Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Kilmer, Seaquist and Angel for the 26th district

Post by Kim Bradford on Oct. 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm with 2 Comments »
October 4, 2010 5:13 pm

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

If this year’s primary election was any indication, voters in the swing district that encompasses the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas are inclined to return their bipartisan trio of lawmakers to the Legislature.

They have the right idea. The 26th district won’t find a better mix of proven leadership, experience and representative politics.

Sen. Derek Kilmer, vice president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board, is seeking his second term in the state Senate.

His opponent, Republican Marty McClendon, is a real estate broker who has never served in public office and offers simplistic answers for balancing the state budget. He is not ready for the Senate.

Kilmer has fought to give the state’s universities more leeway to price themselves to preserve education quality and to keep Tacoma Narrows bridge tolls from rising needlessly.

He has consistently been a moderate voice in the Legislature, advocating for fiscal restraint and small business growth. The Legislature needs his economic development insights and pragmatic style.

Kilmer’s counterpart in the House is fellow Democrat Rep. Larry Seaquist, who has proved just as much an asset since his election in 2006.

Seaquist, a former Navy battleship captain who worked on budget reforms at some of the highest levels of the federal government, is a detail-oriented lawmaker adept at navigating bureaucracy to find answers and efficiencies. He doesn’t talk in platitudes; Seaquist offers concrete ideas to some of state government’s most pressing problems.

His challenger, Republican Doug Richards, is a battalion chief at South Kitsap Fire and Rescue. Richards is a personable candidate, but he doesn’t make a case for replacing such an effective and learned lawmaker.

Another political newcomer, Sumner Schoenike, is challenging Rep. Jan Angel in the 26th district’s other House seat.

He is a retired pediatrician who has worked on health care access but is largely untested in the political arena. He labels himself a moderate Democrat, but some of his views tack more to the left than to the center. His lack of a track record makes it hard to predict what voters could expect.

Angel, a former Kitsap County commissioner, is the better fit for her district. Her broad record of public and community service, as well as her experience in local government, lend her deep connections to the area she serves.

Her ability to move legislation during her freshman term was tempered by her membership in the minority party, but Angel offers some criticisms of the Legislature’s performance that are well-placed. We hope she continues to grow as a lawmaker, especially if the Republican caucus gathers force.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. Money is the Mother’s Milk of Politics – Jesse M. Unruh

    I hear 26th District Senate Candidate Derek Kilmer tell me this year to get my vote that he cares about the welfare of each of us who lives in the 26th district and the growth of small business. The news papers in our district just give us editorial fluff about Mr. Kilmer so I fired up Google and did a little fact finding education for myself. This is what I found.

    A quick review of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission report for Derek Kilmer shows that Mr. Kilmer has raised $257,924 in cash. That’s fine; Politics today is all about cash. But, where did the money come from. To my amazement only 20% of the cash donated to Mr. Kilmer came from inside the 26th district, the people he represents. Over $207,000 dollars Derek Kilmer raised has come from outside the State of Washington from places like New York and DC or outside of the 26th District. You are a slave to your debtor. This means that Derek Kilmer does not answer to the people in the 26th District; he answers the people who provided him 80% of his money from outside of our district. In the 26th District we need someone who will represent us, not outside special interest groups, lobbyist, and national groups who could care less about what happens to us, as long as they get Derek Kilmer to do what the paid him to do.

    Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. – Ronald Reagan

    My Google Search Also came across a simple Evergreen Freedom Foundation reports called “Hey Big Spender”. Since 2005 Derek Kilmer voted for over $500 million in new taxes and fees, and for a 33% increase in state spending from 2005 to 2008. In 2009 Derek Kilmer proposed $349 million dollars in new government spending even though the State of Washington Citizens face a government spending deficit of 9 billion dollars. Does this sound like Derek is for the tax payer or small business? Want proof; see “Hey Big Spender” studies from 2005 to 2010 showing Derek’s tax and fee increases for each year on the citizens of the State of Washington.
    Came across Project Vote Smart providing grades given by Association in the State of Washington based on the laws Derek Kilmer has supported and voted on. Derek Kilmer is not a supporter of small business. The Proof is as follows. The National Federation of Independent Business gives Derek Kilmer a 4-year private business support rating of 44% out of 100. That is an F- in support for small business, or well it use to be in the Washington State Education System, but that’s another issue for another day. The Washington Retail Association 2009 to 2010 rating for Mr. Kilmer for support of Washington business is a 63% out of 100. Another failure by Mr. Kilmer to support jobs and businesses. Derek Kilmer gets another F- failing grade of 51% from the Association of Washington Business.

    We need Jobs and growth in the 26th district. We need someone who’s first concern is the 26th district welfare, not someone with out of state special interest group debts to pay back. Facts tell me Derek Kilmer does not match up with our need in a representative for the 26th District. Derek Kilmer will not get my vote this year.

  2. justbusdriver says:

    As to Kilmer, when presented with the fact of state spending having risen over 33% from 2005 through 2009, I personally heard him deny this fact, saying instead that spending has been flat with population growth! Wow! That is quite a statement! For that to be true, population growth for this four year period would have had to have also been 33% which is more than a little absurd.

    As to Seaquist, I also personally heard him suggest that we need a Depression-era government program like the WPA, make-work to get this economy going. This shows an utter lack of knowledge or common sense of what a basic economy even IS, much less what makes an economy grow. Taking money out of the economy does not make an economy hum.

    Neither Kilmer nor Seaquist have any actual business experience which i think is essential in providing real life solutions moving forward.

    Their opponents are new to the political arena but that can be a plus in that they are not as yet as sold out to the monied special interest groups as are Kilmer and Seaquist. I can easily imagine that Kilmer has $200,000 worth of signs littering the higways and byways at this time, to the point of nausea.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0