Arrow-right Camera

Candidates on the Issues

The Spokesman-Review asked the candidates for governor five questions about different issues. Below are the questions and each candidate's stance on the issue.

Jim Camdenjimc@spokesman.com

Select issue:

ISSUE:

Do you support a carbon emissions tax like the one proposed in Initiative 732? Why or why not?


Goodspaceguy (R) No
Life on earth is carbon based and CO2 is really, really good for plants.



Bill Hirt (R) No
Carbon tax is a fraud and we get 70 percent of our power from hydro.

Mary Martin (S) No
All the taxes are regressive and shift the economic burden of capitalism onto workers.

Steve Rubenstein (I):   No
I believe in global warming but the tax should be revenue neutral and I don't think this one will be.
David Blomstrom refused a request to answer grid questions

Jonathan Dodds (D) No
Shouldn't tax a company because it puts out carbon. Thinks initiative is poorly written.

Patrick O'Rourke (D) Yes


Christian Joubert (H) Yes
Also wants organic systems to take carbon from the atmosphere.

James Robert Deal (D) Undetermined
Some tax on carbon makes sense but a better idea is to stop drilling and put money into renewables.

Jay Inslee (D) No
State must lead on climate change but this measure would have a net loss in state revenue and an unacceptable fiscal impact on education and other priorities.

Bill Bryant (R) No
It's an untested and unpredictable source of funding that will have a negative impact on jobs with minimal improvements to carbon emissions.

ISSUE:

Would you support replacing the business and occupation tax on gross receipts with another tax? If so, what tax?


Goodspaceguy (R) Yes
Would reduce overall tax burden and consider a "head tax" everyone pays.



Bill Hirt (R) Undetermined
No strong opinion either way.

Mary Martin (S) Undetermined
Debates around this have nothing to do with what the working class is facing.

Steve Rubenstein (I):   Yes
B&O tax is goofy. I would phase it out in favor of corporate and individual tax system, and make it simpler in the meantime.
David Blomstrom refused a request to answer grid questions

Jonathan Dodds (D) No
Some people complain about it but it's better than other state systems.

Patrick O'Rourke (D) Yes
Yes, but hasn't a specific replacement. Would want to shift more taxes to the upper income levels.

Christian Joubert (H) Yes
Would replace with a speculation tax on the financial world and toxicity tax on industries that damage the environment.

James Robert Deal (D) Undetermined
Favors a constitutional amendment with an income tax on the top 10 percent, and bring the sales and B&O tax down as the income tax revenue goes up.

Jay Inslee (D) Undetermined
The tax is problematic but there's no obvious replacement with significant support. Should be part of larger discussion on modernizing tax system.

Bill Bryant (R) Yes
It hits small business hard, particularly in communities like Spokane where almost 65% of employers have 4 employees or fewer. I would be open to considering alternatives.

ISSUE:

Do you agree with the state Supreme Court's McCleary decision that the state has not properly funded public schools? If so, how would you pay for changes in 2017-19?


Goodspaceguy (R) No
50 percent budget already goes to education and that's way too much.



Bill Hirt (R) No
I don't think the Supreme Court can dictate to the Legislature what to do.

Mary Martin (S) Undetermined
Education is a class-divided question. The state under capitalism is not interested in real education.

Steve Rubenstein (I) Yes
Implement a capital gains tax and income tax to change the most regressive tax system and diversify it before the next recession.
David Blomstrom refused a request to answer grid questions

Jonathan Dodds (D) Yes
Don't need more revenue. If we audited the state's budget we'd find all the money we'd need.

Patrick O'Rourke (D) Yes
The state needs to raise taxes and would like to see that come from corporations that aren't paying enough, making them pay their share.

Christian Joubert (H) Yes
If the system is restructure to promote home schooling, the speculation tax and toxicity tax would provide more than enough money for teacher raises.

James Robert Deal (D) Yes
State needs a new tax source but the poor and the middle class can't pay more. Any new tax should go first to education.

Jay Inslee (D) Undetermined
State has already made bipartisan improvements to education but has more to do. Tough choices include not relying on local levies to fund basic education, boosting teacher pay and smaller class sizes.

Bill Bryant (R) Undetermined
Calls inequities between rich and poor school districts morally wrong and unconstitutional, but blames Inslee for lack of leadership. Will propose a plan that ensures equal funding for every student, regardless of where they live.

ISSUE:

Do you support the Human Rights Commission's rule that allows transgender people to use public facilities based on their gender identity?


Goodspaceguy (R) Undetermined
I prefer they be able to use whichever facility they identify with.



Bill Hirt (R) No
I think that's an insult.

Mary Martin (S) Undetermined
Defends the right of people to free of harassment but parents are deeply concerned about predators.

Steve Rubenstein (I) Yes
Although parents worry about their children and predators, doubts people will go through process of becoming transgender just to walk into the restroom of another sex.
David Blomstrom refused a request to answer grid questions

Jonathan Dodds (D) Undetermined
I believe we should just build third bathrooms for transgender people

Patrick O'Rourke (D) Yes
Is not worried about the new rule and believes it is being used to divert attention from more important issues.

Christian Joubert (H) Yes
Yes, although the best solution would be a third bathroom option.

James Robert Deal (D) Yes
They've been doing it for years without problems. It's a non-issue.

Jay Inslee (D) Yes
State has always been a leader in fight against discrimination and can't go backwards now.

Bill Bryant (R) Undetermined
Commission overstepped its authority. Transgender people and children using restrooms both should be treated with dignity and that's the responsibility of the Legislature in an open process.

ISSUE:

Do you believe the state minimum wage should be raised, and if so by how much?


Goodspaceguy (R) No
The minimum wage makes it difficult for people to get work and should be abolished.



Bill Hirt (R) No
It's good at the current level.

Mary Martin (S) Undetermined
The national minimum wage needs to go to $15 an hour, but workers need unions to negotiate contracts.

Steve Rubenstein (I):   Yes
Supports $13.50 an hour by 2020, but would also support a little higher, a little faster.
David Blomstrom refused a request to answer grid questions

Jonathan Dodds (D) Yes
It should be raised, but on a sliding scale based on a company's revenue because smaller businesses can't afford $15 an hour.

Patrick O'Rourke (D) Yes
Yes, to at least $15 an hour. The people who will be making more will be spending money and helping the economy.

Christian Joubert (H) Yes
At least $15 an hour or more.

James Robert Deal (D) Yes
Phased in to $15 over 5 years

Jay Inslee (D) Yes
Supports initiative to raise to $13.50 by 2020 and ensure paid sick leave for every worker.

Bill Bryant (R) Undetermined
Supported increases in SeaTac and King County, but doesn't support one-size-fits all increase for entire state because it could cut workers' hours or benefits and could raise prices.