During a press conference last week, Jay Inslee used vitriolic and highly partisan language to attack state Senate Republicans for failing to confirm Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. Inslee went so far as to call out individual Republicans, such as lambasting GOP state Senator Andy Hill for not opening a “dialogue” with Peterson.
Inslee patronizingly stated, “Sen. Hill, when I talk to my grandkids, I say ‘use your words.’”
Inslee even defended the I-405 tolling scheme, claiming Peterson supported certain reforms (which, as Shift pointed out, did not go anywhere near far enough to satisfy commuters). And, as if his unhinged press conference was not enough, Inslee then went on to announce that he would cancel all future meetings with the Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler — a petty way to get back at GOP leadership.
Well, apparently, now that Inslee has being told how bad he looked, he is now changing his tune. According to reports, Inslee is expected to announce reforms to the I-405 tolling scheme in order to “smooth out troubled toll lanes and ease congestion.”
Presumably, Inslee’s change of heart has something to do with the public backlash against him, a recent report that pointed to increased congestion on 405, and his lagging re-election campaign.
The real question is, will Inslee take responsibility for his misguided rhetoric and apologize? Will Inslee apologize for his vicious attack on Republican lawmakers, especially considering that he is now proposing some of the very same I-405 reforms that originated with the GOP a month ago? Will he apologize for engaging in D.C.-style politics and for trying to politicize an issue that impacts the everyday life of thousands of Washingtonians?
Last week, Inslee proved he was a partisan, not a leader. Now, perhaps realizing his mistake, he is trying to tone down his remarks and walk back his partisan attacks.
But, if he’s sincere, that requires an apology from our green governor.