Solutions to our thorniest problems have eluded leaders in Olympia for nearly a decade. The state budget remains perilously unstable, unemployment is at flat-out crisis levels (17.3%) and our public education system continues to rank in the bottom third of states in the U.S. Voters are weary of the toxic environment in DC. In Washington state, we don't have gridlock to blame; there has been a decade long single-party rule in Olympia. So it is no surprise that in this year's election, voters are looking for leaders who can think for themselves outside of their party's platform. Polls show voters favor game changing approaches to leadership, rather than the old re-packaged arguments and fuzzy candidate claims of "knowing how to reach across the aisle."
Voters Want Bipartisanship on Taxes
Voters in the state of Washington want good government, and they believe incorporating a multiplicity of views make for good legislation. It is for this reason that I supported Initiative 1053, the voter-approved (2010) measure that required a 2/3 majority to raise taxes. Because voters have approved this threshold consistently over the past 20 years, I believe it should become permanent with a state constitutional amendment. This is not to simply erect a firewall against raising taxes, but rather to force the legislature toward long-term planning and bipartisanship on an issue that is of particular importance to voters.
This amendment to the state constitution is not a knee-jerk reaction to the current economic crisis. Over the past 20 years-in good times, and bad-voters have supported legislation that stabilizes state revenues and expenditures. They understand that sustainable growth comes when budgeting is stable, rather than when subject to the whims of a slim majority. It is unfortunate that an amendment has become necessary. But it is only so, because the majority in control of Olympia have shown contempt for the will of our citizens by overriding four voter-approved initiatives protecting these majorities.
My opponent objects to the legislative two-thirds majority to raise taxes (or simple majority of the electorate.) [Click Here] Perhaps he thinks we need raise taxes, or maybe his sworn allegiance to his party's platform that denounces this voter-approved measure matters more than real bipartisanship on these important issues. His position on the budget is to continue the status quo of gimmicks and nibbling around the edges, calling it progress. We need game-changing moves in Olympia that reflect the current realities, not leaders lost in the details.
When it comes to legislative independence and bipartisanship, talk is cheap. I have not sold my candidacy for party support, and during this race I have championed bi-partisan policies that have proven results. You can learn about us as candidates by listening to what we say; but you can learn even more by learning about the policies we support.
Thanks for reading,