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Well, this time I guess he really means it

When Democrat Congressman Jay Inslee announced last year that he was going to run for governor again this year (he ran in 1996 and lost in the primary and was hinting at another try in 2004 but got cold feet) my response was, I’ll believe it when I see it. But resigning his 1st district seat effective March 20 to devote fulltime to his gubernatorial campaign (I really hate the word gubernatorial) proves this is where he hopes to go.

Personally, I don’t think he can beat Republican Rob McKenna who is giving up a sure shot at reelection as attorney general and has been way ahead of Inslee in polls so far. Governor is the best job in politics other than president because you’re the boss. Even U.S. senators, the first tier of political royalty, have to start out in the back row, while the newest governor moves into a mansion. We taxpayers even foot the bill for the servants.

Inslee is an exceedingly ambitious man of 60 years who ran for governor after the voters in the district in Eastern Washington threw him out after one term. That was the year Gov. Mike Lowry abandoned a second term try after being accused of sexual harassment by a woman employee. Why lawyer Inslee who had no executive experience whatsoever thought he could make it against the likes of King County Executive Gary Locke and former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice is beyond me.

He came in third in the primary, after Locke and Rice and ahead of two nobodies. He still needed a job so moved to Bainbridge Island in 1998 where Congressman Rick White was widely rumored to be in big trouble, even among his fellow Republicans for the insensitive way he handled the divorce he sought from the mother of his four kids.

Inslee turned out to be a Clinton loyalist who was one of a handftul of members voting against impeachment. He blew hot and cold on the war, sometimes voting with his 6th district cohort, Norm Dicks and other times with Jim McDermott, who, despite having his higher education paid for by the Navy, evolved into a peacenik.

He voted against making partial birth abortion a federal crime for doctors but for making an exception if the mother’s life was in danger. He voted against Bush’s $550 billion tax cut. He was for lowering the majority requirement for school levies from 60 percent to 50 percent. He opposed a constitutional amendment giving Congress the power to outlaw desecration of the flag.

He opposed giving military training operations an across-the-board exemption from the Endangered Species Act and Marine Protection Act. He voted for Growth Management. He voted against authorizing President Bush to use force to disarm Iraq with or without the cooperation of the United Nations. In 2005, he went to Iraq to help him decide whether to pull U.S. troops out and on return said a reasonable timetable would be after Iraqi elections in December. He said Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction.

Inslee was hooked on global warming and coauthored the New Apollo Energy Act designed to decrease dependence on oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He voted for bills promoting wind, solar or biomass power plants. He was for cap and trade, an idea so unpopular with both parties it has disappeared from the table of options.

He denounced a bill that passed speeding up salvage logging and reforestation after fires, hurricanes or other disasters. He supported giving native Hawaiians the same status as Indian tribes with finding, entitlements and ability to have gambling casinos.

In short, Jay Inslee is one of the most liberal members of Congress and greenest of the greenies who would be in way over his head as governor. God help us if he makes it.

(Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.)

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