State Senator Urges “Stiff Penalty” For Inslee’s Apple “Gaffe”
"I’m surprised and frankly disappointed, It was a nice gesture, but not well thought through. As the state’s executive, he should have followed the law to keep our state’s agriculture safe, instead of putting it at risk. I think that the stiffest penalties are in order.”
That was a quote issued Wednesday afternoon by Washington State Senator Judy Warnick (R- Moses Lake) over the growing apple maggot threat triggered by Gov. Inslee illegally distributing crates of 'governor's mansion apples' to various fire-ravaged areas in Central and Eastern WA.
Warnick referenced a YouTube video published by the Cheney Free Press, where Gov. Inslee mentions while in Malden, WA a bunch of good honeycrisp apples were picked at the mansion by he and his wife Trudy. The only issue? Because of Western Washington being overrun by apple maggots and codding moths, there are strict protocols for transporting homegrown or other non-farm fruit into quarantine areas, namely, the 18 'safe' apple and fruit growing counties in Central, North and Eastern WA.
The penalty for transporting home grown or other 'unauthorized' fruit into quarantine counties is up to 90 days in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine. You've seen the signs along the highways all over Eastern WA.
Thursday, we are now hearing the search for the tainted apples has reached beyond Douglas and into Chelan County as well.
Warnick, who is the former Chairman of the State Ag Committe also said:
“The state requires strict protocols to be followed when transporting produce because we want to keep our industry safe, I think it’s a fairly serious gaffe by the state’s executive and warrants a strong penalty.”
She is demanding the Washington State Department of Agriculture thoroughly investigate the incident.
The video where he mentions the mansion picked apples is below.