When clowns run government, eventually it becomes a circus
By Glen Morgan
With “professionals” like Suzi Levine running state government for Governor Inslee, what could go wrong?
Washington State’s recent admission that a Nigerian fraud scam was able to extract almost a billion dollars out of Washington State’s Employment Security Department should surprise nobody. Stories like this (and more to come in the future) are partly a result of Washington State Governor Inslee’s appointment of unserious and incompetent people to run/manage/destroy these state agencies. This is nothing new. However, when these clowns are in charge, circus acts are sure to follow. Serious and competent people are rare in the Inslee administration.
Many of us who have studied these agencies for years now are aware of the widespread, bumbling incompetence that plagues every corner of Washington State government. The unfortunate truth is there are even more poorly run local governments to be found in Washington State. The cities of Seattle, Olympia, and others provide plenty of examples of additional epic failures of local governance. This race to the bottom has been in process for years. Regardless of who “wins,” we all lose in the end.
Who is really running Washington State government in the Inslee regime? ESD Director Suzi Levine & Governor Inslee
The Seattle Times recently committed an accidental act of journalism and looked closer at the appointed agency director, Suzi Levine, for the Employment Security Department. It was clear from the article that she was underqualified, over her head, and entirely clueless about the disaster she is purportedly “managing.” She is just watching the disaster unfold just like the rest of us, and carefully drip, drip, dripping the bad news out over time, hoping that the tame media loses attention. Her pre-disastrous tenure at ESD was a stint as a United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the Obama administration. Levine earned that prestigious position by being a successful political fundraising bundler (at least $2.4 million for Team Obama), and a frequent donor to Governor Inslee and his political friends. She and her husband are no strangers to scams, having reportedly lost almost a million dollars to Bernie Madoff’s investment ponzi scheme a few years ago. Effective fundraising is a useful skill, but is poor preparation to run a dysfunctional and incompetent state agency. This is true and obvious to most people, but skills and relevant abilities are low priorities for Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. Inslee’s priority is political group think, political purity, and campaign contributions. Hopefully, the Seattle Times will start looking at some of these other agencies and who “runs” them as well.
For now, however, the Nigerian fraud scam has mocked Washington State’s Employment Security Department and blown another billion dollar hole in Washington State’s budget. Many state workers will be laid off directly as a result of this incompetence, and the clowns “in charge” will move on to some other plum political appointment. This is how it works in the political monoculture of Washington State. Keep in mind, there are also tens of thousands of green reasons Governor Inslee will NOT fire Suzi Levine for exposing the circus of clowns at the State Employment Security Department. Here are just a few local green reasons (Suzi Levine and her husband Eric made the following local political contributions over the past 12 years):
- $16,600 to Governor Inslee for his elections (See PDC reports here, here, here, and here)
- $1,250 to Attorney General Bob Ferguson for his elections (See PDC reports here and here)
- $15,795 to the Washington State Democratic Party slush fund (See PDC reports here, here, here, here, here, here, and here)
- $2,000 to Anti-Gun efforts in Washington State (See PDC Report here and here) (Inslee and Ferguson pet projects)
- $6,400 to Governor Gregoire (See PDC Report here, here, and here)
- $2,350 to Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess (See PDC Report here, here, here, and here)
- $1,000 to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (See PDC Report here) – (pre-child molestation resignation scandal)
- $1,000 to failed Auditor candidate Jeff Sprung (See PDC Report here) – (later hired by Bob Ferguson as one of the AG attorneys dedicated to harass Tim Eyman)
- $1,000 to failed Secretary of State candidate Tina Podlodowski, currently Washington State Democratic Party Chair (See PDC Report here)
- $4,163 to WA State Senator Reuven Carlyle (36th LD) (See PDC Report here, here, here, here, and here)
- $2,000 to WA State Senator Manka Dhingra (45th LD ) (See PDC Report here)
- $1,000 to King County Executive Dow Constantine (See PDC Report here and here)
- $13,000 to various Democrat Senators, legislators, and other PACs (See here)
Yeah, Governor Inslee is not going to discipline this green money train for him and his friends, no matter how incompetent they are or how much tax payer dollars they waste.
Of course, this fiasco wasn’t entirely the result of incompetence. As I’ve said before, an ocean of incompetence can easily conceal a mountain of corruption. A significant challenge faced by voters who demand accountability in Washington State is the bureaucracy itself which is entirely incapable of policing itself. Bob Ferguson, Washington State’s hyper-partisan Attorney General focuses state resources on suing political enemies and his office will be defending the corrupt state employees who enabled the theft of a billion dollars from the state taxpayers. The State Auditor, Pat McCarthy, ran for office on a policy of cooperation with these agencies (we don’t want to step on anyone’s toes). Her office signs off every year on their “audits” of ESD. The State Auditor today functions as window dressing and part of the costume set for bureaucrats to claim they were “audited” and “passed without findings.” The State Auditor will see no evil, hear no evil, and denies that any evil ever existed in the first place. The group-think political coverup on this circus is business as usual – and the tame media will give them a pass every time.
This has not been the first act in the Inslee clown show of government. Earlier warm up acts included crowd favorites like these:
- Losing Federal Accreditation by Western State Mental Hospital, and failing in almost every conceivable way to fix the widespread problems at this institution. This cost the state $53 million and more in Federal grants. This also has led to a mass departure of staff (who actually want to work at “accredited” institutions). Of course, lost in this Inslee light show are the patients who are obviously not getting the help or treatment they need and are allowed to early release into the cities, neighborhoods, and homeless/addict camps to spread their own special joy in the local communities.
- Early release of 3,200 violent felons back into the community by the Department of Corrections because of a “computer glitch.” A glitch which was known, but not fixed by bureaucrats for a decade as they just mocked the “justice system.” At least two people were murdered in Washington State as a result of these early releases and many more were victimized by this violent felon early release project. Inslee fiddled and ignored this scandal, refusing to meet with victim’s families, and only reluctantly making a few token firings in the state bureaucracy. The Inslee administration recently released about 1,200 Covid inmates as well, but only violent assault and mayhem have resulted from that policy choice so far.
- Inslee habitually sticks the people of Washington State with the bill for his own personal resume-building agenda. In 2012, when Inslee dropped out of Congress to run for Governor, he stuck the taxpayers with a $1,000,000 cost for the special election for his suddenly vacant Congressional seat (even though he had promised the voters he would not drop out in the middle of that Congressional term). More recently he stuck the taxpayers of Washington State another $2,000,0000 +/- for this aborted and obviously hopeless campaign for President, which was more about enhancing Inslee’s resume (and fundraising donor list – see the ESD director resume above to close the loop on the value of having deep pockets surround you).
Governor Inslee has never shown much concern about the harm he has inflicted on the state. Few consider him a policy wonk or even very knowledgeable about what the State of Washington is doing under his “administration.” I have interviewed state employees who were required to make reports directly to state Governors. They have told me, first hand, that when they would make policy presentation updates to former Governor Gregoire, she would look at them, engage, and ask questions. When they made presentations to Inslee, he would just sit there, ignore them, and play with his phone.
The state bureaucracy is, at best, running on autopilot, and at worst creating the perfect environment for more incompetent clown shows like sending $1,000,000,000 to Nigerian fraud rings while stiffing genuinely unemployed workers in the state. In Olympia, the circus is always in town. Governor Inslee has many more clowns in the upper echelon of state government sure to entertain us in the future with more performances to follow.
OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.” IT WAS THE FOUNDER’S INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.” UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED…
Background articles and documents:
Source Docs for Suzi and Eric Levine Political Contributions:
- Campaign bundler
- Clowns in government
- corrupt government staff
- Corruption or Incompetence
- Director of Employment Security
- Eric Levine
- Government circus
- government incompetence
- incompetent government
- Inslee failure
- Jay Inslee
- Losing billions
- Nigerian fraud ring
- Nigerian fraud scam
- Suzi Levine
- Western State Hospital
Executive Director and Founder of We the Governed