The Daily News endorses Jim Walsh

The Daily News editorial released on September 21st…

After careful consideration, the TDN editorial board urges you to vote for Jim Walsh for the state House of Representative District 19 position no. 1.

State political operatives from both sides of the aisle tell us polling shows taxes and gun control are the hot button issues for this election. We need a representative who will vote “no” on a state income tax, takes a tough stance on taxes in general, and will stand up for our Second Amendment rights — Jim Walsh is clearly that person.

With the State Supreme Court McCleary decision, the court has given state legislators a mandate to “fully fund” education. To fully fund education state legislators will likely be asked to find more tax revenue either through property taxes or a state income tax in the next legislative session. We need a united front in the 19th District, both Jim Walsh and state Rep. Brian Blake have pledged to vote against a state income tax.

The last time a state income tax vote came up was 2010. A group of wealthy folks from Seattle, including the Gates family, supported I-1098 which would’ve established a state income tax. Nearly 70 percent of Cowlitz County voters voted “no,” while statewide 64 percent of voters voted against a state income tax. Overall, Washington voters have said “no” to an income tax on at least eight separate occasions. You’d think politicians would get the message – no income tax.

But even after citizens voted against an income tax eight straight times, organizations like Opportunity for Olympia are challenging long-standing court rulings by putting a city income tax on the ballot in Olympia. Advocacy groups, which support an income tax, have shown they’ll stop at nothing to get a state income tax passed.

During an interview with TDN, Jim Walsh repeatedly said, “no way”; he wouldn’t vote for a state income tax under any circumstances.

In an interview with TDN’s Tom Paulu in April, Walsh’s opponent, Teresa Purcell, said she’d be open to a state income tax if it were part of a larger overhaul of the tax system. “We have the most regressive tax system in the country,” she said.

Sometime later at a League of Women Voters forum, Purcell came out against a state income tax. In a meeting with The Daily News editorial board, Purcell indicated she was against income tax proposals “in their current form,” but never closed the door on voting for a state income tax.

We need certainty on the income tax issue, which Walsh provides.

Another key issue related to taxes is the super-majority voting requirement for tax increases.

In 2012, 71 percent of Cowlitz County voters voted “yes” on Initiative 1185 requiring a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature for tax increases. Walsh has come out in favor of the super-majority vote requirement for the implementation of new taxes, while Purcell has come out against it. Walsh wants to make it harder for the legislature to enact new taxes, Purcell thinks the status quo is fine.

Purcell said of the two-thirds supermajority vote requirement, “It’s undemocratic” because it allows a minority of legislators to block action. The state of Washington has numerous supermajority vote requirements already in place — the transportation budget is a good example — and bi-partisan bills still get approved.

State spending is on the rise and has been for many years. According to the Washington State Office of Financial Management, total state operating expenditures in 2005 totaled $24.8 billion dollars, in 2016 the state is expected to spend $40.7 billion dollars. That’s an increase in spending of about 64 percent over the last 11 years.

Making sure tax increases are absolutely necessary given state spending increases makes sense, and it’s clear Jim Walsh shares our values on this issue.

In a recent announcement, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson told the public he would be proposing legislation to ban specific semi-automatic guns and high capacity magazines. The attorney general’s proposed legislation is in addition to state Initiative 1491, which is on the ballot this coming November. Initiative 1491 would allow a judge to permanently take away your Second Amendment rights to own and use a firearm without an investigation, without you being arrested, without even breaking the law — or even being notified of the decision until law enforcement shows up to confiscate your guns.

We need candidates who will stand up for hunters, sportsmen, target shooters and people who just want to protect themselves and their property. Jim Walsh has pledged to stand up for the people of the 19th District on Second Amendment issues. Teresa Purcell has made it clear she’s willing to vote to diminish your gun rights and has pledged support for I-1491.

Purcell called I-1491 “common sense on gun safety,” even though a judge could strip all your Second Amendment rights without you breaking any laws, with no investigation, without even notifying you. Can you imagine if this type of legislation was proposed for your free speech rights? Would you call legislation that could strip a person of all rights of free speech without notifying them common sense?

Jim Walsh shares our values when it comes to the Second Amendment. Jim Walsh, state Rep. Brian Blake and state Sen. Dean Takko are opposed to I-1491.

From a background perspective, the candidates are distinctly different.

Jim Walsh has a background in the publishing business. Walsh’s F-1 public disclosure documents list him as owning a book publishing company, which Walsh says deals mainly with digital publishing of manuals and educational text. According to public disclosure documents, Walsh has an income in the range of $48,000 to $119,900. Walsh’s publishing company has no clients who pay him more than $12,000 per year.

Teresa Purcell runs a one-person political consulting firm. Her reported income is over $120,000-plus per year (the highest level on the disclosure form). According to Purcell’s public disclosure F-1 documents, she has three clients who pay her more than $12,000 annually; all three are progressive advocacy groups. Purcell hasn’t stated if she’d give up her political consulting if elected and we’re not sure how a person could be a state legislator and be paid by advocacy groups at the same time.

The 19th District legislators will be faced with tough decisions in this year’s legislative session, and Jim Walsh is the person we want representing us. If you voted for J.D. Rossetti in the primary, if you don’t want your taxes increased, if you support the Second Amendment – support Jim Walsh.

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