Once you've had a chuckle or two at the bungled mispronunciation of the word "Whatcom," you may agree that this nationally broadcast featurette put a very interesting spin on the tough up-down permitting decision that lies ahead for County Council.
WE were irritated that these reporters implied, throughout, that this decision is mighty big for a parochial, podunk local legislature (a county council). The tone was very "Oh my" and "Tsk-tsk."
So, MSNBC - "What about local decision-making seems so odd?" WE realize some elitists don't grasp the concept of representative government, but this was a mighty crass put-down.
In response, WE'd ask, "Who do they think would make a better job of it? People who don't live here?" (It sure sounded like this pair felt that outsiders would know best.)
Then, the newsies shifted gears to say that that big money is headed here ("coal money" and millions, no less) - supposedly to fill local election coffers and (we presume) sway judgment.
Now, that was downright insulting. Whatcom County is too small for dirty 19th century Tammany Hall tactics. Nobody would get away with it, even if they wanted to (WE hope).
Watching this led us to wonder, "Who would drum up such a sleazy story?" It's hard to believe that GPT supporters would put that spin on it, though opponents might benefit from such insinuations.
Another thing about this story seemed creepy. After the talking heads more or less suggested that our council is small potatoes and vulnerable to bribes, they went on to chatter that Governor Inslee has taken a position. One of the last lines was, "Even though we know what his view is, he can't step in." WE generally focus on local, and don't follow the man. So we dredged a bit and discovered that Inslee and his followers have created a substantial "greenest governor" legend for the guy. Is it possible that his legend involves thinly veiled wink-and-a-nod prejudice for certain endeavors, before the facts are in? WE hope that ain't so.
Read this story about the recent joint Washington/Oregon letter that was transmitted from Olympia to the White House (see the actual letter).
If it's true that the governor’s taken this thinly-veiled anti terminal position, what expectation of impartiality and honest handling could proponents expect at the hands of his state agencies?
There's a long way to go on the GPT issue. WE expect the process to move forward in a way that's objective, fair, and impartial. But with press like this flame-bait - plus Inslee's political nudging in D.C. - can it be?
For the record, WE do trust this council to do the right thing - meaning, to be scrupulously thorough and fair. 'Hope they don't blow principle for politics.