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.

Tag: Rob McKenna


Mind your tweets and other e-messages

It can’t be said enough, and I’ve written a couple of editorials on the subject: Never post anything on a blog or send a tweet or email that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper some time in the future. Even in the far future.

As recent University of Washington graduate Kathlyn Ehl is discovering, that stuff can come back to haunt you – and maybe even end a budding career. This is a potentially big problem, especially for young people, who seem not to have many inhibitions about what they put online.

Ehl lost her job Wednesday as a campaign staffer for gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna after it was discovered that she had tweeted offensive comments about Asians and the elderly months ago when she was still a UW student. After graduating recently, she took a job with the McKenna campaign as a policy assistant. Her tweets were posted Monday on the website of The Stranger, a Seattle alternative newspaper. Read more »


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 »


Impressive candidates for attorney general, secretary of state

Attorney General Rob McKenna, you might have heard, is running for a different office this year. And Secretary of State Sam Reed is retiring. But don’t worry about those offices; each has impressive candidates aspiring to fill them if our endorsement interviews are any indication.

On Thursday, we talked with the major-party secretary of state candidates – Democrats Jim Kastama, Greg Nickels and Kathleen Drew and Republican Kim Wyman. We’ll be endorsing two of them in the Aug. 7 primary. Read more »


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 »


Decide sooner, not later, on health insurance mandate

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Well, is it or isn’t it?

The question of whether the federal health care insurance mandate is constitutional is all but certain now to go where everyone knew it would eventually – the U.S. Supreme Court.

The mandate for all Americans with taxable income to purchase at least minimal health insurance by 2014 is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act approved by Congress in 2010. It has been challenged by 26 Republican attorneys general – including Washington’s Rob McKenna.

Two federal appeals court panels have ruled on it: The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel (Florida, Georgia and Alabama) struck down the mandate as unconstitutional but upheld the rest of the law while the 6th Circuit panel based in Ohio upheld the law and the mandate. With two federal courts ruling in opposite ways, the mandate was going to get to the Supreme Court eventually. But separate requests from both the Obama administration and the AGs have speeded up the process. Read more »


Agencies should pay if they violate open records law

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Open-government advocates have successfully beat back the most egregious attempts to undermine public disclosure this legislative session. But they are still poised to suffer defeats that could have lasting implications for the fight to keep the public’s business public.

A couple of bills that appear to be all but guaranteed a trip to the governor’s desk, while not the broad rollbacks of public records laws that lawmakers eyed earlier this year, would chip further away at state government’s presumption of openness.

The most troublesome is a bill that once was a well-intended attempt by Rep. Mark Miloscia (D-Federal Way) to adjust fines for public-records violations for inflation.
Read more »


State shouldn’t be national champ in paying damages

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

When a person is injured on a state highway, when a foster child is abused or when a released prisoner commits a horrible crime, sometimes it’s because state employees were negligent in performing their jobs. In those cases, it makes sense that the state would pay damages.

But should it pay more than any other state?

That’s the case now because Washington exposes itself to more liability than any other state in the Union. In fact, compared to states of equal population, Washington paid out four to 12 times the amount in judgments last year.

Take Massachusetts and Arizona, for instance. With comparable populations of about 6.5 million, they only paid out $13 million and $8.5 million, respectively, in 2009. Washington paid out more than $50 million – plus spent another $19 million in legal costs fighting the lawsuits. Read more »


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.


Read more »