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Governor candidate McKenna owes apology for outburst | In Our Opinion
Rob McKenna just doesn’t get it.
In a gaffe heard ’round the Sound, McKenna — our current state attorney general and the Republican candidate for governor — unloaded on a young woman who pressed him for his position on the Reproductive Parity Act.
McKenna was leaving a fisheries conference last week in Seattle when Kendra Obom approached him, tape recorder in hand, and asked if he supported the act, which would require state-funded or state-administered insurance plans to pay for abortions if they pay for maternity care.
McKenna first tried to dodge the question, then attacked his questioner, accusing her of trying to “bushwhack” him.
Then, rather than answering a legitimate question from a constituent, McKenna went further.
He questioned her honesty, then added, “Why don’t you get a job?”
To be sure, candidates for high office are often asked tough questions, with microphones in their faces, video cameras rolling, and operatives from opposing parties ready to pounce on any misstatement or gaffe.
Regardless, residents of all political stripes have the right to ask questions — and expect straightforward answers — on the critical issues that will guide their vote at the ballot box.
What they don’t deserve is a candidate who questions their motives, their honesty and their employment status.
Candidates who want to become public servants — and those such as McKenna, who are already in office — should respect the right of citizens to pose questions, whether it’s on a Seattle sidewalk, at a public forum or via a telephone call or email, and treat them with common courtesy, even if they don’t like the question.
McKenna has done his reputation and his campaign considerable damage with such an unwarranted outburst.
And Ms. Obom deserves an apology.