Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Jay Inslee


Question for the Inslee campaign

Don’t you have any supporters in the South Sound?

We’re getting a lot of letters to the editor supporting Democrat Jay Inslee for governor – all from Seattle. We won’t be running any of them in print; one was approved for online only.

We’re trying hard to get in all the letters written by people who actually live in our circulation area; if we started running Seattle letters we’d have to devote most of our print space to letters. Plus, if you think about it, running a bunch of pro-Inslee letters from Seattleites probably would hurt him more than help

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In these primaries, the best candidates are self-evident

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

We put a fair amount of work – interviews, homework, discussion – into most of our primary endorsements. In a few cases, we don’t have to.

We don’t interview or endorse statewide candidates who don’t have a major party behind them. We like the idea of electing a good maverick as much as anyone, but the odds only stretch so far. The days when George Washington could get elected by ladling out rum from town to town are long gone. If you don’t have a big organization and at least some money behind you, you can’t beat an opponent who does. Like it or not, that’s the way elections work.

Nor do we invest time in felons, cranks, vanity candidates, candidates who’ve invented their own parties, candidates whose statements are riddled with spelling errors, and other sure losers. Their names may appear on the ballot; that doesn’t make them viable candidates.

Here are three primary races in which the strongest Democratic and Republican candidates are self-evident:

• For the U.S. Senate, it’s incumbent Maria Cantwell and challenger Michael Baumgartner.

Cantwell we all know. Baumgartner is a state senator, former U.S. diplomat and economic development specialist.
They’re opposed by Mike the Mover, perennial pest Will Baker and several more respectable candidates with minimal or no experience in public office. Enough said.

• For governor, the only real choice is between Attorney General Rob McKenna and former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee.
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Where are the women candidates?

Today’s centerpiece article on the opinion page about women candidates, “Don’t get mad, get elected,” got me wondering about the future of this state’s female leadership.

Washington has a woman governor and two women senators. The state Senate has a woman majority leader (Lisa Brown), and the state Legislature is full of women.

But now Brown has announced she’s not seeking re-election, and Gov. Chris Gregoire is stepping down, likely to be replaced by either Rob McKenna or Jay Inslee. If Sen. Marie Cantwell is defeated in November, the state will only have one woman elected statewide (Sen. Patty Murray). Read more »


Start-ups too risky for state pension fund investment

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

If elected governor next year, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee says he’d focus on job creation in innovative fields.

That’s a worthy goal. But the way he’d fund it – by investing a portion of the state pension funds in start-up companies that pledge to stay in Washington – is worrisome. His plan would use money that needs to be as secure as possible to fund the kind of investments that are about as risky as they come.

The Washington State Investment Board folks who manage $61 billion in state pension funds don’t seem too thrilled by Inslee’s idea either. The board’s executive director, Theresa Whitmarsh, told the Seattle Times that the WSIB is bound by a “very, very strict fiduciary duty” to maximize return on investments that fund state retirees’ benefits. Its goal of an 8 percent return was set by the Legislature.
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Looking forward to 2012

What does a Republican have to do to get elected statewide in Washington, where the heavily Democratic Puget Sound can trump voters in the rest of the state? In his post-mortem of the Nov. 2 election, former state Republican Party chairman Chris Vance had this to say on Crosscut:

To win statewide, a Republican must win Pierce and Snohomish and attract 40 percent of the vote in King County. . . . Message, not mechanics, is the key. Republicans must find candidates and messages that will appeal to moderate, pragmatic, well-educated suburban voters.

Read the entire posting here.


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Shopping for a (governor’s) mansion

When a politician elected from some other corner of the state happens to drop in and nonchalantly chat us up, it’s not a coincidence.

Yesterday’s visit by U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee wasn’t the exception. The ostensible purpose was to talk about his energy proposals, for which briefing we were grateful. But had Inslee – who represents exotic lands north of Seattle – just found himself with time to kill and felt moved to drive down I-5 and kill it with The News Tribune’s opinion writers?

Well … it’s no longer much of a secret that Inslee, a devout Democrat, has

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