It has been 500 days since Governor Inslee began his undemocratic one-man rule of Washington State.
Washington State Senator Jim McCune provides background in a guest editorial on controversial Critical Race Theory curriculum and provides advice to parents who are seeking to keep this radical philosophy from being taught to their children in public schools. Senator McCune writes “Parents may be alarmed to learn that state sanction is being given to a program to indoctrinate students in leftist philosophy and turn them into social-justice warriors. Certainly some people hold these opinions. But for a teacher to declare them to be fact is to poison our children’s thinking, deepen racial divisions, undermine support for our Constitution and republic, and expose children to harassment, humiliation and abuse based on the color of their skin.” Or, as the Democrats prefer, we can just use race to make decisions. (Click to read full guest editorial)
Today marks the 500th day since Governor Jay Inslee issued his first COVID-19 “emergency” proclamation and began his one-man rule of the state. Through repeated failures during the pandemic, outlined in these four posts (1st Shift article, 2nd Shift article, and 3rd Shift article and one recent Washington Policy Center report), Governor Inslee has stubbornly refused advise from legislators and local officials. Even with the recent lifting of most restrictions, he continues to use his emergency powers without oversight from the legislature. (Governor Inslee media release, Shift archive, and Washington Policy Center)
Plenty of the suspicious financial behavior surrounding former Washington State Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine’s obtaining a new job in the Biden Administration. After being responsible for losing over $1.1 billion of taxpayer money, and being accused of obstructing an audit, it appears even LeVine sensed that she could have difficulties finding her next job. Since most private companies tend to shy away from hiring people who have lost that amount of money, LeVine obvious felt her best career possibility was to use her “unique” skill set in a Democrat administration. And, after the November election, it seems she set her sights on a job with President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration.
Just two weeks after Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, both LeVine and her husband Eric each donated $2,500 to Democrat U.S. Senator Patty Murray (through her Golden Tennis Shoe Committee). Was this political contribution made so LeVine could obtain assistance from Senator Murray in her quest for a federal job away far from the mess she created at ESD? Two days after Joe Biden was sworn in as president, LeVine announced that she had received a job at the U.S. Department of Labor. Then, one week later, Eric LeVine sends $35,500 to the Democrat National Committee. LeVine, who has previously used her fundraising abilities to become the Ambassador to Switzerland during the Obama Administration and that was seemingly her only qualification to be selected by Governor Inslee to lead the ESD, obviously knows the value of making timely contributions to political organizations. While there is no evidence of quid pro quo, the timing of these donations certainly raises many questions. And while Democrats use the term “privilege” to increase the size of government social programs, the Democrats appear to reward the “privilege of good fundraising” with taxpayer-funded jobs. (Federal Election Commission Levine donations to Senator Murray’s campaign, News Tribune, FEC Filing of Eric LeVine’s $35K contribution,
Administrators of the City of Seattle’s outreach program to encampments attempted to force city and non-profit personnel to stop texting on their phones and instead use a texting app which automatically deletes messages after they are viewed. This secrecy push was attempted after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and other senior officials were publicly criticized for allowing their text messages to be automatically deleted and thus unavailable for public records requests. On April 8th, a City of Seattle Human Services Department staff member sent out a memo instructing city workers and others to switch to the Signal app which immediately deletes messages. This was done despite the city prohibiting this type of messaging method. Subsequently, the department stopped using Signal and now uses Microsoft Team app to communicate with the outreach team.
This latest difficulty with transparency drew criticism from open government advocates. Mike Fancher, president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, said that Seattle “has a huge set of problems about openness and transparency, and there seems to be a very lax attitude about openness and transparency in all kinds of ways. And I would hope, for starters, that this becomes a significant issue in the mayoral and council races.” (PubliCola)
The suspected murderer of 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson was arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, and was booked into King County Jail on Monday. Marcel Long is accused of killing Anderson in the CHAZ/CHOP last August, and he was able to flee the scene due to liberal protestors keeping law enforcement and emergency assistance from entering their barricaded section of Capitol Hill. Fortunately police were able to obtain security video which showed an altercation between Anderson and Long, as well a few anonymous reports linking Long to the murder. The attorney for Anderson’s father, who has filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, made the following statement regarding the apprehension of the suspect in his son’s murder. “We are grateful for the hard work of law-enforcement for finally bringing in the suspect who shot Lorenzo Anderson. However, the flawed political system which allowed the CHOP zone to exist and allow lawlessness to reign on Seattle are at the core of why Lorenzo, a Black special needs teenager, bled out and died on June 20, 2020.” (Seattle Times)
While street level employers and retailers state that the City of Seattle needs to do something about the encampments, garbage, and crime in downtown Seattle in order to attract more customers, city officials sit high up on the 56th floor of the Municipal Tower and claim most of the problem is simply perception. The head-in-the-sand attitude of Seattle’s liberal elite has been apparent since KOMO-TV first ran its startling documentary of the city’s homeless problem, “Seattle is Dying.” Despite the overwhelming evidence that the homeless problem has engulfed the downtown business district, the city’s Director of Economic Development, Pamela Banks, says “we need to do a better job getting that word out,” that everything is fine. Banks is of the opinion that a few public events (“We’re gonna do stuff at the aquarium and on the waterfront, and Pioneer Square’s gonna do some really cool stuff,”) ought to change everyone’s opinions about the deplorable condition many areas of downtown Seattle has become. (KNKX and KOMO’s “Seattle is Dying”)
Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott says the impact of liberal state police reform measures is already being felt by the reduced number of applicates for open positions. Sheriff Scott, who is the incoming president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, said that while Seattle and King County are the most impacted (which is reflected in 300 trained police officers leaving the Seattle Police Department over the last year), many rural departments like his are experiencing difficulties in attracting candidates for their open positions. The sheriff said, “The quality of the people we are hiring is excellent, but we’re just not getting the numbers.” The 2021 Democrat-controlled legislature passed 12 bills in its anti-police package of reforms, with many of the new laws coming into effect later this month. (Aberdeen Daily World and Pew Trust)
Those of us at Shift were saddened to hear that Joyce Mulliken, a former Washington State legislator and strong conservative advocate for Eastern Washington, has passed away from cancer. Senator Mulliken served four terms in the House of Representatives and one term in the Senate. She was also appointed to the state’s Growth Management Hearings Board. She was a resident of Ephrata before she and her husband retired in Arizona. Mullikan often enjoyed a spirited debate, yet had the ability to stay friends with those with whom she had disagreements. She was 75 when she passed away last month. (Columbia Basin Herald)
There are reports out of Olympia that Democrat Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins may be backpedaling from her previous strong statements supporting a lawsuit against Governor Inslee for his unconstitutional line-item vetoes within the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) bill. The governor vetoed sections of the bill which linked implementation of his priorities to the passage of a transportation funding package – language which was necessary to obtain the needed Democrat votes to pass the LCFS legislation. So, while the Republican Senate and House caucuses, as well the Democrat Senate caucus, still appear to be strongly behind the lawsuit (which has yet to be filed), reports are that Speaker Jinkins is not as committed. Remember the speaker was the lone Pierce County Democrat legislator who declined to sign onto letter back in May condemning Governor Inslee’s unfair treatment of Pierce County by pushing the county back to Phase 3, while allowing King County to remain in Phase 2 with nearly the same COVID infection rates. (News Tribune and Shift)
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)
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