#10) Indifference to racism in our criminal justice system
Last year, during a KZOK radio interview regarding Farrakhan v. Gregoire, Attorney General Rob McKenna appeared to dismiss the problem of racial discrimination in our criminal justice system when, in response to a direct question about prison race disparity, he answered:
“unfortunately, our prison population is disproportionate based on race, but disproportionality isn’t in and of itself an indication of racial discrimination.”
That was all he had to say on the matter, even though the court found, without dispute, systemic racial bias in our criminal justice system.
Armed with the facts that racial discrimination plagues our criminal justice system at all levels, and asked a specific question about racial disparity in prison, McKenna not only failed to acknowledge the problem, he implied it does not exist.
#9) An enemy of gay rights
In 2004, King County Superior Court ruled that gay couples could marry. County Councilman Rob McKenna responded by warning of the slippery slope to incest and polygamy. From The Seattle TImes:
“[McKenna] criticized the ruling’s wording as too broad and said its argument that there is no compelling state interest to deny marriage to two people in a committed relationship could leave marriage open to blood relatives or those practicing polygamy. “It threatens to destroy all standards we apply to the right of marriage,” he said.”
McKenna has a habit of endorsing rabidly anti-gay candidates, like Hans Zeiger, who has famously called the NEA a terrorist organization and warned that the Girl Scouts are “allied with the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood”, and that their convention “will be a gathering of radical feminists, lesbians, and cookie peddlers”.
#8) We can’t trust what he says
From the start, AG McKenna has maintained that his suit to overturn the Affordable Care Act is intended to reverse only the unconstitutional parts, not the entire bill.
“In a nutshell, this case addresses two aspects of the federal healthcare law: the individual insurance mandate and some of the changes to Medicaid in terms of their impacts on the state. The case does not challenge any of the benefits or expanded programs in terms of what people will receive. All of those benefits — all of those new insurance regulations affecting, you know, preexisting conditions and 26-year-olds being able to stay on their parents’ policies — all of that takes effect. We’re not challenging any of it because I don’t think any of it’s unconstitutional (emphasis added).”
Yet a motion, which McKenna signed off on, asked for, and actually received in Florida, a summary judgement to throw the entire Bill out.
#7) Pro-choice, except when he isn’t
While maintaining he is pro choice, McKenna has supported parental consent and apposed late-term abortions. He was also listed on a Christian Coalition voters guide as a an opponent of “abortion on demand”. We can anticipate that a Governor McKenna will acknowledge a woman’s right to choose, while otherwise supporting every measure to restrict reproductive rights.
#6) Refused to represent the Commissioner of Public Lands
In a power overreach, AG McKenna left Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark twisting in the wind, refusing to represent Goldmark and the State Department of Natural Resources on appeal in a case involving condemnation of DNR property by the Okanogan PUD. From the DNR website:
“It is essential that the Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands has the ability to carry out its fiduciary responsibility to the trusts, and not having counsel leaves the Common School Trust defenseless,” said Goldmark. “The Supreme Court will be answering a very important question around the role of the Attorney General to set policy for the entire state.”
Goldmark was forced to sue AG McKenna to essentially force him to do his job. (The State Supreme court has heard the case, but not yet ruled.)
On the County Council, McKenna fought collective bargaining agreements and efforts to do business with unionized companies. As Attorney General, he characterized collective bargaining by public employees as “dangerous”, and appealed a State Supreme court ruling which authorized teachers unions to use dues for political purposes.
#4) Fighting health care reform
McKenna has gone rogue in his efforts to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – a pursuit of questionable authority, inexplicable in terms other than political, and contrary to the wishes and interests of the citizens he ostensibly serves.
#3) A power monger
McKenna’s policy setting overreach vis-à-vis the DNR and Okanogan PUD dispute, and participation in the suit to overturn the Affordable Care act, are indications that as Governor, he would take the most expansive view of his powers, and use them, as Republican governors do, to further the interests and policy objectives of the far right.
#2) Ich bin ein Teapartier
The following comment by McKenna says it all.
“The grassroots movement reflected in the Tea Party is exactly what this country is about. [snip] “Fewer regulations, fewer burdens upon our employers is what the Tea Party’s about. It’s an economic movement, a fiscal movement. We get that. The lefties don’t get that.”
If that isn’t convincing, I offer this Gingrich-esque opinion of President Obama:
“We have a man who, as president, is far to the left of center, farther to the left of center, I should say, than any American president we have ever seen. Farther to the left than FDR.”
#1) He’s a Republican
We’ve seen what Republican governors have done in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, and Florida, to name just a few. Never underestimate the damage a conservative can do at the helm of a state. Christy is destroying jobs in New Jersey while privatizing the government. Unions in Ohio, Wisconson, and other states are under siege, and Rick Scott is systematically enriching himself while undermining the poor and middle class in Florida. Almost everywhere, reproductive rights are under fire and education is being gutted.
There isn’t any bill imaginable that could pass the legislature restricting unions or reproductive rights that McKenna wouldn’t sign. He’s a Tea Party shill that thinks unions are dangerous and President Obama is left of FDR.
Rob McKenna is no moderate Republican. There aren’t any of them left.