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Inslee visits Bellingham, protestors flock

Protestors speak out against Gov. Jay Inslee Monday, April 25, at the Squalicum Boathouse in response to his planned pledge of superdelegates to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. // Photo by Connor Jalbert
Protestors speak out against Gov. Jay Inslee Monday, April 25, at the Squalicum Boathouse in response to his planned pledge of superdelegates to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. // Photo by Connor Jalbert

Thirty-five protesters confronted Gov. Jay Inslee outside a Bellingham fundraiser on Monday, April 25, in response to the governor’s pledge to support democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The 35 protesters assembled in front of the Squalicum Boathouse in Zuanich Point Park where a private fundraiser was being held. Inslee spoke to the protesters before entering the event.

As a Democratic Party superdelegate, Inslee will get to cast a vote for the party’s presidential nominee at the nominating convention in July. Ten out of Washington state’s 17 superdelegates have pledged their support for Clinton. None have said they are supporting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“[Inslee’s] complaining this election cycle that he’s having a hard time raising money. Well I guarantee, if he’d go and support [Sanders], we’d start donating to him.”

Protester Jim Peterson

Clinton’s opponent, Sanders, won the Washington democratic caucus with 72.7 percent of the vote.

At the protest, Inslee pointed to his 25-year history of working with Clinton and promised to support whoever the eventual democratic nominee is.

“I’ve worked with her on gun safety issues, which is important to a lot of people,” Inslee said. “I’ve worked with her on climate change issues. So I’ve endorsed her.”

Protesters place signs supporting presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the windows of a private fundraiser attended by Gov. Jay Inslee at the Squalicum Boathouse Monday, April 25. They protested against Inslee’s decision to support opposing candidate Hillary Clinton with Washington state's superdelegates in the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination race. // Photo by Connor Jalbert
Protesters place signs supporting presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the windows of a private fundraiser attended by Gov. Jay Inslee at the Squalicum Boathouse Monday, April 25. They protested against Inslee’s decision to support opposing candidate Hillary Clinton with Washington state’s superdelegates in the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination race. // Photo by Connor Jalbert

Western alumna Andrea Lawson, who has been a Sanders volunteer since last July, was unimpressed by what the governor had to say.

“Sure, he respects us and appreciates us being here, but not enough to speak candidly and speak to our specific comments,” Lawson said.

The protesters said that they may not support Inslee in future if he doesn’t change his superdelegate vote.

“It’s pretty upsetting, because I campaigned, phone-banked and voted for [Inslee] and all of the other Washington superdelegates,” Bellingham resident Sarah Neugebauer said. “I feel really betrayed by their group endorsement of [Clinton].”

Mike Lapointe was at the event and is currently running for Congress in Washington’s second Congressional District, which Bellingham is a part of.

“The fact is, that the overwhelming majority in Washington state voted for [Sanders],” Lapointe said. “As an elected official, [Inslee] should represent the interests of the people.”

President of the Bellingham City Council Pinky Vargas attended the fundraiser and was sympathetic to Inslee.

“I feel really betrayed by their group endorsement of [Clinton].”

Bellingham resident Sarah Neugebauer

“It would be really hard for me not to support somebody that I’ve worked with,” Vargas said. ”If I have a consistent record with someone who has been reliable and responsible, it would be pretty hard for me to change my personal view.”

Inslee walked into the fundraiser as protesters chanted “change your vote,” urging him to support Sanders rather than Clinton. Some protesters surrounded the boathouse and held their signs against the windows.

“[Inslee’s] complaining this election cycle that he’s having a hard time raising money,” protester Jim Peterson remarked. “Well I guarantee, if he’d go and support [Sanders], we’d start donating to him.”

There are about 712 superdelegates in the democratic party, according to the Seattle Times. According to the Associated Press, 516 superdelegates have declared their support for Clinton and 39 have backed Sanders.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you very much for covering our protest against Governor Inslee. We appreciate your efforts in publicizing this travesty of democracy: Superdelegates.
    Amy Glasser
    Bellingham and Whatcom County for Bernie

  2. Jay Inslee could actively support his constituents by backing Bernie Sanders NOW rather than flipping at the last minute, like he did in 2008. By waiting, Inslee thwarts the wishes of the vast majority of voters in the caucus. It is disappointing that he won’t take the lead on this issue, showing other Superdelegates how to represent their state. One wonders, how does Inslee benefit by withholding his endorsement? I guess it is just business as usual, until it’s not.

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