Mielke Draws 2 Challengers, Democrats Continue to Leave Marc Boldt Alone

by lewwaters

Clark County Democrats are once again showing their hand in the next election for the Clark County Commission. It’s no secret they haven’t like that conservative Tom Mielke beat out liberal Pam Brokaw by a small 209 votes in the 2008 election.

Even the Columbian has spared little ink in their efforts to paint Mielke as inept and not worthy of holding office.

In the meantime, even though labeling himself a “Republican,” Marc Boldt comes down on the side of liberal Democrat Steve Stuart often, especially in efforts to ram CRC and light rail from Portland down the throats of Clark County residents, even though we have declined it more than once in the past.

Tom Mielke is the lone voice opposing it on the Commission.

Both Mielke and Boldt are up for reelection this year, but so far, Democrats have fronted 2 challengers, both against Mielke with no challengers against Boldt.

It would appear that having one conservative voice on the commission is more than Democrats can stand as they seem to be content with leaving the more liberal Boldt alone so far.

Describing himself as a “conservative Democrat,” an oxymoron if ever there was one today, Ridgefield businessman Joe Tanner announced his intent March 5, 2012.

Tanner says he is challenging Mielke to “help lower Clark County’s current double-digit unemployment figures, economic development being his “No. 1 goal.”

Tanner claims, “Stuart and Boldt have shown they can work out compromises, but Mielke is too often the odd man out.” Of Stuart & Boldt, he continues, “Both are well-respected.” He adds, “If north Clark County was represented by a commissioner with equal respect, I wouldn’t be in the race.”

In other words, Boldt caves to the liberal views of Steve Stuart and Mielke stands with conservative views, as he did when the entertainment tax, an extra 50 cents per ticket for movies and such to fund an unneeded baseball stadium for a bottom ranked Class A team was defeated. Boldt, perhaps from being put on notice by the Republican Party for his not supporting the Party platform, surprised everyone when he changed his indicated position to support the tax and opposed it in the final minutes of the vote on it.

Mielke may not have the respect of the liberals Tanner hangs with, but he has the respect of conservatives in North County where I live.

Like most liberals, Tanner doesn’t realize that “compromise” is supposed to be a two-way street, not just caving and joining the liberal point of view. Neither Stuart nor Boldt  has much of a record of “compromise” when it comes to conservative views.

As part of his “qualifications,” Tanner states “From 1992 to 2000 he was a top executive with Drypers Corp., a diaper manufacturing company with locations in Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Colombia.”

Interestingly enough, Drypers history states, “The company suffered losses of $15.5 million in 1995, and after debuting at $14.50 per share the previous year its stock plummeted to lows of less than $4 per share,” in part due to a price war with competitors.

In spite of some recovery, “after reorganizing and consolidating manufacturing facilities,” the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000, selling off their North American assets to Hong Kong-based DSG International Ltd in March 2001.

Just how or under what conditions Joe Tanner’s employment as “a top executive with Drypers” ended is not stated. But, it does not leave me feeling comfortable about his claim of “Economic development will be his No. 1 goal.”

One can only imagine whether or not, when the company reorganized and consolidated manufacturing facilities while he was “a top executive,” it included shipping any jobs overseas or laying workers off as they “right-sized.”

Ten years later, the Vancouver, Washington manufacturing arm, Associated Hygienic Products closed their doors in the midst of this “Great Recession.”

The Columbian touts Tanner for “serving in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1970 as an electronics technician, including 27 months in Vietnam” adding “He was honorably discharged.”

I don’t recall ever reading in the Columbian about Tom Mielke’s serving in the US Army, including a combat tour with the 82nd Airborne in Vietnam. Or that Tom was “Honorably Discharged.”

Today, March 13, 2012 saw the second Democrat challenger announce against Mielke as we read of “Battle Ground resident Ron Barca, 56” who has served on the planning commission since 1999 saying he too will run against Mielke.

Barca claims, “his certification in lean practices could help the county as it tries to bring expenses in line with decreasing revenue.” Just what “lean practices” mean isn’t said, but it is doubtful that either Stuart or Boldt are interesting in “leaning out” county services or employment. Mielke might support “leaning out” some county matters, but Barca wants to replace him, not join forces with him to change how the county does business.

It is very telling to me that Democrats, who want a “majority” on the county commission once again seem content with leaving marginal, left-leaning Marc Boldt alone this election and instead, target the only conservative voice on the commission. It needs noted that candidates must live within the district of the county they run for. Neither Tanner nor Barca lives in Boldt’s district. But, if the position they state they represent is true, I would believe they would support Tom Miekle, not try to see him ousted off of the commission.

I expect the Columbian to tout both of these men as great and fantastic, while continuing their hit job against Tom Mielke, as they have frequently done since he won a narrow victory over Democrats in 2008.

I will ignore what the Columbian says and seek my own information on these candidates’ qualifications.

But if the condition Drypers seems to have been in around the time Joe Tanner left is any indication, Tom Mielke will continue to receive my support.

Hopefully, a conservative will announce a challenge against Marc Boldt.

13 Comments to “Mielke Draws 2 Challengers, Democrats Continue to Leave Marc Boldt Alone”

  1. Marc Boldt should have been kicked out of the Clark County Republicans. Why he hasn’t I do not know. Maybe he has something on somebody. But when I look at a Clark County Republican roster and it has Boldt on it, I know something is seriously wrong here. I will be supporting Tom Mielke for sure.


  2. I had a number of parolees and probationers working at Drypers before they shut down. It was pretty much a low wages, low benefits, long hours place at the time. It was good they hired these folks, but I felt it was not a place they could advance much. Not a labor friendly place…

    As for Tom, he is not the standup guy you imply. I remember him getting up as to go to the bathroom at one CTRAN meeting prior to a vote that would be very important to conservatives. Leaving his materials on the table he never returned. My guess its in the CTRAN minutes. Remember to represent conservative views (or liberal) in government you need to be there to participate. Joe Zarelli likely sets the high bar in doing this.

    Both Joe and Marc worked hard for their constituents and with other elected conservatives during meetings of the group that was working to consolidate countywide waste water treatment services and facilities.


  3. No one is perfect, Pat.

    But, I am content with his over all performance.

    Boldt may as well run as a Democrat.


  4. Pat, you came in third place in the last election, right?


  5. Thanks for posting, Pat. I enjoy and am enlightened by your insight.


  6. I like Joe because he stood up for Clark County workers when Oregon was talking about charging Washington residents working in Oregon a surtax or something (this was back in the ’80s). Tanner sponsored a bill to start charging tax to Oregon residents working in Washington. Oregon dropped the idea. I don’t know about having a third Democrat on the Board of Commissioners though.


  7. Mielke has had a habit of making up his mind on issues prior to receiving documentation or having public hearings. This is unacceptable. This is not the expected behaviour of a representative of the people. I am waiting to get a better understanding of the other candidates prior to deciding, but I know it won’t be Mielke for me.


  8. The obvious question for all candidates is if they would have supported the baseball stadium.

    IMO there is are opportunities for reducing county spending, starting with walking away from the golf course.

    I don’t know the rules – could a Republican run against Boldt?


  9. I don’t believe there are any rules about who challenges who.


  10. What an honor it is to have Commissioner Tom Mielke as our Clark Commissioner that works tirelessly to help our Citizens. Commissioner Tom Mielke listens to the people and when they said no to the light rail, Tom stood with us. Tom knows we are in the worst economic times since the great depression of 1929. Our Citizens are struggling and Tom does what he can to keep taxes in check and County Government accountable. Commissioner Tom Mielke would be able to help get our economy growing again and more of our Citizens back to work if he had another Republican working with him.


  11. Commissioner Tom Mielke would be able to help get our economy growing again and more of our Citizens back to work if he had another [REAL] Republican working with him.

    There, fixed it for you 😉


  12. I have watched Tom. He has his flaws just like every single person? Watching every week is painful because the same trio of people come and accuse him repeatedly about the same things over and over and over again.

    Honestly, it gets real tiring hearing the same guys complain over and over again. I guess you might say, I want to hear more about the other candidates before I fully decide on who I want to go with in the primaries because if I am reading right, there will be two votes with Joe, Tom and Ron running.

    I can say that I have a keen sense and respect for Ron Barca… He’s intelligent, willing to listen and give you a good back and forth on subjects. I’m not sure if he is going win against Tom in a more conservative county commissioner district than Steve or Marc’s districts. I’ve seen him at the Clark County planning commission for a few years now and I want to hear more about him and Joe before I make a final determination in each election.

    And no, I am not a rubber stamped foreheaded liberal or conservative. I like to get the information in before I make a decision. And some times I can be wrong about someone like Mayor Tim Leavitt as we all know how he turned out?

    Tom has helped cut the budget, but he had to have help from two other commissioners guys? They were in deficits the last couple of bienniums.. So Steve and Marc could do not much else BUT cut? I have there has been some stupid ideas and some can agree with me: The Baseball Stadium for one. A whole bunch I bet you all can list?

    Should we come up with a good list to throw at Tom, Ron and Joe when they come up for the league of women voters? Or points we want covered like the columbia river crossing project and light rail, county expenses, health benefits for county employees?

    Oh, I could go on… 🙂 I want to hear from you all now!


  13. laugh out loud. And we finally found the reason why no one was willing to run against Marc. David Madore has chosen to take him on. He has the money, soon the connections and has name recognition.

    This is race is going to be FUN!


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