Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: attorney general’s office

Jan.
31st

Open government needs a vigilant champion

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

When it comes to being as open with citizens as required by state law, government doesn’t always get it right.

One thing it is doing right: employing a person whose sole job is to increase openness whenever possible. That’s the open-government ombudsman in the state Attorney General’s Office, a post created in 2005 by former Attorney General Rob McKenna and held since 2007 by Tim Ford.

In 2008, the position was a casualty of budget cuts and became part time. New Attorney General Bob Ferguson ought to preserve it and return it to full-time status as soon as feasible.
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July
9th

Our primary choices for attorney general, auditor

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

After two terms as attorney general, Rob McKenna is leaving in hopes of higher state office. Three men are running to replace him as the state’s top law enforcement official: Democrat Bob Ferguson and Republicans Reagan Dunn and Stephen Pidgeon. The top-two vote-getters in the Aug. 7 primary will meet in the Nov. 6 general election.

As the sole Democrat in the race, Ferguson is  virtually assured of being one of those two candidates. Even so, Democrats can vote for him without reservations. A bright, thoughtful attorney with a civil litigation background, he has served three terms on the King County Council. The Seattle resident will be a strong opponent in the general election for whichever Republican makes it through the primary.

Voters preferring a Republican candidate should choose Maple Valley resident Dunn – also a member of the King County Council. He has been a prosecutor and assistant U.S. attorney as well as a civil litigator.  Read more »

Nov.
17th

State must act against loans that steal homes

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Exhibit A: Lender extends $17,000 loan to unemployed mechanic who’d fallen behind on his property taxes, dupes mechanic into signing a note for $170,000 and a quitclaim deed that allows immediate seizure of house after a single missed payment.

Effective interest rate: 45 percent. Lender claims house.

Exhibit B: Lender loans $5,000 to single mother of two; she misses payment; he seizes her house in Graham and $70,000 in equity.

Exhibit C: Lender extends loan to Lakewood hairdresser facing foreclosure. Origination fees: $26,400. She believes she’s getting $240,000 at 14 percent. Effective interest rate is nearly 90 percent, with payment in full due in 90 days.

She says she didn’t understand paperwork but lender assured her the forms were standard. She goes to hospital, returns to find foreclosure notice on her door.

Such – according to The Seattle Times – is the modus operandi of hard-money lender Emiel Kandi, a University Place man already known in these parts for opening a casino and an illegal marijuana shop in Tacoma. Kandi may not be the most unscrupulous operator out there, but he may be the most brazen.
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