McKenna on KIRO: Wealthy neighborhood’s private street sold by city

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the controversial sale of a private street in San Francisco. Investors bought the street at auction from the city after the homeowners association for the wealthy neighborhood neglected to pay its $14 annual property tax for three decades. Dave Ross: “Now what about the right to at […]

Income tax a big dividing line in WA, but Seattle’s case is going nowhere

One of the clearest dividing lines in Washington state politics is our lack of a state income tax. Many on the left view an income tax as the path to a fairer tax system. To most everyone on the right, it looks like just one more way to let government chip away at your paycheck. […]

McKenna on KIRO: Seattle’s “democracy vouchers” under challenge

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a legal challenge to Seattle’s “democracy voucher” program. Under the program, every Seattle voter automatically receives four $25 vouchers that they can sign over to Seattle political candidates, who turn them in to the city for campaign dollars. The vouchers are funded by an increase in the […]

McKenna on KIRO: Civil asset forfeiture abuse

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about recent renewed controversy regarding civil asset forfeiture. Federal Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced a renewed focus on seizing assets by the Justice Department and U.S. Attorneys. Dave Ross: “OK, not that I’m implying there would ever be corruption in the justice system, but it sounds like […]

On minimum wage, Seattle officials refuse to listen to info they don’t like

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,” the saying goes. It’s never as simple as that, of course, especially in politics. But the sentiment is a good one – facts are supposed to inform public policy, not just opinions and ideology. What we instead see too often is ideology driving […]

Democrats howl over Hirst, but keep these things in mind

There has been plenty of indignation expressed – some real, some with crocodile tears – since legislators adjourned without passing a construction budget or a fix to the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. Much editorial ink has been spilled since then. The Hirst decision reaches a conclusion about growth management law that legislators never intended. […]

Sewage treatment failure – is local government getting the basics right?

Given the Pacific Northwest’s reputation, if you told people around the country that our region’s largest sewage treatment plant is easily paralyzed by large rainfalls – well, they’d probably find that funny. A “catastrophic event” at King County’s West Point sewage treatment plant within Discovery Park last February resulted in “235 million gallons of untreated […]

McKenna on KIRO: Jimmy John’s “disloyalty” case

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a federal appeals case out of Minnesota. Workers at a Jimmy John’s franchise had been trying to form a union but lost the election by two votes. They responded by handing out flyers suggesting that, without sick leave pay, people who eat at the restaurant would themselves […]

Government takes people’s stuff without a conviction or even charges. That’s wrong

You can say this about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions: He doesn’t mind swimming against the tide. That can be an admirable trait, depending on the issue. Increasing the use of civil asset forfeiture (CAF) is the wrong issue. Sessions announced this week that he is undoing the modest CAF reforms put in place by […]

“Morally repugnant”? No, it’s simply what rural families need

Too many Washington families are caught in a judicial and bureaucratic limbo thanks to the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. The case is about so much more than water – it’s about, as Madilynne Clark of the Washington Policy Center wrote, “two of the most fundamental necessities – homes and livelihoods.” The court’s decision has […]