Dori: Why does Inslee refuse to give up his state emergency powers?

Apr 12, 2022, 5:02 PM
Jay Inslee does a television interview with MSNBC ahead of the first Democratic presidential primary debate for the 2020 election in 2019 in Miami, Florida. (File photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(File photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As of this month, Washington’s Jay Inslee (D) remains one of three state leaders in the United States to retain gubernatorial emergency powers with no end in sight.

Now we need to ask ourselves: will Inslee ever let these powers go?

At first, the governor told us, it was about keeping the public “safe.” On Feb. 29, 2020, he told us he needed the powers because coronavirus was a “pandemic that is killing people.”

Eighteen months later, Inslee passed Proclamation 21-14 that continued to give himself emergency powers because of COVID. It was, he said on Aug. 9, 2021, “to help preserve and maintain life, health and property for the public peace.”

But something amazing has happened in the nine months since then – even though coronavirus is longer as grave as the governor declared it once was: he is still holding on to these powers.

Why? It’s a question that absolutely must be asked.

Reporter Keith Eldridge at KOMO News posed the question to Inslee on Monday.

The governor’s response: “As we’ve said for two years, it’s to make decisions to keep people safe and that federal money will keep coming so it’s important to keep this in place right now.”

Furthermore, Inslee did not tell Eldridge that there is an end to his stranglehold in sight.

Woah! What? It’s not about safety? It’s about “federal money”? That’s not what Inslee said before.

We, the people, need to know what this is really about. And we need to challenge every other media outlet to start covering this.

Listen to Dori’s Big Lead: What’s the real reason Jay Inslee refused to give up his emergency powers?

According to the Maine Policy Center, Maine Policy Institute – Individual liberty, economic freedom, and free markets, Washington is one of just four states in the country where the governor and only the governor can terminate a state of emergency. And during that emergency, the governor can suspend any law or regulation related to the emergency.

What has Inslee done with that? He’s tried to destroy Spiffy’s Restaurant & Bakery in Chehalis, Bob the Barber in Snohomish, and Billy’s Café in Burlington. These are his arbitrary rules – not passed laws – but declarations that have destroyed businesses.

He’s also violated Article 1, Section 1 of Washington state’s Constitution. This section describes how all political power is “inherent in the people and the government is established to maintain individual rights.” But instead of maintaining and protecting individual rights, Jay Inslee has violated these rights. He tells state workers who seek COVID vaccine exemptions if they don’t get the injection, he will take away their livelihood.

In Section 3 of the Constitution, we are assured that “no person should be deprived of life, liberty and due property.” But Jay Inslee stole private property from landlords all around the state when he instated and extended rent moratoriums. Yes, it’s true: this was meant to protect you if can’t afford to pay rent – and there were some people in tough times. But there were a lot of scam artists out there, too, choosing not to pay their rent even though they were working. This was without due process in the “name of an emergency.”

And don’t forget Section 4 in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Jay Inslee apparently forgot that one when he told us we could not go to church.

So, why, I ask again, is Gov. Inslee keeping his emergency powers?

Consider this possibility: Democrats are expected to get destroyed around the country in mid-term elections later this year. That tsunami could reach Washington state. If so, Inslee will lose the unchecked power he has over our money and the Democrats in our legislature. Then he won’t have the money to pursue his climate change agenda.

I’m not alone in my concerns.

Elizabeth Hovde, director and policy analyst at Washington Policy Center, told Dori Monson Show listeners last week that “even if the lawmakers in our Legislature . . . go along with him (Inslee) and agree with him . . . there is supposed to be a debate and discussion. We’re having none of that.”

And former state Sen. Mark Miloscia, now executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, is also worried about Jay Inslee’s abuse of executive power. Miloscia wrote about this almost a year ago and now, he says, his fears have worsened.

“Every other month he (Inslee) makes up a new reason” about why he needs to hold on to the emergency powers, Miloscia told Dori on Tuesday. What’s worse? Inslee’s failure to include the state Legislature “doesn’t matter,” Miloscia said.

Listen to Dori’s entire interview with Mark Miloscia, executive director of Washington Family Policy Institute of Washington, here

Chasing federal money is no reason for Washington state voters to allow Gov. Jay Inslee to tighten his grip on his gubernatorial emergency powers – with no end in sight. I challenge our state lawmakers and everyone in the media who are giving Inslee a free pass on this to step up and put a stop to it.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Why does Inslee refuse to give up his state emergency powers?