PubliCola enthusiastically endorses U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee. His office is a hive of action on historically significant issues such as climate change (he was a lead sponsor of the 2009 cap and trade proposal), financial reform (he was a defiant "no" vote on the Wall Street bailouts), and health care reform (he was a key author on the House Commerce Committee, where he pushed a series of cost-containment amendments to encourage the use of preventative health care and equalize Medicare reimbursements regionally.)
Inslee also burns the midnight oil on his own pet agenda items, including net neutrality (fighting for regulations that would prohibit ISPs from controlling content) and renewable energy (pushing for investments in smart cars and alternative energy). Inslee means it on this renewable energy stuff. Venturing out of D.C. in 2007, he worked his ass off on the grassroots statewide campaign to pass I-937, the initiative that raised the standards on Washington State utilities, mandating the use of renewable resources.
An anti-war liberal, Inslee has followed-up his Bush-era vote against the Iraq war vote with recent votes to bring the troops home from Afghanistan, defying Obama’s war budget requests.
Given how heated political discourse is these days, it’s not surprising that six-term incumbent Inslee, who usually faces little competition, has drawn three challengers. However, only two of those have raised any money—Redmond business consultant and former Microsoft manager James Watkins and Woodinville financial planner Matthew Burke. Neither is catching fire. Despite some prominent ink in the Seattle Times this weekend, Watkins and Burke have 40 and 11 individual contributors, respectively, according to the latest federal campaign-finance reports.
Everyone knows Inslee is lining up to run for governor in 2012. And that’s cool. But we want to keep this progressive mover and shaker in Congress as long as we can.
PubliCola picks Jay Inslee.