Opinion

More PubliCola Picks

By PublicolaPicks October 18, 2010



PubliCola Picks Derek Stanford for State Rep., District 1, Position 1

PubliCola's primary pick in this race, Mountlake Terrace high school teacher Vince DeMiero, did not make it through to the general election. That's okay. It was a close call at the time between DeMiero and his well-qualified Democratic opponent, statistician Derek Stanford.

Stanford, a big transit advocate, social liberal (he's straight, but he's on the board of LGBT advocacy group SEAMEC), and critic of Washington's regressive tax code,  is our choice in the general.

His Republican opponent, Boeing engineer Dennis Richtel, has pledged not to invest any money in light rail.

PubliCola Picks Luis Moscoso for State Rep., District 1, Position 2

Former Snohomish County bus union leader Luis Moscoso's platform, which focuses on public transit investments and energy efficiency, reads like a green retrofit for the entire economy. In addition to winning the obvious environmental endorsements from the Sierra Club and Washington Conservation Voters, he's also got social liberals (NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and NOW), law enforcement (the Snohomish Sheriff, the Washington State Patrol), and Progressive Majority—a group that sides with potential leaders, not just go-along placeholders.

Given Muscoso's 21st Century blue (labor)/green (environmental) combo, we think they're on to something.

His opponent, Heidi Munson, is a Tea Party demagogue who, among other irresponsible rhetoric, falsely claims that the gas tax—approved by the voters in 2005 54 to 45—was forced on the public by her bogey man, the government. Other targets of her ire? Undocumented immigrants, who she says are the main cause of high health care costs.

PubliCola Picks Sen. Chris Marr for State Senate, District 6

We're not really fans of Sen. Marr—he led the effort to undo 2007's voter-approved renewable energy initiative (I-937), he messed up a transit funding bill when it came over from the House, he has a history of stalling tenants' rights bills, and is antagonistic toward programs, like general assistance stipends, for people with disabilities that keep them out of the work force.

But Marr represents a "Leans-Tea-Party" district—suburban Spokane—that could otherwise be represented by someone like his Tea Party rally opponent Mike Baumgartner. Baumgartner supports the local GOP platform, which calls for an end to abortion; an end to no-fault divorce; a return to the gold standard; US withdrawal from the UN and the WTO; privatization of Social Security; and repeal of the Growth Management Act.

PubliCola Picks Rep. Troy Kelley for State Rep., 28th District, Position 1

This one probably should have been on our "No-Brainer" list. It's not that Democrat Troy Kelley (D-Tacoma) is particularly outstanding: He isn't, especially with regard to last year's budget (he voted against it), transit funding (he voted against it), and environmental issues (he got a limp 44 percent rating from the Washington Conservation Voters).

It's just that Kelley's opponent, Steve O'Ban, is an off-the-charts social conservative.  O'Ban, the attorney who led the fight against access to Plan B (and won), is an anti-choice, anti-gay rights activist. He was the spokesman for repealing domestic partnerships in Washington State and worked as an attorney supporting the Defense of Marriage Act when the law was challenged in Washington State supreme court in 2004.

PubliCola picks Sen. Tracey Eide for State Sen., 30th District

In an era when Blue/Green politics (a labor + environment coalition) is the key to beefing up the Democratic Party (and the economy) Sen. Eide (D-30, Federal Way, Milton, Algona) didn't get the memo on the green part. She was a key 'no' vote in the Senate on transit funding and on an amendment to support a tax incentive for wind power.

She gets it on the budget, though, and as Democratic floor leader, she made sure the Democrats were sturdy on this year's tough budget votes. Her Republican opponent, Federal Way School Board member Tony Moore, who told the Tacoma News Tribune he wants to privatize "everything," does not get it. His claim that the legislature "raised taxes again this year" is a pure GOP fantasy (and pure election year schmaltz.)

What exactly does Moore mean by "again"? The legislature has not enacted a general sales tax increase in nearly 20 years. If he's talking about the nickel gas tax, it was approved by voters by nearly 10 points.

As for this year, when the state faced a $2.8  billion shortfall for this biennium (on top of the nearly $10 billion plus from the previous session) yes, the legislature raised taxes. But they also cut. In fact, the legislative fix to the $12 billion problem has included billions in cuts and scaled-back government. The tax increases (many of them, by the way, coming in the form of closed corporate tax loopholes) represent just 8.5 percent of the emergency fix.

PubliCola picks Katrina Asay for State Rep., District 30, Position 2

Longtime 30th District Republican Rep. Skip Priest (R-Federal Way, Milton, Algona)—one of PubliCola's favorite Republicans— is retiring, making this moderate turf the one spot in the state where there's actually potential for the Democrats to pick up a seat in 2010. And they've put up a good candidate, Carol Gregory, the head of anti-poverty non-profit Burst for Prosperity, which focuses on job training.

However, the Republicans have put up an excellent candidate: Asay is the longtime mayor of Milton, a member of the Puget Sound Regional Council, a board member of the Suburban Cities Association, and an anti-domestic violence advocate. In addition to all that political experience, she's also working in the real world on the front lines of the broken economy: She's a real-estate agent.

There may be a rare opportunity for a Democratic pick-up here, but there's an even rarer opportunity to elect a well-qualified, moderate Republican who's a legit problem solver. (As Milton's mayor, she made the difficult calls to right the city budget.) In a year when GOP candidates are mostly speaking in histrionic, irresponsible anti-government rhetoric, Asay offers a much-needed chance to add an even-keeled voice to the Republican caucus.

This is a change from our primary endorsement when we went with Gregory.

PubliCola picks Cindy Ryu for State Rep., 32 District, Position 1

We're going with another suburban city mayor in the 32nd, Cindy Ryu. Ryu is the former mayor of Shoreline and current president of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce. Ryu kept Shoreline solvent during the recent economic crisis and helped develop city guidelines that coordinate sustainability programs with city policy, such as green building and environmental purchasing programs.

Her Republican opponent, Dr. Art Coday—a Lynnwood doctor who was initially in the Republican pack challenging U.S. Sen. Murray because he opposed health care reform—is out of his league and has no political track record.

You can read all our other endorsements to date here.

More to come.
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