I am a resident of the great socialist republic of the state of Washington, and have been for 20+ years. I can truthfully state that since arriving here in 1981 as part of the Reagan Refugee Resettlement Program, I have never seen a statewide Democratic ballot at the top that is so lacklusterand filled with individuals who are more after personal aggrandizement than the public good.
Let's look at the top two candidates:
Christine O' Grady Gregoire. She is driven and a control freak. She runs the Attorney General's Office by fear and intimidation. She destroyed the reputation of a young. talented attorney in a vain attempt to get the office's errors and omissions policy to cover the $16+ million cost of a missed appeal deadline. She promoted an attorney as Division Chief of the Consumer Protection Division who spent more time harrassing underlings and driving them off the staff than he did prosecuting fraudulent businesses. And when an in house investigation revealed his misdeeds he was 'demoted' to Olympia to work with another division where he still earns in excess of $90K. This from a woman who trumpeted a 'zero tolerance' sexual harassment policy at the beginning of her 12 year reign at the AGO. Finally, have you ever seen COG ever take responsibility for any bad decision or statement without first trying to blame someone, anyone, else? Truman famously said, "The buck stops here." And that is as it should be. Those who are elected to positions of power bear corresponding amounts of responsibility. Ms. Gregoire has never been able to accept this part of the equation.
Deborah Senn: She's is actually Gregoire lite in terms of brains and ten times worse than Gregoire to work for or with. Her relationship with the state legislature is marked by deep hostility. During her term as insurance commissioner, it was discovered that in settlements she had reached with insurance companies, she had included a settlement provision giving money to the Insurance Commissioner's office for 'education purposes,' or some similar misnomer. The result was that she was usurping the legislative prerogatives in authorizing and appropriating money to run her office. In essence this was shaking down insurance companies for extra cash. Her excuse when confronted by the media about this? "Well, Christine Gregoire does it." Honey, two wrongs do not make a right. Legislators have long memories. Funding for the AG office will be very interesting if she wins the election. As Insurance commissioner, she ran through staff attorneys like an SUV runs through gas. She was noted for calling staff at 11 oclock at night and screaming at them. And the Insurance Commissioner's office lost its accredidation for two years under her tenure. Definitely look for morale problems in the largest law office in the state of Washington if she is elected.
That is not to say that the Republicans opposing them are worthy of support. Dino Rossi is a snake oil salesman who supports a conservative agenda likely to plunge Washington into further recessionary spasms if elected. And Rob McKenna has his head on backwards if he thinks that medical malpractice lawsuits have anything to do with the rise in insurance costs. or that it is the fit province of the AG to pursue legislation further limiting medical malpractice suits. This state already bans punitive damages. And from what I've seen, juries are not overwhelmingly pro-plaintiff. His barking about this amounts to dishonest scare tactics and should be stopped.
Given that the choice in the presidential race is so clearly overwhelmingly for John F. Kerry as the only qualifed candidate, I hate to see the statewide races bringing down the ticket.