WASHINGTON state is at a crossroads. The people’s selection of their next governor will set a direction toward prosperity and quality of life or constant crisis and decline. Washington will follow California — or set its own course.
The voters’ choice is clear.
It’s an important election. But California is in trouble largely because the initiative process made it near impossible to raise taxes. They’re the logical conclusion of the tax policies The Seattle Times supports. Also, seriously, what? California? Why are we talking about California? Also, too I know technically there are more than the two people, but why endorse at all now? It’s going to be Inslee and McKenna making it through to the general.
Rob McKenna, the Republican, is our state’s twice-elected attorney general. He grew up here; he went to high school and college here, and was elected student body president at the University of Washington. He knows our education system, what is good about it and what isn’t. He has spent his entire career in local and state government, having to work with Democrats as well as Republicans, and knows it inside and out.
First, what does “it” refer to in the last sentence? I think Rob McKenna’s entire career. That’s the only single noun that makes sense. If they meant “local and state government” wouldn’t The Seattle Times have said “them”? I think they’re saying we should vote for Rob McKenna because he knows Rob McKenna’s career.* Second, most of that litany is true of Jay Inslee. We should vote for someone who sent his kids to school here and grew up here as opposed to Inslee doesn’t make a lot of sense.
For the past seven years he has held the second-highest management position in the state.
Come on! The AG’s office is a perfectly reasonable stepping stone to governor. But read that sentence and tell me it doesn’t sound like resume padding. Seriously, how do you define a management position? I’d think people in the governor’s office would qualify. If it’s by order of succession, it’s a silly way to leapfrog over Lieutenant Governor. If it’s not by order of succession, there’s no reason to put it ahead of any other elected executive position. Is the AG’s office an inherently more managerish position than Treasurer or Commissioner of Public Instruction? None of the reasoning is explained as this is the rest of the paragraph:
He has a deep understanding of state issues. Ask him what should be done about state employee pension plans, environmental review of proposed coal ports, on and on, and he has a practical, detailed answer.
A practical, detailed, shit answer where the math doesn’t work.
Jay Inslee, the Democrat, is also a local product but chose a much different career. He went to Washington, D.C. For the past 13 years he has been a congressman, which is not a management position. He has the right positions on reforming the financial system, limiting the consolidation of media companies and opposing the pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a stronger vision about fighting global warming than McKenna does.
Do you know of anyone in the delegation who doesn’t come back to this state just about every weekend? Who hasn’t met with countless constituents? Who hasn’t held town halls and the like? There’s more of this for a while and then.
State government’s overriding problem is not having enough money for all the things it is trying to do. The current administration has responded by cutting too much where it was politically easiest, in higher education, and too little where it was immediately painful, in employee head count and contracts with state employee unions. But this is short-term thinking. It sacrifices the future to the present. It is a strategy for Washington to slide back to the level of Mississippi.
Mississippi’s problem is that their unions are too strong? The fuck? Seriously, if you’re going to reference other states as cautionary tales, you have to know goddamn something about their problems.
The way out is education, and McKenna and Inslee both say they want to invest in it. They are right; Washington needs a world-class education system, including prekindergarten and higher education, so that the next generation can have the best possible chances in life. The question for voters is who can deliver.
They are both wrong, actually. I mean not that we need to invest in education, but that they don’t offer a way to do it. Inslee is better, but neither of them are going to raise the revenue necessary to solve these problems.
Part of the answer in the public schools is reform, including allowing more innovation. Note that McKenna supports charter schools and Inslee does not.
Neither have Washington voters whenever they’re given the chance. Charter schools could theoretically work, but in the real world they’ve failed. In the real world they’re just another way to corporate up our schools. Anyway, having asked for something that voters have regularly rejected, please demand we don’t do something the voters have regularly rejected:
Part of the answer is providing more money. Some suggest a state income tax is the answer, but that would remove one of the state’s competitive advantages, and scare away investment in technology companies. In any case, Washington’s voters have said no to an income tax.
You know what, there’s more, but I don’t have the strength.
* And yes, I’m perfectly aware that a round of Carl-makes-fun-of-your-pronoun-choice almost inevitably means there’s something worse from me in the same post. I don’t care.