When given the opportunity to clarify conflicting Democrat actions on rural internet access, Governor Inslee chose to confuse the situation further.
This week’s Newsmaker Interview is with the Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party Caleb Heimlich. With the end of the 2021 legislative session (which Heimlich labeled as “brutal”), we thought it would be interesting to obtain the thoughts of the person who is responsible for leading the effort to turn the radical and expensive laws passed by the Democrats into opportunities for Republican candidates. Heimlich shares the state party’s plans for 2022 as they work for a repeat of 1994 and 2010, when voters overwhelmingly rejected the misguided and unpopular policies of the Democrats and elected Republicans in record numbers. Heimlich also describes how he chose to “lead by example” in condemning the political violence which took place on January 6th and the “hypocrisy” of Democrat officials who remain fixated about the acts committed by fringe Trump supporters but have remained silent about the numerous acts of violence committed by their supporters. (Click to read full Newsmaker Interview)
In a Spokesman-Review column, Chris Cargill of the Washington Policy Center provides a solid argument for why the legislature needs to amend the state’s emergency powers laws which have allowed Governor Jay Inslee to ineptly rule the state without legislative oversight for more than 450 days. Cargill states that, “one-person rule has kept the state in lockdown, jumping from one market-tested slogan to another, without a true plan in place. Remember ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’? How about ‘Washington’s Recovery Plan,’ or ‘Safe Start Washington,’ or ‘Healthy Washington – Road to Recovery’? None have returned us to an open economy and society.” While other states (Hawaii, New York and New Mexico) with Democrat legislatures have restricted the powers of their Democrat governors, Washington State Democrats have sat on their hands as Governor Inslee’s powers have gone unchecked. This apathy by Democrat legislators has led to the disastrous vaccine rollout (remember Washington was at the bottom of all states for immunizing residents as the third wave hit over the holidays) and treating counties differently even though they had identical immunization rates. Cargill argues that if the legislature returns for a special session to pass a transportation budget, they should first amend the emergency power laws to end Governor Inslee’s dictatorial reign and to make sure this abuse of powers at the state level never happens again. (Spokesman-Review, Daily Briefing, and Shift)
The normally liberal Vancouver Columbian criticized Governor Inslee and the Democrat controlled legislature for providing unnecessary confusion over delivering much needed internet access to rural Washington residents. Currently about 10% of the state’s residents, most of whom are in rural areas, do not have access to the internet. The solution is to empower local utilities to provide the necessary infrastructure and service. Yet the legislature passed two conflicting bills (House Bill 1336 and Senate Bill 5383), with the House legislation providing broader authority for the utilities than the Senate version. Instead of resolving the issue, Governor Inslee (the fifth highest paid governor in the country) decided to shirk responsibility by signing both bills at the same time using both hands and out of sight of cameras. Since the latest signed bill takes precedent, Inslee’s circumspect action failed to resolve the confusion and thus Secretary of State Kim Wyman was forced to ask the courts to decide which bill will take precedent. This is yet another example of Governor Inslee and the Democrats further dividing our state by showing their disdain for those who live outside urban Puget Sound. It is easy to believe that if one of Inslee’s liberal special interest financial supporters didn’t have access to the internet, he wouldn’t have caused pointless delays in providing it to them. (Vancouver Columbian, Washington Legislature Bill Summary, and Secretary of State media release)
The Washington Observer provides a concise overview on why the state’s tribal leaders felt betrayed by Governor Inslee’s recent veto of a section of the Cap-and-Trade bill. In a nutshell, the tribes feel that Inslee removed rights they were given in treaties so that tribal governments could not delay implementation of his extreme climate agenda. Tribal leaders responded to Inslee’s actions by labeling the governor (who the tribes have financially supported) “a snake.” The Observer concludes that Inslee is likely hoping that the 10% of the funds received from Cap-and-Trade auctions (approximately $840 million by 2040) that the tribal governments will receive, will be enough to silence their outrage over his betrayal. (Washington Observer)
A King County Superior Court heard testimony today in a lawsuit over the job-killing employee tax the City of Seattle has created to punish companies which are successful. The Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit against the city’s inappropriately named “JumpStart” tax which will likely cause many companies to move their high paying jobs to other communities. The Chamber’s attorneys argued that the tax violates the state’s constitution and will slow the city’s recovery. The judge stated she will issue her ruling next week. (Seattle Times)
Lawsuits, employee walkouts, and dysfunction reign at the Bellingham Municipal Court. It began when the court’s union employees felt the building’s security cameras were being used to spy on employees and monitor their work. Union officials complained and when they failed to get a sufficient response, six employees walked off the job and union leaders brought their complaint to the Bellingham mayor, who then hired an outside attorney to investigate the matter. Mayor Seth Fleetwood informed court employees that failure to participate in the investigation could result in termination. This week, two administrators had their access to the building and computer system disabled allegedly due to not complying with the investigation. The Municipal Court’s Presiding Judge then filed a lawsuit in Whatcom Superior Court stating the mayor’s investigation violated the state’s constitution and separation of powers. Just more wasteful drama that always seem to take place when liberals have control over government. (Bellingham Herald)
The City of Seattle’s liberal leaders took time away from deleting text messages to announce their initial allocation plan for the $128 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds. $50 million has been set aside for “housing and homelessness investments.” It is easy to be skeptical that the money will do anything to alleviate the problem since the billions previously spent by local governments have only made the problems worse with encampments now in nearly every major park in the city. (MyNorthwest)
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) claims it is more prepared for wildfire seasons than they have been in the past. DNR states they have worked with local fire districts to coordinate response and they have a dozen helicopters, six air tankers, and three air platforms to battle the fires that are in tough terrain. These comments were made as the Washington Department of Ecology issued a drought advisory for most of the state, including all of Eastern Washington. (KXLY and AP/Seattle Times)
Senator Judy Warnick (R – Moses Lake) said she will work in future legislatures to work to improve the recent agriculture overtime bill that was passed by the state legislature this year. The bill (SB 5172) was hijacked by urban Democrats who imposed new wage regulations which will be costly to farmers and likely reduce farmworkers paychecks since their hours will be reduced and a second shift of workers will be brought on during high work periods around the harvest. Warnick, who is a farmer herself, noted, “When crops are ready to harvest, like cherries, you need people to pick those cherries now. You can’t wait until next week by asking them to work a 40-hour week, so you have to pick it now. So, there is going to be some extra hours needed to do that.” (Pacific Northwest AG Network and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
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