Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Political Desk: State Executive

I think it is clear by now I have a political "type" - Wonky, goal-oriented, achievement-based, progressive-minded, centrist in results, consensus-driven. I WILL vote against a particular candidate from time to time, and there are a couple on the ballot that I will throw my weight against. but I'd much rather vote FOR someone. Just so you know.

In any event, Washington State elects it ENTIRE EXECUTIVE every four years, timed with the national elections. So we have a lot of ground to cover.

Governor - Jay Inslee fits the above-mentioned type I favor. Former US Rep, centrist, strong on green energy and jobs. Yeah, I think he's do the job. He doesn't make me take to the streets in support, but he sounds pretty competent. And he's pro-environment, but then, in Seattle, who isn't? (oh yeah, the guys who want to run coal trains through downtown to send coal to China) Vote Inslee.

By the same token, Rob McKenna has evolved into the type of candidate I will vote against. He strikes me as the cartoon-Republican we see parodied on the Daily Show. Runs as an outsider while he's been part of the administration for the past eight years as Attorney General. He started strong in that role, but is known best for opposing things (ACA, a case against the Bureau of Public Lands) than accomplishing things. And then losing in court in that opposition. Talks small government and thrift while his department got bigger and his paycheck heavier. Slew of gaffes early on, such that he's currently laying low with the aid of a compliant press and acting more moderate.

Yet, despite my misgivings, I still suspect McKenna is going to take this. We've had of lot of Democrat governance for the past decade and this could be a change election.  Plus, the Seattle Times is running its own ads for the guy, and should be expecting a payout if he wins.

And note to the Times: If you're going to trash your journalistic ethics to campaign for a candidate, the least you should do is make some good ads. The one in yesterday's paper would get lost on a mailer.

Lieutenant Governor - On the other hand, I will gladly endorse Republican Bill Finkbeiner. Finkbeiner was for marriage equality before it was cool, and is more to the left than the incumbent. Yeah, let's go with him.

Secretary of State. No endorsement, because I simply can't make up my mind. Both Kathleen Drew and Kim Wyman are excellent candidates. They have good endorsements and ideas. They would be challenged to fill the shoes of Sam Reed (the wise and understanding grandfather of Washington Politics) but either would be up to that challenge. I've written this paragraph five times, and each time ended up endorsing one or the other. Let me endorse both, then. I mean, its my blog, after all.

State Treasurer - Jim McIntire. Incumbent. Competent. Should be re-elected.

State Auditor - Here's the flip side of the Secretary of State. I didn't particularly care much for EITHER of these guys in the primary, but hey, we're a democracy. I'm going to go with Troy Kelley because he is less conservative and anti-government than James Watkins. And you really should have people in government that LIKE government.

Attorney General - Bob Ferguson shows up for the job and has a couple armfuls of endorsements. Opponent Reagan. Dunn is running off name recognition, the hope you won't notice his voting record, and deep out of state pockets. Said pockets (Karl Rove's Republican State Leadership Commission) are running a scare ad against Ferguson about him working to defend a cop-killer. Twenty five years ago. When he was a law student. And by "working for" we mean seeking to get death row criminals decent representation. Yeah, that's all they got, a lot of faux outrage. Did I mention that this outrage did not extend to the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association, which endorsed Ferguson? Well, now I have.

This ad has been running in heavy rotation during sports games for the past two weeks. The Times only has chosen to address it once the Dems starting running their own pearl-clutcher of an ad about Dunn making deals with criminals (which in the real world is called "plea-bargaining"). Because as a referee of public discussion, it only worth reporting if the other side hits back.

Commissioner of Public Lands - Peter J Goldmark, unless you're a Redskins fan. Even then, you might think again.

Insurance Commissioner - Mike Kriedler. see above for Jim McIntire.

Next up, we go to the State Legislature, and I beat up on the Seattle Times some more.

More later,