Return Joe Schmick to the state Legislature

October 22, 2010 

Glen Stockwell, a Ritzville businessman, is running for the 9th District seat in the state House.

It's his third try at the office.

To look at his platform, though, one might think he is running for Congress.

His plan, to complete the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, intrigues us. There is a mystery about the details of his proposal.

He says he knows how to complete the project and bring 100,000 more irrigated acres of agricultural land online.

He says he knows where the money can come from without raising taxes. He says he knows, but he's not telling.

Of course, one item he's overlooking is that this project falls outside of the state Legislature's jurisdiction. All the water rights to the Columbia are held by the Bureau of Reclamation -- a federal body.

If Stockwell can finish the irrigation project, more power to him. In the meantime, we would like to see Joe Schmick returned to Olympia to tackle problems that are the Legislature's responsibility.

Problems like the budget deficit, the business and operations tax (which he says is unfair and drives jobs from our state) and spending on higher education.

Among his gripes against the education system is that Washington State University has 11 vice presidents, a number Schmick believes is excessive.

Schmick also says the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is massive and is crushing the K-12 system under its bulk and resulting in costly restrictions on school operations.

We like that Stockwell has a passion for his project, and he's right about it's potential benefits to the region, but it's just one umbrella in a fierce downpour.

We like that Schmick has several ideas on ways to work through our immediate challenges.

The Tri-City Herald recommends Joe Schmick for the 9th District House of Representatives.

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