UPDATED: More Columbian Bias Against Commissioner Mielke

by lewwaters

If there is anything you can make bank on in Clark County, it is the Columbian, the newspaper of record also known locally as the “unofficial daily newsletter for the Democrat Party” not missing a chance to slam Republicans like County Commissioner Tom Mielke while ignoring the missteps of RINO politicians like fellow County Commissioner, Marc Boldt.

We saw it clear as day when 4 months after being sanctioned by the Clark County GOP, they ran a series of negative articles against the CCGOP and defending marc Boldt over his numerous votes contrary to the conservative principles he campaign on to win the seat. Although they have admitted monitoring this blog and the Clark County Politics blog, who wrote of the sanctions when they happened, the Columbian seemed to ignore it until right after successful Vancouver businessman David Madore, another frequent target of their negative coverage, announced he would challenge Boldt for the seat.

Acting more like a spurned lover with a personal ax to grind than an objective reporter, the Columbian’s Stephanie Rice seems to take delight with any chance she can find to slam Commissioner Mielke, either in the pages of the Columbian or on their blog, All Politics is Local.

And that is what appears Stephanie has done again in her post at APIL, Wordplay where she takes yet another stab at Commissioner Mielke over the choice of wording in a campaign flyer and linking to an article favorable to his challenger, Democrat Joe Tanner.

Apparently, a campaign ad in the Reflector for Commissioner Mielke contains the statement, “Re-electing Tom Mielke for Clark County Commissioner brings voice to North County that has never been heard before.”

Stephanie Rice opines, “Isn’t that an odd claim for an incumbent? Has he not talked during his first four-year term? What about his years in the state legislature? Or maybe it means that if voters return him to office, he won’t be the same Commissioner Mielke and he’ll have a different voice?”

Not considered is the obvious, with Marc Boldt ousted and David Madore voted in, what Commissioner Mielke ha stood for will finally be heard instead of being drowned out by Democrat Commissioner Steve Stuart and RINO Sell-out Commissioner Marc Boldt often ganging up on Commissioner Mielke.

But Stephanie cannot miss a chance to slap at Tom Mielke.

When it comes to Marc Boldt though, she raises her blinders along with the rest down at the Columbian. Otherwise, they would have picked up on Boldt’s campaign flyer filled with inaccuracies of his time on the County Commission.

Clark County Politics blog covered much of that in his post Why is Marc Boldt lying in his mailer?

It seems that after 4 years of taking the liberal stand over a conservative one, Marc Boldt is once again trying to convince voters he is actually a conservative by claiming points that are, well, simple not true.

The first is his claim, “Fought For your chance to vote on light rail.”

Oddly enough, it is Stephanie Rice who provides the evidence of that statement being untrue in her March 31, 2011 article, Boldt, Stuart reject call for advisory vote on CRC.

Marc Boldt claims he “fostered the economic development alliance for job growth,” whatever that is. Not only is it something I have never heard of, what job growth? We in Clark County remain in our 4th straight year of double digit unemployment, much higher than most of the rest of our state.

His challenger, David Madore built his business in Vancouver, employs over 100 people and provides free office space to over 30 non-profits. What real jobs has Marc Boldt created?

Boldt also claims he “held property taxes below 1% while balancing the budget – for all budget cycles.” Considering that 1% is the limit that property can be raised, his claim is weak as we have seen several times he voted with Stuart to raise our property tax by the maximum 1%.

Does any of this matter to the Columbian or Stephanie Rice? Apparently not as they cannot bring themselves to even mention it.

No, all they can do is find some petty wording in an ad to beat Tom Mielke over the head with.

I wonder too if they will be as petty over 17th legislative district candidate Monica Stonier, a school teacher of all things and her misspellings in her Voters Pamphlet Statement?

Naaahhhh. She’s a Democrat, they ignore their little mistakes.

While considering Monica Stonier, will the Columbian ever comment or even mention the following photo, Monica Stonier caught peeking at Julie Olson’s paper at the recent League of Women Voters Forum?

29 Responses to “UPDATED: More Columbian Bias Against Commissioner Mielke”

  1. Very good hit piece Lew. You steamrolled ’em. (sp). 🙂

  2. Just trying to keep them honest 😉

  3. Marc Boldt and Steve Stuart voted to raise taxes 6 out of 7 years budget hearings , 2005-2010. In those same years, health insurance premiums for county workers grew , but county employees contributed zero to their healthcare and dental premiums for themselves, partners and families. Zero contribution all those years. Commissioners Boldt and Stuart raised taxes to keep the cadillac benefits going. County compensation grew for many. County holidays have increased. Sick leave and vacation accrue and are paid out at the final rate of pay. Executive perks. Retirement. County records showed that a comparison to benefit norms with the private sector had not been performed by the county from 2001-2010. I joined with other citizens to urge the commish to please require county employees to contribute to their healthcare premiums as the vast majority of county residents must.(Those that can afford healthcare) It made no difference at all until Tom Mielke joined the commish. Mielke kept his promises and opposed or minimized tax hikes, and I’m grateful for that.David Madore and Tom Mielke have both operated businesses, and understand that tax hikes will not help our county to recover and grow again and offer valuable leadership experience. Below are highlights of the budget hearing the first year Mielke began to serve as Clark County Commissioner.

    County to cut services, hike tax 1%

    “Boldt, a Republican, and Steve Stuart, a Democrat, backed the hike.

    “It’s worth it,” Boldt said. “It’s necessary.”…

    “I made a pledge, and by God I held to it,” Mielke said, referring to a campaign promise not to raise taxes….

    Mielke criticized an annual county retirement bonus for top managers.

    “You’d like to think that when a guy says, ‘My check is $100,000,’ [it’s] not $100,000 plus 2 1/2 percent for retirement,” he said.

    Boldt and Stuart shrugged off criticism by some residents of those retirement bonuses.


  4. I’m Marc Boldt’s brother-in-law and I approve this message.


    The democratian has long since ended any pretense of journalism. Rice, of course, should be fired. But then, integrity has nothiung to do with any of this.

  5. Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Brian Ross and Stephanie Rice, all cut from the same cloth.

  6. Tom Mielke is a good man and an honest one. The only difficulty he has is working against the flow of the left to continue to spend more than they take in. It has to be difficult to feel like everytime you say something they try to make it sound like you are stupid and don’t understand. The truth is that they use skillfully crafted language to slide things through that don’t appear to be what they seem at all. It is a challenge for Tom to sit on a C-tran board and force them to slow down and bring into the light what they are doing. Larry Smith as head of that board this year is certainly not making it easier as he uses these same tricks and then cuts people off, ruling the forum like he thinks he is some sort of king. Tom sees their tricks and tries to stop them and then larry asks the attorney if they have to do this the way Larry wants it done and the attorney says “I believe so, I think so” and Larry rules that it needs to be done. What is I believe so? In others words Tom is right and you don’t have to buttttt I want it so I’ll fudge with soft language and make you feel pressured into going along as if it is the law. This system has to stop! Tom needs re-elected and the other body needs to change so that a strong minded person who will not cave in will hold the seat.

  7. I thought I knew how to spell – what’s wrong with “insuring”?

  8. it’s “ensuring”, Martin.

  9. Yeah, Rice… where’s your bitch-slap of Stonier?

  10. Tom Mielke saved the County 3 /4 of a Million dollars before the 2nd year of his term was completed. He saved the county $400,000 in a land swap. The land swap was on the consent agenda – and Tom pulled it off. Amazing….The county was going to swap a $1,000,000.00 piece of property for a $600,000.00 piece of property. We would have lost $400,000.00. He saved us another $250,000 in an employee situation. Tell me any other commissioner in recent times that has done that! The Columbian’s unashamedly biased campaigns against select Republican candidates is a dis-service to our community. And…I have to ask why did the Columbian not challenge Marc Boldt’s statements on his flyer? It is obvious as to why the Columbian had to return to their old, single story, dilapidated building. Who wants to spend money on a newspaper that engages in this kind of non-reporting?

  11. An option to the Columbian when it comes to info on the CRC and C-Tran especially is http://www.Couv.com.
    I hope Couv.com will expand reporting so that more stories like the one above, will be reported. Some candidate forums are posted there now,( commish, sec of state, and others) so citizens can hear the candidates, in their own words instead of through the Columbian filter in favor of growing government and taxes without consideration for sustainability. It’s no surprise that the officials and candidates who likewise promote more and bigger government spending tend to have the full endorsement, and selective coverage of the Columbian.

  12. An option to Margaret Tweet’s spreading of false information that she knows to be false is by going directly to the source and getting the correct information, because she can’t be trusted to write the truth, even when she knows the truth and has been so informed.

  13. Greg, if you are going to level accusations of “spreading of false information that she knows to be false,” I expect you to document or provide such evidence to back up your allegation.

    Your usual bloviation and political hackery is not enough.

    Back it up or back pedal.

  14. Very easy, Lew. Margaret Tweet posted LTTE’s in both the Post Record and the Columbian that the City of Camas violated the RCW pertaining to “NO” statements in the Voter’s guide. PRIOR to her letters, she had inquiries to the City and the elections office that were answered with the appropriate information pertaining to the steps that were taken that followed the RCW. Even AFTER she received the documentation, she STILL sent the letters making incorrect statements regarding the city’s behaviour in regard to the RCW.

    This is all documented as part of the public record in e-mails between Ms. Tweet and the associated parties. Ask her.

    Purposely communicating incorrect information is deceitful and completely inappropriate.

  15. And where does that fit in with Couv.com being an option to the Columbian, Greg?

    You are quick to defame conservatives with innuendo and claims of documented sources, but I have yet to ever see you actually post any documentation to support your allegations.

    So how about documenting something relevant to her comment that Couv.com is an option to the Columbian.

    Try being honest, if you know how.

  16. Here is the letter submitted to the Post-Record referred to by the commenter. I provide the back up at the website, including some financial info from the fire department.
    No to Camas tax hike

    Camas residents should reject the Excess Levy Camas proposes to boost EMS taxes significantly from $.35 per $1000 of property value for homes and businesses to $ .46 per $1000 of value. This is estimated to boost Camas EMS funds from about $ 888,825 to $ 1,182,775 in the first year and grow for 6 years. EMS salaries and especially benefits will grow the most under the plan. Many Camas families and businesses are facing tough budgets, and the city must learn to live within it’s means instead of raising tax rates.

    Another reason to vote No is that the city failed to fulfill it’s legal duty to appoint a “No” committee for statements opposed to the tax hike in the voter’s guide. State law RCW 29A.32.280 requires the city to formally appoint both pro and con committees for elections with voter pamphlets, no later than 45 days before pamphlet publication. The city readily appointed the “Yes” committee of a retired city employee, the Washougal Mayor, and another Camas resident. However, no reasonable effort was made by the city to timely appoint a “No” committee, hence only pro statements in the voter’s guide. For more info, see http://www.Tweet4Camas.com

  17. The first paragraph is just math issues. Rates vs actual dollars paid. In today’s assesed values vs 2006 assessed values, the actual taxes paid by individual property owners is virtually the same as 2006, less if you account for inflation.

    The second paragraph is just plain false. The city followed the RCW completely by the book to find someone to write the no statements, to the point of follow-up beyond the initial response from elections. Ms. Tweet was informed in detail of exactly how that was done prior to her letter above.

  18. How about a new post on this topic ? Especially since citizens are only getting one perspective, that of raising tax rates.
    Is it wise to continuallly raise tax RATEs ? How about living within our means and accepting the service that brings.

  19. Document, Greg, document.

    Margaret linked back to hers.

    Still waiting on yours.

    You’re quick with the allegations and opinions, but I rarely see you document anything.

  20. Okay…here is just one e-mail that Ms. Tweet received:

    Dear Ms. Tweet –
    Mayor Higgins asked if I would take a moment to reply to your e-mail query about the Emergency Medical Services Levy that will be on the August 7 ballot. Back in April the city appointed a “for” committee that consisted of Monte Brachmann, Sean Guard, and Brent Erickson. We didn’t receive any requests from anyone to participate in a “no” committee. When informed of this, the Clark County Elections Division even ran a request in the Post Record for interested parties to form a “no” committee. The deadline established by Clark County Elections to submit “yes” and “no” statements for the voter’s pamphlet was on May 25.

    I spoke at length with the Elections Division this afternoon to confirm this information. They stated that the absence of “no” committees is common on many ballot issues and when there is such an occurrence, they do press releases to try to get any interested parties to step forward (as they did with us). Since they received no responses from this press release, they did not have a “no” committee or statement to use for the voter’s pamphlet. I am including a copy of the Elections Division press release that they sent out back in May.

    If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Thank you,
    Nick Swinhart
    Fire Chief

  21. In Reply to Margaret Tweet’s last message:

    Do you understand how tax rates work?

    Let’s take a very simple example:

    In my taxing district, I have need of $100,000 to pay for necessary services. In that district, there are 10 homes valued at $100,000, making my total assessed value of $1,000,000. To cover the expenses required by the services, I then need to assess a rate of 10%. Each home is required to pay $10,000.

    In a few years, the assessed value drops 10%. Now, I have a total assessed value of $900,000. Uh oh. Now I am only raising $90,000, but I still have expenses of $100,000, and each home is now paying only $9,000. To maintain the same level (increasing NOTHING) of service, the rate will need to change to 11.11%, and each home will stay at paying $10,000, the total tax will remain at $100,000, and I can cover all of my costs for the district. Taxes per home haven’t gone up, they stayed the same. Total taxes paid haven’t increased, they have stayed the same. But, the tax rate went up.

  22. You do realize you are supporting Margaret’s contention, don’t you, Greg?

    If it is required to appoint a yes and no point of view, do you not find it odd the city ensures a yes is selected, but waits for requests for a no?

    Your email does not make any note of the city actually reaching out to seek a no committee?

    What date did the Elections Dept post their notice and where in the paper did they post it? Did they include the Columbian as well, since it is also circulated in Camas?

    If the RCW requires both point of views, why do they go ahead and run only one knowing the other point of view isn’t covered?

    It’s easy to be biased one way or the other and fulfill the “legal” requirement by placing a small notice likely not to be seen.

    You’re jumping to your usual conclusions long before seeking more in depth information.


    You’re not related to Brian Ross, are you? 😉

  23. Do you even read? “Elections Division press release that they sent out back in May.” This was AFTER the city requested people to be on the NO committee, for some time. It was a Camas issue. The paper of record in Camas is the Post Record. Margaret Tweet attends almost ALL of the council meetings and was well aware of this issue well in advance of the deadline. If she was so concerned, why didn’t SHE step forward or at least recommend people to serve on the NO committee?

    The city followed the RCW to the letter, and also followed Elections Division recommendations and advice. Please tell us, Lew, what more should they have done?

  24. At my website citizens can find the actual RCW http://www.tweet4camas.com/Experience.html
    The city provided no evidence of initiative they took to fulfill their responsibility to appoint a NO committee according to the timeline specified by law.Typical ways to do this include a press release to the local papers, (Post-Record and Columbian), other news sources, in the city newsletter, at the city website, etc. Other cities do put out a press release to inform about the opportunity to be on a YES/NO committee. The county auditor then stepped in to make the effort to inform residents of the committee opportunity, as per the law. In the future, I hope Camas will use the city newsletter and website as well, since not all subscribe to local papers. I don’t trust the “news” in the Columbian that I’ve found to be incorrect or incomplete far too often. Why pay for a publication whose editors mock involved citizens? And reports unfairly on candidates with more conservative views, calling them names etc. Thank you Lew for posting the rest of the story, for Clark County.

  25. Margaret, you were presented with the proof, the Chief gave you the link to the press release and you were provided with all the details. How in the world can you lie like this and still live with yourself? Shame on you. You have just compounded the fact that you won’t ever be elected to a position having anything to do with Camas. Shame, shame, shame.

  26. The press release that was sent out was sent out by the county auditor/elections office not the city, and it was just before the deadline.My point is that the city should have taken initiative to notify the public of the opportunity to serve on yes/no committee sooner, when the yes committee was appointed. The city should have sent out a press release on the committee opportunity. If the agency sponsoring the ballot measure fails to appoint the committees, then the elections department steps in. Ideally the sponsoring agency will fulfill their duty and make every effort to appoint both YES and NO committees. Again, details of the RCW at the website, http://www.Tweet4Camas.com. Other details on overtime costs and the city plans to spend the tax rate hike on. It’s not a renewal at the existing rate, but a rate hike.

  27. Margaret, Margaret, Margaret….really? The city should have done what? Not followed the RCW to the letter and then the instructions of the Elections Division, is that what you are saying? When did you jump up and volunteer when you saw noone stepping up? You didn’t? Well, then…..STFU already and quit lying about the issue.

  28. Greg, Greg, Greg, besides your usual tactic of beating something to death, you ignore that the so called effort to present both sides, as required, was wanting. Come on, even you can see waiting until a couple days before the deadline to reach out leaves very little time for anyone to come forward.

    Trying to deflect the issue by asking Margaret why didn’t she step us is so you.

    You have not shown a lie and at best showed you have a different opinion, as usual when addressing a Republican, the party you lay claim to being part of.

    In simpler terms, you are boring everybody to death with your usual inane ramblings trying to make a difference of opinion out as a lie to suit your agenda.

    Comments are closed on this subject. Find something else to whine about.


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