Inslee owes us more service

I am concerned regarding Congressman Jay Inslee’s decision to resign and disappointed in The Herald’s support of that decision. (Tuesday editorial, “Inslee’s focus belongs here.”) We elected Inslee to serve two years in Congress on our behalf. It may be fine that he wants to run for governor, but he still owes the First Congressional District a year of service.

The Herald editorial suggests that there will be nothing of real importance happening in Congress during the remainder of this year and that somehow this makes it OK for Inslee to quit. I did not know The Herald had a crystal ball, and it is not primarily the big national issues that we elect our individual congressman to address. They are there to champion the concerns of their district constituents.

The Herald suggests that by leaving his Shoreline and Poulsbo offices open, Inslee is somehow continuing to support his constituents. Having left office, he can no better support the First Congressional District than any other citizen.

Inslee already has wide name recognition, especially in the major population centers of the state. As a state legislative representative from Yakima and as the 4th Congressional District representative for Yakima and the Tri-Cities, he is also well known east of the Cascades.

As to The Herald’s suggestion that without quitting Congress Inslee remains a continent away and unavailable to engage in a “foundational debate over priorities” is simply wrong. Inslee returns home two to three weekends a month and would be available regularly for the “foundational debate.”

It could be argued that it is reasonable for him to possibly resign a couple of months before the election. With all of the House and a third of the Senate engaged in re-election campaigns, by design nothing much will be going on this fall, so go ahead and campaign. Unfortunately, Inslee owes his constituents a half-term in Congress. I do not think we were looking for half-time representation when he was elected.

Robert Armstrong