Late Breaking–Gov. Inslee to Visit Tri Cities Tuesday
Gov. Jay Inslee will be making a "surprise" visit to the Tri-Cities Tuesday. We say that because notifications were not emailed until well after 6 PM Monday.
Inslee will be visiting Robert Frost Elementary in Pasco at 11:45 AM "to see how a return to in-person education is working for students and educators," according to his press office release.
He will then visit the Benton County Fairgrounds vaccination site at 1:30 PM, followed by invitation-only members of the media for a conference. He will also be visiting with local health officials at the vaccination site.
It is interesting to note that unlike his visit to CBC last summer, this event is restricted to invite-only media. A photographer and writer for the Herald, a reporter, and a camera crew from KEPR-TV and one local radio station. The press release says this is being done to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions; however, during his CBC visit when Benton and Franklin County were locked down, his press conference was attended by virtually all local media.
They included Townsquare Media (Newstalk870), all the TV stations, Hispanic LaVoz Newspaper, and others.
It's also interesting the last time he was here, his press conference had to be moved indoors due to Inslee being heckled badly by a vocal group of protesters.
This invite-only appears to be rather coincidental. His press office included the following information: "...all other media interested in acquiring coverage of the event should contact these media outlets directly."
We have obtained information leading us to believe the media outlets not invited were not notified of this visit until this evening. It is uncommon for a public official to restrict media access to small invite-only outlets.
Knowing what we do extensively about Inslee's views and published statements about our area, and his history here, it's no accident his visit is being tightly controlled to avoid another CBC incident. We will pass along whatever news and information about this event that may be credibly obtained.