October 26, 2015
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Election update: Schools chief Dorn won't run for reelection; further legislative races announced

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn will not seek a third term as the state's top elected school official. Dorn, a former public school teacher, pledged to stay active in the debate about education funding.

Two candidates have announced campaigns for the office: Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, and Tacoma school district educator Erin Jones. The News Tribune has reported that former state lawmaker Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, is also mulling a run.

In other election news, Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, has joined the growing list of candidates running for lieutenant governor. Moeller told The Columbian "I'll be running way left of center" with a platform that includes increasing the statewide minimum wage to $15. Former Democratic Rep. Monica Stonier and Vancouver City Council Alishia Topper are both running for Moeller's seat in the House.

KING5 highlighted the 30th Legislative District race between Republican Teri Hickel and appointed Democratic Rep. Carol Gregory, noting a 52-48 lead for Hickel in a recent poll. The race could have major implications on the balance of power in the state House, the TV station reports.

In the 19th Legislative District, county commissioners last week appointed Rep. Dean Takko, D-Longview, to fill the seat of Sen. Brian Hatfield, who resigned last month to take a state rural economic development job. Commissioners then picked Longview School Board member J.D. Rossetti to fill Takko's seat. Rossetti interned for Hatfield and since 2012 has worked as an aide to Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen. Rossetti already has a challenger in 2016: Aberdeen businessman Jim Walsh, who also serves as vice-chairman of the state Republican party.

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House Democrats Opposed Carbon Tax

Opposing Inslee's climate proposals is a bipartisan affair

By Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch

A couple of weeks ago, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new carbon-emissions reduction plan and declared any lawmaker who opposes it a "fear monger." He said opponents are joining ranks with "the climate deniers." And he blamed Republicans in the Legislature this year for failing to act on his big plan to restrict and tax carbon.

Well, I don't think the governor is giving his own party enough credit. It wasn't the Republicans who killed his grandiose cap-and-trade proposal. Democrats killed it before the Republicans even had a chance. ...

People in both parties recognize there are big problems with these overweening schemes to remake our economy and our society. Democrats are as leery as anyone. It's just that most of us don't like to go public with our misgivings.

The latest development is that the governor is ordering the Department of Ecology to impose another poorly thought-out carbon program -- that's one way to avoid a vote of the Legislature. I'm not sure he will get away with it, but it's no wonder he's trying.

Even if we could change the world climate with an immediate reduction in carbon emissions, Washington simply doesn't produce enough to make a difference -- just two-tenths of one percent of global output annually. At best the governor's proposals would reduce a small fraction of that, and any reductions in this state will instantly be offset by increases on the other side of the globe.

Click here to read the full op-ed in Crosscut
Washington Benefits From the Ex-Im Bank

It's past time for Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

By The Yakima Herald-Republic's editorial board

Congressional representatives get paid to govern, not grandstand. It appears that enough House members recognize that reality, and now a key piece of legislation stands a legitimate chance of passing -- with great benefit to the Yakima Valley and Washington state.

The issue involves the Export-Import Bank, which Congress created in 1934 and has reauthorized 16 times in the ensuing decades. But a small minority in Congress this year held up reauthorization on the argument that it amounts to corporate welfare.

It is not so much welfare as it is a tool that enables companies, especially American companies, to conduct business across international borders.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Yakima Herald-Republic
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