News

Inslee vs. Ishmael

Seeking his third term as a U.S. representative from Washington’s First Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee has made his proposed new energy initiative a centerpiece of his campaign.

In the meantime, making his second attempt to unseat the incumbent, Republican challenger Larry Ishmael is attacking Inslee and the current congress as having played a role in the ongoing economic crisis and deriding Inslee’s energy program.

On his campaign Web site, Ishmael criticized Inslee for accepting what he said was a total of $368,450 in contributions from Wall Street financial firms.

“This is not only unethical, but should be illegal,” Ishmael said, noting Inslee obviously voted on the recently approved, multi-billion dollar bank bail-out package. For his part, Inslee noted he joined the minority in voting against the bail out.

“We have long-term and short-term economic challenges,” Inslee told the Reporter. He added the bail-out plan did little to address either, but seemed “curiously misdirected,” doing little more than authorizing the federal government to buy what he called “toxic paper” from struggling financial institutions.

“It (the bail out) made no attempt to address the underlying problems,” Inslee said.

In an interview, Ishmael stated he would have voted against the initial bail-out plan, as well, for seemingly somewhat the same reason Inslee gave. Ishmael said the plan would have resulted in the government buying up bad loans for pennies on the dollar, releasing banks from any responsibility for those loans.

But Ishmael added the revamped plan that ultimately passed the congress included a step he advocated from the beginning, setting aside between $250 billion and $300 billion for banks to use in helping consumers fight off defaulting on mortgages.

“That’s their (the banks) job, not the U.S. government’s job,” he said.

As for the overall economic problems, Inslee said congress needs to take steps to “prime the pumps” in the short term, steps he hopes what will be a lame-duck legislature can take following the election. For the long haul, Inslee said alternative energy could and should be the engine that drives America’s future economic stability.

“We can be the arsenal of clean energy for the world,” he added.

Toward that end, Inslee is pushing what he calls the New Apollo Energy Project. On his campaign Web site, Inslee said he deliberately borrowed the “Apollo” name from the 1960s space program, hoping to invoke the same spirit of determination and innovation that eventually resulted in putting a man on the moon.

Ultimately, Inslee believes his plan can create millions of new jobs in emerging clean industries, reduce dependence on Middle Eastern oil and address global warming and other environmental issues.

While he backs creating alternative energy sources, Ishmael isn’t buying what he apparently considers to be Inslee’s pie-in-the-sky approach.

“The congressman is an absolute expert at polished sound bites,” Ishmael said in reference to the Apollo initiative. Among other points, he argued the country needs to bring together the best minds and experts available to produce realistic ways of addressing energy issues. He added that, so far, no country besides smallish Denmark has been able to surpass using alternative energies to supply more than 5 percent of its energy needs.

Regarding another major issue, the Iraq war, Inslee said he never approved of the fighting and favors setting a timetable for bringing U.S. troops home.

“It’s time to force them (the Iraqis) to be responsible for their own country,” he said.

Ishmael also wants to see a pull out of American troops, at least from the more stable areas of Iraq. But he sees the overall war in a vastly different light than Inslee. Ishmael terms the war a success in that it removed a dictatorship, replacing it with a democracy.

“Republicans want to come home with a win, the Democrats want to get out regardless,” Ishmael added.

Overall, Ishmael described Inslee as an extreme partisan who voted with his party 90 percent of the time.

“I’m going to represent the people of the district, not my party,” he said.

In his closing remarks, Inslee touted what he said is his visibility in the district, with visits to local stores or rides on ferry boats designed simply to meet with constituents.

“I’ve come home virtually every weekend and I want to keep that contact up,” Inslee said.

Seeking his third term as a U.S. representative from Washington’s First Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee has made his proposed new energy initiative a centerpiece of his campaign.

In the meantime, making his second attempt to unseat the incumbent, Republican challenger Larry Ishmael is attacking Inslee and the current congress as having played a role in the ongoing economic crisis and deriding Inslee’s energy program.

On his campaign Web site, Ishmael criticized Inslee for accepting what he said was a total of $368,450 in contributions from Wall Street financial firms.

“This is not only unethical, but should be illegal,” Ishmael said, noting Inslee obviously voted on the recently approved, multi-billion dollar bank bail-out package. For his part, Inslee noted he joined the minority in voting against the bail out.

“We have long-term and short-term economic challenges,” Inslee told the Reporter. He added the bail-out plan did little to address either, but seemed “curiously misdirected,” doing little more than authorizing the federal government to buy what he called “toxic paper” from struggling financial institutions.

“It (the bail out) made no attempt to address the underlying problems,” Inslee said.

In an interview, Ishmael stated he would have voted against the initial bail-out plan, as well, for seemingly somewhat the same reason Inslee gave. Ishmael said the plan would have resulted in the government buying up bad loans for pennies on the dollar, releasing banks from any responsibility for those loans.

But Ishmael added the revamped plan that ultimately passed the congress included a step he advocated from the beginning, setting aside between $250 billion and $300 billion for banks to use in helping consumers fight off defaulting on mortgages.

“That’s their (the banks) job, not the U.S. government’s job,” he said.

As for the overall economic problems, Inslee said congress needs to take steps to “prime the pumps” in the short term, steps he hopes what will be a lame-duck legislature can take following the election. For the long haul, Inslee said alternative energy could and should be the engine that drives America’s future economic stability.

“We can be the arsenal of clean energy for the world,” he added.

Toward that end, Inslee is pushing what he calls the New Apollo Energy Project. On his campaign Web site, Inslee said he deliberately borrowed the “Apollo” name from the 1960s space program, hoping to invoke the same spirit of determination and innovation that eventually resulted in putting a man on the moon.

Ultimately, Inslee believes his plan can create millions of new jobs in emerging clean industries, reduce dependence on Middle Eastern oil and address global warming and other environmental issues.

While he backs creating alternative energy sources, Ishmael isn’t buying what he apparently considers to be Inslee’s pie-in-the-sky approach.

“The congressman is an absolute expert at polished sound bites,” Ishmael said in reference to the Apollo initiative. Among other points, he argued the country needs to bring together the best minds and experts available to produce realistic ways of addressing energy issues. He added that, so far, no country besides smallish Denmark has been able to surpass using alternative energies to supply more than 5 percent of its energy needs.

Regarding another major issue, the Iraq war, Inslee said he never approved of the fighting and favors setting a timetable for bringing U.S. troops home.

“It’s time to force them (the Iraqis) to be responsible for their own country,” he said.

Ishmael also wants to see a pull out of American troops, at least from the more stable areas of Iraq. But he sees the overall war in a vastly different light than Inslee. Ishmael terms the war a success in that it removed a dictatorship, replacing it with a democracy.

“Republicans want to come home with a win, the Democrats want to get out regardless,” Ishmael added.

Overall, Ishmael described Inslee as an extreme partisan who voted with his party 90 percent of the time.

“I’m going to represent the people of the district, not my party,” he said.

In his closing remarks, Inslee touted what he said is his visibility in the district, with visits to local stores or rides on ferry boats designed simply to meet with constituents.

“I’ve come home virtually every weekend and I want to keep that contact up,” Inslee said.

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