Rep. Vicki Kraft responds to Gov. Jay Inslee’s comments about representative government and election integrity

Governor’s comments made during Tuesday’s 2022 State of the State speech

Earlier this week, Gov. Jay Inslee addressed the Washington State Legislature remotely from Olympia. Among the many topics Inslee addressed in his 2022 State of the State speech, the governor addressed representative government and those who challenge election integrity.

Gov. Jay Inslee
Gov. Jay Inslee

Inslee’s comments drew the ire of many elected officials and others, including Rep. Vicki Kraft (Republican, 17th District). The Vancouver lawmaker issued a statement Wednesday, one day after the governor’s remarks.

Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-17
Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-17

“In the governor’s State of the State Address Tuesday, he chose to attack legislators like me who are standing up and working to bring integrity to our election process in Washington state,’’ Kraft said. “Governor Inslee actually said, ‘The right to representative government today is under attack in our country. And unfortunately, I must say, in our own state.’ I couldn’t agree more. Governor Inslee effectively attacked us as state legislators who represent the people. He’s also ruled as a one-man dictator for the past two years through emergency powers in our state. That is completely opposite to a representative form of government and it’s completely un-American.

“It is my sworn constitutional duty to ensure that every vote cast in our state is actually legal, legitimate and properly counted,’’ Kraft added. “What is not legitimate is to intimidate legislators of the opposition party into silence, and to threaten our constitutionally-protected right of free speech with criminal prosecution. I am introducing legislation in this 2022 session that seeks to ensure election integrity in Washington state. My sponsorship of this legislation on behalf of the people I represent will not be suppressed, nor will I be intimidated by the governor, nor silenced by his threats to make free speech and our First Amendment rights illegal.

“I will always fight to protect your constitutional rights and freedoms, and to protect you from government overreach,’’ Kraft concluded. “Please stay informed and involved.’’

Inslee’s comments began by referring to the Jan. 6, 2021 protests in Washington, DC.

“We just marked the 1-year anniversary of the insurrection in our nation’s Capitol,’’ Inslee said. “That insurrection continues to this day under the banner of the ‘Big Lie.’ The right to representative government is under attack in this country, and in our state. 

“I am pro-democracy. All elected officials and others who care about our state and nation should be pro-democracy, too. Former Secretary of State Kim Wyman deserves our respect for the exemplary and nonpartisan way she carried out her duties in the face of these same threats, and that is why I am so happy to welcome former Senator Steve Hobbs as our new secretary of state. Like Kim Wyman, he will help keep our state and local elections safe and secure.

“It is time we stand up to those who challenge the integrity of our elections, who undermine basic democratic principles and who would do away with the rule of law. I call on all legislators, Democrat and Republican, to acknowledge forcefully that the 2020 elections were won fair and square under our Constitution — and to denounce those officials who spread deception that strikes at the foundation of democracy. 

“So I think we should outlaw efforts by politicians to knowingly spread lies about elections when those lies result in violence — violence we have already seen in state capitals and our nation’s capital.’’


  1. Scott Hooper

    But, almost the entire “election integrity” cry of late is born out of the whimsical lies of one person and his cronies after being beaten in an election he wanted to win, and so too with the raft of wholly unconstitutional efforts to suppress votes across the nation.

    No state has shown any significant problems save for a handful of Republicans who tried to rig the 2020 results.

    I have no opinion on Inslee’s COVID response but to say it worked, and thousands of Washingtonians are probably alive because of it. Was it just? Reasonable people can debate that.

  2. K.J. Hinton

    First, the State Supreme Court has already ruled that it’s perfectly acceptable for politicians to lie. Thus, any such effort on Inslee’s part would be a violation of this state’s Constitution:

    Second, the democrats have controlled every aspect of this stat’s government for, literally, years.

    That means, each and every issue that sniveling idiot is whining about is a result of democrat policies, lack of foresight and stupidity.

    Third, the GOP is buried in the minority, and these hero bills are going nowhere. They make great campaign speeches, but they also cost a great deal (You ARE running for Congress, aren’t you?)

    The grenade throwers in the GOP legislature are going to introduce hundreds of bills which, if enacted, would reign in Inslee, cut taxes, cut fees, and fix every problem known to man.

    Now, normally, I wouldn’t have a huge problem with that; but then I look back on the days when *I* was on legislative staff (95-00) and *i8 discovered that, even 20 years ago, the average cost of bill, administratively, was $5000.

    Each bill submitted (or “dropped”, shorthand for “dropped in the hopper”} has a substantial administrative cost attached: It’s just a matter of writing a few lines on an email and pushing the “send” button.

    The Office of Program research is involved, and among other things they have to review every bill and mention every law already in place that each bill would amend or eliminate.

    That kind of thing is not a simple exercise and it takes labor and time.

    The GOP will have little impact on this legislative session, except, perhaps for the RINO element like Rivers in the Senate, who the democrats use as their token “bi-partisan” lackey.

    These bills, however, make great fodder for mailers and stump speeches, even though the authors of these efforts know the attempt to be hopeless. It’s all part of The Game, you see.

    And it accomplishes nothing because we all know that even if, by some miracle, these bills did survive the House and the Senate, Inslee would simply veto them because he will not abide any effort to reduce his power in office, power that the voters provided him in 2019 (via the “yes” vote on SJR8200)

    These bills are a waste of time, and those shilling them know. But by golly, they make a great press release/mailer.


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