Hedrick confronts Gregoire; video at 11

Congressional candidate David W. Hedrick seized the moment at Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Vancouver budget forum Tuesday night to confront the governor on her 2009 executive order on climate change – and grab a little glory for himself.

Hedrick, who proved at U.S. Rep. Brian Baird’s health care town hall last year that he’s no shrinking violet with a microphone in hand, made brief reference to the topic of the hearing, saying, “We don’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem.”

Then he quickly turned to his topic of choice: The executive order Gregoire signed last year after the Legislature failed to pass climate change legislation. Noting that the governor said at the time her order achieved everything that the bill would have accomplished, he scolded, “When your Legislature tells you no, your response should not be ‘Let them eat cake.’”

Hedrick flatly accused the governor of violating the law, and finished with a suggestion that she resign her position and run for the Legislature instead.

His comments, which struck a combative tone in stark contrast to the testimony of dozens of other speakers, were recorded on videotape and quickly posted on YouTube.

It’s no coincidence that the conservative Evergreen Freedom Foundation announced July 21 that it was filing a lawsuit against the governor over the executive order. The organization accused Gregoire of violating the doctrine of separation of powers “by snatching a failed bill out of the legislative process and issuing it in the form of an executive order.”

The governor’s spokeswoman, Karina Shagren, said Wednesday, “The bottom line from our office is the governor certainly has the authority to direct state agencies to take certain actions. This executive order doesn’t extend beyond state agencies and it certainly doesn’t extend beyond her authority.”

Among other steps, the order directs the departments of Ecology and Transportation to conduct research and set benchmarks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide by Oct. 1 to achieve 2020 emission reduction standards already adopted by the Legislature.

The Columbian livestreamed the entire budget forum. It’s
available at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8557829

Kathie Durbin

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