How They Demonize The Initiatives:
As mentioned here on numerous occasions, you, we are too close to the fire. The good part about not being a "hallway lobbyist" anymore is the distant perspective it brings. I don't live in the tunnel of gentle interest of a client, or the silo of instant messages around the capital. I get to step back. And I hope no one gets their feelings hurt, but it's humorous.
I have watched the majority party (mostly) carefully craft the external messages about the budget. How the needs of public unions have become the needs of children and citizens. I have watched teacher unions throw the most recently educated teachers under the bus. The most tech savvy, the ones generationally (sic...should be a word) able to relate to students, the energetic and hopeful instructors get laid-off. The contracts require we keep old farts like me, tired people who struggle to understand the difference between a bite and a byte and only come to the distinction after a few days of "in-service" where they spend some part of a paid eight hour day with butt in chair, fighting to stay awake.
The Governor runs for office knowing very well her role in budget matters. After spending an entire life in the fold of public employment who knows better that in Washington, until a mistake is made, the guv has to take straight, across the board cuts at the budget...no managing. Yet, yesterday the papers were full of her comments about how she wants the other electeds to "feel her pain". If she wants them to feel her pain she would call them into session, and do as Dan Evans once did...vetoing budget after budget until they restructure the revenue stream and cut where the pain is less.
But the funniest, sadist, confusing messages out there right now are the monikers the left and the following print journalist have glued to the initiatives. First we have the Eyman initiative. Yes, Tim Eyman has been associated with just about ever fiscally conservative, or responsible new law this state has. (That might have something to do with who is at the helm in Olympia...not sure) So pretending Tim wrote, collected the signatures all by himself, and ran the campaign, the proposed tolling law is, of course, the Eyman intitaitve. I hope people vote for it after reading the voter's pamphlet explanation. It's pretty balanced I thought.
And then we have the initiative put forward by the folks who get paid to take care of grandma. Who should train the caregivers, who should police the staff? In a lot of industry, the union itself does a lot of this. Please understand this training and policing should happen, but do we need a law? Funny thing here is it is not called the Adam Glickman-Flora initiative. Glickman-Flora is director of public affairs at SEIU local 775.
And the weirdest one is the Costco initiative. Why don't our friends who oppose this one call it the Jelinek initiative? Jelinek is the president and COO of Costco. Well, because Jelinek has not personally made large contributions to the campaign and corporate Costco has. And as you are witnessing, since the monopoly distributors and the public union interests are presently losing the food fight on this one they have turned their messages toward the money it takes to combat all the lying instead the issue itself, and thus Costco is the demon.
We don't call it the Gregoire budget deficit, we don't call it the Paula Hammond off-ramp-to-no-where, so why call the initiatives by some person or company's name?
When I first ran for the legislature my opposition pushed some radio ads stating that "youth has no judgment" (seriously, I was 24). I told my Grandpa Harry about it and he just laughed. He said, "Jimmy (he called me Jimmy, I hated it) this means you're winning, they can't beat you on the real issues. Don't go down into the mud with'em."
Let's do our homework, let's read the laws, let's vote on the merits, let's step away from the fire. Wouldn't that be refreshing.