“We’re building a new way of governing the state. Olympia’s not doing anything, so the power is shifting from Olympia to people like me.” – Seattle billionaire, Democrat financier and far-left activist Nick Hanauer.
Oh, the astonishing disrespect for the democratic process that so characterizes the far-left. If it means their extreme agenda sees the light of day, how quickly liberals would do away with the principles that govern our free society.
For Democrats who depend on his deep pockets, Seattle billionaire Nick Hanauer is a key figure in Washington State politics. He has long financed the far-left’s agenda and Democrat candidates. He is so comfortable with King County Executive Dow Constantine that he demands special treatment via texts. He appears to believe Democrat lawmakers owe him their allegiance—unfortunately, these politicians tend to agree.
But, as we learned during the 2014 mid-term elections, far-left billionaires (like Tom Steyer) don’t always get their way—no matter how much money they pump into Democrat campaigns. According to the Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat, Hanauer isn’t too pleased with lawmakers in Olympia. Specifically, he is quite upset with the impending prospect of Republicans in the state Senate stopping the statewide $12 minimum wage bill, which the state House passed last week.
In fact, Hanauer is so upset he has made an outright threat. He told Westneat that if the Legislature doesn’t pass the $12 minimum wage bill, he would go to the ballot with “a statewide $16-an-hour minimum-wage initiative in 2016.” The initiative, which he calls “$16 in ‘16” is something Hanauer say he is “dead serious” about doing. Via the Seattle Times,
“They think $12 is high!” Hanauer mocked. “Here’s their real choice: They can accept $12 now, or it will be much, much higher. If you’re the Association of Washington Business, you should run, not walk, to Olympia and demand they pass that $12 wage bill.”
Hanauer has already taken steps to implement his threat—giving credence to the theory that he plans to move forward with his “$16 in ‘16” plans whether or not the Legislature passes the $12 minimum wage bill. According Westneat, Hanauer is “teaming with other politically active groups, such as unions, and has hired two writers from The Stranger to help push his ideas.” Certainly, Hanauer’s deep pockets allow him to “qualify practically any idea for the ballot.”
The billionaire and his paid-for team will likely claim their goal is to aid Washington’s working families and, most likely, they will successfully get a $16 minimum wage initiative on the ballot. But, as is so often the case with liberals and their initiatives, aiding the working class will not be their real goal.
Westneat points out that Hanuaer’s goal is “to ‘disintermediate’ the legislative bodies — to step between them and the voters.” But, though Westneat makes the point, he fails to recognize the discrepancy between the message voters will be sold and what Hanauer really wants. Hanauer himself makes it clear.
“It’s what Amazon did to the bookstores,” Hanuaer readily admits. He goes on, “We’re building a new way of governing the state… Olympia’s not doing anything, so the power is shifting from Olympia to people like me.”
Hanauer is, simply put, advocating a plutocracy. And, bizarrely, Westneat appears to sympathize with the far-left billionaire. Westneat does ask, “… Is this any way to run a democracy?” He even admits that we will have “a plutocrat in a mirrored skyscraper dictating much of what’s to be on the state’s political agenda.” Unfortunately, Westneat then gives Hanauer the upper hand by portraying him as a champion for the people who is acting out of necessity. He writes,
“People should hate that it’s come to this,” Hanauer said. “Who wants to have a clown like me in charge? But when you have lawmakers saying, ‘No, no, no, we’re not doing anything,’ they are just making themselves irrelevant.”
Man’s got a point. Your move, lawmakers — if you have it left in you to make any.
The reality of the situation is quite different. As Shift has reported, Hanauer is an unequivocal snob—easily found among the ranks of the liberal elite—who has, on more than one occasion, exhibited a complete contempt for the lives of working Washingtonians that verges on mockery of struggling families. Though he prides himself in advocating for the working families, he consistently demonstrates a complete ignorance of their daily lives, i.e. living within a budget. Simply put, Hanauer is an elitist, a man who once attempted to position himself as a market dictator at the expense of the middle class.
And now, it appears, Hanauer is ready to position himself as a pseudo political dictator of Washington State. As his nonchalant quotes reveal, Hanauer is quite at ease with the prospect of deposing the representatives of the people in favor of plutocracy… if he is the one in charge.