(EDITOR’S NOTE: B-Town Blog Editor Scott Schaefer, and Mark Neuman, Reporter, first met Bill Hoffman back at James Madison Junior High School in West Seattle, when Richard Nixon was president and Jim McDermott was a freshman in the Washington State House of Representatives.)
We took some time recently to sit with our Ã¢â‚¬Å“oldÃ¢â‚¬Â buddy, Bill Hoffman.
BillÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s raising a family in West Seattle, where he grew up, returning from California where he delved into filmmaking.
And now heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to see if he can make lawmaking his next vocation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am running to unseat Jim McDermott,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bill told the B-Town Blog at the Burien FarmerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Market, referring to the 7th District congressman who was first elected to the position in 1988.
Bill is getting a head start, in a way (the general election is not for another sixteen months), and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quite serious. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hired a political veteran, Bob Stout, who is a professional fundraiser, having worked on Hillary ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presidential campaign and also a successful Congressional race in Idaho.
Bill, who has already met with Washington State Democratic Party officials, has indicated heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s willing and able to supply some of his own money to fund his campaign.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All the research weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done so far tells us that a lot of McDermottÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s support is not support for him,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bill said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He hasÃ‚Â a core group of 15% to 20% who simply like Jim. The rest vote liberal.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our strategy is to make it through the August 2010 primary and take McDermott on head-to-head in the general election.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In a place where a Democrat gets 75% to 80% of the vote, he should be running against another Democrat.Ã¢â‚¬Â
We asked Bill: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s January, 2011. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve won the election. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re sworn in. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve moved in to your new Washington, D.C., office. Excluding finding out where the cafeteria is, what are you going to focus on first?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Health care and global warming,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said without delay.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“(The) current (environmental) legislation in front of Congress is not enough. We need to change the way we do things. We need to change the cars that we drive. We need to change the fuel that we use.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It will be one of my absolute primary goals to do everything I can to help the country move in that direction.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have a strong interest in science. The (earthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) poles are warming faster than the equator is, consequently the total amount of wind around the world has dropped ten percent in the past decades. So wind turbines are losing their ability to produce maximum power.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s create tax incentives for living near where you work.Ã¢â‚¬Â
We also asked Bill: Who is more liberal, Bill Hoffman or Jim McDermott?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think in the classic definition, I am. I think (using) the definition conservatives use today, McDermott is.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I do believe in big projects to a point. I think we have to use some fiscal responsibility.”
Bill was at one time the youngest licensed real estate agent in the state of Washington. He earned a BA in Sociology specializing in social psychology at the University of Washington.
He moved to Los Angeles where he attended USC, earning a Masters of Professional Writing degree in screenwriting.
He went on to write, produce and direct a few feature-length motion pictures, in addition to his employment in IT support and graphic design.
While living in Los Angeles Bill was elected to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council.
Unrelated to that responsibility, BillÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s next door neighbor down there for a while was Dallas Taylor, best known as the drummer on Crosby, Stills and Nash’s debut album, Crosby, Stills & Nash and their follow-up with Neil Young, DÃƒÂ©jÃƒÂ Vu.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just say that living next door to Dallas was interesting. Also, sometimes IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d see Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) jogging past my house.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bill and his wife, Elena, moved back to West Seattle about six years ago.
They have two kids, Naum and Sirma, both of whom attend Schmitz Park Elementary in West Seattle.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Schmitz Park is an outstanding school,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bill said.
Bill will soon be serving as vice-president of the schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s PTA.
Elena is not only very skilled with software (she is an analyst for PACCAR), sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also quite a proficient writer of Haiku, the classic five-seven-five form of Japanese poetry.
Going to introduce any Haiku into the campaign? we asked Bill.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not a bad idea.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to give it some thought.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get back to you,Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bill said, unwittingly delivering Haiku in thoughtful response.
Upon further reflection perhaps his next Haiku will read:
Twenty years of Jim
Enough already says Bill
Now is time for change
To contact Bill Hoffman, here you go:
Hoffman for Congress
PO Box 99458
Seattle, WAÃ‚Â 98139-0458
Email: [email protected]