On the evening of Monday, March 23, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered a televised address from his office at the Capitol to announce his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. That order effectively shut down as many as 230-thousand Washington businesses deemed nonessential.
Two days prior, a lobbyist with deep, personal ties to Inslee had contacted one of the governor’s senior policy advisors on behalf of the commercial fishing industry.
“I’m working with [t]he At-Sea processors which is the biggest fishery in the country and the second biggest in the world,” wrote Brian Bonlender in a March 21 email to Charles Knutson, who advises Inslee on economic development, innovation and global affairs.
Bonlender, whose connection to Inslee dated to the early 1990s, wanted to know if the governor was going to designate critical infrastructure -- exempt from any shutdown order -- and, if so, whether commercial fishing would be included.