NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Republicans file new lawsuit against Governor Inslee’s stay home, stay healthy orders

A grow­ing num­ber of promi­nent Repub­li­cans in Wash­ing­ton State appear to either have a wors­en­ing case of cab­in fever or are wor­ried sick that the eco­nom­ic fall­out from the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic will doom their par­ty’s elec­toral prospects this autumn. They’re des­per­ate for a return to nor­mal­cy — the same con­cept that Repub­li­can War­ren Hard­ing cam­paigned on exact­ly one hun­dred years ago.

That’s evi­dent­ly why a bunch of them have cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate in a law­suit chal­leng­ing Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee’s stay at home order. Those par­tic­i­pat­ing include Andrew Barkis, Chris Cor­ry, Drew MacEwen, and Bran­don Vick.

Oth­er plain­tiffs include:

  • Fran Wills, who has declared that her lack of access to an ath­let­ic club, which is present­ly closed due to the stay at home order, denies her a ther­a­peu­tic means of exer­cise against Mul­ti­ple Sclerosis.
  • Bruce Rus­sell, own­er of the Lake Bowl bowl­ing cen­ter, restau­rant and tap room, locat­ed in Moses Lake, who says his busi­ness has lost money.
  • Lee Pfluger, who says his con­struc­tion busi­ness has lost income due to the stay at home order. Lee Pfluger is also Cap­tain of the Dou­glas Coun­ty chap­ter of “Lib­er­ty State”. 

For those unaware, “Lib­er­ty State” a seces­sion­ist effort that seeks to con­vert East­ern Wash­ing­ton into a dystopi­an theocracy.

It con­sists of a col­lec­tion of mil­i­tant, rad­i­cal right wing groups and indi­vid­u­als, includ­ing Matt Shea, who has spo­ken of estab­lish­ing a “theo­crat­ic redoubt” in the Inland North­west and who has fur­ther doc­u­ment­ed means of suveilling polit­i­cal oppo­nents, dis­cussed vio­lence and harass­ment favor­ably in chat rooms, and has embraced an armed youth group prepar­ing for “bib­li­cal war­fare.”

Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Drew Stokes­bary, Kel­ly Cham­bers, Mor­gan Irwin, and J. T. Wilcox (the top House Repub­li­can) expressed sym­pa­thy with the plaintiffs.

Wilcox cit­ed “irre­triev­able dam­age being done to fam­i­lies, insti­tu­tions and com­merce… We were not meant to be gov­erned in the long term by emer­gency orders… It is good to test this constitutionally.”

The law­suit alleges that the stay home, stay healthy orders are depriv­ing Wash­ing­to­ni­ans of their First and Fifth Amend­ment rights.

You can read the suit below:


Gov­er­nor Inslee’s response that same day was direct and to the point.

“It would be a hor­rif­ic sur­prise to the over eight hun­dred fam­i­lies that have already lost a loved one already to this pan­dem­ic to think that this is not a crisis.”

“I believe that posi­tion is bio­log­i­cal­ly igno­rant and humane­ly heart­less… We can’t have a good econ­o­my with­out a healthy Wash­ing­ton and the mea­sures we have tak­en are designed to pre­serve health and life itself.”

Gov­er­nor Inslee rein­forced the point when, at his media event the next day in cel­e­bra­tion of Nation­al Nurse’s Day, he asked the nurs­es invit­ed to speak with him if, semi-rhetor­i­­cal­­ly, when they spoke with fam­i­ly mem­bers who had rel­a­tives being treat­ed for COVID-19, whether fam­i­ly mem­bers cared about them less if they were more than six­ty years of age. He lat­er stat­ed clear­ly that he had no tol­er­ance for any­one who con­sid­ered oth­ers liv­ing in the state of Wash­ing­ton as poten­tial­ly dis­pos­able peo­ple, and that such talk was moral­ly repugnant.

Tina Pod­lodows­ki, Chair of the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, also con­demned the law­suit in a state­ment pro­vid­ed to NPI.

“This is yet anoth­er irre­spon­si­ble action from Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­cans that jeop­ar­dizes the sac­ri­fices so many Wash­ing­to­ni­ans have made to save lives in the fight against this virus. As Democ­rats across all of Wash­ing­ton remain com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing the sci­ence and advice of pub­lic health experts to reopen our state safe­ly, Repub­li­cans con­tin­ue to be guid­ed by the most extreme parts of their par­ty, push­ing dan­ger­ous ideas like mass infec­tion and vio­lent rebel­lion.”

“Today and every day until this Novem­ber’s elec­tion, we’ll make sure Wash­ing­to­ni­ans know who was on their side and who put their lives in dan­ger to score cheap polit­i­cal points,” Pod­lodows­ki concluded.

The afore­men­tioned law­suit is the sec­ond in a series of legal maneu­vers launched by right wing Repub­li­cans in Wash­ing­ton against Gov­er­nor Inslee’s stay home, stay healthy orders. The first law­suit was filed May 1st by Franklin Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­er Clint Didi­er and con artist Tim Eyman.

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  1. I believe that Tina Pod­lodows­ki is wrong about Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­cans. In Novem­ber, I don’t think most Wash­ing­ton vot­ers will be look­ing to oust Repub­li­cans, but Democ­rats instead. 

    Reopen­ing the state econ­o­my should­n’t be a polit­i­cal issue, and it should be done soon and with­out delay. The econ­o­my can­not be shut down indef­i­nite­ly, and I’m sure there will be many angry vot­ers in Novem­ber who have had their liveli­hoods severe­ly dam­aged or ruined due to Gov­er­nor Inslee’s eco­nom­ic restric­tions and very slow reopen­ing of the state economy.

    Also, peo­ple will have to go back to school and work even­tu­al­ly, and when that hap­pens, it’s pos­si­ble that COVID-19 will still be around, and so more peo­ple will be infected. 

    Keep­ing peo­ple cooped up in their homes is only delay­ing what’s prob­a­bly inevitable. We sim­ply can­not wait for a vac­cine to get things com­plete­ly back to nor­mal, as it is still months away or there may not be one at all. For instance, there is no vac­cine for the com­mon cold. Herd immu­ni­ty is expos­ing peo­ple to the virus so that they can build up an immu­ni­ty to it. Whether there is a vac­cine or we go with herd immu­ni­ty, peo­ple will be exposed to the virus either way.

    A Sur­veyUSA poll con­duct­ed by KING5 from late Jan­u­ary found that Inslee’s approval rat­ing is 41%, before the COVID-19 prob­lem sur­faced in our coun­try. I think that Inslee and state Democ­rats in gen­er­al should be wor­ried about how they are going to do this November.

    # by Kaleb Fisler :: May 16th, 2020 at 4:12 PM
    • You can believe what­ev­er you want, Kaleb, but all the evi­dence sug­gests Tina Pod­lodows­ki is cor­rect and the Democ­rats will have a huge year.

      Con­sid­er the following:

      Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­cans will be play­ing mega defense this year. 

      The Democ­rats have strong can­di­dates against Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, Sec­re­tary of State Kim Wyman, and State Trea­sur­er Duane David­son; there’s a pos­si­bil­i­ty all three could lose.

      On the oth­er hand, there’s real­ly no pick­up oppor­tu­ni­ties for the Repub­li­cans at the statewide lev­el this year. Or the leg­isla­tive level.

      All the cred­i­ble avail­able data sug­gests this is going to be a bad year for the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Party.

      # by Andrew Villeneuve :: May 20th, 2020 at 6:39 PM
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