Gov. Inslee will address a joint session of the Legislature Tuesday to deliver his State of the State speech. Like a mini State of the Union speech, the address will include plenty of pomp and circumstance, showy partisanship, and moments to take stock of who is standing and clapping, who’s seated but still clapping, and who’s not moving at all. Talk about fun!
These joint sessions feature more self-conscious preening than a high school cafeteria. As legislators and spectators look around to see who’s wearing what and who’s sitting with whom, no doubt a few will be looking to the front row, where the other eight statewide elected executive officials customarily take their place to listen to the governor’s speech.
Everyone wants to know, will indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley, who is facing 17 charges of theft and money laundering, show up for the speech? After taking a leave of absence for several months, Kelley is back in the office but keeping a low profile. At the same time, he seems eager to exercise the prerogatives of his office, of which attending the speech is one.
Kelley faces impeachment drive
A bipartisan group of legislators filed impeachment articles against Kelley last month, after which he started showing up to work again. With a short 60-day session this year, some legislators are reluctant to take up the impeachment question and prefer to just let Kelley’s term expire in a year.
Speaker of the House Frank Chopp hinted in his opening address Monday, though, that the House may take up the impeachment articles this session. Will Kelley take up the opportunity Tuesday to show his face and fly the flag? Unlikely, but Olympia secretly would love a little drama thrown into the proceedings.