Governor Jay Inslee had to face questions from someone who wasn’t at one of his many fundraisers for the first time in months, and it did not go well at yesterday’s campaign debate. Bill Bryant kept pointing out the many mistakes of the Inslee administration – failing to adequately fund our public schools, letting prisoners out early, making congestion on I-405 even worse, etc. – leaving the “green” governor with little to do but try and change the subject.
Multiple media sources covered the debate in Spokane, providing voters around the state a chance to see and hear just how poorly Jay is doing his job.
Just consider his response when asked what he thought was the biggest failure of his first term, as reported by The News Tribune: “Inslee at first deflected with humor: ‘I don’t know, taking that check you contributed to me when I ran for Congress in 1994?’”
That right, when faced with his many failures in the last four years, Inslee tried to get a laugh about a campaign contribution he received from Bryant over 20 years ago. And when he did answer the question semi-seriously, he picked a subject over which the governor has no control: “Inslee went on to say his biggest regret in office has been seeing an increase in homelessness.”
Evidently the fact that the state being held in contempt of court for not providing enough money to our public schools, or letting inmates out early who go on to commit horrific crimes, doesn’t quite bother Jay.
Nor was the truth something that Jay was troubled by. In a fundraising email to supporters immediately after the debate, Inslee told the whopper that “I’m the only candidate who is committed to building a world-class education system here in Washington state.”
The fact that he had to be dragged kicking and screaming by Senate Republicans into lowering college tuition, and has said we can only fund our schools if we create a state income tax, equates in Inslee’s mind to “building” a better school system.
The Seattle Times also caught Inslee being less than truthful in the debate, reporting that reporting that “Inslee said Bryant ‘fundamentally … doesn’t believe in the minimum wage”, even though Bryant said repeatedly during the debate that he does support minimum wage laws that are tailored to the various regions of the state. Evidently Inslee’s big-dollar union contributors didn’t tell him that would be OK, so he stayed on his false attack.
Nor was Inslee able to ignore his economic failures, as the Times reported it was true when “Bryant said Washington has ‘one of the highest unemployment rates in America.’ That’s true. Washington’s statewide unemployment rate in July remained at 5.8 percent, the same as the previous six months, according to figures released Wednesday.
That’s about a full percentage point above the national average, and up slightly from the 5.6 percent rate in June of last year. Washington’s rate was tied for 40th among the states as of June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
So, when faced with the truth about high unemployment, underfunded public schools, and mismanagement of state agencies, Inslee resorted to his favorite defense – it must somehow be Donald Trump’s fault, so how could anyone support him? It was an attack that the TNT reported Bryant was waiting for: “Bryant, in turn, accused Inslee of ignoring state-specific issues by focusing on Trump. ‘We’re going to start talking about your four years of failure, and you’re going to have to start defending your record,’ Bryant said.”
And that’s a discussion that Inslee really doesn’t want to participate in. One can only guess how many debates he’ll be ducking in the remaining days of the campaign.