Here are a few things we learn from gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna based on this audio taken yesterday before Kemper Freeman’s Eastside Transportation Association:
- He is a “deep deep skeptic of bringing light rail across [the] I-90” floating bridge.
- He “isn’t even sure how it is going to work.”
- He doesn’t understand “fixed rail on a floating bridge.”
- Regardless of his lack of understanding, he “envisions it be shutting down [for] winds.” And this worries him.
- He believes Sound Transit is a “significantly unaccountable regional transportation body.”
- He believes uninformed voters were duped by Greg Nichols in 1998 over the first public vote.
- He definitively sides with opponents of light rail on I-90 saying, “we have lost the key battles ever since.”
- He isn’t sure how to move forward on stopping light rail on I-90 (because of votes and bonding issues), but he is sure he can work with light rail opponents on it.
I need to say this again: Should he be elected, Rob McKenna will be Washington state’s Scott Walker.
There’s a meme in the mainstream media that chalks up these comparisons of McKenna to Walker as “demon
etization” (with a figurative roll of the eyes).
In some ways this is fair. After all, aside from McKenna’s single biggest political blunder—joining the A.G. lawsuit against the 2009 health care reform law—he’s been cautious. He has dodged talking policy stands on hot-button issues where his views are likely to be unpopular. I mean, we can be sure McKenna doesn’t like light rail, same-sex marriage, public employee unions, death with dignity, etc. When asked about these things, he dodges. He bullshits his way out of expressing his opinion. He offers little about what a Gov. McKenna would do about particular issues. And, apparently, the state’s media aren’t skillful enough to coax non-weaselly answers from him.
So, we are forced to make inferences by an occasional controversial statement and by the people he endorses. We read between the lines. We parse his weaselly answers to try and understand what he’s dodging. We accept that he is a Republican in a state where moderate Republicans are nearly extinct.
Now we have a new piece of evidence—something stronger than inference from a dodged answer. We’ve know for a long time that McKenna doesn’t like Sound Transit and doesn’t care for light rail. But this is more: Rob McKenna has, essentially, made a campaign promise to work with Kemper Freeman, Jr. and company to find ways of killing light rail to the East Side.
Seems like something Scott Walker would do.