We are 52 days away from the end of Governor Inslee’s abuse of emergency powers (this is still longer than many states declared a COVID-19 emergency).
Shift’s Newsmaker interview is with Travis Couture, a GOP State House of Representatives candidate in the 35th Legislative District (Mason County and parts of Kitsap and Thurston counties) . The seat is currently held by Republican Representative Drew MacEwen, who is running for the State Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of longtime Democrat Senator Tim Sheldon. Couture is the father of four children, a U.S. Navy veteran, a program manager for a defense contractor at the Bangor Naval Base, and the former Chair of the Mason County GOP.
In his interview, Couture advocates for a return to fiscal responsibility and supports using the state’s revenue surplus to provide tax cuts to Washington residents. He expresses his frustration in how the Democrats constantly lower education standards while increasing funding. He says he will “champion school choice” if elected.
Couture also expresses compassion for those who are homeless and disappointment in those “who are simply profiting from human suffering.” He believes “idiotic anti-police legislation” has handcuffed police and he says the state should help rural areas recruit much-needed police officers. Finally Couture provides a true American classic as his favorite book. (Click to read the full Newsmaker Interview)
The mainstream media is finally paying some attention to the disturbing fact that a 2021 bill passed solely by Democrats in the Washington Legislature will likely allow the convicted killer of a 14-year-old Vancouver girl to be set free. Shift first reported on this story back in July, and now other media outlets are informing the public of how a Democrat bill retroactively removed many felonies from the state’s groundbreaking “Three Strikes, You’re Out” list. In 2005, Roy Russell strangled to death teenager Chelsea Harrison as he attempted to rape her. Russell was charged and convicted of second-degree murder, which was his third felony conviction under the state’s “Three Strikes, You’re Out” laws and the judge sentenced Russell to life in prison. Yet because one of his previous felony convictions was for second-degree robbery, and the Democrat’s legislation removed that crime from the list, Russell needs to be resentenced since he is no longer considered a “Three Strikes” criminal. The prosecutor in the case believes the upcoming resentencing will likely lead to Russell’s release from prison. The KING5 story noted that not one of the Democrats who sponsored the legislation was willing to be interviewed to defend their actions. . (Click to read full Shift Article)
Governor Jay Inslee demonstrated once again that his use of emergency powers is due to political factors and not science (as he often claimed) when he announced yesterday that he would finally lift the COVID-19 state of emergency on October 31st, just days before the November mid-term elections. Just as President Joe Biden is using taxpayer funds to try to buy votes by eliminating some debt from college loans, the governor was politically motivated to end his unpopular abuse of emergency powers in order to help the struggling campaigns of the incumbent Democrat legislators who have enabled his actions. When/if this is finally over on Halloween, the governor’s use of emergency powers will have lasted 975 days, while nearly all other states’ emergency declaration lasted 30 , 60, or 90 days, and others lasted a few months.
Republican leaders responded that this announcement was long overdue. Senate Republican leader John Braun said, “The state of emergency could and should have ended long ago. For a time it was justified, because of what we didn’t know about COVID. Unfortunately, there came a point when Governor Inslee began drifting away from the data and toward other metrics that seemed more political than scientific.”
House Republican Leader JT Wilcox echoed the fact that this should have been done a long time ago, but he also encouraged Democrats to work with Republicans to fix the state’s emergency orders so this type of executive abuse never happens again. “What I hope can happen now is, can the Legislature look at emergency powers reform in a less politicized way and proceed in a way that will strengthen the legislative branch in future emergencies.”
The governor’s use of emergency powers clearly demonstrated that he did not believe the Democrats who have solid control of both chambers of the legislature were capable of performing their constitutional duties in managing the state and writing laws. Thus raising again the question, “If Governor Inslee does not believe his fellow Democrats are capable of leading our state, then why should the voters?” (Associated Press and Republican Senate Caucus media release)
The extreme actions of teachers unions in Washington State is reflected by the fact that we are the only state in the nation with educators currently on strike. (Note: a strike in Columbus, Ohio briefly took place last month.) While the Kent teachers returned to work after keeping schools closed for over a week, an illegal strike by the Seattle teachers union’s members forced the cancelation of the third day of school today in the state’s largest school district, as has also the situation with the teachers in Eatonville (East Pierce County). Teachers in Ridgefield (just north of Vancouver) voted to begin their illegal strike today. It is evident that educators elsewhere across the country have learned that the instruction of our children has suffered greatly during the past couple of years and have committed to helping the students make progress in their studies. Apparently the same mindset is not prevalent in our state where teachers are striking to increase the membership of their unions – and the dues sent to the union. (KIRO7 News, CNN, KOMO News, Q13 FOX News, and KGW TV)
Members of the Chinatown International District community stated it was clearly racist for the liberals on the King County Council and Seattle City Council to deny them any input on the expansion of a 24/7 homeless shelter in their neighborhood. Community leaders at an informal meeting yesterday said government actions are causing serious disruptions for their residents and employers. Besides the expansion of a shelter to accommodate up to 500 homeless individuals, there are also concerns about the disturbances from an anticipated 11 years of construction by Sound Transit (which will likely be much longer since almost every project performed by the agency has failed to meet its construction deadlines). Community activist Matt Chan said, “The government is supposed to help people, not do things to people. They’re deciding what’s best for our community with cursory community engagement, and that’s just dead wrong.” The shelter expansion is expected to be complete by the end of this year. (KING5 News)
As expected, the opportunity to become the next police chief for the City of Seattle apparently drew almost no interest from quality candidates from around the country. The list of finalists for the position demonstrated that the anti-police actions of the city councilmembers and the local liberal establishment deterred law enforcement officials from applying for the job. The three finalist include two current Seattle Police officials (Interim Chief Adrian Diaz and Assistant Chief of Police Eric Greening) and an assistant police chief from Tucson, Arizona. (Seattle Times)
Short-staffed law enforcement departments are a likely contributing factor for why Washington State leads the country in car fatalities. With the Seattle Police Department having lost more than 400 officers due to lack of support from the city’s elected officials, drivers act recklessly knowing that officers rarely bother to give moving vehicle citations. Also the Washington State Patrol is down 200 officers because of the governor’s vaccine mandate, thus there are fewer officers on the state’s highways deterring drivers from driving over the speed limit or irresponsibly. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration, there was a traffic fatality increase of 39% from the first quarter of 2021 (116 deaths) to the first quarter of this year (161 deaths). (MyNorthwest and National Highway Traffic Administration media release) .
Political and agriculture leaders were on hand as Darigold broke ground on a $600 million state-of-the-art facility just north of Pasco. The facility will process more than eight million pounds of dairy products per day when it opens in early 2024. It will receive the milk from more than 100 family farms in the surrounding region. When fully operational more than 200 jobs will be created by the facility.
Republican Senator Mark Schoesler was upbeat about what the facility will mean for the local agriculture community. “Everything that’s involved in the dairy industry, producing milk products, requires inputs from the rest of ag, from the trucking industry, ag businesses, they’re all benefiting the entire region. And that’s why this location is so great. This is a prime agricultural area benefiting from a great ag business partner, for the success of all.” (Pacific Northwest AG Network)
Overheard on the Interwebs...
Click on image above to see Smiley’s statement to the Everett Herald on Senator Murray’s refusal to take part in debates and answer questions for her actions.
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