Constantine Responds to Hutchison Via Old Wendy's Commercial

"We've been waiting for months," Dow Constantine began his response to Susan Hutchison's anti-climactic press conference this morning announcing endorsements from Lt. Governor Brad Owen and former Mayor Wes Uhlman.

Constantine said that he (like the gaggle of reporters who attended both pressers) expected Hutchison to unveil her plan for dealing with King County's big budget problem if elected Executive this fall. After all, the announcement sent out yesterday described her even this morning as "Susan Unveils Bi-Partisan Plan to Reform King County." But the only unveiling was the endorsements.

"We're still waiting," Constantine declared from his own podium, a couple dozen supporters standing behind him. "To quote a famous T.V. ad from my youth, 'where's the beef'?"

That said, Constantine's own plan might be one reason Hutchison would want to avoid giving any details. Among his plans for cutting costs are getting the unions to take more days off unpaid, asking non-unionized employees (there are only a couple thousand) to contribute to their health care plans, and convincing people to switch to Group Health, a cheaper insurance plan than the one about 10,000 county employees currently use.

But already Constantine's specifics are running into hurdles.

Last week, reported that county unions are balking at the plan to add on more unpaid time off (or furlough days). Constantine says there are procedures in place to force the unions to take the days off.

But that's not the only wrinkle. Amid talk of making non-unionized employees contribute to their health care costs, a group of county employees voted to unionize. Add to that Kurt Triplett's claim that research done by his office shows that even with financial incentive to do so, most people won't switch to a cheaper healthcare plan, and some of Constantine's specifics start foundering.

See if you don't actually have a concrete plan, no one can criticize you if it starts to crumble.

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