Shift’s Weekly Photograph from former
Congressman Rod Chandler (WA-08) 1982 – 1992
The extremely partisan 2021 legislative session revealed the Democrats’ true political agenda – make state government larger and more powerful (both at the expense of taxpayers), and force the rest of the state to live under the same failed liberal social policies which have taken Seattle from being America’s “Most Livable City” into a continuous series of homeless encampments and unsafe neighborhoods. Despite state revenues exceeding pre-pandemic levels, the Democrats went on a spending spree, imposing new taxes and raising existing ones, all while jamming through inefficient and costly environmental regulations which will drive up the price of fuel, thus hurting low-income families the most. Not content with just increasing the cost of living in the state, the Democrats were inspired by the “defund the police” crowd to make many communities less safe by passing several “soft-on-crime” bills. While these actions likely made wealthy liberal special interest groups happy, they have also motivated more reasonable moderates and conservatives to work harder to take back control of the state from the far-Left in 2022. (Click to read full Shift Article)
While people from around the state are being forced to wait until Tuesday to hear whether up to 17 counties could be arbitrarily moved back to Phase 2 in Governor Jay Inslee’s questionable “re-opening” plan, a King County Councilmember said further restricting counties is “old line thinking.” Councilmember Reagan Dunn said, “we ought to not be thinking the way we were thinking about this last year, and be thinking about a new reality.” A reality which will soon include a majority of the adult population being fully immunized. While encouraging people to get their shots, Dunn said, “but if you don’t want to, that’s your risk. You’re making that call.” Instead of punishing those who have already been vaccinated by moving their counties back according to an arbitrary “plan”, Dunn encourages a better education campaign. “We need a more blended approach, and that approach is let’s keep the businesses open at least at some functioning level. Let’s encourage everyone who can to get vaccinated — not mandated, but make it strongly encouraged — and let’s keep this thing going.” (My Northwest)
A Vancouver Columbian columnist equated the legislative Democrats’ drug bill as “more carrot, and less stick” for drug treatment and was skeptical that it will work. Previously, many people sought drug treatment in lieu of pending criminal sentences. The bill passed by the legislature allows people caught with “personal use” amounts of heroin, meth, LSD, and other dangerous drugs to not be charged with crimes for their first two offenses, but rather encouraged to seek treatment. Columnist Ann Donnelly wrote that rural communities will be severely impacted due to a lack of resources. State Senate Republican Leader John Braun detailed the recent death of his nephew during his floor debate statement on the bill, saying “he lived in a place where they have no method to use our legal system to … keep folks in treatment. People will die because of the path we’re taking.” (Ann Donnelly in the Vancouver Columbian)
After reading the exit interviews from some of the 200+ Seattle police officers who have departed the city’s police force in the last 12 months, reporter Brandi Kruse placed the blame on the city council and the region’s liberal establishment for creating a “hostile and unsafe work environment” for law enforcement. Kruse provided actual examples of the workplace the Seattle City Council created for its police officers, and asked viewers if they would stay in jobs where the following took place. 1) “Your boss kept threatening, publicly, to lay you off based on the color of your skin.” 2) “Your boss suggested outsourcing your job to people with a fraction of your qualifications.” 3) “People come to your work, lit it on fire with you inside, and your boss acted like it was no big deal.” 4) “You are working, and someone tells you in front of your boss, that you should kill yourself, and your boss didn’t say anything, didn’t stand up for you.”
Kruse pointed out the obvious to everyone who is not a Seattle City Councilmember – no one would want to work under these conditions. Yet, the city council has forced its police officers to work under these attacks and concluded, “It is shocking to me that some of these officers have not sued the city. Any private corporations would be buried in litigation.” (Q13’s “The Divide”)
The Bellevue School District has caved into the demands of a small group of liberal activists to remove school resource officers (SROs) from its middle and high school campuses for the rest of the school year. This has obviously upset many parents, yet the district’s leadership is not responding to questions surrounding the “defund the police”-inspired move. The district has only stated that they are reviewing their policies regarding the SROs, who are provided by the Bellevue Police Department. Many parents believe Superintendent Ivan Duran sought “to be politically correct” by appeasing a small group of people in “fringe groups.” Makes one wonder if Superintendent Duran is seeking a job with the Seattle Public Schools where adherence to liberal policies is more important than student safety. (KOMO News)
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is seeking approval to raise its rates more than 20% in the next five years, mainly because governments at all levels can keep raising the amount of money taken from residents without fear of liberal activists protesting such obvious greed. The increased SPU rates apply for water, sewage, garbage removal, and drainage. The rate hikes will be felt most keenly by lower income households, due to the higher rental fees and subsequent higher retail prices for food and clothing. The higher fees will allow SPU to continue to give its government employee union workers higher pay and more benefits. (Seattle Times)
An Eagles Club event to recruit new members led Ferry County to voluntarily move itself back to Phase 2, due to an explosion of COVID-19 cases. For most of the pandemic, the rural North Central Washington county of 7,600 people has had very few infections, but that all changed after the local Eagles Club held a three-day event in mid-April, which has so far resulted in 106 reported cases. Hospitalizations spiked and at least seven patients have been transported to Wenatchee or Seattle hospitals. Apparently card games where people were not wearing masks are thought to be the primary source for the infection’s rapid spread. (KREM News and Eagles’ Facebook Page)
The Seattle Times reported that a recent survey indicated a sudden increase in the number of “property tours” in downtown office spaces, after months of a nearly dead market. While many commercial real estate companies are pleased with the increase in traffic, they are still nervous about the future. Evidently many of the prospective tenants are “new” businesses, and thus don’t have the track record for staying in business and thus fulfilling their leases, while others may be obtaining discount price offers to help them drive down rates they have received from Bellevue and Tacoma property managers.
Shift’s Newsmaker Interview last Friday was with House Republican Leader JT Wilcox. The well-regarded Rep. Wilcox had a front-row seat for the most expensive legislative session in state history (especially for Washington State rural and low-income households). Thus, the six-term representative from rural Pierce County has many strong opinions on the current “single-party rule” that dominates Washington State politics. While discussing the many self-serving actions of Democrat lawmakers, including the “the new precedent that the Legislature has no position on a governor-declared State of Emergency,” Wilcox asserted that the 2022 elections will be a “referendum” on the policies and procedures of the Democrats. Wilcox stated he has already begun “fighting the 2022 elections as if everything depends on it.” (Click to read full Newsmaker Interview)
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