McKenna on KIRO: Gov. employees can’t be forced to pay unions

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about this week’s landmark Supreme Court ruling in the Janus case. The court ruled 5-4 that government employees cannot be forced to join a union or pay representation fees to one as a condition of employment. Dave Ross: “So was this decision based on a free speech issue, […]

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 […]

McKenna on KIRO: Crossing the border, asking for asylum

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about what is involved in applying for asylum upon arriving in the U.S. and recent changes to what is required. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced that “victims of domestic abuse and gang violence generally will not qualify for asylum under federal law…” Dave Ross: “So for […]

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 […]

McKenna on KIRO: Facebook and Google not keeping political ad records

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the state Attorney General’s Office filing suit against Facebook and Google for not complying with Washington state law. Entities that run political advertisements are required to keep records regarding who is buying ads and how much they’re spending, and those records must be made available for inspection. […]

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” […]

McKenna on KIRO: Why Martin Pang will soon be released from prison

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the Martin Pang case and why Pang will soon be released from prison. Pang was convicted of manslaughter for setting a 1995 arson fire in which four Seattle firefighters died. Pang set the fire as part of an insurance fraud scheme. Dave Ross: “[The state’s felony murder […]

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 […]

McKenna on KIRO: Olympia can stop Seattle’s head tax

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about Seattle’s authority to levy a head tax, or employee tax. When the Legislature reconvenes, state Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) says he will introduce a bill that explicitly prevents cities and counties from levying head taxes. Dave Ross: “So there’s nothing against the law about it as passed…but […]

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 […]