Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, 34th District Dem., relaunched his campaign Tuesday night at the Youngstown Cultural Center in West Seattle. He is pictured with his mentor, State Sen. Sharon Nelson, who he assisted for three years. He runs unopposed. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDESHOW.
SLIDESHOW: Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon launches re-election campaign at Youngstown Cultural Center; Unopposed
SLIDESHOW. Click on photo for more.
Joe Fitzgibbon, 34th District Democrat, launched his reelection campaign for the House of Representatives tonight at the Youngstown Cultural Center in West Seattle. He runs unopposed. Attending was his mentor, Sharon Nelson, a member of the Washington Senate, also from the 34th District. Also showing support, Rep. Dave Upthegrove, 33rd Legislative District, his brother, Jeff, 34th District Treasurer, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and State Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-11, Tukwila).
"I worked for Sharon for three years, from 2007 to 2010," Said Rep. Fitzgibbon. "Then I left to run, to do this."
"He's really good at policy and politics, so I'd have to say that he's doing it on his own," said Sen. Nelson.
Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon
"Under our state constitution it takes a simple majority to pass a law, and through the initiative process Tim Eyman has passed these initiatives that say you need two-thirds (majority) to raise taxes or even to close a tax loophole," Fitzgibbon told the West Seattle Herald. "You can't amend the state constitution with an initiative. It makes the budgeting process difficult. Two-thirds is just not a threshold you can get to. So there's a lawsuit underway prompted by a bill that I strongly supported to close a tax loophole for big banks and redirect that money into education, House Bill 2078. So far King County Superior Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional and the Washington State Supreme Court will rule.
He added, "I think when you put a question out to the voters like, 'Do you want it to be harder to raise taxes?', most people think, 'Sure I do'. But when you look at the impact that has on our budgeting process, when people see the impacts to schools, to the social safety net, to public safety, I think there are some real downsides to it."
Sen. Sharon Nelson
"Two years ago we all worked to get Joe Fitzgibbon elected," said Nelson during her speech. "At that point in time I really believed he'd be one of the strongest voices in the house for transit, women's rights, the environment, and so many (other) issues that are important to us, including working families. And he has a track record now of two years and has proven that all of our dreams that we put into him are true. He is well respected in the House. He is respected on the Senate side as well. He has made a huge impression in two years, and has a long career ahead of him. I'm looking foreword to serving with him again in 2013."
Rep. Fitzgibbon's on Wisconsin recall vote:
"It appears that Governor Walker in Wisconsin was not recalled today," Fitzgibbon said in his speech. "It's a helpful contrast to look at what's happened in places like Wisconsin and what's happened in places like Washington. In Wisconsin they're decertifying unions and trying to totally neuter all political opposition to the corporate money machine.
"There have been some setbacks (in Washington) on pension policy, for certain state employees' collective bargaining rights," he said. "We've come out of it a lot better than we thought we would but we have a whole lot of work to do to insure that working families will be able to lead us out of this recession. I think a lot of folks are trying to blame the economic environment on people working every day to educate our kids, to keep us safe, and to build better communities and I think in Washington we've done a pretty good job of stopping that in its tracks."
Photo gallery for this story