Jay Inslee, once again, demonstrated just how out of touch with reality he is during a recent interview with the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board. Dismissing the widely acknowledged fact that Republican’s fiscally responsible agenda dominated the 2015 legislative session, our green governor claimed that he “wrestled Republicans to the ground.”
Inslee admitted it was the high-profile defeats of his cap-and-tax scheme and state capital gains income tax plan that have contributed to the perception that his administration is floundering—as exhibited by a recentElway Poll that revealed a mere 30 percent of Washingtonians would “definitely” vote to re-elect him in 2016. According to our green governor, those aren’t the issues people should be focused on. Especially since Democrats obtained “90 percent” of their agenda in the new budget, “including cutting K-3 school class sizes, a gas tax increase to fund transportation and closing millions in tax loopholes.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler points out the problem with Inslee’s reasoning in the Yakima Herald-Republic,“the victories Inslee points to were either issues that already enjoyed a broad consensus, such as more money for education and mental health, or were led by Senate Republicans.
“‘Any area we agree on (Inslee) will claim is his idea,’ Schoesler said in a telephone interview.”
Of course, reality has never kept our green governor from making delusional claims. Inslee went on to brag that he and his fellow Democrats succeeded on “about 125 issues that we won in the budget.” And, outside of Republicans cutting tuition at state universities, Democrats “wrote the rest of the budget.”
It’s unclear how Inslee arrived at the number of winning issues as125. We can only assume he made it up—kind of like during the 2012 campaign when his “75 point jobs plan” never quite added up to 75 points. In any case, we’re not holding our breath for Inslee to actually explain the 125 issues he won on. As for Democrats writing the state budget, Inslee is alone in that opinion.
At the very least, Inslee is finally giving credit to Republicans for cutting college tuition. Though, he conveniently leaves out the fact that Democrats fought against what amounts to a tax break for the middle class the entire session.
Inslee’s staff is avoiding any attempt to help our green governor join reality. Indeed, as Shift recently pointed out, they appear to be encouraging him to live in his alternate reality.
David Postman, a former Seattle Times reporter and current Executive Director of Communications for Inslee, sent out a press release last month attacking his former employer for daring to write favorably about Republican State Senator Andy Hill, the person who actually wrote the state budget. Postman complained about the article, saying “unfortunately none of these facts were reflected in the Seattle Times’ Sunday story where reporters declared Sen. Hill a star. The Times had in its possession the spending data that would have disproved a key thesis of its story, but for some reason chose not to mention it. The reporters didn’t ask for any comment or input from our office and made no effort to check assertions about the budget negotiations with our staff that were in those negotiations.”
The “key thesis” of the Seattle Time’s story that Postman takes issue with is Sen. Hill’s assertion that the budget debate was about “how much money to spend and what to spend it on.” And, Democrats—specifically Inslee—lost that debate, and big time. In an attempt to prove his point, Postman provides a link to “updated documents on the governor’s budget priorities, showing which items were included in the final operating budget.”
The “updated documents” detail how Inslee supposedly won out on key budget priorities, specifically K-12 education and mental health. Conveniently, just like his boss, Postman does not mention the fact that these issues were common ground between Republicans and Democrats from the beginning of session. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle knew—prior to the start of the 2015 legislative session—that they would have to re-prioritize K-12 education and mental health spending, because the state Supreme Court demanded it.
As if his delusional claims concerning the 2015 legislature were not crazy enough, Inslee also asserted that he has lifted the so-called “Cascade Curtain” between Eastern and Western Washington. Inslee bases this claim on the fact he represented the Yakima Valley in the Legislature and Congress for eight years in the 1980s and ’90s, before voters fired him in 1994 and he scurried back to the West side of the mountains to resurrect his political career.
Somehow, we doubt that’s enough to qualify him as the governor who lifted the “Cascade Curtain,” given that he lost every Eastern Washington County in the 2012 election against Rob McKenna.
Inslee wrapped up his interview by refusing to identify his major accomplishments or disappointments during his first term. The former is probably because he couldn’t think of any right then. As for the latter, we’d be happy to provide Inslee with a list for future use.
All in all, it appears that Inslee and his staff members are not ready to join us in reality. Rather, our green governor is proceeding with his ill-conceived attempt to try and confuse people into voting for him again.