Archive for September, 2010

September 30, 2010

Panel to Recommend Harris Receive Reprimand, Removal from Boards

by lewwaters

In a meeting lasting almost an hour, 3 Vancouver council members settled on a recommendation of fellow council member Jeanne Harris, receive a letter of reprimand and be removed from all boards she currently sits on, representing the city council and that they appointed her to, for her disrespectful behavior displayed September 13, 2010. VIDEO

Boards she sits on where she received a gubernatorial appointment (CRC) are not affected as it was felt they are outside the scope of the city council.

It was determined early on, with advice from city attorney Ted Gathe, that Harris’ disrespectful interaction with citizens is not covered by the current ethics policy. Councilman Burkman recommended council revisit it to update the ethics policy to include how members of the public are treated.

Council members stated they felt her actions the evening of September 13 were “demeaning,” “disturbing” and “highly inappropriate,” towards Mayor Leavitt and Council member Jeanne E. Stewart.

Removal from office was also ruled out early as the threshold for such action was not met, Gathe advised. He stated to reach that high threshold would take something along the lines of committing an actual crime.

The panel broke it down to 4 areas of concern, 1: Her conduct towards the public, which is not addressed by current policy. 2: Her conduct towards Jeanne Stewart during the meeting deemed inappropriate. 3: Her interference with the Mayors duty in conducting the meeting deemed inappropriate. 4: Her confrontation with Jeanne Stewart after the meeting also deemed inappropriate.

Discussion fell onto whether she should receive a letter of reprimand or a censure and it was determined there was not a lot of difference between the two. A letter of reprimand was deemed appropriate. Mayor Pro Tem Larry Smith stated he wanted more than just a “slap on the wrist” and Pat Campbell added he too wanted to give the letter “some teeth” behind it.

Jack Burkman said there few sanctions available they could use and then it was decided they would recommend she be removed from all boards she was appointed to by the council until she is up for reelection in 2013.

If the full council votes to accept the panel’s recommendation, it would be effective immediately.

Pat Campbell added that citizens should “stay tuned” and follow her for when she is up for reelection, as he felt that her conduct is not a matter for recall.

The panel hopes to wrap it up at the October 11 council meeting.

The Columbian’s Andrea Damewood published her take HERE with more to come in Friday’s paper.

KGW TV adds quotes from citizens present.

“They’re going to smack her on the hand, she’s going to turn around and walk away,” said Stephanie Turlay. “They will not stand up and do what really needs to be done.”

“She needs to go,” said Josephine Wentzel. “If she doesn’t resign she needs to be taken out, we need to recall her.”

September 30, 2010

Patty Murray Awards $$$ to Clients of Former Aides Now Working as Lobbyists

by lewwaters

Ann Coulter labels Washington States senior Senator as the stupidest person in America, but that didn’t stop firms who are clients of her former aides now working as lobbyists from being awarded some $20,000,000.00 in earmarks that she inserted into the 2011 defense appropriations bill.

“At least 17 former Murray staff members have slid over to the lobbying sector, capitalizing on insider knowledge and connections to win favor for their clients, including lucrative earmarks.”

“They include Murray’s former chief of staff, Rick Desimone, who landed a $1 million earmark in the defense bill for a Canadian medical company with offices in Kirkland. The bill was an even bigger win for Shay Hancock, Murray’s former lead defense staffer, who lobbied for three firms that got $7.5 million in earmarks.”

“Murray’s clout as an appropriator helps explain why lobbyists and their firms — including those that employ her former staffers — are among her biggest campaign contributors.”

“Despite her own network of lobbyist backers, Murray’s campaign and state Democrats have relentlessly portrayed her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, as unethical because of his ties to lobbyists. In particular, they’ve hit Rossi for business deals with two statehouse lobbyists more than a decade ago when he was a state senator.”

Read more: Seattle Times

The Moms Tennis Shoes continue to be the muddiest shoes in town.

September 29, 2010

Worksource Employee Involved in Murray Email Flap Takes a Shot At Veterans

by lewwaters

Weeks ago we were informed of a Workforce employee who used the resources of the Employment Security Department by contacting Veterans whose email she had to enlist their support of incumbent Senate Democrat, Patty Murray.

The employee, later identified as the Local Veteran Employment Representative for Worksource was to be disciplined in some manner for this breech of not only ethics, but violating state and federal law and the policies of the Employment Security Department.

By policy, what measures are to be taken are not made public.

This misconduct was first revealed on the blog site RedCounty.com by Bryan Myrick. Bryan, much to his credit, did not just let this matter drop and looking through several pages of emails received from the Washington Employment Security Department sees evidence that a campaign staffer from Murray’s campaign just might have coordinated with the Workforce employee to improperly use state resources in reaching out and convincing Veterans to support Murray.

Bryan’s work is well written and I have no intention of trying to “improve” upon what he has written. I can only suggest you go read his article and decide for yourself at Did Patty Murray’s Campaign Ask a State Worker to Use Gov’t Resources for Political Organizing?

What I do intend to do in this post is to express my outrage and utter dismay that a person employed in our state as the Local Veteran Employment Representative for the Washington Employment Security Department, after being exposed for her misuse of government resources to benefit one candidate over another would take a cheap shot at, of all people, VETERANS!

Yes, she is being paid to represent and assist those of us who have served in the Military and especially those serving today who are returning from battle in gaining meaningful employment once again as they reenter civilian life.

Myrick includes a copy of one email sent out by the employee sent to higher ups that begins apologetic to them and ends asking just “how high up the chain” did complaints from Veterans outraged over her email went. As you can see in the copy below from Myrick’s blog, in the middle of the email she says,

“I should have known that the Veteran Community would blow it way out of proportion.”

Excuse me?? She “should have known” that we Veterans, by “blowing it way out proportion” would end up misrepresenting her intent? That is how I take this email. She doesn’t actually take responsibility for her violation of law and instead, ends up blaming any of us who received the email and were offended by it for “blowing it way out of proportion.”

The original email sent out by the employee, Sally Garcia said,

“First I would like to say this is not an endorsement, just a call out to Veterans who may be interested in assisting with a “walk and knock” to remind people to vote. Specifically for Patty Murray. Whether you have voted for her in the past or are thinking of or planning to vote for her, the bottom line is she has done a lot for the Veterans of our community. Take a look at the attachments I have included and if you want to get involved contact Kerala Hise at 360-828-7898 or kerala@pattymurray.com.”(emphasis added)

Ms. Garcia signs the email as “Sally Garcia, Local Veteran Employment Representative, WorkSource Vancouver”

If her original email isn’t an endorsement, it’s a very strong supportive letter specifically sending Veterans she contacted to one candidate only and she not only uses a state compiled email list, but state owned computers.

Personally, other than throwing money and pandering for votes, this is one Veteran who doesn’t believe Murray is as strong of a Veterans advocate as she wishes us to think.

Regardless, how utterly distasteful for Ms. Garcia to take a cheap shot at Veterans, the very Veterans she says she works to represent, because we do not appreciate pandering or being used for political gain.

It is unknown if any disciplinary measures will rise to the level of termination in this matter. But if it doesn’t, may I suggest that Ms. Garcia be reassigned to another area.

The last thing Veterans need any more of is someone who is supposed to be advocating for us expressing such low regard for us.

Sally Garcia, with her slap at us, expresses eloquently what I see in Patty Murray towards Veterans. She may make a show of throwing a little money our way, but what high regard does either of them show to those who place their very lives on the line to keep both Patty Murray and Sally Garcia safe in their well paying taxpayer funded jobs?

Veterans deserve better!

September 29, 2010

Probst Comes Out Slinging, Peck Fires Back

by lewwaters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does he propose to do that? He says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clean it up, Tim. Start being honest.

September 26, 2010

Boeing, Boeing, Gone Means False Murray Attack

by lewwaters

Once again, the “Mom in sneakers” has mud all over her tennis shoes.

September 26, 2010

The Last Best Hope

by lewwaters
September 26, 2010

Is the Columbian Promoting Tony Golik on Bethany Storro’s back?

by lewwaters

By now we all have heard of the tragic and infuriating story of 28 year-old Bethany Storro, the woman who claimed to have had acid thrown in her face by an unknown assailant, only to be revealed days later t hat it was all self inflicted.

The community was up in arms over the thought that someone either from the community, or who might have come in from outside the community, would harm one of our citizens in such a manner. Once revealed as a hoax, the community rightfully became outraged over the incident with several calling for her prosecution.

Enter Deputy County Prosecutor Tony Golik, candidate to replace retiring County Prosecutor Art Curtis, who will be stepping down in January 2010 and handing the office over to whoever wins it in the November election.

Golik, a Democrat, wasted no time in grabbing a hold of the case that has incensed the community and has even appeared on national television to discuss it. Clark County Politics has outlined Golik’s attention grab HERE and HERE.

Golik, a very capable attorney I am told, is also very much the politician in seeing political opportunity in latching onto what might be a local high profile case, even though prosecuting and convicting the young lady will change nothing in the community, but will only assuage some angry citizens who are angry over being duped by her.

A true opportunist would be ashamed of themselves for passing up such an opportunity to shamelessly promote their candidacy, as we saw in the lead-up to the August 17 primary election.

And, how much better is it to have the local newspaper of record promoting your candidacy for free?

Although they have yet to openly endorse Golik, there is little doubt in any thinking person’s mind that the ‘left of center’ Columbian will endorse anyone but the Democrat in the general election, evidenced by the favorable coverage they have given him to date.

Since she has admitted to her allegation being a hoax, the paper has wasted little ink running story after story on Ms. Storro. They have run it to the point of readers beginning to show hostility towards the paper for “beating the story to death” and “draining every drop of blood out of it they can.”

Some examples of the latest comments on the story are,

“I am tired of this story everyday, please move on,” “And now that we know what she did to herself, how about moving on. There is other news out there that could/should be reported,” “Enough is enough. You have bled every single drop of blood from this story. This is now becoming the theater of the absurd,” “The lady has mental issues. We get the point. It’s time to move on, Columbian,” “I’ll visit columbian.com in about a week to see if it’s over the Storro fixation,” “Lou you have milked this story enough to the point that it is a complete joke,” and “Is this the story that won’t die?!? For crying out loud, LET..IT..GO!,”

for just a sampling from the community in the over 50 comments left so far.

Why would our local paper continue beating such a story while ignoring others local stories equally as outrageous? Stories like he city council member lashing out at citizens and fellow council members, now facing an ethics violation investigation and the unfolding story of a teen legislative candidate who fooled a lot of people, only to be arrested on drug and other felony charges this week as well?

I think the answer lies within the excess of articles published in the Columbian. Several make sure to mention “Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik,” but make no mention of “Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik, candidate for County Prosecutor.”

Also not mentioned in the articles is current County Prosecutor Art Curtis, who although retiring in January, is still the County Prosecutor. Brent Boger, the Republican candidate for County Prosecutor is also not made mention of, not even to inquire what he thinks of the case he might have to prosecute should he win in November.

Shouldn’t quotes on the case coming out of the County Prosecutor’s office be from the County Prosecutor’s spokesperson, if not the Prosecutor himself, instead of a Deputy Prosecutor, who coincidentally, just happens to be running for political office?

How shameful is it that both Golik and the Columbian decides to climb onto the back of a mentally unbalanced person to further a political career, all the while placing real ethics violation and felony crimes on the back burner?

Little wonder violent crimes have increased in Vancouver when the safety and well-being of our citizens is secondary to political opportunism.

I’ll be voting for Brent Boger to see some real changes come to the County Prosecutor’s office. We’ve seen enough opportunism. It’s time for someone committed to the citizens, not their career.

It’s time for someone who cares about the people, not just dancing on their backs to get ahead.

That someone is Brent Boger.

September 25, 2010

Brits Look to America and See Hopelessness and the Wrong Change

by lewwaters

Obama, after snubbing and slapping at our British friends since gaining office, has received a well deserved comeuppance in the British Press recently.

What happened to the Barack Obama dream?

“Despite a string of legislative successes, Mr Obama has failed to make voters believe that he has helped them, or that he cares more about their jobs and savings than about a long-standing Democratic agenda of health care and enforcing greener energy use on industry. Although he has passed major financial reforms, his economic team has been deemed too close to Wall Street and too protective of the mega-bonus culture.”
“There is a view that the elation of becoming the first black president and the euphoria that accompanied his inauguration helped create a degree of arrogance in the White House that has led the President and his advisers to blame the media, or Republicans, for what the electorate is really thinking.”

The “dream” turned out to be a nightmare for America.

Barack Obama: the Great Unravelling of a One-Term President?

“The president can’t stop blaming George W Bush for anything that goes wrong but it will be the current rather than the former president who Democrats will take to task after November.”
“Obama scarcely helped himself this week when he responded in a CNBC “town hall” event to a black woman who said she was ‘exhausted of defending you’ by prefacing his answer with ‘as I said before’ – code for ‘you’re clearly too dumb to have understood me the first time’.”

November, the restoration of a Free America begins.

September 25, 2010

Brian Peck for State Legislature

by lewwaters

Brian Peck, Republican for the 17th Legislative District, position 1

Let’s turn Washington State back around.

Please visit Elect Brian Peck for more information

See also Probst Comes Out Slinging, Peck Fires Back

September 22, 2010

Is This How City Council Listens to Citizens?

by lewwaters

H/T NoTolls.com

Jim Moeller arrived late and that I saw that evening, did not fill out a card to request to speak. He was the only person to speak all evening in defense of council member Jeanne Harris.

It should be no surprise that Moeller, who has never met a tax he doesn’t like, also favors slapping citizens with heavy tolls to bring Portland, Oregon’s near bankrupt Max Line into downtown Vancouver.

Why does the Vancouver City Council continue to “update” their guidelines where citizen communications are concerned?

Will we eventually get to the point where citizens are denied speaking to council and end up being dictated to?

Guidelines for citizen communications in effect Monday evening were as follows;

Click image to enlarge, see item number 4

Vancouver City Council Ethics Panel Decision HERE

September 22, 2010

Republicans: A Pledge To America

by lewwaters

“With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people”

Part of what the Republicans are pledging to America to do;

Jobs:

- Stop job-killing tax hikes

- Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income

- Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit

- Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.

Cutting Spending:

- Repeal and Replace health care

- Roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before TARP and stimulus (will save $100 billion in first year alone)

- Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward

- Cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Reforming Congress:

- Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority

- Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote

Defense:

- Provide resources to troops

- Fund missile defense

- Enforce sanctions in Iran

CBS News. Full text of the pledge is at the bottom of the article.

September 21, 2010

Who Is Supporting Jobs? HINT: It Isn’t The Government

by lewwaters

Economists might come out now and try to fool the American public that the “Great Recession” ended over a year ago, but with some of the highest unemployment seen in my lifetime, it is obvious we are anything but recovered.

Politicians running to stay in office or challengers wishing to replace them are all speaking of jobs, but what is actually being done? Not much, other than calls from conservatives to get government out of the way to let private industry create much needed jobs.

Industry is ready to create jobs for us and have been blocked by government, especially when it comes to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the petroleum industry and millions more related in supportive industries.

In spite of all of the calls to do away with petroleum right now from wacko environmentalists and other leftist kooks, we remain heavily dependent upon petroleum for energy needs and much more. Alternative fuels just haven’t yet been perfected to supply our needs in as economical a manner as does petroleum.

And still, government continues to turn a blind eye not only to our energy needs, but to the critical need of putting Americans back to work.

The American Petroleum Institute recently took a “bull by the horns” attitude and carried out a series of Rallies for Jobs in several states concerned over lost jobs by petroleum drilling moratoriums and drilling bans.

While primarily directed at jobs drilling for oil, it cannot be forgotten that several other job creating industries benefit from getting our petroleum industries back to work. Auto mechanics, restaurants, auto supplies, clothing manufacturers, you name it. Almost all industry somehow benefits when we have the petroleum industry working, either directly or indirectly in some supportive capacity.

Several people were able to attend and speak out for jobs at the rallies, but they were unable to be in every city. To that end, the American Petroleum Institute has now began the National Virtual Rally for Jobs where you are invited to stop by and leave a short message on why jobs are so important to us.

You do not need to be directly connected to the oil and gas industry as increased jobs in that sector can only spread to increased jobs in other sectors in support of them and begin getting us back to work, earning decent salaries to feed, clothe and care for our families.

Along with us returning to work comes revenue growth to the treasury to fund the current bills government is raising taxes to pay for, eliminating the need to raise taxes, which ends up only costing more jobs to disappear.

The demonizing of the oil and gas industry and subsequent lost jobs, numbering hundred of thousands, if not millions is getting old. So called “Green Energy” is years away from being perfected into a substantial alternative and even then, it ends up eliminating more jobs than it save, as has been discovered by Spain when they commissioned a study and discovered they were losing two jobs to every one being created.

Bottom line, we need jobs. We cannot afford to have so many people jobless for so long with no plans to allow the private sector to create them. Without those private sector jobs, the jobs government speaks of to rebuild infrastructure cannot be paid for. Tax dollars must be brought in to pay for those and those taxes must come from the private sector if they are to be paid for.

Visit the the National Virtual Rally for Jobs and leave your message telling government, regardless of which party, we are fed up with being out of work. We do not want hand outs, just the ability to work to care for our families.

Contact your representatives and urge them to end the moratorium on oil drilling and drilling our own known oil reserves within our own country now.

Americans working together, rebuilding our own oil industry is not only good for job creation; it is the only viable way to end our dependence on foreign oil.

We will still perfect alternative energy sources and the free market will invent viable “Green Energy” sources. But in the meantime, we need jobs and the Oil and Gas Industry is sitting on hundreds of thousands of them that the government has long blocked.

It is time the government got the hell out of our way.

September 21, 2010

Protest Car Free Day, Sep 22. Take a Drive

by lewwaters

September 22 is designated as “World Car Free Day” by foreign leftists, the World Carfree Network, who desire to

“showcase just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars…365 days a year.”

Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute counters by calling for people to “Protest World Car-Free Day — Take a Drive (Just for the Hell of It)!
Kazman says,

“The automobile has improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people in remarkable ways. It has taken the mobility once reserved for aristocrats and democratized it, immensely expanding the choices that average people have regarding where to live and work. Instead of pushing a misguided political agenda to reduce car use, we should be celebrating automobility.”

Loren Lomasky, University of Virginia philosophy professor noted in a study on the automobile, Autonomy and Automobility that

“the car is one of the three most liberating technologies ever developed.”

The left has successfully manipulated government and public opinion into denying many of our freedoms by protest. It’s our turn to stage protests to reinstate our freedoms that have been infringed upon by restrictive government policies.

So, some time during the day, just hop in your car September 22 and take a little drive. See the scenery, enjoy the view and celebrate the freedom we have to go where we wish, when we wish, while we still can.

With a multi-Billion dollar bridge including light rail being shoved down our throats in Clark County and Portland’s Mayor stating he would force us out of our cars, we must fight back if we wish to maintain our free movement.

September 21, 2010

City Council Forms Ethics Panel, Harris Travels to Germany

by lewwaters

Last nights Vancouver City Council Meeting might not have seen the fireworks of the previous week, but it was spirited. Council Chambers were filled to capacity, as they were expected to be, many in attendance to call for the ouster of embattled Council Member, Jeanne ‘gavel down’ Harris.

If you recall, Harris suffered yet another meltdown at the September 13 council meeting, lambasting citizens and fellow council member, Jeanne Stewart, covered HERE, HERE and HERE.

As expressed earlier by the Mayor, in response to allegations from fellow Council members, an “Ethics Committee” was formed last evening to “investigate” charges of violating the Charter of the Council by Ms. Harris. Mayor Leavitt appointed Council Members, Larry Smith, Jack Burkman and Pat Campbell to sit on the panel.

Mayor Leavitt asked for approval to excuse Ms. Harris’s absence from council meetings while she is travelling “on a privately-funded John Jay McCloy fellowship through the International Council of National League of Cities to travel Germany with city leaders from around the United States.” It was said last evening she is acting as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for Vancouver while travelling. It received unanimous approval.

After her meltdown last week, I cannot think of a poorer position for her to fill.

The Columbian has also brought out that Ms. Harris “is going through a very difficult divorce” which is absolutely no defense for her offensive conduct towards others. As someone holding a degree in communication, if Ms. Harris’s private life interferes in her public capacity in such a manner, she should know that she should either ask for a leave of absence or voluntarily step down from the council an allow someone to sit in who would be capable of properly performing to job.

Also of concern is a previously undisclosed email Harris sent out to council members, shortly after she issued her questionable “public apology” last week. According to the Columbian’s Andrea Damewood, Harris sent out an email to fellow council members saying,

“Looks like I’ve lost two policies and we’ve received numerous rude phone calls that my 19 year old customer service rep has had to listen to. Apparently the gavel incident is now on utube (sic). Thanks for making my life hell.”

No, Ms. Harris, no one has “made your life hell” but you and your offensive conduct. Blaming others, or even a divorce, doesn’t excuse or justify anything. Your poor overbearing conduct towards others is not new nor is it a one-time event. Many others have gone through much worse and did not find the need to attack others as you have done for so long.

Twenty eight citizens spoke last evening during Citizen’s Communication and for the most part, were well-received in Harris’s absence.24 of whom spoke on the issue of either Light Rail or Ms. Harris’s conduct. Of the 24, two were in support of light rail being extended to from Portland to Vancouver and only one person, tax happy Democratic state legislator Jim Moeller, defending Ms. Harris. 21 citizens spoke against the addition of light rail and/or Ms. Harris.

Of somewhat concern to me was seeing a Police Officer hovering around at the back of council chambers. Although I cannot attend every council meeting, this was the first time I have seen council call in an armed Police Officer for council meetings.

A query to council on the necessity of his presence brought a response from council member Smith of

“Lately, we have posted an officer for security reasons. We have no security measures at city hall like the court house. There has been no threats on Councilmembers and the crowd that has shown up has been excellent. With unemployment very high and folks stressed out coupled with a shooting in Fruit Valley by VPD, we have posted an officer to protect us all. Someone could target City Hall as an easy hit and to make a point over a city issue such as budget cuts. It is a difficult time for many folks. You never know; and I would like us to be proactive.”

However laughter erupted when a citizen, Ralph Peabody, thanked the council for the Police presence to “protect citizens from the city council.”

City Council candidate John Jenkins and County Commission candidate Alan Svehaug spoke in favor of protecting citizens’ free speech before the city council and opposing Harris’s outbursts.

The ethics panel will first meet to decide how many meetings are to be scheduled to investigate Ms. Harris’s outrageous behavior and to recommend what action, if any, is due her. The Columbian’s John Laird has said she is due a “harsh reprimand,” which I feel is way too lenient considering her history of such outbursts.

From what I hear around town, nothing short of her expulsion from the city council will do.

Jeanne Harris has become an embarrassment to the city of Vancouver, Washington. Citizens’ comments last evening reflected our concern not only over her conduct, but the inaction of fellow council members to curtail her outbursts against fellow council members and citizens’. That she was allowed to act as she did during the September 13 council meeting and not one person, other than Jeanne Stewart, spoke up to her is as embarrassing as well.

It is the job of the Mayor to oversee and conduct council meetings on a professional manner and he failed in that regard. No one interceded to calm her down or remind her she is but a representative of the people she is lambasting. No one, other than Jeanne Stewart, stood up for the citizens’ right to address council in grievance.

As I commented on John Laird’s Sunday column,

“Council isn’t elected to dictate to the public, but to represent us. How are they able to represent citizens if they refuse to listen and instead, impose the views of a majority of 7 people on some 170,000?

That is not representative governance.

Most people, left or right, are civil until they see their voices are being ignored. When government at any level so flagrantly ignores the citizens, we cease to be ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’.”

The time has come to ‘gavel down’ Vancouver City Council Member Jeanne Harris.

UPDATE: Vancouver City Council Ethics Panel Decision HERE

September 21, 2010

Freedom, With a Side of Fries

by lewwaters
September 20, 2010

Middle Class Lady “Exhausted” Defending Obama

by lewwaters

Obama’s rambling attempt at a snow job reply can be seen HERE

From his reply I hear, “you’re better off now, you just don’t know it.” Obviously, she doesn’t know the “Great Recession” has been over for a year.

Question is, if it has been “over,” why is the economy still in such poor shape and getting worse?

H/T Hot Air

September 19, 2010

“Bringing The Axe To Washington”

by lewwaters

Not from our region, but Sean Duffy, a Republican running against State Senator Julie Lassa for the seat being vacated by David Obey in Wisconsin has released what many consider the manliest ad in politics. A District Attorney from Ashland County, Wisconsin, Sean grew up in the timber industry in Wisconsin.

We could sure use some candidates running in Washington State with his message.

Will the left have him investigated for threatening government by saying he will bring his axe to Washington D.C.?

H/T HotAir

September 19, 2010

Dennis Prager on Americanism

by lewwaters
September 17, 2010

Former Teen Legislative Candidate Accused of Drug Crimes

by lewwaters

From Friday’s Columbian, not only surprising, but disappointing as well.

Anthony Bittner, an 18-year-old running for the 18th Legislative District, got busted for numerous allegations including operating a drug house, manufacturing marijuana and keeping forgery instruments.

Bittner made his first appearance in court this morning on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, manufacturing marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, using a building for drugs, forgery and unlawful possession of payment instruments.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Roger Bennett allowed Bittner release under his parents’ supervision. His next court appearance is Sept. 29.

More at the above link and to follow in Saturday’s Columbian.

See also Clark County Politics, who first broke the story.

September 17, 2010

CONSTITUTION DAY – SEPT. 17, 1787

by lewwaters

CONSTITUTION DAY – SEPT. 17, 1787

By Rees Lloyd

On September 17, 1787, after weeks of often bitter debate by delegates of the States gathered at the Constitutional Convention at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Constitution of the United States, beginning with the words, “We, the People,” was signed by thirty-nine of the fifty-five delegates — and the world was changed forever as America began its “great experiment” in self-government.

Never before had a constitution been established in the name of “the People” of a nation, rather than by and in the name of a monarch, a state, or other governmental power. Many of the most erudite thinkers of the so-called “Age of Enlightment,” did not believe that a constitutional republic of limited government “by, for, and of the people” could survive in a broad land containing a large and diverse population. America is still an ongoing experiment in liberty.

The Constitutional Convention had commenced on May 14, 1787, with a challenge to the conscience and integrity of delegates by George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army which had won the Revolutionary war, and who was elected President of the Constitutional Convention by unanimous vote.

“If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the event is in the Hand of God,” said Washington, who would later become the First President of the United States and be regarded as “the Father of his country.”

The delegates were learned American patriots who had studied history deeply to meet the task of creating a constitution fit for a free people. Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence but did not participate in the Constitutional Convention because he was in Paris representing the United States, wrote of the delegates with utmost respect as “a gathering of demigods.”

The Constitution the framers wrought in the name of “We, the People,” was one creating a government of limited, not expansive, or expanding, powers.

Rather, the “Bill of Rights,” contained in the First Ten Amendments, for which the efforts of James Madison earned him recognition as “the Father of the Constitution,” begins with five words limiting powers of the federal government over the people:

“Congress shall make no law…,” respecting an establishment of religion nor abridging the fundamental rights of free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, of press, of assembly, of petition for redress of grievance; rights which the Founding Fathers believed Americans were “endowed by their Creator,” as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, rights granted by the “hand of God,” not the hand of government.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments reinforced the words “Congress shall make no law…” by mandating that the people and the states retained all rights not enumerated as possessed by the central government.

Never before in history had “We, the people,” had their natural rights so expressly protected by a constitution so expressly limiting the government as to its powers. By changing the relationship of the people and their government, limiting the power of government and making the retained rights of the people superior, the Founding Fathers changed the world, the people of which have ever after dreamed of the freedoms of Americans and looked to the Constitution, as a model for liberty in a constitutional republic.

The framers of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers of America, were faced with a great challenge, and they met it. The Constitution which they framed was finally ratified by all states by January 10, 1791. It has now endured for 223 years since it was signed on Sept. 17, 1787.

“What kind of government have you given us, Mr. Franklin,” an American woman asked Founding Father Benjamin Franklin at the close of the convention.

“A republic, Madam,” Ben Franklin replied. “If you can keep it.”

That, the keeping of the free constitutional republic that the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us, is our challenge in this age.

We owe a great debt to all those Founding Fathers and other Americans who came before us who preserved our freedom. We pay that debt by what we do to preserve freedom for those Americans who will come after us.

Rees Lloyd, a longtime civil rights lawyer formerly with the ACLU, American Legion Life Member and Judge Advocate Post 79; Past Commander and Scribe, District 21; and an unashamed American patriot.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 228 other followers