Jay Inslee and his fellow Democrats are outraged over the fact that state Senate Republicans voted to deny Lynn Peterson’s continued appointment as the secretary of the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on Friday. Effectively, Republicans removed Peterson from office and called for much-needed change in the agency’s leadership.
Inslee’s out-of-touch leadership
After spending the weekend getting back in touch with his inner-Congressman, Inslee went full-on attack dog in a press conference today laced with vitriolic language and out-of-touch claims to slander Republicans for a move that others have applauded. Inslee ended by accusing Republicans of “an election-year stunt.”
Our green governor’s defensive, out-of-touch attitude reveals that he is not going to learn the lesson of what happened. The reality is that Inslee made highly partisan (and some highly unqualified) appointments to key agencies in our state when he took over in 2013. These appointments have only added to the serious problems already impacting the agencies.
Peterson’s proven record of incompetency
Prior to her appointment as WSDOT Secretary, Peterson was an avid bike lane advocate in Oregon. Republican state Senator Steve O’Ban explained the extent of Peterson’s damaging incompetence in a recent interview. MyNorthwest.com,
“O’Ban said it ultimately came down to a lack of confidence in Peterson’s ability to manage the budget. He said there was a pattern of poor performance with large projects, including the I-405 “tolling fiasco,” mismanagement of ferries and ‘some issues related to sexual harassment under her watch.’
“O’Ban said he had his own sour experience with Peterson when it took her more than a year to provide him with a hard estimate on the I-5 buildout he was hoping to include in a transportation package.
“‘I was just shocked that she couldn’t provide a hard estimate when we needed it a year before the package,’ he said.”
Inslee appointed Peterson because she shared his political vision to use WSDOT in pushing his extreme “green” agenda whenever the opportunity presented itself. It all resulted in the imposition of so-called “solutions” meant to force people out of their cars and onto public transportation. In the end, the outright lies (Peterson’s suicide on I-405 claim and WSDOT’s false traffic flow assertions) proved to be too much for Washingtonians to stomach.
Senate Republicans moved to hold a highly problematic agency accountable, and Democrats are upset about it.
Inslee’s more-of-the-same appointment of Pacholke
The appointment of Dan Pacholke as Department of Corrections (DOC) secretary is further proof of our green governor’s tendancy to pick career bureaucrats to take over agencies. Pacholke, who had only been in charge of the agency since last fall, resigned over the weekend due to the stunning controversy regarding the early release of prisoners over the last 12 years.
Again, Pacholke was in over his head in the position our green governor gave him. The DOC knew it was mistakingly releasing up to 3,700 inmates early, in violation of state law, since 2012. But, managers like Pacholke did not fix the problem. Pacholke did nothing to correct the problem, or the overall culture of incompetency, when he took control.
In the end, prisoners who should have never been released in the first place killed two innocent people. Yet, Inslee and his fellow Democrats have the audacity to accuse Republicans of wanting to satisfy a “political blood thirst.”
Incompetency is result of Democrats’ 32-year control of state government
Inslee and the Democrats’ hyper-partisan attacks should come as no surprise– it’s more of the same behavior we have seen for decades. Despite the obvious mismanagement, Democrats reject any criticism of their partisan appointees. Instead, they attempt to distract the public from the unbelievable mismanagement and disturbing corruption that results after 32 years of one-party ruling our state government by blaming the Republicans for doing their job.
The problems in these agencies did not start with Peterson and Pacholke–those are problems 32 years in the making. But, the directors in charge also did not address the problems. The harsh reality is that neither Peterson nor Pacholke would have been considered for a top position in a private company with such serious responsibilities.
It’s time for a serious change in Washington State — and that change has to begin with replacing ineffective leaders.