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.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gregoire caves to Eyman and Rossi, calls special legislative session to reinstate I-747

Governor Christine Gregoire failed a major test of leadership earlier tonight when she sent a formal letter to legislative leaders calling for a special session at the end of this month to reinstate the draconian limits in Initiative 747:
I will be forwarding two bills as executive request legislation for your consideration. One will reinstate the 1% property tax limitation and the other will provide a property tax deferral for all families under our state's median income level. I look forward to working with you on a one day special session devoted solely to property taxes.
This is by far the worst decision Gregoire has made as the state's chief executive. It is a stupid, idiotic, and cowardly course of action: the exact opposite of leadership. And it is a major blemish on Gregoire's largely progressive and solid record as governor. It reeks of election-year pandering and unimaginative thinking.

Initiative 747 is cheap right wing policy that addresses a symptom, not a cause. It hurts our common wealth but does nothing to fix our broken and regressive tax structure. It is based on an uncompromising, unrealistic worldview that treats government as an affliction or curse - when in truth it is our government that makes our infrasructure and our quality of life possible.

Gregoire and those Democrats in the Legislature who end up going along with her are betraying the values of our party and allowing Dino Rossi and Tim Eyman to dictate public policy in Washington State. They are refusing to consider the alternatives, instead cowering to right wing pressure and opting to do what Eyman wants just a few weeks away from the opening of the 2008 legislative session.

Gregoire is ignoring the plight of municipalities across the state and wasting an opportunity to replace Initiative 747 with more progressive solutions that make our property tax fairer and more stable without decimating public services.

She is committing a major strategic blunder.

Once again, Democrats are willingly surrendering to Republicans and letting them set the agenda. It's a self-defeating move: it alienates the party's base and the state's progressive movement while saying to biconceptual voters (independents, those who are partially progressive and partially conservative) that the Democratic Party lacks ideas and courageous leaders.

It's bad policy, bad political strategy, and bad judgment. We call on every legislator who truly shares our Democratic values to vote against Gregoire's legislation, either in committee or when it comes to the floor for a vote.

We could not be more disappointed in the Governor than we are tonight.


Anonymous Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Well, consider that Tim Eyman didn't cast all the votes that emplaced I-747. That was us.

And those state-uber-alles Supreme Court judges in their arrogance went way beyond the bounds of legal reasoning (and the separation of powers) when they decreed that we 'didn't understand' that tax increases were to be held to 1% annual increases. We did understand, and that's what we voted for.

If Governor Gregoire has the sense to understand the body politic better than the supreme court does, it's to her credit that she cranks up the Legislature to actually do what the voters want. It's high time that the judiciary stopped pretending to be an alternate form of legislature.

November 19, 2007 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to say something to Governor Gregoire about all this! Why don't we ask her to stop cowering to Eyman and Rossi and do the right thing from now on?

November 20, 2007 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" right wing policy..."
I'm sick of that pejorative.
You "left-wing socialists" ought to work on "fix[ing] our broken and regressive tax structure" before instituting more taxes (if that is really what you believe.)
Gregoire did the right thing for once - she listened to the voters.
Stop whining.

November 20, 2007 11:54 AM  
Blogger Chad Lupkes said...

The end justifies the means, eh? Meaning that getting reelected is more important than providing municipalities with the resources they need to pave their roads and maintain their infrastructure. I'm staying with my priorities, thanks. I consider paved roads to be more important than politics.

November 20, 2007 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a person who makes less than the median income, I don't understand what deferring my property taxes means, in the quote from the Governor.

Deferred until next year? Deferred until I make more than the median income? Deferred until I retire or die?

Please explain!

Sarajane Siegfriedt
who works in human services

November 21, 2007 2:31 AM  

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