The most influential business executives of the past 35 years: No. 34 knows a thing or two about economic development



By Steven Goldsmith Managing Editor – Print- Puget Sound Business Journal


This is one in a series where the Puget Sound Business Journal counts down the top 35 most influential business leaders of the last 35. The countdown is part of the PSBJ’s 35th anniversary celebration.

As a leader of one of the nation’s most economically active tribes, Snohomish County’s Tulalips, John McCoy is a national as well as regional business figure.

McCoy, 71, recently retired as general manager of the tribes’ bustling Quil Ceda Village shopping, casino and hotel complex, but still serves in the state Legislature (10 years in the House, two in the Senate).

He was recognized as the Business Journal’s 2005 Executive of the Year for the dynamic business environment he helped foster.

It all started 20 years ago, when McCoy — a no-nonsense negotiator who sports a bolo tie and a crew-cut — returned to his tribe after serving 20 years in the Air Force and several years as a computer technician at Sperry Univac and the White House.

McCoy helped move the reservation from a communications system that he described as “one step above smoke signals” to a state-of-the-art. That program evolved into Tulalip Data Services, which installed networking infrastructure on the reservation and provides technical support to tribal departments.

The shopping complex near Marysville became a triumph of planning, vision and commitment on the part of the Tulalip Tribes — one of many still working to parlay gambling revenue into a more diverse and sustainable prosperity.

In addition to the popular hotel-casino, Quil Ceda includes a business park, the 125-tenant Seattle Premium Outlets, and stores such as Cabela’s and Home Depot.

For the Tulalips, much of this traces to McCoy.

“As you course your way through history, you see common people doing uncommon things,” Bob Drewel, head of the Puget Sound Regional Council and a former Snohomish County Executive, told the PSBJ in 2005. “John believes himself to be a common person, and he does some very uncommon things.”


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Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, In A Close Vote

Pipes for Transcanada Corp.'s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline are stacked at a depot in Gascoyne, N.D. The House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline Friday; the Senate voted against it on Tuesday.
Pipes for Transcanada Corp.’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline are stacked at a depot in Gascoyne, N.D. The House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline Friday; the Senate voted against it on Tuesday.


By Bill Chapell, NPR

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators’ votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st “No” vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

The vote came after President Obama stopped short of saying he would veto the bill, but he encouraged Congress not to take action before a long-awaited State Department review of the project is fully complete.

The two chambers of Congress moved to vote on the measure shortly after this month’s midterm elections, which left a Senate seat in Louisiana up for grabs in a runoff election between Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, and Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Republican. That vote is slated for Dec. 6, as we reported last week.

Several Democrats spoke against the Keystone extension during a floor debate before this afternoon’s vote.

“We’re going to see higher gas prices because of this,” said Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, the chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, predicting that oil from the Keystone project would be exported instead of being used to supply American markets.

Republican Sen. John Hoeven disagreed, saying that his state of North Dakota would benefit from the pipeline, using it to help move its oil that currently relies heavily on a congested rail system.

Landrieu responded to Hoeven by thanking him for his leadership and work on the bill. She went on to tell her colleagues, “This is for Americans, for American jobs, to build a middle class.”

We’ll note that a researcher who has studied the bill told NPR’s S.V. Dáte that of the jobs the project might create, none will be in Louisiana.

“I don’t think it goes through that state,” said Cornell University’s Sean Sweeney, who co-authored a 2012 report scrutinizing the project. “This is less about jobs numbers than it is about advancing the fossil fuel industry’s agenda.”

As we’ve reported, the Keystone issue has been contentious:

“Energy company TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Canada to Texas; it has been a polarizing issue, pitting those who say it would create thousands of jobs against environmentalists who say tar sands oil is too expensive and toxic to refine. Where one side says the plan would bolster the energy industry, the other says it would increase greenhouse gases.”

Earlier today, NPR’s Scott Horsley and Jeff Brady laid out “What You Need To Know About The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline.”

As they explained, part of the pipeline is already in place:

“About 40 percent of the total project has been built so far, in two segments: a 298-mile stretchfrom Steele City, Neb., to Cushing, Okla., and a 485-mile segment between Cushing and Nederland, Texas. Oil is flowing through these pipelines from the increased production currently happening in the middle of the U.S.”

Senate Bill 2280 would authorize “TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. to construct, connect, operate, and maintain the pipeline and cross-border facilities specified in an application filed by TransCanada Corporation to the Department of State on May 4, 2012,” according to the bill’s summary on the congressional website.

Klamath Basin Agreements Move Toward Senate Floor

The J.C. Boyle Dam, one of four that the Interior Department has recommended for removal from the Klamath River. It runs through Southern Oregon and Northern California. | credit: Amelia Templeton
The J.C. Boyle Dam, one of four that the Interior Department has recommended for removal from the Klamath River. It runs through Southern Oregon and Northern California. | credit: Amelia Templeton

By: Jes Burns, Earthfix

A long-negotiated series of agreements to manage water in the Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon and Northern California received Senate committee passage Thursday.

“This legislation is the result of a historic collaboration of efforts,” said Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden during the committee meeting.

Wyden was one of the four Oregon and California co-sponsors the Senate bill. It gives federal authorization for local efforts to ensure enough water for fish and wildlife, while providing predictable irrigation supplies for farmers and ranchers.

The Klamath agreements were signed by local stakeholders in 2010. They establish a hierarchy of water rights and present the possibility of removing dams owned by PacifiCorp. Congressional approval is needed to enact certain provisions.

The legislation gained broad bi-partisan approval in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski supported the bill after the committee approved an amendment decreasing the role of the federal government in making dam-removal decisions.

“What we do… is ensure that the states of California and Oregon are empowered to decide,” Murkowski said.

Now the legislation faces the possibility of a full Senate vote in the coming weeks.

Full term for Sen. John McCoy

Source: The Herald

State Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, is bracingly honest, a virtue that can feel out of place in the glad-handing Legislature. He reduces challenges to their essence, no sugarcoating, no false pledges. It’s a leadership style as jarring as it is invigorating, particularly in an institution of promise-makers.

McCoy, who served in the state House for 11 years and was appointed to the Senate last year, deserves election to a full, four-year term. (His Republican challenger has not actively campaigned.)

McCoy yielded some of his legislative power by seeking the Senate seat that opened after Nick Harper’s resignation in 2013. No longer a committee chair and part of the Democratic minority, McCoy serves as the ranking member on the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. It’s a role consistent with his wonky passion for green energy, the health of Puget Sound and all-things technology.

On the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, McCoy offers the “no free lunch” gospel. The matter of supplementing K-12 to the tune of $2 billion is compounded by other mandates such as the August state Supreme Court’s ruling outlawing the practice of “psychiatric boarding” in hospital emergency rooms. Add to that the 2013 permanent injunction by a federal district court to remove barriers to fish passage on state-highway culverts, and we’re talking real money. Initiative 1351, aimed at reducing class size, is another log on the fire, McCoy said. It will make getting-to-yes that much more arduous.

The revenue challenge is a problem “bigger than both parties,” he said, and he’s right. Much of the budget can’t be touched, with the alliterative basics — to educate, to medicate and to incarcerate. Some non-regressive tax increase may be required.

McCoy believes the possibility of a transportation-finance package revolves around the political make-up of the Senate. He and other senators didn’t even have the option of voting on a package this past session. McCoy has bird-dogged oil by rail, coal trains and the need for advance notification to communities (a Bakken crude explosion in the Everett tunnel is one of several worse-case scenarios.) He offers an eliminate-at-the-source approach to the fish-consumption standard, which informs acceptable levels of cancer-causing crud flowing into NW waterways. He also concentrates on mental health support to tamp down gun violence. And he concedes that, after the transfer of SPEEA jobs, Boeing was “not being truthful” when the original Boeing tax giveaway was magoozled in a special session.

Judgment and candor are rare qualities in politics. Elect John McCoy.

Senate Fails to Pass Sportsmen Bill; Tribal Treaty Amendment Filed

Source: Water4fish, July 10, 2014

Today, the Senate failed to advance S. 2363, a bi-partisan sportsmen bill designed to boost hunting and fishing protections on federal public land, reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA), wetland and fishing conservation programs, and would allow online sales of duck stamps.  The bill, introduced by Senator Kay Hagan, (D-NC) and co-sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), was meant to help several incumbents who face tough reelection races this year. 
Seen as a political boon for red-state Democrats, the bill died by a vote of 41-56 due to disagreements over a slew of amendments that would have forced vulnerable incumbents to take tough votes on tweaking gun laws.  Among the amendments filed today was one that would have protected tribal treaty and other rights of tribes.  The amendment, sponsored by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and co-sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, stated in part: 
“(b) Effect of Act.–Notwithstanding any other provision of law, nothing in this Act or the amendments made by this Act affects or modifies any treaty or other right of any Indian tribe, including the protection of sacred and cultural areas.
(c) Duties of the Secretaries with Respect to Treaty Rights.  In carrying out this Act or the amendments made by this Act, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture shall take appropriate measures to uphold treaty and other rights of Indian tribes, including protecting and preserving sacred and cultural areas of Indian tribes located on Federal public land.”  
Mapetsi reported on February 13th, that the House passed H.R. 3590, its version of a sportsmen bill.  Even though the House bill also included language to protect tribal treaty rights on federal public land, the Heinrich/Tester amendment that was filed today would have provided greater protections for tribal rights by requiring Interior and USDA to take “appropriate measures to uphold” tribal treaty and other rights.  Key differences between the House and Senate bills over environmental, FLTFA reauthorization and other issues all but guarantees that Congress will not pass a sportsmen bill this year.
In February, Senator Heinrich introduced S. 368 a stand-alone bill to reauthorize FLTFA, which facilitates the administrative sale or disposal of certain federal public land.  Heinrich has expressed support for inclusion of provisions to protect treaty and other rights of tribes in his FLTFA reauthorization measure.
Mapetsi will continue to provide updates on this issue.




Senators Heinrich and Tester amendment to S. 2363–



Tester Aims to Fight Homelessness Among Native Veterans

 A homeless veteran who declined to be identified speaks with an outreach worker, not pictured, under an overpass during a winter storm in Philadelphia, Wednesday, January 26, 2011.
A homeless veteran who declined to be identified speaks with an outreach worker, not pictured, under an overpass during a winter storm in Philadelphia, Wednesday, January 26, 2011.


Source: Jon Tester’s Office Release


Senator Jon Tester is helping to launch a new initiative to fight homelessness among Native American veterans.

Native Americans volunteer for America’s military at some of the highest rates in the nation, but Indian veterans often struggle to get the support services they earn – including safe, affordable housing.

Tester, Montana’s only member of both the Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Indian Affairs Committees, is working to change that by helping to add a provision to a funding bill that calls for new initiative to reduce homelessness on tribal lands.

Tester’s initiative would make HUD-VASH funds – which help veterans find housing arrangements where they also are able to receive additional resources to address the root causes of homelessness – available to Native Americans living on tribal lands. It is estimated that at least 2,000 veterans served by VA homeless programs live on tribal lands.

“Native Americans are some of this nation’s most dedicated military men and women, and they shouldn’t have to struggle with homelessness when their service is over,” Tester said. “This initiative will help more veterans get a roof over their heads and the support they need to get back on their feet and contribute to our communities.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides the housing vouchers through the HUD-VASH program and works with local housing and support groups to provide eligible homeless veterans with services that aid recovery from physical and mental health conditions resulting from homelessness. However, tribally-designated housing entities are currently ineligible to receive and administer these vouchers.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Tester pushed for HUD-VASH funds to be made available to tribal housing authorities to assist Native American veterans in securing safe, reliable housing. The committee is responsible for funding the federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Tester became the Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee earlier this year. Since then, he has held hearings on Indian health, tribal transportation, Indian education, energy development, and trust lands.

The funding bill, which passed the Appropriations Committee recently, will next be considered by the full Senate.



Fish Wars bill clears Senate, heads to governor

Billy Frank junior, a Nisqually Tribal elder passes out hugs in 2011 to students at Wa He Lut School in Nisqually. The school sits just off the Nisqually River at Franks's Landing, once the frontline of the Northwest fish wars in which Billy Franks was arrested many times for fishing off the Nisqually reservation. (The News Tribune file) DEAN J. KOEPFLER
Billy Frank junior, a Nisqually Tribal elder passes out hugs in 2011 to students at Wa He Lut School in Nisqually. The school sits just off the Nisqually River at Franks’s Landing, once the frontline of the Northwest fish wars in which Billy Franks was arrested many times for fishing off the Nisqually reservation. (The News Tribune file) DEAN J. KOEPFLER

By Lisa Bauman, Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — American Indian tribal members arrested while exercising their treaty fishing rights before 1975 would get the chance to clear their criminal records under a bill headed to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk.

House Bill 2080 passed the Senate unanimously Wednesday. It passed the House in February.

The measure would allow tribal members to apply to the sentencing court to expunge their related misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony convictions. Family members and tribal officials could also seek a vacated criminal record on behalf of a deceased person. The court would have the discretion to vacate the conviction, unless certain conditions apply, such as if the person was convicted for a violent crime or crime against a person.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, said the bill corrects a mistake.

“It’s the closest this branch of government can come to an apology,” he said.

Tribal members and others were arrested in the 1960s and 1970s while asserting their right to fish for salmon off-reservation under treaties signed with the federal government more than 100 years before. At the time, however, those acts violated Washington state regulations, and there were raids by game wardens and other clashes with police. The Northwest fish-ins known as the “Fish Wars” were modeled after civil rights movement sit-ins and were part of larger demonstrations to assert American Indian rights nationwide.

Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, said he knew a tribal elder who wanted to travel to Canada but couldn’t due to a felony conviction for asserting his fishing rights.

“He’s passed away but I’m sure his family members would appreciate it,” he said of the bill.

Read more here:

Sacred Site Advocates Ask Senate to Heed Keith Harper Concerns


Rob Capriccioso, ICTMN

Wayland Gray, a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen and sacred site advocate, finds himself in a David versus Goliath-type situation.

Gray says he wants the U.S. Senate and the White House to hear his views against Keith Harper’s nomination to become a human rights ambassador with the United Nations, but he knows he is up against a major political machine.

“I know some of the powerful Native lobbyists are supporting Keith Harper,” Gray says. “But they shouldn’t have any more influence with Congress than grassroots Native people who have problems with his nomination.”

Harper, a Cherokee Nation citizen, is a lawyer with Kilpatrick Stockton who helped settle the Cobell lawsuit with the Obama administration, and he is politically well-connected to the administration, having worked as a transition team member, served on a presidential commission, and he was a major fundraiser for the Obama campaigns for president. Many Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist and lawyer associates of Harper, as well as tribal leaders who have had positive interactions with him and his firm, have weighed in to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with support for his nomination.

Several indigenous human rights advocates, disenrolled tribal citizens, Cherokee Freedmen, Cobell settlement critics, and tribal leaders who oppose the nomination and who are not as well-connected as Harper find themselves in a precarious situation: How to get Congress to hear their voices when up against such an influential lobby?

RELATED: Indigenous Rights Advocates Question Keith Harper Nomination

Gray thinks the story of Hickory Ground’s sacred site desecration – and Harper and Kilpatrick Stockton’s representation in the matter – should speak volumes to senators who are considering the nomination. “Keith Harper’s firm has been defending the excavation of approximately 57 of our tribal ancestors who were dug up to build a casino,” he says, noting a long-standing source of conflict and sadness for Muscogee Creek citizens who have for years battled the Poarch Band of Creek Indians building and expansion of a casino on and near sacred burial grounds known as Hickory Ground in Alabama.

“I don’t see how Keith Harper can be an ambassador of human rights at the U.N. if he can’t even protect our sacred places and the burial sites of our ones who have passed,” Gray says. “The number one most important thing to Natives and to all humans is our burial places of our loved ones.”

RELATED: The Battle For Hickory Ground

Poarch Band leaders have said that they have taken “efforts to maintain the site” and want to “preserve a relationship with the Muscogee Nation,” but the inter-tribal battle escalated in February 2013 when Gray was arrested on terrorism charges by Poarch Band police as he and three others tried to access the sacred Hickory Ground site to pray for their Muscogee ancestors buried there. The Poarch Band has issued press releases saying Gray threatened to burn down the casino before his arrest. A grand jury has since tossed out the terrorism charge, but Gray is awaiting a jury trial on appeal to try to fully clear his name, based on religious freedom legal arguments, and having rejected a plea deal in June 2013.

RELATED: Poarch Band Accuses Muscogee Creek Man of Terrorist Threat to Burn Casino

As Gray was dealing with the fallout from his arrest, Poarch Band Chairman Buford Rolin was sending a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year in support of Harper’s nomination that said Harper has served as “the tribe’s lawyer representing us in litigation critical to our community” and that the tribe has “a great deal of respect” for Harper and his work. Beyond his representation of the Poarch Band, Harper’s biography on his firm’s website says he has served on the tribe’s Supreme Court.

Brendan Ludwick, a lawyer for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, says that Harper’s work for the Poarch Band is a “reason to be concerned” about his nomination.

After Gray’s arrest, Ludwick wrote an e-mail to Harper in February 2013 to ask for his assistance on the matter. “I reached out to him as a fellow Indian lawyer to see if he could bridge communications between our clients to secure Wayland’s release,” he says. “Keith never responded.

“This was a situation where we had a Native American exercising his First Amendment right to access a sacred place and was incarcerated because of the actions of his client,” Ludwick adds. “It was disappointing that he did not do more to help.”

Harper’s silence on various indigenous human rights issues has led to consternation about his nomination from many Native Americans and from Sens. John McCain (R-Arizona) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Ludwick, a citizen of the Kickapoo Tribe, hopes that more senators, on both sides of the aisle, will investigate the concerns. “The question is whether as a partner at the Kilpatrick law firm Keith Harper advised or profited from the desecration of the burials at Hickory Ground,” he says.

Robin LeBeau, a council member with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, says there are scores of Native Americans fighting for human rights in Indian country who would be less controversial and better U.N. ambassadors than Harper. “I hope that Congress understands that this lawyer is not the best advocate for Indian country or human rights,” she says. “But there are not many politicians in Congress who stand with and for their people nowadays. Money talks.”

Mary Lee Johns, one of the four Native Americans who appealed the Cobell settlement and who was later a target of a harassment-inducing letter sent by the Cobell legal team in 2010, suggests that Natives who want to voice their opinions on this nomination should contact their senators, as the nomination will likely be considered before the full Senate very soon.

RELATED: A Public Letter From the Cobell Lawyers Prompts Ethics and Harassment Concerns

Johns already sent a letter last year to the Foreign Relations committee explaining her concerns about Harper, but his nomination still passed narrowly along party lines in early February, with all Democrats on the committee voting in favor of his confirmation. She has since sent a new letter to more senators, including Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Patty Murray of Washington, and Mark Begich of Alaska who she hopes will not view this as a partisan matter.

“The fact that he is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Tribe does not necessarily give him unusual powers of insight, empathy and commitment to the problems of oppressed people,” Johns wrote, addressing senators including Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) who have pointed to Harper’s tribal citizenship as a top reason for supporting him.

It remains to be seen if the Senate will heed such arguments, but Gray says that if senators really listen and look at the scope of Harper’s character and commitments, they will come to the right conclusion.

“Right now it’s really important that Native Americans step up and contact their senators,” Gray says. “We need someone who is going to help us protect sacred places at the United Nations.”




Triple threat: Obama orders federal agencies to boost clean energy use threefold

Lisa Hymas, Grist

Two bills in the Senate would require the country to get at least 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025, but neither has a chance in hell of making it to Obama’s desk. Thanks, Republicans! So the president is doing what he can without approval from Congress: requiring the federal government to get more of its power from renewable sources.

From NPR:

President Obama says the U.S. government “must lead by example” when it comes to safeguarding the environment, so he’s ordering federal agencies to use more clean energy.

Under a presidential memorandum out Thursday, each agency would have until 2020 to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable supplies. …

Agencies are supposed to build their own facilities when they can, or buy clean energy from wind farms and solar facilities. …

The memo also directs federal agencies to increase energy efficiency in its buildings and its power management systems.

The U.S. government currently gets about 7.5 percent of its electricity from renewables, so the new goal would almost triple that percentage.

With today’s memorandum, Obama follows through on a promise he made in his big climate speech in June. We’re looking forward to him keeping the rest of the promises from that speech.

38th District Rep John McCoy transitions to senate

Facebook photo
Facebook photo

By Niki Cleary, Tulalip News

A Tulalip Tribal member and Washington State Legislator, John McCoy has had a significant impact on the reservation simply by being successful. He was elected to serve in the House of Representatives in 2003, and was one of two Native American Representatives in Washington State. On November 27th, 2013, McCoy was unanimously selected by the Snohomish County Council to fill a Senate position left vacant by Senator Nick Harper’s resignation.

“John has always been a mover and shaker,” said Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon. “He’s helped change the way the legislature views Native Americans and has paved the way for our young men and women to follow in his footsteps. He’s brought hope that in the near future we’ll see the face of state politics change to reflect importance of tribes, both as economic drivers in the state and as an important part of the history and culture of this land.”

His resonance with tribes is part of what got McCoy elected, but what’s kept him in office, and made him the frontrunner for the senate seat is his dedication to the everyman.

“My priorities haven’t changed,” said John. “My priorities have always been elders, children and the working adult. During this last interim I worked a lot on migrant, low income and mental health housing. I’ll continue that work. There are dental access issues that I’ll be working on.

“I’ll continue working hard for the 38th Legislative District, Snohomish County and Washington State as a whole,” continued McCoy. “WSU (Washington State University) is coming to Everett, so that’s another thing I’ll be working on. There are some environmental things I’ll be working on. Again, whatever is best for the district, the county and the state, it’s the same stuff, different chamber.”

Tulalip Board of Director and Business Committee Chairman Glen Gobin described McCoy’s appointment by saying McCoy is simply the best man for the job.

“Congratulations to John,” said Gobin. “John has stayed very active and involved, not just the legislative district he is elected to, but all across the state as well as this nation. John also has served, unofficially, as an ambassador for Washington State Tribes, helping to educate those he serves with, and his constituency, about Native American issues as well as misperceptions about Native Americans. John’s commitment to serve the people is reflected in the vote from the Snohomish County Council. I am proud of John. He is well suited to do the work that is needed, and I know well he will do a great job.”

For those who haven’t thought about State governance since high school civics class, McCoy described the differences between the House of Representatives and the State Senate.

“There aren’t as many senators. Each district has two representatives and one senator, 98 representatives and 49 senators,” he explained. “The representatives serve two-year terms and senators serve four-year terms. The house side gets through processes faster, the senate is designed to be more constrained. The Washington State Legislative House cranks out between 3,000 and 5,000 bills a session. Consequently, some are good and some are not. The Senate is more pragmatic and selective, they work the issues more. That’s by design.”

That pragmatism is a good fit for McCoy who believes his popularity in politics are a result of being honest and caring, but blunt.

“I don’t beat around the bush,” said McCoy, “I had a couple meetings this morning with some folks who wanted money. I said, ‘I support your issues, but I don’t know that we can get you money this year.’ It’s about being up front with people and letting them know where you stand. I can’t make everybody happy, but at least they can understand why I can’t make them happy. They generally feel good as long as they know where they stand.”

When the term for his Senate seat ends, McCoy plans to run for election.

“This is a natural step for me,” he said.