Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Jay Inslee


Throw every legal penalty in sight at DUI drivers

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Unfortunately, it is very easy to make the case for cracking down harder on drunken and drugged driving, as Gov. Jay Inslee has just proposed.

Where to begin? Last time we visited this subject, three weeks ago, we cited the appalling case of a multiple offender accused of plowing into a family – killing two of them – in Seattle.
We could have mentioned the Gig Harbor man charged with vehicular homicide last month after ­– according to police – he crashed his car at high speed near Purdy and killed

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McKenna on why he lost

Erik Smith has an interesting interview with Rob McKenna on the Washington State Wire, dissecting the former attorney general’s thoughts on why he lost the gubernatorial race to Democrat Jay Inslee in November. Read it here.

McKenna points to the lack of success all but one Republican had in getting elected statewide in Washington and cites growing partisan polarization and being hurt by the national party’s image problems. Even though he had most newspaper endorsements (including The News Tribune’s) and carried 47 of the state’s 49 a majority of the state’s legislative districts, he couldn’t overcome the overwhelmingly Democratic

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Union offers Inslee a test of independence he must pass

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

One concern that many – including this newspaper’s editorial board  – have about Jay Inslee is that the state’s next governor might be too cozy with the public employee unions.

Now the union representing Washington State Patrol troopers and sergeants – which endorsed Rob McKenna for governor – has conveniently proposed an early test of how independent Inslee might be. The union has called on him to dump WSP Chief John Batiste and replace him with its hand-picked choice, Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar.

Apparently Batiste – who served in the patrol

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Our hopes and wishes for a brighter new year

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Shake up that Etch A Sketch. A new year dawns – and so does hope that the world can move beyond the blunders, disappointments and nasty predicaments of 2012.
Some of our hopes for 2013:

• The drawdown of U.S. troops – including Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers – continues on course in Afghanistan. The bleeding ends.

• The Seahawks win the Super Bowl in February.

• Gov. Jay Inslee proves better at finding money for public schools than his campaign rhetoric suggested.

• Washington’s pot smokers obey the law that legalized marijuana – especially the parts about licensed sales, and keeping the drug out of sight and away from minors.

• Randy Dorn, the state superintendent of public schools, gives up the idea of suing the voters to stop charter schools.

• Lawmakers figure out that they can’t keep starving higher education without squeezing Washington’s economic future.

• The state figures out how to fund the extension of Highway 167 from Puyallup to the Port of Tacoma, and the construction of the cross-base highway from Frederickson to Interstate 5.

• Tacoma’s municipal unions join T.C. Broadnax’s effort to control city spending and preserve public services.

• Republicans start treating climate change as a scientific issue, not a partisan sledgehammer.

• After getting booted by the voters, former Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam fades into deserved obscurity.

• Afghans and Americans see unmistakable justice done for the appalling massacre of 16 Afghan villagers in March.

• Police solve the disappearance of Susan Powell, whose husband, Josh, murdered their two small boys and killed himself in February.
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Gregoire’s DOA budget plan offers roadmap of possible routes

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Entering her last few weeks as governor, Chris Gregoire tied up one of her constitutionally mandated duties Tuesday. She presented a 2013-2015 budget that makes cuts, raises taxes and is, almost certainly, dead on arrival.

But there’s value in this $34 billion lame-duck proposal, if only to frame the huge challenge before incoming governor Jay Inslee, the Democratic House and the closely divided Senate as they try to reach consensus on a budget.

As in years past, they’ll face a deficit (just under $1 billion), a still-shaky economy and a voter-approved initiative that limits their ability to raise taxes. Add to that the directive in January from the Washington Supreme Court to make progress on addressing a serious shortfall in funding for K-12 education.

The urgency of doing that was reinforced Thursday when the court ruled that the Legislature is moving too slowly in finding more money for education. Although the state has until 2018 to solve its education shortfall problem under the McCleary lawsuit decision, the court wants to see more steady progress than it’s seen so far.
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6 days from election, the scariest Halloween of all

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print editon.

Witches, zombies, ghosts and ghouls. Lions and tigers and bears. Dare we venture out after dark with election day so close at hand?

A pall of horror shrouds the ballot from top to bottom.

It begins with revelations of Barack Obama conniving with top advisers to let terrorists kill his ambassador to Libya – perhaps in expiation for any sins he didn’t cover in his apology tour of the Middle East.

Mitt Romney is no less spooky: He said “binders of women” instead of “binders of names of women,” a telling omission that betrayed his plot to put half the human race in manacles.

But let’s not forget about Obama gutting the Navy by having fewer ballistic-missile warships than Woodrow Wilson had gunboats.

Washington’s elections are haunted by frightful apparitions. Put on the “Shriek” masks, everyone.

Charter schools are fluttering in the twilight, poised to feast on the blood of public education. Just ask the Washington Education Association.

Jay Inslee, running for governor, has exposed a terrifying truth about his rival, Rob McKenna. As attorney general of the nation’s most plaintiff-friendly state, McKenna actually settled lawsuits against the government.

In the race for attorney general, it’s Alien vs. Predator.

According to Democrat Bob Ferguson, Republican Reagan Dunn bought a $707 rug for his office.

According to Dunn, Ferguson bought a $707 table skirt for meetings.

According to Ferguson, Dunn has been charged with a “serious crime.” Which appears to consist of doing doughnuts in a Camaro on a snowy parking lot – at age 17.

According to Dunn, Ferguson once – as a law student, 20 years ago – helped a death row inmate get an attorney. Two would-be attorneys general, both steeped in criminality.
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Washington will fare best with McKenna as governor

Rob McKenna

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Washington has two substantial candidates for governor this year, state Attorney General Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee. McKenna is the standout.

Inslee, a Democrat, has had a creditable career as a federal lawmaker. He represented the 1st Congressional District from 1999 until earlier this year, when he stepped down to focus on the governor’s race.

One stark difference between the two is administrative experience. Inslee’s résumé has nothing to compare with McKenna’s eight years running the
Office of the Attorney General, which amounts to an immense law firm employing hundreds of attorneys.

It’s not just that he ran the office; he ran it well. His most impressive achievement, perhaps, was his multi-pronged, multi-state offensive against banks that had preyed on homebuyers and homeowners with dishonest lending and foreclosure practices.

This year, he and several of his peers from other states pushed JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, City and GMAC into a $25 billion settlement. Read more »


Democrats twist truth in attacking McKenna on education

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna says he wants to add $1 billion to the state’s public education budget. Now some Democrats are claiming that he favored cutting money for the state’s schools.

Somebody’s peddling an election season falsehood, and it’s not McKenna.

It would be convenient for McKenna’s opponent, Democrat Jay Inslee, if the Republican were trying to strangle K-12 funding. That stance would destroy McKenna’s standing among the centrist and independent voters he needs to get elected.

But that’s not the case, as the Seattle Times reported Monday. Read more »