Posts tagged ‘Jon Russell’

January 3, 2013

Rattling C-Tran Not A Bad Thing

by lewwaters

C-Tran RattledOnce again, the Columbian is up to old tricks with their article, Madore rattles C-Tran board, describing actions of then Commissioner-elect, now Commissioner David Madore and his contacting North County Officials prior to his swearing in.

Not surprising either is the Columbian not quite getting it right.

The article tells us that Madore met with different officials from smaller cities in North County and shortly after, some withdrew their support of a sitting C-Tran Board Member who has served on the C-Tran Board for number of years.

They quote Battle Ground Mayor, Lisa Walters saying, “He hadn’t been sworn in yet, and he was already out causing trouble like this,” leading readers to believe she is upset over Madore’s contacting officials.

In reality, she isn’t as upset as they indicate.

read more »

May 22, 2012

Jon Russell Resigns From Washougal City Council

by lewwaters

Not really a big surprise, but Washougal City Council Member Jon Russell has announced he will resign his council seat effective July 1, 2012.

In an email sent out, Russell says,

“I am submitting my resignation from the Washougal City Council, effective July 1st 2012. I have accepted a job promotion which will take my family and me to the east coast. Please thank the city employees for their tireless dedication and their assistance to me as a City Councilman. Washougal is a great city and will only get better in the years to come. My last Council meeting will be June 25th.

On a personal note, thank you for your integrity and diligence in making our city run smoothly.

Jon Russell
Mayor Pro Tem
Washougal City Councilman

read more »

July 21, 2011

Should I Care What Life Pac Says?

by lewwaters

As a political blogger I am approached from time to time by candidates and supporters asking for support, inviting me to their events or speaking against a candidate I might have decided to support. But, I have to say that tonight was the first time a PAC has contacted me to ask that I consider withdrawing an endorsement of a candidate.

What strikes me as odd, besides the fact that I have not endorsed Anne McEnerny-Ogle, or any candidate for Vancouver City Council for that matter, is that the link shown is to a recommendation I made a year and a half ago, when she was vying to be appointed to the city council seat that Bart Hansen ended up winning the nomination to.

read more »

May 18, 2011

Delavar Cries Foul in Hiring of Camas Mayor to New Job

by lewwaters

Camas and Washougal may not be big cities, but their elected leaders are never at a loss for supplying controversy.

As in the video excerpt from the 1939 Jimmy Stewart movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Washougal city council member Michael Delavar seems to be standing alone right now as he alleges ethics violations against the hiring of Camas’ soon to be ex-mayor, Paul Dennis to head the proposed Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association.

Camas mayor’s new job causes stir

read more »

September 1, 2010

Let the Head Butts Begin

by lewwaters

Now that the dust has settled from the primaries, we will next be faced with deciding who to vote for to actually send to office. We now have to decide if we really want change, or in some cases, hold our noses and vote, hoping for the best.

For me personally, this past campaign has been a real eye opener causing me to decide to distance my self from the GOP, but retaining my conservative leaning. I left the Democrat Party long ago over similar corruption and dirty dealings and just because they feign conservatism is no reason to support such dirty dealings as I saw coming from board members of the Clark County GOP and other county Republican Parties in Southwest Washington.

Be it their over eagerness or elation in the Democrats polling so poorly nationwide, whoever decided to go ahead with the TV ad released the day after the election screwed up badly, handing the opposing party an FEC complaint on a silver platter.

The ad itself isn’t what is bad, but the obvious coordination between the GOP and American’s for Prosperity, a section 501(c)(3) organization that can only engage in limited lobbying and is prohibited from any political campaign intervention is glaring.

From the use of people that have openly supported or endorsed the establishment candidate that gained the nomination, some of whom actually engaged in the dirty tactics against a fellow Republican that has resulted in my distancing myself from the GOP, to Ryan Hart actually calling around to enlist “volunteers” to appear in it and telling me that Kirby Wilbur of AFP was producing the ad, the FEC complaint filed against them by the Democrats is their chickens coming home to roost.

Not a smart move by any means. Even if they are exonerated, it will be long after the November General election. Whether or not it has any bearing come November 2 remains to be seen.

While the establishment candidate sits around waiting on handlers to provide ideas to express, Democrat Denny Heck has released an ad attacking, not his opponent, but Wall Street and some of the problems actually facing the country. I can’t honestly say I agree with his ideas, but at least he is expressing some and not waiting on handlers to give him some.

The dough boy seems to have slipped back towards obscurity after making all of his noise and helping slander and vilify the only decent conservative candidate we have seen run for Washington States 3rd Congressional District in several years.

He never did come clean on that “Marine Service” he always boasted of, but I am now in possession of the public portion of his Military record and still have some questions to ask him about it, should he come slithering out from behind the rock he crawled behind.

Moving on to the 18th Legislative District, Ann Rivers and Dennis Kampe will be facing each other in November. After all of the belly aching over David Castillo not immediately getting behind the chosen establishment candidate in the 3rd CD race, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at the silence coming from those same party insiders at GOP sleaze ball and muckraker, Jon Russell not endorsing Rivers.

In spite of Ann’s receiving some nice endorsements from State Attorney General Rob McKenna and others, including her NRA endorsement, rumor has it that Jon Russell is holding out for a specific thing before endorsing her, even though he tried and failed to start rumors against her or create a link to her and fellow blogger Kelly Hinton to harm her chances of winning.

My advice to Ann Rivers is to give that slime ball the middle finger.

Many eyebrows are raised currently over Vancouver City Manager, Pat McDonnell’s sudden decision to resign and obtain a job with SEH, a corporation his decisions have benefited more than once financially.

I have not seen any word from current city council member Bart Hansen, running for reelection on this seeming conflict of interest, but his opponent has made his view clear to voters on any potential replacement for McDonnell. In an email, John Jenkins said,

“I’d loose no sleep in appointing Eric Holmes to fill the top slot.

Having said that I hope the Vancouver City Council will not perform a national search for a city manager and here are a few reasons why:

A search will only cost money. We don’t have an abundance of that right at the moment.

A search will only cause resentment in the staff here who thought they were qualified.

A search will only produce an individual who has to play catch-up on every issue.

A search will only produce an individual who will bring ideas to the city of Vancouver who knows nothing about Vancouver and its problems past or current.

And, don’t fill the assistant city manager’s position. It would be bad form to the rest of the cities employees.

You have it from me what I’d do if I was in the seat today.”

Will Hansen release any such comments? Or, will we have to wait to see his views as the replacement process unfolds, if he is still on the council?

The Columbian seems to have already picked the Democrat for endorsement in the 17th Legislative District position 2 as they ran an article “exposing” Republican Paul Harris’s failure to register his vehicle in Washington State. In spite of over 100 comments left at the article, many just a bit too anti, I seriously doubt this will amount to any significance in the November election against his opponent, Monica Stonier, who the Columbian doesn’t seem interested in looking into her background.

With the vote count in the primary, Harris received nearly 3,000 more votes than both of the Democrats combined. He owned up to his mistake and paid the necessary fine. Now, move on to something of significance, if you can.

We still have 2 months before the general and with some high stakes seats open this time, we can expect to see some amusing shenanigans in many of the races.

As an Independent Conservative now, I have my popcorn at the ready and lawn chair set up to watch it all unfold.

It will be interesting to see who actually earns our votes versus who sits back and just expects it.

Candidates, to your corners and at the sound of the bell (or checkbooks opening), come out swinging.

August 11, 2010

The Generosity of the Cowlitz GOP is Underwhelming

by lewwaters

The Cowlitz County GOP has sent out an invitation to candidates for a BBQ, August 21, 2010 inviting all candidates to come speak before attendees.

That I can recall, I have never met Schimmel, but this “invite” to speak, FOUR DAYS AFTER THE PRIMARY is just unbelievable.

If you recall, the Cowlitz GOP was the first County Party to endorse candidates, months before the candidate filing deadline had even arrived. One of their endorsed candidates ended up having to withdraw over personal reasons and I never heard if they endorsed anyone in his place.

Other than entertainment, what good will it do for candidates to speak before those in attendance 4 days AFTER the primary?

Obviously, non-endorsed candidates did not receive a fair shake from the Cowlitz GOP and voters were denied a fair and balanced assessment of candidates running for office there.

As I have said many times, individual endorsements of candidates is one thing, but the party itself should not issue endorsements prior to the primary, even with out top two primary system. Voters deserve better.

Poetic justice would be for this to be the platform used by cute little Jaime Herrera and scandal ridden Jon Russell to make their concession speeches.

Little wonder the GOP has such a difficult time winning elections in counties with such poor party leadership.

August 7, 2010

Columbian Editor Creates Local Soap Opera

by lewwaters

Clark County residents can rest easier today knowing that the Columbian’s managing editor, Lou Brancaccio has successfully stopped local blogger, Kelly Hinton, from driving in parades for 18th legislative district candidate, Ann Rivers.

Following in the footsteps of Washougal city council member, Jon Russell, a distant opponent of Rivers known for stepping on people in his way, Brancaccio has devoted 2 weekly editorials on the acerbic writing style Hinton uses on his blog.

Guilt by association?

Creating distance from a problem

Hinton, known for his “take no prisoners” blogging at Clark County Politics, where he exposes corrupt politicians and their lackluster performance, has become a favored target. First of some Board Members of the Clark County GOP, who tried to damage 3rd Congressional District candidate David Castillo in favor of opponent, Jaime Herrera, the GOP establishment candidate.

He now seems to have become the favored target, first of scandal ridden council member Jon Russell and now Lou Brancaccio, who maintains that in spite of his columns, “She’s still the best” in reference to Ann Rivers.

Claims of Hinton being Rivers campaign manager or campaign consultant were quickly put to rest and we were told in the original column that Hinton occasionally drives in parades for Ann Rivers.

Meanwhile, scouring the archives of the Columbian and Brancaccio’s columns, I was unable to find any mention during last years Washougal Mayor’s scandal that Rivers opponent, Jon Russell was on the financial oversight committee that signed off on the missing expenditures. Russell pointed all fingers at former mayor, Stacee Sellers, the fellow Republican he threw under the bus in favor of Democrat mayoral candidate, Sean Guard, brother of Jeff Guard, the former mayor Sellers defeated in the previous election.

No red flags there, right?

Brancaccio gleefully informs us in the second paragraph of today’s column, “[the] controversial blogger would no longer be driving in [Rivers] campaign’s parades.”

You can sleep well tonight Clark County, knowing that the Columbian’s managing editor is protecting the community from bloggers who also occasionally drive in parades.

Brancaccio indicates a third column on this subject will be forthcoming.

Hinton continues blogging, undeterred.

Meanwhile, real news concerning a federal candidate and possible fraud remains ignored, not being as important as who drives a truck in a parade.

Tune in next week for the latest installment of “As The Columbian Turns.”

August 2, 2010

Anthony Bittner’s Missing Voter Pamphlet Statement

by lewwaters

Several of you have contacted me inquiring about young Anthony Bittner and what is going on with his campaign. Other than reading in the Columbian that he is conducting a “stealth campaign,” I honestly do not know.

Some have felt he might have dropped out since no photo or candidate statement appeared in the voters pamphlet, but I can report that is not so.

I received the following just today concerning his missing statement,

Hey supporters! I actually DID send in a voter’s statement and photo. Still trying to get to the bottom of why it was not in the pamphlet. Here is the statement I submitted. Please forward to all your friends and supporters. I appreciate you all.\!

My name is Anthony Bittner, running as a new generation of Republican. I am not a politician, not bought by special interests, but rather a statesman and citizen who will listen to you, not talk at you.
I am running to balance our State’s budget by offering fiscal solutions, not more complaints. My Agency Reduction Act, and business tax break proposals, will lower State spending of your money and get Washington on the road to recovery.

I support State’s rights, 2nd Amendment rights, Civil rights, Right to Life, and limited government intrusion.

I have no idea why, if he sent it in, it was not included, unless they received after the deadline. But, it’s nice to hear he is still campaigning.

We’ll see how it all shakes out come August 18th.

Remember, vote and get your ballots in before August 17.

August 2, 2010

Ann Rivers Endorsed by the NRA

by lewwaters

Way to go, congratulations, Ann.

Ann Rivers Receives NRA Endorsement
“It’s Your Freedom – It’s Your Vote! Vote for Ann Rivers.” – NRA

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund announced today that they have endorsed Ann Rivers as candidate for the State Representative in District 18, Position 1. “Ann Rivers is a fellow NRA member and has indicated strong support for the Second Amendment and working knowledge of the issues surrounding this most important debate,” states the NRA press release, “so please be sure to spread the word to your family, friends and fellow gun owners to vote for Ann Rivers on Tuesday, August 17!”

Rivers was honored by the Friends of the NRA in February for her work on behalf of the Clark County Competitive Shooters. She and her husband Fred have been an NRA members for many years. “It is such an honor. First to be honored by the Friends of the NRA in February, and now to be endorsed by them, I am truly grateful,” states Ann.

Growing up in a family of hunters, Ann has hunted many times with her husband and two children. “One of the many legacies I want to leave behind is the right to hunt and to insure that families coming on after mine will continue to enjoy this fantastic hobby and adventure,” Ann said.

Ann is running for the open seat vacated by State Representative Jaime Herrera. The NRA indicated that Ann Rivers’ primary opponents were not endorsed because these candidates indicated hostility towards the second Amendment.

To learn more about Ann Rivers and her campaign, please visit

Ann Rivers continues to outpace her opponents and this latest endorsement, added to the Longview Daily News and the Columbian along with several others, shows the quality of who she is.

Ignore the smears being leveled her way and reject the despicable cur who initiated them.

Ann Rivers is truly One Working for All.

August 1, 2010

Ann Rivers Endorsed By the Longview Daily News and the Columbian

by lewwaters

The Longview Daily News has today, Sunday August 1 issued Ann Rivers an endorsement to advance as one of the candidates in our top two primaries to win the seat being vacated by Jaime Herrera for the 18th legislative District.

They also included Washougal’s scandal ridden council member, Jon Russell.

Rivers was considered the favored to win the seat Herrera was appointed to in late 2007, until Herrera suddenly appeared and became the hands down favorite, somehow.

The Daily News says of Rivers,

“[She] has a professional’s understanding of the political process that likely would be of considerable value in Olympia. She is president of AMR consulting, a government and public affairs consulting firm. Rivers has managed a number of political campaigns, as well as advised corporate clients on political issues. She has worked with the Republican Caucus in the Legislature and as consultant with the House Republican Organizational Committee in Southwest Washington.”

They also said,

“Rivers is the candidate most familiar with Cowlitz County, having lived here for many years. As Rivers pointed out during our editorial board meeting, she is the only candidate in the race who has lived in both Cowlitz and Clark counties.”

Of Russell they said,

“[He] is the only candidate for the 18th District House seat who has served as an elected official. He’s been a member of the Washougal City Council since 2006.”

What they neglected to include was Russell’s dismal performance while on the council where $100,000 came up missing and he pointed all blame on the Republican mayor, Stacee Sellers that he threw under the bus in order for Democrat, Sean Guard to be elected.

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

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

Russell, seriously lagging in both funds and supporters, is resorting to the sleazy tactics he is known for by trying to link his opponent to a blogger who has exposed Russell’s own corruption and shortcomings continually on the blog site Jon Russell Watch due to a past business arrangement.

He condemns Ann Rivers, even trying to begin a rumor that she is not pro-life knowing her actions in regards to pro-life is something impossible for him to match, by “guilt by association” and gives himself a pass for throwing a Republican under the bus in favor of a Democrat in 2008.

Jon Russell Watch is also where Jon was exposed for claiming an Academic degree he does not hold, as picked up by the Columbian.

Ann Rivers, besides being the best qualified candidate, has remained above the fray. Although she knows this blogger, so does Jon Russell, they also having worked together in the past.

Ann Rivers is the candidate that called on ALL candidates to respect and restore each others campaign signs as they became vandalized, a call Russell seems to have ignored as far as I can tell. Rivers and her husband have maintained that pledge since making it, restoring and repairing competitors’ signs.

Ann Rivers, along with the lone Democrat, Dennis Kampe, received the primary endorsement from the Columbian, who said,

“Rivers is the most visible, effervescent and persuasive campaigner among the four GOP contenders. To balance the state budget, she would send it first to state Auditor Brian Sonntag, who this year in performance audits identified millions of dollars in potential savings.”

Of Jon Russell they acknowledge,

“[He] has been mired in multiple controversies of that council and has been less than forthright in describing his academic background.”

While I concur with the Daily News on Ann Rivers, if I lived in the 18th legislative district, I’d give serious consideration to Brandon Vick for one of the top two spots.

July 26, 2010

Brandon Vick: Landscaping to Legislative Candidate

by lewwaters

I haven’t mentioned much about Brandon Vick, also vying for the 18th Legislative District seat that Jaime Herrera is stepping down in this campaign season. He hasn’t been rated with the top runners, but he has run a clean consistent campaign, unlike some others.

I first met Brandon during the 2008 campaign season at a Clark County Republican PCO event for new PCO’s to get to know each other and to hear what was expected of us. Brandon showed his interest in local elections and growing the GOP. He expressed his ideas and listened to mine.

I was a bit surprised to see that he decided to campaign for the seat Jaime Herrera will be vacating as the field already had well-known candidates announcing they were going to try for the seat and Brandon is a novice. But, file he did and he campaigns as hard as any candidate out there.

Even though he and I might disagree on some points, I have to say I admire not only his tenacity in running, but for running a clean campaign, separating him self from some of the viciousness we have seen from Jon Russell. Russell, even though already elected to a city council position, could take a few lessons from Vick.

Funds have not been flowing to Vick in large numbers but that has not dampened his spirits. Brandon, with his lovely wife Darci by his side, can be seen manning booths for Vick, door belling, marching in parades and giving speeches at events. Obviously, he is not a quitter, even with the odds stacked against him.

Brandon works in his families business, Vick Landscaping established by his grandfather in 1961. I presume he oversees much of the operation today, but Brandon also impresses me as a “hand’s on” sort of guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

Although scant on political experience, he brings with him some admirable traits, having earned Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts, the highest honor you can attain in the organization that is responsible for turning many boys into men with a sense of pride in America and some impressive volunteer work for someone as young as he is.

It should also be noted that when Shannon Barnett, an experienced candidate from Cowlitz county who was running for the open seat, had to drop out, he endorsed Vick over other Republican candidates in the race

I might not agree with every point Vick speaks, but he stands before an audience and articulates his vision clearly without parroting talking points picked up elsewhere. Like any other novice candidate, there is a touch of naiveté as to just how government actually works, but Brandon has a vision of one day changing that, making government more responsible and less intrusive.

I have to credit Brandon in that for as little money as he has raised, he has used it wisely in running a smart campaign that, as I said above, has been very clean, avoiding uncalled for pot shots at opponents or belittling them either.

He has opted to rise above the dirt and just speak his message.

Odds are that he will most likely not make it past the primary, but I wouldn’t count on the odds. Jon Russell is hurting himself by running a sleaze campaign against presumptive front-runner, Ann Rivers while Brandon Vick continues to voice his message and gain recognition.

With Russell wallowing in the mud and Democrats not favored this election season, there is every chance Brandon Vick will win one of the top two slots in our top two primary.

Should he not gain one of the slots, I hope to see Brandon running for another office in the future. We need young people like him in office and even though I can find areas to disagree with him on, his vision will be needed in the future.

Win or lose August 17, Brandon will have set an example of how to run a clean campaign others would do well to follow.

See for yourself at Elect Brandon Vick

July 26, 2010

Ann Rivers Leading the Way in the 18th Legislative District

by lewwaters

Echoing my own sentiments below, the Columbian has endorsed Ann Rivers and her opponent, Dennis Kampe for the primary election. 18th Legislative District: Rivers, Kampe

We are edging closer and closer to the August 17th primary election. Ballots are printed and voter pamphlets are mailed and available for download. It’s time to ‘separate the wheat from the chaff.’

Print media has began issuing who they endorse for office and some desperate candidates hoping to advance are reverting to sleaze politics against an opponent they cannot match in experience or ability.

Nowhere can this be seen any better than in the race for the 18th Legislative District seat Jaime Herrera will be leaving.

Since announcing her run for the seat being vacated by Brian Baird, several have signed on to replace outgoing Herrera. Some tried to win the appointment to the seat in 2007 and were turned down, Herrera being chosen.

Early on, Ann Rivers, one who was once considered the favored for the seat Herrera was first appointed to, jumped to a commanding lead in donations and supporters. Another, who was knocked out of the run to replace Baird by Herrera’s entrance, is Washougal city council member, Jon Russell, who has been floundering since he entered the race.

Jon, not well known for running clean campaigns, has been able to only raise about a fourth of the funds Ann Rivers has and has failed to gain the support she enjoys. So, out comes the sleaze we have seen before from him and his surrogates.

Rather than refute individual claims made against Ann, let’s look at just a couple reasons that show why Ann Rivers has maintained such an insurmountable led over Russell and would represent taxpayers in the 18th much better than an ambitious person such as Russell could.

In spite of knowing that Ann Rivers is pro-life, Jon tried a little seed planting at a Clark County Republican Women’s candidate’s forum recently, strongly hinting that she might not be pro-life. He did this knowing full well that Ann has shown her pro-life stance at an early age that is physically impossible for Jon to match.

Jon acknowledged to me that he knows Ann became pregnant due to a sexual assault when she was in her early teens and, although she had the choice to end the pregnancy, chose to give life to a little girl and hand her over to a couple who could properly care for her. To this day, Ann’s family continues to contribute to Birthright

Knowing this, Jon chose to hint that Ann is not pro-life!

Jon, through a surrogate, questions Ann’s party loyalty, completely ignoring how he threw a fellow Republican under the bus in favor of a Democrat one week prior to an election, giving the win to the Democrat.

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

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

Jon has decided a former non-political business association with a Democrat raises questions about her ability to serve in the legislature. Of course, Jon neglects to mention that through his company, Northern Concepts, he advocated for the largest tax increase ever to face Clark County for the Port of Vancouver. Fortunately, the measure failed.

Such is the sleaze seen in a Jon Russell campaign. He cannot match her in ability, class or ideas, so he resorts to this sort of sleazy tactic.

A few weeks ago, I met Jon for coffee and in our talk, I warned him about this type of campaigning. Apparently he chose not to listen.

How pathetic for a young candidate to claim, “I am a Christian because my life was forever changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ,” then resort to such sleazy tactics as this, stepping on people who are in the way of his overly ambitious effort to climb the political ladder.

There is a reason Ann Rivers has raised funds at a rate of nearly 5 to 1 compared to Jon’s and enjoys wide support.

Ann Rivers offers what voters are looking for.

Jon Russell does not!

I applaud Republicans Brandon Vick and Anthony Bittner for not resorting to the sleaze we see coming out of Jon Russell’s camp and for running clean campaigns like Ann is.

As I said once before, Jon Russell is his own worst political enemy.

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.

July 6, 2010

Jon Russell Accused of Claiming an Academic Degree He does Not Hold

by lewwaters

Jon Russell, Washougal Republican City Council Member, Mayor Pro Tem, former candidate for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District and now candidate for Washington States 18th Legislative District seat being vacated by Jaime Herrera has been accused in both the Columbian and on Clark County Politics blog of laying claim to a degree he does not hold.

Jon Russell’s degree

Both the Columbian and Thomas Edison verify it: Russell’s claim of a college degree is fake.

In a pathetic effort at deflecting the attention away from his exposure, Russell claimed Clark County Politics blog “is designed to do nothing more than to tear down my credibility,” adding the blog owner, Kelly Hinton, “backs one of Russell’s opponents, Ann Rivers, in the 18th District race.”

I know both Hinton and Rivers and yes, they are business partners and friends, but I also know that his blog was exposing Russell long before Ann Rivers began campaigning for the seat Jaime Herrera is vacating. I can assure you Ann Rivers has no connection to this revelation on Russell’s degree he claimed.

Russell claims he “has earned more than the 60 credit hours required for an AA degree,” which is meaningless if he did not fulfill the requirements necessary to actually obtain the degree.

In yet another pathetic effort, Russell claimed, “I’ve always said I’ve earned my degree. I’ve never said I obtained my degree.”

From a screen shot of Russell’s About Me page on his website from November 2009, I read his claim of “Jon’s experience in politics started as he was working on his degree in political science first at Vincennes University and finally at Thomas Edison College in Trenton N.J.

His About me page, effective July 6, 2010 says, “Jon’s experience in politics started as he was working on his degree in political science first at Vincennes University and finished his degree at Thomas Edison College in Trenton N.J.

Calls made to Thomas Edison “confirms that Russell enrolled in courses there, but says it has not granted him a degree.

Even Russell “concedes that he never got around to doing the paperwork required to get the actual degree.”

This type of resume’ embellishment has made news elsewhere in recent months as we saw Connecticut’s Democratic Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, who gradually insinuated he served in Viet Nam when he never did. Or Republican Mark Kirk, who overly boasted of a minimal unit citation as if he were personally awarded a citation of high merit.

And now, we apparently see Jon Russell building a resume he is not yet entitled to.

Jon is not the first politician to try this tired tactic of embellishment and I can assure you he will not be the last. But, be it Military Service or Academic claims, they will continue to be exposed, maybe even sooner than some think.

June 18, 2010

Clark Republican Women Host Legislative Candidates Forum

by lewwaters

June 17 saw the Clark County Republican Women hosting another “get to know your candidates forum” luncheon at Club Green Meadows, this time to give voters a chance to question and get to hear candidates for the legislative candidates vying for election this year.

Attending the event to answer potential constituent questions were, Paul Harris (17th legislative district position 2), Brian Peck (17th legislative district position 1), Ann Rivers, Jon Russell and Brandon Vick, all 3 vying for the nomination to replace Jaime Herrera in the 18th legislative district, Craig Riley (49th legislative district position 2), Bill Cismar (49th legislative district position 1) and Brice Chandler, incumbent 15th legislative district representative.

Candidates attending the luncheon, but not participating in the question session were John Jenkins (Vancouver city council position), Alan Svehaug (Clark County Commission), Peter Van Nortwick (Clark County Assessor) and Daniel Weaver (Clark County Assessor).

After enjoying a delicious ham lunch, candidates sat down and began taking random lessons from those who came to hear where they stood on relevant issues. Questions were submitted by paper and placed in a basket, then randomly chosen to be asked. Due to time constraints, not all questions were asked, but enough to give voters a better view of who the Republicans have running for office.

With a mixture of humor and seriousness, candidates each answered the random questions in short statements.

Brian Peck stated he supports a balanced budget, privatizing the liquor control board, the Puget Sound Ferry system and would like to see e-verify, the free system to conform citizenship, implemented for receipt of entitlements.

Bruce Chandler added that he would like to see e-verify mandated for public employees statewide as well.

Ann Rivers said she would like to see the state budget written by the state auditor write the budget and legislators explaining each piece of extra spending they try to attach to the budget.

Adding some humor to the afternoon, in reply to whether or not they would support e-verify to determine citizenship on hiring, Bill Cismar answered “si,” drawing an expected laugh from all in attendance.

Recalling how his incumbent opponent, Jim Jacks boasted of being governor Gregoire’s “mouthpiece” in Clark County in the 2008 election, Bill Cismar stated, “Gregoire doesn’t need a mouthpiece, she needs an ear piece,” indicating the governor needs to listen to taxpayers, not dictate to us.

Also in regards to Jack’s often stated “listen and learn” stand in 2008, Cismar said he would listen to main street and take that to Olympia to tell them instead of just listening to senior party officials. Cismar says Jacks “listened and learned” from Olympia, not from small businesses.

With the recent slate of tax increases and yet another burgeoning budget shortfall and seeing that Jim Jacks voted lock-step with the majority in passing those bankrupting taxes, I agree.

Indicating how the new taxes have hurt small businesses, Brandon Vick said the B & O Tax should be renamed the “B & O Penalty.”

Craig Riley expressed his desire to increase jobs and lower taxes to a more reasonable level, alleviating the burden on small businesses and the average taxpayer.

Jon Russell said he advocates cutting off public unions from contributing so heavily to campaigns, especially those that serve their interests.

In another questioned posed, whether or not the candidate would support another should they not receive the nomination, Harris and Peck both reminded all they had no opponent from the GOP in a humorous manner.

All said yes, but Jon Russell left the audience a bit confused when he replied, “I will if they’re pro-life.” Jon knows that every single person sitting at the table with him is pro-life, so it remains unknown who that was directed at.

Be it a cheap shot or seed planting to suggest another in his race isn’t pro-life is unknown. Jon should explain that strange comment.

In all, though it was very informative luncheon and I have no regrets in going. A young lady sat at my table that had never been to one of these forums and also said she learned a lot.

Thanks must be expressed for the efforts of the Clark County Republican Women in hosting these forums and making candidates openly available to voters.

I hope you make the effort to attend the next one. Not only will you enjoy a great meal, you will come away with a better idea of what candidates running for office intend to do.

June 17, 2010

Jon Russell Still Exaggerating His Worth

by lewwaters

Jon Russell, Washougal City Council Member, former candidate for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, who bailed after seeing any hopes me held dashed by the entrance of Jaime Herrera, and current hopeful to replace Jaime as she steps down from her seat in the 18th Legislative District, is still trying to build a resume’ exaggerating questionable accomplishments.

After he tucked tail and slinked away from the 3rd CD run, obviously sucking up to Herrera by endorsing her after she destroyed any prayer he had, I placed Jon on ignore. But, sometimes, I just can’t ignore obvious bogus and exaggerated claims.

The claim? Look at the bottom of the follow flyer Jon is spreading around and you’ll see, “He forced a corrupt elected official in his own party to resign.”

Although Stacee Sellers did step down before her time was fully up, I have yet to hear of any charges of corruption filed against her or of any criminal charges filed on anybody over the mis-actions that she and the city council allowed to occur.

Jon also doesn’t say that he was on the oversight committee, signing off on the very expenditures he says were corruption.

Although Stacee Sellers did step down before her time was fully up, I have yet to hear of any charges of corruption filed against her or of any criminal charges filed on anybody over the mis-actions of her and the city council.

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

Russell’s Apologists Cover For Poor Council Performance

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

To me, it only stands to reason that since Jon had oversight on the mayor’s expenditures and signed off on those expenditures, can he be any less corrupt than he accuses her of being?

Jon, clean up the mess you helped create in Washougal before you try to get to Olympia to create new ones.

June 13, 2010

Bittner Condemns Campaign Sign Destruction

by lewwaters

Anthony Bittner has come forward and condemned the destruction of campaign signs that seems to have escalated with the presence of the Washington State GOP Convention in town this week and weekend.

Several signs have been vandalized and whoever has done it has placed Bittner’s in front of, next to or inside of vandalized signs, being just too obvious in trying to set up Anthony as if he were doing the destruction.

Seeing how so many signs have been destroyed this weekend I contacted Anthony to see if he knew anything about it and to recommend that if some of is supporters were engaging in this conduct, to have them knock it off as it would only reflect negatively on him and his campaign.

As we all know, campaign signs are expensive and can eat up a large chunk of a candidates funds, constantly replacing them.

Ann Rivers, Anthony’s opponent in the race for the 18th Legislative District, issued a call earlier for candidates to repair everyone’s signs they see knocked down or vandalized and pledged to do so herself. Anthony has answered the call as he assured me that he has repaired some of her signs over the last few weeks.

When I asked Anthony about it, he replied,

“There has been a massive amount of sign destruction done over this weekend. I had around thirty of my signs stolen completely, and about ten vandalized. I have nothing to do with this sign destruction and would honestly like it to end. I don’t have the funds to continue replacing my signs.”

Ann Rivers has posted some photos on her facebook page showing the destruction this weekend.

Whoever is doing this is unknown, but it is a juvenile prank, whether it’s younger kids or not.

I know both Ann and Anthony and this is not the conduct either appreciate or would engage in.

If it is a supporter of any candidate, you only hurt your candidate by engaging in such juvenile conduct as well as drive up the cost of their campaigns that could be better spent elsewhere.

It seems every campaign, sign destruction grows around town. Whether it is kids seeking kicks or opponents from the other party, it is unnecessary, uncalled for and counter-productive.

For all of the calls to end sleazy politics and run clean campaigns from voters, you’d think some would realize that engaging in such juvenile antics as tearing down signs of candidates is just that, as sleazy as it gets.

If you witness someone tearing up signs, take their photo if possible or write down the license number of their car then turn it over to Police. Destruction of campaign signs is a criminal offense and maybe some fat fines might help such vandals mature some.

Let’s grow up, Clark County and show the rest of the state how it should be done.

May 27, 2010

Campaign for Liberty Vets 18th L.D. Candidates

by lewwaters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 24, 2010

Will Jon Russell and Others Join Ann Rivers to End Campaign Sign vandalism?

by lewwaters

I have to admit, this press release put out by the Ann Rivers campaign is one of the classiest moves I’ve ever seen a candidate do.


Ann Rivers announced today that her sign crews have been directed to repair all campaign signs of either party out in the campaign area.

“It sickens me to see vandalized signs of any campaign. As a candidate, I know how hard everyone has worked to get the funds necessary to pay for these signs, and how much work campaign volunteers go through to get the signs up,” she said.

“We’ve been repairing and rebuilding everyone’s signs in our district when possible since we started putting signs up in April,” she added. “but that’s not enough. I’m convinced that the way to end the destruction of everyone’s campaign signs is to activate all sign crews to repair and restore downed and damaged signs whenever they can.”

Each campaign has spent a lot of money getting their signs up for name recognition. The largest signs can cost as much as $80 each. “Vandalism and sign theft will cost all campaigns in Southwest Washington thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of volunteer time that can be put to much better use,” Ann said.

Ann, who is running for the House seat in position one of the 18th District, is calling on all campaigns in both parties to follow her lead. “Sign destruction has been a bipartisan effort. There appears to have been a concerted effort to knock down all campaign signs regardless of party in the same locations, and that has to stop,” she went on.

“I call on all campaigns and both parties to follow the example of our campaign and ask their sign crews to repair signs whenever possible, report signs damaged beyond repair to their respective party headquarters or campaigns, and to lend a hand to help end this nonsense,” said Ann.

For more information, contact the Rivers Campaign at (360)771-8133, or go to the Rivers Campaign website located at

I live alongside a fairly busy street and over the years have had more than my fair share of campaign signs stolen, defaced and vandalized. They not only cost campaigns money, but supporters most usually make a contribution to the candidates campaign to receive one.

I hope that all of the other candidates running in the 18th Legislative District race, Jon Russell, Brandon Vick, Anthony Bittner, Independent Richard Carson and Democrat Dennis Kampe will follow suit.

With so many saying they wish to see politics cleaned up, now is your chance to follow suit and begin.

Good going, Ann.

May 10, 2010

Bob Dean Withdraws From 18th Legislative District Race

by lewwaters

Candidate in the 18th Legislative District Race and educator, Bob Dean issued a Press Release today announcing he is withdrawing from the race and endorsed fellow Republican Ann Rivers..

CAMAS, WA, MAY 10, 2010: Today candidate Bob Dean withdrew from the 18th District legislative race for the Washington State House of Representatives. Dean noted, “I am simply acknowledging the political realities at this time and want to ensure that we retain the Republican seat in the 18th district.”

Dean is the only candidate that has not been previously involved in a political race. “This has been quite a learning experience for me” Dean said. “However, I knew I was in trouble when I went to campaign school and was told that I needed to learn not to answer questions in such detail. That goes against everything I do as an educator.”

Dean also knew when he entered the race that he would be coaching his high school softball team from Mar 1st until the middle of May which combined with his full time job as a teacher would force him to put the campaign on the back burner. “Teaching full time, preparing kids to take the HSPE and the AP Calculus exam while coaching and playing games every day after school simply kept me from developing the strong foundation I needed to run an effective campaign” Dean said.

Dean, a former home builder, is an acknowledged social and fiscal conservative who believes in less taxation and smaller government, but he centered his campaign around education issues and his opposition to Race to the Top. “Government’s massive intrusion into the local control of education at both the state and federal level, has not resulted in improved results. The state of Washington is graduating a lower percentage of students from high school today than we did in 1970 despite a huge increase in expenditures. Race to the top is just another expensive government intervention that promises positive results but has no track record to stand on. It also has the potential to cost this state much more money than we stand to gain from it”, Dean said.

In withdrawing from the race, Dean has decided to endorse Ann Rivers for the 18th district seat. “ I have the greatest respect for all of the republican candidates in this race but Ann Rivers offers the most life experience and experience in Olympia. As a former teacher, she has the educational background and knowledge to champion the issues that I am highly concerned about. Her character, work ethic, and commitment to conservative values will serve the district well.” Dean stated.

Bob is keeping his options open for the future. He has been passionate about “Race To The Top” which he opposes, seeing it as “handing over our state education system to the federal government” and “the federal government will end up determining what is taught in every classroom in America.”

It was my pleasure meeting and corresponding with Bob during his campaign and I am sure he will continue supporting conservative values and ideals in educating our children.

Last week, fellow Republican Shannon Barnett announced he was withdrawing from the race in the 18th as well, citing “right now, my family needs me more.”

I don’t know what is happening in Shannon’s family, but in my book, any man that places his family first has my respect.

Barnett endorsed Brandon Vick.

Remaining in the race are Ann Rivers, clearly the leader in funds raised, Brandon Vick, Anthony Bittner and Washougal city council member, Jon Russell, who himself recently withdrew from the race for the 3rd Congressional District citing Jaime Herrera’s entrance into the race as drying up his donations and support.