Democrat State Representative Judy Clibborn, chair of the House Transportation Committee, still refuses to give a bill that proposes fixes to the Washington Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) failed I-405 tolling scheme a hearing. However, ignoring more substantial reforms, she has felt enough pressure to request that WSDOT implement some changes present in the bill.
In an attempt to portray herself as a victim – while acting like the typical Democrat who abuses her power and has been in Olympia far too long – Clibborn told the Seattle Times that she has been “brutalized.” She said of her decision to allow for some changes to the tolling scheme, “I did not do this for me. I did this because we need to show people we are hearing them.”
Clibborn’s tone-deaf comments reveal her self-involved, special interest-driven approach to leadership. Clibborn is not the one who has been “brutalized” in this scenario. It’s the average commuter who cannot afford the obscene costs for the privilege to use toll lanes on I-405 and who is forced to endure longer commute times and a reduced number of general-purpose lanes that have “brutalized” by Democrats and WSDOT.
Moreover, Clibborn isn’t actually hearing the people. If she were listening, she would get out of the way and allow a perfectly reasonable bill (that has garnered enough bi-partisan support to pass both the state House and the state Senate) to come to a vote in her committee. If Clibborn were listening, she would stop grossly abusing her power and allow the people’s representatives the opportunity to actually represent them.
It’s one thing to tell the truth and admit that she has no respect for the will of voters or her fellow lawmakers, but for Clibborn to attempt to hide behind the sympathy-fishing rhetoric that appeared in the Times is intolerable. In light of her dishonesty, we decided to help Clibborn out with a couple of more truthful lines she could feed to the media the next time she has the opportunity.
- “I’ve been brutalized”. Instead, she could honestly say, “Constituents are complaining, which I usually ignore, but now even Democrat legislators are complaining that we have to make it look like we are doing something.”
- “I did not do this for me.” Instead, “this is all about the politics of special interests, not me. I’m safe. I did this to try to save Jay Inslee and our state House Majority for Frank Chopp. I need to make them happy, not the voters.”
- “I did this to show we are hearing the people.” Instead, “I can’t keep pretending this failed I-405 tolling scheme doesn’t matter to anyone. I have heard my Democrat colleagues say my transportation committee chairmanship is on the line. To keep my power, I need to make it seem like we are doing something, but I can’t upset the liberal donors who believe this tolling stuff will make people switch to buses.”
Rep. Clibborn, any one of these new quotes will do for truth’s sake. But, please, stop pretending you are respecting the people when the simple test of whether you are listening or not is if you allow a popular, bi-partisan bill to see the light of day.