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Morning Wire: Inslee’s debate performance, Convening Panel, Sen. Mona Das

Happy 4th of July!

As we head into the holiday and the (hopefully) warm weather, here is a rundown of Inslee’s debate performance, the impact of a Supreme Court ruling on Washington, and coverage of the recent public option kick-off event. 

1. Mixed reviews on Inslee’s debate performance

Gov. Inslee received mixed reviews for his performance in the 2020 Democratic candidate debates. Following night one, his campaign reported a number of wins: record donations, an increase in new donors, and a 9,872% increase in Google search interest over the previous 7-day average. On stage, Inslee pointed to specific legislation – including the public option – where Washington is leading the nation, and several commentatorsdescribed his comment about President Trump as “the line of the night.” 

On the other hand, Inslee recorded the least amount of speaking time on night one, climate change — his signature issue — was discussed for only about 8 minutes, and he was accused of “mansplaining” women’s reproductive rights. Inslee will participate in the July debate, but he has yet to reach the heightened thresholds to qualify for the 3rd and 4th debates. 

2. Convening Panel for Re-Wire coming in August

The 2019 Re-Wire Policy Conference isn’t until December 10, but we are already in the early stages of planning. Our Convening Panel will meet in August to continue our agenda setting process where we will discuss the issues, topics, and themes of this year’s event.

If you’d like to be a part of our Convening Panel, or if you have any ideas for topics or speakers on key political, economic, and policy issues of the day, email us here and let us know. Registration for the 2019 Re-Wire Policy Conference is now open at Early Bird rates. We’d be honored to have you join us.

3. The Supreme Court’s ruling and Washington State

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that “partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” The ruling finds that the federal courts do not have the ability to judge whether partisan gerrymandering crosses a constitutional line.

In February, the Washington State Wire published a series on the history, process, and future of redistricting in Washington State. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, DJ Wilson was featured on KUOW’s The Record, to discuss key takeaways from the redistricting series, and how this new ruling might impact Washington State.

4. Sen. Das on racism and sexism in the legislature

Sen. Mona Das recently made headlines when she described meetings in the legislatureas full of “hate, misogyny, racism and sexism.” Following the original reporting, Das clarified that she was referring to coded language such as terms like “those people,” and was not claiming that “horrible hate speech” took place in closed-door meetings.

The Associated Press reports that Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and Das have had several conversations since the article came out, and that a caucus retreat in October already had institutional racism as a topic. Before the start of the 2019 session, Das discussed the importance of diversity in leadership in this podcast, recorded at our annual Re-Wire Policy Conference.

5. Public option kick-off event

At a recent meeting, Gov. Jay Inslee was joined by a group of legislators, patients, and state health leaders to discuss the roll-out of Washington’s public option. The diverse group of stakeholders highlighted next steps in development, key issues and questions to address when creating the plan, and what the overarching goals for the public option are.

Improving affordability and access, a focus on the standard benefit design, and the importance of Washington State as a model for the rest of the country were all highlighted in the meeting. Our coverage of the event is available here.

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