Governor Jay Inslee continues to lose public support for his COVID-19 decisions, as he increasingly chooses to place partisan politics over the needs of Washington State residents. The most recent example of Inslee’s misguided approach was the announcement of three “Safe Start” advisory groups, which are stacked with leaders from liberal special interest groups and heaping serving of Inslee campaign contributors.
A quick review of the 30 people named to the advisory groups reveals a collection of people who will tell the governor what he wants to hear. Missing are executives from any of our major employers. Also absent from the group are any Republican elected officials. Or any moderates or conservatives of any kind, it appears.
The formation of these groups is the latest in a series of very partisan decisions which has negatively impacted the lives of millions of Washington residents, and diminished the state’s financial resources. These actions have led many citizens to wonder if Inslee cares more about his re-election campaign than he does about the health and financial well-being of the state’s 7 million residents.
Among the partisan decisions made by Governor Inslee during the COVID-19 outbreak was the April 13th announcement that he had formed the Democrat-only Western States Pact, in which Washington joined with California and Oregon in an agreement “to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies.” Two weeks later, Inslee confirmed the partisan purpose of this group by announcing that the Democrat governors of Colorado and Nevada had joined the pact (while fellow Westerners and Republican governors of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming were excluded).
Prior to the announcement of the pact, Governor Inslee’s list of “essential” workers – those who could go to work – unnecessarily divided our state by claiming government-funded construction projects could continue while commercial construction projects, involving basically the same work, were told to close up shop. (Neither California nor Oregon made this distinction and allowed most construction projects to continue). This discrimination against private sector workers has cost the state millions of dollars, as untold thousands of private-sector workers were unnecessarily forced to join the 1.5 million Washingtonians applying for unemployment benefits in the last month.
Last Friday, May 1st Governor Inslee announced the extension of his “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders to June. And, like he has done with nearly all of his decisions, Governor Inslee failed to consult with Republican lawmakers over these very important decisions, or provide the public with the data that was driving his decisions..
This week, Inslee placed incredibly unreasonable requirements for the Spokane Mayor and her Eastern Washington colleagues to achieve in order for their communities to move forward to “Phase II.” Inslee’s requirement – zero new coronavirus patients for three weeks – will cause even more unnecessary revenue loss for Washington State, as Spokane-area residents can drive a few miles into Idaho where 90% of the state’s businesses are safely opening.
That brings us up to Inslee’s latest divisive action by packing three separate “advisory groups” with political supporters. While laughably claiming the panels are “diverse,” Inslee’s is proving he is only listening to one political viewpoint – his own.
The panels are full of government employees, union leaders, tribal representatives, liberal special interest groups, and political contributors. It is interesting to note that tribal leaders are included, despite the fact tribal casinos are defying Inslee’s orders and are planning to open their doors in the coming days. (Note — It will be interesting to see if Inslee returns the thousands of dollars his campaign has already received from tribal governments which will be defying his orders.)
The membership of these committees definitively prove that Inslee believes in the motto, “You must pay to play.” Besides the unions and tribes, other major Democrat contributors buying their seat at the table include mega-fundraiser Nick Hanauer (represented by a lackey at Civic Ventures – and failed Seattle mayoral candidate – Jessyn Farrell) and Sonya Campion, whose husband donated $250,000 to the PAC that supported Jay Inslee’s failed Presidential campaign.
Hundreds of thousands of Washington residents (of all political leanings) are anxious, nervous, and frustrated about their financial future. Yet Inslee is not listening to their concerns or ideas. Instead our governor is allowing Democrat governors from other states to advise him on how and when Washington State businesses can bring back their workers. At the same time, he is also limiting himself to the views of his fellow far-lefties as he makes decisions that impact all Washington residents.
Apparently, Inslee is not interested in the insightful and experienced ideas of private sector leaders (both big business and small) who will lead our state’s economic recovery. He is not reaching out to learn from agriculture leaders who have kept food on our tables during these financially uncertain times. Inslee does not want to hear from parents who have had to reshuffle their lives to take charge of their children’s education. The majority of our state’s workers are not union members, yet they are not represented either. Spiritual leaders of all faiths have also been excluded. Physicians and dentists are not represented, not even on the Public Health advisory group. We could go on and on with the number of important groups Inslee is refusing to listen to, seemingly because they are not supporters of his campaigns.
Shift, along with many other moderates and conservatives, respected Governor Inslee’s emergency responsibilities during the initial days and weeks of the coronavirus outbreak. The Governor could have rallied a politically diverse group of individuals to come together to bring our state back from this historic crisis. That is certainly what we were hoping for.
Yet Inslee failed to act on this great opportunity. Instead, he has chosen to work exclusively with other states’ Democrat governors and those who support his re-election campaign. Inslee has again demonstrated that he does not do what leaders do, instead he does what self-serving politicians do.