“Audacious” is right: executive orders have gone too far

Apparently President Obama plans to use his last year in office to issue a series of “audacious” executive orders, as his chief of staff described them in The Hill. Obama is frustrated that Congress doesn’t acquiesce to his agenda, so his solution is to go around Congress as much as possible. This executive order trend […]

McKenna on KTTH: State inmates accidentally released early

Rob told KTTH’s Todd Herman: “They need to figure out who made the decision not to fix the software glitch when it was discovered. Why they didn’t do it at the next scheduled software update, much less ever since then … when we figure out who made that decision, that person should lose their job.” Listen […]

Kelley returns with legal authority, not moral authority

On Monday, a bipartisan group of legislators released an impeachment resolution against indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley. Today, Kelley announced he was returning from his self-imposed leave of absence and resuming his duties as state auditor. Kelley is under indictment for 17 counts of money-laundering and theft related to his former business, a firm that […]

How obscure Olympia committees make sweeping changes

If you’ve never heard of the State Building Code Council (SBCC), you’d be far from the only one. State government often relies on appointed technical committees to deal with specialty areas, such as updating the state building code every three years. These committees can have a big impact on our daily lives without attracting much […]

Controlled burn debate: smoke complaints vs. out-of-control wildfires

There’s a growing consensus that we need more controlled burns in our state to help manage wildfires. Fire officials, foresters, the Forest Service, and environmentalists increasingly agree that controlled burning is a tool that can help reduce the intensity of wildfires, improve the health of forests, and give fire fighters defensive space when wildfires spread. […]

Seattle is failing minority kids, despite progressive reputation

Quick, which Washington city is the most racially diverse? If you said Seattle, well, good guess, but no. It’s Bellevue – a formerly surprising fact that’s getting less surprising as the area realigns its expectations about our region. But here’s a fact that may surprise you. “White kids in Seattle are almost ten times as […]

Congress coddles, hamstrings money-losing Postal Service

In 2014, the U.S. Postal Service lost $5.5 billion. It was the eighth year in a row the Postal Service lost money, for a total of $51.7 billion over that stretch. More than anything, the Postal Service’s money woes are driven by the more than 60% decline in first-class letters that Americans send. While the […]

L&I expert at ducking job-creating reforms

Some things in Olympia never change. Summer is always a little hotter there than in Seattle or Tacoma, and it’s a smidge rainier in the winter. There are always plenty of patchouli oil products for  sale at the Farmers Market. The sandwiches at Meconi’s are always good. And our government-monopoly workers compensation system, run out […]

Gov’s choice to quit on water quality update a mistake

When someone quits on an important public project that they founded, it can leave the people who came on board and worked in good faith a little confused. No doubt a few stakeholders on Gov. Inslee’s water quality taskforce felt a little confused earlier this year when the governor threw out their carefully negotiated work […]

Solyndra lied, feds bit – who will be held responsible?

“Solyndra”, like Watergate, is now in the political lexicon as shorthand for a particular kind of scandal. When the solar panel company went bankrupt in 2011, it had already wasted over $500 million in government loans, paid for by American taxpayers. For all the promises about Solyndra’s growth potential and new “clean energy” jobs, the […]