Election review: I-1029 flimflam

  • By Evan Smith Enterprise forum editor
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2008 5:21pm

Voters have passed Initiative 1029 to require more training for long-term care workers.

The measure sounded like something worthy of support, but it will cost the state and private care providers money to pay for this training.

The Legislature should exercise its prerogative of overturning the initiative with a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and the House. It should do that for two reasons:

• The state can’t afford the cost of additional training for those who care for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

• The Legislature could pass a more sensible system, with enhanced training for people who care for patients with serious illnesses and a lower level of training for those who don’t need the enhanced training.

As one who needs home health aides to get me into and out of bed, I’d rather train them myself instead of dealing with people trained to evaluate my mental acuity and ask about whether I’m in pain.

Election review: Surprising support for light rail

I wrote a couple of weeks before the election that I thought Sound Transit Prop. 1 would lose.

I had just heard candidates from both parties for a variety of offices speak against light rail as an answer to our transportation needs.

Yet this year’s young, liberal electorate came out to support the plan.

When Sound Transit put the proposal on the ballot, I said that the agency should first earn our trust by completing its first light-rail line and improving its governing structure.

The ST Board clearly made the right bet on the public mood, but I still think the board needs to convince us that it is a worthy steward of our tax money.

Election review: McCain blew it

I don’t think that John McCain had much chance to win this year’s election. The party in power usually loses during an economic downturn.

But the John McCain of eight years ago would have made a better candidate. He was in the moderate middle where most American voters are. The McCain of eight years ago had said that, while he opposed abortion, he wouldn’t make that position a test for appointment of judges. We didn’t hear that this year.

The McCain of eight years ago opposed the influence of what he called agents of intolerance. This year, he actively sought the support of those same religious conservatives

An earlier McCain spoke out against cutting taxes without cutting spending. This year he supported Bush’s tax policies.

The old McCain wouldn’t have picked an obscure governor from Alaska as his running mate. When this year’s McCain made that choice, he lost a lot of votes.

If the old John McCain had run this year, he might not have won, but he could have returned the Republican Party to its roots as the party of fiscal responsibility and a strong but not reckless national defense.

Evan Smith is the Enterprise Forum editor. Send comments to entopinion@heraldnet.com.

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