Sec. of State Reed speaks to Marysville Rotary
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Marysville Globe Reporter
June 13, 2012 · 12:44 PM
MARYSVILLE — Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed laughed as he described his visit to the Rotary Club of Marysville on Wednesday, June 6, as part of his “farewell tour,” but even though this marks the last of his 45 years of public service, Reed offered a serious message of concern for the future.
Reed urged the Rotarians and their guests at the noon luncheon to focus their efforts on fostering civility, moderation and bipartisanship, not only within their local community, but also among those whom they support for elected office, on up to the state and national levels.
“Between talk radio, cable and blogs, the noisiest get the most attention,” Reed said. “The debt crisis just last year was one of the worst examples, but even when we discuss what’s going on in the National Association of Secretaries of State, everyone agrees that nothing’s happening right now. It’s all gridlocked.”
Reed identified the members of community service organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis, the latter of which he belongs to, as the leaders within their communities, and anticipated that candidates for office would seek out local Rotarians’ endorsements.
“Don’t support people who operate in a polemic way,” said Reed, a Republican who has nonetheless advised candidates from his own party not to adopt overly strident conservative stances. “When one party has a majority in both houses of the legislature, what happens all too often is that they’ll just ram through policies, which the other party will rush to undo as soon as they come into power. We saw that with healthcare reform.”
Looking ahead to November, Reed expressed optimism over both the degree of voter turnout that he expects and the ways in which the political campaigns and the election process alike will be conducted. By contrast to the recent Wisconsin recall election, Reed doesn’t believe the Washington governor’s race will engender anywhere near the same amount of acrimony, and he sees Washington’s vote-by-mail system yielding greater turnout and offering better security from voter fraud than the traditional polling places.
“We’ve got open seats for governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and we’ve also got a good presidential race shaping up,” Reed said. “This is the first race for lieutenant governor since 1996 that’s been hot. Control of the state Legislature is in play, and we’ve even got ballot measures on medical marijuana and same-sex marriage. If you can’t find an issue or a candidate to care about this year, then my goodness,” he laughed.
Among Reed’s lasting achievements is his defense of Washington’s open primary, which he took pride in being able to justify as a top two primary, by using language from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whom Reed acknowledged had actually been using those arguments to speak out against the open primary.
“It’s fun, because I’m sure Scalia was saying, ‘How can your Secretary of State even say that?’” Reed laughed.
After this year, Reed is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, who had requested that he retire, as well as his grandsons.
“Unlike my friends who have gone into lobbying and consulting, I really am retiring,” Reed said. “I might do short stints as an advisor, but I’m not making any commitments.”
Contact Marysville Globe Reporter Kirk Boxleitner at email@example.com or 360-659-1300 Ext. 5052.