Posted by Pete DeLaunay on Oct 06, 2021
President Jimmy called the Zoom meeting to order promptly at 12:30.  He introduced Don Murphy accompanied by Freeman Fong leading Rotarians in the day’s anthem,  Star-Spangled Banner, followed by Faith Ireland for the day’s inspiration that focused on Governor Evans as a leader in education, public policy, and for all he has done in his long distinguished career.  
John Steckler of the club’s member engagement team provided the month’s member spotlight on new club member Laurie Black, her career with Nordstrom that included various managerial posts including as president of 50 Nordstrom RACK stores where she grew sales to more than $1B.   She retired from Nordstrom to join many volunteer non-profit boards, including 34 Boys & Girls Clubs in King County; where she now serves as CEO.  Nordstrom awarded her the Blake Nordstrom Public Service Award for her public service work.  Laurie represents the Nordstrom way ‘Whatever it takes.' 
President Jimmy introduced seasoned journalist and former Puget Sound Business Journal publisher, Mike Flynn, who moderated an interview with former Governor, U.S. Senator, and college president Dan Evans with his wife of 62 years, Nancy.  
Washington state historians will remember the 1964 election when Democrats won in a landslide when relatively unknown Daniel J. Evans was elected Governor; defeating popular Governor Al Rossellini who was running for a third term.   
“I spent 14 months getting to know the state and letting people get to know me mainly because a previous poll before the election revealed that I ran six out of six candidates,” Governor Evans said,” but I figured it was time for someone new and  the state’s voters agreed.”
Although that was a different time, when asked about divisions between Republicans then Governor Evans said, “some suspect today is different than in the past, but they actually sound pretty familiar”. 
The 1968 Republican Convention was unusual as it nominated conservative Richard Nixon their nominee for president and invited young Governor Evans – who was then running for re-election - as keynote speakers.  “With some inside help, I was asked to keynote although I wasn’t sure what kind of direction the national committee was coming from so, I was totally on my own,” he said.  Some had suggested Evans a VP nominee, but he had supported Rockefeller at the time.  Governor Evans said there was more discussion about him running for VP with Gerald Ford.
Flynn said you owed your career to the Democrats.  Public vs. Private power has been a democrat issue…the biggest issue driving republicans was re-districting where some districts had eight times as many voters as others. 
One of the many notable times in Evans's long career was during re-districting when Republicans worried, they would be gerrymandered out of office for the next ten years.  “Democrats did not like the then speaker of the house, John O’Brien.  Together with other Republicans, Evans formed a clandestine coalition with Democrats to defeat the Speaker with another Democrat, Senator Bill Day, who had a more balanced view of re-districting
Governor Evans is in the final stages of writing a book with stories about his work in politics and public service, including one segment that describes the election of 1968, and how three republican elected officials developed a plan to elect a black person as Lt. Governor.  “In 1968 I was running for re-election and getting around the state when I came across Art Fletcher, an articulate black man who was running a self-help organization in the Tri-Cities” he said. “I met Art and he was so good we convinced him to run for Lt. Governor as a Republican.”   Although Fletcher was defeated by incumbent Lt. Governor John Cherberg, three republicans were elected to statewide offices:  Evans as Governor, Slade Gorton as Attorney General, and A. Ludlow Kramer as Secretary of State.
Part of the success of this group came from a youth-oriented organization called ‘Action for Washington’ to get them involved politically.  They created an Action Team aimed at re-electing Evans as Governor, Lud Kramer as Secretary of State, the candidacy of Slade Gorton for Attorney General, and Art Fletcher for Lt. Governor.  “I thought we were going to score four-for-four, but ultimately John Cherberg prevailed as Lt. Governor.   Subsequently, Art Fletcher accepted an important role with the U.S. Department of Labor where he made his mark nationally.
When asked about what’s ahead for the 2024 election, Governor Evans said it is not very clear. “I think Joe Biden may run for re-election depending on how things go for the next three years.,” he said.   “On the Republican side I do not think Trump will be the candidate as there are some very good republicans who could step forward -- as Trump will not be the brand-new candidate, he was in 2020”. 
Asked about Governor Inslee’s use of “Executive Orders”, he said it has become a way to circumvent legislation. “Use of Executive Orders should be limited to scope and time; the Governor has gone way too long without going to the Legislature,” Governor Evans said. “He has gotten away with it, but I don’t think that’s appropriate”. 
While Governor Evans can count many successes, he lamented not being able to reform Washington’s tax structure.  “Tax reform was a big legislative success back then as it passed with bipartisan support in the house 84 to 11. It passed the Senate,” he said.  “Tax reform was defeated by the public two-to-one.  When I look back people say I was for the income tax, no tax reform met the elimination or cutback of many other taxes vs. putting it on top of all the other taxes we have”. 
Governor Evans concluded his remarks by saying “I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had have been given by the voters of this state for the opportunity to be Governor and U.S. Senator”.
Mark Davis announced next week’s program as a moderated forum between the two candidates for Seattle Mayor, Lorena Gonzalez, and Bruce Harrell, to more clearly understand the candidate’s position on issues facing our city.  The meeting will begin at noon. 
President Jimmy ended the meeting by reminding Rotarians of the Four-way test as principle-centered leadership:  truth, fairness, goodwill and will be beneficial to all concerned…guidelines by which effective leaders make decisions or how to respond.   
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