POSITION: SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

 

NOMINEE: Gary F. Locke

BIRTH DATE: January 21, 1950 in Seattle, WA

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in Political Science 1972, Yale University

J.D. 1975, Boston University School of Law

FAMILY: Wife Mona Lee; three children, Emily, Dylan, and Madeline

EXPERIENCE:

2005-present Of Counsel, Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremain LLP, in their China and governmental-relations practice groups; Jan 1997-Jan 2005 Governor of Washington; Jan 1994-Jan 1997 County Executive, King County, Washington; Jan 1983-Jan 1994 Member Washington State House of Representatives, 37th District; served as Chair of the Appropriations Committee; 1975-1982 Deputy Prosecutor, King County, Washington

2008 Washington Co-Chairman of Hillary Clinton presidential campaign

ON ABORTION

I support reproductive choice. I really believe it’s a very personal, very sensitive profound decision, but I don’t believe government should interfere with that very basic of decisions, that it should be left to a woman and whoever she feels she needs to consult. But, I don’t believe government should make that decision.”

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We are a strongly pro-choice state. We have a long history of passing pro-choice legislation and pro-choice initiatives. We also have a strong track record of turning back anti-choice legislation and initiatives. We are proud of this tradition. We know in this state that the right to reproductive choice is critical to women’s rights. It is central to the concepts of equality and self-government. Democratic government begins with the right to responsibly govern our individual lives.”

We must be vigilant in protecting against the political erosion of the right to choose. We must always fight against rules, regulations and legislation that seek to chip away at this right.”

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ON RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT

I am a religious person, but I feel there must be a very clear line between government and religion … There must be a clear separation between government and religion.”

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ON GLOBAL WARMING

Climate change is one of the most serious environmental issues facing our planet today. While the Bush Administration has not fully addressed this issue, I believe that it is important for us as a state and region to reduce our contribution to the emission of global warming gases.”

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Lifetime Grade of “B” as Governor

Every year the CATO Institute rates the nation’s governors on tax and spending issues in their states:

Gary Locke leaves office with the final grade of B, but the credit should go to Washington voters. Indeed, Locke found himself constantly fighting the voters on fiscal issues. Initiative 601, which was passed by voters in 1993 and caps state spending at population growth plus inflation, kept Locke’s spending on a leash despite his attempts to circumvent the cap. When Locke vigorously campaigned for a 9-cent increase in the fuel tax to fund his $8.5 billion transportation wish list in 2002, voters again stopped him in his tracks. By December 2002 Locke realized that he was going to have a tough time passing tax increases and was forced to cut $2 billion in spending to balance the budget. In 2003 the legislature finally gave Locke a 10-year, $4.2 billion transportation bill that raised the fuel tax by 5 cents per gallon. Perhaps emboldened by that, Locke proposed a 1 percent sales tax increase in 2004. The legislature put the referendum on the ballot, and voters rejected it by an even larger margin than the first fuel tax initiative. As a parting shot, Locke proposed a $500 million tax package that would raise taxes on businesses, sodas, beer, and liquor. …when Locke decided in early 2003 not to run for reelection, his approval rating was around 30 percent.”

TIES TO CORRUPTION?

Of course, there was that memory loss (of Mr. Locke’s) and all those “I don’t recall … I don’t remember” statements to Congressional investigators in 1999, probing his gubernatorial campaign fund-raising efforts; the astonishing $3.2 billion tax break he gave to Boeing while never disclosing he paid $715,000 to - and relied on the advice of - Boeing’s own private consultant and outside auditor for advice; and those favors for his brother-in-law (who lived in the governor’s mansion), including a tax break for his relative’s company, personal intervention in a company dispute, and Locke’s signature on a federal loan application for the company.”

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Now John Huang, the Democratic fund-raiser who supported Locke’s 1996 gubernatorial campaign at no less than eight political events across the country, has agreed to plead guilty to felony conspiracy to make illegal campaign contributions … Though Huang and his wife gave token personal donations to Locke totaling a mere $1,000, Huang is no casual acquaintance of Locke or his out-of-state fund-raising staff. As reported here previously, Huang helped organize May 1996 galas involving Locke at the Mayflower Hotel and Sheraton Carlton in Washington, D.C.; three fund-raisers at restaurants in Los Angeles, and an extravaganza at the Universal City, Calif., Hilton in October 1996 that raised upwards of $30,000.”

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Already under investigation by the Public Disclosure Commission for mishandling cash contributions, Gov. Gary Locke’s gubernatorial campaign must now contend with new revelations concerning two trips to a Buddhist temple last summer where campaign dollars changed hands. On two separate occasions, Locke visited the Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple in Redmond at the invitation of the temple’s founder, Grand Master Sheng-Yen Lu. Grand Master Lu, his wife, his son and several people self-described as church administrators and priests gave Locke about $13,100 in contributions.”

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Wai Chee Chan, one of four New Yorkers who gave the Locke campaign $750 in cash, is co-owner of Harmony Palace. He is also national president of the On Leong Chinese Merchants Association, a Chinese “civic group” whose former bosses admitted they gave drug-dealing and contract-killing orders to the violent Ghost Shadows street gang.”

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