I care about making our district a great place to live and work. These are my priorities for representing you in Olympia :
- Halting the movement towards a state income tax
- Funding education first, instead of using it as political leverage in the State Budget
- Reducing commute times for Eastside drivers
- Conserving our beautiful environment for future generations
I oppose any form of a state income tax in Washington. This is in stark contrast to my opponent who has proposed countless new taxes at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet. I am afraid of our economic future when the single party in power increases the size of government so much that the only solution they can find is a new state income tax.
“Revenue Reform” is what Larry Springer calls a state income tax, and the Washington Department of Revenue has started work to implement state income taxes under his party’s leadership. This policy will drive away entrepreneurs and small businesses owners who make our state a haven for job creation in a tough economy.
The mindset of Olympia needs to be changed. Unfortunately, our most important spending priorities are used for political leverage and positioning. Setting budget priorities and fully funding the most important things like education first will help our state live within its means.
We need to stop playing politics with our education system. For thirty years, the same party has controlled policy making in Olympia, and we have had a consistent crisis for funding our schools under their leadership. Even the Washington State Supreme Court has recognized this situation, holding the Washington Legislature in contempt. It is time to fully fund education first in the budget making process and stop using education as a political tool to raise taxes.
Higher education has also suffered under the ruling party’s leadership. Once it was possible to save up and work summer jobs in order to pay for college. Then, college was an opportunity for anyone with the commitment to get there, but now tuition has risen to privileged levels that put a college education out of reach without the massive burden of student loans.
I believe that fully funding our Washington State education system protects upward mobility for every resident, and is both an obligation and investment our legislature should stop failing to make.
Our district is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, but spending time in traffic takes away our opportunities to enjoy our suburban way of life. We need to focus on relieving congestion for Eastside drivers.
A single party has dominated our transportation decision-making and their priorities are aligned with the needs of downtown Seattle, not the Eastside.
A typical example of this is the tolling and construction on SR 520 where Eastside drivers pay millions of dollars in fees to cross the bridge. The replacement that is under construction will have a footpath, but no expanded capacity for average drivers.
Another example in our district is the traffic revision on I-405 scheduled for 2015. Two lanes in each direction will be off limits to average drivers. One will be dedicated to buses, the other will be an express toll lane. This is on a stretch of highway that was expanded by a nickel increase in gas taxes paid for by average drivers. Voters need to know that the roads they have paid for are being taken away.
We need access to more lanes here on the Eastside of Seattle.
I believe in a multi-modal transportation system, but not at the cost of vehicle throughput. Changing the culture in Olympia from one dominated by a single party with its leadership in downtown Seattle is the only way to begin unsnarling our existing mess and build useful infrastructure for the future.
Conserving resources and protecting our clean water and verdant landscape are very dear issues to me. As an Eagle Scout, I was taught to leave no trace in the wilderness when hiking, and as a sportsman I have enjoyed the bounty of nature and participated in its cycles. For my whole life, I have maintained a sense of wonder at the Puget Sound with the orca and salmon runs that sustain them.
The best solution is not just spending more money and tightening regulations. For instance the governor’s use of fish consumption levels as a mechanism to toughen clean water standards. If we want to raise these standards then let’s just vote for it instead of using a regulatory trick.
I believe that access to the environment is one of the most powerful tools to help people appreciate, value, and protect it. Republicans and democrats need to find common ground to support policies that empower landowners to protect their land, and the public to benefit from its conservation. I commend my opponent for some work that he has attempted in the past for our district in this regard, particularly proposing a market for transfer of development rights-a proposal that I would proudly support.
Candidate Q & A
I feel that you deserve to know how I have responded to candidate questionnaires and interviews so that you can make a good judgement when you vote in this election. These links to some question and answer interviews I have participated in will help you research my positions and understand how I will represent our district in Olympia.
- Association of Washington Businesses
- Citizens Alliance for Property Rights
- Climate Action Ministry
- Family Policy Institute of Washington
- Lifelong AIDS Alliance
- Washington Policy Center