Governor Inslee’s repeated failures during the COVID-19 pandemic have prolonged the financial anxiety experienced by many Washington State residents.
You did not see this in his campaign ads: Governor Jay Inslee’s Administration has failed at nearly every task required of it during the COVID-19 pandemic. From numerous failures at the Employment Security Department to catastrophically failing to conduct contract tracing, the Inslee Administration has been a major disappointment, especially to those who are suffering. Now we find out that, despite have nine months to prepare, the Inslee Administration is failing to dispense the vaccines it has received to front-line health workers. These administrative and management breakdowns have been compounded by the partisan and divisive decisions made by the governor. Instead of being a unifying leader during this crisis, many Washington residents have lost confidence in Governor Inslee’s random decisions, and his failures have resulted in prolonged financial insecurity for many Washington residents. (Shift Article)
Governor Inslee’s latest plan to eventually allow restaurants and other small businesses to reopen is being universally criticized by those in the hospitality industry. The governor’s “Healthy Washington” plan is an attempt to re-brand his confused “Safe Start” plan, and is based on eight regions (instead of 39 counties) – and restarts everyone back to “Phase I”. Washington Hospitality Association CEO Anthony Anton said, “Today’s announcement is not a roadmap to recovery. It is a roadmap to a near-complete collapse of main street neighborhood restaurants and hospitality businesses.” Anton also stated that data shows that the spread of the virus has not been caused by those frequenting commercial establishments, but by those gathering in private locations (often because restaurants and bars are closed) where there are not safety measures in place. Many restaurant and bar owners are concerned about the governor’s new plan for weekly decisions by state bureaucrats on whether to open or close their businesses. As the owner of Queen Anne Beer Hall points out, this new process will wreak havoc on ordering and preparing perishable food items, for they cannot afford to order food items on Friday only to be shut down by the state on the following Monday. (Seattle Times and Facebook Group Seattle Restaurant Support)
The Washington Retail Association (WRA) is pleading with state legislators: “Do not harm. Leave us alone,” and allow small business employers to rebuild their businesses. WRA Vice President Mark Johnson said there are two simple things state lawmakers can do to help retailers. The first is to prevent businesses’ unemployment tax rates from skyrocketing, as the state attempts to rebuild the benefits’ account which was decimated by Governor Inslee’s shutdown orders. The second is to delay further the ban of plastic grocery bags until at least July. (The Lens)
The Democrats and their special interest allies needed to spend the most money ever to unseat an incumbent Washington State legislator to defeat Senator Steve O’Ban last November. Senator-elect T’wina Nobles needed to spend a whopping $939,000 (over $26 for each vote she received) to win the senate seat in Pierce County’s 28th legislative district. (News Tribune and Washington Secretary of State Election Results)
Idaho’s population growth rate has outpaced all other states in the past five years. Mostly fueled by the desire of individuals seeking to depart high taxes and big government in California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, the Gem State has experienced an 11% growth rate since 2015. (Puget Sound Indexer)
It has been reassuring to see many Washington State Republican leaders and organizations condemn the violence that has taken place in the nation’s capital today despite it being caused by President Donald Trump’s supporters. It is the type of leadership many people were seeking from Washington State Democrat officials and liberal organizations during last summer’s violence in Seattle caused by Left-wing extremists. Instead, we witnessed Governor Inslee act as if he never heard of the violence which had made national news, and complete silence from nearly all state Democrat organizations and officials, including the Washington State Democrat Party, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and all members of Washington State’s Democrat congressional delegation. (See more Twitter reactions on today’s events from GOP officials below in our “Overheard on the Internets” section.) (Caleb Heimlich Twitter and Rebecca Perry Twitter)
While announcing she will not be running for mayor in 2021, Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda fails to remember that after decades of liberal control of city government, the “inequalities” she says exist in Seattle are the result of liberal policies like her own. In her statement, Mosqueda decries “the small businesses that are sitting shuttered on the corners of our neighborhoods,” yet she fails to recognize that it was Governor Inslee’s shutdown orders and Seattle’s own labor laws that have closed many of these businesses. (Crosscut)
The new publishers of the Centralia Chronicle came out in strong support for a bipartisan plan to reopen schools, which was introduced by Senator John Braun (R – Centralia) and Senator Mark Mullet (D – Issaquah). The proposal would require school districts to offer in-person learning if the community’s positive COVID test rate fell below 5 percent for two consecutive weeks. Currently school reopening decisions are based on the number of COVID cases per 100,000 residents. Chad Taylor, whose family just purchased the Chronicle, stated, “This legislation will create clearer guidelines and more clarity, and we urge lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle to support it for the health and betterment of our state’s children.” (Centralia Chronicle)
Good to see Governor Inslee finally admit that major Washington State employers have a positive impact on our communities. In a tweet, the governor praised Amazon for its $2 billion commitment to build affordable housing in King County. This is a different attitude from our governor. During his failed presidential campaign, the governor went on national TV and equated the Boeing Company to “muggers” and “blackmailers” as he desperately sought support from the anti-business liberal activists who determine the Democrat Party’s nominee. As a result, when decisions were made to consolidate production of its 787-line last year, Boeing chose to close its Everett operations and move all 787 manufacturing to the more business-friendly climate of South Carolina. (Governor Inslee Tweet and NPR/KUOW)
The Washington State farming advocacy organization Save Family Farming has come out in strong support of Gebbers Farm and against the $2 million fine that has been levied against the business by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries for COVID-19 violations. The group stated, “The $2 million fine cannot be justified by the accusations, especially since a crucial one has already been thrown out by a judge.” A Save Family Farming spokesperson also asserted, “Such a large fine requires an exceptional level of violations and unassailable proof. But it appears that proof is missing.” One has to wonder who the state is fining for the many COVID-19 violations that have occurred at state-run facilities? (iFIBER One)
Former Congressman Rod Chandler is sharing with Shift’s readers his Top 20 (ok, 21) nature photographs of 2020. For the past year, Shift has featured Rod’s beautiful work at the top of our Monday editions of the Daily Briefing. Rod has selected his favorites from the past year, and provided comments to give readers some background on each picture. Today we will share Rod’s #11 – #21 photographs from 2020 and we will post his Top 10 photographs tomorrow. (Shift Feature)
Overheard on the Internets
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