for the man himself to show up. Campaign manager Jeff Harvey emerged, still holding a glass of red wine, to offer with a quick (and similarly nonspecific) rebuttal to the Democrats outside: "Del Bene is in lockstep with the Pelosi/Reid agenda," Harvey said. "[Reichert] is for cutting taxes that hurt small businesses."
* Dillon went after Reichert for holding such a pricey fundraiser. "The only access you have to these people is a $1,000-a-plate dinner? That's insane!" But the more convincing reason to support him was what he said next:
* "Did you get a hot dog? Some coleslaw? There's a lot of drinks."
The November general election will almost certainly be a contest between Reichert and DelBene. But Dillon was the clear and convincing winner last night. Who wouldn't trade their vote for a little barbecue and cupcakes?