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Posts Tagged ‘Governor’

State shows economy on the red side of ‘flat’

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Mike Baker’s Associated Press story today on the state’s economic forecast emphasizes the most salient point, something that could be lost in the press releases.

“Washington state government can expect to bring in $16.1 million less than projected in the current budget cycle because of a lackluster economic recovery, forecasters said Wednesday” is what Baker wrote in the AP story Wednesday.

That might be confusing to some who read the state’s Office of Financial Management press release that carries the headline “Washington quarterly revenue projection for 2011–13 increases $156 million.”

Both are correct, but context is important. State revenues are up $172 million for the two-year budget because of “policy changes and fund shifts,” wrote Brad Shannon at the Olympian. Subtract $16 million from revenues lost by the overall economy and you get that $156 million increase.

In relative terms the $16 million is more or less flat, according to House Ways and Means Chairman Ross Hunter, a Medina Democrat. Compared to the forecast a year ago when revenues were projected to be down $780 million from earlier predictions, that’s true. The celebrations over the most recent numbers, however, are tepid at best and fraught with warnings about events that could make the numbers a lot worse.

OFM’s press release follows, as does the governor’s official statement and those from Republican budget leadership. If Democratic leadership from the Legislature issues any statements I’ll add them.
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Are you wondering whether Jay Inslee is running for governor?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Now that Gov. Chris Gregoire is about to make it official she will not seek a third term, you may be wondering whether fellow Democrat, Bainbridge Island Congressman Jay Inslee would announce his intentions today.

He won’t.

That’s what his campaign contact Joby Shimomura said to me just moments ago. She also said the suggestion that now that Gregoire has announced that Inslee isare not true.

“That is not the case,” she said. He is still considering it. “He’ll make his decision known shortly.”

If you’d be surprised if Inslee decided to not run, you would not be alone.

UPDATE: Here’s the official statement from Inslee’s office: “I appreciate the Governor’s service during these difficult economic times. Today is her day. I will make my intentions on the Governor’s race known shortly.”

President Barack Obama issued this statement: “I applaud Governor Gregoire for her decades of outstanding service to the people of Washington. From Seattle to Pullman, Gov. Gregoire has demonstrated relentless determination in her efforts to foster economic growth, strengthen the communities she serves and improve the lives of millions of Americans. As a fierce advocate for American businesses, she continues to work tirelessly to promote American goods, open up new markets and strengthen American businesses abroad. As chairwoman of the National Governors Association, Gov. Gregoire not only fosters strong bipartisanship among her colleagues, she helps build common-sense solutions to some of our nation’s toughest problems. Michelle and I, along with the people of Washington, will miss her outstanding leadership and thank her for her years of service.”


Inslee, McKenna getting out there

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

The two elected officials who have earned top-two status well before there is even a top-two primary were out on the public speaking trail last week. We can’t officially call it a campaign trail yet, because doing so would mean someone would have to file papers somewhere in Olympia.

Rob McKenna, attorney general, gave a speech last Wednesday that sounded the same as the one he gave Thursday in Port Orchard. In both he called for a “performance culture” in Washington state government.

From the Seattle P-I story:

Sounding very much like the gubernatorial candidate he is expected to soon become, Attorney General Rob McKenna told a Seattle audience on Wednesday that the state needs to change the way it evaluates and manages employees to reward the best and weed out the worst.

Inslee was in Yakima, focusing on family, community, education and workers.

From the Yakima Herald-Republic story:

Congressman Jay Inslee shared his beliefs and dropped hints of an impending run for governor in a speech Saturday night at the Yakima County Democrats’s annual Roosevelt Dinner.


Anticipating the 2012 governor’s race

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, in an interview on KCTS, said he will have to decide sometime this year, and not too late, whether he plans to run for governor in 2012.

The most often mentioned potential opponent, Bainbridge Island Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee, will be speaking to the island Rotary club tonight. The Kitsap Sun’s Tristan Baurick will be there. I would not expect Inslee to make any kind of announcement tonight. It might be too soon after the most recent election and the current governor has not officially made her plans known yet.


Examining McKenna’s Motives

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Two local writers dive into the motives of state Attorney General Rob McKenna in suing the federal government over the health care bill just passed. I think they both do a pretty good job, with the caveat that each is assuming there is something beyond a legitimate belief that the health care reform just passed is unconstitutional. If McKenna believes the reform law is unconstitutional, you could rightly ask what choice he had but to challenge it.

The writers, though, are probably right in making that assumption. We can never assume that meeting constitutional muster is the only issue at play in constitutional issues. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes said:

“We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is . . . “

He was also quoted by fellow justice William O. Douglas as saying 90 percent of the decisions made at the Supreme Court are based on emotions, that justices find ways in the document to back up their beliefs.

McKenna, though, seems at first blush to be the one AG in this fight with the most to lose by sticking his neck out. He’s a Republican who hasn’t been demonized by the left and is seen as a legitimate contender for the governor’s office. And yet the state is more left than right, and I think it’s not a bad bet to assume that most Washingtonians favor health care reform generally.

Let’s do assume again, as most of us have, that McKenna wants to be Washington’s governor. David Brewster at Crosscut.com offers this possibility:

Judging by the over-the-top reaction by local Democrats — talking about defunding his suit, slicing away A-G authority, even a recall — maybe McKenna was engaging in some “performance art.” That form of political craftiness consists of doing something so that your opponents fall right into the trap of extreme behavior, making you look sensible.

Then Peter Callaghan at the (Tacoma) News Tribune reminds us that to win in a November 2012 governor election, he’d first have to make it to that election, qualifying as one of the top-two vote getters in the primary. A move like this at least sets him apart from other Republicans. And if he hadn’t done it:

Had McKenna not joined the litigation he would have been savaged by Republicans and become a target of conservative talk radio. In the short term, it doesn’t hurt him much to instead be savaged by Democrats. They take their own risks by using budget maneuvers to block Mc-Kenna’s participation in the suit.

And then of course, Callaghan reveals the ultimate truth in all of this:

Anyone who claims to know how it will play in 2012 is making it up.


At Last — The Full Gregoire Speech

Saturday, July 26th, 2008


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