Last week, the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association mistakenly awarded Jay Inslee an award for “his work to keep state government open, transparent and accountable.” Rowland Thompson, executive director of Allied Daily Newspapers, went as far as to say Inslee’s administration is the “most open administration” he has ever worked with.
We call BS on that.
In no way does Inslee deserve a transparency award, of any kind. Not when he spent more than one year blatantly lying to the media and the public about his plans for a fuel mandate. Clearly, Mr. Thompson missed that.
Throughout 2013 and early 2014, Jay Inslee and his staff denied the existence of any plan to bypass the Legislature and implement a fuel mandate by executive order. At a January 2014 forum hosted by the Associated Press, Inslee claimed not to have made a decision concerning a fuel mandate. And, in a letter attacking State Senate Republicans for questioning his plans to impose a fuel mandate, Inslee wrote, “That you say I have to “come clean” implies I have in some way been hiding my intentions. This is offensive and untrue.”
Inslee’s staff also engaged in the fierce denial. Spokesman David Postman said in January 2014,“No decision has been made about fuel standards, and much work and analysis has to happen before any decision is made about which policies should be pursued to reduce carbon pollution.”
In spring of 2014, a Shift investigation uncovered the truth about Inslee’s plans to implement a fuel mandate by executive order—proving that Inslee and his staff deliberately misled the media and the public regarding their plan. It took reading through some 2,000 pages of emails and work plans acquired via a public records request from the Governor’s office, but the truth came out in the end.
Shift’s investigation forced Inslee to abandon his attempts of denial. Instead, he reverted to avoiding the issue and attacking Republicans—a strategy he has employed ever since.
Here are three other times Inslee and his administration proved they do not deserve a transparency award: