Well, that escalated quickly.
Last week, The Columbian’s Editorial Board had a remote interview with Vicki Kraft and Tanisha Harris, candidates for one of the legislative positions in the 17th District. And amid the discussion of tax policy and racial justice and the Interstate 5 Bridge, there was talk about the coronavirus pandemic and Gov. Inslee’s shutdown orders.
Kraft has made this a focus of her campaign. She helped promote and took part in protests this spring at the state Capitol and at the Clark County Courthouse, decrying what she regards as Inslee’s Draconian measures.
Certainly, people have the right to protest. They even have the duty to do so; that’s what democracy is all about. But if you ask me, it is irresponsible for an elected official to promote a rally as attendees largely ignore social distancing and recommendations to wear masks. That kind of behavior is why we are still stuck in a partial economic shutdown and why COVID-19 numbers are growing, nearly seven months into the pandemic.
To which Kraft told the editorial board: “It is responsible for a state representative to represent the people. Gov. Inslee was not listening.”
When asked about her thoughts, Harris said: “There are people at these rallies who are members of known white supremacy groups and hate groups and people who are holding Nazi flags and have signs that are referencing the Holocaust. … I think we have to be careful about where we show up and who we are surrounded by and the messages that are coming out. I think we all can have discussions about how we safely and responsibly open up our economy and get our state moving back again. But when we have these other distractions and these other elements coming into play, the message is lost and that’s really quite disturbing to me and to lot of people here in Clark County.”