1. The old “leave the campsite better than you found it” platitude that GOP gubernatorial candidate, former Port of Seattle commissioner Bill Bryant, parlayed during the first gubernatorial debate on KHQ TV in Spokane yesterday…?
Bryant said he learned the lesson from his father.
He probably also learned it from former GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, who used the exact same line during his 2008 run against Christine Gregoire.
“It really comes from my … grandmother,” Rossi liked to say during the campaign, “who taught my mom, who taught all seven of us kids, that you've got to leave the campsite better than you found it.”
During yesterday’s debate, Bryant painted himself as an environmentalist. Never mind Bryant’s vote as a port commissioner against stricter standards governing trucking pollution or big donations to his campaign from former Cherry Point coal terminal backer SSA Marine, Bryant said he agreed with Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee on regulating oil trains. Inslee shot back that they didn’t agree, noting that while, yes, he signed the oil train bill that passed the legislature in 2015, he (Inslee) actually supported a stronger bill that Bryant’s GOP had blocked in the senate.
Two key pieces of the original Democratic bill that were not part of the final bill were: strengthening the regulation of barges to protect the Puget Sound and other water bodies from an oil spill; and updating and expanding the barrel tax so that Washington is better prepared to prevent and respond if a spill happens. The final bill did expand the barrel tax to include crude oil coming in via rail, but that didn't mean too much because it didn't increase the amount of money available in the fund.
Their other big disagreement came during a testy exchange over the minimum wage. Inslee said he supported the initiative to raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 an hour, while Bryant said he didn’t like a blanket wage for the state. During the back and forth, Inslee correctly pointed out that as a port commissioner Bryant had opposed the historic minimum wage campaign in Sea-Tac, including signing on to an Alaska Airlines losing lawsuit against the increase for all workers at the Port.
Alaska, by the way, has maxed out to Inslee, but not contributed to Bryant.
During the pose-a question-to-your opponent round, Inslee asked Bryant the inevitable question of Election 2016: Why, after all of Donald Trump’s cuckoo and divisive comments, hadn’t Bryant broken with the GOP standard bearer until this week?
Bryant said he grew up working class and many of his friends from childhood now felt Trump could solve their problems. And while he himself didn’t think so, he was uncomfortable coming out against a candidate who was speaking to their concerns because he didn’t want them “to think I had abandoned them.”
Add to Bryant’s Profiles in Courage record: Letting racist remarks stand, for fear of having a difficult conversation with your buddies.
Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner has a fact check on the debate.
2. State senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle) picked up meaningful endorsement today in her race for retiring U.S. Representative Jim McDermott's (D-WA, 7) open seat: Transgender rights leader Danni Askini.
The endorsement is a big deal because Jayapal's opponent, state representative Brady Walkishaw (D-43, Capitol Hill), is gay and has been hoping to translate that into LGBTQ support in the scrap over progressive votes; the first openly gay U.S. representative in U.S. history, Barney Frank, endorsed Walkinshaw.
U.S. representative Jared Polis (D-CO), who is gay and chairs the gay caucus in Congress, the LGBT equality caucus, has endorsed Walkinshaw and held a fundraiser for Walkinshaw back in May.
Walkinshaw contributed to Askini during her short-lived run for his seat last spring, though he ended up endorsing Nicole Macri, a lesbian, after Askini dropped out.