GOP should ignore the Democrats Goldilocks game-playing and move ahead on meaningful tax reform

I know one of the big criticisms of the tax reform bill is that the GOP moved it too fast and without enough input from the left. Then again, when doesn’t the left criticize what the GOP is doing?

As with any major policy overhaul, there are hairs to split if we choose to do so. But sometimes moving quickly to bring relief to a nation of overburdened taxpayers is more apropos than sitting quietly together and fretting over whose feelings are going to be hurt because they weren’t consulted early enough, long enough or just plain enough.

Two facts jump out at me as the tax reform debate rages. The first being that our tax code needs an update yesterday. The major reforms put in place by President Reagan were well suited to that time and economy…over thirty years ago. So yes, it is time for some codified tax reform and yes, the Republicans are in charge while it happens.

The other fact is big-D Democratic policies are bad for business. Any economic philosophy that champions government participation and depends on the government as a competent and key player is bound to fail, usually to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars. A conservative approach is by definition pro-growth and pro-people. As a business owner (a few times over) and entrepreneur, I know firsthand what it takes to run a business well. I can tell you that spending what amounts to weeks of time and tens of thousands of dollars to comply with a tax code written a decade before cell phones were even a thing (they came into widespread use in 1996, for you younger readers) is not any business owner’s idea of best practices. The tax code needs to be simpler. Taxes on small businesses need to be lower. The current tax code doesn’t account for either of those so guess what? Time for some tax reform.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are the bedrock of the American economy. If we want to keep America great domestically and as an international economic powerhouse, we need to make changes that pave the way for this to happen. I’m not saying government needs to make a way, I’m saying government needs to get out of its own way. The GOP tax reform plan will loosen the vise grip our tax code has on the throats of American businesses. More room to breathe in business means more hiring, more investment in our businesses, more goods and services produced to the benefit of all. Yes, even to the benefit of a government that will still be collecting taxes from these thriving, expanding businesses and their employees.

Conservative values result in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Conservative values are driving this tax reform and conservative values will win the day when Congress votes on its final passage and sends the bill to the president. Representatives Reichert, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers deserve credit for supporting this package, and I hope they’ll stay on board as the final package emerges in the next few days.  Conservative values don’t depend on the approval, applause or even the participation of the left.

Roy Moore co-authored a course that taught women should not run for office

In 2011, Alabama candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore co-authored a study course that takes a very dim view on women’s suffrage and civic involvement, including teaching that women should not run for public office, according to a new report at the very, very left-wing blog Think Progress.

Think Progress unearthed the course pack and published a detailed story documenting some of the contents and Moore’s co-authorship. (For example, there is a photo of then-Chief Justice Moore on the course packaging under the heading of “Featured Speakers.”)

Think Progress went to the trouble of spending $50 to purchase, read, listen to and view the course materials. (If you have cash to burn, it’s here on Amazon and  some of the customer reviews are really illuminating and priceless.) Spoiler: We’re not going to do that. However, we’re willing to put some trust in their factual citations. From the article:

The course, called “Law and Government: An Introductory Study Course,” includes 28 hours of audio and visual lectures given by Moore and others, as well as a study guide. …

The curriculum was a product of Vision Forum, a now-defunct Texas-based evangelical organization headed by Doug Phillips, which taught “Biblical patriarchy”, a theology that prescribes strict, unequal gender roles for men and women. …

One lecture in the Vision Forum study course on which Moore worked is given by William O. Einwechter, a teaching elder at Immanuel Free Reformed Church. The lecture is titled “What the Bible Says About Female Magistrates.” The lesson argues that the Bible forbids women from holding elected office.

An unidentified man introduces Einwechter’s lesson and criticizes the women’s suffrage movement.

“By and large, the issue of the female magistrate ruling in authority in America would not have been anywhere near as controversial,” the man says. “The controversy was beginning to brew with the women’s suffrage movement.” …

The man references the Biblical passage Isaiah 3 as justification for this claim.

For those not up-to-speed on biblical references, Isaiah 3 is a message presaging judgment on Jerusalem and Judah for a series of offenses against God. Much of the chapter is a description of what punishment is coming; the other rest is a statement of God’s case of the crimes committed. Without having access to the course materials, it’s hard to know exactly which portion of Isaiah 3 the course cites as proof that God does not women to serve in public office. But a good guess might be Isaiah 3:12, this version from the NIV Bible: (emphasis added)

Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.

My people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path.

There are also references further in about the women of Zion being “haughty” and “strutting along with swaying hips,” but it’s more probable that an ultra-fundamentalist interpretation of the preceding section that Moore’s co-author uses as justification for teaching that women must not serve and voters must not vote for those who make the effort to run for office. To put it mildly, most Christian leaders and adherents will find this interpretation awkward and off-base in a theological sense, and untenable in secular terms.

While it’s not Moore addressing the matter of women in elected office – he’s only a co-author prominently displayed on the package, and we actually don’t know what his speaking topics were about – Moore is unabashed and unapologetic about his fundamentalist views. This looks like a case of either comfortable association on Moore’s part, or a failure to judge said associations carefully. We think the smart bet is on the former scenario and hope that reporters on the ground in Alabama can get some answers.

If journalists do get to pose the question to Moore, it might be tough for him to pivot into the patter of a modern politician on the run from sex allegations – “I am an ardent supporter of women in the government” – because there’s no evidence that the embattled Alabaman has ever even endorsed a woman for public office.

Most public polling on the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate has Moore holding a narrow lead. Election Day is December 12.

[Image: AP]

We’re sorry for spamming the internet like a bad, bad Russian bot.

The Northwest Daily Marker was touched inappropriately by tech earlier this evening and a tantrum ensued. We believe it’s over now and we offer sincere apologies for flooding timelines and/or demolishing the inboxes of those who subscribe to email notifications of new posts.

Many apologies for the flood of fake content that hit Twitter, Facebook, email inboxes, and may have marauded Tumblr, too.

Column | A coalition of “Even If” defenders of Roy Moore will sacrifice everything to gain nothing

Would you sacrifice your own daughter to achieve a greater good?

The wolves are circling around Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was among the earliest Republicans inside the Beltway to call for the candidate to step aside after on-the-record accusation were published by the Washington Post that Moore engaged in inappropriate relationships with very young girls when he was in his 30s. The most serious accusation is from Alabaman Leigh Corman who said she was 14 and Moore was 32 when he pursued having a relationship with her and eventually initiated sexual contact.

A former law firm colleagues of Moore from the time of the accusations has said that it was “common knowledge” that Moore dated teenagers.

On Monday, Gloria Allred – the Babe Ruth of sexual harassment litigation – stood by her client, a fifth accuser who said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16.

Since last Thursday when the story broke, the list of Republicans calling for Moore to step aside has steadily grown. New allegations are likely to accelerate that trend, but Moore has shown no indications that he will yield.

Despite the swelling pressure to lance Moore from the body politic, the lightning rod former Alabama chief justice has plenty of defenders.

There are those who question the timing or veracity of the stories, or dismiss them as outright fabrications by a conspiring media.

There are those who believe that no decision about Moore should be made until he’s given “due process.” (National Review senior writer David French has excellent thoughts on why this is wrong and why the differences between legal judgment and societal judgment are significant and important.)

And, of course, there are also the motley crew of miscreants who a) offer warped and illogical interpretations of Christian teachings in a way that tolerates or normalizes sex with children, or b) bizarrely argue that any victim who keeps their abuse secret is actually an accomplice to the crime and thus victimizing the assailant. (Take a moment to regroup if your mind is spinning. And, yes, this last thing really happened.)

But there is one faction of the Moore defense that will push a simple and seductive line of reasoning. Let’s label them the “Even If” Coalition, and call them out for the simple, seductive, and poisonous logic they’re peddling.

The pitch starts with a seemingly pragmatic existential imperative: “Even if Moore did these things – which may be horrible – we have to stop Democrats from taking over. Vote Moore. Save America.”

It’s a powerful appeal because it’s founded a real fear. The stakes are very high. Every flipped seat in Congress is one step closer to a Democratic majority, one that will more likely organize around an even more socialist set of unifying principles than the last time they held the government.

There’s one big problem, and conservatives need to face it honestly. The surge of pressure to vote for Moore states the explicit danger without spelling out the implicit transaction; for those who are in the “Even If” camp, there’s a hidden sacrifice of humanity proposed that is more than just disturbing.

The “Even Ifs” may not fully recognize that the transactional rallying cry of ‘Vote Moore, Save America’ is only part of the bargain they’re offering. The very insertion of “even if” implies some amount of doubt as to whether the allegations are false, as Moore asserts. This is why conservatives need to continue their criticism of the “even if” rationalizers. If the accusations might be true, doesn’t that logically mean that the lost innocence of four girls is being viewed as an acceptable sacrifice?

But If one of the girls accusing Moore was your daughter, sister, niece, or granddaughter, would you be comfortable exchanging her sanity for a seat in Congress? I suspect that most of those making this argument would not be, but that they haven’t considered a hidden spiritual cost of their political calculus. Is electing Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate worth that cost? Or, more probably, is it worth going to the end of the line for a candidate who is more likely to lose, and in doing so foreclose on other options to hold the seat?

To make matters worse, Moore’s recalcitrance is keeping this ugly rationale alive among some opinion leaders and rank-and-file on the right.

Debate over whether he should leave and if he stays in the race whether he should be supported keeps the “even if” argument active, and Moore’s run to high ground – direct appeals to evangelical voters that not opposing pro-abortion Democrat Doug Jones means the end of Alabama and the Union, in that order – adds cacophony to a much-needed character and morality debate within the broader conservative movement.

“Even If” Republicans who do choose to support Moore might claim to be holding their nose. They may envision self-soothing scenarios in which Moore would never actually serve and the party could appoint a worthy successor. Still, there’s no way to get completely bury the act of supporting a candidate while accepting that he might be guilty of a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old. The further darkening of the soul of our body politic will have been abetted and publicly so.

If the whole problem of a spiritual void still doesn’t concern “Even Ifs,” the downstream political effect should. Swing voters in suburban purple districts may decide to punish this kind of moral ambiguity by sending a message and destroying Republican candidates in the 2018 midterms, just as they appear to have done to send an anti-Trump message in the November election just past.

Fear of Democrats regaining control is valid and real, to be sure. They have become a party that appeals to extremes, too often sits by when freedoms are being suppressed, and seeks more power over our day-to-day choices. If Moore wins, however, the world doesn’t look any safer for Republicans as our would-be protectors. Having Moore in the Senate makes the task of holding the body harder, not easier.

If we have to pick our poison, we’d be smart to sip the toxin that may wound us, but avoid the cup that will surely kill us slowly from within.

[Image: AP]

Recipe: Spam, Peppers and Onions

We love a homemade batch of Italian sausage and peppers – the culinary marriage of the sweet and salty is pure comfort food. We also love Hawaiian plate lunches that blend a different palate of flavors into a similar balancing act. It seemed worth our time to tinker with a way to merge the best of both into one dish.

This also makes a great change-up in your revolving menu of sliders for parties. Set a basket of your favorite Hawaiian rolls beside a chafing dish or crockpot and let your guests do the rest.

For a surprisingly good (but totally non-canonical) kick, add chopped roasted jalapenos with the onions and bell peppers.

As with most plate lunch-variety fare, a Hawaiian mac salad is an excellent compliment to this very satisfying bite.

Hawaiian Spam, Peppers, and Onions

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cans Spam, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch thick and 1/2-inch wide strips

1 green bell pepper, quartered and sliced

1 orange bell pepper, quartered and sliced

2 medium sweet yellow onions, cut in half and sliced

1 teaspoon sea salt (if available, try using a guava-infused pink salt and seasoning blend)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup Hawaiian teriyaki sauce (see recipe below or use a store-bought variety)

Cooked white rice

Optional for sliders: King’s Hawaiian rolls

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Spam and cook to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, in batches if necessary. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Keep the pan at medium-high heat and add the peppers, onions, salt, and black pepper. Sauté vegetables until they soften and begin to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the teriyaki sauce. Stir gently, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Allow mixture to come to simmer, then add the Spam to the pan and stir gently to combine. Heat until mixture has warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Serve in bowls over rice. Or, if serving as sliders, split the optional Hawaiian rolls in half lengthwise. Top one side of roll with sausage mixture, cover and serve sandwiches immediately.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ginger, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

3 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, or until aromatic. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

 

Mercer Island Reporter yanks endorsement of city council candidate Joy Langley

On the eve of Election Day, the neighborhood weekly newspaper serving the community of Mercer Island has pulled its endorsement of city council candidate Joy Langley.

From the Mercer Island Reporter:

The Mercer Island Reporter Editorial Board retracts our endorsement of council candidate Joy Langley since she was unable to verify as of press time that she has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Langley has maintained that she is a Cornell graduate, even after a thorough search by the registrar’s office of records produced a statement by the university that “no record” could be found of attendance or graduation for Langley.

In the endorsement retraction article, the Reporter quotes from a Nov. 6 letter from Cornell University’s associate legal counsel. The university’s attorney makes clear that Langley was asked to provide a number of details regarding her time at Cornell, but that she did not do so. The Marker obtained a copy of the letter. It was written in reply to a New York City attorney who had requested a retraction of the Cornell senior media relations officer’s public statement about the absence of records for Langley.  The letter implies that a summary of information was provided to Cornell, but was insufficient to prove Langley’s claims of attendance.

While I appreciate your effort to provide information supporting your client’s claim that she has a Cornell degree, your summary of information does not provide any additional details to enable a further search of University records.

We undertook a diligent investigation before Mr. Carberry made his statement, which included searches of University records and direct communications with your client. She was requested to provide the name of her advisor at Cornell, the names of any courses she took, a copy of any Cornell transcript she has, a legible copy of the diploma she identifies as having been issued by Cornell, or any other evidence she may have to document her enrollment at Cornell, and she provided none of the requested information.

 

 

 

 

Mixed bag for GOP in data firm’s analysis of turnout battle in pivotal 45th LD Senate race

Washington state-based political data intelligence firm Voter Science posted a snapshot analysis on its blog Sunday evening of how things looked based on ballot returns reported from the Secretary of State. For Republicans hoping to hang on to the critical seat, there’s a mix of good and bad news in what their evaluation finds.

(No real spoiler here. The election in the very purple East King County district will almost certainly be decided by swing voters.)

To generate its findings, Voter Science matched returned ballots against to its own database of voters that have assigned a party identification based on a mess of available information.

The result? According to data models, the GOP has turned out a greater percentage of Republican voters compared to Democrats with their base. That may sound great except that there are far fewer Republicans than Democrats in the 45th. The math could get dicey, and the battle over swing votes will be decisive, as Voter Science explains:

[The 45th legislative district is a] predominantly Democrat district.  In ‘14 and ’16 house races, Democrat’s average victory in LD 45 has been around 58%.  The district also voted over a 2:1 for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Kim Wyman and Andy Hill are the only Republicans to have won this district. …

Of voters identified as GOP, 28% have voted. Of voters identified as Democrats, 23% have voted.  Of voters identified as Independents, only 14% have voted.  So while the democrats may have raw volume of numbers, the GOP has driven higher turnout amongst their base.

 

[Full disclosure: The author of this piece has a minority share in Voter Science, but had no involvement in producing the analysis itself.]

Two days until Election Day, Cornell controversy still dogs Mercer Island candidate Joy Langley

Candidate for Mercer Island City Council Joy Langley claims that she is a graduate of prestigious Cornell University. The university states it has “no record” that Langley either attended or received a degree from the Ivy League school.

Langley has sailed through the controversy while bailing water by offering a smattering of statements to the media and battening down the hatches to keep key endorsers on board.

An email Langley sent to supporters on Thursday urged them to give her the benefit of the doubt and overlook allegations.

“I have been forthcoming about my credentials and professional qualifications,” Langley wrote. “I assume that there’s been an administrative error regarding my undergraduate matriculation.  I am working to resolve that error and to get back to the work of reaching out to voters to connect about the issues that matter to them.”

In statements to the media, Langley has maintained that privacy restrictions she placed on her records are a reason for the absence of public information. Some may find flaws in that explanation; Cornell could not produce any records even after she made a direct request and Langley has herself publicized her Cornell alumni affiliation.

On her campaign website FAQ page, Langley tells the story of moving “the east coast to complete my undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Political [S]cience at Cornell.”

The voter pamphlet statement for Langley lists “MA Political Management, George Washington University; BA Philosophy Cornell University.”

Another page on her website tosses into the mix her time at Ithaca College (this is not disputed), stating she “concurrently received dual degrees from Cornell University and Ithaca College in Philosophy and Political Science.”

And although on Thursday a Cornell degree had disappeared from her LinkedIn page, now her profile once again lists a B.A. in Political Science from Ithaca College and a B.A. in Philosophy from Cornell University.

The Cornell University campus newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun, also reported that Langley does not appear in the 2004 Cornell yearbook.

Langley has not responded to our recent requests for information, though she did answer questions from the Seattle Times. The Times article in which her comments appear is worth reading because it includes the only statement of its kind – a friend who says that they went to Cornell with Langley.

In a phone interview, Dan Dimendberg, a partner with the San Francisco political consultation firm TBWB Strategies, said he went to Cornell and also to George Washington University with Langley. He said he has known Langley for years, and that he’s familiar with the stalking incident from her Cornell days.

TBWB Strategies is also Terris, Barnes and Walters, a San Francisco-based firm with a nearly 15-year record of paid work in support of Democratic campaigns in Washington state. The firm has not done work for Langley’s campaign, but they have been active in Washington politics during this election cycle. Terris, Barnes and Walters has been paid $41,507.41 by Planned Parenthood Votes WA PAC through the end of October for direct mail pieces, including more than $8,000 for mailers intended for voters in the hotly contested 45th legislative district state Senate race, according to disclosures filed with the Public Disclosure Commission.

Most of Langley’s endorsers hanging in, treading carefully, but one walks back support

According to sources, concerned island residents have been putting pressure on the individuals who have endorsed Langley, prodding them to reconsider, or even rescind their backing, in light of the lack of clear answers.

On Friday, a letter circulated that was signed by seven of Langley’s endorsers – Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett, Deputy Mayor Debbie Bertlin, Councilmembers Dan Grausz, state Senator Lisa Wellman, state Representative Tana Senn, state Representative Judy Clibborn, and Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett.

The missive from local civic leaders wagged a finger about the “rancor and vitriol against Joy,” and though it acknowledged the controversy over Langley’s Cornell degree has unresolved questions, they asked for patience in determining the facts.

“We should allow Joy the time needed to clear up this matter,” the letter states.

But one of the letter’s signers has already changed his mind. In a Sunday morning post titled “Enough is Enough past 2” to the NextDoor.com website, Grausz announced he was rescinding his endorsement.

“Under the circumstances we now find ourselves in, I have come to the conclusion that there are too many unanswered questions for me to maintain my prior endorsement of Joy Langley,” Grausz wrote. “I want nothing more than for Joy to refute what is out there and truly want to believe that she will do so.”

Another prominent Langley endorser is Rep. Adam Smith, Democrat representing Mercer Island and the Washington state 9th congressional district. Smith told the Marker by phone on Friday that he would stand by his endorsement, at least for now.

“I’ve worked with Joy on a number of issues and have a good working relationship with her. She’s a smart, capable woman with long ties to the local community,” Rep. Smith said.

Asked about the definitive statement by Cornell University that there is “no record of a person named Joy Langley … attending or graduating from this institution,” Smith wasn’t willing to disbelieve Langley’s assertion that the absence of records was the result of a clerical error.

“Until such time as more information comes out, I have no reason to change my endorsement of Joy.” Smith told the Marker. “With just [days] until the election, there just isn’t time to learn more.”

Cornell University: ‘No Record’ of Attendance or Graduation by Mercer Island City Council Candidate Joy Langley

Candidate for Mercer Island City Council Joy Langley has been at the center of a blooming controversy since Monday over accusations that she has falsely claimed to have earned a degree from Cornell University.

Since the allegations surfaced Monday, Langley has strongly maintained that she is a Cornell University graduate in an interview to the Mercer Island Reporter and a statement posted to her campaign website.

Nevertheless, Cornell University stated Wednesday afternoon that an extensive review of archives found no record that Langley attended or graduated the prestigious university. Their most recent exhaustive search followed two previous explorations by the university registrar’s office.

Furthermore, the university states that Langley never made any request to Cornell to keep her records private, a fact that seemed to contradict her own statements. From the MI Reporter:

Langley told the Reporter that the National Student Clearinghouse did not confirm whether she had a degree from Cornell … because Langley chose to keep her student records private.

The complete statement from Cornell University’s senior director of media relations reads:

“After receiving numerous inquiries and speaking directly with Ms. Langley, Cornell University re-examined its digital and paper archives, at the university and college level, and can confirm that we have no record of a person named Joy Langley or Joy Esther Langley attending or graduating from this institution.

“We can also confirm that the Office of the University Registrar has never received a request to make private any records related to Ms. Langley.”

On Wednesday evening, the Marker reached out to the Langley campaign for comment, but had not received a response at the time of this publication.

UPDATED: Dispute Over a Candidate’s Cornell University Pedigree Flares in Mercer Island City Council Race as Election Nears

[Developments occurring since this story was published can be found here.]

[Story note: Since our story was first published on Monday, the Cornell University media relations department has reasserted that the school has no record that Joy Langley either attended or graduated from the university. The official also stated that the registrar’s office has not been in contact with Langley. The story has been edited to include these details where appropriate.]

If there is a hierarchy in the universe of alumni – and there is – earning the right to call yourself a Cornell University graduate puts you in the higher tiers. The achievement is prestigious, coveted and can be a door-opener to coveted leadership opportunities in business, government, and politics.

It makes sense then why candidate for Mercer Island City Council Joy Langley chose to engrave membership in the Cornell alumni into her voter pamphlet statement and on her campaign website. Even a letter from key endorsers name-drops Cornell in the sweet spot of their pitch to island voters.

There’s just one question that continues to nag a group of Islanders – did Langley really earn a degree from Cornell?

A controversy about the veracity of her Cornell claim has roiled below the surface for weeks and broke into a very public boil Monday as the details of allegations that she did not earn a Cornell degree – and statements from the candidate – were reported in the Mercer Island Reporter.

The Northwest Daily Marker attempted to gather clear facts to defuse suspicions, but what we found failed to put the questions completely to rest.

Last week, the Marker submitted a request for records through National Student Clearinghouse, the website that Cornell University contracts with for degree ownership verification. The result of was that clearinghouse could not verify any degrees earned at Cornell by Langley.

On Monday, Langley told the Reporter that the lack of information available through the clearinghouse was because she had chosen to keep her student records private. (Note: The Reporter endorsed Langley.)

The Marker then reached out directly to the Cornell University Registrar, and our inquiry was forwarded to a senior media relations official.  On Monday, after checking with the registrar’s office, the official stated the university has “no record of anyone by that name attending or receiving a degree from Cornell University.” In a follow-up email, the same media relations official re-confirmed as follows:

Cornell University has no record of a person named Joy Langley or Joy Esther Langley attending or graduating from this institution.

Langley also told the Reporter that she plans to produce more information, but that her records were in a form of bureaucratic lockdown.

Langley said she would request her transcripts as proof of enrollment at Cornell, but was told that a freeze had been placed on the documents…

It’s unclear who at Cornell informed Langley of the “freeze” on her records.

“The Office of the University Registrar has likewise received no request from, nor engaged in any correspondence or conversation with, Ms. Langley on this matter,” the Cornell media relations official wrote.

The Marker asked a spokesperson for Langley’s campaign if the candidate would ask the university to make her records available. The campaign did not respond, and instead referred us to the Cornell Registrar’s website and a page on privacy laws.

In another email obtained by the Marker, the media relations official states that his staff has not received any inquiries from the Mercer Island Reporter. From the Reporter article:

The Reporter is still working to independently verify Langley’s credentials. Questions about Langley’s degree are being fielded through Cornell’s office of media relations.

As of now, the only documentation Langley has provided to the Marker has been a link to a photo posted to a back page on Langley’s website. Inset into the larger image is a small photo of a Cornell diploma that does bear Langley’s name and the date of May 30, 2004.

Langley also published to her campaign website a statement responding to the accusations, and suggesting that her opponent tacitly approved of “negative attacks” and “character assassination.”

According to Langley, her undergraduate credits were split between Ithaca College and Cornell University and earned her two separate degrees. From the Reporter:

“I entered Cornell as a sophomore due to AP credits (Sage School, Arts and Sciences) and concurrently enrolled at Ithaca College (Humanities and Sciences),” [Langley] responded. “I was able to graduate in four years with a degree from each institution.”

An exhaustive search was unable to find any online footprints corresponding to Langley and Cornell University, while a substantial amount of ephemera tying her to Ithaca College was easy to find.

As a student at Ithaca College, Langley was a college athlete and a participant in student government. Her name appears in contemporary blurbs about Ithaca’s women’s crew team. In another digital artifact – the April 11, 2002 edition of the Ithaca College student newspaper “The Ithacan” – Langley is mentioned as being an Ithaca sophomore and a member of Solidaridad, a student government party that “used titles of spokesperson rather than traditional titles of president and vice president” to refer to its leadership. The Ithacan reports that Solidaridad was disqualified from fielding candidates in the 2002-2003 student elections, though a reason for the disqualification is not given.

In real and political terms, Mercer Island occupies valuable ground. Interstate 90 connects Mercer Island by bridge to ultra-liberal and solidly Democratic Seattle to the west and a more moderate, Republican-ish Bellevue to the east. It is a home for many wealthier Seattle expats who have been drawn to its slower pace, neighborhood feel, and strong community support for excellent K-12 education.

Those who follow the Mercer City Council note that it has maintained a delicate political balance despite pressures within its changing voter base. The seat Langley is hoping to win is a part of that balance.

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