Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cut, cut, cut... just not in my district, Washington State Republicans say

The header on a January 12th press release from State Representative Gary Alexander (R-20th District) declares, “The temptation for continued deficit spending is too great for some to resist.”

Indeed, it seems the “some” he refers to are his Republican colleagues.

On her homepage, Val Stevens (R-39th District) brags about getting “a little more help for Highway 2 – although not nearly enough” right after complaining about the spending of “the Democrat (sic) majority.”

Stevens also brags about her bill to create a pilot project to contract-out much of the work done by Child Protective Services, saying it’s “almost as good as breaking up DSHS.” Someone should tell Sen. Dan Swecker (R-20th District), who has a video up on his homepage rationalizing the continued existence of the Green Hill juvenile rehabilitation facility, which just happens to be in his district.

“It would have a devastating effect on the economy because we have a large number of employees in Green Hill,” says Swecker. “I don’t believe in just holding something open just because of employment...” he continues, proceeding to extol the virtues of the great work done by the state employees at Green Hill School.

Meanwhile, Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-5th District) applauds the “many victories” enjoyed during her eleven years in the Senate, including “major highway improvements, expansion of youth athletic facilities, improvements in school instruction and funding, flood relief and habitat restoration, wilderness preservation and much more.” Someone in the Republican Caucus should remind her that Washington has a “spending problem.”

Among the many things Rep. Jan Angel (R-26th District) wants to do for her constituents is “expand higher educational opportunities within the district; improve our local transportation system; ensure a reliable, affordable ferry service…” or, in other words, things that cost money. Lots of money.

Last year, Jan Angel even had the nerve to send out a press release bragging about a $1 million state grant for a wastewater treatment plant improvement project in her district – a grant that was approved before she even took office.

She glosses over that by promising to "put in a request for an additional $2.5 million from the state's capital budget,” which sounds suspiciously like an endorsement of the kind of stimulus spending that Republicans oppose – at least when it’s proposed by Democrats. Let’s get a few things straight:
  • We do have a very serious issue with the state budget – thanks to a drop in revenue caused by a worldwide recession that’s affecting red states and blue states alike.
  • Republicans insist that what we have is a “spending problem,” yet fail to either endorse the Governor's “all cuts” budget or to propose cuts to anything other than “budget dust.”
  • Meanwhile, many of those same Republicans brag about and/or fight for state spending in their districts.
Given these brief examples, it’s clear that Republicans aren’t sincerely interesting in good-faith participation in the legislative process.

Rather, they’re all about blaming the “Democrat (sic) majority,” inflating the value of cutting “budget dust,” and appeasing an increasingly radical fringe movement of tea partiers by telling them what they want to hear.

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