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October 18, 2019

9/4/2019 4:29:00 PM
Governor penny foolish on campaign security expenses

Gov. Jay Inslee has done a good job of advancing Washington state’s needs during boom times. He has been forward thinking and brave, pushing tax increases through the legislature this year and championing a carbon tax to reduce green house gases generations. His commitment to saving the planet from the ravages of climate-based catastrophes led him to run for president.
The governor is entitled to be ambitious. He has taken his message across the country. Most of the $2.4 million he raised in donations of under $200 came from some 12,000 people in at least 20 different states. He has been, of course, in New Hampshire and Iowa and a lot more places coast to coast to coast.
On each of those trips he has been accompanied by his security detail, Washington State Patrol officers. The state has paid those travel and wage costs. The bill is some $580,000 for the period from his March announcement through June. The total costs will be higher still.
Inslee is guaranteed security coverage no matter where he goes, whether it is for coffee or to church or a New York TV appearance to say his campaign is over. It is. Now his sights are set on a third gubernatorial term.
He is rightly being criticized for not reimbursing the state. His tin ear and shortsightedness could end him up in an early retirement. Pride goes before a fall. Ancient Greek gods and heroes constantly tripped themselves over hubris, excessive pride. Heroes and gods have a hard time learning and so do modern American politicians.
Inslee is too big a person to nickel and dime his fellow citizens this way. This cost is a small thing. Until the governor cuts a check and reimburses the state for his security detail, he is providing fodder for his political opponents. They are feasting heartily on it already.
Whatever amount is left in his campaign war chest, Inslee will better serve himself and Washington by tapping it and paying the state back in full for the out of state expenses.
The phrase “there’s a cancer growing on your presidency” comes to mind. Inslee’s insensitivity cannot even be described as a breach of ethics, but why pass on an opportunity to show you are squeaky clean when your opponents give you an opening like this?
Criticism from one of the smallest papers in the state is not a good sign. You heard it here first. 

Related Links:
• Ken Stern

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