This Washington

Inslee Announces Positions on Initiatives

By Josh Feit October 18, 2011

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1), the 2012 Democratic candidate for governor, announced his positions on this year's state initiatives.

His positions toe the Democratic Party line:

He's against I-1183, liquor privatization (the position of the unionized state liquor store workers); he's for I-1163, home health care worker training (the pet cause of the Service Employees International Union 775); and he's against Tim Eyman's latest, I-1125, which would put restrictions on tolling (and kill light rail across I-90.) [pullquote]Inslee's position on the liquor privatization initiative defies one of his biggest contributors.[/pullquote]

While Inslee's positions are predictably in sync with the Democratic Party, his opposition to the liquor privatization initiative is worth noting because it does defy one of his biggest contributors. Costco CEO James Sinegal has contributed $3,200 to Inslee. Costco is running the liquor initiative; they've contributed $13.4 million to the privatization cause.

The Republican candidate for governor, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, came out with his position on two of the initiatives over the weekend—he's against the SEIU initiative because he says it isn't funded, and he's against Eyman's initiative (a break from the party line) because he thinks variable tolling (different prices at different hours) is good for traffic management.

While McKenna has not said where he is on the liquor privatization measure he did, oddly, get some love from the main backers of the anti-liquor privatization campaign (a Democratic party cause), netting $3,200 from the Washington Beer and Wine Wholesalers and $1,000 from the executive director of the National Beer and Wine Wholesalers in Virginia. Neither Costco nor its top execs have contributed to McKenna. (Inslee doesn't have any big contributions from the beer and wine folks.)

Inslee issued his positions in a press statement late this afternoon:
On I-1183:

As a former prosecutor of many drunk drivers who has personally seen the carnage they cause, I cannot in good conscious support a large expansion of hard liquor availability in our state. So while we must look for efficiencies in the delivery of all services, I cannot support this measure.

On I-1163:

Given the importance of protecting the least among us, I will be voting in support of this measure. Initiatives with budgetary impacts pose unique problems, and the Legislature will still have to balance funding this with other priorities.

On I-1125:

I will be joining the many business owners, workers, transit riders and farmers across the state voting against I-1125 this November for one simple reason: it will damage our ability to grow our economy and create jobs.
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