The “green” governor, Jay Inslee, has sent three fundraising emails since the 2015 legislative session wrapped up last Friday. No longer constrained by the fundraising restrictions that prohibit raising money during session under state law, Inslee is scrambling. And, he is doing so via a weeklong fundraising drive that he kicked off on Saturday.
Inslee is attempting to appeal to his supporters—and add new supporters—by declaring victory on the legislative session he just got embarrassed in, and claiming he played an important role. Just as he did during a recent press conference, Inslee is trying to make it appear as though his agenda won out.
Here’s what an email sent out on Saturday said:
“I said we would get big things done this legislative session, and we did!
“After six months — over two months longer than originally planned — we addressed some of the biggest issues facing our state and won…
“The Governor’s office was essential to producing this equitable budget and now more than ever, with a divided legislature, the Republicans understand the importance of who is Governor of our state…”
Jay Inslee appears unable to understand that declaring victory does not mean you won. It also doesn’t mean people are going to believe you won. Media outlets across the state agree that Republicans dominated this legislative session. The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat recently put it this way,
“You can see it on their faces. Maybe it’s so clear because it’s so unusual in our blue state: Republicans are winning the state legislative session.
“If you watch the few news conferences and hearings still being held in a mostly empty Capitol in Olympia, it’s obvious the Republicans know it’s all going their way. They’re just waiting around now for the Democrats to cave.
“Even the questions from the press imply it.”
Westneat goes on to point out that Democrats—including Jay Inslee—staked their entire message on calling for new taxes. However they attempt to spin it (Shift reported on a rather pathetic attempt by Inslee), the reality is that Democrats failed… epically. By far the biggest loser to emerge from the fray is Inslee.
Even Inslee’s so-called friends found him lacking. Just consider that following the legislative session, Ross Macfarlane—a leading extreme environmentalist and Senior Advisor for Climate Solutions—tweeted the following biting remark aimed at Inslee:
Inslee struck out on all of his top priorities, including a new state income tax on capital gains (strike 1), a new cap-and-tax plan to raise energy prices (strike 2), and jamming through a fuel mandate (by executive order, not legislative vote) to raise the price of gasoline (strike 3.) That Inslee is now claiming he had an impact during the legislative session is, simply put, laughable.
Inslee proved himself such an ineffective leader the could not even muster enough support from members of his own party to pass a single one of his priorities out of the Democrat-controlled state House, let alone smoothly pass a budget that was already agreed upon. Inslee commands so little regard among the members of his own party that Senate Democrats where able to stand next to him as he signed the budget knowing full well that they would not, in the end, vote on all the terms to balance said budget.
As Shift reported, Inslee appears to have so little respect that lawmakers have a nickname for him: “Gov. (Rodney) Dangerfield.” According to GOP state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, lawmakers sometimes jokingly refer to Inslee as “Gov. Dangerfield” because he is such a “non-factor in what is going on and his ideas don’t get a lot of respect.”
Now, that hardly sounds like the treatment of a governor who was able to produce an “equitable budget” and it also doesn’t sound like the treatment of a governor who Republicans “understand the importance of.” Rather, it sounds like an equitable budget was produced despite an obstructive, irrelevant governor.
No Inslee fundraising push would be, well, an Inslee fundraising push, without a hearty dose of hyper-partisan attacks. Inslee’s most recent fundraising email points out that he already has one opponent for his next run as governor, and more are on the way. The email reads,
“Here’s the scary part: These opponents will be backed by the same far right business groups that are staunchly opposed to many of my priorities such as raising the minimum wage and cutting carbon emissions — and they’ll spend millions of dollars attacking my campaign to keep us from moving forward.”
Apparently, those who do not back a minimum wage increase and those who do not back Inslee’s extreme green agenda are classified as far right. Of course, that would mean top economists who warn of the negative consequences of raising the minimum wage are far right. And, it would mean that the majority of state House Democrats who refused to go on record supporting Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme are also “far right”.
Inslee also decides to attack Republicans by using the getting-old-fast “they’re supported by far right groups willing to spend millions” line. By doing so, Inslee reveals his hypocrisy. You see, California billionaire Tom Steyer—an extreme greenie and hypocrite, supports Inslee. Steyer has poured millions into ensuring that Inslee’s agenda sees the light of day (thankfully, to no avail). And, Steyer has sought to support Inslee—and his fellow Democrats—by laundering $1 million through groups like the Washington Conservation Voters.
If Inslee is concerned about outside donors seeking to influence state politics through million of dollars, he only has to look at himself. In the end, the hard reality that Inslee has yet to accept, or perhaps admit, is that not even members of his own party respect him and his agenda.