Topic: Gov. Chris Gregoire
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January 14, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Nate Silver, 50 states and the Hawks: Nate Silver, The New York Times wonder-math-nerd who predicted the 2012 presidential election outcome in all 50 states, had what turned out to be an unfortunate prediction for Sunday’s football game. He said the Seahawks would win, but, oops, that did not come to pass. His critics will probably mention that once or twice, don’t you think?
Inaugurations, beginnings: Gov.-elect Jay Inslee becomes Gov. Jay Inslee this Wednesday, with a full round of festivities in Olympia. The inauguration is during the day; the inaugural ball is Wednesday night.
In Washington, D.C., President Obama’s inaugural balls are next Monday night. Politico reported on a little problem with one officiant for the swearing-in ceremony. The Rev. Louis Giglio was planning to perform the benediction. He changed his mind, or someone else did, last week because of anti-gay comments he made years ago.
Inslee in, Chris Gregoire out. But her formal portrait will remain. Take a look.
Gun politics: Vice President Joe Biden is coming out with some sort of gun control proposal this week, and yes, he is using the term executive order to describe some of what might happen next.
Todd Akin redux: Another year, another round of rape comments. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia causes another mild furor. And you thought the GOP was going to swear off such comments.
Our politics team has a new Facebook page. Stop by and friend us, if you can.
January 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who may be in the running for a job in President Obama’s administration, is on her way to Washington, D.C., for a Council of Governors meeting.
Gregoire’s spokesman, Cory Curtis, said the governor was on a plane Tuesday afternoon and will attend the Council of Governors meeting on Wednesday.
Curtis said it is the only meeting on the governor’s official schedule. When asked if she was meeting with anybody unofficially, Curtis said, “Not that I’m aware of, but I do not control that schedule.”
There’s been speculation that Gregoire might be picked to head up Interior or the EPA. Here’s a statement put out by Gregoire’s office:
Governor Gregoire is travelling to DC this afternoon for a Council of Governors meeting on Wednesday. This was a meeting that was to be held in November but was rescheduled to Wednesday, January 9.
The Air Force FY13 budget, as introduced in February, 2012, disproportionately cut the Air National Guard. Governor Gregoire was a vocal critic of those cuts. At the February 27, 2012 Council of Governors meeting, Governors Gregoire and Branstad, as the co-chairs of the Council, presented Secretary Panetta with a letter signed by 49 governors, asking that the Defense Department reconsider its proposal and that the Department work with governors to “fashion solutions that best serve the interests of this nation.”
This meeting is a continuation of that effort and before Governor Gregoire leaves office and Secretary Panetta leaves office, the Council of Governors would like to resolve the consultative process. Confirmed participants from the Council of Governors includes the co-chairs, Governors Gregoire and Branstad (IA), together with Governors Mead (WY); O’Malley (MD); Nixon (MO); and Abercrombie (HI).
Federal officials at the meeting include:
• The Honorable Ashton Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense
• General Frank Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau
• The Honorable Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas Security Affairs
The Governor returns to Washington state on Wednesday.
November 13, 2012 at 4:19 PM
By CHRIS GRYGIEL
The Associated Press
Gov. Chris Gregoire says the federal government still hasn’t decided whether to take action to block new laws legalizing marijuana in her state and Colorado.
Gregoire met with Deputy Attorney General James Cole in Washington, D.C on Tuesday. She told Cole she would prefer to know “sooner rather than later,” because Washington state is in the process of getting ready to decriminalize pot, which is still illegal under federal law.
“I told them,‘Make no mistake, that absent an injunction of some sort, it’s our intent to implement decriminalization,”’ Gregoire told The Associated Press. “I don’t want to spend a lot of money implementing this if you are going to attempt to block it.”
Initiative 502 passed last week with 55 percent of the vote in the state. It decriminalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana beginning Dec. 6. The state would license the growing, processing and labeling of marijuana, but state officials have a year to come up with those rules before sales can begin.
Colorado also passed a measure legalizing the drug.
Federal lawyers are reviewing the two new state laws, trying to determine what their response will be, Gregoire said.
“It’s not a simple analysis for them,” she said. “There’s a difference between our two initiatives, and they want to look at that. They clearly want to know how things are going to flow, how regulations develop, how enforcement would be taken, taxes would be gathered.”
She said she pressed Cole as to whether the ultimate federal response would treat both Washington and Colorado the same way, and Justice Department officials indicated to her that that was their intent.
In Washington, home-growing marijuana for recreational reasons remains barred, as does the public display or use of pot. The measure also establishes a standard blood test limit for driving under the influence, and Gregoire says the head of the Washington State Patrol has to begin training officers to enforce that portion of the measure.
“He can’t wait, he’s got to start doing this,” Gregoire said.
Gregoire said she promised to keep the Justice Department fully informed as to the progress the state is making in implementing the new marijuana law.
Colorado’s governor and attorney general spoke by phone Friday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, with no signal whether the U.S. Justice Department would sue to block the marijuana measure.
If Colorado’s marijuana ballot measure is not blocked, it would take effect by Jan. 5, the deadline for the governor to add the amendment to the state constitution. The measure allows adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and six marijuana plants, though public use of the drug and driving while intoxicated are prohibited.
Colorado’s new law also directs lawmakers to write regulations on how pot can be sold, with commercial sales possible by 2014.
November 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM
The Associated Press and The Seattle Times
Gov. Chris Gregoire will meet with U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole on Tuesday to discuss state voters’ decision last week to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use.
Marijuana remains a banned substance under federal law, and it is not clear what the federal response will be.
Gregoire spokesman Cory Curtis said Monday that Gregoire wanted to meet with federal officials because “we want direction from them.”
“Our goal is to respect the will of the voters, but give us some clarity,” he said.
Initiative 502 passed with 55 percent of the vote. The measure decriminalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana beginning Dec. 6, but the state has a year to come up with rules governing the state-licensed growing, processing and labeling of pot before sales to adults can start. It also establishes new DUI law for marijuana. Home-grows and public display or use of pot remain barred.
“Our biggest concern is that the state has a fairly big startup cost in creating the whole licensing and regulating scheme around this,” Curtis said. “We want some sort of clarity on this before we get a year down the road on the process.”
Colorado also passed a legalization measure. Colorado’s governor and attorney general spoke by phone Friday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, with no signal whether the Justice Department would sue to block the measure.
Gregoire’s meeting was a late addition to her schedule, Curtis said. Gregoire is in Washington, he said, to meet with Pentagon officials about issues involving the National Guard, and with Energy Secretary Steven Chu to discuss plans to deal with a leak at a double-walled tank of waste at Hanford, the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site.
June 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM
The only thing missing was foam “We’re #1” fingers when Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire and her staff celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court health care ruling at a news conference Thursday.
The court largely upheld the national health care law approved by Congress in 2010. Gregoire relished knocking Republican state Attorney General Rob McKenna for being on the losing side.
McKenna, the GOP candidate for governor, joined other Republican attorneys general more than a year ago to challenge the federal health care law. Gregoire backs his Democratic challenger, Jay Inslee.
“I’ve read his (McKenna’s statement today that he is sorry the state didn’t win, but the state did win … This is a huge win on behalf of the people of the state of Washington,” Gregoire said. “So I disagree with his process. I disagree with the substance … I just think he was dead wrong.”
McKenna joined the lawsuit over the objections of Gregoire and other Democrats. He issued a press release Thursday saying, “While we’re disappointed that this close decision did not find in the states’ favor with regard to the individual mandate, the country benefits from a thoughtful debate about the reach of federal power into the legal rights of the states.”
McKenna had hoped the court would strike down as unconstitutional a provision in the law that mandates that nearly everyone purchase health care insurance, but keep the rest of the law. However, the court upheld that core requirement in a 5-to-4 decision.
Gregoire contends the decision wasn’t even close on that part of the case. “That wasn’t a conclusion that anybody was buying on the Supreme Court. So he was dead wrong on that. I would say that’s probably a 9-0,” she said. “The dissent said ‘get rid of the individual mandate and you get rid of the whole affordable health care act. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
McKenna’s campaign manager, Randy Pepple, said in an email that Gregoire “has made it clear from the beginning of this case, often in very partisan terms, that she disagreed with the attorney general. It’s not surprising that she would continue to disagree with him today.”
As for the health care law, McKenna “has consistently said” he’d implement the parts of the law found to be constitutional, if elected governor, Pepple said. “So his focus will be on implementing health care reform in a way that gives consumers more choices and lowers the cost of health care.”
June 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act continues to roll in from Washington, D.C., Seattle and Olympia. Rounds of applause mix with worries about the mandate as a euphemism for a new tax.
Here is a sample of the many comments we received:
Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, obviously thrilled with the decision, said:
“This is a victory for the health care security and stability of Washington families. Today’s ruling means that families and small business owners will continue to benefit from better access, more choices, and a health care system that no longer works only for those who can afford it. It means that health care decisions will be in the hands of patients and their doctors, and that insurance companies will be forced to compete for the business of Washington state families.
It is also welcome news for all those across our state who are already benefiting from this law. It means that over 62,000 young adults in Washington will be allowed to keep their health coverage, that tens of thousands of Washington seniors will continue to receive checks for Medicare support, that hundreds of thousands of patients will continue to access free preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies, and that millions of policy holders will continue to see the value of their premium dollar improve.”
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, issued as more muted response:
“While I respect today’s Supreme Court ruling, it is only one more point in the ongoing debate. I remain undeterred in improving health care for all Americans. The government takeover of health care raised taxes and health care costs, restricted access for patients and hurt businesses. Those problems remain and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to continue repealing harmful and expensive provisions of the law and finding common-sense, reasonable solutions for Americans to have access to affordable and quality health care.”
Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur said a tax is a tax is a tax:
“This morning’s verdict by the Supreme Court finally defines this legislation as exactly what it is: a tax on the middle class. When President Obama was trying to sell his ill-conceived legislation he ‘rejected the notion’ that it was a tax; today the Supreme Court told him that he could not deceive the American public with his rhetoric any longer.
I think it is important to highlight the distinction made by Justice Roberts in his final determination. He declared that this mandate was not constitutional under the interstate commerce clause or the necessary and proper clause. It was only deemed constitutional as a tax – the very word the President has rejected repeatedly in his pitch to the public. But spinning the story won’t change the facts, Mr. President. Today’s decision sets the new precedent of a federal tax to compel behavior. It is an ominous one, and serves as a very slippery slope for our country.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire was predictably upbeat:
“I applaud today’s Supreme Court decision. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed by the President, we have worked tirelessly to implement it in our state, with my firm belief that it was constitutional and would ultimately withstand legal challenge. I’m extremely pleased that the majority of the Court agreed on the merits of the law highlighted in the briefs that I and others submitted on its behalf.
The real winners today, however, are the millions of Americans and Washingtonians who have and will now continue to benefit from this Act. Among them are more than 50,000 young adults in our state who have gained insurance coverage through their parents’ plan, our more than 60,000 seniors who’ve annually received assistance to purchase needed prescription drugs, and the millions here that are no longer subject to unfair practices by insurance companies. And with this cloud of legal uncertainty removed, I look forward to the day not long from now when more than 800,000 people in our state will be able to use our Health Benefit Exchange to get the health insurance that they need but currently must go without.”
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