The arrogance of elected officials who don’t have to face the voters again is well documented. One need look no further than the record-breaking tax increases Jay Inslee proposed after he got re-elected for a prime example of liberals doing something crazy when they know they won’t have to face the consequences on the ballot.
Even more evidence came from Peter Goldmark, the state’s Commissioner of Public Lands, who is thankfully retiring this week after eight undistinguished years. The public got a preview of his lack of an ethical compass last month from reporters who revealed his increased – and wasteful – use of state airplanes for personal trips of dubious public benefit after he had announced he wasn’t going to run again.
Last week, Goldmark went even further in his misuse of his office to give a big “Thank You” to the extreme environmentalists who had supported his election back in 2008. As noted by the Bellingham Herald, Goldmark decided to try and stop potential economic development in Whatcom by moving land into an aquatic reserve which would prohibit future development.
But that wasn’t all of his on-the-way-out-the-door mischief . According to the Seattle Times, Goldmark also helped out his campaign donors by delivering “a blow to a Longview coal-export terminal by rejecting a tidal-lands sublease needed for a loading dock.”
Now, whether his non-science-based decision has an impact on a project supported by the local community – but hated by Seattle environmentalists – is in question. But the greenies were quick to jump on both moves – and try to raise money off them.
The losers in these last-minute deals are taxpayers and local communities. But since Goldmark doesn’t have to ask for their votes anymore, he simply did not care.