Last week, Crosscut’s John Stang wrote that Jay Inslee’s future rode on the legislative elections. Inslee saw his “favorite projects stalled” by the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) in the State Senate during the first two years of his tenure, because those pesky Senators wanted to see some reforms in how money was being spent by the government.
Of course, Inslee’s favorite projects always include a variety of new taxes, tax hikes and his extreme environmental agenda—which his own experts predict could result in a $1-plus gas tax. This Throw Back Thursday, we’re taking a look into how Inslee has planned on getting his “favorite projects” passed.
We now know that Inslee failed in what he claimed was his first priority during the 2014 election-cycle: flipping the State Senate back to Democrat control with the help of California billionaire Tom Steyer. Success would have meant Inslee could, without opposition, get his way. However, Inslee must now demonstrate that—in the words of Stang—he has the “ability to adapt to a situation in which, for the first time since the early 2000s, Republicans demonstrate that they can maintain a hold on a significant share of power in Olympia.”
Stang asserts that “without Democratic control of the Senate, Inslee does not seem to have a Plan B to get his agenda through the Legislature.” So, he will be forced to develop a Plan B, or “skills at compromise beyond what he may have expected to need when he decided to come back to state government…”
By every indication, Inslee has little to no intention of developing his skills of compromise. Reacting to election returns on Tuesday, Inslee explained how he expects to work with a GOP State Senate by condescendingly stating, “I’ve talked to even a few Republicans who have even said the words ‘climate change,’ so that’s a start.”
Additionally, contrary to Stang’s assertion, Inslee has made plans of how he will implement his extreme agenda. It just has nothing to do with the Legislature. Rather, it’s all about using his power of Executive Order.
Just a few months ago, during an appearance on KCTS 9’s Ask the Governor, Inslee made his disdain for the Legislature—specifically Republicans—loud and clear. Inslee responded to a question concerning his possible use of an Executive Order to force his extreme agenda through by attacking Republicans. He said,
“…When are you Legislators going to help on this climate action issue so that Washington State can reduce carbon pollution? The difficulty has not been my style or anyone else’s style, we just haven’t had legislators who, you know, say we are going to follow the science… we need more legislators who will say ‘we look, love Washington, we hate pollution’ so let’s get together on a bi-partisan basis and really buckle down to solve this problem. Unfortunately, we do not have enough legislators who, from an ideological stand-point, are willing to help us on that.”
In other words, Inslee believed that—due to the MCC in the State Senate—our state did not have enough legislators (those pesky people who are elected by the people and represent their constituents’ concerns) willing to make it their highest priority to help Jay implement his extreme environmental agenda, instead of say, creating jobs. Considering the fact that Inslee now has even less legislators willing to do his bidding, we can safety assume by his statement that he will take it upon himself to impose his job-killing policies (like his $1.17 gas tax scheme) despite the objections of the pesky representatives of the people.
Back in May, Inslee was a bit more direct on his plan to implement his extreme environmental agenda with or without the Legislature. While on Seattle Channel’s “Civic Cocktail” program, Inslee admitted that it he will “likely” implement a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) without legislative approval.
Today, Inslee backed away from his previous statements—perhaps fearing public backlash. He confirmed to reporters that he will, in fact, first submit his pie-in-the-sky anti-carbon agenda to the Legislature for consideration. That agenda includes a combined LCFS and cap-and-trade approach. How Inslee will react to a Legislature that does not agree with his extreme green agenda remains to be seen. But, somehow, we don’t expect Inslee to give up on his number one obsession too easily.
Hopefully he’ll do it in a way the qualifies for Recall