Monday, July 27, 2020

The Political Desk: Yes, Guv'nor

There are 36 candidates on the ballot for Governor. Blame COVID-19.

I am serious. In usual times, you have to get so many signatures to get on the ballot. These are not usual times, and since there would be difficulties getting signatures when no one want to come to the door, the governor waved that requirement. As a result, anyone with the desire to run is in.

So, we have the incumbent Democrat, five relatively viable Republicans, and a host of fringe candidates, well-meaning souls and utter nutters. And while I like all of you, I am not going to go into ALL the details, even for comedic purposes - just go to the online Voters' Guide and browse until your eyes water.

And despite this plethora of candidates, it probably going to boil down to Jay Inslee versus one these Five Guys (not to be confused with burger chain of the same name).

Jay Inslee is the current governor, shocking his opposition not only by temporarily running for president, but by running for a third term. How dare he! He's done a very good in an extremely difficult situation with COVID-19, and has helped turn the state from an epicenter for the disease to merely struggling against it. Lot of tough decisions here, particularly, since it is in the state government's advantage to re-open faster, since the state gets its money through things like sales taxes. No stores, no sales tax, no revenue for the state. Still, he has deferred to experts and made the hard choices. So yeah, I am recommending Jay Inslee. What else we got?

"Gadfly" is a good word for Tim Eyman. Other good words include bankrupt, chair thief and under investigation by the state's Attorney General. Eyman has been milking the state's initiative process for decades, skimming off the top the donations he gets from the gullible. His initiatives are of the "magic pony" variety - reduce your car tabs! We don't need road repairs anyway! This is the first time he is actually running for something, and stands an good chance of getting onto the November ballot, because people know who he is. He doesn't stand a good chance of becoming governor because people know who he is.

So if Eyman is the gadfly, Joshua Freeman is the money. He's got the dollar lead on the others, but a good chunk of it comes out of his pocket. Former Mayor of Bothell, he represents the real estate development wing of the party, and has had some ethics investigations (cleared, by the way, but that's one reason he's not running for re-election in Bothell).

Phil Fortunato is the blast from the past, because he's the reason I got into this political blogging in the first place. Way back when I  moved to Washington in the 90's, he had this HUGE signs along the road paid for by the "Friends of Phil".  I seem to remember that he didn't have much of a good opinion of his job at the time, but now can claim to be the only major candidate with actual experience in the state legislature. He's got the best sound bites of the GOP side. So, golden oldie? Smart kid in the room? Snark-master? I dunno. He's Phil. I assume he still has friends.

Loren Culp is a small-town sheriff who got national attention by standing up to the Man and refusing to enforce laws he doesn't agree with. Things like gun safety and not spreading coronavirus. He's standing up to the Man! He's the cause celebre who has been on Fox News talking about freedom and getting a book published with a forward by Ted Nugent, He's also being sued for botching a sexual abuse investigation and intimidating the victim.  Just call him the Fox Candidate. 

And finally we have Raul Garcia, the hope of what is left of the moderate wing of the party. He's actually not insane, which means you can vote against him based on his political stands as opposed to the miasma of sideshow weirdness that surrounds his rivals. He supports masks! He's pro-choice! Says good things about marriage equality! Won't commit to supporting Trump! He has the support of the remaining chunks of "moderate Republicans"like former Secretary of State Sam Reed and former state Attorney General Robert McKenna. So in the present GOP, he's toast. (I really hope I'm wrong on this).

Those are the biggies. Feel free to wander through the Voter's Guide for the candidate who's statement consists of the same chant written twenty-five times and similar gems and the one that think abolishing the minimum wage is the solution to America's problems.. (Note, the state does not edit the candidates' statements, which both is revealing and also shows the need of an editor.)

More later.