The often “truth challenged” Governor Jay Inslee said he would support making it illegal for candidates and elected officials to knowingly lie about election results. This disturbing and likely unconstitutional proposal from the governor was made on January 6th, during the annual Associated Press legislative preview. Democrat legislators have have introduced SB 5843 to make this ridiculous idea a law. Thankfully, there is no pending action or scheduled public hearing set for this bill.
As a lawyer and a career politician, Governor Inslee is well aware that it is not uncommon for people to knowing tell lies to seek public support or to deflect criticism. Inslee has repeatedly done this himself to advance his own career.
- When Jay Inslee ran for governor in 2012, he knowingly lied when he responded to a question at a candidate debate regarding raising state taxes. He said, “I would veto anything that heads the wrong direction, and the wrong direction is new taxes in the state of Washington.” As we well know, that has proven to be a lie, as the governor has himself proposed new taxes in every budget he has submitted since making that statement and has failed to veto the dozens of taxes he has raised during the past nine years.
- During the initial months of the pandemic, the governor kept proclaiming that his decisions on shutting down businesses and restricting activities were based on data and released a series of “dashboards” he said he was using. Yet many of the dashboards were not tied to actual data, while other dashboards did not reflect known statistics.
- When many lawmakers were seeking a special legislative session to deal with initial budget shortfall expected by the pandemic, the governor knowingly lied when he said he opposed this idea because Republicans would take away health care plans of cancer patients. (Governor Inslee well knew that even IF the Republicans wanted to take away health care plans of cancer patients, [which they clearly do not, and it is irresponsible for the governor to say so] the minority Republican legislators would need support of Democrat legislators in both chambers to pass the bill and the governor would have to sign the legislation to make this lie accurate.)
- When liberal activists rioted and illegally seized control of a Capitol Hill neighborhood, the governor was afraid to condemn the political violence of his supporters. So during a press conference when he was asked to comment on these events which were making national headlines, the governor knowingly lied when he said, “That’s news to me” as he irresponsibly ducked the question and refused to condemn liberal political violence.
These are just four of the dozens of times Governor Jay Inslee has knowingly lied. Why are his lies OK, while other lies could result in jail time? Why is it OK for the governor to lie regarding an issue which impacts the public safety of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Washington State residents, but some other politician can’t make outlandish claims about election results? If the governor is successful in making it illegal for politicians to lie on important subjects, then he had better hire a really good defense attorney.
While time has proven that the governor has lied, the same is already occurring with those who are making false accusations about our election system. This is why free speech is a vital aspect of a democracy. While the governor seeks to place (unconstitutional) restrictions on free speech, our democracy is better served by allowing the people to decide what information to believe. Yes, this can be frustrating and messy, but we are sure Governor Inslee would not like to see many of his Democrat colleagues put in jail for their lies they stated about the 2016 elections.