JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Gov Inslee weaponizes L&I to attack small business owners during pandemic

May 27, 2020, 8:47 PM | Updated: May 28, 2020, 11:18 am
covid lockdown, reopening...
Seattle area businesses have been hit hard by coronavirus. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Governor Jay Inslee weaponized the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), giving it the authority to hand out $10,000+ fines to small business owners they deem to be in violation of the coronavirus stay-at-home order. This would effectively destroy businesses already struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Via an emergency move, without any conversation or bipartisan input, Inslee gave L&I the power to cite businesses for failure to follow his inconsistently applied coronavirus stay-at-home order. Using the so-called Inslee “snitch list,” the department could perform site visits to ensure compliance. If they deem you’re violating the rules, you’re potentially hit with a fine that could exceed $10,000.

They say they’re doing this for your own safety. But it’s the worst possible look for a governor that doesn’t seem to care — or meaningfully acknowledge — that people are suffering.

Rantz: Gov. Inslee throws fit on TV in argument with himself on coronavirus

Gov Inslee is destroying business

Why are businesses reopening in defiance of Inslee’s coronavirus stay-at-home order?

It’s a question that Inslee should have asked before weaponizing L&I. He clearly didn’t. Had he, Inslee likely wouldn’t make this move.

The reason so many businesses are reopening, despite the Inslee order, is quite simple: They want to survive.

Small business owners are increasingly desperate to save their businesses and pay their staff. And every day that goes by, their situation gets worse. Now Inslee comes along with L&I threatening to fine you and Attorney General Bob Ferguson threatening to sue.

Inslee’s capricious and unreachable goalposts mean businesses will go under. Many of your favorite restaurants or coffee shops will never return again. Event service providers are going under. Retail shops have laid off countless Washingtonians and those jobs won’t be there for them when this is over.

Meanwhile, we pay off Nigerian fraudsters

While Inslee and his team get paid to threaten and destroy business, Washingtonians are going on 10 weeks without overdue unemployment checks. They’re due their own money — taxes they paid into a system to be there for them when they need it most. They’re not getting paid. In fact, they’re not even getting someone to answer their dozens of phone calls and emails, desperate for assistance.

But Nigerian fraudsters get checks. Hundreds of millions of dollars went to their out-of-state bank accounts, while Washingtonians get ghosted by the Employment Security Department. Commissioner Suzi LeVine stays on the job despite utter incompetence, but when you donate big money to Inslee or the Democratic party, you get to buy your own job security.

Meanwhile, Inslee cowardly refuses to take any responsibility or even comment beyond pretending to be outraged by the criminals responsible. Breaking news: While releasing actual criminals from jail to have them re-offend, Inslee finally condemns bad guys — just the bad guys from Nigeria, though.

WA Republican lawmakers asking AG Barr to intervene with Inslee’s orders

Abuse of power

State Rep Chris Corry (R-Yakima) is angry. He’s angry with the direction Inslee is taking this state and he’s angry L&I is being weaponized to attack business owners.

Is this an abuse of power?

“I think it absolutely is, and it just shows you how far this governor is willing to go to punish businesses for daring to try to keep their their livelihood that they’ve built open and running, so that they can feed their families and provide jobs for their employees,” Corry told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Corry has heard from a number of constituents struggling to make ends meet during Inslee’s shutdown.

“They’re not able to feed their families. I’ve got people who are going to food banks for the first time in their lives because, yes, [Inslee] can’t get paychecks to them,” Corry said. “But we’re going to issue hundreds of millions in paychecks to people out of the country, and nobody is being held accountable for this. It’s atrocious.”

How exactly will the L&I measure from the governor function?

“It sounds like L&I is going to work in cooperation and with these reports of abuse — the ‘snitch line’ as it’s being appropriately called on social media — to send agents of labor and industries out to find and enforce these orders on local businesses,” he said.

Why Washington state was a target for unemployment fraud

“It’s scary that we live in an America where that’s possible,” Corry added. “But more frustrating is the fact that this was all done under emergency edicts. So there’s no sort of sunshine on this process or public input from stakeholders.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Aki Kurose Middle School...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle school violence surges after police ban, district won’t reconsider decision

Violence is nothing new for South Seattle. It prompted extra police patrols near at least four schools in the district, according to a police source. Seattle Public School (SPS) said it would increase school security, too.
1 day ago
Everett homeless camping, no sit no lie, Snohomish County...
KTTH staff

Councilmember: Snohomish County sales tax increase getting ‘rushed with minimal transparency’

Snohomish County Council could soon pass a 0.1% sales tax increase, as part of a process Councilmember Nate Nehring says is littered with issues.
4 days ago
WSU...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WSU amplifies claim that farmers markets, food charity are ‘white supremacy’ in action

Washington State University is amplifying claims that farmers markets and food charities are examples of "white supremacy" and "white dominant culture."
5 days ago
Kshama Sawant recall debate...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: There’s only one Kshama Sawant recall result that truly matters

Socialist Seattle City Council firebrand Kshama Sawant faces voters on Dec. 7 for her recall election. There's only one result that tells us something.
6 days ago
teacher...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle-area teacher recorded during vulgar, anti-police Kyle Rittenhouse rant

A teacher in the Northshore School District was recorded during a vulgar and one-sided rant about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
7 days ago
Kent Mayor...
KTTH staff

Kent mayor connects string of recent shootings to King County’s ‘lax prosecution of drug crimes’

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph discusses how a recent state supreme court ruling has impeded King County's ability to prosecute drug crimes.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Rantz: Gov Inslee weaponizes L&I to attack small business owners during pandemic