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With primary ballots in voters’ hands and the general election approximately 100 days away, the Democrats in Washington State have suddenly flipped-flopped away from their relentless attacks on the police. Governor Jay Inslee led the Democrats’ reversal last week by claiming that he was against the “defund the police” movement. This statement would have perhaps been meaningful if uttered two years ago when the governor’s liberal supporters were violently rioting in the streets of Seattle, illegally taking over portions of the city, and attempting mass murder against police officers. Yet, when he was asked at the time about the attacks on police officers and the shutting down of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, the governor didn’t stand up for those who protect our community, instead he notoriously feigned ignorance and stated, “That’s news to me.”
Obviously the Democrats are seeing the same polls everyone else is seeing. Their legislative candidates, especially in swing suburban districts, are facing a difficult challenge as Democrats are rightfully being blamed for the dramatic increase in crime, inflation, higher taxes, and Governor Inslee’s never-ending abuse of his “emergency” powers (now on Day 878). The Democrats’ sudden support of the police, after passing a dozen anti-police bills during the past two legislative sessions, should be seen for what it is – a campaign gimmick. If the Democrats are able to keep control of the legislature, is there any doubt that the liberal lawmakers will return to their previous pro-criminal ways and support such bills as Representatives Tarra Simmons (Bremerton) and David Hackney’s (Tukwila) HB – 1692 which will reduce the penalties for those convicted of drive-by shootings? (Click to read full Shift Article)
Washington State police leaders broke away from their normal non-partisan stance to put the blame on the Democrats for the significant increase in crime in our state. Sheriffs are stating that Governor Jay Inslee and the Democrats who control the Washington State Legislature are responsible for the legislation which has resulted in Washington State being a more comfortable place to be a criminal. Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo provided this perspective: “See what irresponsible legislation has done and [voters] demand that the situation be reversed.”
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich stated the voters have the opportunity to reverse the out-of-control crime rates through who they support in this year’s legislative elections. The sheriff was not shy in saying there needs to be a significant shift away from the current Democrat majority. “It’s time to communicate and look at who we are putting in the legislature, because these people do not seem to be concerned about your safety, or the safety of the officers that serve you,”
The sheriffs also place blame on the Democrats for their support of the violent riots in 2020 for the current challenge local governments’ face in finding recruits to work for their understaffed departments. Sheriff Elfo said, “The protests, defunding the police, this has had a deterrent effect on encouraging people that we need to get into law enforcement.” (Q13 Fox News)
The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) stated they are willing to work with Governor Inslee on “meaningful actions” after the governor said last week that too few homes were being produced in the state. Currently the median home price in our state is $643,000 and 85% of Washington households cannot afford to buy a home. The high price is due in large measure to the lack of supply because of liberal restrictions and regulations on new home construction. Washington State is currently last in the country for the number of new homes being built per capita.
In a letter to the governor, BIAW’s Executive Vice President Greg Lane laid out four major areas where the state could make changes to allow the construction of more homes. These solutions include reducing permit delays, eliminating regulatory costs and fees, improving zoning flexibility, and reforming growth management. We will see if the governor is serious about making necessary changes to the state’s housing regulations (but we’re not holding our breath).
Currently the governor says he is only willing to talk with city bureaucrats about this issues. But as Lane states, “While we acknowledge that local governments play an important role in housing, it’s homebuilders – our members – who are the ones who actually build homes and communities. And it’s our members who have the expertise to bring you the solutions.” (BIAW media release and Lane letter to Governor Inslee)
Washington State’s unemployment rate has slowly become one of the highest in the United States as the country heads into a recession caused by liberal policies. Our state’s unemployment rate is back to 3.9% (and going up) and only 14 states have higher rates. This is troubling news since many Washington State-based online retailers (such as Amazon) grew their headcounts substantially during the pandemic and many local levels of government (including Washington State) used federal bailout funds to permanently increase the size of their workforce. Boeing is again increasing the number of workers at its manufacturing facilities, yet because of actions by Washington’s Democrat lawmakers, most of those jobs will unfortunately be in other states like South Carolina and Kansas. Thanks Jay! (KONA Radio)
Reminder that the deadline to turn in primary ballots is one week from today. The sooner a ballot is returned the better chance it will be counted on election night, and thus help impact the political narrative of the August 2nd primary election. Usually approximately 50% of the ballots are counted on election night, while the remainder are processed during the following week. Yet the major national political stories are written on election night and the early returns have more impact than the final count announced weeks later. If these national stories indicate that Republican candidates have a legitimate chance to win, then there is a greater likelihood national groups will spend money here to help moderate/conservative candidates in the general election. (Map of Ballot Drop Box locations)
The Democrats’ deliberate softening of the state’s “Three Strikes” laws will allow the killer of a 14-year old girl to soon go free despite him having been sentenced to life in prison. Roy Wayne Russell Jr. of Vancouver was convicted in the 2005 of killing Chelsea Harrison after she got drunk at a party in his apartment. Because he had two previous felony convictions, the judge sentenced Russell to life in prison in accordance with the state’s “Three Strikes, You’re Out” sentencing laws. But soft-on-crime Democrats in the Washington Legislature recently decided that life in prison is too tough of a penalty for those convicted of multiple felonies, so they passed SB 5164 to eliminate many of the crimes which can be included in “Three Strikes” sentencing.
One the felonies the Democrats removed was out-of-state robbery convictions. Thus a judge can now retroactively remove the life imprisonment sentence previously imposed on Russell and allow him to go free when he completes a likely 21-to-30 year sentence for the murder. Russell has already served 16 and a half years and thus can soon be released from custody depending on the exact terms of his revised sentence and if he receives time off for good behavior.
The attorney for Chelsea Harrison’s family (who was originally the prosecutor in the murder case) put the blame for the release of this convicted killer on the Democrat-controlled state legislature. Attorney Jim Senescu, said, “I blame the state Legislature — to pass a law like this that lets something like this happen.” SB 5164 passed the Democrat-controlled State Senate on a straight party-line vote during the 2021 legislative session. A couple of Democrats joined Republicans to oppose the bill in the House, but it still passed 52-46 with only Democrats supporting the bill (and the criminals). (Vancouver Columbian and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
The liberals’ soft-on-crime policies have been a boon for one segment of business – glass repair shops. With more than 22,000 property related crimes in Seattle so far in 2022, one glass company reported a 400% leap in the number of orders to board up windows. They are also experiencing a significant increase in the number of residents and businesses requesting safety and security glass to prevent additional break-ins. Operators of glass businesses state that the damage isn’t just occurring in “bad neighborhoods,” but it is occurring throughout the city. “Business has been crazy and not just for us here…, [but] everyone in the glass industry and field here in Seattle, I think, has been overwhelmed.” (Q13 Fox News)
Some Latinos are upset that the Pasco City Council selected an African American to fill the recent vacancy on the council which occurred when Nikki Torres resigned to run for the Washington State Senate earlier this year. Former Latino council candidate Leo Perales was especially outspoken in his belief that Latino voters had been slighted by council when the remaining members selected African American Irving Brown Sr. to serve in Torres’ former city council seat. Perales said, “The Latinos went backward.” Torres is currently running unopposed as a Republican for the 15th LD Senate seat vacated by the recent retirement of Senator Jim Honeyford. (Northwest Public Broadcasting)
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