Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Greg Nickels

July
5th

Wyman and Kastama in secretary of state primary

Kim Wyman

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Democrats will remember a sinking feeling in 2000 when they discovered that the woman overseeing Florida’s presidential vote count – Secretary of State Katherine Harris – was a highly partisan Republican working for George W. Bush’s election.

Washington Republicans will remember their own suspicions after the 2004 governor’s race when they saw King County’s elections office – supervised by the Democratic county executive, Ron Sims – coming up with satchel after satchel of uncounted ballots that tilted toward Democrat Chris Gregoire.

The lesson: Hard-core partisanship and vote-counting are a dangerous mix. The legitimacy of close elections depends on public confidence that the people handling the ballots are honest brokers.

Jim Kastama

Example: The 2004 contest between Gregoire and Dino Rossi ended in a statistical tie. Her infinitesimal margin – 129 votes out of 2.9 million – was accepted in part because the statewide election was overseen by a soft-edged, even-handed Republican, Secretary of State Sam Reed, who had the trust of just about everybody.

This is why we favor Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman and state Sen. Jim Kastama of Puyallup in the Aug. 7 primary for secretary of state.
Read more »

Sep.
9th

Russell courtship was a stab in the back

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

In opting for a future in Seattle, the Russell Investment Group made a sober business decision based on its perceived interests. We get that.

But there’s something we don’t get: The way some of Seattle’s civic and political leaders leaped at the chance to grab a neighboring city’s largest downtown private employer.
Russell was probably Seattle-bound one way or another.

Frank Russell started the company in Tacoma 73 years ago, and its history in this area has been long and distinguished. Russell employees – roughly three-quarters of whom live in Pierce County – have been notable assets to their communities. They’ve provided extraordinary volunteer service and other contributions to charitable causes and nonprofit organizations.

We will long remember then-CEO Craig Ueland’s donation of $250,000 to the 2006 United Way campaign – which was matched by Russell itself, then by George and Dion Russell.
Although the company’s payroll has been a pillar of the Tacoma economy, its strong ethic of corporate citizenship and philanthropy may be missed even more when it leaves at the end of next year.

But the Russell Investment Group’s ties to Tacoma have slowly weakened since George Russell sold the company to Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual in 1998. Ueland is gone, and Russell’s board of directors is now Milwaukee-dominated. Read more »