Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Political Desk: State Level Offices

So the entire state executive branch goes up for re-election every four years. A lot of this we've covered back in the primaries, so this is more of an update.

Governor: Jay Inslee
Lt. Governor: Markos Liias
Secretary of State: Gael Tarleton
State Treasurer: Mike Pellicciotti
State Auditor: Pat (Patrice) McCarthy
Attourney General : Bob Ferguson
Commissioner of Public Lands: Hilary Franz
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Chris Reykdal
Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kreidler

Governor: If we put responsibility of the reacting to the current national crisis upon the President, it only makes sense to put state challenges on the Governor. And Inslee has been up to the task. At the start of the year, we were the epicenter of the pandemic, with minimal help from the Federal Level (there were exceptions, like the Army Corps of Engineers). Inslee went with the science, and we now are not even in the top half of states measuring by per capita. So, good job, there (though the numbers are creeping up again). His opponent is a short-term small town sheriff who doesn't believe in enforcing laws he doesn't like, and has Fox News as a podium for it. Yeah, let's go with the grown-up - Jay Inslee.

Lieutenant Governor is between two Democrats, both with experience and capability. Markos Liias is more activist as opposed to conciliatory, and I'm in for that. A former GOP candidate for Governor is running as a write-in, hope the Dems split the vote neatly enough for him to squeeze in. It is a tough sell, particularly since this Republican is already in trouble for lending personal money for his own campaign, then taking it back after he lost. 

Secretary of State is the one office that I regret my "No Republicans" stance. The incumbent is capable, competent, and no fan of the current administrations' War on Democracy. Her opponent, Gael Tarleton, is actually pretty good as well, writing bills on cyber-security and election protection, so she is a reasonable choice. This is one of those situations where you really have a choice between two good candidates, we will be well served with either. But go with Gael Tarleton.

Fun Trivia Fact: The State GOP gripes about not having a Republican Governor since 1985, but we have not had a Democratic SoS since 1964.

State Treasurer: We currently have a Republican State Treasurer because of a split primary ballot resulting in two GOPs running against each other in the general election four years ago. This time there is a choice. The incumbent Republican has been relatively inert, despite federal threats to deny the state funding because the White House doesn't like our politics. Let's get a little more progressive - Vote for Mike Pellicciotti 

State Auditor: So we DID have a big scandal this year, with crooks ripping off the State Unemployment Bureau in the opening act of the Pandemic. Who spearheaded tracking the money down and getting a good chunk of it back? Incumbent Pat (Patrice) McCarthy. So yeah, let's keep her.

Attorney General: We have a superstar in Bob Ferguson, who has been an activist in resisting the utter stupidity of the Federal Executive Branch of the Federal Government. He's been on his toes working as "the people's lawyer" for everything from Eyeman's poltical scams to credit card fraud to Facebook to being 22-0 (so far) against Trump. Yeah, Let's keep him as well.

Commissioner of Public Lands: Are we still on fire? Not so  much? Let's keep Hilary Franz. She has a strong balance between commercial forestry needs and the environment, and has worked hard to reduce the impact of wildfires. She's done a good job.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: The incumbent is Chris Reykdal. He has had his hands full recently (pandemic, online teaching, you know, the usual), but has been up to the task. And he's carrying the responsibility (and brunt) of Ref 90 to make sure your kids aren't getting all their sexual health education off the Internet. So let's keep him as well.

Insurance Commissioner: I always feel bad about this, because I get down to this level and just say that Mike Kreidler has done a good job for twenty years and you should vote for him. Because he has and you should.

That's the State of the State - More later,