Rob McKenna tells us not to worry about his nearly $200,000 in out-of-state junkets because somebody else paid for them (TNT, 10-29). I want to know the quid pro quo McKenna provided for his travels. I also want to know who funded the Republican Attorney Generals’ Association and financed his travel in his unsuccessful attack on the Affordable Care Act.
Whereas Gov. Chris Gregoire’s out-of-state travel was in support of the bipartisan litigation she led against the tobacco companies to limit their ability to market their poisons to children (and to extend the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s victory over Joe Camel billboards nationwide), McKenna’s litigation in association with his fellow Republican attorneys general was a partisan attack on the Affordable Care Act.
Thanks to Gregoire’s leadership, outdoor tobacco advertising has been limited and the states have been repaid billions for their Medicaid expenditures caused by smoking. In contrast, if McKenna had prevailed in his ill-considered suit, insurance companies would have regained their freedom to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, to spend more than 20 percent of our premiums on their profits and expenses, and to impose arbitrary lifetime limits on care.
Deep Throat said to follow the money, but McKenna’s benefactors seem to have perfected their cloak of invisibility. If he won’t come clean, he shouldn’t be governor.