Governor Inslee continues to spend more time blaming others for his administration’s failures than working to resolve the problems.
Governor Jay Inslee’s hypocrisy on political violence. “Nearly all Democrats (including Governor Inslee) were silent while rioters attempted to lock people inside the Seattle East Precinct before setting the building on fire and when someone (the stepson of a former Democrat legislator) bashed the helmet-clad head of a police officer with a baseball bat. For these same people to demand ‘soul searching’ of others who condemned violence while it was actually taking place is hypocrisy in its purest form.” (Shift Article)
Shift's Newsmaker Interview
This week’s Newsmaker Interview is with Mike Solan, President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Solan describes why so many experienced and well-trained officers are leaving the Seattle Police Department (“Sadly, I have yet to hear one politician on the city council publicly condemn the violence against our officers. This to me is stunning and a direct reason as to why officers are leaving.”), the reversal of Seattle politicians from praising the department for being a model of police reform to cutting police budgets, and how unreasonable “reform” could force communities to reduce employment qualifications in order to hire enough officers. (Shift’s Newsmaker Interview)
Incredibly, Governor Inslee has joined a partisan effort by a small group of Democrat governors demanding more immunization doses from the federal government, despite Washington State ranking near the bottom for vaccinating residents with the initial shipments it has already received. Inslee signed onto a letter, sent by seven other Democrat governors, insisting that they receive the doses the federal government is holding for the necessary second shot. This is Inslee’s latest attempt to deflect attention (let alone any accountability) for the many failures of his administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state received more than 350,000 doses from the federal government in mid-December (and now over 518,000 doses total), yet Governor Inslee’s administration has only administered 121,000 doses (23.4%) and ranks near the bottom (39th) of states’ efforts to dispense the vaccine. Apparently, some those state employees Governor Inslee gave pay raises to last July, have since spent more time figuring out who to blame for their incompetence, than in developing a working plan to administer the vaccine. We should note that seven of the eight governors (from California, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and Wisconsin) who signed onto the letter lead states that are near the bottom of the list for dispersing the vaccine. So, at least Inslee is comfortable among these failed peers. (The Hill, Shift, and Bloomberg)
The Washington State Senate Ways & Means Committee will be holding its first public hearing on Governor Inslee’s unconstitutional state income tax (on capital gains) next Thursday, January 14th, at 4:00 PM. As Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center states, it is extremely easy to register to provide remote testimony on this bill (SB 5096). (Washington Policy Center, Washington Legislature Remote Testimony Registration, and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
Not only is Governor Inslee’s state income tax (on capital gains) unconstitutional, it is also an unreliable source of revenue to fund education or any other government program. In a Tri-City Herald op-ed, the Tax Foundation points out that during economic downturns revenue from individuals’ capital gains plummets. During the 2007 – 2009 “great recession,” capital gains plunged 71%. Capital gains dropped 46% post 9/11, and 55% during the 1987 economic downturn. The Tax Foundation states that, “Nationwide, they (capital gains tax revenues) are the single largest culprit behind state revenue forecasting errors.” But, given Inslee’s fondness for being wrong, this isn’t such a bad thing to him. (Tri-City Herald).
A new poll reveals that only 55% of Washington State residents intend to accept a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available to them. There certainly is a lack of urgency among some people, as 15% of the Elway/Crosscut poll responders said they were certain that they would not get the shot, while 27% said they would wait and see. If these numbers are accurate, this could severely hamper the effort to curtail the virus, as health officials believe 70% of the public will need to be vaccinated to achieve the “herd immunity” necessary to defeat the virus. (Northwest Public Broadcasting)
The Senate Democrat Campaign (SDC), the political arm of the Washington State Democrat Senate Caucus, has attempted to make up for its lack of support for incumbent Senator Mark Mullet (D – Issaquah), by making a $15,000 contribution to his campaign after Mullet won his re-election. Mullet defeated by 58 votes fellow Democrat Ingrid Anderson, who was recruited and strongly supported by government employee unions because Mullet, a small business owner, is not a rubber stamp for all the union demands for higher taxes. The SDC, which is run by Democrat members of the Senate, had stayed out of the 5th Legislative District race, likely due to demands from its big campaign donors in the government unions. (Washington Observer)
After nearly a year of knowing that mass vaccinations would be required, and nearly a month after the state started receiving the vaccination doses, King County bureaucrats say they might have vaccination sites ready in early February. In the latest example of mind-bogglingly poor planning by local Democrats, King County health officials announced they will have immunization sites available “as soon as February 1st.” If this project is like nearly all King County government projects, it is easy to believe that County Executive Dow Constantine’s administration will likely miss this promised target date. The hope of health officials is that they will be able to vaccinate 16,000 residents a day, and it will take more than six months to reach the “herd immunization” goal of 70% which experts project is needed to stop the coronavirus. (Seattle Times)
Sound Transit announced $5 billion in cost overruns on two light rail projects that are still years away from becoming operational. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff was nonchalant about this latest expensive failure from his agency saying, “While these numbers are sobering, they’re not catastrophic.” That’s because it’s not his money that the agency continues to burn through. The Washington Policy Center’s Environmental Director put these huge cost overruns into perspective. For instance, this $5 billion could have paid to eliminate the annual CO2 emissions for 113.6 million cars a year, or provided for 57 years of salmon recovery and habitat. (Seattle Times and Washington Policy Center)
Without providing reasons, the Washington State Supreme Court has delayed issuing a ruling on whether a recall effort against Socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant could go forward. The ruling was originally expected Thursday, but then was delayed to today. Yet the court released a statement earlier this morning saying its ruling will be delayed further. More delays will impact the ability of the recall campaign to collect the 10,700 signatures needed for the recall to appear on either the February or April ballots already scheduled. The Supreme Court needs to rule on the validity of the four charges levied against Sawant by the recall campaign before signature gathering can begin. (MyNorthwest)
Kittitas County Commissioners expressed frustration with Governor Inslee’s latest changes to how and when the state will allow activities to resume. The county has consistently had COVID-19 infection rates that are significantly lower than its Central Washington neighbors. Previously, activities were allowed to resume based on county infection rate numbers. The governor’s latest plan will lump Kittitas County (Ellensburg/Cle Elum/Roslyn) in with Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Columbia County. Yakima has had the highest COVID-19 transmission rates in the state and, along with the Tri-Cities’ counties of Benton and Franklin, was held in Phase I for the longest amount of time, while Kittitas County was one of the first locations to move to Phase II this past summer. Commissioner Brett Wachsmith said, “We started with dials, then phases and now we’re moving to regions, yet we still don’t have the understanding as to what is expected to get our economy and schools back to normal.” (Ellensburg Daily Record and Inslee’s Healthy Washington announcement)
Previous Shift Article
Governor Inslee and the Democrats want to cut funding for classroom education and the Washington Education Association is not happy. Despite Washington State voters shooting down the renewal of state-sponsored racial quota policies in 2019 (with their “reject” vote on Referendum 88), Governor Inslee has included over $30 million on dubious equity and diversity programs at the state’s community colleges and universities in his budget proposal. He proposes stealing money for these new programs form the state’s budget for classroom education. (Shift Article and Secretary of State 2019 election results)
Previous Shift Feature
Today we provide Part II in Shift’s presentation of former Congressman Rod Chandler’s Top 21 photographs of 2020. We posted Part I on Tuesday. Today we have Rod’s Top 10 pictures (plus an additional “Honorable Mention”) which vividly reveal the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. If you like what you see, please visit Rod’s website at RodChandlerPhotography.com. We thank Rod for his excellent work, and we look forward to more of his art in 2021. (Shift Feature and Rod Chandler’s webpage)
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