Concerns and optimism of Western governors a year into the Trump administration

Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

Gov. John Hickenlooper, Democrat, Colorado

Concern: That is a hard question because you're asking me to prioritize a list. ... My biggest, probably largest concern, is the tweets, and you know the amount of energy and distraction that comes out of those tweets. I think it could dilute the authority of the office.

Optimism: I don't agree with all of his appointments, but he has hired a lot of talented people and I think our job as governors is to work with the Cabinet assembled and try and move this country forward. ... Almost all of the Cabinet he has picked are constructive.

Gov. Gary Herbert, Republican, Utah

Concern: I think a kind of an isolationist beginning. Like, the whole "let's not do international trade and stay home." I think we actually need to increase international trade. It's a global economy, and we need to be interfacing with other countries around the world. It brings friendlier relationships and leads to peace.

Optimism: The fact there seems to be accessibility from the states and the roles that states play as equal partners with the federal government. ... I very much appreciate the fact that this administration seems to recognize and wants to hear from the states on whatever the issue might be. They say, "Let's see what the states have to say," before making a decision. I'm very encouraged about that. Part of that is because we have a vice president who is a former governor.


Gov. Steve Bullock, Democrat, Montana

Concern: Not much is getting done. There are a lot of pressing issues and not much is getting done. I'm not sure the dialogue we always hear is that helpful, either.

Optimism: That part is still to be written. We have not seen a lot coming out of Washington that's positive.

Gov. Bill Walker, Independent, Alaska


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