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Gov. Jay Inslee-What Can We Expect In The Future? Decision 2012

Jay Inslee takes over as governor
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

With the concession of Rob McKenna, Jay Inslee becomes Washington’s next governor. What can we expect to see in the future?Inslee’s previous legislative experience has been in the House Of Representatives,  the Governor’s position will be a bit different.  The only thing we can do is look at his previous voting record in Congress, and consider the plans and ideas offered by his campaign.

According to the in-depth, non-partisan website  ontheissues.org,  Inslee’s voting record over the years includes the following:

ENERGY

  • voted no on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling (May 2011)
  • voted no on stopping EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses (April 2011)
  • voted yes on enforcing limits CO2 global warming pollution (June 2009)
  • voted yes on investing in homegrown bio-fuel (August 2007)
  • voted no on authorizing construction of new oil refineries (October 2005)
  • voted to preserve ANWR Alaskan oil preserve rather than drill it (February 2001)

HEALTHCARE-INSURANCE

  • voted yes on Obamacare
  • voted no on banning federal health care coverage that includes abortion (May 2011)
  • voted no on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions (April 2005)
  • voted no on banning partial birth abortions (April 2000)

ECONOMY-STOCK MARKET

  • voted yes on GM-Chrysler bailout (December 2008)
  • voted yes on regulating the sub-prime mortgage industry (November 2007)
  • voted yes on restricting bankruptcy rules (January 2004)
  • voted yes on additional $192 billion anti-recession stimulus package (July 2009)

Inslee has an 87% favorable rating by the AFL-CIO for votes on union-related issues.  He was also given in 2003 a 37% rating by the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, indicating a “mixed”, less-than-favorable voting record towards business.  The ACLU rates Inslee at 87% favorable,  he has been given an “F” by the National Rifle Association.

He has received high marks from anti-drug groups for his aggressive stance towards the war on drugs, during his tenure in the House he was given a 15% rating by the Christian Coalition for an “anti-family” voting record on a variety of issues. FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform gave Inslee a 0% rating in 2003 based upon his voting record on border-immigration issues.    He has also received very high marks from seniors groups for supporting Social Security and other senior programs.

Where he and Gregoire differ is Inslee appears to be very bent on building the state’s economy and pushing hard to increase trade and jobs.  Gregoire was often not very vocal about the need to jump-start the sluggish economy and her plans and actions indicated tax increases as the preferred method of raising state revenue.  She fought numerous times against such initiatives as I-1053 that would have required 2/3 majorities and other tax hike limits in the legislature. Many Tri-Citians have not forgotten Gregoire’s handling of the AREVA situation in 2008, which cost Eastern Washington a $2 billion dollar 400 job plant.

  Inslee’s proposals detail numerous “tax-incentives” for job creation and other areas where businesses would be rewarded for new jobs, higher wages and more.  One of the areas McKenna hammered Inslee on was his desire to create a new “Office of Economic Competitiveness” in Olympia.   McKenna argued the last thing the state needed was another government agency, when previous such offices at the state and Federal level have failed to produce economic growth or success.

Time will only tell if Inslee’s plans will work.  His plans appear to be ambitious, and appear to emphasize the need for government to “work with” the private sector.  His plan does not contain any real language about reducing the size of state government, reducing taxes across the board, or doing away with or consolidating state agencies  to save money.

It appears the jury is out on Inslee.  We will find out soon if his voting record is an indicator of his leadership as Governor, or if his plans will actually take him in a more centrist direction.

 

 

 

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