Gov. Jay Inslee convened a so-called “five-corners” meeting (the governor and a leader from each of the four legislative caucuses) to some fanfare in September. The group’s mission: find a solution for fully funding K-12 education, as per the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision [hint: try funding education first in the budget, before all other spending].
Inslee attended the first meeting of the group on Sept. 24. Sure, he showed up late and left early, but hey, at least he was there. Since then, four more meeting have been held, and Inslee has made it to…none of them.
But wait, isn’t solving the McCleary problem – for which the state is currently being fined by the court to the tune of $100,000 a day – state government’s most pressing issue?
That has people asking, if Inslee can’t be there to work with lawmakers on this critical issue, just what else on his calendar is so much more important? Let’s take a look at what Inslee was doing instead of attending the five-corner (now four-corner) meetings.
October 7 – Returning from a campaign trip, Inslee caught a flight from JFK and apparently needed to catch up on sleep. After landing at Sea-Tac at 10:30 a.m., his calendar was empty for the rest of the day.
October 19 – Inslee arrived at the office at 10:30 a.m., held a few meetings, and gave brief remarks at a Lean Management event and a Welcome to Washington business reception. Inslee did have 3:45-4:15 p.m. blocked out to talk on the phone with staff about the McCleary meeting.
November 9 – Inslee kicked off the day at a Bainbridge Island elementary school, then devoted the rest of the day to raising campaign cash. He held fundraising events with contractors and Alaska Airlines executives, then spent the afternoon at his political fundraiser’s office before heading out to an evening fundraiser at a private home.
December 14 – Inslee met with employees in the Governor’s Office regarding carbon, sat down with representatives of an Israeli energy firm, prepped for next month’s State of the State speech, and traveled to UW for an event called Climate Conversations with College Students, followed by a KING 5 interview about the climate event. He then headed back to the Governor’s Mansion for a campaign meeting and a holiday party.
So, is McCleary the most pressing issue facing the state? It certainly isn’t to Jay Inslee. His predecessors would have been in the thick of talks and negotiations. Jay Inslee would rather be at yet another climate change meeting.
Meem Kaplan says
Thank you for reporting things that we would never find in the media news! I truly wish we could recall Inslee!
Is there anyway to talk with the writer? I’m interested in helping to really shift stuff in WA, by taking it back politically and doing what is right.