WA-Gov: I Met Jay Inslee - What you should know


Representative Jay Inslee is the State Democratic Party candidate so he will be our Democratic candidate for governor. (Yes there is a primary in August but McKenna and Inslee are their party choices.  See my comment below.) Last Friday I met with Jay along with 21 other Thurston County Democratic activists.  It was an informal gathering and part of a state wide tour of local groups to discuss local aspects of winning the state.  We talked about overall campaign issues and specifically what we need to do to put Thurston County in the win column.

Thurston County is especially important; it's a very blue area and every point we win above the state average offsets the deep red areas.  It is also home of the state capitol and we quickly determined that to carry this county, and probably the whole state, we have to win the support of state workers who are currently demoralized because of benefit and salary cutbacks and the loss of so many jobs that it is adversely effecting the state's recovery from the (Bush) "great recession". 

The water cooler talk among some, even confirmed Democrats, is that they are angry and frustrated.  Some are ready to give up and say they won't vote because it doesn't seem to matter.  Others think they might vote for Rob McKenna (R), the state attorney general, because he is part of the administration which either may somehow (they think) translate into doing a better job or maybe the it's just a case of the devil you know, or think you know, is better than the one you don't. 

There is no doubt that McKenna will be a formidable opponent.  While Jay is gaining momentum there is little doubt that if the election were held this Tuesday, Mckenna would win.  But the election isn't Tuesday; it's eight months away.  The Inslee campaign is just gearing up and there are lots of opportunities to tear away the camouflage with which McKenna has artfully cloaked his extreme right wing agenda.  When he is fully exposed McKenna won't be nearly so palatable to our generally blue electorate. 

Rather than repeat Jay's positions and plans in detail I'll refer you to his WEBSITEwhich does a much better job than I could ever do.  From my face time I came away feeling really positive about the man and about his plans for our state.  I know that Jay Inslee has well thought out progressive, constructive, ideas.  I learned that he isn't afraid to answer tough questions and address issues head on with plain talk and without waffling or weasel words.   For what it's worth he really is the kind of a guy I could sit down and have a beer with and talk about just plain old stuff for hours. He's like-able and smart.  He gives a hell of a good public speech and will more than hold is on in the debates. 

In the early going he isn't as well known as his opponent who has used his office to run for governor for at least the last year and a half.  I guarantee that the more you know Jay Inslee the better you will like him and his plans to "Build a working Washington."

What are some things Jay Inslee wants you to know?

He believes a woman has the right to manage her own family planning and equal rights to medical care and benefits.   He doesn't beat around the bush and plans to make this point early and often.  On the other hand, Rob McKenna is a Catholic is (so called) pro-life and says that he doesn't believe in contraception personally but....Then he gets all vague and will not say that he would veto legislation that attempted to restrict women’s rights.  The choice couldn't be clearer. 

Jay Inslee supports equal rights to marriage for everyone.  Rob McKenna doesn't. He says he will vote to overturn the legislation that allows gays to marry in the fall initiative. 

Jay voted for the health care bill in congress and is pro-health care for everyone.  Rob McKenna is wasting state funds fighting to overturn Obamacare.

He is pro-seniors and a strong supporter of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Jay is pro-labor and is already actively talking with the unions. 

He is pro-jobs.  His campaign motto is "Building a Working Washington" and you can read his plan Here .  It's a real plan unlike McKenna's retread Republican nonsense that got us into the recession in the first place. If you still believe that the 1% plan to let anything positive trickle down to you, you can find McKenna's plan somewhere I'm sure. 

Jay is pro-education and believes that we need to fully fund education from K through our university system.  He especially proposes funding more computer and engineering university slots because in our tech intensive state, even in recession, isn't providing qualified in-state people to fill existing positions.  Unlike McKenna, Inslee even has a way forward to fund education.

He believes that our state's revenue system is regressive and broken.  As a first step he proposes closing thirty something business loopholes that will generate over $400 million in new revenue.  While Main Street is hurting and the state is deep in debt we can't afford to give more and more away to perfectly profitable businesses.

When asked what kind of governor he would be, Jay answered that he will be a "forward looking governor."  Washington is a progressive state not just as a replacement for the word liberal. We are leaders in human rights, technical accomplishments, trade and many other areas.  We deserve a forward looking, progressive leader, not a regressive obstructionist who would, if he could, return us to some mythical golden age that never was. 

I believe that Jay Inslee is electable.  The most recent poll has him in a dead heat with Rob McKenna even though Rob has politicized his office and has been running for the last year and a half while Jay has been hard at work for us in Congress.  The campaign is just beginning and now it's time for you to get in on the ground floor.  Volunteer today.

Jay asked each of us to e-mail the names of three people who we believe will be active and supportive of a truly progressive governor. Here's the e-mail address.  I ask each of you to join his campaign and also add three names to the contact list. Maybe they will respond, maybe maybe not but this is how we grow.   Yes you get donation requests, give if you can.  Jay says that he is matching McKenna's fund raising but there is never enough money and we all know what Citizen's United means.  We could be in the fight of our lives against enormousness out of state 1%er influence funding every dirty trick and lie in the book. We can't let your state be taken over by big money outsiders. 

While money funds the air war, people are the living heart of a campaign.  A state-wide campaign needs people, lots of people, and from experience I can say that there are things that need to be done that fit your talent whatever your talent is.  Local offices will be opening in the next few weeks. Please volunteer.  I know you're busy but darn it you count.  A few hours from enough forward looking citizens will count up to a victory in November. 

If you hear that Jay Inslee can't or won't be elected remember this. There are more Democrats than Republicans in WA.  We are the majority.  There is no excuse for loosing this race.  After all the speeches are made, after everyone is beaten to death with ads and all the money is spent, the party that gets out the vote will win.  It's as simple as that. If we turn out our Democratic base, we will win.  It's that simple.

Know that you will make a difference.  We have a history of close elections.  This one could be won or lost by a few hundred votes.  Any one individual could be the person who turns out that hand full of votes that it takes to keep moving our state forward.  We never knew what tipped over that vital few that votes took the election away from Dino Rossi and put Christine Gregiore into office.  Every campaigner has a significant impact.  You will make a difference.     

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