In this article, we will be discussing Mike Pellicciotti, the endorsed Democratic candidate for the position of State Treasurer. Over the course of this interview, Mike shares his background, the reasons behind his decision to run for office, and his stance on various financial issues. We will also explore his views on campaign contributions, managing the state’s investments, and the possibility of public banking.
Background and Campaign Stance
Mike Pellicciotti, a State Representative, first ran for office in 2016 against a Republican incumbent. One of his key principles was to refuse corporate donations, a policy he has maintained throughout his career. As the State Treasurer is responsible for managing over $100 billion of public funds, Pellicciotti believes it is crucial to have a treasurer who prioritizes the interests of working families and retired individuals, rather than being entangled with corporate interests. He has championed financial transparency, passing laws to combat dark money in Washington state politics and pushing for political action committee transparency.
Pellicciotti emphasizes the importance of clean hands when making financial decisions that directly impact the lives of citizens. He opposes his opponent, an accidental treasurer who has shown support for Donald Trump, claiming that he is not aligned with the values of the state. Pellicciotti seeks to represent and fight for working families and retired individuals by advocating for their best interests in the position of State Treasurer.
Campaign Contributions and Responsibility
Pellicciotti is endorsed by public employee unions and acknowledges the responsibility of managing pension funds as a State Treasurer. He highlights his experience as a state employee and his commitment to fighting financial fraud in the state. Pellicciotti also mentions that labor organizations, who had previously endorsed his opponent in 2016, have now switched their endorsements to him. The Washington State Labor Council, the Washington Education Association, and the Washington State Nurses Association are among the labor organizations endorsing Pellicciotti. He assures that his values align with the interests of working families and retired individuals.
Regarding campaign contributions, Pellicciotti understands the concern raised by Republicans about big labor money being used to invest pension funds. He believes that the State Treasurer’s independence is crucial in making responsible decisions regarding investments. He points out the importance of maximizing returns through the State Investment Board, which helps avoid dipping into the operating budget for other essential purposes. Pellicciotti criticizes his opponent for only attending three out of the last 18 State Investment Board meetings personally, asserting the necessity of a treasurer who actively shows up and represents the interests of the people.
Debt Management and Decision-Making
As State Treasurer, one of the responsibilities is managing the state’s debts, especially concerning the capital budget, where a significant portion is bonded. Pellicciotti acknowledges the nonpartisan nature of the treasurer’s office and the importance of consistency in day-to-day operations. He emphasizes the need for responsible decision-making and advises that the state should listen to bond rating companies like Moody’s to ensure the state’s actions positively impact the bond rating and its ability to pay its debts.
Pellicciotti believes in the importance of balancing the books and asserting his independence when necessary. He cites his track record of fighting for financial transparency and advocating for bills that address dark money and campaign financing issues. He champions the idea of having someone independent in the treasurer’s office who can stand up to the legislature when needed. Furthermore, he highlights the historical success of Democrats as State Treasurers and attributes it to their effectiveness in managing funds. Pellicciotti intends to continue this legacy and ensure good financial management for the state.
The Question of Public Banking
In recent years, there has been discussion about the possibility of public banking, and Pellicciotti shares his thoughts on the matter. He reveals that the legislature has been exploring the idea and has voted for a business plan to assess the viability of infrastructure banking. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient demand from municipalities to pool funds and collateralize investments for infrastructure projects. Pellicciotti supports this evaluation and believes it is essential to explore potential opportunities for infrastructure investment. However, he criticizes his opponent for opposing even the assessment of public banking and obstructing progress in this area.
Mike Pellicciotti, the endorsed Democratic candidate for State Treasurer, offers voters a fresh perspective on financial issues. He emphasizes the importance of clean hands, financial transparency, and making decisions that align with the interests of working families and retired individuals. Pellicciotti’s track record as a State Representative showcases his dedication to financial responsibility and his willingness to stand up for what is right, even when it is unpopular. With his experience as a state employee and the endorsements from various labor organizations, Pellicciotti presents himself as a capable and independent candidate for the role of State Treasurer.