McKenna on KIRO: Are these initiative titles intentionally misleading?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about two initiatives on this fall’s ballot. Supporters of I-1631, which would impose a carbon tax, are billing it as a “pollution fee.” The campaign for another initiative aimed at preventing soda taxes, I-1634, is calling itself Yes! To Affordable Groceries.

Dave Ross: “Does that mean we can retitle the carbon fee the ‘Let’s Prevent Suffocation Act of 2018?’”

Rob McKenna: “That’s very creative, Dave.”

Dave Ross: “I think that would pass in a heartbeat.”

Rob McKenna: “Well, I think at the same time authors of Initiative [1631] have been very smart in how they’ve styled this. It’s very clever to refer to Initiative [1631] as involving ‘pollution fees.’ Who thinks pollution is a good idea? Groceries are a great thing – we need them to live. Pollution is a bad thing – charging a fee for pollution doesn’t sound unreasonable.

“Opponents are going to come right out and say ‘Well hold on, not so fast. What you’re really doing is making energy more expensive, and that’s going to be passed through to you as a consumer.’ So they’re just going to call it a kind of a gas tax, and that’ll be the war of rhetoric we’ll see right through the November election.”

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