Archive for February 27th, 2010

February 27, 2010

AG McKenna, Uphold Washington Citizens ‘Right To Anonymous Speech’

by lewwaters

As previously covered on Clark County Conservative, the case to release all of the names, addresses and signatures of those who signed the petition to place R-71, a citizen initiated resolution to place the bill SB 5688, enhancements to domestic partnerships, on the ballot has made it to the United States Supreme Court.

See Supreme Court Will Hear R-71 Petition Case and Columbian Urges Supreme Court to Listen to AG McKenna on R-71 Signers.

Given recent events spurred by Democrats in our legislature and Governor Gregoire not only supporting, but signing those measures into law, Attorney General McKenna should immediately withdraw any challenge and keep petition signatures hidden.

I am making this call due in part to the efforts of Democrats to write into law SB 6754, a law that would make signatures of those who sign citizen petitions part of the public record.

Republican State Senator Don Benton, who recently announced his intent to run against Senator Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate, spoke in opposition to SB 6754 saying,

“The majority voted the other night to not publish the votes legislators take in the voter’s pamphlet, which was wrong. Now they want to publicize the names of citizens who sign an initiative. This is clearly an attempt to intimidate citizens to keep them from exercising their constitutional rights.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke similar words in a partial dissenting opinion when the Supreme Court struck down some provisions of the campaign finance law.

Justice Thomas said,

“Political speech is entitled to robust protection under the First Amendment…. Congress may not abridge the ‘right to anonymous speech’ based on the ‘simple interest in providing voters with additional relevant information’.”

Justice Thomas, after listing several instances of how activist in opposition to California’s Proposition 8 used such information obtained from their public records to harass, intimidate and threaten supporters of Prop 8 continued,

“The success of such intimidation tactics has apparently spawned a cottage industry that uses forcibly disclosed donor information to pre-empt citizens’ exercise of their First Amendment rights,” adding, “These instances of retaliation sufficiently demonstrate why this Court should invalidate mandatory disclosure and reporting requirements.”

SB 6754 passed the Senate and remains in the House.

The other reason I make this call for AG McKenna to withdraw the state’s challenge to the R-71 case from before the Supreme Court and concede to Justice Thomas’s words is Democrat’s passage and Governor Gregoire signing into law the suspension of I-960, a citizen initiative that placed restrictions on raising taxes requiring a 2/3 majority vote for such increases and for Governor Gregoire not vetoing the very portion Senator Benton mentioned above, keeping legislators names out of the voters guide that voted to increase such taxes.

SB 6130 was signed into law by Gregoire as passed, in spite of Republicans efforts to preserve our “right to know.”

Senator Benton hand delivered a letter to the governor from Republicans that said in part,

“If you cannot veto all of ESSB 6130, I respectfully request that you veto section three of the bill. In doing so you would preserve the peoples right to an advisory vote on tax increases passed by the Legislature. I believe that the citizens have a right to know about legislative actions that increase taxes and that we would do well to listen to their response in the form of an advisory vote.”

He reminded the governor,

“People have the right to know how legislators vote. That’s why they approved Initiative 960 in the first place – they want sunshine on their government.”

His plea fell on deaf ears.

In an election year Democrats are on shaky ground nationwide, voters are being assaulted with the prospect of state sanctioned intimidation tactics should they support a citizen initiative some activist group dislikes by our names, addresses and signatures being made public.

At the same time, Democrat officials have chosen to keep their names private should they vote to further plunge the state into bankruptcy by voting to increase taxes during such dire economic times we face currently, 14.3% unemployment in Clark County alone.

This flies in the face of a free and open society and is something I’d imagine hearing in such countries as Venezuela or Cuba, not America or Washington State.

Senator Benton said in opposition to SB 6754,

“What we are witnessing are actions to destroy democracy and our constitution. When you stomp on the will of the people by acting in the dark of the night to restrict their rights just because you don’t agree with their decisions, what else can it be called but an all-out assault on the people’s right to determine how they are governed?”

Mr. McKenna, in light of the actions of our legislators, don’t citizens also have a ‘right to anonymous speech’ if legislators seize for themselves a right to anonymity for votes that carry the potential of harming citizens?

I urge you to petition the Supreme Court to uphold our ‘right to anonymous speech.’

February 27, 2010

Is It Negative To Speak The Truth?

by lewwaters

Some local supporters of state representative Jaime Herrera’s campaign to secure the Third Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Brian Baird are expressing outrage at a robo-call Thursday from the Castillo campaign discussing Herrera’s travel to Washington D.C. for a campaign fund raiser while our state legislature is in session still.

I wasn’t home to actually hear the call, but a member of a private online group I frequent was kind enough to record it and make it available to group members, as he too joined the chorus of outraged “neutral” people who announce they have not decided on who to support.

Listening to the call I am immediately struck by not hearing anything that I can point out that isn’t true. The call begins by pointing out that Ms. Herrera has accepted donations from the SEIU, which is confirmed by the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.

The call says nothing about $800 accepted from the AFSCME Council 28, Washington Federation of State Employees, in addition to the $500 received from SEIU 925 PAC or the endorsements from the SEIU, verified from Progressive Voter Guide and Equal Rights Washington, both liberal groups.

In expressing “outrage” over the claims made in the call, some have indicated that Castillo would gladly accept campaign funds from unions as well, but a quick review of the Federal Elections Commission web site reveals no such donations received to date for the Castillo campaign.

Next on the call was mention of Ms. Herrera being gone on Thursday to attend a fundraiser on her behalf in Washington D.C. while the state legislature remains in session.

Again, the February 25 fundraiser is documented in a February 25 Columbian article as well as in a post by Liz Mair.

Some “neutral” people are firing back at the Castillo campaign claiming what is said in the call is “false!” Yet, if the claims are documented, is it false?

Unsaid by some of these “neutral’ people is the whisper campaign that has been going on around the district, targeting Castillo’s heritage and his position on some issues.

I find whisper campaigns more offensive than robo-calls that speak truthful about an opponent as it is rumor spreading and denigrates a candidate in a way that they may not defend themselves. They often begin from within a campaign but do not tie the candidate directly to the claims being spread silently.

That does not mean that Jaime Herrera herself is engaging in such rumor spreading, but undoubtedly some who must support her are, even if they do falsely claim to still be “neutral.”

I realize this might not set well with some, but I find all of this sudden outrage somewhat questionable, coming from those who also claim they do not support either candidate just yet.

I also wonder why such facts about one candidate should remain hidden to appease those who claim to have yet decided on who they will support. Isn’t this the sort of information conservatives should want to know about a candidate claiming to be one of them?

Could it be that some of this “outrage” being expressed over such a simple robo-call is manufactured in hopes of turning people towards a candidate that isn’t supposed to even be campaigning until the legislative session ends?

Is this sudden “outrage” nothing more than raising the level of the whisper campaign against Castillo up a few notches?

For those who claim to be “neutral” and undecided on just who they will support, it comes across to me as disingenuous and with intent.

What say those who are engaging in the whisper campaign knock it off and let’s compare issues to issues for the candidates? After all, if your candidate is that good, why the need to spread rumors?

February 27, 2010

Castillo Calls On Opponents To ‘Go On The Record’

by lewwaters

David Castillo, Republican candidate for Washington’s Third Congressional District has issued a press release calling on his opponents, primarily Democrats, to “officially declare whether they support Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to force through the current health care bill.”

The Press Release states,

For Immediate Release

February 26, 2010 

Contact: Bill Lohr
(360) 508-5947

Will Democratic Candidates Take Position on Pelosi Plan?
Castillo calls on challengers to go on the record

Olympia, WA – David Castillo, Republican candidate running in Washington’s 3rd District, is challenging his Democratic opponents to officially declare whether they support Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to force through the current health care bill. He is calling on his fellow candidates to declare if they support the Speaker’s actions or if they would oppose her on this issue.

The declared Democratic candidates are State Senator Craig Pridemore, Maria Rodriguez-Salazar, Denny Heck and Cheryl Crist.

“Clearly, I will not be supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker or her health care plan, but the people of southwest Washington deserve to know where the Democrats in this race stand on the issue,” asserts Castillo.

Since entering the race in May of last year – before current incumbent Brian Baird announced his retirement in December – Castillo has consistently called for private sector solutions over increased government intervention. Some of his solutions include expanding Health Savings Accounts and Association Health Plans, as well as creating a more competitive insurance market by allowing people to purchase their policies across state lines.

While national Democrats have referred to Republicans in Congress as obstructionists, Castillo has talked about his proposed solutions from the time he entered the race.

Online communications expert and blogger, Liz Mair, in her candidate profile noted that Castillo displays “a deeper understanding of health care policy, in particular, than many Republicans – and a more overt commitment to advancing conservative health care policy rather than just blocking or undoing liberal reform”.

The Castillo campaign is encouraging each candidate to make their position on Speaker Pelosi’s plan known publicly as soon as possible.

“We keep hearing that the Republicans are the party of ‘no’, but I hope that our opponents step up to the plate on this issue and don’t become the party of ‘no comment’,” states Bill Lohr, Castillo’s Communications Director.

This is one of the many reasons I continue to support Castillo over party favorites. He states his position on issues clearly and with conviction.

Many in Wa. 03 have become disillusioned with politics and leery of voting for anyone, having seen how our voices go ignored by elected officials who seem to place party above our well being. David Castillo is ready to represent us in Washington D.C. and place our interests above the interests of either party.

David was the first to file to oppose now retiring Democrat, Brian Baird. He began his campaign by meeting with people around the district and letting them get to know him. He wasn’t afraid of a tough campaign against an entrenched incumbent, entering the race in May, long before Baird announced retirement.

Looking through his campaign website, David Castillo for Congress confirms Liz Mair’s comment of

“displaying a deeper understanding of health care policy, in particular, than many Republicans—and a more overt commitment to advancing conservative health care policy rather than just blocking or undoing liberal reform.”

We voters deserve to know where candidates seeking our support and votes stand on issues that will have such a strong impact on our lives. Candidates owe it to us to come forward and openly state their positions clearly and concisely.

Castillo has made his position clear. Will his opponents?