Washington State Governor: Rob McKenna
For at least the next few years, the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives will be faced with a budget deficit which will require them to find approximately one billion dollars a year to balance. While the budget issue has been virtually all consuming for the last three or four legislative sessions, it is not the only issue facing the state or the only issue around which we need solid leadership.
The candidates for governor have shared interesting differences and similarities on the campaign trail. While we believe both candidates would work to reduce regulatory hang-ups and complicated compliance issues negatively affecting business, it is our opinion that Mr. McKenna would be more affective.
We are also concerned that Mr. Inslee has focused too much on new business recruitment during his campaign. While business recruitment is important, we recognize that companies located here and growing must not be left out of the picture.
Clark Public Utilities Commissioner: Julia Anderson
Utility rates in the coming years have the likelihood of being significantly higher for businesses. Allowing for the fact that it is a complex system, resolving the demands of large power users while at the same time assuring affordable rates for all users will continue to challenge a commission that has been focused and responsive over the years.
The candidates provide a distinct choice for voters. Malinowski brings a career of understanding about this complex technical system. Meanwhile, Anderson brings the experience of questioning the rationale of the commission and making sense of it for others.
In the primary, one candidate stated, “This election is NOT about technical expertise… it’s about vision and communication.” We agree.
We applaud Malinowski’s interest in serving and respect his technical knowledge. As a commissioner, we see it as less about knowing the technical side and more about bringing the users – especially businesses – to the discussion.
Anderson’s promise is to be more inclusive of the power users (both commercial and residential) in forming the vision for the utility moving forward and in discussions about rates. To that end, we see Anderson’s background better suited to serve the needs of the business community and the commission in the coming years.
Clark County Commissioners: Joe Tanner (District No. 1) & Marc Boldt (District No. 2)
The race for Clark County Commissioner presents similar candidates in both districts. In each district, one candidate is an incumbent and the other a successful business person looking to bring their experience to local government as a way to make the county more efficient and to make it easier for businesses to locate, grow and expand.
Regarding the District No. 1 race, we applaud Mr. Mielke for promoting a smarter permit process and a fee holiday that helped jumpstart a number of local development projects. However, we feel Mr. Tanner is more equipped to deal with the needs of today’s business community given his background in the private sector and previous leadership at the Columbia River Economic Development Council.
Looking at the District No. 2 race, it is clear that Mr. Madore knows how to manage and grow a successful business. He understands free enterprise and how to grow jobs. He has also rightly identified the need to streamline and simplify the permit process. While we believe Mr. Madore would bring a strong business approach to the commission, we worry his approach might be too polarizing.
Mr. Boldt has a great deal of experience in both the public and private sector. We believe in his ability to listen to all positions, to promote smart policy, to build consensus and to buck the party line when he feels it’s the right thing to do. For those reasons, we believe Mr. Boldt is the more able candidate.