Wednesday Jolt: Rob Holland and Tax Breaks for Private Jets
The day's winners and losers.
1. No winner or loser here, exactly, but a pretty big Jolt: In the wake of a devastating front-page Seattle Times story laying bare his many personal and financial problems, Seattle Port Commission member Rob Holland resigned today, saying he wanted to "pursue other professional opportunities."
Among other details, the Times story revealed that Holland had a relationship with a convicted armed burglar and registered sex offender; misused of his Port of Seattle credit card so frequently that he kept it locked up in his office; bounced reimbursement checks from the Port; and struggled to hold down a job (the Port Commission is a part-time position that pays about $500 a month).
After the Times story ran but before he stepped down from his Port position, Holland posted several Facebook rants about the "Seattle Corporate Times," comparing the paper to gossip site TMZ and US Weekly magazine and referring to Jesus as the kind of guy who would appreciate the work he's done on behalf of minorities and former felons.
The word "lynching" also makes an appearance.
Some samples (sic throughout):
So write your story Seattle Corporate Times right here in Martin Luther King Jr County - you tell the people how bad and evil I am for helping people Jesus himself would have called 'friends.' I do not seek the approval of men. I seek that of the almighty who's everlasting hand I find my peace in.
PEOPLE demand The Seattle Corporate Times report to YOU real issues. There are real debates out there - especially in local government! Don't buy it or let editors know you want to know about policies that impact your life - I want to know what elected officials believe in and stand for -- how Holland is working to keep my port competitive over the past four years.
And, in response to a comment about his advocacy for ex-cons:
Holland's resignation leaves two of the Port's five seats vacant (the other was vacated by Gael Tarleton, who was elected as a state representative from Seattle's 36th District). The Port will appoint both new members in March, reportedly from the pool of six candidates, all women, who have been named as finalists for Tarleton's seat.
2. Definitely a winner here: Once again, Washington state's airlplane industry is on the receiving end. In an era when tax exemptions have come under scrutiny, brand new Gov. Jay Inslee went in the other direction today when he unveiled a $120 million jobs program.
Among the specific legislation he proposed was a tax exemption—no excise tax or registration fee on private jet repairs.
Jolt asked Inslee if there were any metrics attached to the bill—how much private airplane repair business could we expect, for example—so that the state could eventually gauge whether or not scrapping the tax was worth it.
Inslee couldn't say.