Governor Jay Inslee’s government-run facilities fail to follow state health guidelines and continue to be the source of coronavirus outbreaks.
With details of the historic scam on the Washington State Employment Security Department still being revealed, we thought Representative Matt Boehnke (R-Kennewick) would be the perfect Newsmaker Interview to provide Shift readers with insight on what the Inslee Administration failed to do to prevent “hundreds of millions of dollars” to be stolen from our state’s taxpayers. Boehnke is a first term legislator with 30 years of military and commercial experience in cyber security. While Democrat legislators say they might hold a hearing on this scam next year, Representative Boehnke is calling for a legislative investigation now. (Shift)
Reminder – Shift is looking for our readers’ questions for Governor Inslee. Next week we will be sending the governor about a dozen questions that Washington State citizens want answers to regarding his actions during the coronavirus crisis. Send your questions to [email protected] and we will select your top suggestions to send to Governor Inslee.
As Shift reported previously, Governor Inslee has abandoned his meaningless and inaccurate “dials.” The perpetually confused governor’s office attempted to pass Inslee’s dials off as the “science” and “data” behind his decisions. Yet, when it became obvious to Washington citizens that the dials were an irrelevant smokescreen to provide cover for the governor’s partisan actions, they were tossed aside by the Inslee team. It is interesting to note that the seemingly more accurate data that the governor’s office is now providing shows that Inslee and his team had not really been truthful in their statements that COVID-19 testing has gone up. The new data shows the disturbing fact that testing has gone down – to April levels. Previously Inslee blamed the Trump Administration for the lack of testing, yet other states in the (Democrats only) Western States Pact (and nearly all other states) have increased their testing. The drop of testing in Washington could be costly as the governor has opened more counties to slowly re-open. (Washington Policy Center)
Washington health officials were hyperbolic when some non-violent protestors failed to use social distancing practices when they were demanding that the state allow businesses to re-open, yet some of these same officials have been supportive about the unsafe practices of the recent rioters and protestors. Despite announcements from the local Black Lives Matters organization saying, “the situation is too dangerous for us to encourage greater attendance at these in-person protests,” some local health officials have conveniently disregarded their previous statements that public gathering will negatively impact the well being of Washington citizens and could result in an increase in deaths, as they respond to the recent protests. (Crosscut)
The Freedom Foundation has filed a lawsuit in Chelan County Superior Court to prevent Governor Inslee from using the Labor and Industry Department (L&I) to enforce his emergency orders. The Freedom Foundation attorneys, arguing on behalf of a closed Lake Chelan business, state that “L&I cannot be judge and jury to enforce Inslee’s stay-home edict” and that the Governor does not have the authority to use “emergency orders” since none of the necessary conditions currently exist. (Freedom Foundation media release)
Supporters of Referendum 90 (to repeal Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s controversial sex education legislation) say they have enough signatures to place the issue before state voters in November. The legislation removed parents and local school districts from having a say as to what, how, and when sex education is taught to children. Governor Inslee signed the bill (SB 5395) despite receiving strong public opposition (the governor’s office received 9,850 messages opposing the bill and only 59 in support). Parents for Safe Schools say their goal now is to provide a “cushion” of signatures to ensure they have the nearly 130,000 required by next week to place the referendum on the ballot. (Everett Herald and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
Almost 90 days after Governor Inslee shut down restaurants, bars, and other businesses, most will be able to conditionally re-open in Washington’s three most populous counties. Pierce and Snohomish counties will be moving into “Phase II,” while King County creeps forward into “Phase 1.5.” Even though health officials allowed protestors to violate guidelines for interactions this past week, businesses will be required to limit the number of customers allowed inside their stores. We wonder if looters will have to follow these same guidelines if they break into businesses when the owners are not there to enforce distancing? It is interesting to read King County Executive Dow Constantine’s statement that, “the success of this guidance depends on business owners and community members embracing public health best practices,” while totally disregarding the fact that he supported the largest snubbing of health guidelines in the state when his office passed out a thousand taxpayer-funded facemasks (that were mostly thrown away) to the violent protestors last weekend. (Seattle Times and MyNorthwest)
Police union officials were critical of Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards statement regarding the death of Manuel Ellis and her demand that the “officers who committed this crime should be fired and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Tacoma police union officials called the mayor’s actions “theatric” and that an investigation will clear the officers of wrongdoing. It is interesting to note that in her 2017 campaign for mayor, Woodards received financial support from many government employee unions, but the Tacoma Police Union maxed out its financial support for her opponent James Merritt (News Tribune and Washington State Public Disclosure Commission)
Chelan and Douglas Counties remain two of the five remaining counties, all in Central Washington, which are still in “Phase I.” The two Wenatchee-area counties have filed a lawsuit against Governor Inslee for his previous denial to allow the counties to move into “Phase II.” Chelan-Douglas health officials say they will be applying for the modified “Phase 1.5” like King County. It could very well be a coincidence, but the five remaining Washington counties in Phase I (Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, and Yakima) are five Republican strongholds which have never supported Jay Inslee’s statewide campaigns (and, in fact, were part of the congressional district that voted him out of his office in 1994). But with all the other partisan decisions Governor Inslee has made during the outbreak, it is understanding that same people see this as more than just a fluke. (Wenatchee World, Secretary of State’s Election Results, and Shift)
A coronavirus outbreak hits another state-run facility. Governor Inslee’s Department of Corrections is responsible for yet another mini-epidemic, as 40 inmates and 12 employees of the Cayote Creek Correction Center (located 35 miles north of the Tri-Cities) have been infected with the coronavirus. This follows previous COVID-19 outbreaks at the Monroe Corrections Complex (leading to the release of 1,200 inmates) and the Western State Hospital. Isn’t it ironic that state officials cannot follow the same health guidelines they have imposed on the rest of the state? (Spokesman Review)