Jay Inslee is all about his special interests — and their agenda. Big labor donated millions of dollars to elect Inslee during his last campaign. And, during his first term, Inslee has made sure his million-dollar supporters were well rewarded – using taxpayer money, of course.
For the teachers union, the Washington Education Association (WEA), Inslee:
- Refused to take a public stance on a bill to save voter-approved public charter schools during this legislative session. That followed his refusal to call a special legislative session last fall to quickly address the state Supreme Court’s misguided ruling striking down charter schools as unconstitutional.
- Refused to call the WEA’s strikes what every state court has defined them as – “illegal” – at the start of the last school year. Instead, he stayed silent and allowed the strikes to drag on, leaving children at home and working families struggling to find childcare alternatives.
- Supported House Democrats’ supplemental budget calling for a whopping $487 million in cuts to K-12 class size funding, an act that would have benefitted the WEA. The education-cutting plan exposed Inslee and his fellow Democrats’ stunning hypocrisy on education.
But it isn’t just the teachers union which has made good on its million-dollar 2012 bet on Inslee. Certainly, the state employees union bosses (at AFSCME) are pleased that the $1 million donated to help elect Inslee in 2012 turned out to be such a good investment, given the nearly $1 billion in raises and benefits Inslee gave them in the secret negotiations back in 2014. But, it’s not just monetary gains state employee unions received as a result of their investment.
Notoriously, Inslee gave into the union demand for the right to have its members go on strike against the state (by refusing to cross picket lines) and still get paid, as union leaders demanded from our green governor during the last round of secret negotiations.
More recently, according to a newsletter from the Washington Federation of State Employees, Inslee made a rather odd, highly partisan promise to state public employee unions.
During the meeting with top AFSCME officials, Inslee told the union leaders he intends “to be vigorous in fighting with you against those who want to diminish working people’s rights in the state of Washington” — a direct reference to accountability efforts underway against the state employee unions.
In other words, he pledged to ensure unions are not held accountable for taking advantage of their members and engaging in illegal activities.
Now, Inslee is once again engaged in secret negotiations with state employee unions. And, conveniently enough for our green governor, this particular round coincides with his re-election bid.
You can almost hear the cash register whirring in Inslee’s head.
Inslee and his staff have insisted that his campaign will not impact what happens in negotiations. Of course, given the secret nature of the proceedings, the public only has his word for it. And, with Inslee’s track record of catering to special interests, that word is not all that reassuring.
So, how far will Inslee go for special interests?
He’s taken Washington taxpayers too far into debt for his donors already — and you can bet he’ll go even farther should he win re-election.