Governor Jay Inslee, chipping away at the Berlin Wall

Governor Jay Inslee VETOES Washington State Legislature’s attempt

to hide public records, bringing the Washington Legislature into the 21st Century



One has to judge politicians not only by bad decisions they make, but by some good actions they take.  Today is a new day for the Washington State Legislature.

Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed ESB 6617, a bill related to public disclosure obligations of the Legislature. Inslee received a requests Thursday evening from a number of legislators to veto the bill after they reached an agreement with media organizations about a process for working together on the issue.

Following his veto, Inslee issued the following statement:

“The public’s right to government information is one we hold dearly in Washington. Transparency is a cornerstone of a democratic government, and I’m very proud of my administration’s record on public disclosure. I believe legislators will find they can fulfill their duties while being fully transparent, just like state and local governments all across Washington.

“I want to thank the legislators who have reconsidered this bill and asked me for this veto tonight. Since this bill passed, my office and lawmakers have heard an unprecedented level of response from the public. Those messages were heard loudly and clearly. I now hope lawmakers, the media, and other stakeholders will work together to resolve differences through a process the public can have faith in.

“I believe the Legislature’s overwhelming vote on the bill was a good faith attempt to increase disclosure and transparency. Though I expressed concerns about the outline of the bill, I did tell legislators I would let the bill become law if they delivered it with enough votes to override a veto. However, that was before I saw the process which failed to meet public expectations for openness and delivered a bill that fell short.

“I appreciate that both sides have been open to discussions during the past few days and will work together to find the right approach to this important issue.”




One such Senator Governor stated wrote to him was Snohomish County’s Senator Guy Palumbo.  Guy Palumbo’s admission that he made a mistake by supporting HB 6617 is a step in the right direction, moving Washington State into the 21st Century.


Constituents of the 1st District,


You are receiving this email because you took the time to write or call me this week with regard to the SB 6617, the public records act bill.


I have heard your concerns and taken them to heart. As a result, I have chosen to sign a letter asking Governor Inslee to veto SB 6617. A copy of that letter is attached.


If the Governor agrees to veto the bill, I will not lend my vote to override that veto.


The legislature will be conducting a more transparent process, which should have been the process from the start. The hope is to land at a nuanced, thoughtful solution to this issue in the 2019 legislative session. In the meantime, the legislature is preparing all of the things needed to comply with the public records act. This will mean, among other things, hiring a new agency of staff people to answer requests, creating document retention policies and training all of the staff members of the legislature on how to adhere to the law.


As a supporter of open government, I hope this more public process will lead to a transparent legislature that also maintains the ability for constituents to petition their representatives without fear. I am also extremely concerned about granting any additional power to the lobbyists in Olympia, who are already far too powerful. I firmly believe the influence of money and lobbyists is corrupting our democracy and we have to be careful not to empower them further.


Thank you again for communicating with me. Our democratic process only works if I know what is important to the people I represent.




State Senator Guy Palumbo




During the last week of February 2018, the Washington State voters were disrespected by its lawmakers, and soon, the Gold Bar Reporter will be posting the name and a little biography ( Gold Bar Reporter style) about each cockroach who voted in favor of shielding their conduct from the public’s eye.

The cockroaches in Olympia who voted in favor of WA HB 6617 need sunshine, and the Gold Bar Reporter intends bring each cockroach to the equator.



It all started last week when Open Government President Toby Nixon sent out an alarming email, claiming that the Washington State Legislature, slipped, in secret session, without a hearing, House Bill (WA HB) 6617, exempting the Washington State Legislature from Washington State’s Public Records Act.

The anti-open government sponsors of WA HB 6617, also known as Washington State Senators, Sharon Nelson and Mark Schoesler.  Both need a hell of a lot of sunshine, but we’d prefer to file Recall Petitions against each for violating the “public’s trust”

Sen_Nelson                        Schoeslor

Senator Nelson, and Senator Schoesler fighting to keep Washington State corrupt, teaches a class titled ” How to operate the government in secrecy, 101″

WA HB 6617 states in pertinent part:

HB 6617


Recently, former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna called WA HB 6617 ” the Anti-transparency bill” and further stated that the 48 Senators who voted for WA HB 6617 ( without a hearing, and no sunshine where the cockroaches roam) is ” insulting” and “abuse of process.”

“We don’t really care what the public thinks, we’re passing this anyway.” McKenna said.

In early January 2018, the Honorable Judge Chris Lanese held “The plain and unambiguous language of the Public Records Act applies to the offices of senators and representatives.”   The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by media outlets to access legislators’ records.

Instead of accepting the Judge’s ruling, the Washington State Legislature, almost all of them, voted to hide their records from the public they supposedly serve.

  No it can’t be, Our Legislature wants to operate behind closed doors, with no hearings ” where the cockroaches roam” spits on the rights of Washington State voters.  For the Washington State Legislature’s blatant disregard for the voters’ right to access public records, the Gold Bar Reporter believes that each cockroach in Olympia needs a hell of a lot of sunshine – and we intend to bring it to them.

WA SB 6617 is an attempt to end that lawsuit without allowing the public a chance to oppose such blatant disrespect for the public’s right to know.

Senator Jan Angel late yesterday wrote to Open Government Toby Nixon stating the following Anti-Government views:

Jan Angel

Senator Jan Angel, Anti-Open Government


“Toby this provides greater transparency and with the most recent lawsuit that the newspapers brought I would not want to have to disclose my constituents names when I am working for them on very delicate issues that is not transparency there is a difference in what we were asked to do and what this bill does reasonably. This bill provides reasonable transparency and believe me I am a strong supporter of accountability and transparency when done reasonably protecting our constituents and our conversations to me is Paramount because many of the issues we help people with they would not come to us for help if they knew it was going to be disclosed. We deal with many personal issues and this bill will help protect our constituents a bit. ”

Wow, is Jan Angle out of touch with Washington voters, and more importantly, believes that the voters are stupid enough to believe her lies that WA HB 6617 provides more transparency.

Recall Petitions are being drafted, and out hope is that each voter in the county where you reside, follows suit and files Recall Petitions against all who voted in favor of WA HB 6617. According to long time open government attorney, RCW 42.56 states that concealing public records is a felony in Washington State.

The Honorable Rep. Melanie Stambaugh (R-Puyallup), who voted no, said:

“Legislators were restricted in this debate and were not allowed to verbalize any argument against this bill on the House Floor. The House Floor debate consisted of one ‘pro’ speech from each side of the chamber and there were not any speeches against this bill, despite there being several ‘no’ votes. This is wildly different from other bills where members are freely able to stand and speak. It is very disappointing.”

Toby Nixon, president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and a former legislator, wrote on Facebook:

“Legislators have shown such contempt in many ways over the years through such things as introducing title-only bills, holding hearings on bills the same day they’re introduced, voting on massive bills and striking amendments such as the budget within hours of the text becoming available before legislators themselves have an opportunity to read it much less the public, cancelling hearings on short notice after people have traveled across the state to attend, etc. But the idea that a major bill with such huge policy implications is introduced and then on the governor’s desk for signature within 48 hours is just ridiculous…And that’s not even commenting on the content of the bill, which is an abomination as well.”

In effort to thwart the taxpayer voters, legislators included an emergency clause, which means it can’t be repealed by voters with a referendum for two years.

Open government activist, Bill Scheidler said “It seems Washington constitution, Article 1, section 1, has been abolished. The words “governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed”, no longer mean what they say. The bill itself state “the legislature, like the judicial branch” have decided for themselves. Folks, our elected representatives are in breach of their duty. That is why I’m suing Jan Angel, Michelle Caldier, and Jesse Young … WE MUST RECLAIM OUR POWERS as WE ARE THE SOLE REASON WASHINGTON’s governments exist in the first place.…/scheidler-files-lawsuit…/  “


Below is a list of the Washington State Legislatures who are Anti-Government and should be Recalled with all deliberate speed for “violating the public’s trust”

Yes” votes in the House (with party affiliation and district number):
Sherry Appleton, D-23
Andrew Barkis, R-2
Steve Bergquist, D-11
Brian Blake, D-19
Vincent Buys, R-42
Bruce Chandler, R-15
Mike Chapman, D-24
Frank Chopp, D-43
Judy Clibborn, D-41
Eileen Cody, D-34
Cary Condotta, R-12
Richard DeBolt, R-20
Tom Dent, R-13
Beth Doglio, D-22
Laurie Dolan, D-22
Mary Dye, R-9
Carolyn Eslick, R-39
Joe Fitzgibbon, D-34
Noel Frame, D-36
Roger Goodman, D-45
Mia Gregerson, D-33
Dan Griffey, R-35
Larry Haler, R-8
Drew Hansen, D-23
Mark Hargrove, R-47
Paul Harris, R-17
Dave Hayes, R-10
Jeff Holy, R-6
Zack Hudgins, D-11
Morgan Irwin, R-31
Bill Jenkin, R-16
Laurie Jinkins, D-27
Norm Johnson, R-14
Ruth Kagi, D-32
Steve Kirby, D-29
Brad Klippert, R-08
Shelley Kloba, D-1
Joel Kretz, R-7
Dan Kristiansen, R-39
John Lovick, D-44
Kristine Lytton, D-40
Drew MacEwen, R-35
Nicole Macri, D-43
Matt Manweller, R-13
Jacquelin Maycumber, R-7
Joan McBride, D-48
Gina McCabe, R-14
Bob McCaslin, R-4
Joyce McDonald, R-25
Jeff Morris, D-40
Terry Nealey, R-16
Ed Orcutt, R-20
Timm Ormsby, D-3
Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-21
Strom Peterson, D-21
Eric Pettigrew, D-37
Liz Pike, R-18
Gerry Pollet, D-46
Marcus Riccelli, D-3
June Robinson, D-38
Jay Rodne, R-5
Cindy Ryu, D-32
Sharon Tomiko Santos, D-37
Joe Schmick, R-9
Mike Sells, D-38
Tana Senn, D-41
Matt Shea, R-04
Vandana Slatter, D-48
Larry Springer, D-45
Derek Stanford, D-1
Mike Steele, R-12
Drew Stokesbary, R-31
Monica Jurado Stonier, D-49
Pat Sullivan, D-47
Gael Tarleton, D-36
David Taylor, R-15
Steve Tharinger, D-24
Javier Valdez, D-46
Luanne Van Werven, R-42
Brandon Vick, R-18
Mike Volz, R-6
J.T. Wilcox, R-2
Sharon Wylie, D-49

The Honorable House Members who voted no:

Michelle Caldier, R-26
Jake Fey, D-27
Paul Graves, R-05
Mark Harmsworth, R-44
Christine Kilduff, D-28
Vicki Kraft, R-17
Dick Muri, R-28
Tina Orwall, D-33
Mike Pellicciotti, D-30
Kristine Reeves, D-30
David Sawyer, D-29
Melanie Stambaugh, R-25
Jim Walsh, R-19
Jesse Young, R-26
Norma Smith, R-10, was excused.

“Yes” votes in the Senate: 
Jan Angel, R-26
Barbara Bailey, R-10
Randi Becker, R-2
Andy Billig, D-3
John Braun, R-20
Sharon Brown, R-8
Maralyn Chase, D-32
Annette Cleveland, D-49
Steve Conway, D-29
Jeannie Darneille, D-27
Manka Dhingra, D-45
Doug Ericksen, R-42
Phil Fortunato, R-31
David Frockt, D-46
Bob Hasegawa, D-11
Brad Hawkins, R-12
Steve Hobbs, D-44
Jim Honeyford, R-15
Sam Hunt, D-22
Karen Keiser, D-33
Curtis King, R-14
Patty Kuderer, D-48
Marko Liias, D-21
John McCoy, D-38
Mark Mullet, D05
Sharon Nelson, D-34
Mike Padden, R-4
Guy Palumbo, D-1
Jamie Pedersen, D-43
Ann Rivers, R-18
Christine Rolfes, D-23
Rebecca Saldaña, D-37
Mark Schoesler, R-9
Tim Sheldon, D-35
Shelly Short, R-7
Dean Takko, D-19
Kevin Van De Wege, D-24
Judy Warnick, R-13
Lisa Wellman, D-41
Lynda Wilson, R-17
Hans Zeiger, R-25

The Honorable Senators who voted “No”: 
Michael Baumgartner, R-6
Reuven Carlyle, D-36
Joe Fain, R-47
Mark Miloscia, R-30
Steve O’Ban, R-28
Kevin Ranker, D-40
Keith Wagoner, R-39


Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

Gov. Jay Inslee said “legislators should learn to work under the same disclosure rules that all other public servants in Washington operate under.”

Whether Governor Inslee will Veto the Bill or not, does not change the fact that WA HB 6617 illustrates the contempt for the public’s input from Our Legislature.

RCW states: “The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created.”









  1. Seems like we need to start another initiative to repeal this and to enact new legislation that forbids our elected officials from exempting themselves from ANY legislation; I would also like to see an effort to revise the law so that any initiative by the people that passes cannot be revised, repealed or changed in anyway, without the vote of the people. This little effort by our elected officials is the foot in the door local governments have been waiting for to substantively change RCW 42.56 to the people’s detriment.


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