Yes, Inslee SHOULD repay laboring taxpayers for his hunt for a new job

And no, hating Republican critics doesn’t count as a defense

Posted 9/4/19

Anyone can be impressive when the odds are in their favor. But we learn the most about people at the messy endings of things: divorces, deaths and defeats.

Here’s what we learned when …

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Yes, Inslee SHOULD repay laboring taxpayers for his hunt for a new job

And no, hating Republican critics doesn’t count as a defense

Posted

Anyone can be impressive when the odds are in their favor. But we learn the most about people at the messy endings of things: divorces, deaths and defeats.

Here’s what we learned when Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s presidential bid used up the $5.3 million he raised: He made sure his campaign consultants got paid, his airfare, meals and hotels were paid for, but the state of which he is a steward was not a priority of his campaign budget.

Washington State Patrol estimates Inslee’s campaigning cost more than $660,000 extra in March through July of this year, as his security detail ran up overtime, un-budgeted-for travel and other expenses.

By law, troopers must protect the governor at all times.

But Inslee built a schedule that had nothing to do with governing Washington State and everything to do with Potomac Fever. He was auditioning for president or maybe hoping he’ll get the nod for secretary of energy or interior if a Democrat unseats President Donald Trump.

What a wonderful Labor Day surprise it would have been if the state of Washington’s governor or its leading political party had pledged to repay state dollars spent to protect Inslee during his hunt for a new job.

What a jolt to working folks if political bigshots said one true thing about this situation: that in any other profession, it borders on theft to charge your employer for expenses of your job hunt.

But party leaders and those who fawn around elected power couldn’t manage to say what any babysitter worth her salt says to greedy little savages with their hands in the cookie jar: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Woodenly repeating “We’re going to follow Washington law and Washington law is that the Washington State Patrol provides security for the governor,’’ as Inslee has been doing, might work in a deposition transcript. But in real life, it leaves Democrats twisting in the wind, expected to defend the distasteful because the Big Guy will not back down and has found his loophole.

Haven’t we had enough of that in all political parties?

If it had chastised Inslee, the onetime party of the working class would also have dumped a needed wheelbarrow of garlic on the casket of Clintonian Legalism as an acceptable style.

The fact that Republicans are making this an issue means certain robotic partisans automatically leap to Inslee’s defense. Can’t any Democrat muster the courage to throw some shade?

This wasteful security detail spending is only Washington law because pols of both parties refuse to legislate it out of existence. Instead, they fulminate and fuss, but lust for the day when they have the kind of incumbency that is an insurmountable advantage.

The disappearance of a principled backbone is exactly how the GOP has lost its way. Can’t at least one political party keep an eye out for the working woman who has to pay her taxes BEFORE all other bills? Can’t at least one party think about the kid working hoot owl whose gas taxes are collected the moment he starts to pump gas into his truck?

Putting Washington taxpayers first would have meant fewer weeks on the vanity tour for Inslee. It would have meant cutting off some of his campaign’s $840,000 in payments to the surveillance-industrial complex in Mountain View, CA that politicians pay lavishly for intelligence files about us. And it would have meant sending out less of the massive social media and junk mail appeals campaigns run on.

It would have required Inslee, and the Washington House and the Senate to legislate new rules, rooted in admirable clarity.

Sadly, the law still stands, though it is entirely in Inslee’s power to make sensible reform.

-Dean Miller

The Leader’s Editorials are the opinion of the Editorial Board: Publisher Lloyd Mullen; co-owner Louis Mullen; Editor Dean Miller and Leader readers who lobby The Leader. Each editorial is signed by the person who writes that editorial on behalf of the Editorial Board.

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Justin Hale

Anyone who votes to put Inslee back in office is just rewarding bad behavior.

Wednesday, September 4
Justin Hale

And by the way, it should be noted that while President Trump forgoes his paycheck, giving it back to government agencies Inslee not only continues to take his pay from the taxpayers of Wa. while out of the state on the campaign trail but also sticks them with the cost of his ego-run. Think about that come election day.

Wednesday, September 4
Tom Camfield

While I’ve been a great fan of Inslee and his efforts on behalf of the environment, energy, survival of our species, etc., I agree that he should pay his bills. Sadly, this situation dramatically illustrates that a person can’t run for high public office without many millions of dollars at his or her disposal. And that generally requires great public recognition nation-wide . . . and with the big money largely corporate and opposed to the scientific realism espoused by the likes of Inslee.

Paying the bills at taxpayer expense (after campaign funds, including political party action groups) run out is a lot like the lifetime methods of Cheating Donald for one such as I to OK it without being a flaming hypocrite.

Sorry, Jay. I like to think you were blinded more by dedication than ambition. However this all plays out, I’d still like to see you as part of an energetic progressive Democratic national administration dedicated to saving the planet.

Straying from the main theme a bit, I think Dean hit the nail on the head with his call for attention to the likes of the kid working the hoot owl shift. I and many like me have been that kid, but I was single and footloose at the time. My concern now is with the older individuals (such as the working woman also mentioned by Dean) trying to support families, still working that hoot-owl shift in whatever form—enslaved by a conservative federal government that refuses to raise the national minus wage above $7.25, where it has stagnated since 2009. There is no humanity in trillion-dollar tax cuts for the corporate wealthy.

Wednesday, September 4
Marge Samuelson

I think Inslee's run for U.S. president was a well thought out way to get Climate Change into the national political conversation. Candidates, at least Democratic, are now including Climate Change in their speeches. If it cost WA taxpayers some money, I think it was money well spent. I had debated about voting for him for another term as governor but I think Justin & Tom have just convinced me to do so.

Wednesday, September 4
Tom Camfield

Hi Marge.

I also agree with you, which I don't think is vacillating on my part. I'm not going to vote against Jay. We do need him, and he has done a lot to keep alive attention to global warming—and to battle it. But his assumption of public funds in pursuing a presidential bid that never got off the ground is not a good example of good governance, especially in this Donald Trump era. As Jay has no billions of his own or billionaire backing, I hope some sort of settlement can be resolved—to the point that his supporters can help get him off the hook. The amount involved is considerable, and he shouldn't have to mortgage his house.

So I'll be voting for Jay, Last person I want in the governor's chair is some self-serving republican like a Dino Rossi. I don't think the Republicans have another Dan Evans around with whom to titillate my conscience.

It will be interesting to see how we Democrats step up to the plate in all this. I wish I had more money to throw into the pot, but I've never pursued acquisition of same during my life with the egocentric zeal of a republican.

Thursday, September 5
TomCamfield

And, Jason. Donald's donation of his salary is just a weak-tea public relations gimmick. He'll make that back by renting out Mar-a-Lago to the next international G-7 conference—if he's allowed to get away with that. And he'll never be off the hook in the public mind until we get a look at his (un-doctored) tax records.

Any attempt to make Donald look heroic and Inslee look intentionally villainous is beyond stupidity in my mind.

Meanwhile, I"m ever more impressed by the logic, intellect and common sense of Elizabeth Warren and am looking forward to the Democratic convention.

Thursday, September 5
Justin Hale

Marge, have you even read the text of the GND that is being pushed by AOC and Inslee, I doubt it. So go ahead and support more corrupt government in the person of Jay inslee, hopefully your voice will be the minority.

Monday, September 9
Justin Hale

Tom, you have to be joking when you write "he has done a lot to keep alive attention to global warming—and to battle it.". He's no different than the hypocritical climate change warriors like Al Gore and others who fly off to climate change conferences in their private jets polluting the krap out of the atmosphere. You say Inslee's abuse of taxpayer dollars is not good governance and yet you will vote him back into office. Toss his butt out, do not reward bad governance, isn't that your battle cry against Trump? but when it comes to one of your own, the party comes first right?.

Monday, September 9
TomCamfield

It's almost unbelievable to hear someone defend Donald Trump out of side of his mouth and out of the other describe someone else as "corrupt."

Also, it's just plain presumptuous to assume that just because Donald Trump avoids reading anything, better-informed and more intelligent members of the public don't either.

And yes, I've read the Green New Deal. It does not comprise the entire character and soul of Jay Inslee.

I"ll continue to stand by his progressive resistance to the rape of the environment by Donald Trump. Donald's disdain for Mother Nature, one can observe, is about the same as his attitude toward all women.

Monday, September 9
Justin Hale

"And yes, I've read the Green New Deal. It does not comprise the entire character and soul of Jay Inslee. ".....I was asking Marge if she has read the GND. But OK, let's talk about Inslee's proposals.

"The headline of the plan is investment: roughly $300 billion in public investment per year, which would leverage an additional $600 billion in private investment, adding up to a total of $9 trillion over 10 years. Inslee’s campaign claims the plan would create 8 million good jobs over the same time frame, by repealing anti-union right-to-work laws and linking federal tax incentives to job quality standards"(https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/5/18/18628870/green-new-deal-jay-inslee-2020-climate-change). Public investment = taxes, private investment= regulations, and taxes. And are you in favor of repealing the "right to work" laws, I'm not. Do you want to trust the guy who ripped off the taxpayers for nearly a million dollars with $900B a year? And he wants to force workers to join a union to earn a living? Right!, that's the kind of soul and character we need.

I haven't read all of Inslee's proposals but what I have read reads a lot like the GND in that it proposes lofty ideals that have no guarantee of stopping climate change at all. What it will accomplish is a massive growth of the government and massive increases in our taxes.

Monday, September 9
Justin Hale

Here's another Reagan quote you might consider when it comes to expanding government, "Government is not the answer to the problem, it IS the problem".

Monday, September 9
Tom Camfield

We''ve already had a massive increase in taxes, disguised as a tax cut for the corporate greedy by Trump. HIs free spending also is jacking up the annual deficit. Who's eventually going to pay the piper for our burgeoning federal debt? It's easy for someone like Donald to avoid "taxes" by just saying "charge it." Anyone who's had big trouble trying to escape credit card debt should know what I mean.

"Taxes" go by many names.

And things such as programs designed to decrease global warming and save the planet do not require a great embargo,emt of government, merely a readjustment in the goals of our government. Why is the Trump administration opposed to offshore wind farming in the Atlantic while favoring oil drilling in the Pacific and Alaskan wildlife preserve? Wind energy does not require pipelines, send carbon into the amosphere or pollute with leaks and spillage. It does not frack-pollute our ground-water sources.

Tuesday, September 10
Justin Hale

"Other analyses reached similar conclusions. The Joint Committee on Taxation — Congress’s nonpartisan team of tax analysts — found that every income group would see a tax cut on average. So did the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank that was sharply critical of the law. In fact, that group went even further: In a December 2017 analysis, it found that every income group in every state would pay less on average under the law in 2019. (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/14/business/economy/income-tax-cut.html).

I totally agree that our federal budget is totally skrewd, one of the reasons I'm against Inslee's plan to increase government/spending.

"And things such as programs designed to decrease global warming and save the planet do not require a great embargo,emt of government, merely a readjustment in the goals of our government. "... Bullsiht. Inslee's program calls for 9 Billion a year, just where do you think that money will come from?.

"New York Awards Offshore Wind Contracts in Bid to Reduce Emissions"

(https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/18/business/energy-environment/offshore-wind-farm-new-york.html)

Things aren't as dire as you want to paint them Tom, maybe it's your Tump-O-Phobia kicking in.

Tuesday, September 10
Tom Camfield

Coast. Massachusetts, New York, Maine and New Jersey are all counting on turbines at sea to achieve aggressive clean energy targets. Their efforts are expected to spur an estimated $70 billion offshore wind industry in the U.S. over the next decade. . .”

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2019/08/first-major-us-offshore-wind-farm-delayed-by-government.html

This, I guess, is the sort of development of everlasting resources envisioned by proponents of such things as the Green New Deal. It would sure beat the hell out of burning coal, drilling for oil, etc.

Wednesday, September 11
Tom Camfield

Sorry. That previous attempt (above) only partially took on submission. Here is the original again:

I’m not sure how our July 18 story on the Long Island wind farm applies, Justin, but I was referring to this Aug. 12 announcement: “The Trump administration cast the fate of the nation’s first major offshore wind farm into doubt by extending an environmental review for the $2.8 billion Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts. The Interior Department has ordered an additional study of the farm, proposed by Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in an interview with Bloomberg News Friday. The project, which has drawn opposition from fishermen and coastal communities, had been scheduled to be operational by early 2022. The developers have warned that regulatory delays could put it in jeopardy. . .

“The project south of Martha’s Vineyard is crucial to the future of offshore wind in the U.S. It’s the first of several massive wind farms planned off the East Coast. Massachusetts, New York, Maine and New Jersey are all counting on turbines at sea to achieve aggressive clean energy targets. Their efforts are expected to spur an estimated $70 billion offshore wind industry in the U.S. over the next decade. . .”

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2019/08/first-major-us-offshore-wind-farm-delayed-by-government.html

The sort of thing, I guess, envisioned by proponents of such things as the Green New Deal. It would sure beat the hell out of burning coal.

Wednesday, September 11
Justin Hale

Tom, you btich about Trump ruining the environment with his policies and when he delays a project to review the impact on the environment you btich about that, you just can't please the Trump-haters.

Wednesday, September 18
Mike Galmukoff

Taking valuable Washington State Troopers away from their more important work protecting and serving the public to protect a self described presidential candidate who no one would care to harm is laughable at least and clearly illegal. (if you actually go and read the applicable laws)

If this were a Republican Governor, commenters herein would have called for impeachment not only of such a governor, but of the state's AG who had not applied the law that requires pay-back of such non-essential expenditures to the state.

However... Moral/mental gymnastics, and party before principles is common place amongst many. 3

Monday, September 30