Posts tagged: Washington governor race
OLYMPIA — A policy adviser for Rob McKenna's gubernatorial campaign resigned today after apologizing for making derogatory remarks about Asians and the elderly on the Internet.
Kathlyn Ehls submitted her resignation, which campaign manager Randy Pepples said in a press release he accepted after she met with leaders of the campaign's Asian American Coalition. “It was important for her to thoroughly understand their feelings and to apologize to them for her comments,” he said.
In comments posted on Twitter several months before she joined the campaign, Ehls wrote Asians should “learn English” and that senior citizens who take too long to cross the street in front of her car should “get a wheelchair.” (For an earlier post on this, click here.)
Ehls' termination was at the top of a list for a “true mea culpa” that a group describing itself “Concernd Asian Pacific Islanders” was demanding as it announced plans to protest outside McKenna's headquarters today. Other items on the list included “not wage war on unions”, support for same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act and a jobs plan that doesn't sacrifice the envirobnment, quality of life but provides wages that meet “basic needs” for families.
Five Asian-American legislators — all Democrats — also called for her termination: “One tweet reveals a callous insensitivity toward the multiple challenges faced by non-native English speaking immigrants and refugees. As long-time champions of English Language Learning (ELL) opportunities and initiatives, we call on both Mr. McKenna and Mr. Inslee to declare their commitment to full funding for ELL programs as well as for other immigrant and refugee integration programs that assist in the transition to life in America.”
OLYMPIA — In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have a split in their party's candidates for governor.
Attorney General Rob McKenna, by far the GOP frontrunner for governor, joined one of the key lawsuits that because he doubted the constitutionality of the individual mandate, said post-decision that that question was answered. Time to get on with implementation and stop talking about a wholesale repeal of the law, he said in a press conference.
Shahram Hadian, an Iranian-American Christian pastor is a long-shot to be sure, but is trying to close the gap by vowing to be as resolute against federal health care reform and “join other fiscally conservative, freedom loving, citizen defending, courageous governors to rise up against the implementation of this unconstitutional and outrageous law.” He lists some current Republican governors who he says are refusling to implement Obamacare in their states, and includes Idaho's Butch Otter in that list. (In fact Otter hasn't said much post-decision because he was out of the office when it came down, other than he's not calling a special session to deal with setting up a health insurance exchange or other looming provisions of the federal law.)
Hadian isn't the only other Republican sharing the primary ballot with McKenna, but he's the only other one with anything close to an active campaign, and the only other one allowed to address the GOP state convention. He a sent out a fund-raising appeal and press release late last week based on fighting federal health care reform: “As the next governor, I will invoke the 10th Amendment rights and fight tooth and nail in refusing to implement any part of Obamacare. Period.”
It's a strong appeal to the Tea Party wing of the GOP. But it seems to ignore the fact that unlike Idaho, the Washington Legislature has already set the state on course to have a health insurance exchange in time for the federal deadline. So he'd have to convince the Lege to repeal that law, toss out that work and give up the promise of federal funds for the exchange.
Of course, if Mitt Romney wins the White House and Republicans take control of both house of Congress, that all may be taken care of in the other Washington. But that would be the case for McKenna… or even Democrat Jay Inslee, should he win.
Hotline, a national political publication is ranking Washington's gubernatorial race as the second-most likely to switch from one party to another in November.
North Carolina is first.
Here's what the Hotline staff had to say about the Washington race:
WASHINGTON (Open D, Gov. Christine Gregoire retiring) (Last month: 3)
Attorney General Rob McKenna's lead was never going to hold. As Democrats begin to wrap their heads around having ex-Rep. Jay Inslee as their party's standard-bearer, polls show him closing on the popular Republican. According to recent surveys, it's a statistical tie — or close to it. McKenna must overcome Democratic headwinds, but in a state that hasn't voted Republican for governor since 1980, he presents the party with its best possible shot.