Burlington mayor: Gov. Inslee using COVID-19 to push climate agenda ‘tone deaf’

May 18, 2020, 4:40 PM | Updated: 4:54 pm
Gov. Inslee.(TVW)

On Thursday, Dori played a soundbite from Governor Jay Inslee saying that he sees this economic meltdown as an opportunity for his climate change agenda, which he said to a Bernie Sanders website. After playing it, Dori received an email from the mayor of Burlington who couldn’t believe what he was hearing from the governor.

In the interview, Inslee said “this has always been an economic opportunity … we should not be intimidated by people who say you should not use this COVID crisis to peddle a solution to climate change … we can’t use COVID as an excuse for inaction on climate change … they’re both so similar … based on an understanding of science.”

Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton joined the Dori Monson Show to discuss why he feels so let down.

“It was so different than the messaging we’d all been hearing, and putting faith in, and following for the longest time,” he said. “Saturday, our food bank here in Burlington normally hands out about 150 meals a week, is doing about 750 or more, many of them middle class families who are choosing between buying food and paying rent or mortgage.”

Dori: Inslee sees our devastated economy as a wonderful ‘opportunity’ for climate agenda

Mayor Sexton believes the priority should be fighting coronavirus and its economic impacts, not ulterior agendas.

“We have businesses that are struggling,” Sexton said. “… There’s two agendas that I think our elected officials should be operating by right now: One is to keep people safe as we possibly can with common sense guidelines. A second is to get our economy back on the tracks as fast and safely as we can. There is no room in that discussion for any other agenda.”

Sexton has had a good relationship with the governor, and believes politicians need to put partisanship and agendas aside.

“If we can’t set our agendas aside, set politics and our party differences aside for that matter, and come together, we don’t have a whole lot to be proud of,” he said.

Inslee’s regulations won’t enable one Seattle family’s restaurants to reopen

“I’ve been supportive of his measures … but it feels like the governor got caught telling the truth. … Now it just leads a reasonable person to question his motives in the past, and put a more critical eye on decisions moving forward,” Sexton added.

Ultimately, he finds the comments incredibly tone deaf to all those suffering economic devastation.

“So, the folks I mentioned earlier that are suffering through this across our state, I don’t know how many of those would look at this as an opportunity. It just seems so out of touch and so tone deaf.”

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Burlington mayor: Gov. Inslee using COVID-19 to push climate agenda ‘tone deaf’