Governor adds diversity to state Supreme Court

The OlympianMay 5, 2014 

YAY: Inslee chose wisely

We congratulate Gov. Jay Inslee on his first appointment to the state Supreme Court. In selecting Mary Yu to fill out the remaining two years of Justice James Johnson’s term, Inslee has added much-needed diversity to the court, as well as a respected jurist. The 57-year-old Yu is biracial. She is the first openly gay, first Latina and first Asian-American member of the high court.

Inslee did not pander to those who promote the east versus west divide, but chose a 14-year Superior Court judge who brings a unique perspective to the court, as well as her skills and expertise.

YAY: Power decision

Local voters made the right decision in 2012 when they denied the Public Utility District of Thurston County the authorization to enter the electric power business. At the time, it was claimed that PUDs provide electricity less expensively than Puget Sound Energy. That’s not true in Jefferson County, where voters approved a similar proposition three years ago.

The Port Townsend Leader has started a front-page column called “PUD Question of the Week,” to answer the many concerns being expressed by ratepayers. The first column addressed the question, “Why did my bill go up?” PUD customers are paying more than if they had stayed with PSE.

BOO: Rocks, hard places

State lawmakers turned in a “dog ate my homework” report to the state Supreme Court. The Legislature failed to address the court’s assignment to make progress toward fully funding K-12 schools and to submit a detailed plan by April 30 specifying how they will meet the 2018 McCleary deadline. But without tax increases, and budget cut to the bone, lawmakers are between a serious rock and a hard place.

YAY: Philanthropy

South Sounders are generous to many worthy causes. Roughly 400 people joined the recent March for Babies and raised more than $65,000 for the March of Dimes. Supporters of the South Sound YMCA contributed more than $400,000 to the organization’s annual campaign, which just concluded. And, the Nisqually Land Trust raised $99,108 at its 25th anniversary auction event.

BOO: Sen. Tim Sheldon

The senator from Mason County who calls himself a Democrat but votes with Republicans is criticizing the Thurston County Democratic Party for keeping $65,000 in donations from JZ Knight because of her past racist comments. But if politicians didn’t take some money from questionable sources, they’d all be broke. Heck, even the NAACP isn’t giving back its donations from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who recently made racist comments.

BOO: Too many hits?

Former NFL tight end Clint Didier may have taken one too many hits to the head during his football career. Didier, who is running for the vacant seat in Washington’s 4th Congressional District, has signed the national “Repeal Pledge” and vows to “vote for any and all bills that repeal the Affordable Care Act.” Because 52 times so far is not enough.

Didier’s apparent penchant for banging one’s head against a brick wall will fit right in with Congressional Republicans.

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