Joe Pakootas vs. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

By Katie Dunn, Staff Writer

Joe PakootasIllustration by Lauren Campbell

Joe Pakootas, D, is running for the U.S. House of Representatives as the democratic representative of Eastern Washington’s 5th district. Susan Brudnicki, his campaign manager, said in an email, Pakootas is running for Congress to be the voice of middle class families who could benefit from an increase in federal minimum wage and equal pay for women.

Pakootas’ campaign website said he has been a small business owner for 30 years and is the current CEO of the Colville Confederated Tribes.

Campaign fliers provided by Brudnicki reported Pakootas’ focus on regional employment, education, health care, immigration reform and the environment.

Pakootas is trying to create jobs through initiatives to give work to the unemployed and incentives to corporations for U.S. relocation. Brudnicki said Pakootas believes the tax code needs to be restructured to make it a more even-playing field for Americans.

Pakootas’ website shows he plans to invest more money in education at every level and he supports the idea of student loan reform because college and university students should not graduate in debt.

According to Pakootas’ fliers, he will try to secure affordable healthcare for everyone, which includes reproductive services for women.

Brudnicki said Pakootas wants to vote on S. 744, the bipartisan vote the Senate passed July 27, 2013, on reforming the United States immigration system.

According to the Immigration Policy Center, S.744 would address border enforcement, helping nonimmigrant workers supplement the workforce and obtaining legal status to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

The Supreme Court of the United has on record that Pakootas was responsible for the Unilateral Administrative Order, issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, that forced the Canadian corporation Teck Cominco Metals to stop using the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt as a dumping ground for their heavy metals.

Brudnicki said Pakootas will continue to hold polluters accountable for their waste.


Cath McMorris RodgersIllustration by Lauren Campbell


Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R, is the current chair of the House Republican Conference and is running for re-election as the republican representative of Eastern Washington’s fifth district.

McMorris Rodgers’ campaign website said she spent her early years working on her family farm in Kettle Falls, Washington. She graduated from Pensacola Christian College, an independent Baptist liberal arts college in Pensacola, Florida, with a BA in Pre-law. She earned her Executive M.B.A in 2002 from the University of Washington

According to McMorris Rodgers’ campaign fliers, she is concerned about national debt, the economy, education, disabilities and U.S. energy.

Audrey Scagnelli, spokeswoman for McMorris Rogers, said in an email that McMorris Rodgers plans to deal with national debt, which is nearly at 18 trillion, by reducing government spending with a constitutional amendment which limits spending to 20 percent of the U.S. economy.

McMorris Rodgers’ website said she is continuing to push for another vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment. The amendment would not allow the federal government to run annual budget deficits or spend more than their income.

Scagnelli said McMorris Rodgers supports private sector jobs and wants to give small businesses owners the confidence to invest and expand.

Her website reports she has co-sponsored bills such as the Energy Tax Prevention Act and the “Path to Prosperity” budget to help reverse current economy trends. These bills have not been passed because the Senate has not voted on them.

In Congress, McMorris Rodgers has been working on increasing educational opportunities by removing employment disincentives and simplifying the tax code for individuals with disabilities.

Scagnelli said McMorris Rodgers wants to lower energy prices and reduce our dependence on foreign resources by investing more into American oil, gas, solar, wind and biofuel energy.