Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

After losing temper, Sen. Liias apologizes to Oregon governor

The Everett Democrat said Gov. Kate Brown “is living in fantasyland” in response to her criticism of a proposed tax on exported fuel.

OLYMPIA — State Sen. Marko Liias has apologized to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for disparaging her in a radio interview Thursday.

“I lost my temper … and made some intemperate and disrespectful remarks,” the Everett Democrat wrote in an email to the governor Thursday night.

Brown, also a Democrat, opposes a 6 cent tax on exported fuel that is proposed in Washington Democrats’ $16 billion transportation package. Most of Oregon’s fuel comes from Washington, making it likely Oregon drivers will see the increase at the pump.

“Let me be clear: Oregon will not stand for taxation levied by Washington leaders with no consultation with our state government, our business community or our residents,” she wrote in a Seattle Times guest column on Tuesday. A few days earlier, Brown tweeted that she told Washington Gov. Jay Inslee the tax is “unacceptable.”

Liias, an author of that transportation package, took aim at Brown when the subject arose midway through the radio interview.

Marko Liias

Marko Liias

“The fact that she dares say a word is just a joke,” he told host John Carlson on KVI radio in Seattle.

Washington residents who work in Oregon pay that state’s income tax, which adds up to $300 million a year, Liias said.

“Her state basically lives off Washington state residents,” he said. “This governor down in Oregon is living in fantasyland. She is in the last few months of her term. She is losing relevance.”

Liias penned the apology a short time later.

“It is too easy in politics to get upset and say unkind things, and much too difficult to express regret,” Liias wrote. “Governor Brown has been a wonderful partner with Washington on so many issues, I am sorry my words clouded that proud record.

“Moving forward, I plan to stick to the merits of our transportation proposal and leave the interstate dimensions to cooler heads and wiser voices,” he concluded.

Liias also apologized on the Washington Senate floor Friday.

“I deeply regret those comments,” he said. “I know better. I will do better.”

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Police: Mill Creek man fatally stabbed wife amid financial woes

After quitting his job at Amazon, the man amassed about $50,000 in debt, triggering a discussion about finances, he told police.

Outside of the current Evergreen Recovery Centers' housing to treat opioid-dependent moms with their kids on Thursday, May 25, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$8M in behavioral health grants to benefit children, youth, families

Snohomish County awarded one-time federal funding to five projects that will reach at least 440 new people each year.

Most Read