Voters Are Talking. Is Rob McKenna Listening?

by lewwaters

Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna who can best be described as a slightly left of center moderate Republican, has wanted to become governor of Washington State for a very long time. To that goal, the Washington State Republican Party placed all of their electoral eggs in his basket for the 2012 election, edging any others out of his way and WSRP Chair, Kirby Wilbur declaring him “the only credible Republican” early in the race, mid-December 2011.

As expected, McKenna survived the top two primaries August 7, but is running well behind the Democrat, former Congressman Jay Inslee and slipping further back with each subsequent update as ballot counts are finalized, nearly 45,000 behind currently.

With party faithful lining behind their respective candidates, polls looked to independent voters early where McKenna was leading Inslee by 48% to 34% margin.

As we entered the August 7 primary, Inslee was leading by as much as 7%.

What happened?

Rob McKenna and his handlers is what happened. Following in the footsteps of several past elections where Republicans easily snatched defeat out of victory, Rob is not speaking a clear message that leaves voters confused and whoever is dreaming up the television ads needs fired!

For example, scripted gestures, poorly executed lines and actually having Rob jogging behind his wife as she turns back asking, “can you keep up” and reusing the campaign slogan, “A New Direction” of Democrat Nancy Pelosi from the 2006 elections?

At the same time, Democrats are running an ad of Jay Inslee next to a bulldozer talking of how he was a heavy equipment operator to work his way through college.

The WSRP may as well erect a flashing neon sign above McKenna’s head screaming WIMP!

McKenna is also coming across as out of touch with mainstream citizens, blue collar workers in the state who have been struggling through this ‘Great Recession’ we remain mired in. He is making conflicting comments and they are being noticed.

For voters in Southwest Washington, his recent visit for a Rotary Club luncheon left many believing he supports the most expensive and largest project ever foisted on us that could plunge Southwest Washington into bankruptcy, the Columbia River Crossing and having Portland, Oregon’s financially failing light rail forced on us, with Clark County taxpayers expected to pay the lion’s share of the cost of construction and operations and maintenance from over a mile inside of Oregon to Clark College, as well as Oregon income tax for those Washington residents forced to work in Oregon.

I was one of several who took his words at the luncheon to mean he supported the CRC. As noted in the comments at the link, McKenna’s Clark County Campaign Chair, Peter Van Nortwick stated McKenna does not, based upon a text message received.

Stevie Mathieu, who authored the article for the local paper left a comment on her article stating in part, “I just want to point out that McKenna did not mention light rail yesterday during his talk. He mentioned the need to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge, but he did not go into specifics or even say that he supports the current CRC plan.”

She then linked back to earlier articles where she was able to discuss CRC and light rail with Rob, which clears up nothing as in March of 2012, Mckenna was saying, “Tolls can be a component of funding new infrastructure. But first you need a project that has been agreed upon.”

Tolls have been a very contentious point since CRC was dreamed up and voters have been denied a voice by being allowed to vote again if we even want it, since we voted it down in the past.

McKenna did say then that voters in the C-Tran taxing district “ought to have a say,” but that too has been a sore point as those outside of the taxing district end up paying a tax they were denied a vote in.

He has called light rail “a good technology,” adding “I’m a strong believer in the value of public transit. But it has to compete in the market of consumer choices. If you’re just moving people out of buses into trains you’re not achieving much.”

At the Rotary Club luncheon he said, “There has to be a new crossing,” and “That corridor is too vital to allow it to fall into the river, so we have to figure out what the right replacement looks like, what we can afford, when it needs to be done — all of that.”

Given that for some time now, CRC has been the sole entity charged with replacing the I-5 bridges and we have been told light rail will be part of the bridges, “like it or not” and voters have been denied a voice, he appears clueless on the largest issue facing Southwest Washington and has for several months now.

McKenna says “we have to figure out what the right replacement looks like,” apparently unaware the current governors of the two states have already settled in a flawed design that does not even have enough clearance to accommodate river traffic.

McKenna comes across now as a classic “fence straddle” afraid to take a firm position on a matter of importance to Southwest Washington voters.

Surely if he can state a firm position in opposition to the Boy Scouts of America banning homosexuals into their private organization, he can give us a firm position on the CRC/light rail project.

The November general elections will feature only Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna as the survivors of the top two primaries. Washington State has not had a Republican Governor for nearly 3 decades.

If Rob McKenna cannot get his act together and quickly, it will remain that way.

Voters do not vote for weak candidates unable to articulate a position on issues of importance to them and portrayed as wimpish in ads, no matter what party they belong to.

Voters are talking. Are you listening, Rob?

10 Comments to “Voters Are Talking. Is Rob McKenna Listening?”

  1. The man is utterly worthless, and I will never vote for him or any other RINO. He’s screwed the people, screwed Scott Walker, screwed Clark County and instead of replacing that bridge, I wish his campaign would jump off it.

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  2. Lew, the current process virtually guarantees the emergence of an endless series of milktoasts and wimps, especially in state-wide or federal contests.
    Any would-be Republican candidate who takes a principled conservative position on any matter of consequence is excoriated and then written off, often by members of his own party establishment. We had a good candidate in Hadian, but when the party movers and shakers stab him in the back right from the start, and the local chairman denies him an opportunity to speak in the same venue as McKenna, what chance does he really have?

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  3. The other candidate left on the ballot is strident that the CRC go forward with light rail, regardless of what voters say this November. J Inslee said…
    “With significant federal involvement and cooperation with Oregon, the eventual replacement should be engineered for multi-modal forms of transportation, from multi-use paths to light rail options…”

    In contrast,McKenna acknowledges that
    “voters in the C-Tran taxing district ought to have a say”

    And he acknowledges buses as a legitimate public transit option instead of light rail.
    “But it has to compete in the market of consumer choices. If you’re just moving people out of buses into trains you’re not achieving much.”

    Buses can be part of a more flexible system, McKenna said.

    http://www.columbian.com/weblogs/political-beat/2012/jun/08/inslees-transportation-plan-says-crc-has-broad-con/

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  4. That’s the whole point, Margaret. We know where Inslee stands, but McKenna isn’t taking a firm stand.

    He is doing the usual slip sliding of speaking maybes, could bes an such.

    He’s not doing much to appeal to independents and those ads are pathetic.

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  5. I do not like the idea of the charter school taking funding from our standard public school system. Until the charter schools have an option for a local control over curriculum it isn’t going to make a strong enough and effective change but will drain the finances in the education budget. I do not like wishy washy politicians but I can agree with the statement that we could use a new bridge, and when and how much and what it will consist of should be reconsidered. Anytime a government branch changes and full construction with contracts are not yet started there is an opportunity to change direction. I can only hope that he will do that. I can not understand the statement regarding the boy scouts and Peter if you read this I would like clarification please. The OFM says we are broke and so I think a lot of things will be a changing. I would encourage everyone to accept those changes in steps since that is what we are going to have to do in order to walk past this election and out of this era of progressive liberalism democratic control on the people’s government. The government we now see is NOT YOUR FATHER’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY and those who wish it were are going to have to vote for change by changing their straight party line voting habit.

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  6. Sorry, Carolyn…. but you just blew it.

    The money goes with the child. this isn’t “taking money from our standard public school system.” If the child isn’t ATTENDING the “standard public school system,” then there is no need for the money that goes with that child to go to the “standard public school system.”

    Your opposition to charter schools is, instead, a vote for the incompetent, moronic system we have now where 3 out of 10 don’t graduate and roughly half of those who do are so academically inept that they have to take remedial classes to start community college.

    Color me disappointed.

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  7. The comment on Peter was that he was understandably defending Rob. Still, Rob is who needs to make his case of just where he stands to us.

    As for the Boy Scouts, Rob expressed disagreement with the Boy Scouts banning homosexuals, indicating he can take stands.

    We deserve to know just where he stands on CRC and light rail as it is currently being planned.

    We rallied on his behalf when we thought he opposed Obamacare and it turned out he only opposed the individual mandate.

    But, the overall point is that in order for Rob to even think about winning is that he has to stop with the weak ads and let his positions clearly be known on major issues.

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  8. Just so. Merely saying you’re a Republican ain’t enough.

    Just ask Marc Boldt.

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  9. My stand on Obamacare was the same as McKenna’s, and like Bob McKenna, as an attorney, when the Supreme Court speaks, I jump to attention.

    Carolyn, I agree with you on Charter schools.

    Scott Walker must have balls the size of grapefruits.

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  10. Washington is a mail in ballot state. The public may observe the processing of mail ballots. You may contact your County Auditor to arrange times to observe. Ballots are tabulated on optical scan and digital scan tabulating equipment. The equipment must be able to determine the ballot format for every ballot. Bar codes on each ballot allow the tabulation equipment to immediately determine the ballot format of that ballot, which allows the equipment to correctly read the ballot. For more information about ballot barcodes and this process please use your state’s resource tool .

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