Aug 08, 2012

Memo: John Koster: Too Extreme for Washington

TO:                 Interested Parties
FROM:           DCCC Communications
DATE:           Wednesday, August 8, 2012
RE:                 John Koster: Too Extreme for Washington

After voters rejected him in 2010 for being too extreme, Tea Party candidate John Koster is now trying to hide his extreme views from Washington state voters but Koster can’t hide that he is a career politician with an extreme agenda that would hurt middle class families and seniors.

John Koster Is Too Extreme. John Koster is still the same extreme candidate who voters rejected in 2000 and 2010.  Koster opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest, and would abolish the Department of Education, a position other Republicans have called “extreme.” Koster has worked against the LGBT community his entire career and the Seattle Times once wrote that Koster has a record of “divisiveness and fear-mongering.”

Koster Opposes Abortion in Every Instance. In April 2012, the Seattle Times noted that Koster received a $2,500 contribution from the Republican National Coalition for Life and that he “opposes abortions under any circumstances, including incest and rape.” [Seattle Times, 4/23/12]

Seattle Times Noted Koster’s Record of “Divisiveness and Fear Mongering.” In 2000, Seattle Times did not endorse Koster for the 2nd Congressional District saying that he “had a proven track record of divisiveness and fear-mongering” and focused too much on the narrow interests of his social conservative caucus. [Seattle Times, 10/29/00]

Koster Wants to Abolish the Department of Education. In 2010 at a Snohomish County Liberty Action Committee event, Koster said “you oughtta abolish the Department of Education.” [Snohomish County Liberty Action Committee, 6/24/10]

Koster Said “Homosexuality is a Sin” and Consistently Worked Against the LGBT Community Throughout His Career. In 2000, the Seattle Times wrote that Koster “tries to turn his disgust for homosexuality and abortion into law.” Again, in a 2008 interview with World Ministries International, Koster said the “homosexual agenda” keeps pushing but “homosexuality is sin.” [Seattle Times, 10/29/00; Worldwide Ministries International, uploaded 1/31/08]

John Koster Is Wrong for the Middle Class. In these tough economic times, John Koster would gamble seniors’ hard-earned retirement benefits on Wall Street. In addition, Koster’s tax plan would create a 23% spending tax on all American families – from gas to groceries, rent to medicine to doctor’s visits.

Koster Supports Both a Fair Tax and a Flat Tax.  In 2010, at an Everett Tea Party event, Koster said, “you oughtta take this tax code, scrap it, and do something like a fair tax or flat tax, so people know what they are going to pay,” said Koster. [Everett Tea Party, 4/19/10]

Koster Supports Privatizing Social Security. Koster said he thinks of Social Security, “Individual retirement accounts will work. I advocated for those 10 years ago.” [Seattle Times, 10/13/10; Cato Institute Survey, 2000]

Koster Was Criticized for His Comments on Reducing the Federal Budget While Supporting Bush Tax Cuts.  In 2010, the Bellingham Herald criticized Koster’s stance on tax cuts and reducing the federal budget. “Koster also said he believes having a balanced federal budget is a must, which makes sense. But he then went on to talk about tax breaks he would like to see passed in order to stimulate the economy. He also would reauthorize the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003.  How would Koster balance a severely out-of-balance budget while keeping lower tax rates and adding new breaks?”  [Editorial, Bellingham Herald, 10/09/10]

Koster Is a Career Politician.  While serving on the Snohomish County Council, John Koster rails against government spending but has accepted and voted for increases to his own salary and for higher taxes.  He also has a disturbing history of being in the pocket of special interests; Koster took money from developers and their PACs while pushing for rules and bills that promoted their interests. 

Koster Received Contributions From Pro-Development Groups While Supporting Their Agenda. In 2005, the Seattle Times wrote that “In Northern District 1, Republican incumbent John Koster’s pro-development views have attracted campaign contributions in excess of $225,000.” [Seattle Times, 10/26/05]

Koster Voted to Increase His Own Pay and Took over $25,000 in Pay Raises. In 2001, Koster was elected to the Snohomish County Council. From 2002-2009, he accepted a pay increase each year and even voted to increase his own pay. Since 2001, Koster’s salary has increased in the County Council by $26,621 or 35 percent. [Bellingham Herald, 7/13/10; Snohomish County Council Citizens’ Commission Salary History 2002-2012, accessed 8/14/12, Snohomish County Assignment Audit Report, 2005-2012; Daily Herald, 10/25/05; Snohomish County Citizens’ Commission of Salaries of Elected Officials Ordinances, Various dates]


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