Imagine once again | THE PETRI DISH

OLYMPIA — As Republicans gathered in Cleveland last week, I imagined what GOP leaders might dish out against Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee had the subject of his re-election been on the convention menu.

Jerry Cornfield

OLYMPIA — As Republicans gathered in Cleveland last week, I imagined what GOP leaders might dish out against Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee had the subject of his re-election been on the convention menu.

This week, as Democrats convene in Philadelphia, let’s ponder a few of the arguments their party leaders might serve up against the presumptive Republican gubernatorial torchbearer, Bill Bryant.

Envision, if you can, Jaxon Ravens, chairman of the state Democratic Party, is on stage dishing it out.

“Thank you for this opportunity. Last week, the nation learned what Donald Trump envisions for America if elected president. Well, I’m here to tell you Bill Bryant envisions much the same for Washington if he’s elected governor.

“How can he disagree? Bryant won’t publicly disavow the fundamental ideas of a Trump presidency. If you ask Bill Bryant if he’s voting for Trump in November — as so many reporters have — he’ll duck for cover as if there’s an earthquake.

“Let’s talk specifics. It won’t take long. There aren’t many.

“He won’t say how he’ll make sure public schools are fully funded. He doesn’t want to pay tolls on I-405 but won’t say he he plans to make sure traffic congestion doesn’t get worse around Puget Sound. His plan for creating jobs begins with spending more taxpayer dollars to bring tourists to Washington.

“Bryant says he’ll bring a fresh perspective yet all we’ve heard are stale ideas of a Republican agenda voters have repeatedly rejected. He boasts that he’ll be an agent of change by firing dedicated public servants. Wow, wonder where he got that idea. There’s a reason Democrats in Washington have won eight straight gubernatorial elections.

“On the issues, Bryant doesn’t support increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15-an-hour. Doing so will be bad for business, he says. Sounds very much like a guy named Trump.

“On the environment, Bryant claims he’s a conservationist. I looked it up. Online. A conservationist is a person who advocates or promotes conservation, especially of natural resources, according to

“Yet Bryant continually criticizes our governor for working too hard to deal with climate change and limit pollution-causing emissions of carbon. He apparently doesn’t think the effort is worth it. And his proposal for dealing the effects of a changing climate on our health and our communities? We’re still waiting.

“Another example. Last year executives of Shell Oil came to the Seattle Port Commission — when Bryant was still a member — to lease space for massive equipment bound for Alaska to drill for oil. He could have said no, but Bryant said sure thing. Apparently he couldn’t concern himself with the potential environmental effects in Alaska.

“Later, Shell’s friends donated to Bryant’s campaign. Nice to have friends in the fossil fuel industry.

“Finally, I can’t leave without mentioning that he’s been darn silent on the need to reduce gun violence in our state. He doesn’t talk about reforming gun laws. In fact, when asked on a radio show if folks should be able to buy an assault weapon, he simply said he supported the 2nd Amendment.

“That’s not an answer. That’s an evasion. He does it a lot. We know he’ll keep doing it unless voters put a stop to it this fall.”

Inslee and Bryant, who are expected to advance out of the Aug. 2 primary, are set to hold their first face-to-face debate in Spokane in August.


Political reporter Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; Twitter: @dospueblos.


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