Even in this fairly straight AP piece reporting on McKenna’s supposed moderation, there’s this:
A political action committee funded by unions has been running attack ads with the message that McKenna is “not who he says he is.” A recent ad from the group tries to tie McKenna – in misleading or incorrect ways – to Republican positions on abortion, the national budget and health care.
I don’t have a TV, so I’ve only seen the ad once with the sound on. But it seemed more fair than not to me. The article mentions McKenna’s support of abortion rights (a better characterization might be that he knows he doesn’t have the votes to win on the issue), although abortion rights will probably be worse in the state after 4 years of McKenna than 4 years of Inslee. And the the other ones seem about right to me.
McKenna put himself, as the article notes several times, at the forefront of opposing the health care law. And while he personally only claimed to be opposed to part of it in court, that isn’t what his lawsuit argued. So he was happy to be part of that GOP extremism.
And as to the budget: well he has supported GOP budgets at the state that would have gutted education and social services. Maybe the ads should have focused on those instead of the federal budget, but they’re coming from the same place.
Finally, although the races for President and Congress will be the bigger story on election night, the races for governor will be part of that picture. And a McKenna win (or the aggregate of GOP victories at the state level including his) will be used at the federal level to argue for more restrictions on abortion and deeper cuts to social services. So maybe it’s not fair, but it is the reality.