Shift’s Weekly Photograph from former
Congressman Rod Chandler (WA-08) 1982 – 1992
The Washington State Labor Council released its 2021 legislative rankings, and it is no surprise that Democrat lawmakers who received the most campaign money from union bosses were at the top of the list for sponsoring and supporting bills which put more taxpayer money into labor bank accounts. Of course, that was not a high bar to clear, as the overwhelming majority of Democrats in both the House and Senate received perfect 100% scores for toeing the labor line. Many Democrat legislators who have been the recipients of labor’s largess during campaign seasons were more than willing to lead the charge to help unions become even wealthier. From shutting down non-union detention centers to forcing some property owners to become union members just to complete electrical work in their homes, Democrat legislators were more than willing to support bills which benefitted unions at the expense of taxpayers. (Click to read full Shift article)
The Tri-City Herald questions if Governor Jay Inslee is attempting to repair the damage he has done to his relationship with Native American tribes at the expense of Southeast Washington residents. A few weeks ago, the governor created a rift with his major campaign contributors in the tribal community by first line-item vetoing a section of his Low Carbon Fuel Standard legislation which would have given tribes a voice in determining environmental projects (and was an important component needed to obtain tribal support for the bill). The governor then compounded this attack by then insulting a woman tribal leader (Fawn Sharp, who is the President of the National Congress of American Indians) who was critical of the governor’s veto, by claiming she was not “a real chief.”
The Herald is concerned that Governor Inslee’s sudden reversal on Congressman Mike Simpson’s (R–Idaho) outrageous $33.5 billion proposal to tear down the Snake River dams, which tribal governments generally support, but would severely hurt the Tri-Cities and Eastern Washington’s agricultural community, is the result of the governor trying “to get back into the good graces of tribal leaders” from his previous mistakes. After 16 months of one-man rule in Washington, is it possible that Governor Inslee now feels like a medieval monarch and believes it is alright for his subjects in Southeast Washington to pay for his royal mistakes? (Tri-City Herald and National Congress of American Indians)
Washington State’s Republican legislative leaders are pleased Governor Inslee has finally lifted most of the COVID-related restrictions he has unilaterally placed on Washington residents, but wonder why he will not lift the state of emergency (and thus his one-man rule without legislative oversight) that Washington State has been under for almost 500 days. House Republican Leader JT Wilcox (R–Yelm) and Senate Republican Leader John Braun (R–Centralia) wrote in a Tacoma News Tribune op-ed that Governor Inslee “has yet to explain to the people what it will take for him to let go of the additional control he’s had over their lives for more than 16 months.” The two GOP leaders called on their Democrat legislative colleagues “to join with Republicans to make thoughtful improvements to the state’s emergency-powers law.” Wilcox and Braun assert that, “Our state is not designed to be run by one person. The people never anticipated someone they elected would wield so much control over their lives to such an extent, for so long. They deserve better, starting with clear answers about when this emergency will end.” Or, maybe Emperor Inslee will just decree that his opposition be quiet. (Tacoma News Tribune)
Last week we highlighted a report from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs which revealed that murder in the state had skyrocketed nearly 50%, fraud by 113%, and property crimes over 13%. There was another data point from the report which we failed to mention, and that was that Washington State ranks dead last for the number of law enforcement officers per thousand people. A sizable drop in the number of police officers to population occurred during 2020, when the ratio dropped from 1.24 officers per 1,000 people down to 1.19. Remember, the Democrats’ response to the twin challenge of skyrocketing crime rates and a reduced number of law enforcement officers was to cave into the demands of liberal rioters and cut police funding further, thus making it more difficult for law enforcement to protect the public. But hey, wasn’t the CHAZ just the “Summer of Love” with a limited number of murders? (Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and KPQ)
Seattle’s liberal crime, drug, and homeless policies, and the sporadic riots organized by liberal activists have local tourism officials concerned that the city’s plummeting reputation is damaging their ability to attract conventions. The city’s homelessness crisis was already making national headlines prior to the pandemic, and last summer’s ongoing violent protests and the Seattle City Council’s caving into rioters’ demands to “defund the police” department have further eroded Seattle’s previous distinction for being a popular place to hold major conventions and trade shows. President and CEO of Visit Seattle Tom Norwalk said the ongoing national spotlight on the city’s worsening homelessness problem and last summer’s violent riots is making it difficult to book events in Seattle. “We’ve got conventions’ decision makers that live in other markets, that have a large geographical base of delegates and attendees, and they are hearing from some of their attendees that they really don’t want to go to Seattle in 2022, or whenever, because it may not be safe.” (Q13’s The Divide/Facebook video)
Spokesman-Review’s Shawn Vestal is being criticized for both inaccurately reporting statements made by pro-Snake River dam advocates and by falsely claiming that a person ducked criticism of their remarks by not replying to his never sent email. In an article published over the weekend, Vestal erroneously depicted Washington Policy Center’s (WPC) Todd Myers’ previous statements regarding the number of salmon returning to the Snake River to advance his own liberal view of dams. In a column recently published in the Spokesman, Myers responded to statements from environmentalist, who claimed that Snake River Chinook salmon could be extinct in five years, by stating the facts that the 2021 run was 27% larger than it was in 2020, and 55% larger than 2019. In his column, Vestal purposefully misrepresented Myers’ comments to imply everything is fine on the Snake River, when Myers was simply pointing out the inaccuracy of environmentalist’s arguments.
Vestal then attempted to discredit Myers’ character by insinuating Myers was ducking criticism of his column by writing, “Myers did not respond to an email seeking comment about the criticism of his salmon math.” Yet Myers stated he never received an email from Vestal and when pressed by Myers to produce the email, Vestal stated he could not find the email.
As Myers points out, he is not a difficult person to reach. Besides email, his phone number is prominent on his WPC web page, and he is very active in social media. Myers writes, “(Vestal) wanted to get a little jab in at me. Insinuating I didn’t respond because I was ducking him. He did the minimum necessary (and didn’t even pull that off) so he could take a cheap shot.” We should note that the Spokesman acknowledged Vestal’s reporting error by removing the line about Myers not responding to an email in its online version of the column. (Myers Facebook Post, Shawn Vestal Spokesman column, Todd Myers Spokesman op-ed, and Spokesman Editor’s comment about revising Vestal’s column)
Wheat farmers are upset with the response they have received from the Inslee Administration as they ask for assistance due to the drought which has severely impacted their crops. The governor refused to declare a drought emergency requested by the Washington Association of Wheat Growers and Washington Grain Commission. Fifth-generation wheat farmer and Washington State Senator Mark Schoesler (R – Ritzville) understated his frustration with the governor by saying the response from the state was “less than what one would hope.” Gee, how often has that been said over the last 500 days of Jay Inslee’s one-man rule? (Lewiston Tribune/Ritzville Journal)
While we originally thought it would take a two-part series to detail the many failures of Governor Jay Inslee during the pandemic, there is simply so much material we had to expand our series to three articles. Recently, the governor appeared to disregard the wreckage the pandemic and his non-scientific restrictions caused for many in the state, when he congratulated himself in front of any TV camera he could find. He proclaimed he had “won the Super Bowl”, even as thousands of Washington residents lost their life savings and their dreams of owning a business, while others suffered in addiction as both alcohol and marijuana sales skyrocketed. In this article Shift, takes a further look into some of the unscientific decisions that were made by the governor, which resulted in crushing the dreams of many Washington State residents, but ones for which Governor Inslee believes he should be handed a trophy. (Click to read full article)
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