The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

09 January 2005

If Gary Locke Ties His Shoes, The Seattle Times Has Praise

The Seattle Times will surely miss outgoing Washington State Governor Gary Locke. For eight long years they have praised his every move, even when Democrats and Republicans alike saw him as a do-nothing seatwarmer.

They kept lowering their expectations of him to the point where if he could walk down the street without tripping over sidewalk cracks they were thrilled.

It hasn't ended yet:

(Seattle Times)
During eight years in office, Gov. Gary Locke governed largely as he campaigned — as a smart, competent, hard-working policy wonk who was neither flashy nor strongly partisan. Locke is a pro-business Democrat whose legacy is as complicated and mixed as the economic and social times in which he led.

Locke says he is not California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, not the type to pound a table or force his views on others.

• His notable highs include: the dazzling, successful effort to assure Boeing's 7E7 airplane is assembled in Washington; the gas-tax increase to improve transportation; protection of a state test imposing higher standards on public-school students; and welfare reform that stressed education, training and adequate child care as well as assistance.

• The lows were the years when citizen initiatives led the state's agenda, not Locke or the Legislature. And more recently, when he proposed a tax increase that would crimp the economic recovery.

No mention is made that Locke's tenure saw Washington with a consistently higher unemployment rate than nearly every other state. Or that the Boeing campaign was a panicked effort to retain Boeing jobs only after the company moved its headquarters to Chicago and threatened further abandonment of facilities in the state. Few would consider him pro-business and I've never heard a Democrat or Republican accuse him of being hard working.

The Seattle liberal media elitists continue to live in a sheltered world where promotion of their cronies is most important. This opinion piece is yet another example.


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