Live chat transcript: Wylie (D) v. Riley (R) for state Rep.

By Libby Clark, Columbian Web Editor

Published:

 

Live chat: Wylie (D) v. Riley (R) for state Rep.

Thursday October 20, 2011

The full transcript is available at www.columbian.com/chat-archive/

Libby Tucker:

Welcome to The Columbian’s live chat with Rep. Sharon Wylie (D-Vancouver) and Craig Wiley, Republican challenger. Both are running for the 49th District seat in the Washington House.

Questions will be answered in the order they’re received and each candidate will have a chance to respond before we move on.

Sharon Wylie:

Thank you for inviting me to the chat today. I’m looking forward to doing this again.

Libby Tucker:

My clock says it’s noon, so let’s get started! Mr. Riley hasn’t yet logged in so we’ll send questions first to Rep. Wylie.

Comment From Craig Sayre

I’d like to ask each candidate why it’s important to sink $850 million into a light rail project that will only serve a very small portion of the populace.

Sharon Wylie:

Thanks for the question Craig. I believe this project is intended for the future as much as it for is today. There will be a vote next year on the local contribution to the operating costs. A no vote would mean a re-design and search for additional primary bridge funding because the light-rail funding is part of the primary construction cost. I think it’s important to consider how transportation options will our community today as well as tomorrow. I also believe that we must continuously ask hard questions as the project moves forward.

Comment From Judy Tiffany

what can the state do to bring jobs to vancouver?

Libby Tucker:

Craig Riley will be joining us momentarily.

Sharon Wylie:

I’ve spoken with a lot of members of the local business community and toured many manufacturing and high-tech facilities here in Vancouver. What I’m hearing from these people is they are ready to expand if they have access to capital. They also they need a trained workforce who can solve problems and adapt changing conditions in our marketplace. There are other factors that will ensure good jobs here including reliable and affordable energy costs and investment in infrastructure. When I worked for Clark County I helped secure funding for the Salmon Creek I-5 interchange which supports 600 good paying local jobs. I believe the state can have a complimentary role in job creation and we must seek solutions to ensure that.

Libby Tucker:

Let’s give Mr. Riley a chance to respond to the questions posed so far. Craig, if you send me a response, I’ll set you up live.

Comment From Craig Riley

Thanks Craig, as re: the Light Rail. There is no question that the light rail component is a fluff that is not essential to the core issue of solving our congestion and transportation over the Columbian. We need to lobby the Feds to get this $850 mil applied to the construction of the bridge and phase in light rail at a later date. Build a bridge that is avordable and efficient NOW!

Comment From Craig Riley

As for Jobs...we have a disconnect where the State simply doesn’t understand the continued oppressive regulations will only stall our recovery. We need to place a moritoruim on all new REGS of 2-3 years until we get our people back to work. This will benefit construction and manfufacturing. Interesting to note that the D’s voted this down this year.

Libby Tucker:

Great, thanks Craig. I’ll post the next question for both candidates now.

Comment From Janet James

Sharon and Craig I am interested in where you both stand on the funding for planned parenthood. Thank you.

Craig Riley:

To follow up on Regulatory Reform it is again interesting that even our President acknowledges that this is a MAJOR hindrance to recovery and is in the process of cutting back the red tape. Why not here in Washington.

Sharon Wylie:

I believe Planned Parenthood provides primary healthcare to thousands of women and families at an affordable cost. What planned parenthood does is save women’s lives and the state money. I will work hard to maintain that funding.

Craig Riley:

Planned Parenthood funding should be tied to their services provided to the community no different than any other clinic. However, I take great offence over the fact that they have over billed the STATE and were sued by the state of $600,000 in overbilling and then the state waived the return of these dollars and setteled for just half. No other provider would be given this leeway but would face criminal charges. Fair is fair across the board.

Comment From Jonnie Sue Presley

Hi Sharon I am new to the Vancouver city since August and I really like what you have done here, my question for you today is: What do you consider to be the number one issue affecting our community?

Craig Riley:

I will state the getting Vancouver back to work is JOB #1.

Sharon Wylie:

The high rate of unemployment and maintaining a quality educational system. One area especially in need of attention is the housing industry as a whole. Not enough effort has been directed at ensuring the sector participates in the recovery. It is encouraging that private sector jobs are growing even with the housing sector still hurting.

Comment From Jim Rourk

Any help from the State for a Performing Arts at Clark College or in the City of Vancouver. and FYI, the cafeteria in Gaiser at Clark is not a performing arts center. Thank you

Sharon Wylie:

It is encouraging to me that there are great efforts to grow the fine arts in Vancouver/Clark County even during terrible economic times. This is a grassroots effort with strong support and positive implications for our future economic growth and quality of community. This has happened with very little government support. I believe as the economy improves that there are partnerships and support from government as well as the private sector.

Craig Riley:

I love performing arts. In High School I have seen how this has helped develop superb communication skills and general growth and self confidence in the participants and this is totall apart from the community entertainment factor. So yes, I will work to help in this as soon as we get out of this terrible over spending problem that is crushing our state. I am on the Mental Health board and we are now receiving a 25% cut. So my focus will be to support these critical services first and foremost.

Comment From Garrett Delano

My questions is for Sharon about her time as representative so far. You voted against HB2078 which would have closed a tax loophole for big multi state banks and increased funding to decrease class sizes in school. Please explain why you voted that way?

Craig Riley:

I will provide a comment and state that we must support our schools in these hard times.

Sharon Wylie:

That’s a good question. I was appointed and had not campaigned and discussed funding and revenue options and preferences with voters in my district. This was a controversial measure and I wanted to discuss it with voters first. Garret - Aren’t you Craig’s campaign manager?

Craig Riley:

No he is not. He does help with our doorbelling team. However, he is a voter in the 49th. So I think his question is valid.

Comment From Sean McCann

As our Representative, what would you do to increase access to capital for current businesses as well as new start ups?

Sharon Wylie:

Even large well funded Credit Unions have been limited in what they can lend, even to successful members with businesses ripe for expansion through extensive state and federal lobbying by the banking industry. Banks are holding back even though they have received substantial support from taxpayers. I think that’s unacceptable. Providing reasonable options for credit unions to add services for their business owner members will allow more small businesses access to capital and the competition may prompt our banks to get back into supporting local economies.

Craig Riley:

Great question. It is a sad day when private financing through high interest investment funds is the primary source funding new construction. We must work with the bank regulatory agencies both state and federal to ease up on their reserve requirements so more cash can flow to businesses and construction.

Comment From Craig Sayre

If I-1183 is approved by voters, what will you do to protect our children from the fallout of such a catastrophe? Underage drinking, fatal car accidents, etc. will inevitably go up. What will you do to mitigate against that?

Sharon Wylie:

Frankly, I have a serious concern about where enforcement and mitigation funding will come from. Passage may provide some short term funding for the state, long term it will have an adverse affect on our community. Mitigation funds and resources will compete with basic services such as police, fire, infrastructure, and health.

Craig Riley:

Personally, I question this iniciative for the very reasons you give but I do not question the basic premise that we need to get the STATE OUT of the liquor business. I do agree with the Gov that we have an important asset, the ability to sell liquor, that shouldn’t just be thrown away as this bill will do. We need to sell or lease this service (with controls) as the Gov has recommended but the Dems have voted down. This would pull in $300-500 million in cash to our hard pressed budget.

Libby Tucker:

I know Craig’s time is limited for the chat, do either of the candidates have questions for each other at this point?

Craig Riley:

Not at this time as I have to run to a meeting with Attorney General Rob McKenna. Sharon...I will see you on voting day. Good luck to both of us.

Libby Tucker:

Thanks for joining us Craig. We’ll continue with questions for Rep. Wylie.

Sharon Wylie:

Craig, you’ve talked a lot about access to healthcare. Reimbursement rates have been mentioned. Where would the funds come from to increase reimbursements and what else would you do to increase access to healthcare?

Comment From Jonnie Sue Presley

Sharon thank you for all the help you give to the Veterans. My next Question is: How will you bridge the partisan gap and work across party lines?

Libby Tucker:

Sharon, I hope Craig saw your question. I said goodbye before you posted it, I apologize.

Sharon Wylie:

I have a long history working across party lines. I have found that the first step is to thoroughly understand other points of view and to jointly define and understand the problem being addressed. Sometimes people are so busy talking about their own ideas and thoughts they don’t listen.

Comment From Jeremy Quinsen

Higher education costs have risen dramatically in recent years, and many projections show them rising even further in the future. What can be done to lower these costs?

Sharon Wylie:

First of all, in the short time I was in the legislature this year I was proud to co-sponsor the law that created a public-private partnership with $50 million start-up funds to offset increased tuition to provide tuition assistance to middle class families. This is the beginning, but there is a lot more to do. I will always work hard to reduce the burden of educational costs and if elected will continue to serve on the higher education committee.

Comment From Sean McCann

Sharon, do you support a State-run Single Payer health care system, similar to the one recently passed in Vermont?

Sharon Wylie:

The fact is that we have the most expensive healthcare system in the civilized world with the worst outcomes. Even with our state being more cost effective and innovative than a lot of other states. This is not a good situation. I think we need to look at other systems, single-payer has some strong support but there are private sector systems in the world that do a much better job than we do. We must find solutions with broad support that reduce the burden of healthcare costs.

Comment From Judy Tiffany

do you see jobs as an important problem? and would improved transportation help with jobs?

Sharon Wylie:

Increasing employment is my top priority. I truly believe that a good transportation system is part of the solution.

Comment From Maureen Kallins

If re-elected will you continue to defend vital health care resourses for women in the Washington?

Sharon Wylie:

Absolutely!

Comment From Judy Tiffany

thank you for your time Sharon Wylie and tour though full answers

Comment From Rich Franklin

Sharon, in looking at the data on followthemoney.com from your time in the Oregon Legislature it appears the overwhelming majority of your campaign contributions came from public sector unions. Given our current fiscal situation, do you feel state spending needs to be reduced and if so, where?

Comment From Jeremy Quinsen

Not a question: You may wish to correct that link to followthemoney.org

Sharon Wylie:

First of all I believe in shared sacrifice. That’s why when state employees had their pay cut, I voluntarily cut my own pay as well. My intention is to concentrate on adequate funding for social safety nets for our most vulnerable citizens so that our jails don’t become mental health institutions and increase the burden on taxpayers. Spending that retains or increases employment and funding for our educations system are my top priorities if elected. I will do whatever I can to help my constituents understand the impacts and hard choices and the costs and options.

Libby Tucker:

Looks like we have time for one more question.

Comment From Jonnie Sue Presley

Sharon Thank You for the Secured $40 million in state funding to complete the Salmon Creek-Interstate 5 interchange..my next question is: What will your first selected goals be if you’re re elected? I pray that you are..

Sharon Wylie:

Thank you Jonnie,

I will make sure that my constituents know what options and ideas on the table during the upcoming special session. There are a lot of legislators that have been working together and individually to flush out ideas. My constituents deserve to know what’s on the table.

Libby Tucker:

Thank you very much for your time today Rep. Wylie. And thanks to everyone for your questions! We’ll have another series of live chats next week with Vancouver City Council candidates. Check back at Columbian.com for details.

Sharon Wylie:

Thank you Libby. I appreciate the invitation and enjoyed myself. I would also like to thank the Columbian editorial board for their recent endorsement. For more information about my campaign please go to www.sharonfor49th.com or facebook.com/sharonfor49th

Who ever you vote for - Make sure to get your ballots in ASAP.

Libby Tucker:

Thanks, Sharon. Good reminder to VOTE. And for more information on Craig Riley, http://vote4craigriley.com/