The end game is obvious

The situation parents in Kent face is just one of many like it around the state. Schools there are scheduled to start Aug. 30, but the teachers union in Kent is prepared to strike if its salary demands aren’t met – even though teacher strikes are illegal. Keep in mind, the current Kent contract runs […]

Symbolism vs. effectiveness in helping the environment

“Virtue signaling” is a term that gets knocked around these days. In its defense, it is at least part of a discussion about the importance of virtues – something we could use more of in this era, not less. But the problem with virtue signaling is that it isn’t substantive. It’s frequently just cheap and […]

Our national debt is a pressing problem, but it’s being ignored

Sometimes the easiest thing is to do nothing. And sometimes, that’s incredibly damaging. Doing nothing about our national debt has been the default for decades now. The consequences are piling up, and with each passing year fixing the problem becomes harder. We knew where this was going to lead but we didn’t stop. I use […]

With ruling, workers have new rights but union allies looking to keep the money flowing

The U.S. Supreme Court often waits until the final week of the term to release its most anticipated rulings. So it was this year, with the court putting out its decision in the much-watched Janus v. AFSCME labor case last week. The court ruled that government employees have a 1st Amendment right to opt out […]

Western State crisis shows lack of action, lack of leadership

No one in state government gets to plead ignorance on this one. Western State Hospital, a mental health facility, has been in crisis for years. The deficiencies, management turnover, aging facilities, escapes, and workforce problems are well-known and much discussed. The state has suffered numerous lawsuit losses over conditions at the hospital, and several courts […]

State, federal governments are both hurting rural economies

If you’re an economic conservative, you probably think there isn’t much government can do to create a strong economy. Infrastructure is necessary, as is an educated workforce. But government’s best role is in not mucking things up. Unfortunately our state and national governments are making mistakes right now that are mucking things up. In both […]

McCleary comes to a close: Levy swap prevails, funding now fairer

What a long, strange journey it has been. 11 years after it was filed, the McCleary education funding case wound to a close this week. Since the state Supreme Court first ruled on the case in 2012, it has been the Sword of Damocles dangling over state government. I did not agree with the court’s […]

Housing: We can build up, build out, or accept astronomical prices

I am frequently confounded by what passes for housing policy in Seattle. City government has lots of ideas on affordable housing and no clue on how to actually make housing more affordable. Or maybe it’s more of a matter of no interest than no clue. The Seattle City Council seems more focused on “affordable housing” […]

It’s my privilege to stand up for charter schools and students

Politicians tend to overuse some phrases. “It’s such an honor” to be part of this, “it’s a privilege” to do that. So considering I’m a recovering politician, you might wonder if I’ve lapsed into saying things that sound rote. But I mean it sincerely when I say it’s a great honor and privilege to represent […]

The three H’s – heroin, homelessness, and the head tax – hurting Seattle’s reputation

Has Seattle’s leadership lost its collective mind? Many are wondering lately. A glance at the headlines shows a city government that is of activist groups, by activist groups, and for activist groups. Because let’s be honest, it not average everyday voters who are pushing a head tax that will reduce jobs in the city. They’re […]