Posts tagged ‘Shannon Barnett’

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.

April 9, 2010

Anthony Bittner Kicks Off Campaign

by lewwaters

Anthony Bittner, candidate for the 18th Legislative District seat being vacated soon by Jaime Herrera, held his campaign kick-off this evening at the Ridgefield Community Center.

A small group attended to hear Anthony and see what he has to offer.

I was pleased to finally meet this fine young man face to face and had the opportunity to express to his parents what a great job they have done as parents. He’s a young man any parent would be proud to have as a son.

Anthony’s Dad introduced him to all and Anthony gave a short speech outlining his beliefs and what he envisions will benefit constituents and make our state a better place to live and raise our families.

It still amazes me that a young man his age has a better grasp on today’s issues than many older adults do.

Anthony Bittner, Young, Republican and Serious

He outlined his support of the e-verify system in employing only those in our country legally and entitled to work.

On a new I-5 bridge, he mirrors many in Clark County in opposing a new bridge with light rail, which to too sees as too costly with little return.

Having grown up working and involved in his families small business, he sees how the current leadership in Olympia has hurt business owners and cost the state much needed jobs.

With the economy in such a shambles, it is imperative spending be prioritized to the actual needs of the state and wasteful spending be eliminated. Raising more taxes to be borne by those currently struggling, as is now happening, is the wrong direction he told all who came.

In all, he gave a speech worthy of a candidate much older. It indicated wisdom beyond his years.

I was disappointed to see so few show up from the Clark County GOP as Anthony is the type of person we need to be encouraging. He represents the future of not only America, but the party as well.

Meeting him this evening and discussing issues further with him face to face, I saw he has a strong character, something missing in many of our representatives.

As one who is about to inherit the mess that has been created, his vision and insight into our current problems is second to none. He’s not one to sit back and just accept the status quo.

In many ways, I see in him the words spoken by Ronald Reagan long ago,

My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose – somehow we win out.”

Anthony has the determination and drive to make a difference and he seeks to do so by being elected to represent the 18th Legislative District.

While no campaign or election carries with it a guaranteed outcome, underestimating this young man or viewing him as a child on the school playground would be a huge mistake.

Regardless of this elections outcome, mark my words; Anthony Bittner is a name that will be increasingly heard throughout our state in the years to come.

April 5, 2010

Anthony Bittner, Young, Republican and Serious (Updated: Pleads guilty)

by lewwaters

UPDATE 1: Disappointing turn of events for this young man. Teenage legislative candidate accused of drug crimes

UPDATE 2: Former legislative candidate, 19, pleads guilty in crime ring case Very disappointing to see this turn of events for this young man. I can only imagine the disappointment his parents and younger sister, who idolized him must feel. He chose poorly and even though he may eventually get passed this, I seriously doubt he will ever have a political future now.

Soon the reins of power in America will be handed over to the next generation, as has continually happened throughout our history. It was 1960 before the first president born in the 20th century was elected, John F. Kennedy. 32 years later, Bill Clinton became the first member of the Baby Boomer generation to win the high office.

And so it continues, every generation must turn power over to the younger generation, in hopes they will continue the traditions of America’s founding principles, freedom and liberty for all.

My own generation, Baby Boomers, haven’t done a very good job, I’m ashamed to say.

Seeing younger people like Anthony Bittner entering politics as he prepares to graduate High School, gives me every confidence that America’s greatness and the freedoms and liberties our founders fought for us to have will be restored.

Anthony is running for the seat soon to be vacated by Jaime Herrera in the 18th Legislative District, position 1. While many may not take his effort seriously, let me assure you he is very serious about this run and his chances of winning.

Discussing issues with him recently, I can see the seriousness he has and the desire to put our country back on the right path, beginning with the 18th District.

Many at Anthony’s age, 17 (he’ll be 18 before the election) aren’t concerned with politics or what is going on in the country, thinking of party’s, graduating school, college, hanging out with friends or just pondering what to do with their lives. Anthony, on the other hand, says, “I still spend time with my friends, but our idea of a party is being a part of this process.”

The “process” being working to right what he sees wrong in our country. Of course, to accomplish that he must be elected and he has no shortage of fellow students supporting him. As he said to me, “They are excited that someone in our generation is trying to make a stand to preserve our way of life. Many of my classmates are very involved in my campaign and more join every week.”

I had the opportunity to see Anthony speak at the Clark County GOP Convention March 20 and although he is slight in stature, he more than makes up for that in intrepidness. As he explains it, “I have gotten into many ‘debates’ with teachers over grades that I felt were graded low because of my conservative views,” and in regards to standing his ground with taller and older legislators, “I’m not afraid to speak the truth or dig in and fight, so if anyone wishes to ‘yell’ or ‘intimidate’ me, they are in for a rude awakening.”

Showing a firm grasp on current economic troubles, he says, “First, we need to get our financial house in order before we even begin discussions on spending for anything.”

In that regard he opposes bringing light rail, as do many in Clark County, from Portland to Clark County realizing, “The expenditures for such a project are immense, and it’s been proven that the users are not many. This is a project that will benefit Portland, not Vancouver.”

As he sees it, “Oregon needs to get it’s transportation issues at Delta Park and the Rose Quarter in check, and not expect us to shoulder the burden of their transportation issues.”

He does envision the possibility of a third bridge across the Columbia River, but only “when it becomes financially feasible.”

With unemployment remaining as high it is, asked what should government do to alleviate the high unemployment he responded, “The only step the government should be taking, is a step out of the way. Over regulation, and taxation is punishing small businesses and corporations. Governments don’t create jobs, people do. Our job as legislators is to create a healthy environment for people to create their own security and opportunity.”

Thinking he couldn’t possibly have much of a resumé due to his youth, you’d be surprised to see what he does offer in experience. Growing up in his families business, he has seen firsthand how small businesses struggle day to day and the effects of over taxation and over regulation many endure today.

He’s had other small jobs within the community where he’s learned how to listen to and deal with various types of people and their concerns. He’s currently employed with Coast-to-Coast Event Services where he must handle “large scale customer service concerns.” To Anthony, such experience is “A skill needed when representing a district.”

He has been a staff member for Young Life camp and currently is taking Law and Justice courses and Contemporary World problems involving current political topics where he is “extremely active in discussion” concerning the “Europeanization of America,” more government control, which he sees as detrimental and the “wrong direction” for America, stifling the “individual and economic freedom” that has made America work well.

He would like to see union employment be on a more voluntary basis. Employees “forced to pay dues to a union in order to become employed in certain jobs is extortion,” he says adding, “The practice of joining or hiring a union by force is not American.”

As I see public union growth, often legislated by pro-union legislators, rapidly outpacing private sector union membership and placing undue burdens on a dwindling taxpayer base, I couldn’t agree more with Anthony.

Joining with the majority of the American public currently, he sees the recently passed “healthcare insurance reform” as an “abomination.” A supporter of Attorney General Rob McKenna’s joining other states in filing the lawsuits against this legislative monstrosity, he feels Governor Christine Gregoire should be recalled, just as many of us do.

As Anthony sees it, “The Federal Government should obey us, not the other way around.”

Anthony Bittner has entered a race already crowded for a seat desired by both parties. He is facing opponents much older, some of whom undoubtedly will not take him serious due to his age. A big mistake on their part as he is, “extremely devoted to winning this election” and he intends to.

Whether he wins or loses the upcoming primary depends on the voters in the 18th Legislative District. Regardless of the outcome in August, I feel Anthony Bittner is a name that will be increasingly heard throughout Clark County and Washington State politics in the years to come.

In the years ahead, once again the reins of political power will be passed from my generation down to the next. Seeing a young man like Anthony Bittner standing up, ready to enter the political fray, gives me every confidence we will be passing the country into very capable hands.

Come meet this remarkable young man for your self this Friday, April 9, 2010 at the Ridgefield Community Center, 210 North Main Avenue, Ridgefield, Wa. From 6 PM to 8 PM. And please, bring a can of food that will be donated to the Clark County Food Bank.

March 23, 2010

Cowlitz County Endorses Herrera and Barnett?

by lewwaters

I was quite surprised to receive an announcement this evening that the Cowlitz County GOP issued their endorsement to Shannon Barnett, candidate for the 18th Legislative District (position 1) seat now occupied by Jaime Herrera, who is vacating the seat in her quest to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat, Brian Baird.

Equally surprising and for the same reasons is they have issued an endorsement of state Representative, Jaime Herrera.

What surprised me about this endorsement is that there are 5 other Republicans vying for the seat as well, one having raised three times the campaign funds Shannon has and we are still 5 months away from our Primary election in August.

In Herrera’s race there are 3 other Republicans still running.

We haven’t even passed the June filing deadline for candidates and a county party has endorsed a candidate?

While I disagree with party chairs making early endorsements, I understand they are individuals and there is no requirement that they not in party by-laws. As stated, though, that is an individual endorsement, not a county party.

I have nothing against Barnett and have not spoken to him. I haven’t covered him a lot due to his not ever contacting me, save a single campaign flyer a few weeks ago in my mail, which struck me kind of odd, being as though I live in the 49th Legislative District, not the 18th he is running in.

Last I heard, it is up to candidates and their campaigns to contact people for support or coverage, not the other way around.

In the case of Jaime Herrera, I have several serious questions on her judgement that remain unanswered.

That has nothing to do with this endorsement or my puzzlement over it, though.

Since the endorsement was made at their county convention this past weekend, I have to assume they have met with all 6 candidates in the 18th District race and all 4 in teh 3rd Congressional District race and given each equal consideration before arriving at their decision to issue an official endorsement this far out. I have no idea since I don’t live in Cowlitz.

Surely they would not do so merely because he and Jaime are local people?

One reason I have a problem with such an endorsement as this made by the party this early is what about voters within the counties portion of the district? Are they not entitled to hear all 10 candidates and choose for themselves who best to vote for, without undue influence from the party they will undoubtedly be seeking information from?

Is there even a need any longer for the other 8 to visit Cowlitz County to campaign, knowing there is no possibility they could receive the party’s endorsement?

I am not calling on anyone to resign or be sanctioned, even though I see this as inappropriate. Nor should this be taken as I am against Shannon Barnett. I am not. Like I said, he has made no effort to contact me so we have not spoken. I wish him all the luck there is in his race.

I do feel the Cowlitz County GOP is doing voters within their portion of the 18th district and 3rd Congressional District a huge disservice, though.

What they do from here, if anything, is entirely up to them.

I simply think Cowlitz County residents deserve better from the party up there.