By Peter Robison, Bloomberg News
December 19, 2014 12:17 p.m.
SEATTLE — If, in some great museum of American public discourse, there's a gilded pedestal reserved for the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, then way in the back, in a darkened room that no one tells the docents about, you might find a cardboard diorama of the Benton-Rivers Encounter.
The Clark County Event Center turned into a kind of Christmas factory on Thursday evening. Toys of all kinds were piled high on the floor — everything from board games and balls to Barbie dolls and bikes. People gathered around tables swiftly wrapping gifts, and an assembly line of volunteers boxed food for holiday meals.
Rep. Jim Moeller, speaker pro tempore of the Washington House, says Gov. Jay Inslee is an "eternal optimist." The governor's budget, Moeller said, which would charge polluters and includes a new capital gains tax, was indicative of such optimism.