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Spin Control

Posts tagged: governor’s race

Gov debate question 4: Coal trains

Where do you stand on coal ports

McKenna: The state does not get to stop coal shipments, that's government by federal law. They need to go through strict environmental standards… People in ports are hurting, they're desperate for good-paying jobs, they want these jobs recognizing the projects need to meet strict standards. Wouldn't we rather have these jobs when they're going to come here or go to Canada.

Inslee: There are pluses and minuses. Pluses in the jobs for construction and in the ports. Some minuses from long trains bisecting communities. In Washougal, they're concerned about 2-mile long trains running through town 18 times a day. We need to have a cummulative assessment, up and down the line, and for multiple ports. That is the direction we are going.

McKenna: I agree the transportation impacts have to be analyzed. If the ports are here, we are more likely to get crossing improvements.

Inslee: It's not a slam dunk they'd go to Canada. It costs more money there

Gov debate Question 3: Education

Would you be brave enough raise taxes for education?

McKenna: The voters have been very clear on not supporting higher taxes. Not raising tax rates is not the same as raising tax revenues. Revenues are projected to go up. We need to prioritize. (Democrats) running Olympia for the last 28 years haven't directed the increases to education.

Inslee: I have a plan to find a way to get more financial resources for education. We are first in the high-tech jobs that we have, but 46th in production of students to take those jobs. I've focused like a laser beam to get people back to work, that will create revenue.

What about higher education?
Inslee: We need a job creation program to create more resources and have money for colleges. We need to use the Lean Management that businesses use and put them to work in government….and take that money and put it into higher education and K-12.

We need to bring down health care costs or it will “eat us alive.”

McKenna: Talk about higher revenues by having more people employed. But that hasn't happened in Olympia. The people running Olympia have cut funding for higher education and ratcheted up tuition…They've cut the share going to higher education from about 16 percent 20 years ago to about 8 percent today. We need to get back to at least 50-50 (between the state and education.) We need to dedicate more of the state revenue that we have.

Inslee: I've heard my opponent talk about giving money back to education. First time Republicans had control of the Legislature, they cut money out of education… The fact is, as an attorney general, six times in a row, he asked for additional money for his bureaucracy while we were leaning out colleges. As for numbers, we are going to do hundreds of millions of dollars on lean

McKenna: I did not support their education cuts. I called Republican leaders and said any cuts to education would be wrong. When we asked for more money it was for work the Legislature had asked us to take on.

Question 3: What will you do about Medicaid

Inslee: I'm glad the lawsuit was rejected by the Supreme Court…Breast cancer survivors can get access to health care. On Medicaid expansion, we know everyone is paying about $1,000 a year to pay for people who don't have insurance…a hidden tax in our insurance bill.

I believe we should use Uncle Sam to take that burden off us.

McKenna: My mother had breast cancer…and I deeply resent politicizing breast cancer. Supreme court didn't reject the case. They told us we were right on taking away Medicaid funding, and the individual health insurance mandate is not constluttional under the commerce clause. Instead they called it a tax.

Nearly one in three Washington residents would be eligible for Medicaid. Is that the safety net we want? I think that is not the vision we want.

Inslee: That's like Custer won the Little Big Horn. If this lawsuit had succeeded, women with breast cancer would not be able to buy health insurance.

McKenna: Women of the state would not get to choose the policy they want. Now the federal government gets to tell you what kind of insurance you get.

Gov debate question 2: How will you increase jobs in SW Washington

Inslee: Building the bridge is one of the most direct things we can do.

I want to build a working Washington. I want to get up every single morning figuring out how to jump start the economy. I have a plan on the internet. It's not partisan. Need a research and development tax credit. Innovation based businesses need to get access to research from Washington State University. I want to remove those restrictions.

McKenna: 7 percent of the jobs have gone away. I remember what it was like when my dad was unemployed (in the 1970s) Focus on private sector job creation. They need ongoing relief: B&O tax relief for small businesses. Regulatory relief.  Workers comp. Unemployment insurance relief. Not another agency..

Inslee: Washington state's very unique … on airplanes and software. We need to lead on clean energy and agriculture. We need to protect intellectual property.

They don't need government picking winners and losers. They need relief across the board.

Question: What's the problem with your opponent's plan.

McKenna: ;It's not the state's job to structure the economy.

Inslee: The plan for Labor and Industries is not going to fly, it's been rejected three times… We need a governor to do some common-sense things…like access to broadband. I'd help consumers and businesses get access to financing…We are not picking winners, except for Washington..

Governor’s debate question 1: Columbia River Crossing

VANCOUVER —  Do you support the new bridge over the Columbia River and how will you pay for it?

Rob McKenna: Everyone agrees the crossing is too important to jeopardize. important for regional and national commerce. … How it's going to be paid for. The heaviest burden falls on Washington taxpayers. Clearly the burden will fall more on washington commuters than oregon's. We need to slow down and make sure we have a sustainable plan. It's one-third each from Washington, Oregon and feds. Need to slow down and have a good plan.

Jay Inslee: It is a national imperative for the economic wellbeing of this country. .. Failure is not an option in building this bridge. All of us are going to do some hard work on building some consensus on the financing package. Clark County residents need to weigh in… This bridge will not be built unless we figure out how to get light rail on it…I will do that.

McKenna: Light rail is not necessarily the priority of Washington. It is in Oregon. We'll see in November.

Inslee: It is a reality of federal law. We'll need to find a consensus on light rail.

Governor’s debate: Could be a slight delay.

VANCOUVER — Waiting for Paul Ryan to finish his speech to the GOP convention before the debate goes live on Portland television.

Gov debate at 8 p.m.

VANCOUVER — Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna are set to debate at 8 p.m. at the Washington State University campus here. Organizers are checking the lights and sound levels and tossing out practice questions.

First question: What will you do about the Columbia River crossing. That's the big transportation issue here as commuters move back and forth between Vancouver and Portland.

It was also the first question guessed in a carpool full of reporters driving down from Olympia. We also guessed it might be the second and third question, too.

We'll see if it's the first question in the debate.

Format is pretty simple: No opening statements. Alternating first answers to questions from a moderator, with each candidate getting 90 seconds to respond. Each candidate gets to ask the other two questions.

Debate scheduled to last one hour.

One of the organizers said they were happy but a bit surprised to land the debate a few weeks ago. The last gubernatorial debate in Vancouver was in 2004, she said..

Wi-Fi connection seems good, so Spin Control will live blog the debate.

Gov debate tonight at WSU-Vancouver

Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee have their first post-primary debate tonight in Vancouver, at the Washington State University branch campus there.

Word is the auditorium for the one-hour debate is relatively small — about 200 seats — and expected to be full. Vancouver hasn't been the site for a gubernatorial debate since no one is sure when.

The 8 p.m. debate will air live in Vancouver on KATU-TV and in Seattle on KOMO's second digital station, but apparently no one is picking it up live in Spokane. KATU will stream it live on their website, which you can reach by clicking here.

The sponsors promise good Wi-Fi coverage, so Spin Control will live blog it if at all possible. Check in later this evening.

The two last debated in Spokane in June, at a forum sponsored by AWB and GSI Inc., at the Bing Crosby Theater.

McKenna ahead of Inslee? In Spokane yes; statewide, no

An irate reader called this morning to ask what were we smoking last night at The Spokesman-Review that led us to report that Democrat Jay Inslee was ahead of Republican Rob McKenna in the governor's primary.

This is a smoke-free office, so the answer is “Nothing.” He insisted he'd heard on the radio, and the television early this morning that the results are actually reversed, and that McKenna was ahead of Inslee. We checked the Secretary of State website, and the Associated Press lists, which should be the same sources that all news outlets are using.

Nope, we assured him. Right now, Inslee is ahead of McKenna. No, he insisted, the nice couple on the radio, whom he listens to every morning, must've got it right.

Not being up and listening to the radio at 5 a.m., we couldn't say for sure whether he'd mis-heard or the station misspoke. But here's one possibility:

If you click on the Spokane County election website, you get results for all the races, but only from this county. McKenna has a sizable lead. Perhaps that's what the folks on the radio and television were looking at.

If you click on the Secretary of State's website, you get the results for the whole state, and can find a map with county breakdowns. McKenna has most of the Eastern Washington counties, Inslee most of the Western Washington counties…and the lead statewide.

We still aren't smoking anything. Can't vouch for the folks on the radio or television.

McKenna: Limit other spending to boost education

Washington could spend more money on its public schools and colleges by limiting the growth in other state expenses and changing the way some property taxes are collected, a gubernatorial candidate said Tuesday.

Republican hopeful Rob McKenna released new details of his plans to increase spending on education, with an extra $1.25 billion for public schools and $437 million for colleges in the first two years of his tenure.

After McKenna discussed the details in a pair of one-hour meetings with reporters, a spokeswoman for Jay Inslee, his chief Democratic rival, called it “empty promises.” The plan won't generate the revenue he expects, Jaime Smith said in a press release.

The state is under a Supreme Court mandate . . .

To read the rest of this item or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Sunday spin: Value of debate over debates is debatable

A sign that Washington’s campaign season remains in the doldrums, despite the fact that ballots are in voters’ hands – or at least languishing under a pile of junk mail on some counter – arrived last week with the announcement two gubernatorial debates had been scheduled.
One will be in Vancouver at the end of August and another in Yakima in early October. This is great news, not solely because putting Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna on the same stage is instructive for voters and good theater for political junkies. These are also two places that often have little chance to get up close and personal with gubernatorial candidates, let alone host a debate.
If Spokane complains about being a second-class citizen in the eyes of some statewide campaigns, other parts of the state might rightfully note they are in steerage. (Information about the venues is in the post below.)
The oddest thing about the announcement . . .

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Gubernatorial debates in the ‘hustings’

The Vancouver gubernatorial debate on Aug 29 will be at the Washington State University-Vancouver campus, and has a long list of sponsors including the local ports, the public schools, development councils, newspapers, civic and business groups. So many that it might be quicker to say who wasn’t on board, which is, apparently, nobody.
Troy Van Dinter, who has the job of herding cats for the debate, said it’s the first gubernatorial debate in the Vancouver area that anyone involved can remember. It will be televised by Portland station KATU, and may be picked up by stations in Seattle and Spokane.
The Yakima gubernatorial debate will take place during a conference of Hispanic chambers of commerce on Oct. 2, and be televised KCTS, Seattle’s public television station, which is supplying the moderator, Enrique Cerna. It might be picked up by other public television stations across the state.
  

Post debate: AWB endorses McKenna, Dunn

In a move that may shock no one, the Association of Washington Business endorsed Republicans Rob McKenna for governor and Reagan Dunn for state attorney general.

The business group, which functions as the state's Chamber of Commerce, co-hosted debates in Spokane Wednesday for both offices with McKenna facing off against Democrat Jay Inslee for the first time and Dunn against Democrat Bob Ferguson.

The AWB board determined that “McKenna is the best candidate to lead our state to better times” and Dunn is “the best candidate to represent business interests” in the AG's office.

It probably didn't hurt that McKenna discussed his support for charter schools, which Inslee opposes, and the AWB came out in favor of an initiative that is gathering signatures to put a charter school proposal on the November ballot.

The AWB generally endorses Republicans for the state's chief executive. But it didn't just endorse GOP candidates today. It endorsed Democrat Jim McIntire for state treasurer.

McIntire, it should be noted, is running unopposed.

Sunday Spin: Gov campaign heads for Spokane

Spokane will be in the political limelight Tuesday as Washington’s first gubernatorial debate of the season takes the stage at the Bing Crosby Theater.

The Association of Washington Business and Greater Spokane Incorporated are co-hosting the premier head-to-head between Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee at 3:30 p.m., the second debate on a two-event card. Two guys who want McKenna’s current job of state attorney general, Republican Reagan Dunn and Democrat Bob Ferguson, are the warm-up debate at 2 p.m.

Usually the AWB waits until the field is winnowed to two by the primary, but this year they wanted a draw for their quarterly meeting in Spokane. Of the seven other gubernatorial hopefuls, the only person who has a semi-legitimate complaint of being shut out is Shahram Hadian, a Republican from Mill Creek who has a full-fledged if underfunded campaign but the misfortune not to be the person his party thinks can put them back in the governor’s mansion for the first time since 1984.

The two business groups have given away all their tickets for the debates, but the four campaigns each got 100 tickets and might have some left, AWB spokeswoman Jocelyn McCabe said.

The Inslee campaign scheduled a debate watch party at the Saranac Public House, 21 W. Main Ave., and Republicans will likely have one, too, although at press time they hadn’t picked a venue. Check with them early this week at (509) 838-6162.

Or watch from home or other favorite location on TVW, which will carry both forums live, with several political reporters offering insightful comments before and after the debates – and me trying not to say anything too embarrassing.

The debate has been an ongoing source of political fodder for months. .  .

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, go inside the blog

Inslee campaign complains about AWB donor

OLYMPIA — The campaign for Jay Inslee said it was concerned about a big donation an oil company gave to the sponsor of next week's gubernatorial debate in Spokane. But the Association of Washington Business said he needn't be.

The $100,000 isn't for use in the governor's race. It's dedicated to an initiative campaign that would try to keep the two-thirds supermajority requirement on all tax votes the Legislature might want to take for at least the first two years of the next governor's term, the AWB says.

AWB got the money from the Tesoro Company, which is the company that operates a refinery in Western Washington as well as gas stations around the state. The refinery was the site of a fire in 2010 that killed seven workers, the Inslee campaign said. The company also gave $1,600 to the campaign of his opponent, Republican Rob McKenna.

“As you can imagine, accepting $100,000 from a major oil company openly supporting Mr. McKenna leaves the impression that the money is intended for eventual use on behalf of Mr. McKenna and against Jay Inslee,” Campaign Manager Joby Shimomura wrote. “This raises serious concerns for us, and we imagine it will raise concerns for many viewers and voters as well.”

To make sure the public considers everything is fair in next Tuesday's debate, which AWB is co-sponsoring with Greater Spokane Inc., the business organization should give the money back.

Not going to happen, AWB says. The money from Tesoro isn't going to candidates. It was a pass-through, coming in to AWB and out to the Initiative 1185 campaign, as Tesoro and several other big money donors requested.

“None of these funds were allocated toward any candidates. Our PDC filings indicate as much,” Don Brunell, president of AWB wrote back. “Moreover, we are not in a position to dictate where our members choose to donate their own political funds. We only control those funds given to us, and in this case, they were received and then transmitted to the I-1185 campaign for the purposes of signature gathering.”

To be fair, the PDC records, some of which were filed by AWB the same day the Inslee campaign sent its letter, aren't crystal clear on this. Tesoro money came in on April 24 and was part of a total of $185,000 reported to the PDC on May 15 as earmarked for I-1185, although nothing was said about signature gathering on that report.

No such amount shows up on the I-1185 campaign reports, and AWB's Tuesday filing doesn't mention the initative, it says it paid the $185,000 to Citizen Solutions, a signature gathering firm, but doesn't say for what. The I-1185 campaign, which does use Citizen Solutions, has yet to report the $185,000 as an in-kind contributions.

But Brunell has a point. AWB couldn't spend that kind of money on McKenna, or any other candidate. The only place where a PAC can dump six figures is in an initative campaign.

Taken a step farther, if some company wants to give AWB $100,000 to pass along to an initiative campaign, who is AWB to say “no way, Jose”? People who don't like this kind of money maneuver should take it up with the Legislature, not the poor PACs.

Brunell added the business group is “pleased to know that Mr. Inslee remains committed to our debate … and look forward to hearing him articulate his ideas about the key issues facing our state.”

Just as Inslee's letter could be seen as lobbing a few shells before the big battle, that line from Brunell could be seen as just the tiniest dig, because AWB and the Inslee campaign had a minor dust up over the debate scheduling earlier this year that almost led to the organization giving the stage to McKenna, solo.

But maybe it was just a heartfelt, “see you in Spokane.”

That debate, and a head-to-head for the two main attorney general candidates, occurs Tuesday afternoon at The Bing. They will also be televised live on TVW.

McKenna camp: It’s not a budget, it’s a white paper

OLYMPIA — Responding to a shot from Gov. Chris Gregoire that she doesn't need a “monkey wrench” thrown into budget negotiations, a campaign spokesman for Rob McKenna said the GOP candidate won't be releasing a full-blown budget on Monday.

Rather, it will be a statement of principles that a McKenna adminstration would use when compiling a sustainable budget.

The campaign announced this morning McKenna would hold a press conference Monday to announce a “budget policy paper”. Asked about the impact that would have on ongoing talks to close the current budget shortfall — something that's consumed a special session in December, the 60-day regular session and nearly two-thirds of the current special session — Gregoire said she didn't know what McKenna was planning, but a new budget proposal wouldn't be helpful.

“I don't need a sixth budget proposal,” she said. “I don't need somebody external…to throw a monkey wringe into” negotiations.

Charles McCray III, campaign spokesman for McKenna, said the budget proposal will be the latest in a serious of white papers that provide “guiding principles to push us in the direction of sustainability” on state spending, not a full-blown spending plan.

“He's not inserting himself into negotiations,” McCray said.

As for the timing of the press conference, McCray said that was when it “fit on the calendar.” It wouldn't be a problem, McCray added, “if they had done their job during the regular session.”

Inslee resigns US House seat to run for governor

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee resigned his congressional seat today to concentrate on his run for governor.

Inslee announced he'd leave Congress on March 20, saying he was not one “half-measures or half-hearted efforts.”

“It was a difficult decision, but what I need to do right now is focus all my attention on talking to people about what’s really important – creating jobs and growing our economy,” he said.

Inslee is considered the likely Democratic nominee against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna for this year's governor's race. They are the “name” candidates for both parties for the open seat.

But Inslee's campaign has come under fire from some Democrats for a slow start, and Republicans criticize hom for any missed vote that's a result of his being in the state to campaign.

“I look forward to hearing Congressman Inslee explain how 15 years in Washington, D.C. have prepared him to lead our state, now that he is quitting Congress,” McKenna said.

Poll: McKenna ahead of Inslee; Obama ahead of Perry, Romney

OLYMPIA — For those who are Jonesing for some campaign-style polling, a Seattle political consulting firm is trying to supply a fix.

It has a new poll of 500 voters that suggest if the election were held today,  Republican Rob McKenna would beat Democrat Jay Inslee for governor. And President Barack Obama would beat either of the two current GOP frontrunners, Rick Perry or Mitt Romney, for president in Washington state.

Two initiatives on this November's ballot would also pass, according to the Strategies 360 poll.

But there are some caveats and some details beneath the surface of the raw numbers, Kevin Ingham, the firm's vice president for polling, explained Monday morning in the big rollout of the numbers.

To read the rest of this item, click here to go inside the blog.

WA Gov’s race: Still No. 1

OLYMPIA — The 2012 Washington governor's race may have seemed pretty quiet this month to the voters who will decide it. But it remains on top of the list of gubernatorial contests compiled by Politico.

The likely matchup between Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna and Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee got a mention for the ongoing debate over Inslee's campaign funding and a brief dustup over a Dem operative being barred from a McKenna speech. It beats out races in Montana, North Carolina, Missouri and West Virginia, which are ranked 2 through 5. See the whole story here.

But the real question seems to be, if Washington can stay on top with so little going on, how terribly boring must those other states' races be?

GOP challenger for McKenna

OLYMPIA — Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna may be the most prominent, best known and best-funded Republican running for governor. But he is not the only one.

Shahram Hadian, an Everett minister, is in the race, and making a cross-state campaign swing this week from Walla Walla to Tacoma.

A native of Iran who came to the United States just before the shah fell, then moved to Canada, then back to the United States, Hadian touts his unique background. That point is pretty hard to argue. He converted from Islam to Christianity, travels the country warning of the dangers of radical Islam and Shari'ah law, led the fight against scantily clad barristas in Everett, where he now lives.

His political experience is a bit thin. He ran for the state House of Representatives in 2010, in the 44th District, for the seat held by Democrat Hans Dunshee. Hadian finished a distant third in the primary, which is not much of a springboard for a statewide race.

But like all good beginning candidates, he has a website. Those so inclined can read more about him here.

Although he's got a website, an artsy logo, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, he apparently hasn't gotten around to filling out his Public Disclosure Commission registration form. But we're sure that'll be coming soon.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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