Politics Gov. Gregoire Open to Light Rail Vote in ‘08
posted by November 9 at 17:33 PMon
I managed to get a quick interview with Gov. Christine Gregoire after she testified at the FCC hearings at Town Hall late this afternoon.
Her speech against media consolidation, btw, was great. Warning against concentrated ownership of the airwaves—which she reminded the commission are “public property”—Gregoire got her biggest applause with these two back-to-back Seattle-centric lines: “How will the next great band be able to leave a garage in West Seattle for a worldwide audience? How will photos, or video, documenting injustice be seen widely enough to spark a response?”
(Three cheers for whatever band she’s hep to that’s busting out of—or busted out of?— West Seattle. And the other line I took to be a reference to 1999’s WTO protests.)
I got a brief interview with the governor after her testimony.
I asked Gov. Gregoire for her reaction to yesterday’s District Court decision suspending state rules that direct all pharmacists to make Plan B (emergency contraception) available to women. Gregoire said she was “very disappointed” in the decision, and she’s looking at filing an appeal with the Attorney General. Asked why she was disappointed, she said, “A woman’s right to a lawful prescription should not be subject to the biases and prerogatives of a pharmacist.” She also stressed that the issue was broader than Plan B, saying, for example, that an AIDS victim shouldn’t be prevented from getting medication because the pharmacist might not “agree with [that person’s] lifestyle.”
I asked the governor what she thought about Mayor Nickels’s statement that Seattle should push for a light rail vote in 2008. (Gregoire has made it clear in the past that she did not want light rail to be on the ballot in ‘08—or so I was told repeatedly by the Prop. 1 campaign.)
She said: “I need a better understanding of the vote. Was it ‘No’ to roads? Was it ‘No’ to transit? Was it ‘No’ to the price tag? Should we vote on light rail without roads?”
Does that mean you’re open to a vote on light rail in ‘08? I repeated. “It’s all in play,” she said.
Finally, I asked her why she didn’t endorse the Democratic candidate for King County Prosecutor, Bill Sherman. (Sherman lost this week to the Republican, Dan Satterberg. Gregoire made no endorsement in the high profile-race.) Gregoire’s face lit up as if she was gearing to tell a big joke, and she said: “You want to know why? Ready? He never asked.” I told her that the campaign said they did ask. Gregoire said: “No one asked me.” I asked her if she would have endorsed him, and she said, it’d be “disingenuous to answer that now.” True.
Footnote on the FCC hearings: To the surprise of many in the Seattle audience, Rep. Dave Reichert sent a video taped message where he spoke out against consolidation. There were also taped messages from Rep. Jay Inslee and Sen. Maria Cantwell. Against.