Archive for February, 2010

February 28, 2010

Memorial Service Held For Canada’s Last World War One Veteran

by lewwaters

John Babcock, Canada’s last soldier from World War I died in Spokane, Washington this week at the age of 109. He had lived in Spokane since 1932.

“He captured the spirit of adventure. Jack was a part of that generation who went forward with great courage,” said Gen. Walter Natynczyk, chief of the defense staff for Canadian Forces.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper added, “John Babcock was Canada’s last living link to the Great War, which in so many ways marked our coming of age as a nation.”

Expressing sorrow at the passing of generation of Canadian soldiers, Harper added, “Canada mourns the passing of the generation that asserted our independence on the world stage and established our international reputation as an unwavering champion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

Read more HERE

As mentioned in the article, there is one North American World War One Veteran remaining, Frank Woodruff Buckles, 109, of West Virginia.

February 28, 2010

Who Is Jaime Herrera?

by lewwaters

That question has crept into my mind lately as the race for the Republican nomination for Washington’s Third Congressional District heats up. We all know she is a young attractive female, recently married and was appointed to the seat vacated by Richard Curtis in late 2007 in the state legislature and that she easily won re-election to the 18th Legislative District against Democrat VaNessa Duplessie in 2008.

But, who is she that she should command such devotion, hopes and prayers from Republicans in such a short time in the house as she does? With many in the state legislature with much more experience, what makes her “the great hope” for Republicans?

She was born and raised in Clark County and shortly after graduating school and attending the University of Washington, left to seek her fortune, so to speak, ending up in Washington D.C. where she was a Political Affairs intern in the Bush White House and a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers of Spokane for a number of years before suddenly reappearing on the scene in late 2007 to wrest the nomination for the 18th Legislative District seat away from 11 other hopefuls who had remained residents in the district during that time.

A November 18, 2007 Columbian article quotes Jaime as saying, “There is nothing I would rather do than represent my home district [18th] in the Legislature” after also informing readers she “moved back to her family home in Ridgefield to campaign for the 18th District vacancy” that had recently been vacated.

Citing a “true love of politics,” she lists some 2000 hours of “community service at ground zero” in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack before returning and attending “Bellevue Community College then transferring to the University of Washington in the spring of 2003,” gaining sponsorship for an “internship with the Bush administration” in the fall of 2004, arriving at the tail end of the presidential campaign.

After graduating at the end of the fall 2004 quarter, she obtained a job with Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers as a legislative aide where she remained until her return to Clark County in late 2007 specifically to gain the seat vacated by Curtis.

UW Alumni Profile, Jaime Herrera: From intern to state representative

The Alumni profile informs us that after some 3 years as a legislative aide and years absent from Clark County, “Herrera was the first-choice pick at both stages of this process,” to replace Rep. Richard Curtis after his resignation.

I find it quite remarkable that after her absence from the district and only 3 years as a legislative aide, that she, relatively unknown within 18th district politics, became the “first-choice pick” over 11 other candidates who had remained within the district, were well known and involved in the politics of the 18th Legislative District and each individually listing more experience than Ms. Herrera.

And now, 2 years into serving in her “nothing I would rather do than represent my home district in the Legislature,” she is prepared to leap back to Washington D.C. as Representative of the 3rd Congressional District.

In her UW Alumni profile linked above, Jaime Herrera states, “My route was a little non-traditional,” in attaining her state legislative seat. I am left to ponder if it really was all that “non-traditional” after all or if she was chosen to be groomed by the party machine to use the 18th district as a spring board to bigger and better things and what with the 3rd Congressional District race becoming an open seat race, the time was felt ripe for the party to advance her up the ladder.

Several articles about this race list Herrera as the “NRCC Favored” or “Republican favorite,” which given their track record in the last few national elections, might not be such a glowing endorsement, especially since she is trying to label herself as “independent.”

Columnist and blogger Liz Mair, in what I consider to be one of the more objective introductory pieces on the candidates notes, “Most political observers, and certainly those at the national level, started hearing Herrera’s name associated with the phrase ‘third district’ immediately after Baird announced that he would not seek another term in Congress…” also noting Herrera’s claim that she had been thinking of entering the race long before that.

The Seattle PI’s Joel Connelly mirrors that with, “It took less than two hours after Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., announced that he’s retiring from Congress for Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera to tell GOP officials that she is running to succeed him,” and also telling us that “she sounds very much like a Republican.”

The National Journal’s Erin McPike supplies us with an example of Jaime Herrera speaking like an independent when she says, “There are a lot of things that I think Republicans drop the ball on, and I’m hopeful, as things come closer to a balance this year, that we’ll put our money where our mouth is when it comes to health care or energy policy,” and adding “the book of talking points she’s been given by D.C. GOPers is not something she’s planning on using much.”

In all of this I am still left wondering, just who is Jaime Herrera that she should command an almost Ron Paulian devotion from supporters and the party? In speaking with one Clark County GOP official, who maintains they have yet to decide who they will support in this race, I received an angry and red in the face response when I mentioned shortcomings I perceive with her.

Just last evening, after expressing my displeasure with Herrera’s vote to unionize childcare centers and her lack of sending a promised email explanation of that vote to me, a former Clark County blogger lashed out with “if your tone has been the same as some of the other more rabid Herrera haters that have sprung up all over Clark County, I would not be surprised if she never gets back to you about anything,” adding how the “SEIU business is blown completely out of all reasonable proportion” along with allegations that I “did not support conservatives in past and actually trashed conservative candidates.”

This is the same anger I saw amongst Ron Paul supporters in the 2008 presidential campaign directed at those who opposed and did not support Paul.

For the record, I do not hate Jaime and enjoyed a cordial conversation with her. I have nothing personal against her, but am totally in the dark just what it is about her that gives her such hold on and devotion from supporters given her relatively soft résumé.

I am left wondering even more so after seeing a comment she recently made in the National Journal link above where she said to reporters, “My husband and I rent. We both drive used cars. We’re not your typical Republican conservative.”

Perhaps one of her supporters can enlighten me on just what a “typical Republican conservative” is. Surely we are not all the “rich fat-cat Republicans” the Democratic Party accuses us of.

February 27, 2010

AG McKenna, Uphold Washington Citizens ‘Right To Anonymous Speech’

by lewwaters

As previously covered on Clark County Conservative, the case to release all of the names, addresses and signatures of those who signed the petition to place R-71, a citizen initiated resolution to place the bill SB 5688, enhancements to domestic partnerships, on the ballot has made it to the United States Supreme Court.

See Supreme Court Will Hear R-71 Petition Case and Columbian Urges Supreme Court to Listen to AG McKenna on R-71 Signers.

Given recent events spurred by Democrats in our legislature and Governor Gregoire not only supporting, but signing those measures into law, Attorney General McKenna should immediately withdraw any challenge and keep petition signatures hidden.

I am making this call due in part to the efforts of Democrats to write into law SB 6754, a law that would make signatures of those who sign citizen petitions part of the public record.

Republican State Senator Don Benton, who recently announced his intent to run against Senator Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate, spoke in opposition to SB 6754 saying,

“The majority voted the other night to not publish the votes legislators take in the voter’s pamphlet, which was wrong. Now they want to publicize the names of citizens who sign an initiative. This is clearly an attempt to intimidate citizens to keep them from exercising their constitutional rights.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke similar words in a partial dissenting opinion when the Supreme Court struck down some provisions of the campaign finance law.

Justice Thomas said,

“Political speech is entitled to robust protection under the First Amendment…. Congress may not abridge the ‘right to anonymous speech’ based on the ‘simple interest in providing voters with additional relevant information’.”

Justice Thomas, after listing several instances of how activist in opposition to California’s Proposition 8 used such information obtained from their public records to harass, intimidate and threaten supporters of Prop 8 continued,

“The success of such intimidation tactics has apparently spawned a cottage industry that uses forcibly disclosed donor information to pre-empt citizens’ exercise of their First Amendment rights,” adding, “These instances of retaliation sufficiently demonstrate why this Court should invalidate mandatory disclosure and reporting requirements.”

SB 6754 passed the Senate and remains in the House.

The other reason I make this call for AG McKenna to withdraw the state’s challenge to the R-71 case from before the Supreme Court and concede to Justice Thomas’s words is Democrat’s passage and Governor Gregoire signing into law the suspension of I-960, a citizen initiative that placed restrictions on raising taxes requiring a 2/3 majority vote for such increases and for Governor Gregoire not vetoing the very portion Senator Benton mentioned above, keeping legislators names out of the voters guide that voted to increase such taxes.

SB 6130 was signed into law by Gregoire as passed, in spite of Republicans efforts to preserve our “right to know.”

Senator Benton hand delivered a letter to the governor from Republicans that said in part,

“If you cannot veto all of ESSB 6130, I respectfully request that you veto section three of the bill. In doing so you would preserve the peoples right to an advisory vote on tax increases passed by the Legislature. I believe that the citizens have a right to know about legislative actions that increase taxes and that we would do well to listen to their response in the form of an advisory vote.”

He reminded the governor,

“People have the right to know how legislators vote. That’s why they approved Initiative 960 in the first place – they want sunshine on their government.”

His plea fell on deaf ears.

In an election year Democrats are on shaky ground nationwide, voters are being assaulted with the prospect of state sanctioned intimidation tactics should they support a citizen initiative some activist group dislikes by our names, addresses and signatures being made public.

At the same time, Democrat officials have chosen to keep their names private should they vote to further plunge the state into bankruptcy by voting to increase taxes during such dire economic times we face currently, 14.3% unemployment in Clark County alone.

This flies in the face of a free and open society and is something I’d imagine hearing in such countries as Venezuela or Cuba, not America or Washington State.

Senator Benton said in opposition to SB 6754,

“What we are witnessing are actions to destroy democracy and our constitution. When you stomp on the will of the people by acting in the dark of the night to restrict their rights just because you don’t agree with their decisions, what else can it be called but an all-out assault on the people’s right to determine how they are governed?”

Mr. McKenna, in light of the actions of our legislators, don’t citizens also have a ‘right to anonymous speech’ if legislators seize for themselves a right to anonymity for votes that carry the potential of harming citizens?

I urge you to petition the Supreme Court to uphold our ‘right to anonymous speech.’

February 27, 2010

Is It Negative To Speak The Truth?

by lewwaters

Some local supporters of state representative Jaime Herrera’s campaign to secure the Third Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Brian Baird are expressing outrage at a robo-call Thursday from the Castillo campaign discussing Herrera’s travel to Washington D.C. for a campaign fund raiser while our state legislature is in session still.

I wasn’t home to actually hear the call, but a member of a private online group I frequent was kind enough to record it and make it available to group members, as he too joined the chorus of outraged “neutral” people who announce they have not decided on who to support.

Listening to the call I am immediately struck by not hearing anything that I can point out that isn’t true. The call begins by pointing out that Ms. Herrera has accepted donations from the SEIU, which is confirmed by the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.

The call says nothing about $800 accepted from the AFSCME Council 28, Washington Federation of State Employees, in addition to the $500 received from SEIU 925 PAC or the endorsements from the SEIU, verified from Progressive Voter Guide and Equal Rights Washington, both liberal groups.

In expressing “outrage” over the claims made in the call, some have indicated that Castillo would gladly accept campaign funds from unions as well, but a quick review of the Federal Elections Commission web site reveals no such donations received to date for the Castillo campaign.

Next on the call was mention of Ms. Herrera being gone on Thursday to attend a fundraiser on her behalf in Washington D.C. while the state legislature remains in session.

Again, the February 25 fundraiser is documented in a February 25 Columbian article as well as in a post by Liz Mair.

Some “neutral” people are firing back at the Castillo campaign claiming what is said in the call is “false!” Yet, if the claims are documented, is it false?

Unsaid by some of these “neutral’ people is the whisper campaign that has been going on around the district, targeting Castillo’s heritage and his position on some issues.

I find whisper campaigns more offensive than robo-calls that speak truthful about an opponent as it is rumor spreading and denigrates a candidate in a way that they may not defend themselves. They often begin from within a campaign but do not tie the candidate directly to the claims being spread silently.

That does not mean that Jaime Herrera herself is engaging in such rumor spreading, but undoubtedly some who must support her are, even if they do falsely claim to still be “neutral.”

I realize this might not set well with some, but I find all of this sudden outrage somewhat questionable, coming from those who also claim they do not support either candidate just yet.

I also wonder why such facts about one candidate should remain hidden to appease those who claim to have yet decided on who they will support. Isn’t this the sort of information conservatives should want to know about a candidate claiming to be one of them?

Could it be that some of this “outrage” being expressed over such a simple robo-call is manufactured in hopes of turning people towards a candidate that isn’t supposed to even be campaigning until the legislative session ends?

Is this sudden “outrage” nothing more than raising the level of the whisper campaign against Castillo up a few notches?

For those who claim to be “neutral” and undecided on just who they will support, it comes across to me as disingenuous and with intent.

What say those who are engaging in the whisper campaign knock it off and let’s compare issues to issues for the candidates? After all, if your candidate is that good, why the need to spread rumors?

February 27, 2010

Castillo Calls On Opponents To ‘Go On The Record’

by lewwaters

David Castillo, Republican candidate for Washington’s Third Congressional District has issued a press release calling on his opponents, primarily Democrats, to “officially declare whether they support Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to force through the current health care bill.”

The Press Release states,

For Immediate Release

February 26, 2010 

Contact: Bill Lohr
(360) 508-5947

Will Democratic Candidates Take Position on Pelosi Plan?
Castillo calls on challengers to go on the record

Olympia, WA – David Castillo, Republican candidate running in Washington’s 3rd District, is challenging his Democratic opponents to officially declare whether they support Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to force through the current health care bill. He is calling on his fellow candidates to declare if they support the Speaker’s actions or if they would oppose her on this issue.

The declared Democratic candidates are State Senator Craig Pridemore, Maria Rodriguez-Salazar, Denny Heck and Cheryl Crist.

“Clearly, I will not be supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker or her health care plan, but the people of southwest Washington deserve to know where the Democrats in this race stand on the issue,” asserts Castillo.

Since entering the race in May of last year – before current incumbent Brian Baird announced his retirement in December – Castillo has consistently called for private sector solutions over increased government intervention. Some of his solutions include expanding Health Savings Accounts and Association Health Plans, as well as creating a more competitive insurance market by allowing people to purchase their policies across state lines.

While national Democrats have referred to Republicans in Congress as obstructionists, Castillo has talked about his proposed solutions from the time he entered the race.

Online communications expert and blogger, Liz Mair, in her candidate profile noted that Castillo displays “a deeper understanding of health care policy, in particular, than many Republicans – and a more overt commitment to advancing conservative health care policy rather than just blocking or undoing liberal reform”.

The Castillo campaign is encouraging each candidate to make their position on Speaker Pelosi’s plan known publicly as soon as possible.

“We keep hearing that the Republicans are the party of ‘no’, but I hope that our opponents step up to the plate on this issue and don’t become the party of ‘no comment’,” states Bill Lohr, Castillo’s Communications Director.

This is one of the many reasons I continue to support Castillo over party favorites. He states his position on issues clearly and with conviction.

Many in Wa. 03 have become disillusioned with politics and leery of voting for anyone, having seen how our voices go ignored by elected officials who seem to place party above our well being. David Castillo is ready to represent us in Washington D.C. and place our interests above the interests of either party.

David was the first to file to oppose now retiring Democrat, Brian Baird. He began his campaign by meeting with people around the district and letting them get to know him. He wasn’t afraid of a tough campaign against an entrenched incumbent, entering the race in May, long before Baird announced retirement.

Looking through his campaign website, David Castillo for Congress confirms Liz Mair’s comment of

“displaying a deeper understanding of health care policy, in particular, than many Republicans—and a more overt commitment to advancing conservative health care policy rather than just blocking or undoing liberal reform.”

We voters deserve to know where candidates seeking our support and votes stand on issues that will have such a strong impact on our lives. Candidates owe it to us to come forward and openly state their positions clearly and concisely.

Castillo has made his position clear. Will his opponents?

February 26, 2010

Jaime Herrera Says Deb Wallace Is a Liar!

by lewwaters

Democrat candidate Deb Wallace withdrew from her bid to replace outgoing Brian Baird as Representative of Washington’s Third Congressional District and spoke out against fellow state legislator Jaime Herrera when she did.

Wallace accuses Herrera of “shirking her duties by being absent from the House floor ‘for hours on end’ during key votes over the last few weeks in order to campaign” and “cast votes for her while she is absent from the floor.”

I disagree with just about everything Wallace proposes but can’t say I find her to be a dishonest person. We have far different values, but she doesn’t impress me as an opportunist, just misguided in her liberalism.

Jaime Herrera fired back with “Deb has no credibility, she has no proof.”

Herrera also issued an email statement, sent out by the Clark County GOP that stated,

“Dear Friends,

Rep. Deb Wallace, a Democrat, has withdrawn from the race for Congress in the 3rd District but on her way out wants to throw some mud at me.

Wallace alleges that I have been away from the House floor “for hours at a time” during votes this year. That is false. I have one of the best voting attendance records in Olympia. In three years I’ve only missed a total of 10 out of 1,863 possible floor votes. All of the votes I missed took place before this year, and all were excused absences — I missed a few votes the day my car broke down on I-5 and the others on the day I attended my grandmother’s funeral.

Every single legislator is called off the floor from time to time for meetings. This happens most often when constituents arrive at the Capitol hoping to meet their legislators. When that happens, it is a longstanding House practice for the legislator to instruct their seatmate how they intend to vote, and allow the seatmate to push the legislator’s voting button while the legislator spends a few minutes with their constituents. I have done this, as has Rep. Wallace and virtually every legislator who has served in the House in at least the past few decades, but this does not equal “hours” away from the floor.

I am very active on this session as Assistant Floor Leader. In that role my duties include moving around the floor to work with legislators who are about to speak, and stepping into the wings of the chamber for leadership meetings. At those times I am not sitting in my seat but I am deeply involved in the legislative process.

I stand behind my voting record, which is available at http://www.washingtonvotes.org, and I stand behind my hard work and service to the people of my legislative district.

This is one of the first, but it won’t be the last untruth that is told about me this year. I’m ready for this fight. The goal of restoring America and representing the people of Southwest Washington is too important a goal to be sidetracked by this kind of nonsense.

Thank you for reading this message.

Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera”

Left out of Herrera’s denial and counterattack is having others cast votes for her during these “rare absences.”

Wallace’s allegations have some supportive evidence as well, since Ms. Herrera ignored her absence from the Legislative session Tuesday morning to attend a campaign fundraiser on her behalf in Seattle.

Also left out of the denial was her flight back to Washington D.C. Thursday for yet another high dollar fundraiser given on her behalf by mentor, Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.

As the Columbian’s Kathie Durbin put it, “Herrera was scheduled to take a red-eye flight to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night for a campaign fundraising event Thursday.”

Saying she would be gone for “less than 24 hours,” I am left wondering why the event wasn’t scheduled a couple weeks from now, after the legislature adjourns or Saturday, on a weekend? Is it really that essential to pander to special interests in Washington D.C. for donations already?

While Jaime’s excuse is plausible, it still has holes and appears to be very carefully worded. If, as Ms. Wallace charges, others cast votes for Jaime during absences, doesn’t that throw water on the claim, “10 out of 1,863 possible floor votes missed?”

She says, “I stand behind my voting record.” Does that include her votes to force childcare centers into public unions and to place the operating and maintenance employees at a commercial nuclear power plant into a union also?

On a more personal note, I am left feeling more and more slighted by Jaime Herrera since she called my home three times on the evening of February 9 and in that call, promised to send me an email explanation of her reasoning behind her pro-union votes, beyond it being simply a “moral issue” to her.

If she cannot keep her word on such a simple promise, what else might she not be completely up front about?

February 24, 2010

An email to a liberal regarding abortion

by dem2gop

I wish liberals would put their money where their mouth is.  We believe in life and have Crisis Pregnancy Centers where we help financially as well as emotionally for women to choose life.  We don’t ask for taxpayer money to pay for their maternity clothes or diapers or any of the myriad of things we supply to those who choose to keep their babies.  We have homes where they can stay for free while they get on their feet.  We offer emotional support if they choose to give up their babies for adoption.  And we offer FREE COUNSELING to poor women who have been raped.  In fact, we actually report cases of rape and incest all without a dime of taxpayer money. 
 
In contrast, Planned Parenthood is under scrutiny because of failure to report rape and incest and not all clinics even provide information as to alternatives to abortion.    Planned Parenthood makes a fortune in providing abortions yet I have yet to hear of them ‘helping’ these low income women with free services.  Why do they always come to the public trough for money?  Let the leftist citizens of this country establish a funding source for low income women choosing abortion like the pro-life groups have to support those who choose life.  If you believe in it so strongly, why don’t you fund it?  I donate to Crisis Pregnancy Centers and do not expect your tax dollars to support my beliefs.  Don’t expect mine to support yours.
 
The taking of innocent life is abhorrent to me.  How can those same people who oppose capital punishment support abortion?  One is a criminal convicted of a horrendous crime and the other is totally innocent.  I have never understood.  If a mother’s life is in danger, then it is self-defense to abort.  Other than that, abortion is the taking of innocent life.  I am old enough to remember when abortion was illegal.  Part of the argument back then was every baby a wanted baby.  Miraculously, having abortion legal would reduce child abuse because only those who really want their child would keep it.  The opposite has happened.  It has cheapened life and child abuse has increased not decreased.  We were warned it would lead to euthanasia and again it was ridiculed that such a thing could evolve.  Once again, it is here.  The next step is elimination of the mentally and physically disabled.  This is what happened in Germany and other cultures that have embraced the cheapening of human life and it could happen here as well. 
 
The Stupak amendment does not prohibit buying insurance with abortion provisions, it only prevents taxpayer money from doing so.  Again, you believe in it, you support it.  You and I both know, the funding, if passed, would not be limited to the first trimester abortion but would include all abortions.  Even if the language were in the bill limiting access to the first trimester, the ACLU or some other leftist organization would sue and it would end up at the Supreme Court where there is always a good chance all legal abortions would have to be covered.  Partial birth abortions are the worst.  Fully developed babies have their brains sucked out and their skulls crushed as they emerge from the uterus in order to insure they are born dead.  If their whole body comes out before they’re killed, they miraculously go from fetus to baby.  It is barbaric.  How can we consider ourselves a civilized society and perform such a horrendous procedure?

 

February 23, 2010

Jon Russell, Exit Stage Left

by lewwaters

The Centralia Chronicle just announced it’s official, Russell Drops Out of Congressional Race, Will Run for Legislature

Russell has announced he will instead vie for the seat being vacated by his opponent in the 3rd Congressional Race, Jaime Herrera.

Russell will face stiff competition there as well runing against Ann Rivers and Bob Dean. Rivers bested him for the nomination in 2007 to be appointed to the seat that Herrera ended up being appointed to.

It is my opinion Jon would do better to return to the Washougal city council and help right some of the troubles he helped create there.

Russell, according to the Chronicle, is urging what few supporters of his didn’t jump ship for Herrera to support Herrera now.

Strange, considering that it was Herrera’s entrance in the race that destroyed his prospects of a stronger showing.

Maybe Herrera has offered to help Jon gain some SEIU support in his latest venture?

Perhaps Washougal should think twice about Jon’s seat on the city council. It appears that is the last thing he desires now.

The Columbian’s Kathie Durbin includes in her article,

“Russell said in a statement that since Herrera entered the race late last year, “there has been a dramatic negative shift in our fundraising ability. Many of my supporters have been torn in their loyalties between Rep. Herrera and me.”
“We were bringing in close to $10,000 a month between September and November,” he said in an interview. “Once Jaime got in in December, that dropped to $500 a month.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to have been a fly on the wall at any phone calls made last night and by who?

February 23, 2010

Is Jon Russell Preparing To Withdraw?

by lewwaters

Updated: Feb 23, It’s official, Jon Russell, Exit Stage Left

Rumors were flying around Clark County yesterday, Feb 22, that Washougal City Council member and candidate for 3rd Congressional District, Jon Russell, was announcing he is following Democrat Deb Wallace and dropping out of the race for the seat in the House of Representatives being vacated by Brian Baird.

This morning, it is all still rumor as the Columbian’s Kathie Durbin wrote,

“rumors swirled Monday that Republican Jon Russell, a Washougal city councilor, also is about to pull out of the 3rd District race.

Russell, who is running as a Republican, refused to confirm it. He said he would issue a press release today announcing his plans.”

That sure sounds as if a withdrawal is in the air.

Russell, whose campaign has struggled, especially since the entry of party insider Jaime Herrera, had earlier announced plans for a “Hometown launch” of a campaign he has been in for months now.

Maybe reality is now setting in for Jon.

Thinning of the field in this race is in order as under our top two primary system we could end up with two candidate for the general election that neither party really wants.

The seat held by Baird for the last 12 years is a prized seat in the House and one the Democrats wish to retain as much as the Republicans desire to gain.

Meanwhile, of the top two Republicans running, Jaime Herrera prepares to fly off to Washington D.C. in order to gain donations from special interests outside of the district as David Castillo continues to work for donations from within the district.

Ask yourself, just which candidate will really represent us? One who couldn’t let the ink dry on Baird’s announcement before jumping in and beholding to big money donors in Washington D.C.?

Or the one who has been doing the grassroots legwork long before Baird announced retirement within the district?

February 22, 2010

Rep Geoff Simpson Should Be Thrown Out Of Office

by lewwaters

Representative Geoff Simpson (47th) has shown us why the country is so divided and partisan. He is a disgrace not only to Washington State, but to the Democratic Party as well. As hateful as they have been as a party towards the Bush administration and Sarah Palin, Simpson now spews hateful rhetoric towards American Citizens and voters within Washington State.

As reported by Orbusmax’s Jim Walker, Simpson became unhinged over a request for his referring to voters upset at this “new direction” of bankruptcy and failures the Democrats have led the country towards since 2007 as “teabaggers,” a euphemism for a sexual act, began by foul minded left-wingers and Democrats in referring to those who attended last years “TEA Party’s.”

Walker posted the email exchange between he and Simpson showing Simpson’s hatred of voters of who disagree with him wherein he claims, “Indeed, it is well documented that the originators of your movement themselves adopted the names ‘teabag’ and ‘tea bagger’ to describe their anti-government antics. Your manufactured outrage toward me for using the term that the fathers and mothers of your movement coined for themselves is tiresome.”

Of course, no such “documentation” is supplied. Looking for such “documentation” reveals, “In 2009, Tea Party protests were formed to protest against United States government tax and spending policies. The mainstream media used the term ‘teabaggers’ to describe the conservative anti-tax movement. Owing to its sexual connotation, the term ‘Tea Bagger’ has been used by several pundits and journalists to ridicule the protesters. Anderson Cooper apologized for using the term.”

Is Simpson deliberately lying? Surely someone who has run for office and achieved such would know truth, right? In Simpson’s case, apparently not.

Showing his hateful nature, Simpson wrote to Walker, “I will apologize to you for recounting my friend’s puzzlement about the selfishness of your movement when you apologize for your hatred, your selfishness and your lack of compassion toward others.”

If it is hate that worries the nincompoop, perhaps he should reflect on 8 years of “Kill Bush.”

As far as Joe Stack, the Austin IRS bomber is concerned, maybe the Simpson should refer to what Stack’s friend wrote on the left winged forum, Democratic Underground, “I won’t defend what he did because there’s no defense of it, but Joe wasn’t a teabagger he wasn’t left or right wing.”

As far as his friend is concerned, he was “apolitical.” From his rant he left on the Internet, he was all over the board, mad at everybody and everything.

As far as civility goes, when the Democrats offer some, maybe they’ll receive some in return. Especially since the 2000 election, they have been the most out of control, over the top, mean-spirited and hateful bunch I have witnessed in all my 61 years.

Representative Geoff Simpson is part of the problem and as Senator Patty Murray recently stated, “What worries me about inflammatory language is, it drives us further apart.”
That goes for you too, Geoff.

If you were an honorable man, you would resign. But, you’d rather use your hatred of voters to further bankrupt the state.

February 21, 2010

Deb Wallace Withdraws, Reportedly Points Finger At Herrera

by lewwaters

A surprising announcement from Clark Counties Democrat candidate for the Washington State Third Congressional District seat being vacated by Brian Baird says she is withdrawing from the race.

Deb is the current top fundraiser from Clark County, which makes this announcement all the more surprising.

First in making this known was Politics is a Blood Sport, a noted Democrat blog spot and apparently based off of a report received from a Vancouver For Peace mail list.

The email release stated,

“Deb Wallace just announced her withdrawal from not only the 3rd congressional race, but also her seat in the state legislature when it expires in January. She has not yet announced her endorsement for the 3rd race, but she is endorsing somebody named Monica Stonier (the last name I’m not sure) for her state spot.

I attended our neighborhood clubhouse where Deb had reserved for this. (She’s lives in Pinebrook as I do.) I thought she’d talk about her race against Baird. Instead she said she was withdrawing so that the best Democrat would win. She said Jaime Herrera, R, looks like the candidate for the Repugs and Deb said Jaimie is often absent at the legislature and others press her vote.

Deb did not have an answer when I asked what she’ll do. She supports Monica S, a pro-choice woman for the 17th District.”

Of particular note is the words credited to Deb Wallace above, “Jaime Herrera, R, looks like the candidate for the Repugs and Deb said Jaimie is often absent at the legislature and others press her vote.”

Ignoring the blatant slap at Republicans, if true about being absent and having others press her vote, this could have Jaime Herrera facing an ethics investigation, according to Clark County Politics.

The announced withdrawal has been confirmed now in both the Columbian and the Olympian, neither including the comment about Herrera’s having others press her vote.

In her release, Wallace states, “We cannot let the 3rd Congressional Seat go to an anti-choice, anti-health care Republican. We must come together and support a Democrat who will keep the people at the heart of their mission to serve,” a misrepresentation of Republicans and indicating that the slaughter of the unborn is of utmost importance to Ms. Wallace.

This also leads me to suspect the Democrat Party machine, although they did not pressure Wallace in dropping her bid, according to Wallace, has decided to throw the support behind multi-millionaire Denny Heck, a former Democrat Representative noted for his polarization.

In his initial announcement, Heck said, “I’m personally a little tired of politics by shouting.” Yet, in a 2003 interview when asked about partisanship in Olympia, he replied, “I’m probably part of the problem. I’ve played partisan politics for keeps. I believed in the punishment side of the reward/punishment equation when it comes to internal self-discipline.”

Do we really need more polarization? Even Vulnerable Democrat Senator Patty Murray is now saying, “What worries me about inflammatory language is, it drives us further apart,” in a February 21, 2010 Columbian article.

As this field begins to thin it is more apparent to me than ever that the only real choice for true reform and real representation of Wa. 03 will be David Castillo.

Unlike Herrera, he is not a party insider being manipulated by Washington D.C. insiders nor does he face allegations of ethics for having others press his vote. He is not a heavy partisan who helped set this current recession in movement in a previous occupancy in the House in Olympia that admits to heavy partisanship, but whines about being tired of it today.

We have a unique opportunity to elect a man to send to Washington D.C. who will actually represent us and not the party machine. The candidate who will stand his ground and draw others from across the aisle to his view.

Let’s begin actually bringing America back together.

Let’s elect David Castillo, Washington State Third Congressional District.

February 20, 2010

Don Benton Vindicated

by dem2gop

Recent writings mentioned that Don Benton supported HB1329 that mandated child care directors and workers to unionize. For purposes of negotiation, it also makes them state workers. I read the Senate version and contacted Senator Benton directly. HB1329 was mandatory unionization. Recognizing that their small numbers (super minority) could not stop the bill, both Benton and Zarelli successfully fought for amendments to SHB 1329 that would make it non-mandatory, allow for religious objection and also turn it into a study bill. That gives them another year to try to stop it. Thank goodness we have a few savvy Republicans to help avert the madness. They can’t stop everything but are working hard to do what they can.

Reference: A Phone Chat With Jaime Herrera

February 18, 2010

Jon Russell To Re-Launch Campaign In March

by lewwaters

Washougal city council member and struggling candidate for Washington’s Third Congressional Seat being vacated by Democrat Brian Baird has issued a notice on his facebook page saying, “Hometown Congressional Campaign Kick off” followed by, “If you have not been to a Jon Russell for Congress event, this is a do not miss occasion. It’s time for all hands on deck!”

Strange, “a do not miss” occasion?

Jon posts,

Jon Russell invites you to a hometown launch of his
2010 Congressional Campaign
Thursday, March 4th 2010
6:30pm

Location: Washougal Salvation Army Building
1612 I St. Washougal, WA
(Corner of Washougal River Rd. & I St.)

Sorry Jon, but campaign fundraisers for politicians are not exactly highly sought after events, as a concert by a well-known rock star would be.

I am at odds with how Jon labels this a “Campaign Kick-Off,” as he has been campaigning since the summer of 2009, having thrown his hat in the ring just a few weeks after the first challenger, David Castillo announced his run against Baird.

Jon has held numerous campaign fundraisers labeled as “Townhalls,” as he tried to capitalize on last year’s announcement by Brian Baird of not holding townhalls.

Unfortunately, Baird relented and went ahead with townhalls just as Jon was launching his.

Jon hasn’t had an easy time running for higher office from early on. He has been beset with what I would consider missteps and even some things beyond his control, such as 18th Legislative District Representative Jaime Herrera announcing her own run before the ink had a chance to dry on Baird’s release announcing is retirement.

Having his campaign manager/blogger accuse local media of “Missing in Action in Southwest Washington’s U.S. Congressional Race” doesn’t exactly endear media to his campaign. It might work somewhat in Los Angeles, but not in Clark County or other media in the Third Congressional District.

It’s hard enough for Republicans to gain positive coverage without trying to shame them into covering a distant third place candidate who isn’t really earning headlines. The media may have loved him when he was in the midst of mishandling the Washougal Mayor’s scandal, but once they succeeded in replacing a Republican with the Democrat challenger they no longer needed him.

Jon was further plagued by comparison of his claims versus his record, which although not bad, didn’t exactly match completely.

As if yet another smack down for Jon, his last Town Hall Meeting was scheduled to this evening, February 18 at Sarah J. Anderson Middle School at 7 PM. As I write this I assume Jon is holding this last townhall event of his while many others are on the line with Jaime Herrera, who also scheduled a telephone townhall of her own this evening at 7 PM.

Jon remains far behind Herrera and Castillo in funds, not to mention Democrat Denny Heck. As poor as the economy is, people just don’t have the money to throw away on a candidate that really isn’t advancing.

Unlike Herrera, Jon doesn’t enjoy being a party insider with strong connections back in Washington D.C. to hold fundraisers and draw money from outside the district.

Unlike Castillo, Jon doesn’t have the ‘command stature’ David displays when he stands up straight before an audience. David easily draws people to him and it shows by his currently being the top Republican in funds, even ahead of Herrera.

Like it or not, the entry of Jaime Herrera into this race took the wind right out of Jon’s sails, leaving him floundering and dead in the water.

You’ve put up a good fight, Jon, but you got out-classed in this race. No shame. It’s just not your time.

Two years on a small town city council just isn’t the experience Washington’s Third Congressional District is looking for.

February 18, 2010

Washington State Democrats Continue To Give Voters The Finger

by lewwaters

Just as with other states, Washington State is beset with budget woes due to over spending and unfriendly attitudes to business. Here in Washington State we see a proposed budget deficit of nearly $3 Billion and fears of climbing higher.

Oregon recently passed their measures 66 & 67, drastically raising taxes on businesses and those they consider wealthy, which also create and supply the bulk of jobs for working sector voters in the state.

Washington State was handed a gift an a golden opportunity to draw businesses to our state and put people back to work in the private sector, which undoubtedly would bring many tax dollars back into the state treasury.

Unbelievably, our Democrat led State Legislature chose instead to ignore the free gift handed us, focusing their attention on how to further raise taxes and alienate voters.

The alienation comes from the Democrats suspension of citizen Initiative 960, voted in back in 2007 that requires a two-thirds approval from state legislators to raise taxes and public disclosure of such tax increases prior to their being passed along with who voted for such increases.

State Senator Don Benton (R 18th) sent out a release the evening of February 16 saying he, “witnessed an all-out assault on the initiative and referendum process Monday night” and called the action by the majority in the last few days “appalling.”

In the Democrat majority’s removal of “transparency” in I-960, Benton says, “What we are witnessing are actions to destroy democracy and our constitution. When you stomp on the will of the people by acting in the dark of the night to restrict their rights just because you don’t agree with their decisions, what else can it be called but an all-out assault on the people’s right to determine how they are governed,” adding, “The majority is way out of line. They were elected to represent the people, not rule over them. It’s outrageous!”

Just today, I have received email from Representative Ed Orcutt (R 18th) wherein he said; “I don’t believe the Legislature has set forth clear and concise priorities in dealing with our $2.8 billion budget hole. My fear is that without leadership, without establishing and defining our priorities, state leaders are setting us on a perpetual course of state budget deficits. We already know that a large deficit looms before us for the 2011-13 biennium. Because legislators are making it easier to raise taxes – and setting the precedent to do so – tax increases will become the norm for future budget holes rather than the rarity.”

Examples of pending increases to what taxpayers are faced with are,
· A doubling of the “death tax”
· A 1 percent increase in the state sales tax, making Washington’s the highest in the nation
· A tax on candy and bottled water
· A state income tax
· A Hazardous Substances Tax (HST) increase which amounts to a 6-cent per gallon gas tax increase

Indicating the examples are just the ones that have garnered attention, Rep. Orcutt continued, “The full list of tax and fee increase proposals is astounding: A total of 77 bills proposing tax and fee increases have been introduced thus far, for a total of over $3 billion in new state and local taxes or fees for Fiscal Year 2011. These same proposals would amount to over $11 billion in the next biennium! (2011-13)”

This at a time we in Washington State are seeing a statewide unemployment rate hovering around 10% with 14.3% here in Clark County. That is taxes you and I will be paying through increased prices from businesses. That is, from those who will wish to remain in our state with less jobs being offered.

Our current governor Gregoire’s words on taxes all over the place. She campaigns on no tax increases, but what does she do? Gregoire: Raise taxes on bottled water, soda pop, cigarettes & more.

Those are what you and I most likely use, not the so called wealthy. Those aren’t business taxes, they are to be added to what products you and I might be using.

As always can be expected when Democrats are raping taxpayers, we are told the necessity is to “avoid large cuts to education and social services.”

No one ever asks them why do we keep pouring money into those programs and it is never enough. No one asks them why is it those are the only areas they can ever discuss cutting when faced with deficits.

No, instead we hear of Democrats such as State Senator Craig Pridemore actually bragging about sticking it to us, then saying he “stands for the little guy.”

He says he’s “never sold out,” but in a 2005 tax increase Pridemore voted for, he said, “I think the Senate has balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and powerless.” Yet, HE VOTED FOR IT!

Democrats’ favorite canard is that they will only “tax the wealthy,” drawing on class envy that starry-eyed Liberal followers of theirs love to front. That is how the jobs killing Measures 66 & 67 were passed in Oregon and how they promote tax increases to the public.

But, when faced with increasing their own taxes, as the 2003 Puget Sound Latte Tax, slated to add a “dime a cup to pay for child care and preschool programs,” they handily voted it down.

Those who labeled it “the wrong solution, but the right problem to tackle” have no problem though, voting or supporting raising your taxes if you smoke, drive a car to work or enjoy a beer. Just leave their designer coffees alone, even though “it’s for the children and schools.”

You, the taxpayer, did not cause this deficit problem in our state, politicians did. Spending has been rampant for years now in spite of warnings from Republicans like Senators Don Benton & Joe Zarelli and Representatives like Ed Orcutt. Democrats continually ignored those warnings and as the old saying goes, ‘spent like drunken sailors.’ The difference being, sailors stop spending when out of money.

We have a chance to save the country and our state come November. It’s time to turn the tide an ignore Democrats’ “New Direction” and their “Hope & Change” they ran on. Both have been shown to be abject failures harming the very citizens they claim to support so much.

It’s time to turn the Democrats out to pasture.

It’s time to replace them with renewed Republican candidate who will practice fiscal responsibility, even if we have to keep fires lit under each and every one of them.

Democrats’ have shown they are not willing to listen to us. Their hollow words and promises repeatedly their concern is special interests in unions and government workers.

Republicans failed and in 2006, were spanked pretty hard. Democrats swept in and worsened the country and economy and now, expect us to pony up what we don’t have.

It’s time to spank the Democrats over their heavy-handed partisan tactics and raping you and I of our hard earned taxes.

Stop falling for the glib words and centrist promises made by Democrat candidates. They have shown they have no intention of carrying them out.

This November, show the Democrats what you think of their ignoring our voices. We need to return their extended fingers right at them.

VOTE THEM OUT!

February 17, 2010

Castillo: How Has the Stimulus Bill Worked Out for You?

by lewwaters

David Castillo, Republican candidate for Washington States 3rd Congressional District asks;

How Has the Stimulus Bill Worked Out for You?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One year ago, the American people were told by this Administration and Democrats in Congress, that we must pass an unprecedented, government spending bill or face economic ruin. What we got was a stagnant economy and out-of-control debt being placed on the backs of our children and grandchildren.

One year ago, the American people were promised by this Administration and Democrats in Congress, that if their plan were implemented we would not see unemployment rise over 8%. What we got nationally was a rate of nearly 10%. While here in southwest Washington – the 3rd Congressional District – unemployment is well into double digits. The district’s largest county (Clark) is over 14%.

This is not an indication that families and businesses are better off today.

Increased government spending is not a solution to job creation. In fact, it is an obstacle. It is time we learn the lessons of the past. Job creators are the risk-takers, the entrepreneurs, and the small business owners who ask for nothing from the government other than they stay out of the way and allow the free market to provide its opportunity for prosperity to all.

This administration came into office with the promise to fundamentally change America. If that means replacing our capitalist economy with some form of government run socialism, then count me out. I will stand with the vast majority of Americans who still believe in a system that places economic and political power in the hands of the people.

Castillo is right, we have not been served well by the current one party system that throws money out like it is nothing. We cannot borrow our way out of the deep debt we are in nor can we continue to punish jobs creators like Obama and the Democrat cabal has been doing this past year.

We were told unemployment would not go above 8% if we accepted their “fix” of a $787 Billion stimulus and we end up with some 10% unemployment nationwide, 14.3% locally.

Obama can claim how well it worked, he can send out fabricated graphs to make it look like it is working, but the proof is in the numbers.

Economists are warning us.

Homelessness continues to rise.

Our tax dollars continue to be wasted.

November is our chance to turn America back to sound footing and reclaim the greatness being squandered.

David Castillo is the candidate ready to tackle the problems and stand with the citizens of Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

February 16, 2010

Did Herrera Even Read HB 1329?

by lewwaters

For the second week in a row, conservative pro-family Family Policy Institute of Washington has brought up what has every appearance to be anti-family wording buried deep within HB 1329, a bill “Providing collective bargaining for child care center directors and workers.”

Surprisingly enough, Republican candidate for Washington States Third Congressional District and Representative for Washington States 18th Legislative District, Jaime Herrera not only voted for this pro-union bill, but is listed as a co-sponsor of it.

FPIW told us on Monday, February 8, 2010 in a post, WA Legislature Threatens Women’s Choice that childcare centers turned down the SEIU’s offer of Union Representation in 2007, “After learning that the union would not disclose how much membership was going to cost or specify the benefits that the centers would receive.”

After being turned down, FPIW informs us that Union Officials approached “their friends in the legislature… and asked the legislature to force daycare centers to reap the blessings of union membership.”

Having had more time to read the bill and digest what is contained in it, FPIW tells us today, February 15, 2010 Bill Encourages Churches to Indoctrinate Young Children? Reading over what they discovered makes me further question Jaime Herrera’s support of this bill, as I continue to wait for the email explanation she previously promised to send me during the phone call she placed to me last week.

FPIW informs us now, “On page 4 of the bill, it says that any agreement between workers and the unions must be ‘consistent with the provisions of any quality rating and improvement system’.” The exact wording of that section says,

“The public employer is: (A) Required to bargain over the manner and rate of subsidy and reimbursement, so long as any agreement is consistent with the provisions of any quality rating and improvement system.”

Pointing out the wording seems to “appear to be nothing more than a way to track the effectiveness of education” at first glance, FPIW further tells us that such a “quality rating and improvement system” already exists and has been “carefully defined by the Department of Early Learning” in a 216 page publication, “Washington State Early Learning and Development Benchmarks,” A Guide To Young Children’s Learning and Development: From Birth To Kindergarten.

FPIW then lists some of these “benchmarks” that would most likely cause many conservative families to raise an eyebrow or two in disagreement. Page 63 is one they list that should disturb many parents where it says “caregivers are encouraged to ‘read stories with child and elicit responses to characters, including stories from diverse cultures and family structures (e.g., single parent, same sex parents)’.”

A backdoor method to place Churches in the uncomfortable position of teaching same sex marriage is just another an “alternate lifestyle?”

This is one reason I question if Jaime Herrera even read the bill or what it might lead to. She voted against Domestic Partnerships, but votes for and co-sponsors a bill that very likely could lead to small children being indoctrinated in just that?

Not mentioned by FPIW, but one I find disturbing is found on page 55 of the publication where it states, “Find out how child’s other caregivers negotiate and resolve disputes.”

Interrogation? Is it possible these “other caregivers” might also include “parents?”

Of course, the bill would only force childcare centers that “accept children whose care is subsidized by the state” to accept unions, but in these economic perilous times, might that include many low income and single parents families struggling to get by who have had to turn to the state for assistance in caring for their children so they may work?

I think in such times as we are currently in, there is at least the potential for more and more low income and single parents families having to resort to state assistance in greatly increased.

As mentioned by FPIW, should churches around the state that now provide childcare to decide to decline accepting “state subsidies” for children they care for currently, to avoid state supervision of the curriculum, might that not also increase the cost low income and single parent families might have to pay?

Jaime said to me in our telephone conversation last Tuesday words to the effect of she was trying to “fix how we pay for childcare,” “do what is right for people” and that it was a “moral issue” to her in co-sponsoring and voting for HB 1329.

Seeing what FPIW found in their research and what I discovered on my own within the 216 page “A Guide To Young Children’s Learning and Development” publication, I have to question if she either read or understood the Bill.

If she did, then she obviously has yet to discover “the law of unintended consequences.”

How someone who calls them self a ‘conservative Republican’ could co-sponsor or vote for such a monstrosity as this is beyond me.

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Fox News’ John Stossel covered this subject and the detrimental effect it had upon “private day-care” centers in Michigan where they underwent FORCED UNIONIZATION.

A Wall Street Journal article from December 2009 brings up the point that such forced unionization just may violate the U.S. Constitution. The article reads,

“The freedom of association clause prevents compulsory unionism except, courts have determined, when it is necessary for “labor peace.” But in this case, whom would the day-care providers riot against? The parents?”

The suit filed in Michigan is currently on appeal as it was dismissed “with no reason given or legal opinion expressed.”

Ms. Herrera, is it “moral” to force people against their will into Unions? Is this what you consider “doing what is right for the people?” Or, doing what the Union Bosses desire?

I still await your email explanation.

February 15, 2010

Bob Dean, Passionate About Schools

by lewwaters

Bob Dean, a life-long Republican and now candidate for the seat in Washington States 18th Legislative District being vacated by Jaime Herrera is a very passionate man when it comes to our schools.

Bob was unable to attend the recent Blackstone Grill Meet The Candidates event for candidates and voters. Had he not had a prior commitment that evening, all present would have heard the passion he holds for saving and improving our schools.

Bob has little political experience, but has much experience teaching Mathematics, becoming chairman of the math department at Evergreen High School and being appointed to the State Board of Education’s math advisory panel. Terry Bergeson also appointed him to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction standards revision team.

This gave him intimate involvement writing new state math standards to eventually replace WASL.

In his youth, Bob served 3 years active duty in the United States Army that included 18 months in Okinawa sending messages giving the locations of downed pilots in Viet Nam so rescue missions could be mounted.

Lagging behind in fund raising so far, he claims many more facebook fans than others running for the 18th Legislative District. Having lived in the 18th District for the past 35 years gives him name recognition he feels.

Bob is especially worrisome over SB 6696 that he sees 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.”

The thought of that “scares me to death…” Bob says.

He devotes a page on his website to Oppose Race to the Top.

Bob Dean shares many other values and thoughts on improving our state with the other conservative candidates, seeing small business as “supplying seventy to eighty percent of the jobs” in our state.

He sees there is little government can do to bring an end to this economic morass we are in, seeing them compounding it, not helping it. Bob says,

“We have to stop spending ourselves into oblivion and we need to educate our top students to compete on the world stage while developing a competitive workforce.”

As Bob said to me,

“beyond my education, my years in business, and my efforts at the legislature, OSPI, and the state board of education I have been on the front lines of the education wars in this state…. I started taking on top state officials as early as 2001 in this fight…. I was mostly alone at that point. Through my writings I met others and we joined together to make changes in this state that most people said couldn’t be done…. we accomplished that change against big odds…. The war is not over… it is ongoing but I am proud of what we have accomplished thus far…. Not many people can say that they took on the powers to be and forced statewide change that affected every school in the state….”

“At this point I am battle scarred, battle tested, and battle ready…. I am taking on this new challenge with vigor and the same determination that I have brought to everything else I have done…. where it will end I don’t know but whatever happens it will be a new beginning not an end.”

At an age most of us are considering retirement, Bob Dean still fights for his principles.

February 15, 2010

One Out Of Five Isn’t Bad?

by lewwaters

Showing how out of touch the Obama administration is over terrorism, we need look no further than Obama counter-terror chief John Brennan’s comment about Guantánamo detainees being released and returning to a life of terror against innocent people.

In defending administration estimates of detainees returning to terror, Brennan said,

“People sometimes use that figure, 20 percent, say ‘Oh my goodness, one out of five detainees returned to some type of extremist activity.’ You know, the American penal system, the recidivism rate is up to something about 50 percent or so, as far as return to crime. Twenty percent isn’t that bad.”

Apparently, Mr. Brennan has a problem in differentiating between petty criminals and terrorists.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R SC) labels Brennan’s casualness as “mindboggling and unnerving,” adding,

“I don’t see how most Americans can feel safe when the head of counterterrorism tries to tell us you can get all the information you need within 50 minutes of an interview of a guy right off the airplane who tried to blow it up, and tries to tell us that the process did finally work, and say that a 20 percent recidivism rate’s OK in the war on terror,” in a Fox News Sunday interview.

Representative Peter King (R NY) went further calling for Brennan “to resign immediately or be fired because of his incompetence and inability to do his job.”

King added, “Any homeland security adviser who can’t tell the difference between a terrorist and a shoplifter doesn’t belong in office.”

Brennan has previously come under fire for the administrations soft handling and excuses made of the Christmas underwear bomber, as well as subsequent admissions failure in “connecting the dots” to have prevented the attempted terrorist attack.

February 14, 2010

Black Children Are An Endangered Species

by lewwaters

It appears using the race card to send out a message isn’t considered appropriate, when it is against the left. Such is the case with the above billboard found in Atlanta, Georgia.

The billboard, part of an anti-abortion campaign, targets Blacks as they “accounted for the majority of abortions in Georgia in 2006,” even though they remain in the minority.

Rev. Johnny Hunter, national director of the Life Education and Resource Network says, “It’s ingenious. This campaign is in your face, and nobody can ignore it.”

Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue said, . “Abortion in the black community is at epidemic proportions. They’re not really aware of what’s actually going on. If it shocks people … it should be shocking.”

Leola Reis, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Georgia says, “The language in the billboard is using messages of fear and shame to target women of color. If we want to reduce the number of abortions and unintended pregnancies, we need to work as a community to make sure we get quality affordable health care services to as many women and men as possible.”

Spelman College professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall calls it “a gimmick,” saying, “To use racist arguments to try to bait black people to get them to be anti-abortion is just disgusting.”

Accusations of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger’s involvement in what was known as The Negro Project elicited the comment, “Many black people don’t know who Margaret Sanger is and could care less.”

SOURCE: Associated Press through Fox News.

February 12, 2010

Ann Rivers One Working For All

by lewwaters

Jaime Herrera is vacating the State House seat she was parachuted into the 18th District to be appointed to so she can run now to replace retiring Brian Baird.  As a result, voters within the 18th Legislative District are being presented an opportunity to elect someone who actually lives with them and desires to work to better the community, not just to build a quick résumé to climb the political ladder.

Ann Rivers, considered the best and most likely to be appointed to that seat in 2007 before the surprise selection of Herrera, is now asking for your support and vote to fill that open seat.

Ann, a Public Relations Specialist says, “I’m still very passionate about changing the direction that we’re headed in. Specifically in the 18th, we need to address our high unemployment rate. I’m seeing the pain out there. My main focus is going to be putting people back to work.”

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ann face to face and discussing issues with her. A long time resident of the 18th and mother of two teenage sons, Ann lays out just the sort of common sense approach and sound values that has been sorely lacking in our government for a very long time.

One area of concern I had with Ann was her desire to create much-needed jobs while maintaining a staunch opposition to the proposed Clark County Mega-Casino. My perception of a contradiction was placed to rest as she explained, “What we need are REAL family wage jobs. Indian casinos pay at the federal minimum wage, sometimes referred to as ‘food stamp wages’ lower than State Minimum Wage.”

She continued explaining that Casinos often are forced to incorporate Union Construction Workers, needed to win Union support in communities, but do not employee Union Workers to run the casino after it’s built. She told me, “…a better type of job is based in the production of goods since service jobs are more vulnerable to the economy than production jobs where a worker can gain a skill and advance beyond their existing job.”

Of growing concern to citizens in Southwest Washington is ILLEGAL Immigration. Ann advocates the use of e-verify to ensure that scarce jobs go to those legally entitled to be hired first. She is especially concerned with the prospect that “our most vulnerable citizens have to go without so that illegals can ‘go with’.”

With Washington State once again facing massive budget deficits, Ann feels that privatization of some taxpayer supported agencies, such as our Liquor Control Board, would save the state Millions of dollars while allowing them to continue reaping the taxes.

Another area to cut spending would be to insure that all State Agencies implement the law signed in 2002 by former governor, Gary Locke on Competitive Contracting, instead of hiring new State Employees.

Ann sees there is so much waste in our State Budget that she calls it “frightening,” as most of us also see. With her in the Legislature, we would have another voice to advocate finally clearing it out.

Having personally seen what a wasteland much of the areas like ANWR in Alaska are, she knows we could tap our resources there and elsewhere, while we continue to augment traditional energy sources with solar, wind and biomass saying, “Imagine how much stronger our economy and our dollar would be if we were less reliant or could eliminate dependence on foreign energy?”

She would also prefer to “engage in a broad-based effort to identify new sources and technologies for energy… energy that makes both ecological AND economic sense.”

Of particular concern to Southwest Washington is the Columbia River Crossing, more commonly referred to as the “I-5 Bridge.” She sees this bridge as “an INTERNATIONAL bridge moving goods and services between nations [that] the people of Clark County should not carry the burden of replacing on their own.”

Opposed to forcing “Light Rail” upon Clark County Citizens, she sees that “a third and fourth bridge built to the east of I-205 and to the west/north of the I-5 bridge would relieve pressure on the I-5 corridor while increasing freight mobility and decreasing congestion.”

And of course, we know there has been little, if any, meaningful discussion of such a proposal, which Ann would undoubtedly spearhead once in office.

Seeing that state spending has risen by over 33% over the last few years, leaving Washington State citizens with little to show for it, Ann believes in “Zero-based budgeting,” where “every state agency must come in and justify their requests, top to bottom, start to finish” to end the “Unsustainable spending.”

Most sensible people are coming to realize that throwing money at our problems does not solve any issue nor does increasing taxes every chance elected officials have. Opposed to imposing an income tax on voters, Ann would bring back I-601 and enforce I-960 that requires a 2/3rds vote to increase taxes and was recently suspended by the Majority Party in Olympia.

She feels elected officials must “remain cognizant of the outside world and the pain the people we’re supposed to represent are actually feeling and living, remembering that each and every dollar we spend was first earned by somebody else.”

Realizing that one “can never adequately repay those who put their lives on hold” to defend America, she would “fight to exempt Veterans from paying for books, fees and tuition at any state institution of higher learning” helping Veterans with job training and education in truly meaningful ways. As she says, “Welcome Home must stop being an empty phrase,” and the cost is an expense she “believes the people of our district and this state will actually support.”

A hunter herself, Ann knows what firearms can do and disagrees with disarming law-abiding citizens as a means to combat crime. She believes in enforcing current laws to curb the misuse of guns, not adding more laws to be ignored.

Mindful of the murders of two young girls in Clark County by released Level III repeat Sex Offenders she advocates, “the strongest possible measures be taken to keep our public safe,” adding, “If our existing measures aren’t strong enough, then we have to make them stronger.”

Ann says, “I will be doing everything I can to increase sentences, decrease probations, increase supervision and conditions and eliminate the problems that led to these tragic and unnecessary deaths.”

Mindful of the harassment and intimidation supporters of California’s Proposition 8 continue to be faced with and similar efforts by Gay Activists with Washington State, even though they won the R-71 vote on Domestic Partnerships, Ann finds herself in agreement with Justice Clarence Thomas’s partial dissent issued recently on the High Courts overturning of some of the campaign finance law on not releasing the names, addresses and signatures of citizen petitions.

Ann has lived in both counties that comprise the 18th Legislative District that gives her insight into the unique challenges of the District. She has worked as Legislative Staff and has the education, small business ownership experience and the ability to learn and analyze information in a rapid manner that will result in immediate impacts.

She possesses “a burning desire to end the folly of an out of control budget” in Olympia.

She is a wife, a mother and a homeowner paying out a lot of in taxes like the rest of us and like us; tires of watching it vaporize before our eyes.

As Ann says, “It is time for the people of the 18th district to not only be heard, but for their concerns to be presented and for those concerns to actually make a difference where it matters most: Olympia.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ann Rivers. “One of Us, Working for All of Us.”

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