Latest from The Spokesman-Review
More than 250 people attended a fundraiser for Republican candidate for governer Rob McKenna in Spokane County Wednesday evening.
The event featured Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and was held at the home of Mike and Pam Senske, who live southeast of the city of Spokane, according to an invitation for the event. Mike Senske has long been active in Spokane-area politics and their son, Mike A. Senske is the chief executive officer of Pearson Packaging and was a member of the transition team for Spokane Mayor David Condon. (An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed the younger Senske as the host of the fund-raiser.)
McKenna's campaign had declined on Wednesday to say where the fundraiser would be held.
Attendees were charged $125 per person to attend a "pre-reception and photo opportunity" and $40 to attend an "outdoor dinner."
The frontrunner to be the Republican nominee for Washington governor brought a GOP star to Spokane on Wednesday to help raise money for his campaign.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – often listed as a potential vice presidential nominee this year as well as in 2008 – joined Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna soon after disembarking from a private jet at the Spokane International Airport about 5:15 p.m.
After speaking briefly to reporters at a podium not far from the parked plane at the XN Air terminal, Jindal and McKenna were headed to a fundraiser at an undisclosed private residence in Spokane. McKenna spokesman Charles McCray said he didn’t have details immediately available about how many people were expected or how high of a contribution was required to attend. He declined to say who was hosting the event.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee will be on the court Saturday at Hoopfest in a team that also includes Democratic state House candidate Marcus Riccelli.
Their team, the Evergreen Dream Team, will play its first game at 8 a.m. Saturday on Washington Street between Main and Riverside, according to a news release.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna already participated in a popular Spokane sporting event this year. He ran Bloomsday.
The two leading candidates for Washington governor debated for the first time on Tuesday and agreed that new taxes aren’t needed to improve schools.
But they disagreed on most other points, including education in the hour-long debate at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane.
Former Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee declined to promise that he would add a billion dollars in the next two-year budget to improve basic education in a way demanded by the state Supreme Court in a ruling made earlier this year. His opponent, Republican Rob McKenna did, noting that $1 billion is just 3 percent of the state budget.
But Inslee accused McKenna of “faulty math” for supporting significant budget increases for education, higher education and Medicaid funding while also supporting to exempt more than 100,000 businesses from the state’s business and occupation tax.
“We do have to realize that we don’t have a printing press,” Inslee said. “My opponent has made promises that we just cannot keep.”
McKenna responded that he would push for business and occupation tax relief only after schools are “fully funded” and the higher education budget is boosted.
“It’s not something we can afford to do right away,” McKenna said. “If it’s not part of your vision, you’ll never attain it.”
Inslee: There's a federal process and that process needs to be followed. I have a concern about expansion of tribal gaming that could lead to harm for existing businesses. Each of them needs to be reviewed on the merits. Need to look at land use impacts. There are legitimate concerns about how the Spokane Tribe proposal could affect Fairchild Air Force Base.
McKenna: Does he support revenue sharing with tribes. I do not think it's a good policy. The compacts don't allow it and I don't think we want the state government to become dependent on gaming revenue.
Inslee: Thanks for reminding me. I don't support revenue sharing on gaming
How will you vote on the initiative?
McKenna: We will go to the Supreme Court and I believe they will overturn the King County ruling the supermajority is unconstitutional. The voters have been clear on taxes. They did so because it provides a higher wall. But it's not insurmountable.
Inslee: Rob supported multiple tax increases while he was on the King County Council and they didn't require a supermajority. When we impose a two-thirds majority it goes against one-person, one-vote. Let democracy rule.
McKenna: He's clearly against a rule 64 percent of the voters approved.
When is the right time to ask voters for a tax increase for transportation?
McKenna: The fall of 2013 or fall of 2014. It will depend on the voters' reaction to the list of projects…including the North Spokane Corridor. We need to look for ways to provide more support to local governments to expand transit. We need to pay close attention to freight mobility.
Inslee: Right now we're lacking in trust in the state government. We need to bring lean management to every department of government, including the Department of Transportation.
McKenna: He didn't answer the question. When is the right time. He refuses to take a position on this
Inslee: The right time is when we regain the trust of voters. That's not a calendar date.
Followup: What about public-private partnerships for transporation.
Inslee: We should look at multiple options and find one that works. Need to watch the details, look at all the tools at our disposal. Private enterprise can produce good products for state government. It has to be a partnership between a more efficient government and business. I would would consider those in the right circumstances.
McKenna: I don't believe we should tap our pension system to fund programs, as Inslee proposed at the beginning of his campaign. We need to attract private capital.
Inslee: I listened to people and will not propose changes to our pension system.
If you could do it over, would you make it possible to make it easier to get mortgagest for people with poor credit?
Inslee: The problem was de-regulation of Wall Street. I stood up to Bill Clinton and my party on the repeal of Glass Stieglitz. I don't blame the homeowners. I blame Wall Street for the financial collapse. Some people were over their heads. But the answer is not to reduce people's access to credit.
McKenna: The question was whether to release standards, making it easier for people with poor credit to obtain loans. It invited speculators in.
Inslee: The McKenna Romney view is the problem is because of homeowners. I believe it's because of Wall Street.
Inslee: As King County Council president, the council passed a budget that was out of balance in King County, why should voters trust you as governor?
McKenna: I opposed a new tax increase, the council passed it. In my opinion, it was the wrong thing to do. They passed the budget they wanted.
Inslee: Leadership is hard. Given the opportunity to build consensus, my opponet didn't succeed.
Inslee: Look at them through the lens of jobs and job benefits, and the potential downsides for the towns the trains will go through, including Spokane. Right policy and it is the law. This is a moment of truth for the state of Washington: Will we embrace new sources of energy? We need to have policies to make sure new energy companies locate here.
McKenna: Important to business, labor and communities. We're talking about hundreds of high-paying jobs. They have to go through a rigorous EIS process. If they make it through, why should they be discriminated against.
Inslee: I think that's a fair statement if you look at the impact on companies in communites where trains go through.
How many jobs can you create if you're elected? How can the state afford tax breaks to business if you're going to spend more for higher education?
McKenna: It's not something we can afford to do right away. The current threshhold doesn't make sense, but after we've fully funded education and restored funding for higher education, we should look at. We need to centralize the collection of the B&O tax, like centralized sales tax would make more sense.
Inslee: Making promises you can't fulfill is not the leadership the state needs. His promises can't be kept. I have proposed a tax credit for research and development for small businesses, credits for hiring new employees.
McKenna: The congressman opposes B&O tax relief at any time.
Why target B&O tax relief to certain industries?
Inslee: We don't have unlimited funds. We have to choose and we should not be waiting to building the industries of the next century.
McKenna: Why not give all businesses a fair chance to be successful.
Inslee: Cutting edge companies are growing in Washington, especially in Eastern Washington, seeds that we need to see sprout. A center for aviation biofuels at WSU. To make sure businesses compete with oil industries, allow R&D from our universities.
MKenna: Innovation occurs in many places, not just in hand-picked industries. Best approach is to be color blind in the kind of industries we're supporting, green, blue collar or pink collar.
Inslee: Our existing industries aren't color blind.
Follow up: What's the balance between environment and job growth. What state restrictions are too strict:
McKenna: Inslee should have addressed federal assistance for those companes when he was in Congress. Shorelines management. We have local, state and federal, we should harmonize those rules and get more cleanup.
Inslee: Harmonizing means reduce our protections for clean air and clean water
McKenna: The Congressman has never seen a regulation he didn't like.
Inslee: I know how difficult it is to see this incredible debt burden on kids. We've got to do things to make higher education more affordable… Expand online learning opportunities…free universities from some of the restrictions…allow colleges to commercialize some of their technologies …If we do these things, use colleges to drive our economy.
McKenna: In the 1990s, over 16 percent of the state budget went to higher education. Now it's 8 percent. Stop cutting higher education in the general fund budget, which is why I called Republicans to reverse their proposed cuts in higher education.
Followup: You're talking about a lot of new state spending. Can you reverse the trend in a first term?
Inslee: Don't dig the hole deeper.
McKenna: The folks running Olympia (Democrats) for the last 20 years are responsible.
Will you ask for a new tax for schools?
Inslee: No. I'm proposing job creation (to increase revenue) and close some of the corporate tax loopholes. We are 5th in high tech jobs, but 46th in the production of students to fullfill those jobs…We have to have changes that can't wait for additional funding. Not allow substandard teachers in the classroom, expand science technology and math education.
McKenna: We can't put more money into an unreformed system. Look for more money on all day kindergarten, close tax loopholes, squeeze the budget, repurpose existing spending on things like administration.
Inslee: This is not a time to take away money (for charter schools)
Followup: Take a new fund source off the table?
Inslee: Yes. Finance our schools through growth.
McKenna: We have a dedicated source, it's called the general fund. That's what paramount duty says.
Inslee: We can't wait for the billion dollars to make the reform.
McKenna: We can find the money in the state budget.
Followup: Do you support a ballot measure for charter schools?
McKenna: This is a too we ought to have in our state. All states with major metropolitan areas have them. They should be part of the mix. There are other models for innovation too. I'll be voting yes.
Inslee: Great innovation going on around the state. I'm going to put $1 billion more into the budget, don't want to have some of it going out for charter schools. Only 1 in 5 succeed. I'll be voting no.
McKenna: These charter schools are public schools
What steps would you take if the Supreme Court
McKenna: Implement the health insurance exchange, expanded Medicaid program. We also need to look to insurance reform to create more competition. We need a market that is national. We also need liabilitly reform, reduce the cost of defensive medicine. Encourage more Washingtonians to move to consumer directed health care plans. I expect we will continue to be leaders.
Inslee: It is a value in the state of Washington that if you are a breast cancer survivor, you should be able to get health care insurance… You should be able to have your son or daughter on your insurance. I am disappointed our attorney general has tried to take that awaly.
McKenna: Inslee voted for a law advisers warned had an unconstitutional mandate. Medicaid could expand if the bill is overturned.
Inslee: If the bill is oveturned, we can't look to Uncle Sam.
Here's how the gubernatorial debate in Spokane started:
Rob McKenna: We need a new direction for Washington…These dreams are at risks.)ure Streets aren't safe. Our schools leave people behind, our universities are too expensive.
Jay Inslee: Build a working Washington. I have an abiding faith in our ability to move forward