Win wristbands to Fisherman's Village Music Festival

Enter to win one of 20 wristbands for the Fisherman's Village Music Festival, May 16-17 in Everett.

Fill out my online form.

*No purchase necessary to enter to win. Winner will be selected by a random drawing and will be notified by phone or email.

The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.

Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
In our view / The next four years

A need for straight talk

There is an historical perk to serving as Washington's governor -- your own gilt-framed portrait that hangs in the executive reception room. Over time, the painting migrates down the hall into a column of mutton-chopped glowers. Elisha P. Ferry. Marion Hay. Everett's Mon Wallgren (a national billiards champion, Wallgren is painted cigarette in hand.) Chances are the portrait of Dan Evans, Washington's most accomplished governor, will stay put. That's because the Evans legacy -- from Washington's community college system to environmental protection -- has been meaningful and enduring.
Jay Inslee, the state's next governor, will need to make legacy his touchstone and shape-shift into governing mode pronto. That means talking straight about the need for additional revenue. After the state Supreme Court's McCleary decision, K-12 requires a ton more dough (read: at least $1 billion) and lean-management techniques alone are insufficient. Putting the kibosh on some ill-considered tax loopholes is one option, although the state's supermajority requirement stands in the way. (It only takes a majority to create a loophole, but a two-thirds' vote to unsnaggle it.)
During the campaign, both Inslee and Rob McKenna promised to change the culture of Olympia. That means tapping a fresh team that can look at challenges de novo, minus the institutional bias of managers who've been around a few decades too long. This shouldn't preclude a few old salts who understand the culture and how to make government run more efficiently. But political hacks and payback patronage don't help on the legacy front.
Washingtonians are still recovering from a hellish campaign season, and an ad blitz that made dozens of voters scribble "none-of-the-above" on their ballots. The antidote to political cynicism is non-jargon-ese (think New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's blunt post-superstorm talk.) It's an invigorating MO, with the American people draining from the same old patter.
President Obama already threw down the gauntlet, insisting on Friday that any budget compromise must include a tax increase for those making over $250,000 a year. The next governor is at a disadvantage because both campaigns jettisoned the possibility of a revenue increase. Now ia a good time to come clean and mention that the next four years will be powered by more than program cuts to feed K-12 and higher ed.
Suzan DelBene, Washington's next member of Congress, has a head start on tackling the fiscal cliff, getting sworn in this week to fill the remainder of Inslee's term and then switching to a full term in the newly drawn first congressional district. We hope that DelBene sticks her neck out, capitalizing on a baptism-by-fire that will preview her leadership style and signal what kind of lawmaker she will be.
In the meantime, Jay Inslee has an opportunity to prove his mettle. Thinking long term and taking risks will keep his portrait in the reception room.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.


Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet Classifieds