I spent the last couple of weeks kinda-sorta keeping track of things from one of the more remote corners of Europe, so I largely missed Gov. Jay Inslee’s jaunt to a different corner of that continent.
But as I was catching up, I was struck by how little ink Inslee got for his trade mission to Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Our sisters and brothers at The Seattle Times and public radio appear to have ignored it entirely.¹ A handful of outlets took brief notice, mostly cribbing from Inslee’s official account of the event and a remote press conference he gave near the end of the trip. Was this another reflection of the sad decline of regional public affairs journalism? Or was the trip just a news-free snoozer? Probably a little of both.
But there are definitely some noteworthy elements in this little Scandanavian sojourn.
Here’s why you should care about this. This wasn’t the usual Inslee trip to shake loose campaign cash for the Democratic Governors Association. It was a full-blown trade mission, some 45 people in all, including a big chunk of Inslee’s senior staff and his ever-present security detail. The taxpayers footed a substantial part² of the bill. And if you buy the notion that this wasn’t pure junketing, the trip could be a signpost of policy ideas to come.
Read the rest over at The Washington Observer.
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