By Jon M. Higley, Candidate for State Representative for the 27th District, Position #2
Einstein is known for his definition of “insanity” — Repeating the same things over and over and expecting different results. This definition fits, more than ever, with the recent candidate endorsements and initiative positions by the Editors of The New Tribune. Throughout the summer, TNT readers were surprisingly provided a tone not often found in this newspaper – scathing editorials directed to the Governor and the majority Legislature for their failure to address the reforms necessary to bring state government into a manageable and affordable operation.
But now as the leaves turn their colors, so are the editors of this newspaper changing colors. They are currently in “endorsement” mode. Not surprisingly, but disappointingly, they continue to endorse the same “business-as-usual” incumbents and career politicians whose voting records have helped place this state into a spiraling $5 Billion deficit ($12 Billion when considering the unfunded state pensions), citing that their “experience” will ensure a more sensible approach to fixing Olympia than their freshman opponents.
If the editorial board of the TNT truly believes that these “experienced” politicians are the only hope for a new direction in Olympia and want them returned to the Legislature, then when the icy winds of January begin to blow and the cold, hard facts of our pending financial crisis hang over the Legislative Session, will these “seasoned” legislators continue down the path of ignoring the fiscal realities? If the majority party did not have the spine to make the tough decisions last session, then it escapes me how the editorial board believes these same elected officials will have a change of heart next session. My “experience” as a citizen and taxpayer of this state for decades says a resounding NO. The size and scope of state government must be trimmed and restructured in order to promote a climate for business growth and job creation, but they’re unwilling to do this.
When the editors state that I’m too conservative for this “blue district” to endorse, it reveals that they are not in touch with the voters. My doorbelling experience over the past six months has revealed that there are more conservative residents in this district than the editors would have us believe. For example, “If you’re not an incumbent, I’ll vote for you!” was a commonly heard remark. It makes no sense to me for the editorial board to chastise the Governor and the majority legislators for their inaction and then turn around and reward them for it by endorsing them again.
I, and many others, HAVE HAD ENOUGH of the lifetime “spending-as-usual” incumbents who have managed to slip under the radar and drive this state economy in the ditch with ever expanding taxation of its citizens and businesses. This is why many new faces appear on the ballot this year. They have come before the voters and pledged to seriously address what is needed in Olympia – commitment to bravely and intelligently reform the way things are done in our state capitol. Fortunately, it is voters who have the CLEAR CHOICE to decide our state’s fate, not myopic newspaper editors whose fickle opinions can influence an election’s outcome. Voters: Beware Before You Vote, and Be Informed!
Jon Higley is a veteran, retired 30-year teacher and community leader.