Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Jay Inslee for Governor? No Change There

Posted by Warren Peterson on May 13, 2011

First District Congressman Jay Inslee is the odds on favorite to be the 2012 Democrat nominee for governor in Washington State. But for the state and national economic crunch, he would be the odds on favorite to win the office in this blue corner of America. The economy and an attractive Republican candidate, Attorney General Rob McKenna, may see the GOP capture the governor’s office for the first time since John Spellman did it in the 1980 Reagan landslide. In the 2010 elections, Republicans added U. S. Senate seats and governorships and won the House including a congressional seat in Washington. The political climate, even in the Soviet of Washington, does not look good for a tax and spend liberal like Representative Inslee.

Democrat Inslee narrowly defeated Republican “Doc” Hastings in 1992 for the 4th Congressional District seat in Central Washington but lost in a re-match with Hastings in the Gingrich Republican Revolution of 1994. He moved to the liberal enclave of Bainbridge Island and ran for Governor in 1996 losing to Gary Locke. The perennial candidate, he won a three way race for the 1st Congressional District seat in 1998 and has been re-elected by comfortable margins ever since.

The free spending Pelosi-Reid controlled Congress (2007-2010) shifted into high gear with the election of Barack Obama running up deficits in the trillions. Governor Gregoire, with overwhelming Democrat control of both houses of the legislature, followed suit. Economic reality, election of more Republicans to the Legislature and passage of anti tax initiatives are now forcing her and the Democrats to make painful choices regarding the budget.

There is nothing in Inslee’s record to suggest he has the right world view to lead the state during a recession. His political philosophy is out of sync with what is needed to create a climate for growth and provide a prudent economic plan for the future. A quick look at his ratings over his almost 15 years in the House of Representative demonstrates this.

Inslee’s Life Time support for American Conservation Union issues is a mere 8.52% bested only by Jim McDermott at 2.47%. ACU 2010 Ratings

On five American Civil Liberties Union issues in the last session, Jay supported 3 for a 60% record. His two votes to extend the Patriot Act kept him from joining fellow Democrat Jim McDermott at 100% ACLU

Inslee is rated 105th most liberal by the National Journal ahead of Dennis Kucinich of Ohio at 110 as well as Washington Congress members Dicks 147 and Larsen 132. National Journal

A web site that discounts the National Journal rating methods suggests the rating system developed by two California academics from UCLA and UCSB. Their 2008 ratings ranked the 435 members of congress on a liberal to conservative scale. Inslee was 144 (Larsen 143, McDermott 4, Dicks 167, Smith 191, Reichert 245, McMorris 344, Hastings 357). Vote View

Left leaning candidate Inslee will sell well in the heart of Seattle but the rest of the state may prefer someone closer to the middle. Burned once by free spending Chris “What budget problem?” Gregoire, the people want a change. Jay Inslee’s plan to kill the tax limiting Initiative 1053, raise taxes and bet the farm on “green jobs” is not it.

Sound Politics


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