Archive for May 27th, 2010

May 27, 2010

Campaign for Liberty Vets 18th L.D. Candidates

by lewwaters

Last evening, May 26 saw the Southwest Washington Campaign for Liberty hosting a ‘question and answer’ forum of candidates vying to replace outgoing legislator, Jaime Herrera in her 18th Legislative District seat at Battle Ground High School.

A series of questions were asked of all candidates by C4L then a series of spontaneous questions from the audience were asked of the 3 Republicans, 1 Democrat and 1 Independent candidates.

Knowing that one candidate has received the endorsement of some of the organizers of this Campaign for Liberty group, I was pleasantly surprised to see the questions were hard hitting, if not somewhat complicated at times and none were given any softball questions that might give a candidate any advantage.

Also surprising was hearing how often the candidates seemed to agree for the most part in their answers. The Columbian’s Kathie Durbin calls it, Candidates find common ground at forum, 18th District hopefuls share disdain for power of federal government.

Each candidate gave a short introductory statement outlining why they are in the race. Dennis Kampe, the lone Democrat running described his life of working and living in the 18th and dealings with the union, specifically the Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union that I once belonged to.

Brandon Vick followed with a quote from the state constitution as his reason, citing all power is from the people and how Olympia has moved away from that.

Jon Russell described himself as a “city councilman (Washougal), Christian, conservative, constitutionalist & Republican,” adding that we must control the behavior of our politicians.

Ann Rivers, the current leader in funds raised by a significant margin, stated she is running because the state government is off track and asking for all of us to be part of the solution to put it back on track.

Richard Carson, the Independent, described himself as a “fiscal & constitutional conservative” refusing to accept any special interest money or endorsements.

Asked if they would introduce legislation to counter possible legislation contrary to the United States Constitution, all answered yes in one form or another, Jon Russell reminding that he voted against accepting any stimulus funds as a city council member, Ann Rivers citing she fought against unfunded mandates in her work and Brandon Vick saying how he supports Attorney General Rob McKenna’s suit against Obamacare.

Asked about cities contracting with private companies for red light cameras, Vick admitted that is one subject he hasn’t given a lot of thought to, but joined in with others in saying he opposes such a move, all saying that it would be a matter better left up to local municipalities instead of the state.

Asked about a voter approved income tax, answers fell on opposition to such a tax, but if voters approved it, it should be allowed. The subject of the inheritance drew universal opposition from the candidates.

Kathie Durbin gives a good account of other answers to questions at the link above and is well worth a read.

I was struck too by closing comments from the candidates. All outlined why they feel they would be the best one to represent the district, relying on their values and belief in the constitution. Jon Russell falls back on his record on the city council, saying not to heed “distortions” by some. However, he glosses over last years scandal involving mayor Sellers and his part in that which is part of the public record as well as many news articles outlining his own efforts with it.

Jon, if you plan on running on your record, you have to include all of it, not just the parts you feel make you look good.

Each candidate made a good case for themselves and admittedly I was surprised at how much they agreed in answering. Dennis Kampe often sounded as conservative as the rest. Ann Rivers, in my personal estimation, seemed to have the best grasp of the issues. Brandon Vick apparently has been doing his homework too as he performed better last evening than I have seen before. Richard Carson showed his views well.

In all, the forum was very informative and I believe the 50 or 60 people I estimate attended came away with a better understanding of each candidate.

I congratulate Katja Delavar and others involved in organizing the event and hosting it.