Views of 31st District Democrat prompt confusion, suspicion

Tacoma News TribuneMay 21, 2014 

A candidate for state Senate worries about dependency on the government and has called for impeaching President Barack Obama and prosecuting Hillary Clinton.

She is also a Democrat.

Or at least, that’s how Bonney Lake accountant Lynda Messner chose to be described on the Aug. 5 ballot to primary-election voters in east King and Pierce counties. The designation has other local Democrats confused and a Republican candidate, Enumclaw Rep. Cathy Dahlquist, suspicious of a scheme by incumbent Sen. Pam Roach.

Auburn Republican Roach says she didn’t sign Messner up for a run but acknowledged she knows someone who did and has thanked the unnamed person, whom she described as a labor Democrat.

Having a Democrat on the ballot could squeeze out either Dahlquist or Roach in the primary election. Messner’s entry also sets up a race between three people who have staked out conservative positions.

Messner -- the former Lynda Wheeler Dabson, mother of three daughters and a 2009 candidate for Bonney Lake City Council -- might actually be to the right of the two Republicans.

“We need to focus on the big fix and have Obama removed as ineligible to hold office because he is not a citizen,” she posted last year on a conservative website, one of several online comments Messner has made criticizing Obama, Clinton and other Democrats. “...We need to start DEMANDING proof, that can be certified that he is eligible to hold office. NO OBAMACARE, NO GUN CONTROL, NO DEALS WITH THE UN, NO IMMIGRATION REFORM, NO MORE EXECUTIVE ORDERS until Obama can prove he is eligible to hold office.”

Obama is a U.S. citizen who has produced his birth certificate. But Messner said in an interview that there are unanswered questions, such as whether the birth certificate is fraudulent. She’s critical of Obama taking executive action and of his health care law passed by Congress, which she says is a federal intrusion and a one-size-fits-all solution.

Closer to home, she calls for state government to fully fund public education without taxes, while limiting social-services spending, saying the government is “not here to babysit and take on new dependents.”

“I really think the progressive movement is moving us backward, not forward,” Messner said.

But Messner also said Republicans’ focus on social issues alienates mainstream voters and distracts from the important issues.

“I would have to put myself more on the Democratic side than the Republican side because I’m not in (favor) of a religious group being in charge and calling the shots, either,” Messner said.

Messner became the Democrats’ sole standard bearer after another candidate dropped out -- a candidate Roach had accused of being planted by her foes.

Mark Boswell, chairman of the 31st District Democrats, said the party had a couple of potential candidates waiting in the wings who stayed out after it was clear they would only further split Democrats’ votes in the conservative district.

Boswell said he plans to talk to Messner but said she appears to be a Republican.

“She doesn’t even sound like a well-informed Republican,” he said.

Dahlquist noted that Democrats accused Roach in 2001 of channeling support to a Green Party candidate to draw votes from her Democratic opponent for King County Council. She suspects similar campaign tactics here.

“I’ve never been the most moderate candidate in an election until now,” Dahlquist said.

Roach said she has never met Messner, although the configuration of the race works out in her favor.

“Everybody that was supporting me knew that it would be better to have one Democrat in the race,” Roach said.

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