Even governors sometimes run headlong into reality.
That happened the other day when an opinion piece appeared in the Seattle Times about the COVID-19 vaccination rate among foreign guestworkers.
Its main message: a higher percentage of farmworkers are vaccinated than officials thought. Medical Teams International, which the state of Washington contracted to test farmworkers, worked with WAFLA, the organization that helps farmers obtain guestworkers.
But instead of seeing the estimated 95% vaccination rate among guestworkers as a success, Gov. Jay Inslee’s staff berated the nonprofit contractor for jointly writing about it with WAFLA.
That is a head-scratcher. It may be presumed that Inslee wanted more guestworkers and other farmworkers to be vaccinated, since he’s been driving the state’s economy from ditch to ditch trying to keep everyone from getting COVID-19.
Yet his staff informed the contractor that it should not let out even good news without the OK from the state Health Department and the governor.
This episode has the markings of someone with control issues. It’s as though the idea of helping people get vaccinated isn’t the goal, but taking credit for it is.
Then there are the governor’s advisers, who don’t like the H-2A guestworker program because they believe domestic workers should have those jobs. They are misguided and ill-informed. As we said in this column last month, the number of domestic workers who want to pick fruit or do other jobs falls far short of the 29,000 guestworkers who willingly sign up for the jobs each year.
Either way, it appears the governor and his staff managed to take good news and turn it into a black eye — for themselves.
Inslee is a busy fellow. He was recently in Scotland trying to save the planet, announcing that the state will buy a whole fleet of electric cars and trucks. Why he should be interested in reviewing an opinion piece that said good things about the state is a mystery.
He also wants to tear down four dams in southeastern Washington to help endangered fish that he says orcas will eat.
And don’t forget about how he overstepped his constitutional veto authority. The state Supreme Court just recently put the brakes on that.
Yes, these a busy times for Washington’s governor. While he claims to have the best interests of Washingtonians at heart, the inconvenient truth appears to be his penchant for control and self-promotion.