Archive for November 6th, 2009

November 6, 2009


by lewwaters

Submitted by reader;

Jack Burkman’s narrow margin of less than 7% against his opponent, Bill Turlay is not a voter mandate to “ Bring Jack Back”.

Let’s examine Jack’s tax and spend voting record.

Jack’s vote contributed to our current city debt of $212 Million with debt interest payment at $10 Million per year.

Jack’s voted for SIX (6) downtown parking garages with a LOSS of revenue of $280,000 in 2008; Hilton hotel construction $ 72.5 million with $1 Million per year in debt interest payment and $800,00/yr Hilton management fee. Also Jack voted for a TEN-year property tax break for downtown Heritage condo owners.

Jack’s campaign brochure states he will wisely manage our community’s funds. If Jack really managed funds well during his years in office, why have Police and Fire always been used as the pawn to extract more taxes out of the public’s pocket?

Jack’s campaign brochure also states he wants to keep our city safe and secure. Where was Jack’s concern about safety for library patrons when he served simultaneously as a Vancouver Library board member and City council member? Jack consistently voted to keep unfiltered porn in the library, even after the Mayor recommended library board members filter out porn.

Jack’s voting record shows he voted in lockstep with the mayor and never showed any independent thinking of his own. Can you imagine, two years and never finding any issue with which you disagree with anyone else on the council? Is this leadership?

During his time on council Jack demonstrated his inability to interface with the citizens and showed contempt for citizens when they voiced their disapproval on certain issues. Jack had the audacity to say to a constituent – “you are not smart enough to understand how to run the city”. After a public forum at a local school in April 2000, Jack wrote part of a letter to The Columbian where he pitched a fit at the questions being asked by citizens. Now, he wants us to believe he is a thoughtful leader who brings people together (as stated in his campaign brochure)?

Sooner or later the real “Jack” will show up and the voters will realize they have reelected the same Jack who did not serve them well the first time on City council.

Fran Rutherford
Vancouver, Wa.

November 6, 2009

Russell’s Apologists Cover For Poor Council Performance

by lewwaters

Washougal City Councilman Jon Russell, eager to run against current congressman Brian Baird for Washington’s Third Congressional District, recently made news along with the defeated mayor of Washougal, Washington.

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

Apologists for Russell now claim Jon was unable to convince “progressive council members” that the actions of the mayor were inappropriate over the two years he claims he saw what was happening and what brought about the current state audit that broke in the last week of the campaign, helping bring about the defeat of the Republican mayor by a Democrat candidate.

Expressing disappointment in what apologists label “political opponents within the Republican Party,” they fail to recognize that in apologizing for Jon, they freely admit to the very claim made by this “political opponent within the Republican party.”

That being, Jon was unable to stand up to a small town mayor of some 9,000 people.

If Jon indeed did see the inappropriate conduct and improper actions of the Republican mayor and brought it up to the rest of the city council, how is it he was unable, in two years, to rally support, although remaining vigilant and voicing his concerns with a greater position of strength?

Personally disappointing is that after admitting Jon’s inability to rally support, we are told Jon is exactly the sort of person we should send to Washington D.C. to stand up to the likes of Nancy Pelosi or whoever would replace her as Speaker of the House.

I would also ask the apologist, if Jon was unable to rally support amongst 6 fellow council members over a 2-year period, how would he rally support amongst 434 fellow congressmen in the House, the majority of which are also “progressive?”

Showing naiveté, or wishful thinking, apologists expect that Nancy Pelosi will be gone in 2010 and the Republican Party will regain a majority within Congress. I certainly hope they are right, but realistically, to regain a one-seat majority in the House, Republicans would not only have to retain every single one of the 177 seats currently held, but gain 80 seats as well.

No thoughts are given from apologists on just how to accomplish such a tall order in such a short time.

Possibly due to being prior to their moving to Clark County, no mention is made just how it is that Jon is now uniquely qualified to defeat a 6 term incumbent congressman, after 2 years of inability to rally support amongst fellow council members or how that translates into a qualification when Jon was unable to make it past the first round to gain the seat on our state legislature vacated by scandal ridden Richard Curtis in 2007 and now occupied by Representative Jamie Herrera.

Also left unexplained is just how Jon came to leave his position as a Legislative Assistant that he so proudly lists as a qualification, after a short time.

In classic Ron Paulian speak, apologists warn, “you should be giving more sober thought to how your words and especially your actions, fit in with the current political landscape,” after a brief reminder of the backing of New York’s conservative candidate over the liberal claiming Republican who backed the Democrat.

I don’t think I need remind anyone that the Democrat won the race, as much as I dislike it.

Fronting an inexperienced candidate with dubious qualifications and who is willing to throw others under the bus instead of accepting responsibility and standing on their own record is far from any “new political landscape,” it just the age-old politics we have all grown tired of.

Is this “new political landscape” standing on a candidates inability to “rally support” as needed? Last I heard, a good legislator must be able overcome the partisan rancor and engage those across the aisle to “rally support” for proposed legislation, not just follow lock step with a majority.

Attacking those who support a more qualified candidate and accusing them of manipulating direct quotes is also more of that old tired political tactic we have grown tired of.

It isn’t manipulating to point out direct quotes. It is, however, manipulating voters to exaggerate a resumé and provide cover for a weak candidate’s inability to rally support on a small town city council or stand up to the mayor of that same small town of 9,000 over a 2-year period.

For newcomers to our community I will only say, maybe you should listen to those who have nearly three decades in the community before you assume to know better for us. This isn’t Los Angeles.

If all your candidate has is ad hominem against others and tearing down opponents at every chance, perhaps he is not so uniquely qualified as you think.

David Castillo is running on his own merits without engaging in ad hominem or taking convenient slaps at others and exaggerating a resumé.

When will Jon Russell?