Posts tagged ‘Clark County Issues’

April 26, 2011

Citizens Turn Out To Defend Council Woman Jeanne Stewart

by lewwaters

Ever since Vancouver, Washington Council Member Jeanne Stewart stood up for the citizens of Vancouver and cast the vote to grant citizens a vote on funding light rail from Portland, Oregon into the community, she has come under fire from Mayor Tim Leavitt. The latest being a comment made and quoted by the Columbian newspaper, accusing her of “pandering.”

“With exception of one pandering Council Member (who previously voted in support of a replacement bridge and light rail transit), I have no reason to believe that the Vancouver City Council has an inclination to reverse direction from its decision of 2.5 years ago.”

Four citizens stood up at the April 25, 2011 City Council Meeting in her defense. Not one other council member defended her, much to their shame.

read more »

September 29, 2010

Probst Comes Out Slinging, Peck Fires Back

by lewwaters

If we learned nothing else from Tim Probst, incumbent Democrat state legislator for the 17th district, it is that there is no mud he isn’t willing to sling. As we saw in his run against Joseph James in 2008, Probst has no problem when it comes to slinging a little mud, even though it is was he who was calling on others for a “clean campaign” then.

I’m not really all that surprised to see him once again resorting to slamming his opponent instead of just standing on his actual record.

In the 2008 primary, Probst received 48.85% of the votes with the remainder split between two Republicans, Joseph James receiving the majority against Jim Dunn, elevating him to the general election. In the general election, Probst received a somewhat impressive 55.76% against James’ 44.1%.

His mud stuck plus 2008 was a heavy Democratic year, Democrats having successfully demonized spineless Republicans who just rolled over.

Probst is facing a much stronger opponent in 2010 in businessman, Brian Peck, a relative unknown who received 52.93% against Probst’s 46.91%. For an incumbent, that is not very impressive, especially one who hopes to convince voters he isn’t in lock-step with the rest of the Democrats in Olympia who have brought us the largest tax increase in state history earlier this year.

Peck has released his first Television ad, calling Probst out on his voting record that he brags about saying how he never voted for any tax or spending increases.

Probst, ever the slick politician we saw running in 2008, along with the help of our Democratic Party mouthpiece of record, the Columbian says of Peck, “Brian is lying directly to the voters. He knows he’s lying directly to the voters and it’s insulting to the voters.”

The problem for Probst is Brian Peck is not lying. Probst did indeed vote yes for the largest budget in our history. Even more deceptive is how they continue to refer to that state budget as an “all-cuts budget,” ignoring that although no tax increases were included in the outset, state spending did increase quite a bit.

I continue to be amused at how Democrats claim they “cut” taxes or the budget when in reality; they only slightly reduced their projected amount of increase. Spending still increased, just not as much as originally planned and now, they claim they “cut the budget” and all too many voters fall for it, never looking at any actual numbers.

The Columbian, with Probst’s help I’m sure, craftily states, “He was one of a handful of Democrats to vote against the 2010-11 supplemental budget, which imposed new taxes on soda, bottled water, candy and other items.”

What is crafty there and misleading is in the TV ad, Peck is explicitly referring to “his vote on the state budget last year, and not the Supplemental Budget this year.”

Peck, in pointing out Probst not accepting responsibility for his vote on ESHB1216 Capital Budget & ESHB1244 Operating Budget says, “This is why people are so frustrated with politicians. Rather than accept responsibility for increasing overall state spending to the highest levels in state history, Representative Probst tries to distract voters with his solitary no vote on the Supplemental Budget this year.”

Probst has been claiming he opposes tax and spending increases since being elected to office and he stands on his NO vote this year for the Supplemental Budget as evidence. All the time I have continued asking if he really is “fiscally conservative and has really been looking out for the pocketbooks of the people of Clark County,” as former Democrat state representative Deb Wallace is quoted as saying, what alternative bills or amendments calling on tax cuts proposed by Republicans has he voted for?

I assume in an effort to defend Probst, one commenter on the Columbian article by the screen name of “Quigley” posted,

“Probst voted AGAINST SHB 2339, which is the bill that set up the $5 state parks donation on your vehicle tab registration.

Probst sponsored HB 1650 – The Senate version of this bill, SB 5042, became law. This bill created a waiver of monetary penalties for first-time paperwork violations by small businesses.
He also co-sponsored HB 2603, which was sponsored by Republican Norma Smith and became law this year. It acheived similar goals as HB 1650 (above).

HB 2603 (Smith) – Same idea as HB 1650 above and passed in 2010.

Probst co-sponsored Herrera’s bill, HB 1368, which if passed, would have eliminated the requirement to replace your license plates every 7 years, which costs a $10 fee.

Probst also sponsored and passed HB 2962, which gives county treasurers the option to implement a monthly online payment system for their property taxes rather than paying in a lump sum twice per year.”

Nice list, but not one bill listed was an actual tax cut or alternative spending bill, as I have been asking for. Not one actually offers any significant relief to the already over burdened taxpayer in Washington State.

It is true that Probst voted NO on the Supplemental budget as well as on the repeal of I-960, which allowed so many tax increases without a super majority to pass this year.

However, this is an age old political ploy politicians who are facing a reelection pull, with the permission of their party leaders who know the measure will still pass without that politicians vote. It helps keep an incumbent elected and allows them to tell voters who “responsible” with our money they are.

Just as was brought out during the campaign for the 3rd Congressional District, I don’t see it as fiscally conservative to vote for a bill that would have forced childcare centers into public unions, had the senate not successfully transformed it into a voluntary bill. With the state being who would pay increased fees, much of which would have gone to union dues, how fiscally responsible is that?

Equally disturbing in Probst’s claim of being a “fiscal conservative” was his quote taken from legislative discussion over the suspension of I-960 provided on the Evergreen Freedom Foundation Blog of, “tax policy and the budget don’t have that big of an impact on the state’s economy.”

In a December 11, 2009 Op-Ed submitted to and published by the Vancouver Business Journal, Why Recovery Will Be Slow, and What Good May Come of It, Probst calls for “changing from a consumption-driven economy to a production-driven economy.”

How does he propose to do that? He says,

“Skill up our workers. Modernize our ports, rail, and highways to enable commerce. Lead in high-tech manufacturing, science, and innovation. Encourage business start-ups and help shops stay open. Teach the work ethic to the next generation.”

Again, all well and good — sounding. But, isn’t much of that exactly what the Democrats are calling for increased taxation and spending to do? How can he say he opposes increasing taxes and increasing spending when he too advocates the very same policies they say they need to increase spending and taxes to accomplish?

Probst sponsored E2SHB 2227, better known as “the evergreen jobs act.” I can’t fault him for doing something he THINKS will create good paying jobs. I do fault him for not doing his homework on such jobs first. Had he actually researched it, he would have seen that such “Green Jobs” measures have actually cost jobs, not saved them, as stated in the articles Report: Green Jobs will actually cost jobs! and Job Losses From Obama Green Stimulus Foreseen in Spanish Study.

Can we really afford losing two jobs to every one created and still believe Probst to be a “fiscal conservative?”

And, I’m sure his being CEO of the “Washington Workforce Association” has no bearing, right?

Once you peel back Probst’s muddy façade, it becomes clear that he is nothing more than another mudslinging liberal hell bent on remaining in office at any price. Maybe too, that is why he spent some $86,000.00 to Peck’s $25,000.00 in the “top two” primary, when there was only the two of them running, and he still came in second.

Clean it up, Tim. Start being honest.

July 25, 2010

Cismar To Run “Green” Campaign

by lewwaters

It has long been asserted that conservatives are wasteful, fat cats, wealthy with little or no regard for the environment and who would ruin the land to make a buck.

You can put that notion to rest as once again, a conservative steps up and shows his liberal opponent how it should be done.

Bill Cismar, candidate for the 40th Legislative District Position 1, running against liberal Democrat Jim Jacks, famous for admitting he had no ideas on how the “fix the tax system” in Washington State, has announced on his facebook page,

“I am so conservative, I don’t want to spend donor money on what many people consider to be eyesores cluttering up our beautiful City. SIGNS!

Please go to my signage selection, bottom left of this page, select your favorite sign, then print it out and hang it in your windows. If you set your printer to print in Landscape you’ll get a v…very nice 8×11 sign!

Home made signs in folk’s cars and living room windows rule!”

We all complain about campaign signs littering the county, being vandalized, eyesores and candidates end up leaving them after the election because, quite frankly, they have no idea where supporters place them all.

Signs cost a lot of money to have made and as Bill sees, that precious money donated from supporters during these depressing economic times, is hard to come by. Unlike Democrat candidates, conservatives cannot rely on powerful unions, lobbyists and special interests to keep the coffers full. We have to depend on supporters, the very people who are now suffering due to Democrat policies from the stat and federal level.

Bill goes on to say,

“I will use the donors money for mailers, phone calls, fliers, perhaps radio ads, and so forth. And yes, I’ll even put up a few signs at strategic locations. The money won’t be wasted and the law doesn’t let me use it for any other purpose besides what it is given for.”

“There will be plenty of signs. I’m just not going to go to the stage of littering the city with them. Yes there is a need to make one’s name familiar. But two things are facts that dramatically affect the signage strategy.”

1- The sign has to capture the attention of the audience. Look around at the sign clutter we have. You can’t possibly read all the signs at most of our major cross streets.
2 – The sign must not offend. Ask anyone you know what their emotional response is when they see all these campaign signs.”

Bill Cismar is giving a prime example of how he will represent us in Olympia. Responsibly!

Even though opponents will inevitably come to say that he is not thinking of the environment in this, which is somewhat correct, conservatives just do it. They don’t make a fuss about just how much they do, they just do it! It’s our responsible nature and Bill Cismar is showing that now.

With precious funds to work with, Bill is also showing how he will be responsible with precious and decreasing tax revenues. As I said, conservatives just do it!

Driving around the county, it is difficult to pass through an intersection and not see Jim Jacks signs littering everywhere the eye can see. His campaign obviously is less worried about precious funds and creating eyesores everywhere than with ensuring he buys his way back to the legislature.

Then again, he is a Democrat and has unions and special interests to rely on, those same ones that continue to push to take more of our hard-earned money away from us in increased taxes.

Bill Cismar is a regular guy with a great resume’. He is not an experienced politician, nor a career politician. He is one of us who has seen enough and knows the value of a hard earned dollar.

Bill’s announcement on signage may seem like a small gesture, but it speaks tons about the man and how responsible he will be as our next legislator representing the 49th Legislative District, pos. 1.

It is high time we conservatives stand up and show that in spite of the false claims all these years, we are the responsible ones.

We have two excellent conservative candidates prepared to show the “conservatives just do it” attitude in Olympia.

Bill Cismar, position 1 against Jim Jacks.

And Craig Riley, position 2 against Jim ‘Da Taxman’ Moeller.

Let’s elect them both and pull ourselves out of this economic morass we find ourselves in today.

July 15, 2010

Jon Russell’s “Fact Check” Not So Factual

by lewwaters

Jon Russell, Washougal’s erstwhile 3rd Congressional District candidate and embattled council member is at it again. After dropping his poorly led campaign for the 3rd Congressional District, shot to pieces once perky little Jaime Herrera suddenly jumped in less than 2 hours after Brian Baird announced retirement, Russell has decided to commit further political suicide by engaging in a personal online feud with local Blogger, Kelly Hinton by creating a blog that Jon calls Fact Checking The Web.

To add to Jon’s folly, he uses this personal feud in a pathetic effort to taint his opponent, Ann Rivers, who is so far out in front of Jon that he has virtually no chance at advancing politically in this race, claiming Kelly’s Blog, Clark County Politics is “The Ann Rivers Campaign Attack Blog.”

This seems to follow a recent pattern by a Clark GOP Party Board Member who supports Jaime Herrera to falsely link 3rd Congressional District candidate, David Castillo to words Kelly wrote as “reason enough to support Jaime Herrera.” The Board Member has since admitted to a “knee jerk reaction,” indicating they now see their call was wrong.

Kelly has an acerbic style to his writing that irritates a lot of people. But he also admits when he is wrong and posts corrections with apologies. He is also rarely wrong factually.

Kelly, like me, writes what he feels and takes no direction from anyone. Likewise, even though he has a political consulting company, he does not currently work for either the Castillo or the Rivers campaign, confirmed to me by the parties accused.

Kelly also has a First Amendment right to freedom of expression and no, he and I do not see eye to eye on every issue.

Russell, a highly ambitious young man struggling to climb the political ladder to higher office, has been under fire for displaying poor judgment last year as a scandal broke in Washougal concerning unaccounted for funds to the tune of $100,000.00. Jon immediately distanced himself from the issue by pointing all fingers at the mayor, Stacee Sellers, one week prior to the election.

Sellers, a Republican like Russell, lost the election to the Democrat challenger, Sean Guard, who originally sent the matter of the unaccounted for funds to the State Auditor. Sean is also the brother of Jeff Guard, the mayor that was defeated by Stacee Sellers in the previous election.

Jon continues to try to distance himself while Kelly keeps hammering on the scandal that would otherwise most likely be swept under the rug by now.

Jon states his claims on his “Fact Check” blog, but offers no documentation in his defense, just raises false allegations against his opponent.

More coverage of Jon’s involvement in the Washougal scandal was documented by CCC at:

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

Jon Russell Says, “The People Deserve To Know the Truth”

Jon has yet to admit to his lack of foresight and instead, decides to engage in a personal feud with a blogger and desperately try to tie his opponent to something she has absolutely no control over.

Hinton says on his blog, “And as much as I appreciate the promotion to ‘long time political consultant,’ the fact is that Rivers is an excellent consultant in her own right. She doesn’t need MY help to beat Russell…”

Jon is committing political suicide with this tactic as he now focuses on a personal feud and not his message that he wishes voters to hear.

I recently sat down with Jon for coffee and told him that he needs to change his campaign style, if he wishes to succeed. The era of stepping on others to get ahead is over. The era of throwing fellow Republicans under the bus doesn’t resonate well with voters.

Drawing voters’ attention to blog sites you would rather they not read by engaging in a personal feud will only allow those voters to see documented claims against you.

Many people, especially candidates, marginalize blogs or do not read them at all, opting instead to stay focused on their message.

Russell chooses to stop speaking his message to voters and instead feud with a voter who blogs. In the process, he paints himself as petty by falsely linking his opponent to that blog, just as he did when he tried to begin a rumor that she is not pro-life, in spite of admitting to me that he knows of her history proving otherwise.

If he is willing to ignore his campaign for a personal feud, how ineffective would he be if he somehow gained a seat in our legislature every time someone in the media or voters disagreed with him?

Sorry Jon, but you are your own worst political enemy. You only hurt yourself with these juvenile outbursts and false linkage of Ann Rivers to Kelly’s blog.

April 19, 2010

Free Speech Gains a Short Reprieve from the Vancouver City Council

by lewwaters

The machination of government is something that never ceases to amaze me. The back and forth between factions and pretending to listen to people is just at times astonishing as well as enlightening.

Such was the case this evening at the Vancouver City Council meeting as the council took up a discussion on regulating free speech, even though they felt they were not.

The discussion centered on a proposed ordinance that would have placed restrictions on assemblies larger than 100 and would require a 6 day notification of the assembly, payment of a $60 fee, plus other requirements.

After dispensing with other business, Mayor Leavitt opened up the discussion on the proposed ordinance. Of the 10 citizens permitted to speak on the ordinance, not one spoke in support of it.

Larry Patella, Tom Hann, Terry Busch, Charlie Stemper, Debbie Peterson and several others whose names I failed to write down, all rose one at a time pointing out how this ordinance either would or would have the potential to eventually be used to deny people their right to peaceful assembly and to deny them free speech, protected under the first amendment of our constitution.

Similar tactics were either in place or used in segregated Southern States to deny Black Americans their right to assemble in their effort to gain the Civil Rights that should have been theirs in the first place. Although this is a point I was going to make, since I was born and raised in the South and saw it firsthand, Mr. Patella beat me to it, identifying those who used such an ordinance as “Southern Democrats,” a historical fact councilmember Bart Hansen should acquaint himself with as he took exception to the comment.

Bart, you can argue all you wish and take exception, it will not change the historical fact of it having happened. Perhaps Bart will do himself a favor and order a copy of the book, Whites, Blacks and Racist Democrats by Rev. Wayne Perryman.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Councilmember Pat Campbell argue against the ordinance as written as he saw the dangers of such an ordinance infringing on our first amendment right to assemble peacefully and exercise free speech. Joining him in expressing doubts as well as voting against it were councilmember’s Jack Burkman, Larry Smith and Jeanne E. Stewart.

The other 3, Mayor Leavitt, who feels it is not such a big deal and councilmember’s Jeanne Harris and Bart Hansen expressed support of the ordinance, Harris and Hansen both saying they had no problems at all with it.

I’d like to remind the mayor that any act that might modify, restrict or infringe in any way upon our constitutional rights is a “big deal.”

At one point, Mayor Leavitt turned to the audience as asked if we really felt the council was infringing upon our right to free speech and to assemble. To his dismay, the audience resoundingly said YES!

What really struck me in the council’s discussion was hearing many say they had not had a chance to read through the proposed ordinance yet as it had just been returned to the council this evening. (Please read councilmember Burkman’s clarification/correction on this in his comment below)

Cara Cantonwine, Special Events Coordinator was asked several questions by the council that elicited an “I don’t know” answer as she reiterated the ordinance was more or less a “what if” something should happen.

Also asked about any past problems in the 5 or so events a year that may happen in Vancouver that might have cost the city in repairs or clean-up, another reason given for the necessity of this ordinance, also brought back the answer of “none that she could recall.”

In essence, as I believe was brought out, what the ordinance would do is already happening. Which brings up the question, why is it needed in the first place?

Visibly perturbed at citizen comments against and the council vote to deny the ordinance at this time were councilmember’s Hansen and Harris. Both stated the punitive sections of the ordinance would not necessarily have to be enforced, again bringing to mind, why have the 22 page ordinance?

Mayor Leavitt expressed support and voted for it also; sealing his fate at the next election as it is doubtful he will receive support from conservatives as he did to help him defeat Mayor Pollard. I just hope Tim doesn’t get too comfortable in the Mayors seat, this being the second time I have seen him ignoring the voice and will of the people.

The council voted unanimously to send the proposal back to staff to remove restrictions that could occur on free speech for anyone, left or right and to rewrite that portion to encourage notification to the city, even in the case of short notice as political events, rallies or protests often do not have the 6 days needed to obtain a permit, bills being rapidly brought out and scheduled for votes today.

I’d like to extend special thanks to councilmember’s Campbell, Burkman, Stewart and Smith for their voices of common sense and speaking for upholding our constitutional rights.

To the others, your efforts to shut down Tea Parties, Freedom Rallies or other assemblies that oppose your left-winged views failed. We will continue to show up and oppose any effort to place restrictions on our constitutional rights.

March 17, 2010

Clark County Conservative Radio Debut

by lewwaters

Today saw the first Southwest Washington Update segment featuring yours truly on Victoria Taft’s radio program, heard on KPAM 860 AM daily, 11:00 AM to 3 PM. I was on about 2:35 PM.

Admittedly I was a bit nervous, but enjoyed the chance to talk about Soutwest Washington and our county and candidates we have running for office. My nervousness seemed to go away once I was talking to my friend, Victoria.

For those who missed the broadcast today, I was able to mention Brian Baird’s death threat being put to rest, first exposed with documents obtained with FOIA by Clark County Politics blog, Brian Peck and Craig Riley’s upcoming events to meet both candidates, the Clark COunty GOP Convention this Saturday, the State GOP Convention in June and our high unemployment.

I think it is great that we in Southwest Washington will have more of our business being heard now, even if only on a weekly basis and thank Victoria Taft and KPAM for the opportunity to update voters on who we have running and what events are coming up.

Be sure to listen in to Victoria’s program daily. She is doing a great job by extending more of her coverage to Southwest Washington.

You candidates, don’t be afraid, just call her and you will be heard.

From our side of the river, call 877-774-5726 and ask to speak on what she is discussing.

Don’t forget, tune in Wednesdays around 2:35 for the Southwest Washington Update.

October 3, 2009

Yes Lou, “It Is Too Bad How We Make Decisions,” Isn’t It?

by lewwaters

Lou Brancaccio The irony of Lou Brancaccio’s column in the Saturday October 3 Columbian is just too much to pass up.

Lou joins in with those Obama admirers who are seemingly stunned that the IOC could possible reject a personal plea from the One and his better half, MO. That the whole world isn’t enamored with such an inexperienced junior senator who has no idea what to do, other than engage in self glorification in every speech as are those Americans who fell for the canard of Obama completely escapes those like Lou Brancaccio.

For those reading this not in the Clark County Washington area, Lou Brancaccio is the managing editor of our paper of record, The Columbian, struggling through chapter 11 currently over decreasing revenues.

Lou pens a weekly column, Press Talk, editorializing his opinion, predominantly Democrat, as are many other failing newspapers across America.

The irony dripping from the title alone of his latest screed, Too bad how we make decisions is unbelievable, given that many in the community have called Brancaccio on his own decisions of making mountains out of molehills in favor of Democrats while often completely ignoring legitimate news stories that may paint Republicans in either favorable light or expose their own bias.

Many instances have been noted not only on this blog site, but several others within the community and even in the comments section of many articles written by Lou or his vitriolic cohorts, John Laird and Kathie Durbin, just to mention two.

Lou, who I believe once said he hailed from the Chicago area himself, laments on how the world doesn’t see the true Chicago today and instead of seeing the good of the city, focuses on such as Al Capone or the violent 1968 Democratic Convention held in the city.

Nowhere does he note that his choice of president has spent the entire 8 months of his presidency to date traveling the globe and apologizing for America being such a lousy country.

Even Bill Bennett noted on CNN that for once, Obama would be forced to praise America.

But to me, the irony isn’t so much that the IOC saw through the self aggrandizing speeches of both of the Obama’s but that Lou can’t even see his own poor choices in decision making that results in casting half of the community his paper claims to serve aside in favor of the political rhetoric of the left.

The editors ignore the voices of the community in matters of importance as tolling a new bridge across the Columbia River, taxing citizens for Universal Healthcare that is rapidly failing across America and even same-sex marriage, which has been soundly defeated everywhere it goes before a citizen vote.

Instead we see editorial after editorial trying to convince us how wrong we are, how we are not up to par with our values and at times, how dumb and bigoted we may be for not agreeing with leftists.

What you don’t see in editorials are mentions of outrageous comments made by Democrat Alan Grayson, mentions of False Democrat claims that offend conservatives or even mention of how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening a Nevada newspaper, even though I personally sent Lou that article.

They don’t even have the courtesy to return a comment of “screw off, Republican.”

To be fair, I must comment that the editor of the Letters to the Editor section does pretty good job of approving letters from both points of view. But a paper cannot live by LTE’s only.

Lou tells us, “The International Olympic Committee turned a deaf ear to Chicago.”

From where I sit, the Columbian and Lou Brancaccio turns a deaf ear to half of Clark County, the conservative half.

He goes on to say, “In many ways we are all part of Chicago. And the Olympics will be worse off without it.”

Is he not part of Clark County and does not ignoring so many within our county leave his papers revenues “worse off?”

Even more ironic today, after lamenting on LeGarrette Blount, University of Oregon football player who punched out an opposing player, Lou says, “Consequences are not just set up for the offending party. They are also set up to show society what happens when you do wrong. Apparently, slaps on wrists for major wrongdoing is standard operating procedure in sports.”

Could not the same thing be said in regards to the ACORN scandal Lou is barely covering?

Could it not also be said of misdeeds of Democrat party members who still sit in chairmanships of committees and who the so called press doesn’t bother to write much about?

Could it also be said of a failing newspaper who chooses to ignore half of the community they claim to serve?

Yes Lou, it is too bad how we make decisions.

From where I sit, yours don’t seem much better than what you claim for the IOC.

September 20, 2009

Mitt Romney to Visit Clark County

by lewwaters

Press release received from the Clark County Republcian Party,

For Immediate Release
September 21, 2009

Mitt Romney to Visit Clark County

Presidential Candidate will Keynote the 2010 State Convention

The Clark County Republican Party announced on Monday that former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney will keynote the General Session of the 2010 Washington State Republican Convention at the Vancouver Hilton next June.

Clark County Republican Chairman, Ryan Hart, said local party leaders worked with local Romney supporter and friend of Romney, David Nierenberg, to bring the former governor to Vancouver for the GOP convention.

“We contacted Romney almost immediately after we learned Clark County was awarded the 2010 Convention,” Hart said. “We are extremely happy and honored to welcome Governor Romney to Clark County,” he said.

There is wide speculation that Romney will run for President in 2012. A poll released in July by national pollster Scott Rasmussen showed a tie in a head to head race between Romney and Obama in 2012.

The Clark County Republican Party announced in July that nationally syndicated columnist and conservative blogger Michelle Malkin will keynote the Friday night dinner at the convention.

“This really is shaping up to be a historic convention,” Hart said. “I attended my first state convention in 1994 and I don’t recall a line-up of such high profile political figures over the past 16 years like we have coming to Vancouver in 2010,” he said.

Hart hinted that there may be more big names to come. “This convention is really catching fire and I’m hopeful there will be other announcements over the next few months,” Hart said. “We are working on a few more things, so stay tuned,” he added.

This is shaping up to be one the best conventions ever held in the state and will surely bring much needed revenues to Clark County.

I hope we see increased interest in our party in the coming year.

Contact your PCO’s or the Clark County Republican Party for futher information or to volunteer.

It’s up to you, Republicans, “Be The Party.”

August 8, 2009

David Castillo: “Honoring Those You Serve”

by lewwaters

David Castillo, candidate of Washington States 3rd Congressional District has the following to say about Congressman Brian Baird’s dismal performance of late in ducking constituents.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Honoring Those You Serve

It has been a truly interesting and incredibly revealing week in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. Not only has our current member of Congress, Brian Baird, compared constituents protesting against government run health care to “brown shirts” and “Nazis”, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Baird took a trip to the Great Barrier Reef that cost taxpayers $103,000 (this does not include the cost of the military aircraft)http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124967502810515267.html.

This trip is being reported on the heels of another story in the Journal that detailed Baird’s “scientific discovery” trip to the Galapagos Islands. It has now become clear why Baird, Nancy Pelosi, and Democrats in Congress spent $500 Million in taxpayer dollars to buy more airplanes for their travel.

Read the rest at David’s blog here

August 5, 2009

Rep. Baird’s Fear of Bused In Protestors to Townhalls?

by lewwaters

Representative Brian Baird, Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, isn’t holding a Townhall locally out of fear of bused in protestors and operatives?

Who usually stacks Townhalls or buses in protestors and supplies professional signs?

Rep. Baird, why do you fear the common people, but will speak to radicals?

Democracy For Vancouver

“These speakers are being sent here by the Win Without War coalition. They have long experience in foreign policy and are being sent specifically to answer the Baird arguments for continuing the surge.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 28, 2007 Vancouver’s the Columbian, “The publicity [on Baird’s change of view] drew military activist Jon Soltz from New York to confront Baird directly.”

July 31, 2009

Tim Leavitt Speaks Out

by lewwaters

Many in our country and even the city of Vancouver seem to have become lackadaisical in regards to voting and personally, I can’t blame them. We have become a very polarized community politically and neither major party has performed all that well in the past few years.

However, such an attitude just perpetuates the problem we complain about often.

Over on Clarkblog.org, Chief, the blog owner, displays such an attitude in a thread he put up, For Vancouver Mayor: None of the Above!!.

While I can understand such a sentiment, given that the current Mayor has led the city into severe financial difficulties, higher taxes and is hell-bent on forcing Light Rail on us, including tolls to pay for it, throwing your vote away will only secure another term for Royce Pollard.

The challengers, Charlie Stemper and Tim Leavitt met with Pollard for a Vancouver Mayoral Forum, July 28, 2009.

The Clark County Republican party sponsored event may be seen at CVTV Video if you missed the July 30 airing.

Many view the candidates as pretty much the same, with Charlie Stemper not standing much of a chance. As much as I like some of Charlie’s ideas, he had trouble articulating his message Tuesday evening. Still, many have said there is little difference between Leavitt and Pollard. To that end, Tim left the following comment on Chief’s blog,

Well…as much as I have tried to enlighten with facts (including on Clarkblog with previous posts), it appears those efforts here have been fruitless, based on the remarks posted by Chief and Waterbuffalo. I thought Chief was paying more attention than most to the ongoings of the Vancouver City Council.

Factually INCORRECT is the statement that I voted in support of a city budget last December. That budget included hammering citizens and businesses with a 20% utility tax (mind, you…during an economic recession). Those that were paying attention recall my remarks as such during our deliberations, and that the City needed to tighten it’s belt. I voted in opposition to the utility tax increase, and in opposition to the budget.

I will remind you that several years back, I voted in opposition to the sales tax increase that the incumbent pushed for, again in my comments noting that taxing isn’t always the answer to budget problems.

Several years back I fought against an effort by the incumbent to re-implement a local Business & Occupation Tax. You may remember that your current mayor was part of a city council that agreed to do away with the local B&O some dozen years back, in order to get approval from the Vancouver Mall to annex into the City. (The County doesn’t have a local B&O…so why would businesses want to come into a city and pay more taxes?). Promise made, and attempted effort to break that promise. As you might imagine, the folks at Westfield and the hundreds of businesses in the mall area were quite upset with the current mayor for pushing for a re-institution of the local B&O…feeling (rightfully so) that they had been swindled. Here they agree to annex, city agrees to drop the B&O (in order to benefit from sales tax revenues…and be a larger city), but a decade later, the same Mayor attempts to put the tax in place again!?!

In any event, I know memories can be short. Thus my attempt to remind you, as well as rebut the baseless assertion that there is no difference between me and the current mayor.

On the bridge issue, I refuse to submit to the higher-ups that we must pay tolls to get a project. If you want to roll over to tolls, then you know who to vote for.

How about this for a fresh idea: Feds pay for the bridge and immediate interchange improvements — like they should for their asset — to the tune of about $1 billion. Feds pay for the LRT — as they said they would — to the tune of about $1 billion. The remaining five interchanges are built as the money becomes available from — imagine that! Pay as you go! You see, the purpose of tolls is to have a funding source to pay for bonds for financign the whole project financed and built now. How about we do away with the tolls, and build the remaining five interchanges as cash flow — from the feds, state and local — allows? Might be another decade before they are all reconstructed, but there would be no tolls. The claim is that the bridge and LRT is necessary for the economic prosperity for our children and grandchildren and businesses. Well, what if our children and grandchildren can’t even affort to live in Vancouver and Clark County? Then, what’s the point of having a shiny new bridge and LRT? We’re following the path of another nearby large city — running local and small businesses into the ground.

How about this for a fresh idea: The largest public works project in the Pacific Northwest — projected to put thousands to work for the next decade — is a poster child for a ‘stimulus’ project!!! Obama, please send a couple of billion our way, amongst the billions of $$$ going in all directions, for this poster-child stimulus project! That is the purpose of the letter.

If what you’d like to see for our future — more taxes, tolls, and loss of local businesses and jobs — well, keep the status quo.

My experience in our community for 29 years — as a product of the Vancouver School District, as a graduate of Clark College and Washington State University, as a neighborhood association chair, as the president of my homeowners association, as president of the local chapter of the American Society of Professional Engineers, as a Board Member of the Vancouver Rotary Club, as a Board Member and Chair of the CTRAN Board, as a Vancouver Planning Commissioner, as the Director of Civil Engineering Services for a local small company (managing staff, clients and projects), as a member of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (past), as a Clark College Alumni Association Board Member, as a member of the Pacific and Haagen Park Citizen Steering Committee, as a member of the joint County/City Infill Ordinance Steering Committee, as the first chair of the city’s Critical Areas Ordinance development Committee, as an alumni of the Leadership Clark County Program, and…well I guess as a city councilman for the past 6.5 years — tells me that we can do better at City Hall.

You might think I’m a novice…but then please do tell me then what other experience you deem necessary to be the Mayor of Vancouver.

I’m happy at anytime (as I’ve noted before) to answer questions you may have.

best,
tim

In all, I think Tim gave the best showing of him self Tuesday evening, neither displaying the arrogance of Mayor Pollard nor having trouble articulating his stance. Since I don’t live in the city, I won’t get to cast a vote for either nor will I endorse any that is up to those of you who live in the city.

But, I will remind you. Throwing away your vote out of exasperation or thinking there is no difference will just guarantee another term for Pollard.

You already know what Pollard stands for and if you desire more of the same, vote for him or throw your vote away.

On the other hand, if you feel Vancouver is ready for a change, vote accordingly and choose another Mayor.

The choice is yours to make. Make your vote count.

July 7, 2009

Charlie Stemper says, “You Decide.”

by lewwaters

Received in email from candidate for Vancouver Mayor, Charlie Stemper,

For the Overburdened Taxpayers of Vancouver Washington
July 7, 2009
You Decide

In the July issue of the Arnada Neighborhood Association newsletter, Tim Leavitt, candidate for Mayor of Vancouver gave some interesting answers to questions asked. Tim is in my Opinion a reasonable Clone of Mayor Pollard who has over the past six years voted in Lockstep with Mayor Pollards Tax and Spend policies.

In reading the newsletter I found his responses consistent with the past and current wasteful spending of your hard earned tax dollars.

At one point, he recommended that if the neighbors were compassionate about issues they should work together to make their voices heard, especially Light Rail Alignment. I find it interesting he, as an ardent supporter of light rail, only mentioned light rail alignment. He did not offer advice to those who are anti-light rail. Which reminds me that at one of the neighborhood light rail forums he told us that local tax payer funds would not be needed to bring light rail to Vancouver, because the Feds had 750,000 dollars set aside for that project or words to that effect.

In response to a question concerning the loss of the Neighborhood Transportation Safety Alliance he mentioned that some of his priorities were traffic safety, sidewalks, pot hole repairs and neighborhood police officers. He went on to say the voters need to have the opportunity to vote parks and recreation, capital development and construction of fire stations. Although he noted that the city does not have the funds to support those projects, he responded in response to a question, how do we get funding to support these programs, INCREASE PROPERTY TAXES AND PRIORITIZING SERVICES.

There was no mention of eliminating wasteful spending such as the Hilton hotel, the Highway 14 Bridge to nowhere, the new downtown library parking garage, and 30 billion dollar Boise Cascade floodplain fiasco.

Answering a question regarding how business is done in Vancouver, behind closed doors, Leavitt said he did not disagree that business could be done differently, nor did he say he would, if elected, eliminate the backroom deals.

And last but not least, when asked where he would get the money to support programs such as the Fourth Plain Redevelopment, he responded with typical political double-speak, a dedicated revenue source, better known as more and higher taxes.

Having closely followed the mayor’s tax and spend polices over the past 16 years, Leavitt has learned well from his mentor over the past six years. If either he or the current mayor is elected it will be business as usual.

We can’t let that happen, that is why I urge you to vote for me Charlie Stemper to be you next mayor. Together we can make the changes that will return your city to you.

I urge all Vancouver residents to pay close attention to the Mayor’s race this time around. Listen closely to all 3 candidates.

There is an upcoming public forum featuring all 3 together, speaking their positions an ideas to improve Vancouver and the quality of life. I will post a more definite post on it as it becomes confirmed.

Mayor Pollard’s record speaks for itself, as does the condition of the city’s economy.

That leaves two candidates, Tim Leavitt and Charlie Stemper.

Vancouver is in serious economic woes, as are many communities. We are going to need a strong leader and someone willing to make hard choices to pull us out.

I urge you to listen to these candidates and vote accordingly.

May 8, 2009

Delavar For Washougal City Council, Pos 6

by lewwaters

.Delavar 006
As most know, Michael Delavar mounted an unsuccessful run to unseat Brian Baird from the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2008 election. Although his bid was unsuccessful, he still mounted an impressive 39% of the vote in Clark County, not too shabby for someone young with no political experience under his belt. He has nothing to be ashamed for as he did mount a good campaign and performed better than many expected.

Michael, a pilot with Horizon Airlines, has taken his initial defeat in stride and focused his sights on running for the Washougal City Council, Position 6. A position that he says

is a position that I can bid around with my flying job and not have to take time off for.”

Michael, 34, is the father of 2 young boys, which is what impressed me from the first meeting with him, viewing his interaction with his children when he didn’t know I was watching. More fathers need to embrace their role in the raising of their children as Michael has.

Regular readers of Clark County Conservative may recall that I did not endorse or support Michael for his run for Congress, mainly due to our differences on our involvement with Iraq. Even with that I readily agreed he held some sound fiscal ideas and values.

It is due to those ideas and values that I wholeheartedly support and endorse him in his bid for the Washougal City Council.

His campaign website has changed to MichaelDelavar.com where he outlines his vision for the City of Washougal, receiving over 2200 votes in that City alone. From a city with a population hovering around 9,000, that many votes is quite impressive.

Michael advocates reasonable taxes in a time that others think increasing taxes and fees to be appropriate. Michael is correct as increasing what taxpayers must pay during such economic troubles we currently face can only cause further economic strife for families.

He believes in “Ensuring the public has the necessary input on projects,” which I can personally attest too. Even with one who opposed his run, he was very approachable and open to listening, as acknowledged on his campaign site,

I learned a lot during last year’s campaign. The biggest thing was that there are good people on both sides of the political spectrum. I am glad to leave behind partisan politics.”

Another thing learned by Michael last year in the “partisan politics.” is the viciousness associated with a run for federal office. Perhaps that is why he told me in email, “I have no plans for moving on to a higher position than city council right now,” indicating he plans to actually work to better Washougal and not use the position as a stepping stone to a higher office.

In working with the other City Council Members, Michael would be a good addition who would retain the small town flavor of Washougal while working to draw “responsible, sustainable businesses” to the community and giving vital input countering current measures Washougal residents are unhappy with.

Washougal, I encourage you too take a serious look at Michael Delavar and support his common sense approach to local government by electing him to your City Council

December 7, 2008

Rep. Moeller: Citizen Help Needed In Raising Taxes

by lewwaters

jim-moellerUnbelievable as it may seem, given that we are in a severe economic downturn in Washington State, Clark County and yes, the entire nation, Democrat State Representative for the 49th Legislative District, Jim Moeller, wrote a letter to the editors at the Columbian actually requesting citizen input on where to raise taxes! Or, as he put it, “I believe citizen input is needed to help identify new revenue.”

Citizens’ help needed in budget crisis

Governor Gregoire is warning of “ugly cuts” ahead, acknowledging that raising taxes is the “wrong step in an economic downturn.”

Moeller wraps his plea for help in identifying where and who’s taxes to increase around a November 23, 2008 Opinion piece in the Columbian, “Cuts to public health funding could prove lethal.”

This of course begs the question, why is it during economic downturns, Public Services are the first thing to face the chopping block by Democrats?

State spending increased $8 Billion after Christine Gregoire became our governor, with Democrats controlling both houses of the State Congress along with the governors office. Moeller can’t see any wasteful spending in that?

State Expenditure History (pdf file)

Granted, much of the spending was increased due to voter-approved initiatives. But, how much money was thrown at those voters in efforts to convince them of dire consequences to them and their children if they didn’t approve such massive spending increases?

How much were those who opposed such large spending increases as too expensive and unnecessary ridiculed and shouted down by special interest groups and Democrats in Olympia? And now, we face a potential $5 Billion budget shortfall and all Moeller can think of is asking citizens to help identify who’s taxes can and should be increased?

Vitriolic Columbian Opinion Editor John Laird, in his weekly trashing of any and all not liberal, offers much the same dire words about the “ugly cuts” we face, but does extend some credit to Republican State Senator, Joseph Zarelli for, “several remedies that would be meaningful but not drastic.”

If Moeller is really serious about “identifying new revenue,” allow me to offer a few suggestions.

1. License and tax bicycles and their riders. Riders should have to pass a riding test to purchase a “bicycle endorsement” on their driver’s license, just as motorcycle riders and car drivers must. Bicycles should be licensed, just as cars and motorcycles are and renewed annually.

Underage riders could receive a special “restricted license” good only for bicycles, with parental approval and payment.

2. Since bicyclist don’t pay the current gasoline tax on riding their bicycles, a tax should be added to ‘Gatorade’ and other energy drinks they are so fond of.

3. The latte tax defeated in King County in 2003 needs to be immediately instituted on all caffeine users. Caffeine is an addictive substance much like tobacco and alcohol, so taxes equivalent should be imposed.

4. Oregon residents could to be required to pay Washington sales tax as well. Washington resident working in Oregon must pay Oregon’s Income. It would only be ‘fair’ that they pay our taxes over here as well.

5. Since education is one area facing those “ugly cuts,” how about an “ignorance tax?” The Washington Educator’s Association prohibits merit pay for teachers that excel, one thing that cost the state to lose a $13.2 million grant to some of our schools. So, why not tax parents who children aren’t performing to average standards?

Cutting the top-heavy administration costs in our school system could help balance the budget. But, we know the WEA will fight that tooth and nail and as much as the Democrats are beholding to the union, we can’t expect them to stand up to the teachers union, so we must hold the parents responsible.

6. Does the cost of ILLEGAL immigration ever enter into the Democrat mind? Do they not see that ILLEGALs working for lower wages, drives wages down across the board, resulting in even less revenue reaching Olympia?

Does Moeller consider the billions of dollars sent back to home countries by ILLEGALs, instead of being circulated in our economy? Surely an equivalent portion of those funds sent out of country comes from ILLEGALs in Washington State.

7. Why not impose a “poverty tax” as well? Since Democrats have told us several times over the years that tobacco and alcohol needed higher taxes to discourage the use of those items, why not tax those who earn less that $20,000 a year? Doesn’t it add up that if they must pay an extra tax they will strive harder to get out of poverty and earn higher wages?

8. While we are on tobacco, why not repeal I-901? That was one of those ‘fearmongering’ initiatives nanny staters scared voters into passing and ever since, not only have some private businesses gone under, revenues off of tobacco have decreased.

Let those that want to allow smoking in their private businesses allow it. Let those that wish to smoke, smoke. Let the state reap an increase in revenues from those taxes.

Don’t worry about increased medical costs, smokers die younger anyways, we are told, so they will use less medical care in the long run, right?

9. Why not charge Realtors a surtax on properties they sell? Homeowners must pay them exorbitant fees to sell their homes in a depressed market, so shouldn’t the Clark County Association of Realtors help out a little more than middle class tax payers? Or, do they receive a pass due to endorsements?

Well, Jim, you asked for input, so there you have it. Anyone else who has ideas to input may contact Rep. Moeller direct through his legislative web page, or add your ideas here for him and others to see.

Don’t be bashful. Speak up. Share your ideas. Let’s help Rep. Moeller increase taxes where they can be. We have nothing to fear but fear itself, right Jim?

Even though Rep. Moeller has a history of cynical replies to constituents, he may have mellowed out since he retained his seat against challenger Mike Bomar, who had ideas on the budget crisis without seeking citizen input on sticking it to other citizens.

62.44% of Clark County re-elected Moeller. You get what you vote for.

November 13, 2008

Bloggers, Are We Lobbyists?

by lewwaters

washington-sealPerhaps you think that is a silly question, but currently, the Public Disclosure Commission in Washington State is conducting hearings to determine if we should be required to register and file records as lobbyists in the state of Washington.

PDC Document (pdf file)

The first hearing was held November 12, 2008. Mike Reitz, of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation has been covering this here and here.

I know that we who blog on political matters rarely agree and quite often are at extreme odds with each other, but do you think we are lobbyists?

A lobbyist is a person or group who tries to influence public officials, usually for specific groups or legislation who would gain from passing certain pieces of legislation. We seem to have a love/hate relationship with lobbyists, depending on just what official they are trying to influence on what specific piece of legislation.

While we may express our views in support of or opposition to candidates or legislation to the public who chooses to read our blogs, I do not see this as lobbying. I see it as expressing our views as we are entitled to under the First Amendment of our Constitution.

In a way, we supply Op-Eds and Letters to the Editors that escape editing by the local paper or that never get published. Often, we express a view either counter to what has been published or in support. Occasionally we speak out on a subject that should have been published, but wasn’t.

Look upon it as an Internet Soap Box in the park, but in the comfort of our homes.

Of course, we visit each other’s blogs and sometimes, engage each other, supplying lurkers with a reasoned argument, hopefully, that they will not see anywhere else. Sadly, those discussions all too often break down in ad hominem, but we do supply legitimate citizen debate and discussion without censorship, other than what we bloggers do not allow on our sites.

Should this effort by the Public Disclosure Commission succeed, I see this as a direct infringement on not only my free speech, but yours as well. I disagree with the Liberals all too often, but do not advocate their being silenced.

Bloggers, be you Liberal, Moderate or Conservative, we need to stand together on this one and protect our free speech on the Internet. Government should not be allowed to regulate us or silence us by forcing us to register as lobbyists.

Whatever your political views are, we need to flood Olympia with phone calls, letters and emails expressing our disagreement with this effort. It may very well affect all of us, should they pass it.

They meet again on December 4 to discuss this further. Join me in letting them know we will not stand for our free speech to be denied!

November 13, 2008

MIELKE NEARING VICTORY!

by lewwaters

Received in email last evening:

MIELKE NEARING VICTORY!

Tom Mielke increased his lead to 187 votes over Pam Brokaw on Wednesday. Approximately 400 ballots remain to be counted. If Mielke holds on, Republicans will have the majority on the Clark County Board of Commissioners for the first time in 30 years! Along with the positive numbers for Mielke, every Clark County Republican incumbent was re-elected this year.

On election night, Mielke trailed Brokaw by about a 5,000 vote margin. Mielke had closed the gap to 633 votes by Thursday of election week, and had moved in front with a 78 vote lead by the end of the day last Friday. Mielke’s numbers have increased every day in the late counting since Election Day.

We are continuing to monitor this race and the ballot count very closely.

Thank you for all your work on behalf of our candidates and the Clark County Republican Party.

Ryan Hart
Chairman, Clark County Republican Party

Good news for all, after the dismal elections November 4. Let’s hope the lead holds and we Republicans can finally have a voice in Clark County.

November 3, 2008

An Urgent Video Message From Clark County GOP Chairman

by lewwaters

Dear Republicans:

This is it! Just one day until Election Day and we are now in the fight to the finish.

I would, first of all, like to remind you to turn in your ballot. Remember to vote the whole ballot, and support our local candidates. Did you know that in 2004 Clark County had one of the State’s highest drop-offs in votes between the Presidential Race and the Gubernatorial Race? Thousands more who were eligible to vote, simply didn’t. Clark County could have made the difference in electing Dino Rossi as Governor four years ago.

Don’t let this happen again. Let’s do everything we can in the final 24 to 36 hours to get Dino Rossi Elected. Let’s do everything we can to get our local candidates elected. We have an opportunity to elect a GOP majority to the Board of County Commissioners. Our candidates for Senate and the State Legislature need your help. Every Republican on the ballot is counting on you!

The Polls are narrowing in the final days of the Presidential Race. On Sunday, November 2, the IBD/TIPP poll had McCain and Obama in a statistical tie. The IBD/TIPP Poll won the title of “Nation’s Most Accurate Pollster,” for the 2004 Presidential Election.

We need your help in closing hours. Our Victory Office will be open, making get out the vote calls, until 7:00 PM on Election Night. Please volunteer today. Call 425-971-9291, or stop by the Victory office at 3925 NE 72nd Ave, Ste 104, to help us with our critical Get-Out-The-Vote effort on Monday and Tuesday.

Our candidates are counting on you. Please help us in our FIGHT TO THE FINISH!

Ryan Hart

Chairman, Clark County Republican Party

http://www.dinorossi.com/

http://clarkcountygop.org/

November 1, 2008

Dino Rossi’s Vancouver Rally

by lewwaters

In all, a pretty good turn out this morning for Dino’s appearance in Vancouver at his Vancouver Victory Headquarters. The small office was packed with what I’d estimate at well over 100 people.

Dino gave an inspiring speech to all on how taxes have increased and businesses have left Washington State and his plan to turn that around and make Washington a great State to run a business and horrible State for criminals.

In his effort to reach all of Washington’s citizens, he stated there is no town too small for him to appear in. In keeping with that he has scheduled rallies from here in Vancouver to Shelton, 5 in all, echoing his words to all of Washington’s voters.

Besides Governor Gregoire’s increasing our taxes and spending, leaving us a projected multi-billion dollar budget deficit, he spoke of how her policies resulted in over 3,000 felons gaining early release from prison, allegedly due to “overcrowding.” Three police officers were killed by some of those released felons and one woman was raped and her baby thrown against a wall by another.

Gregoire’s response? Commission a study.

More on Governor Gregoire’s failue at governing Washington State can be seen here.

From failure at fiscal responsibility to protecting our citizens, Gregoire has been a disaster for Washington State. Little wonder that Dino Rossi has secured the endorsements of newspapers across the state, our own Columbian excluded.

Additionally, Rossi has gained the endorsement of several Police Guilds across the state, even as Gregoire claims she the support of the Police.

As most can recall, Rossi won the election in 2004 by a narrow margin and two of the recounts, with Gregoire pulling it out by 129 votes in the questionable third recount, sparking outrage among voters of both parties who were denied their demanded Revote of the election.

Strong suspicions of voter fraud, especially from King County, who ‘discovered’ several ‘missing or misplaced ballots’ in each recount has left many Washington voters suspicious of the Gregoire administration. Her conduct in office has affirmed many who feel Dino Rossi was the rightful winner of the last election.

In efforts to once again snatch the governorship, the Gregoire campaign has resorted to the usual bag of dirty tricks and accusing Rossi of smearing Gregoire with lies, whenever his campaign plays video and audio of her own words.

The truth about Rossi’s stand on issues may be seen at Dino Fact Check and Rossi is the right candidate for these times.

The Columbian’s Jeffrey Mize covered the event for the financially troubled paper and I had the chance to chat with him afterwards. For a left leaning newspaper, Mize seems more fair-minded than other writers and reporters employed by the Columbian, which I feel is a major reason the paper is financially troubled, readers tired of biased reporting. I’m curiously looking forward to reading his take on today’s rally.

Regardless, Dino appeared today and gave Clark County much needed attention, something we often miss from the rest of the state, being so close to the Oregon border. Dino intends to return our state to sound footing and return much needed jobs and businesses to Washington. Instead of endless tax increases, he will lower them to a more reasonable level while reducing spending significantly.

Unlike Gregoire, Dino Rossi isn’t afraid to make decisions without first contacting ‘focus groups’ to see which way the wind blows.

Citizens of Washington, we need Dino to take his rightful place in Olympia. We need to reduce the number of Democrat seats in Olympia that has led us to this point. We need real change in Olympia, change to representatives that care more about us and the state than their political careers.

We need Don Benton, Joseph James, Micheline Doan, Joe Zarelli, Ed Orcutt, Jaime Herrera, Debbie Peterson, Tom Langston and Mike Bomar in Olympia alongside Dino.

We cannot afford four more years of Christine Gregoire.

October 30, 2008

SRCC Files Complaint Against SDCC For Illegal Contributions to Carrier Campaign

by lewwaters

In a release today, Brent Ludeman, Executive Director of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee announced that he has filed a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission against the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee alleging they both “violated their aggregate contribution limit” and “making contributions in excess of the 21-day $5000 limit” to David Carrier, running to unseat Republican Don Benton in the 17th Legislative District race. (copy of email received below post)

Stating Democrats had a contribution limit of $50,633.60, the complaint states “Senate Democrats have given directly or made in-kind contributions of more than $90,605 to Carrier’s campaign.”

This is not the same $1,000 the Carrier campaign was required to return to the 49th Legislative District Democrats earlier, which Carrier explained away as his “volunteer Treasurer accepted the contribution …. without knowing this type of contribution was prohibited.”

This is a new complaint filed over the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee contributing money to the Carrier Campaign in the sum of $50,000 “after the 21-day $5000 limit had passed.”

Ludeman also alleges in the complaint that of the $50,000 contributed, “$46,605 were made as in-kind contributions that cannot simply be returned.”

A file listing these contributions has been made available here.

Carrier built his campaign around a pledge of not accepting Special Interest and PAC contributions. When it was pointed out that he had accepted such contributions, Carrier attempted to explain and justify them here. (see comments)

The troubling aspect of David Carrier’s candidacy is that his words just do not add up. Beyond the promise of not accepting special interest and PAC money, he states on his web site, “Taxes represent an investment in our future and our children’s future. They are the dues that we pay for education, public services, and infrastructure.”

Additionally he claims he will not vote to implement an income tax, yet he also claims to advocate a “progressive tax.” That means the more you earn, the higher percentage you pay.

In spite of Clark County voters rejecting the idea of Light Rail from Portland into downtown by a 2 to 1 margin, Carrier aggress with the CRC on adding Light Rail to a new bridge to replace the aging I-5 bridge. He justifies this by relying on a questionable poll that only included 104 Clark County residents.

Of late he has jumped on the bash Bush bandwagon citing, “For the past 8 years we’ve been told that the economy is fine, that free markets will take care of themselves, that we can’t afford to do anything to help working people.”

He totally neglects that our economy went south after his party gained power in both the House of Representatives and Senate and began imposing minimum wage increases, which led to increased unemployment nationwide.

Carrier claims to be an “economist,” but makes no mention of his parties complicity in the economic downturn due to requiring risky home loans be made to those lower income people who could not afford to repay them, which Congressional Democrats blocked all efforts by both Republicans and President Bush to get regulations passed to prevent the economic meltdown we are now in.

Can we afford to send someone to Olympia that ignores his party’s share of the blame for the hardships we now face?

Carrier tells us, “In general I do not support tax increases, and do not support an income tax in the state of Washington.” Yet, from his own Priorities page we see,

“This year the City of Vancouver is facing a structural deficit of over $6 million. Since 2001, city departments excluding police and fire have absorbed a combined $14 million in cuts. As reported in the Columbian, the factors contributing to Vancouver’s budget shortfall:

An estimated $40 million has been lost in the past 7 years as a result of two voter initiatives, one capping property tax increases, the other lowering car tabs to $30 each.

An estimated $67 million has been lost in 10 years as the city phased out the local business and occupation tax.

Vancouver loses an estimated $10 million a year in sales tax revenue as shoppers travel to sales-tax-free Oregon.”

He also states on the same page, “Taxpayers have a right to vote on tax increases. They should also vote on tax cuts, after being fully informed of the consequences for public safety and education. Politicians should be required to identify which government services will be eliminated…”

Am I the only one to notice that the only areas Democrats ever seem able to cut spending on is in needed community services? Does he not see that eliminating the Light Rail proposal would save billions? Does he not see that eliminating entitlements to Illegal Aliens would also save citizens massive dollars? As we all know, government spending is bloated and out of control, but Carrier can only recommend cutting needed services should tax revenues not meet the states expectations.

Don Benton has served us faithfully and voted to keep our taxes at a fair level, which places more of our hard earned money in our own pockets to spend as we see fit.

Carrier makes a lot of smoke about helping us, but when looking at his claims objectively, will end up costing us a lot of money in taxes.

Add this his violating his own oath in accepting Special Interest and PAC money and now Illegal contributions and I see someone we just cannot afford in Olympia. Since his party gained power in Washington 4 years ago, our annual budget surplus has disappeared and been replaced by a projected multi-billion dollar budget shortfall.

To be fair, I do not believe Carrier accepted any of the contributions knowing they were illegal. A novice politician, I feel he is just naïve and as such, will show up in Olympia green as can be and easily manipulated by seasoned politicians who desire our tax dollars be spent first in King County, where their votes come from.

In times like this we need experience and someone with a record of fighting to keep our taxes down and reasonable. We need someone who fights against wasteful projects that will bankrupt us. We need someone who really does represent us.

Clark County needs Don Benton back in office as State Senator for the 17th legislative District.

Copy of email announcing GOP complaint:

From: Brent Ludeman [mailto:xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:38 PM
To: kyoung@pdc.wa.gov
Subject: Complaint

Kurt,

I would like to file a complaint against the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee for violating both their aggregate contribution limit and for making contributions in excess of the 21-day $5000 limit to David Carrier in the 17th Legislative District.

Despite a contribution limit of $50,633.60, the Senate Democrats have given directly or made in-kind contributions of more than $90,605 to Carrier’s campaign. I have attached an excel file with the illegal contributions highlighted.

Additionally, four of the contributions, totaling $50,605, were made after the 21-day $5000 limit. Of those contributions, $46,605 were made as in-kind contributions that cannot simply be returned. These illegal contributions have been used to further Carrier’s campaign in a way that will have irrevocable harm.

It is clear that these illegal contributions will impact the election results. The damage is done. Given the serious nature of this violation, I request an immediate investigation and for the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee and the David Carrier for Senate campaign to be penalized to the maximum extent of the law for these multiple violations.

Regards,

Brent Ludeman

Brent Ludeman
Executive Director
Senate Republican Campaign Committee
Cell: 206.XXX XXX

October 21, 2008

Langston Shuns PAC and Special Interest Money

by lewwaters

By now most have undoubtedly seen the television ad hawking David Carrier’s vow and refusal to accept Special Interest and PAC money and even the Columbian’s report of his campaign initially accepting an illegal contribution from another legislative district, which was subsequently returned.

The excuse listed of the Special Interest and PAC monies he did receive come across a bit lame, in my opinion.

Discussing the acceptance of Special Interest and PAC after viewing the last Presidential Debate at Republican Party Headquarters last week, Office Manager, Cindy Langston, wife of State Senate candidate Tom Langston, came up the small group and told us that Tom accepts no Special Interest or PAC money, at all.

We all have heard Political Candidates make claims that cause us to be skeptical and initially, I took Cindy’s claim with a little skepticism too. After all, it is just too easy to find out to who contributes to the candidates by a simple visit to the Public Disclosure Commission’s website, which is updated frequently.

It was a very pleasant surprise to discover that Tom and his wife are truthful. He has indeed not accepted PAC or Special Interest money and his acceptance of the money from the 49th Legislative District is legal as he is running for office within the 49th Legislative District.

Langston PDC Report

Langston PDC Report

Tom’s opponent, incumbent Democrat Craig Pridemore, lists several PACs he has accepted donations from, including the same Seattle law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation that David Carrier states is “from an individual employed by the firm who wished to remain anonymous.”

Pridemore PDC Report

Pridemore PDC Report

Unlike Carrier, I have never heard Pridemore make a vow to not accept such donations and again, accepting from Special Interest and PACs is not illegal. They can leave a candidate beholding to such groups, as we all know, but they are completely legal to accept.

Langston, desiring a more business friendly environment for Washington State, opposes any effort to impose an income tax on us. Strangely enough, Pridemore’s issue’s page is blank, leaving the voters will little information on just where he stands on current issues affecting the state.

Langston’s page prominently displays his stand on the issues and his pledge to the voters in dealing with them.

Pridemore, not willing to make his stand known to the public on his campaign website, leave us wondering if once again he would cave in to others on an income tax since we are again facing a severe budget shortage and as he said in 2005 after voting against his stated principles in raising taxes on Tobacco and Alcohol said, “The Senate has balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and powerless,” even though it was he who cast the deciding vote in passing the legislation.

To Pridemore’s credit, he did later sponsor a tax rebate bill, but even that could face elimination with the current severe budget shortfall we face since Democrats took control of the State Government.

Langston opposes the Light Rail project across the Columbia River that the CRC desires to impose upon us, in spite of voters rejecting it. Pridemore chaired that same commission previously. Does he also advocate strapping commuters to Portland with tolls should they choose to exercise their freedom to drive their car? Does he prefer to force commuters to use public transportation; joining Portland and Vancouver’s Mayors desire to “force people out of their cars?”

Tom Langston has shown himself to be a man of conviction who stands by his word, something we saw Pridemore vote against in 2005. Could that have something to do with his rapid rise in powerful committees in the Senate?

With the serious budget shortfall we face, we need a businessman to represent us, someone who has had to work to make a payroll and keep costs down to turn a profit and stay in business. Saying we need to “trim the fat” in our budget and actually doing it are often very different. Tom Langston knows how to do it.

Craig Pridemore has shown us he is willing to compromise his own principles on our backs.

Join me in voting for Tom Langston, Senator for the 49th Legislative District. Let’s return Washington State to sound fiscal footing and get back on track to improving Washington’s economy and drawing businesses and jobs back to Washington State.