As part of our paper’s effort to provide our readers with information they need to make informed decisions, KP News wrote to the candidates for the 26th Legislative District and asked them to address issues that pertained to the Key Peninsula. The elections will be held on Nov. 2 and the Key Peninsula News encourages everyone to vote.
Below are the questions and the candidates’ answers.
Question 1. What three legislative issues will most affect the Key Peninsula during your term in office?
Question 2. If elected, what are your specific goals that directly affect Key Pen residents?
Position No. 1
Theodore Haley, Libertarian candidate
Question 1: Taxes are vitally important to the Key Peninsula and the B&O tax is most unfair, especially to small business, because it taxes not only profit but expenses. We should replace it with a graduated income tax, like the experts advise, and most states have. Also, the highway from Purdy to Longbranch needs widening and other improvements. It is very dangerous. A third issue is health care. The cost should be lowered by capping high malpractice awards, and encouraging universal health care, and WA should pressure congress to do about it. Also, the Key Peninsula has its share of drug addicts and we should be treating them like Canada does, not putting them in prison. Also, we should pressure Congress to legalize marijuana so we can tax it and sell it in liquor stores. Finally, we should enact instant runoff voting, like Maine and Holland, solving the third party problem.
Question 2: Harvest organs for transplant from executed criminals. Last year 6.5% of kidney and 14.3% of heart patients died waiting for transplants.
Invite private companies to build and operate rapid transit from Everett to Tacoma to relieve the congestion on I-5.
Invite private companies to build and operate a nuclear power plant like WPPSS started to do in the 70’s. Nuclear is very safe and environment friendly.
Enact assisted suicide like Oregon. Compassion is paramount.
New handguns should have locks. Children playing with Dad’s gun are commonest victims. Register handgun buyers, check background.
Stop state police from arresting prostitutes and marijuana users.
Protect the environment by setting a date, as CA did, to stop selling new gasoline powered cars in WA.
Legalize same sex marriage. WA has 1,500 foster children needing parenting and gay couples often adopt.
Repeal capital punishment. Lethal injection is too easy a way out. Make them do hard labor.
Rep. Patricia Lantz Democratic candidate
Question 1: Key Peninsula residents can depend on me to advance their interest in the issues that matter, whether it be educating our children, building a transportation system that works or helping families be safe and healthy. My eight year record in the legislature shows. I have the experience and proven ability to get things done.
Education is a top priority- from early childhood to K-12, to higher ed and workforce training. Providing the funding to meet the new, higher state and federal standards for basic education is the challenge. The expectation that every child will succeed given the high standards we have set cannot be achieved without adequate, stable funding. Evergreen Elementary, Vaughn, Minter and KPMS need to have the fiscal means to continue their commendable progress. Success depends on essentials like small classes, after school programs, and higher salaries for hard-working faculty.
Transportation improvements are critical to a prosperous Key Peninsula and to the safety of those who drive Highway 302. The construction of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge evidences the need for strong engagement with DOT in making certain the Highway 16 corridor works both on the mainline and with secondary roads. The Purdy interchange is a vital link. Legislative transportation efforts prioritize projects. The Key Peninsula needs attention.
Encouraging healthy communities that support healthy families is high on my legislative agenda. This means affordable health care for everyone, and having drug companies being part of the solution, not the problem. It means shutting down meth labs and moving ahead on issues like domestic violence prevention, and attracting family wage jobs. It means enhancing senior and mental health services and providing affordable housing.
Question 2: The Key Peninsula faces a crisis in its ability to deliver important social services. An escalating number of families are unable to meet their basic needs. I will focus attention on making certain that the Family Support Center at the Civic Center and Key Peninsula Community Services can continue to be the vital social safety net the community depends on. I will assure programs like Readiness to Learn, Headstart /ECEAP continue to offer children and their families the resources they need to succeed in school and at home, and that every child has access to healthcare. I will work with Safe Streets, law enforcement and the courts to identify what legislative actions are needed to make a safer Peninsula.
Matt Rice Republican candidate
Question 1: Improving the business environment by eliminating unnecessary and burdensome regulations so business can survive, begin and flourish in ways appropriate to the KP area. This includes auditing government spending and using “found” dollars to diminish taxes while providing incentives to private enterprise to grow and develop.
Enhancing public transportation and safety programs in meaningful ways by resourcefully adding security protection and making wise transportation funding and project decisions.
This will involve collaboration with community, regional and state authorities.
Innovatively addressing health care access and affordability while ensuring educational opportunity and resources are available to facilitate a high quality of life and future growth and opportunities in a competitive world economy.
Question 2: I would vote to conduct performance audits on government operations and spending to close the gaps between funding for infrastructure needs and available dollars while reducing government bureaucracy and regulations. These changes would help maintain existing and attract appropriate new business while preserving life style choices and maintaining a healthy environment. Such changes would enhance jobs locally and not require as much travel thus improving transportation.
Working collaboratively with the state and neighboring jurisdictions and the KP business association and community planning board I would enhance public transportation and improve public safety through elevated police and medical coverage. This can be done with limited expense if done creatively and by using revenues from new business and by eliciting maximum community involvement along with crime prevention and health revenues.
I would collectively work with localschools and teachers to find a dynamic process to improve education and training opportunities by providing excitement and incentive to students and teachers in a wide-community based model with enhanced local input. Creating a new approach to education by modeling it after a business environment would bring appropriate tools to local children’s education. An audit of the state education structure would find and legislation would allocate additional dollars to areas such as the KP without increasing taxes. I would also work to reduce state interference in local school function.
I would work collaboratively with local and county officials to ensure the maximum preservation of individual rights with considerations of environmental impact issues.
Position No. 2
Derek Kilmer Democratic candidate
Question 1: 1) Local jobs: I’ve spoken with hundreds of Key Peninsulans concerned with creating local jobs while protecting our quality of life. As a member of the Key Peninsula Business Association, I’ve experienced our area’s competitive challenges. We have an opportunity for improvement through the current comprehensive planning process. I’ll be a strong partner in that effort.
2) Healthcare affordability: While serving food at the KP Community Services, seniors told me of their struggles for affordable health care. This comes up at nearly every home I visit. One woman’s finances are so tight she cuts her pills in half. Another chooses between food and medicine. I will strive to enable our citizens to purchase pharmaceuticals through large quantity purchases from the lowest priced, safe sources including Canada.
3) Transportation: We must improve safety on State Highway 302 and fight for funding to pay down the tolls on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Question 2: 1) Creating local jobs: As a manager for our Economic Development Board, I work daily to create good jobs in our area. As your representative, I’ll fight for a bold strategy to recruit new businesses, ensure success for existing employers, and help new local businesses get off the ground. See my plan: www.derekkilmer.com.
2) Health care affordability: I plan to increase access to healthcare by creating purchasing pools for small businesses on the Key Peninsula and throughout the State to use bulk purchasing power to provide health care benefits to employees more affordably. I’ll fight for the State to use its purchasing power to buy prescription drugs in bulk to lower costs for our seniors.
3) Improving transportation. I will fight for our fair share of transportation dollars to improve safety on Highway 302 and pay down tolls on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge. In Olympia, I hope to represent us on the Transportation Committee as a leader who can work across party lines to get our projects funded.
4) Schools: As a board member of Communities in Schools, I’ve worked to establish after-school programs for our kids on the Key Peninsula. In Olympia, I¹ll fight for full state funding of basic education, so our kids get a great education and our local businesses get the skilled, educated workers they need.
5) Community safety: Supported by the Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs and Key Peninsula Firefighters, I’ll work to ensure public safety organizations have adequate resources to protect our families.
Rep. Lois McMahan, Republican candidate
2. Jobs close to home are important to the residents of the Key Peninsula. We must make the state more businessfriendly to attract businesses to the Key Peninsula which will create family-wage jobs so people living here won’t need to leave the community to find a job and will have more time to spend with their families and for involvement in the community.
3. The safety of our communities on the Key Peninsula requires that our laws take offenders out of our communities and use resources to fund justice for the victims of crime.
Question 2: 1. I will continue to work to put the straightening of SR302 on the schedule in Olympia, to move up the construction of the full Burley/Olalla interchange to coincide with the opening of the second Narrows Bridge, and to secure federal funds for the second Narrows Bridge project to buy down the tolls. Making sure that transportation funds are being spent in a responsible manner to solve our transportation problems is very important to Key Peninsula residents; so I will work for streamlining of permitting and regulations and for outside audits of the Department of Transportation.
2. To facilitate the creation of jobs on the Key Peninsula, I will continue to work to streamline regulations for business, enact L&I and workers’ compensation reforms, adopt health insurance reforms so small business owners can afford to offer their employees a health insurance package, get rid of the threat of frivolous lawsuits and relieve businesses of onerous B&O taxes. We need to keep the businesses we have and attract new businesses into our community.
3. As we worked on my bill, the Child Protection Act of 2004, we realized just how dangerous our communities can be for our children and for other vulnerable citizens such as the disabled and seniors. Since justice for victims of crime is indisputably a primary function of government, we must use more resources to responsibly achieve this justice.
Drugs and theft are real problems on the Key Peninsula. Often the thieves go scot-free because officers are spread too thin. My goal is to make it unprofitable for a criminal to steal anything on the Key Peninsula or to manufacture methamphetamine.
Ed Jurkovskis Libertarian candidate