Tonight real­ly is debate night. We have one more debate of impor­tance to get through before we’re off live­blog­ging duty: an hour­long dis­cus­sion between the can­di­dates for gov­er­nor, pre­sent­ed by KING5 and Frank Blethen’s Seat­tle Times. As with the pres­i­den­tial debate, we’ll be fol­low­ing this one in real time, with updates simul­cast on Twit­ter. Let’s get started!

UPDATE, 8:02 PM (Andrew): No open­ing state­ments for this debate. We’re going straight to ques­tions. Jim Brun­ner of the Seat­tle Times is going first. What could you do to hold down tuition increases?

UPDATE, 8:07 PM (Andrew): Brun­ner has a fol­low-up. He asks the can­di­dates if they can put more mon­ey into edu­ca­tion if rev­enue assump­tions don’t pan out.

UPDATE, 8:09 PM (Andrew): Guber­na­to­r­i­al can­di­dates now talk­ing about state and local prop­er­ty tax levies (which pri­mar­i­ly fund schools).

UPDATE, 8:11 PM (Andrew): McKen­na: Inslee has no plan for com­ply­ing with the McCleary decisions.

UPDATE, 8:12 PM (Andrew): Inslee keeps say­ing we’ll gen­er­ate rev­enue by putting peo­ple to work. You need to be more spe­cif­ic, Jay.

UPDATE, 8:13 PM (Andrew): Some crosstalk between Inslee and McKenna…

UPDATE, 8:13 PM (Patrick): McKen­na says Inslee hasn’t read the prop­er­ty tax swap pro­pos­al to fund schools and then says the details haven’t been worked out yet.

UPDATE, 8:14 PM (Andrew): Oh, great. Susan­nah Frame is ask­ing about “Waste on the Water”, KING5′s over­hyped series of spe­cial reports alleg­ing cor­rup­tion and mis­man­age­ment at Wash­ing­ton State Ferries.

UPDATE, 8:16 PM (Patrick): Lean man­age­ment may be good, but doesn’t pre­cise­ly inspire pas­sion. Wash­ing­ton State Fer­ries is impor­tant, but a large part of the state doesn’t bor­der the water or reg­u­lar­ly use the ferries.

UPDATE, 8:17 PM (Andrew): McKen­na: The fer­ry sys­tem is part of the trans­porta­tion sys­tem. Fer­ry fare­box recov­ery is pret­ty high.

UPDATE, 8:18 PM (Andrew): McKen­na says he’d fire David Mose­ley, who cur­rent­ly runs WSDOT, but makes it clear he expects David to resign first if he wins.

UPDATE, 8:19 PM (Andrew): Jim Brun­ner asks about clos­ing tax loop­holes. Can you name spe­cif­ic exemp­tions you would con­sid­er clos­ing, and how much would it raise?

UPDATE, 8:20 PM (Andrew): Inslee has some exam­ples of unnec­es­sary and out­dat­ed tax loop­holes ready. Way to go, Jay!

UPDATE, 8:20 PM (Patrick): Inslee is talk­ing about clos­ing unneed­ed tax loop­holes. It is a con­tin­u­ing dis­ap­point­ment that nei­ther can­di­date has a plan for rais­ing rev­enue rev­enue, but Inslee def­i­nite­ly dis­tin­guished him­self from McKen­na in tak­ing a stance to remove exemp­tions which do not serve the pub­lic interest.

UPDATE, 8:22 PM (Andrew): McKenna’s exam­ple isn’t real­ly a tax loop­hole. He’s talk­ing about out-of-state retail­ers being able to sell Wash­ing­to­ni­ans goods with­out hav­ing to col­lect sales tax. Many of those retail­ers have no pres­ence in Wash­ing­ton – the state can’t fix that prob­lem itself.

UPDATE, 8:24 PM (Andrew): Robert Mak asks about Jay Inslee about his pro­posed office of eco­nom­ic competitiveness.

UPDATE, 8:26 PM (Andrew): Rob, if it is so expen­sive and dif­fi­cult to do busi­ness here, why are we con­sid­ered one of the best states to do busi­ness? Been ranked in the top ten by Forbes for many years running!

UPDATE, 8:26 PM (Andrew): McKen­na has a pen­sive look on the split screen.

UPDATE, 8:28 PM (Andrew): The ques­tions tonight from the KING5/Seattle Times pan­el have been pret­ty good so far.

UPDATE, 8:29 PM (Andrew): Jay, you mean uncom­mon sense. Com­mon sense does not exist. If it did, we would not talk about need­ing it.

UPDATE, 8:29 PM (Andrew): Oh no, they’re let­ting the can­di­dates ask ques­tions of each other…

UPDATE, 8:30 PM (Andrew): Rob McKenna’s ques­tion was ridicu­lous: Why do you think news­pa­pers are endors­ing me instead of you?

UPDATE, 8:30 PM (Patrick): Inslee is defend­ing his pro­pos­al to help com­pa­nies in the renew­able ener­gy sec­tor, rebut­ting the oft-stat­ed line by McKen­na that he’s “pick­ing win­ners and losers”. Inslee’s response is it would help out busi­ness­es that need it, and spur innovation.

UPDATE, 8:31 PM (Andrew): Jay is explain­ing that he has tak­en stances that weren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly pop­u­lar with news­pa­per edi­to­r­i­al boards at the time, but in hind­sight proved to be spot-on.

UPDATE, 8:34 PM (Andrew): Inslee asks McKen­na about his sup­port for women’s repro­duc­tive rights.

UPDATE, 8:36 PM (Andrew): Rob, there’s no need to be pet­ty. You are part of the polit­i­cal estab­lish­ment in this state, just as Jay Inslee is. You have been AG for eight years.

UPDATE, 8:37 PM (Andrew): Jean Enersen moves the debate along.

UPDATE, 8:38 PM (Andrew): Ah good, a ques­tion about an issue that does not nor­mal­ly get cov­ered. What would you do to main­tain and improve access to water and address the state’s need for guest workers?

UPDATE, 8:39 PM (Andrew): Inslee says he under­stands the issues fac­ing east­ern Wash­ing­ton. And he would know… he used to rep­re­sent places like Yaki­ma, Chelan, and Selah.

UPDATE, 8:39 PM (Patrick): Inslee is talk­ing about the need for bipar­ti­san­ship on immi­gra­tion, but cites the intractabil­i­ty of Repub­li­cans in try­ing to pass the DREAM Act and com­pre­hen­sive reform.

UPDATE, 8:40 PM (Andrew): McKenna’s retort: I have rep­re­sent­ed the entire state as Attor­ney Gen­er­al. (But he has not rep­re­sent­ed the entire state or even large swaths of it as a lawmaker).

UPDATE, 8:41 PM (Patrick): Inslee is talk­ing about how chang­ing the require­ments for pro­vid­ing driver’s licens­es would be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and cost­ly. McKen­na clear­ly dis­agrees, and says he sup­ports putting more bar­ri­ers in place for peo­ple who are undocumented.

UPDATE, 8:42 PM (Andrew): Inslee: We should not pre­vent immi­grants not here legal­ly from obtain­ing driver’s licenses.

UPDATE, 8:42 PM (Andrew): McKen­na: Give undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants per­mits to dri­ve instead of licens­es to drive.

UPDATE, 8:43 PM (Andrew): Ques­tion from Chris Ingalls: Does DSHS need an over­haul? What changes would you make?

UPDATE, 8:44 PM (Andrew): McKen­na: DSHS needs new leadership.

UPDATE, 8:45 PM (Patrick): What can we do to strength­en and stream­line our social safe­ty net? That’s the top­ic the can­di­dates are dis­cussing now. Inslee is not sur­pris­ing­ly tout­ing ‘lean man­age­ment’ again. He’s sug­gest­ing pri­vate con­trac­tors could play a big­ger role. Of course, the rea­son we have pub­lic ser­vices is because the pri­vate sec­tor doesn’t excel at every­thing, con­trary to what Repub­li­cans often claim. It is wrong to claim that every­thing worth doing can be done as a for-prof­it enterprise.

UPDATE, 8:47 PM (Andrew): McKen­na calls Inslee’s last answer “spec­tac­u­lar­ly uninformed”.

UPDATE, 8:47 PM (Andrew): Next ques­tion is about tolls – poten­tial tolling on I‑90 and oth­er roadways.

UPDATE, 8:49 PM (Andrew): McKen­na: We will need tolls on the new Colum­bia Riv­er Cross­ing. HOT lanes are an option. Sug­gests I‑90 express lanes could be turned into HOT lanes.

UPDATE, 8:50 PM (Andrew): Inslee: I will assem­ble trans­porta­tion pack­age to improve freight mobil­i­ty and alter­na­tives to dri­ving. Says we should have light rail and pub­lic trans­porta­tion. I ful­ly sup­port East Link light rail.

UPDATE, 8:51 PM (Andrew): Nei­ther can­di­date has said if they sup­port tolling I‑90.

UPDATE, 8:51 PM (Patrick): The pan­elists are fol­low­ing up on the ques­tion of light rail, and just asked McKen­na if he sup­ports it. He says he does, but he is mak­ing it seem like build­ing light rail is hard­er to accom­plish than it actu­al­ly is.

UPDATE, 8:51 PM (Andrew): McKen­na: East Link tech­ni­cal prob­lems are Sound Transit’s to solve. He implies he won’t inter­fere with the project. Riight.

UPDATE, 8:52 PM (Andrew): Inslee: We move for­ward on trans­porta­tion, job cre­ation, health­care reform.

UPDATE, 8:53 PM (Andrew): Last ques­tion is about edu­ca­tion, from Robert Mak. Do you have a plan to find mon­ey for schools if the econ­o­my does not bounce back? Good question.

UPDATE, 8:53 PM (Andrew): Inslee says we can find sav­ings by imple­ment­ing health­care reform.

UPDATE, 8:53 PM (Patrick): As Andrew not­ed, the pan­elists are try­ing to pin down both can­di­dates on whether they have a fall­back posi­tion in the event eco­nom­ic growth doesn’t gen­er­ate rev­enue to pay for exist­ing ser­vices. but instead rely­ing upon the econ­o­my to improve. Inslee talked about sav­ing mon­ey on health­care costs through the Afford­able Care Act,. McKen­na implies that he’s going to cut the social safe­ty net if he has no oth­er choice… in oth­er words, he’ll rob Peter to pay Paul.

UPDATE, 8:54 PM (Andrew): McKen­na clear­ly can­not wait to give his answer. Takes a deep breath.

UPDATE, 8:55 PM (Andrew): Rob, exact­ly what do you mean when you say we should pri­or­i­tize fund­ing for schools? Give us more than lip ser­vice to education.

UPDATE, 8:56 PM (Patrick): Inslee just cor­rect­ed McKen­na and stat­ed that edu­ca­tion fund­ing actu­al­ly went up 22% while he was in the Leg­is­la­ture before mov­ing on to the rest of his clos­ing state­ment. He’s try­ing to strike an upbeat tone.

UPDATE, 8:56 PM (Andrew): Inslee giv­ing his clos­ing state­ment. Cites his back­ground. “We can be greater, I ask for the hon­or of your vote.”

UPDATE, 8:57 PM (Andrew): McKen­na: Do you think we’ll be bet­ter off four years from now if we put the same peo­ple back in? Um, Rob, you’ve been part of the exec­u­tive depart­ment of Wash­ing­ton for eight years. You are not an outsider.

UPDATE, 8:57 PM (Patrick): Rob McKen­na is telling the cam­era that Wash­ing­to­ni­ans will be worse off under Jay Inslee, and ref­er­enced his endorse­ments again. He asks view­ers “to join us”. That’s not the most orig­i­nal or pos­i­tive note to end on. McKen­na hasn’t real­ly explained what he brings to our state cap­i­tal that makes him the more qual­i­fied or pre­pared than Inslee to serve as the state’s chief exec­u­tive. Yes, he’s been attor­ney gen­er­al, but he thinks far more high­ly of him­self than many of his con­stituents do.

UPDATE, 8:58 PM (Andrew): Oops. KING5 broad­cast cut out before Jean Enersen was finished.

UPDATE, 8:59 PM (Andrew): Okay, we are done!

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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