Opinion: ‘Those of us who reside in this state are still living under the emergency powers that Inslee has used to control our lives for the past 800 days’

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance discusses the long-overdue need for Gov. Jay Inslee to rescind his emergency powers.
Gov. Jay Inslee

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance discusses the long-overdue need for Gov. Jay Inslee to rescind his emergency powers

A little more than 13 months ago, Gov. Jay Inslee spent about four hours in Vancouver (April 2, 2021). He made several stops during that visit, touring Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School, talking to participants of the Vancouver Boys and Girls Club as well as visiting Vancouver’s Free Clinic and vaccination clinic. 

Editor Ken Vance
Editor Ken Vance

The opportunities for the media to question the governor during the visit were extremely limited. In fact, Inslee’s staff limited the media availability at the end of the visit to a precious few, hand-picked members of the local media. Facing those limitations, I was elated that I was successful in getting the KOIN-TV pool reporter to ask one question of the governor.

I wanted Inslee to address efforts by many Washington Republican legislators, including Sen. Lynda Wilson and Rep. Vicki Kraft, to put an end to his emergency powers before the end of the 2021 session. 

“That bill is going nowhere because people understand we still have a problem in our state,’’ Inslee said. “We have an increasing number of cases. We have increasing hospitalizations. We are in the middle of administering a vaccination program which is rapidly accelerating. This is not a moment to stop our efforts. Our efforts are working in the state of Washington. We have saved thousands of lives in our state. If we had the same fatality rate as New Jersey, we would have had 15,000 more dead Washingtonians. Just in the average, we’ve saved 7,000 people just comparing us to the average state. We’re saving thousands of lives. This is not a moment to stop saving thousands of lives in the state of Washington.’’ 

That was the last question the governor took before abruptly ending the media scrum. 

“With that, I’ve got to get back and fight COVID, thank you very much, take care,’’ Inslee said.

Fast forward to today (May 10) and those of us who reside in this state are still living under the emergency powers that Inslee has used to control our lives for the past 800 days. He has had the ability to restrict our lives in ways many of us didn’t think possible and he’s still clinging on to those powers. Even Oregon Gov. Kate Brown rescinded her state’s COVID state of emergency on April 1 along with the requirement for government employees in that state to be vaccinated in order to be employed.

There is basically one reason why I am a conservative. Sure, the ideology extends through my stance on many issues so I would fight anyone who accuses me of being a singular-issue conservative. My dad was never a political person. Politics disgusted and angered him. But he voted and he always referred to himself as a Democrat. Once I got old enough, I asked my dad what the values were that he held that led him to profess his allegiance to Democratic party. He was shocked when my brother and I revealed to him that the values he held were shared much more often by Republicans than Democrats.

You see, more than any other wisdom my dad shared with me in my lifetime was this. From a very early age, he told me: “Son, what goes on in our neighbor’s yard is none of our business and what goes on in our yard is none of their business.’’ He was being literal. He was a simple man. But that principle was ingrained in my mind and it is the foundation for why I am a conservative. I am a conservative, for more than any other reason, because I believe in a smaller, less-intrusive government. Is there anything that could be farther than that than what we’ve experienced here in the state of Washington over the past 800 days?

On Oct. 25, 2021, Clark County Today Administrator Heidi Wetzler made a convincing case.

as to what the real motivation was to seize power by our elected officials and government leaders during the pandemic. “It really is past time to state that what is happening in the world is not about health,’’ Wetzler wrote. “At this point, the only way to make sense of the direction we are heading is to take the virus out of the equation.’’

The days since Wetzler wrote those insightful words have proven her to be correct. Inslee is one of the last governor’s in the country to refuse to relinquish his emergency powers. It’s not about the pandemic, it’s about control and power. The thirst for power by some politicians never ceases to amaze me. They’re happiest when they’re drunk with it.

President Biden and his White House staff are now issuing warnings about another surge in COVID-19 cases predicted in the fall. The warnings are accompanied by a request for Congress to approve another $22.5 billion in emergency aid to pay for a fourth round of shots as well as treatments and tests. Nevermind that for the past two years we’ve all had the narrative shoved down our throats that vaccinations were “100 percent safe and effective.’’ 

If the vaccinations were so safe and effective, why is there now a need for a fourth round of shots? I will never forget when I was making my initial decision whether or not to get a COVID vaccine, I talked to everyone I possibly could to get information. I will never forget the conversation that made the decision for me. My primary care physician told me that the vaccine would take “hospitalization and death off the table.’’ How could I say “no’’ to that? Turns out, over the past two years those words have been proven to be utter nonsense. As a result, I have said “no” to the second and third rounds of shots and I’m quite certain I will pass on the fourth round as well.

A popular opinion about the prediction by Biden’s White House of a fall surge of COVID-19 cases is that the Democrats have realized they are facing such a calamitous fate at the mid-term election in November that their only hope is to attempt to keep COVID in the forefront of the minds of easily frightened voters. 

Regardless of what theory to which you subscribe, Wetzler was correct. After 800 days, it’s obvious this isn’t about the pandemic any longer.


  1. Scott Hooper

    Well, thanks for the political history lesson, and the oft repeated tripe that the “force women” party is the party of “small, unintrusive government.” If your Dad believed in leaving each to do their own thing, he was a Democrat. The old-fashioned ideals of the Republican party have been long since lost–or haven’t you noticed?

    Nonetheless, on your [important and valuable] point: I would be worried were Inslee doing anything intrusive with that power, but beyond popularly supported and scientifically founded COVID measures, I know of nothing he’s done.

    He may be holding the bill open because scientists have said we may not be out of the woods yet and he wants to respond quickly to the next surge. It’s not quite happening, but cases are surely going up in WA, and are far above what we had say, last June.

    So, beyond the political value of the complaint, is there a concrete reason you don’t like him holding this for now? Is there some way he’s hurting you or someone else with it?

    It’s a serious question. I don’t spend a lot of time on news, so I wonder if you know something I don’t.

    1. Susan

      “You don’t spend a lot of time on news”…. huh? You’re on here all the time and, more often than not, are pushing your left-leaning views. Am not even sure why you read Clark County Today as it seems to be against most of your values. You would be far better suited to be commenting on the Columbian Facebook page where all the socialist-leaning kids seem to hang out.

      1. Jack Burton

        You basically just said “Why do you read anything that challenges your world view? You’re supposed to only read stuff from people that agree with you.” Do you really believe that? I know a lot of Americans live in an echo chamber, but I assumed it wasn’t intentional. Somehow it is way scarier when it is revealed to be deliberate.

    2. christodamas

      Iron law of woke projection

      The old-fashioned ideals of the Republican party have been long since lost–or haven’t you noticed?

    3. Jim

      Yes, Inslee is lying to us all. The Vaccine does not work and it is still being mandated by Inslee. The mild symptoms that are being recorded now have absolutely NOTHING to do with the vaccine. Are you aware that most of the people who are now claiming to have covid have all been triple vaxxed? Not those who have not been vaxxed. The masks are also proven to not be effective yet he demands mask mandates. Do some honest research on some honest scientific data and you can answer your own questions. I have 5 friends and family who had very severe reactions 2 to 3 weeks after getting the booster. This is happening everywhere. Inslee knows it and doesn’t care. He continues to push the vax and will punish those who don’t. That’s a fact Jack. This is why people are moving out of Washington State in droves. Me included. Inslee’s Marxist agenda has ruined this state.

  2. Margaret

    According to the WA Dept of Health,
    COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths by Vaccination Status,

    COVID-19 hospitalizations from February 01, 2021 – April 19, 2022 12 years+ page 11
    Completed primary vaccine series   10,594
    Partially vaccinated               2,060

    COVID-19 deaths from February 01, 2021 – April 05, 2022 12 years old +
    Completed primary vaccine series   2,115
    Partially vaccinated                374

    The first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Washington in mid-December 2020.

    Linking methods All information on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths provided by this report use WDRS data linked to WAIIS COVID-19 vaccination data. The links are based on a comparison of the first name, last name, and date of birth of cases to the first name, last name, and date of birth of those with COVID-19 vaccination in WAIIS. Only exact matches on all three items are considered the same person. Missing or misspelled names and incorrect dates of birth may lead to some vaccinated persons being incorrectly classified as unvaccinated. COVID-19 cases with vaccines not reported to WAIIS as described above are considered unvaccinated in this report.
    Many public health vaccine clinics did not require ID, so names and birthdates could have easily been misspelled or missing.

    1 Booster ?  hospitalizations and deaths not reported
    2 Boosters ? hospitalizations and deaths not reported
    Children 5-11 ? hospitalizations and deaths not reported

    From the “SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Breakthrough Surveillance and Case Information”,

    Note: Among the 440,489 COVID-19 breakthrough cases, no hospitalization information was available for 350,138 (79%) of the reported cases.

  3. Wolfie

    It is also very telling how quite angry and defensive Inslee gets whenever he is questioned. He is holding on to these powers so he can push his narratives and have utter control over people. It is beyond time to give them up. Those that want to be vaccinated are and if you still want to wear a mask, no one is stopping you. Time to get back to day to day living without having a dictator for a governor.

    1. Nova

      Why Jay Inslee kept emergency powers…: could no longer use the surrogate decision-maker statute for who can make decisions on moving an incapacitated patient from acute care to long-term care. ruling only applies to Medicaid recipients, with a disparate impact on the poor and marginalized.

      Also we didn’t get the vaccines for alpha until Delta variant came into existence. They were effective for Alpha. And effective for keeping you out of the Hospital for Delta.

  4. Elizabeth



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