Marine on Middle East: Security first

Energized supporters can compensate for a lack of money, 1st District Congressional candidate Joe Marine says.

And Jay Inslee’s vote against the resolution to give President George W. Bush the authority to use force against Iraq has created that energy, he said.

“That has really energized our campaign,” he said. “It shows how ultra-liberal Jay Inslee is.”

The financial race is no contest.

Two-term incumbent Inslee reports raising well over $1 million, and has some $725,000 cash on hand. Marine reports raising just over $150,000, and had only $7,200 cash as of the end of the last reporting period.

“I’d like more money, sure,” said Marine, “but we’re taking everything we’ve got and getting the message out to people.

“And we have seen more interest since the Iraq vote. It’s the kind of issue that motivates people to get involved.”

The Kitsap County portion of the 1st District includes all of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap. Most of the district’s population is in northern King County and southern Snohomish County.

Saying that “Iraq has made the case” for military action, Marine would have favored the resolution that Inslee opposed.

“Iraq has not held up its bargain on inspectors,” he said. “People like Saddam Hussein and the terrorists think differently. Why risk him having nuclear capabilities?”

Marine does not believe that military action against Iraq should depend on whether other nations support the move.

“What the Mideast understands is strength,” Marine said. “I’d love to have support from other countries, but if not, then we should go alone. The first priority is our own security.”

Marine also takes issue with Inslee on the economy and on transportation, which he calls the other two most significant issues, along with national security.

On the economy, he cites Inslee’s vote against giving Bush so-called “fast track” authority to negotiate trade agreements.

“One in five jobs in Washington depend on trade,” he said. “I’m very supportive of trade-promotion authority.”

Acknowledging that presidents have generally had such authority until a Republican-controlled Congress denied it to former President Clinton, Marine said, “We have to stop this political ‘they’re in office so I won’t support it now’ approach. If it’s right, it’s right, and it doesn’t matter who’s in office.”

He also said Inslee hasn’t done enough to back Boeing and Microsoft, citing an Inslee vote against what Marine called “the airline industry bailout,” and criticizing the federal antitrust case against Microsoft.

“We need a representative who is a little better advocate for Microsoft,” he said. “I’m concerned that they’re not only going to leave the state, but leave the country. How much more are they going to take?”

Calling transportation one of the most critical issues for the district, Marine said he would seek a seat on the House transportation committee. He advocates fewer strings on federal transportation dollars, specifically criticizing a requirement for freeway sound barriers.

He also said that if the federal government is not going to reduce such requirements, it should repeal the 18-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax.

“Imagine what we could accomplish with that 18 cents,” he said.

Marine said he thinks R-51 – the transportation-improvement package – will fail, primarily because of a lack of trust caused by two decades of failure from Sound Transit.

His solution to the Puget Sound transportation problem is not the Sound Transit light rail, but a monorail running down Interstate 5, with a network of buses running into the adjoining communities.

“Getting community buses off the freeway would lessen congestion,” he said, “and we could make the left lane a long-distance truck lane.”

The 40-year-old Marine is an insurance executive from Mukilteo, and father of two daughters.

He was president of the Mukilteo city council when he was appointed to fill an unexpired term in the state legislature.

He failed to hold that seat last year in a special election, giving Democrats a one-vote majority in the state house.

Although he has neither a big war chest or the advantages of incumbency, Marine thinks that his positions are consistent with the views of voters in the district.

“We have a presence in signage and in doorbelling,” he said. “If voters hear our message, we think we’re right on the issues that are important to them.”

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