Posted on 3/11/2013 by Mike Flynn
Proposed legislation that would set the stage for imposing tough new penalties on those who “steal” city parking spots by illegally using parking permits issued to disabled drivers is increasingly likely to be approved by the 2013 Legislature. The bill, HB1946, would create a “work group” composed of representatives of the State Department of Health, local governments and disabled-citizen advocacy groups to produce a strategy designed to curb the “tremendous amount of abuse” of the disabled- parking placards.
Posted on 10/6/2012 by Mike Flynn
The fact that the role of lieutenant governor in Washington was basically envisioned in the state constitution as a part-time position made it historically a job coveted by those who first made a name outside of politics, then sought an easy road into statewide office. William Jennings (Wee) Coyle, a former football star and decorated war hero, started it all in 1920 when he parlayed his name familiarity into a landslide victory in the race for the state’s second-highest elective office, hoping to become governor four years later.
Posted on 9/23/2012 by Mike Flynn
The GOP lament in Washington State about the fact it’s been 32 years since a Republican was elected governor pales somewhat compared to how long Democrats in the state have watched a string of Republicans hold the post of secretary of state. For Rob McKenna, the two-term state attorney general who is the Republican nominee in the governor’s race, the long Democratic tenure in the governor’s mansion, longest rule in the nation by either party, has provided the opportunity to tell voters “we haven’t refreshed this place in a generation.” But in the race for secretary of state, the post from which Sam Reed is retiring after three terms, Democrats will be seeking to reverse their almost half-century absence from the office that oversees state and local elections, corporate and non-profit filings and records and is supervisor of the State Archives.
Posted on 3/22/2012 by Mike Flynn
Concern among Republicans that the prolonged battle for their party’s presidential nomination could have a lasting negative impact on the eventual nominee is intriguing given how struggles for the nominations of both parties used to unfold. There is some understandable hand-wringing among GOP leaders who would like to see a wrap on the nomination battle so a presumptive nominee can begin to focus on campaigning against the president. But a look back would suggest it’s the nature rather than the length of nomination battles in either party that wears on the voters.
Posted on 1/28/2012 by Mike Flynn
There’s nothing that could make residents of places like Washington, Oregon or Montana feel better about how their states are being run than to be plunked down for a few weeks in California and get an amusing and bemusing look at the dysfunctional workings of the nation’s most populous state. Everything about California is big, and that includes the massive budget deficit that has been the focus of governor-again Jerry Brown since he was sworn in a year ago as the literal political-comeback kid.
Posted on 1/4/2012 by Mike Flynn
You didn’t need to be a fan of Newt Gingrich to feel bad for the guy because of all the political dirt dumped on him during the Iowa-caucuses campaign. And you didn’t need to be a foe of Mitt Romney, who fared well in Iowa Tuesday, to find his avoidance of responsibility for the deluge of attack ads aimed at Gingrich distasteful. And you don’t need to be a schooled political observer to sense that the Iowa mess was only the undesirable opening salvo of what is likely to be a dirt-encrusted presidential campaign over the coming months, particularly once we enter the general-election phase. So to the electoral masses, Iowa likely brought a new level of disgust with the way politics has come to be defined, and the hunger for something, and someones, different.
Posted on 11/24/2011 by Mike Flynn
Former Washington Congressman Brian Baird’s long quest to bring a small note of integrity to the dysfunctional legislative body from which he retired a year ago has finally, with a 60 Minutes episode titled “Honest Graft,” gotten a bit of national visibility for an idea whose time has long since come. And it’s possible that, as irate citizens across the country seek ways to express their frustration at the implications of the abject failure of the so-called supercommittee to come up with any agreement, Baird’s idea may become a focal point for citizen action.
Posted on 3/3/2011 by Mike Flynn
Atty. Gen. Rob McKenna warns that Washington’s next governor “will face decisions that will create a lot of unrest” in bringing state spending and the size of government to a sustainable level. But he’s convinced that shrinking the size of government will be more easily accomplished if state employees can be brought into that process, rather than being turned into the enemies. The man who could be the Republicans’ standard bearer in the 2012 race for governor of Washington thinks one of the realities in reducing the size and cost of state government is to “empower state employees, not terrorize them.”
Posted on 12/2/2010 by Mike Flynn
In Denny Miller’s more than 30 years as a behind-the-scenes mover in Washington, D.C., first as chief of staff one of the most powerful U.S. Senators then as head of his own respected lobbying firm, he has seen the best and worst of what politics in the Halls of Congress can achieve or thwart.But he’s concerned about an emerging trend he sees pervading deliberations in Congress in which “it’s becoming exceedingly difficult to create things but easy to kill things.” He blames that on increasing polarization in both houses.