Last night Congressman Jay Inslee (D - WA 01) visited the regular monthly meeting of the Whatcom County WA democratic party. Jay Inslee is an inspiring leader. He gave an excellent talk that showed he knows what matters for our future. I don't know if there will be a primary field and don't want to jump to conclusions but .... he would be a great Governor.
As a candidate, we need someone who can stand up to our very own Walker, presumed R candidate Rob McKenna. As a governor, we need someone who can navigate us out of the horrible trap set by Initiative 1053, which, at least as it has been interpreted, allows 1/3 of the legislature + 1 to stop any legislation that would have the consequence of increasing tax revenues, even closing egregious tax loopholes. We need someone to provide 21st century leadership in clean energy development in our state. I think he's that person.
We sure know now just how badly a state can get screwed up when a radically bad governor gets elected and sets out to dismantle basic citizen and worker protections. I expect that Walker fellow didn't seem so bad when he was a candidate. Funny how that keeps happening. I remember something about a "compassionate conservative", not sure his name anymore but that can't have ended well.
As ably pointed out Here by Sarge In Seattle, we have another Walker in the making in Rob McKenna, someone who has a known history of trying to kill workers rights. Even with a legislature that is likely to stay democratic, don't think for a moment that McKenna won't simply order the wrong kind of changes. The Walker model - just do what you want and by the time the courts reverse you, the damage is done.
But we need more than someone who isn't Walker.
I was struck by how much Inslee emphasized clean energy, not just and not even mainly from the environmental angle, but as a core requirement for us to remain competitive in the world. He described how, on a delegation to China, he directly saw how China plans to clean our clock in clean energy. How much would it suck if, a few years from now, we had to import clean energy equipment from China like we import Bratz dolls? We need to be the world's leading exporters of clean energy technology.
As a member of the minority in a US House run amok, Inslee has a lot if visibility into these if not the ability to change much at this time. As Governor, he will have the oportunity to lead a state that is naturally gifted with what are likely the best clean energy opportuntities of any stat in the US. I think he has the vision to prioritize aggressive clean energy development as being all of an environmental, economic, and national security imperative.
As someone who has not annonced for the governor race, Inslee spoke mostly of national issues, matching his current job. I look forward to hearing from him post-announcement (assuming that's his plan) about his plans for WA-specific leadership.
Disclosure: I have never met Jay Inslee before, I'm not affiliated with his office or campaign. Just someone who saw him talk last night.