Opinion

Appleton in 23rd primary; Inslee for 1st District

Call us parliamentary democrats (small d) at heart.

We like elections that are about policies, not personalities. We like candidates who aren’t afraid to take stands. But because we don’t buy the myth that government can deliver more services at less cost, we’re particularly impressed with candidates who are willing to acknowledge the consequences of the stands they take.

You’re a Republican and you think the most important problem confronting the state is high taxes? Fair enough, but tell us what programs and services you plan to cut. A Democrat who wants to maintain or improve services, or boost state employee pay? Bravo, but tell us where you plan on getting the money.

Former Poulsbo City Council member Sherry Appleton is our pick in the Sept. 17 Democratic primary, because she would offer 23rd District voters a clear choice on the November general ballot with Republican Beverly Woods.

Appleton is a Democrat (capital D) without apologies. She believes government can and should be a tool to help folks who need a hand. She’s pro-union, pro-state employees, pro-choice, pro-environment and pro-gay rights. We can’t fix the state’s problems with education, transportation or health care without stable sources of funding, she says. And while there may be some programs that could be trimmed or eliminated, she acknowledges that we’re going to need new taxes. But while we’re at it, she says, let’s reform our tax system to make it fairer and less dependent upon fluctuations in the economy; i.e., the better off will pay more.

Her primary opponent, Terry Ducheane of Bremerton, seems a well-meaning fellow, but one who who has not really thought through the consequences of his platform. He favors year-round school and better pay for teachers, but doesn’t know where the state could get the necessary money – in fact, he says the state spends too much. Ducheane talks about adjusting priorities, but doesn’t follow along that path to tell us what he would forego in order to give schools and teachers a bigger piece of the pie.

We urge island voters to advance Appleton toward a meaningful election season with Woods – one where the issues are clearly defined, and the outcome matters.

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***Jay the Shaker

For the sake of completeness, we will go on record as endorsing incumbent 1st District Congressman Jay Inslee against his primary opponent, Mike the Mover (yes, that’s his name), whose principal campaign platform is to add several thousand soldiers in Civil War garb to the Washington D.C. constabulary.

While congressional debates over whether the newly deputized should wear blue or gray might be more amusing (and less potentially damaging) than debates over, say, whether to invade Iraq, this is no time for frivolity.

We’ll stick with Inslee in the primary.

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