The Washington governor’s race has been a low-key affair, especially when compared to the presidential contest. Donors on both sides still seem worn out from the 2012 race, when over $50 million was spent between Rob McKenna, Jay Inslee, and their allies.
However, while Inslee has kept a very low profile (barely working, as Shift has noted here and here, his challenger Bill Bryant has been traveling the state, providing his vision for the future to audiences across the state.
Evidently Bryant is starting to worry Inslee’s gang, as this week his million-dollar campaign donors have rolled out the negative ads that have been their trademark in past gubernatorial campaigns. As the Seattle P-I writes, “The Democratic front group Our Washington resurfaces every four years, just as windstorms are blowing leaves from trees, to deliver what image makers nickname “axe murderer” attacks against the Republican running for Governor. The oil-derricks TV ad by an “independent” committee does the job of throwing mud so Gov. Jay Inslee doesn’t have to.”
Our Washington has piled up over $1.5 million dollars for its slimy ads this year, drawing cash from all of those special interests that depend on Inslee to make government bigger – SEIU, the state public employees union, Washington Conservation Voters, the teachers union, and trial lawyers.
The groups behind Inslee are certainly not beholden to the truth, as columnist Joel Connelly points out “the ant-Bryant ads smear his record as a Seattle Port Commissioner: Bryant served during a time when the Port moved to limit carbon emissions, and when staff were made to curb notorious ‘crony capitalism’ habits of shielding commissioners from backroom agreements.”
But the truth doesn’t matter much to Inslee’s buddies, though even Connelly asks the question “Why is Our Washington knocking him down? The Inslee campaign has spent months ridiculing Bryant’s campaign and citing polls showing the incumbent comfortably ahead. Insurance, reason to worry, or the quadrennial habit of getting in the mud just as October weather gets soggy?
Guess we’ll find out the answer to that in a few weeks.