The Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board endorsed Republican Rob McKenna for governor in early October, but you’d come away with the opposite impression from a recent television ad from a political action committee supporting Democrat Jay Inslee.
The 30-second ad by Our Washington last week shows snippets of quotes from various newspapers around the state as a narrator talks about Inslee’s qualifications and platform. The narrator states newspapers love Inslee’s experience, something many editorial boards have actually questioned about Inslee, and includes an illustration of a Yakima Herald-Republic front page that says Inslee is “helping the state economy grow.”
That line was pulled straight from a sentence in the editorial board’s endorsement of McKenna from Oct. 14, not Oct. 13 as the ad attributes it. Taken out of context it would appear to be an endorsement of Inslee’s proposal, but the sentence it appeared in was entirely critical of Inslee’s plan.
The full sentence, referring to Inslee is: “His solution to solving the state’s budget issues centers on helping the state economy grow, but that requires a leap of faith that the economy will grow – and at a national level that is outside any governor’s control.”
Yakima Herald opinions editor Frank Purdy said the ad is clearly intended to suggest the editorial board took Inslee’s side.
“The ad implies we think Inslee is helping the state economy to grow,” Purdy said. “We don’t.”
Jackson Holtz, a spokesman for Our Washington, would not address whether the political action committee took the quote out of context to distort the editorial board’s stance.
“Our Washington is working to ensure that middle class families understand what’s at stake in this election,” Holtz said in an email. “That includes helping them to see the pro-jobs position of Jay Inslee, the only candidate for governor who will help the state economy grow.”
Holtz went on to criticize McKenna as well as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in his response, but nowhere in it did he mention Our Washington’s use of the quote from the Yakima Herald-Republic. When asked again, Holtz reiterated he had nothing further to add.