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Dori calls out state superintendent for ‘scary’ I-976 tweet

Superintendent Chris Reykdal wants every county to have transportation projects cut in proportion to the percentage of voters who approved I-976 in that county. (File photo)

Dori had a lot to say to Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal after he sent an inflammatory tweet against I-976 supporters following the measure’s apparent passage.

In the Big Lead on Wednesday, the day after the election, Dori called out Reykdal for the social media post, labeling it “as scary as it gets.”

Do you understand how scary this is? The superintendent of Public Instruction now believes in outright governmental tyranny — in throwing a gigantic temper tantrum because one vote did not go their way. They have had every vote go their way for years and years. And so one time, the people say enough. And he says that all the counties that voted yes on I-976 … that transportation projects be cut from 35 of the 39 counties in the state, that government punish you for your vote, for your gall to say, ‘I want a tax cut.’ He believes that government should — and this was a guy who was in the Legislature before he became the superintendent, so he knows what he’s talking about — he believes that the Washington State Legislative Democrats should punish every county because they didn’t vote the way that government thinks they should have.

No on I-976 member debates Dori on Aurora Bridge, commercials, Eyman

Dori then questioned if Reykdal would support the children in families that campaigned against a new school bond not benefiting from any new programs the new bond funded.

The superintendent joined Dori on the show to explain the thinking behind the tweet.

“Do you really believe that it’s the function and role of government to punish people if they don’t vote the way that government thinks they should?” Dori asked him.

Reykdal said that it was not a punishment, but instead called it a “clear message” from voters to cut billions from transportation.

“When voters have made it clear that they don’t want car tabs, they’ve made it really clear — they don’t want the car tab tax, and that means there’s going to be a reduction of services,” he said. “Let’s just align where people want to tax themselves with where the projects go. It’s a really simple budget concept.”

He clarified that instead of cutting all transportation projects from the 35 counties that voted for 976, he wants the cuts to be proportionate to the percentage of voters in that county who approved the $30 tabs measure. If 30 percent of voters in one county approved it, 30 percent of transportation projects in that county should be cut. If 70 percent approved it, then 70 percent of funding for projects should be removed.

In response to Dori’s school bond metaphor, Reykdal said that the two were not at all alike, and that he would never advocate for children of levy opponents to not receive the benefit of those levy dollars.

“Education is a basic right that I will work hard to make sure every single kid gets in this state; transportation is not a basic right,” he said. “We only get these things if we have the revenue to pay for them. It’s nothing like education.”

Dori sent out his own tweet after the election results came in, pointing the finger at the Legislature for not stopping Sound Transit from using an outdated vehicle valuation system to overvalue people’s cars for license tab taxation purposes.

“I agree with you 100 percent that this needed to be fixed in Olympia — the voters had spoken before, it is very, very clear. This is the consequences of not fixing it,” Reykdal said. “I’m just being practical and honest because a lot of people don’t say these things. When the Legislature has to cut $2 billion in projects, just be balanced about it.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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