Voters in the 34th Legislative District should re-elect Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon to House Position 2.
STATE Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon has been a leader in the Legislature on environmental issues, but the 34th District centered in West Seattle needs a representative with a broader focus. His opponent, Andrew Pilloud, has no government experience but does have passion for improving the government’s record on education and boosting the economy.
Passion is a start, but Pilloud is not ready for the Legislature. Voters should re-elect Fitzgibbon to House Position 2.
The Times recommends:
Legislative District 34 Position No. 2
Strengths: Solid understanding of the education-funding challenge; leader on environmental issues
Fitzgibbon has been a leader in the Legislature on environmental issues, but the 34th District centered in West Seattle needs a representative with a broader focus. His opponent, Andrew Pilloud, has no government experience. ..."
Fitzgibbon has a solid understanding of the education-funding challenge facing lawmakers and would support a capital-gains tax, as long as it includes an exemption for primary-home sales. The Democrat says the capital-gains tax wouldn’t get the state all the way toward a deal on the billions needed to answer the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, but says it’s a good start. He would also end some tax exemptions, including one that helps oil refineries.
Pilloud is not in favor of new revenue for education. But the Republican would like to see tax exemptions for well established businesses like Microsoft and Boeing go away. He takes a dim view of a capital-gains tax, which would tax the entrepreneurs making investments in the state and providing jobs. He would rather see the Legislature rethink how the government is spending money and focus only on priorities, including education and mental health. He says the rest could be paid for by local governments.
Fitzgibbon has some good ideas for improving voter participation in elections. He has also taken an interest in state transportation policy, but voted against last year’s big transportation budget saying it was insufficient on ferries and low-carbon fuels.
Although he’s not a big fan of the carbon-tax initiative on the ballot, Fitzgibbon says he will be voting for it as a way to break the logjam on a carbon tax in the Legislature. He says the idea would push lawmakers and voters to talk about a better solution.
Fitzgibbon should branch out and use this same approach to find new solutions in other areas of interest to his constituents, such as transportation.