Full term for Sen. John McCoy

State Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, is bracingly honest, a virtue that can feel out of place in the glad-handing Legislature. He reduces challenges to their essence, no sugarcoating, no false pledges. It’s a leadership style as jarring as it is invigorating, particularly in an institution of promise-makers.

McCoy, who served in the state House for 11 years and was appointed to the Senate last year, deserves election to a full, four-year term. (His Republican challenger has not actively campaigned.)

McCoy yielded some of his legislative power by seeking the Senate seat that opened after Nick Harper’s resignation in 2013. No longer a committee chair and part of the Democratic minority, McCoy serves as the ranking member on the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. It’s a role consistent with his wonky passion for green energy, the health of Puget Sound and all-things technology.

On the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, McCoy offers the “no free lunch” gospel. The matter of supplementing K-12 to the tune of $2 billion is compounded by other mandates such as the August state Supreme Court’s ruling outlawing the practice of “psychiatric boarding” in hospital emergency rooms. Add to that the 2013 permanent injunction by a federal district court to remove barriers to fish passage on state-highway culverts, and we’re talking real money. Initiative 1351, aimed at reducing class size, is another log on the fire, McCoy said. It will make getting-to-yes that much more arduous.

The revenue challenge is a problem “bigger than both parties,” he said, and he’s right. Much of the budget can’t be touched, with the alliterative basics — to educate, to medicate and to incarcerate. Some non-regressive tax increase may be required.

McCoy believes the possibility of a transportation-finance package revolves around the political make-up of the Senate. He and other senators didn’t even have the option of voting on a package this past session. McCoy has bird-dogged oil by rail, coal trains and the need for advance notification to communities (a Bakken crude explosion in the Everett tunnel is one of several worse-case scenarios.) He offers an eliminate-at-the-source approach to the fish-consumption standard, which informs acceptable levels of cancer-causing crud flowing into NW waterways. He also concentrates on mental health support to tamp down gun violence. And he concedes that, after the transfer of SPEEA jobs, Boeing was “not being truthful” when the original Boeing tax giveaway was magoozled in a special session.

Judgment and candor are rare qualities in politics. Elect John McCoy.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Friday, Jan. 17

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: Panel does little to quell concerns on Boeing, FAA

A federal report that backs an FAA program of self-regulation by jet makers doesn’t instill confidence.

Commentary: Russia’s government resigns; Putin must have plans

Putin, who would have to leave office in 2024, may be looking at reforms that keep him in power.

Commentary: Earlier split in Methodist Church holds warning

As they are now over LGBTQ rights, Methodists were earlier divided over slavery; the split was damaging.

Safety of portables a concern for Snohomish school bond

“There’s not much of a plan if they come out here.” These… Continue reading

Plenty of blame to go around in Iran air disaster

Regarding the recent news about the accidental downing of the Ukraine airlines… Continue reading

Animosity between U.S. and Iran goes back before 1979

In a recent Herald, David Ignatius discussed hostilities between the U.S. and… Continue reading

Theft from bank account warrants more restitution

Regarding the story about the a Bellingham bank employee and another woman… Continue reading

Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Jan. 16

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Most Read