Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

The Columbian’s “Absence of Malice”

by lewwaters

I always find it disheartening to see mispresentations on the Columbian’s website or in their print edition. Whether deliberate or accidental, misrepresentations serve no one and leave people with false impressions of news or something that happened.

As readers know, Clark County Politics blog and I both raised the question about a claim of “numerous combat medals” received by current Clark County Board of Commissioners candidate, Joe Tanner, seeing that he served aboard a ship cruising in the South China Sea off of the coast of Vietnam during the war in support of the war.

Such a claim is vague and leads people to believe such medals to be earned during actual combat by a soldier or sailor if a member of the Navy as was Tanner.

Most that never served in the Military do not see a distinction nor do they see a need to question Military service, unless of course your name is George W. Bush or you’re a Republican.

Seeing that Mr. Tanner was an Electronics Technician most likely serving at sea, the question arose about how “numerous combat medals” could be received. Given that, on April 25, 2012 I sent an email to the Tanner campaign requesting clarification.

On April 29, 2012, a little after 9 pm I received from Tanner;

Lew, sorry for the delay. I have a new grand daughter (my first) and that took priority. By noon tomorrow I will send to you my DD-214 and a statement about my military service. I am taking you at your word that you will publish my DD-214 and statement verbatim on your website. All the Democrats and Republicans I know believe you to be a straight shooter, so I am going to assume that – until and unless you give me a reason to think otherwise. At the same time I will post the DD-214 on my website and also send it to the Columbian and Reflector.

I think we will both be a big part of the political landscape in Clark County for many years, so hopefully we will have a mutually respectful and productive working relationship. By the way, I personally gave my DD-214 to David Madore 2 months ago, given our mutual experience in the Navy. I assumed you already had a copy, but in any event tomorrow you will have it (absent only my social security number).

April 30, 2012

Joe Tanners’ Military Medals Claim Clarified

by lewwaters

Joe Tanner, announced candidate for the Clark County Commissioner seat now occupied by Tom Mielke has caught the eye of primarily bloggers who have questioned claims made on his ABOUT JOE TANNER page. Primarily the claim, “As an active duty Vietnam veteran, Joe Tanner received numerous combat medals.

Mr. Tanner served in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician from 1966 to 1970 and was aboard the USS Providence, a Cleveland-class light cruiser that was converted to a guided missile cruiser. More on the ship will follow below.

As a Vietnam Veteran who served “boots on the ground” in the Central Highlands for 18 months, reading a sailors claim of “numerous combat medals” caught my eye as most sailors served aboard ships cruising in the South China Sea, far away from much of the in country battles in support roles. It also caught the eye of Clark County Politics, also a US Army Veteran with both of us seeking answers and clarification from the Tanner Campaign.

Mr. Tanner has answered with a copy of his Discharge, DD-214 and a statement on his Military Service below.

April 28, 2012

A Call Goes Out

by lewwaters

The latest from those wonderful kids at Tussing Elementary School in Colonial Heights, Virginia.

Many thanks to Michael Souder and his wife Angela for writing the song and directing the children.

Please visit www.restored.faith.com for more from these wonderful kids

April 27, 2012

Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

by lewwaters

Anyone who has served in the U.S. Army in days past heard the command, “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” numerous times. It was acknowledgement from Squad Leaders or Platoon Sergeants that it was time for a break, take a rest from whatever the Troops were doing and if you were a smoker, like most were way back when, enjoy a smoke.

I don’t know whether or not the Army still uses the phrase, but the phrase and smoking of a cigarette or cigar is definitely out of favor around the country, given that we now know the dangers of tobacco use.

We saw it not too long ago as the Vancouver, Washington city council unanimously approved a smoking ban in all city parks, after chasing smokers out of nearly every building in existence in the state when Initiative 901 passed in 2005.

In the meantime, taxes were added to a pack of cigarettes amounting to $3.025 a pack, placing Washington State in the top 5 states for high tobacco taxes.

The taxes were sold as needed to fund certain health programs, predominately “for the children” and to encourage smokers to quit smoking, which means the state would receive less revenue “for the children.” Currently, the state is looking into adding the same exorbitant taxes on “roll your own” cigarettes.

It’s apparent the act of lighting up and smoking, even outdoors now is strongly frowned upon while the revenue from their sale is looked for.

I don’t know of anybody that questions the harmful effects of tobacco use, but these bans are not directed at forcing smokers to quit. No, they are intended to protect non-smokers from the evils of “second-hand smoke” which much like global warming, the anti-smoking crowd declares the “debate is over,” regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

April 26, 2012

Just How Broken is Olympia?

by lewwaters

Anybody who has paid any attention at all to the news in Washington State knows that Olympia just isn’t working for quite some time. Doesn’t matter what party you are in or support, all we need do is pick just about any newspaper in the state to see how dysfunctional the Washington State legislature has gotten in the past decade or so.

Partisan pundits from either major party will always point fingers at the other, absolving themselves of any blame, which is a large part of the problem. We saw it just this last session and special sessions that were supposed to overcome a $1.5 Billion budget gap, but agenda driven legislators, with the full blessing of the governor, had more important matters to tend to.

We saw it late in the close of the regular session, which prompted 3 Democrats to cross the aisle and join forces with Republicans, drawing the ire of their party leaders, to take the floor and bring a bipartisan budget deal to the floor. House Democrats rejected the bipartisan budget bill and the mess continued.

One of those Democrats, Senator Jim Kastama from the 25th Legislative District recently made a speech at the Washington Research Council board meeting Tuesday, held at the Washington Athletic Club where he pulled back the curtain and let us know just how dysfunctional our legislature has gotten.

From the transcript of that speech, supplied by Eric Smith of the Washington State Wire, we see what went on in Olympia did not make it to the news services and how Democrat Party Leaders castigated Sen. Kastama, one going so far as to tell him “he had cooked his own goose when he cast his vote this year with Republicans” and another one informed him that “the only job he’d be likely to get was as a gas-station attendant” while his “session aide tearfully begged him to change his vote.”

April 26, 2012

Homosexual Mob Vandalizes Portland Church. Will Washington Be Next?

by lewwaters

If you read the Columbian, you probably missed the small blurb Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Vandals break windows at Portland church, since apparently a conscious effort was made to hide that those claiming responsibility for the vandalization are a self proclaimed homosexual activist group labeling themselves “Angry Queers.”

What they did not minimize was that homosexual group’s dislike the Mars Hill Church in Portland “for its views against homosexuality,” meaning they believe in biblical scripture and do not embrace the homosexual agenda.

KOIN 6 received an anonymous email claiming responsibility for the cowardly act of smashing century old stained glass windows at the church. They report,

“A gay-activist group, identified only as ‘angryqueers@’ in an anonymized email address, has claimed responsibility. In an email to KOIN, a reported member of the group said ‘Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman’.”

“The sender took issue with Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill’s head pastor, saying Driscoll has said women need to be subservient to their husbands and that gay people are a cancer. Members of this southeast Portland church deny these claims.”

The act has drawn the condemnation of several different religious and homosexual group representatives, reports the Portland Mercury.

April 25, 2012

The Cross Will Again Rise Above the Mojave Desert

by lewwaters

Back in 1934, a group of World War One Veterans traveled deep into the Mojave Desert and erected a simple Christian Cross in honor of the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice by their sides. Ever since, this simple cross erected on what was then open land has been maintained by volunteers against the onslaught of weather and vandals.

The original wooden cross fell to vandals and was rebuilt out of steel pipe by Riley Bembrey, a WW1 Medic who was part of the original group who first erected the Veterans Memorial and with a lot of help from friend, Henry Sandoz.

Just prior to his death, Bembrey asked Sandoz to take care of the simple cross in the middle of nowhere, which Sandoz agreed to.

It amounted to just a simple white cross 11 miles from the nearest major highway, sitting atop Sunrise Rock in the middle of a desolate area of the Mohave Desert. To see it, you would have travel miles out of your way to find it.

For nearly 70 years, this simple cross stood in the middle of the Mojave Desert, bothering or offending no one, but offering aging WW1 veterans a place of Solace to remember old friends who died in that war.

The age of Political Correctness and the rise of atheism in the country would change all of that after the land it sat on was declared a National Preserve by the Clinton Administration in 1994.

Within a few years, Frank Buono, once the deputy superintendent of the park, filed a lawsuit protesting the cross, wanting it removed and claiming the crosses presence in the middle of a desolate desert, “[is] really inconsistent with his beliefs and he thinks that the government is, in effect, misappropriating this sacred symbol and trying to give it just a secular meaning” through his ACLU lawyer, Peter Eliasberg.

Buono claims to also be a Veteran as well as a devout Catholic.

April 24, 2012

Hadian and Pidgeon Draw Near Capacity Crowd in Vancouver

by lewwaters

Candidate for Washington State Governor, Shahram Hadian and candidate for State Attorney General Stephen Pidgeon drew a near capacity crowd this evening in the Vancouver Old Spaghetti Factory out Mill Plain. Estimates place the crowd at over 70 people who each paid $25 to dine to an excellent Italian Dinner and hear both conservative candidates speak.

As is usual, the evening began with a call for blessing led by Mr. Pidgeon, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. I was honored to be requested to lead the room in the pledge, but let’s face it, leading a conservative group in the pledge is really easy, everyone knows it by heart. ;-)

After enjoying dinners of either Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Fettuccini or Lasagna, Hadian Campaign manager Judah Rancourt introduced Stephen Pidgeon to the tune Eye of the Tiger. Mr. Pidgeon gave a short 15 minute speech focusing on his message of “Defend Protect Restore.” He is also the author of Initiative 1192 that he calls the “Marriage is Between One Man and One Woman Act.”

Petitions are currently being circulated for signatures to allow Washington State citizens to vote whether or not we want homosexual marriage legal in our state and not just left up to agenda driven legislators in Olympia.

April 23, 2012

Democrat Monica Stonier to Make Third Try For Public Office

by lewwaters

As stated previously on this blog April 18, 2012, middle school teacher Monica Stonier is going to make yet another try to get into the state legislature.

Monica ran unsuccessfully for the 17th Legislative District won by Paul Harris in 2010. Harris defeated her by a 54% to 46% margin, almost 3,500 votes. In endorsing her for the general election, the Columbian explained why they did not endorse her in the primary as they, “were — and remain — worried about her close ties to the teachers union.”

When news came of 49th Legislative District Rep. Jim Jacks abandoning constituents last year, Monica quickly moved herself to the 49th in a brief bid to be appointed to replace him.

Since to run for State House for Representatives a candidate must physically reside within that particular district, Monica explained to the Columbian, “she is currently living in a rented house in the 49th but still owns a house in the 17th District, which is not yet on the market, and she has not yet registered to vote in the 49th.”

April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Vladimir Lenin, oops, Happy Earth Day

by lewwaters

Earth Day, first celebrated April 22, 1970, also the 100th anniversary of the Birth of the founder of the former Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin.

Lenin, as well as setting up an oppressive Marxist regime, also embraced radical environmentalism.

An article appearing today in WND informs us,

After implementing his tyrannical rule over Russia in the October Revolution, Lenin issued a Decree on Land within his first year as Communist Party chairman. The decree declared that all forests, waters and minerals were property of the state.

Lenin also issued the decree “On Hunting Seasons and the Right to Possess Hunting Weapons,” which banned hunting moose and wild goats and ended open seasons for a variety of other animals.

Another resolution adopted by the Soviet government titled “On the Protection of Nature, Gardens, and Parks” established zapovedniki, or human-free nature preserves.

Despite the poverty of the people under Soviet rule, Lenin decided that it better served the national interest to place the rich natural resources of the area beyond human reach.

No, I don’t advocate destroying our environment or to carelessly pollute the environment, but I also see the efforts of radical environmentalism just as harmful, if not even more so, that if we did.

What good is clean air to starving people, dying from hunger because they cannot grow food or hunt animals to eat?

Surely we can balance caring for our surroundings with caring for our families too.

April 20, 2012

What’s Cookin’, Obama?

by lewwaters

I have no intention of delving into this stuff about Obama eating dog when he was growing up, but this cartoon cracked me up and I thought I’d share it.

April 20, 2012

Rep. Moeller, “Constituents Make a Sham Out Of the Process”

by lewwaters

It’s no secret that Democrat Jim Moeller, Representative for the heavily Democrat 49th Legislative District in Washington State is pro taxes. We have even nicknamed him “Da Taxman” over this love of hanging more and more taxes on the backs of taxpayers, even though his district is in the 4th year in a row of double digit unemployment.

To combat this ‘tax happy’ attitude of Olympia Democrats, who have maintained a stranglehold on the state government for over a decade now, voters have repeatedly passed constitutional initiatives requiring the legislature to have a two thirds ‘Super Majority’ vote in order to stick more taxes on us.

Each has been discarded by the governor and legislature as soon as legally possible, giving the Democrat majority an easier time taxing us to death.

Enter Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1053 in 2010 once again requiring the legislature to achieve that two thirds majority to impose and raise taxes on us or put them to the voters for a majority vote. The initiative was passed by voters with a wide 64% margin statewide. Locally, including Moeller’s own district he says he represents, it passed by a 71.3 percent margin.

Completely ignoring that the “will of the people” is that the legislature require such a two thirds Super Majority vote for taxes, Special Interests and some Democrats, including Jim Moeller filed a lawsuit against the people’s voice claiming, “Changing the constitution and our right to vote by initiative, no matter what percentage it passed by, is unconstitutional.”

The right to Citizen Initiative is written into the Washington State Constitution, Article II Section 1.

The case was recently argued before King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller and is in his hands.

April 19, 2012

4th of July and Fireworks: Patriots, Fun Seekers and Pinheads

by lewwaters

The annual 4th of July celebration of our Independence from Britain will be here in just over 2 months. Along with that will come the fireworks set off by the city, along with the sales of private fireworks that will be set off all around the county. People of all sorts, fun seekers from all over Clark County and Portland, Patriots hoping to honor the birth of our nation and undoubtedly the pinheads who don’t have a lick of common sense in the use of simple fireworks will be hitting the various fireworks stands spending obscene amounts of money to purchase them.

The purchases also give the city and county a revenue boost from the sales.

Along with that will come the usual Letters to the Editor condemning private fireworks, complaining about the noise, lack of courtesy of the pinheads who don’t have the sense to use them, effects on Veterans, animals, children, the elderly, what have you, the complaints will flow just as they have for years.

The Vancouver City Council held a workshop on March 5, 2012 where the discussion centered on, “considering further restrictions on sales and use days, eliminating sales of aerial and other more dangerous fireworks, or a possible multiyear phase-out to a total ban,” moving the city closer to Portland, Oregon’s limitations to the use of only “safe and sane” fireworks, if not an outright ban.

City council members are receiving letters and emails urging bans on our use of fireworks, much like was posted in the Columbian’s All Politics is Local last year, as seen here and here.

Each article is met with those opposing further restrictions and bans in the comments underneath.

April 18, 2012

With Probst’s Announcement, the Campaigns Get More Interesting

by lewwaters

Now that we see 17th Legislative District Representative Tim Probst feeling he is ready to tackle and entrenched incumbent for a State Senate seat, his seat in the House will be an open seat that the Democrats surely will want to retain with another person. Should Tim lose the Senate race, which is likely, he will not be allowed to just return to his House seat.

The 17th now has a Republican Senator, Don Benton who has won the seat 4 times now and Paul Harris, also a Republican holding down position 2, running for a second term.

Republicans have Mike Appel and Julie Olson, both of whom announced their intent to run against Probst prior to his coming out on his bid against Benton.

Knowing that the Democrats will not want to lose the seat held now by Probst, it would be expected that they recruit a strong candidate to run in his place. All indications at this time is that is not what they have planned and are trying to recruit Monica Stonier, who lost to Republican Paul Harris in the 2010 elections by nearly 7 percentage points and who we last heard of, was trying to relocate her residence to qualify to try to be appointed to replace Democrat Jim Jacks, who abruptly abandoned constituents due to scandal in 2011 in the 49th Legislative District.

The Columbian endorsed her campaign in the 2010 General Election, but did not in the primary election that year citing they “were — and remain — worried about her close ties to the teachers union.” She still lost.

April 18, 2012

City of Vancouver Rejects Most Signatures On Anti-Light Rail Petition

by lewwaters

It comes a no surprise, in the ongoing melodrama from the city of Vancouver, Washington, that we now read Anti-light rail petitioners fall short of signatures, to include “Review costs city $31,000,” all in the effort to further denigrate citizens opposed to dragging Portland’s financially troubled light rail across the Columbia River into our community.

That a petition had to even be circulated in an effort to let taxpayers who will see generations into the future stuck paying for the bloated Columbia River Crossing Project is sad in itself. But, as we have seen explained on this blog and others like Clark County Politics, the powers that be, mostly under the direction of Vancouver’s Mayor Tim Leavitt, voters true input is not wanted, just our paychecks.

We read that some two-thirds of signatures on the petition were “invalid.” Further down in the article, we see that what makes them “invalid” is duplication or that some lived just outside the actual city limits.

Missed in this latest effort to deny taxpayers a voice in this boondoggle, is the taxpayer opposition to light rail, shown in how many people who felt they were within the city limits signed the petition.

Much is made of the claimed “$31,000 cost” to verify signatures, but I have to question the veracity of that being an actual cost. Since there were just over 9,000 signatures turned in, how does it cost nearly $3.50 per signature to verify? And, since it is City/County employees doing the verification, aren’t they on the clock doing what we already pay them for?

April 17, 2012

Democrat Tim Probst to Run Against Republican Don Benton in the 17th

by lewwaters

Looks like Democrats feel their years long bashing of Republican State Senator Don Benton, with the willing assistance of the Columbian, is ready for the pay off, with Democrat Representative Tim Probst announcing a run against Benton.

While there are no guarantees in politics, Benton has a strong record of holding his seat, which may come as a surprise to 49th district Rep. Jim Moeller who chimed in,

“Benton won by only 1% (I’m sure you will look it up and give us the official figure, Lew) last time against a complete unknown and untested candidate! Take the senate seat of the 17th back from the Republicans!”

I felt no need to give exact numbers to Jim in the Columbian comments, in part because I hate to see a grown man cry. But, his assessment of the results are a tad low. In four elections for the Senate and one for the House, Don Benton won with,

2008 Senate

Don Benton 29,426 51.08% 29,426
David Carrier 28,111 48.80% 28,111

Difference of 2.28% 1,315 votes

2004 Senate

Paul Waadevig 23,193 43.96%
Don Benton 29,563 56.04%

Difference of 12.08% 6,370 votes

2000 Senate

Lou Peterson 26028 46.9%
Don Benton 29436 53.1%

Difference of 6.2% 3,435 Votes

1996 Senate

Shirley A. Galloway 23,513 49.04%
Don Benton 24,430 50.96%

Difference of 1.92% 917 Votes

1994 House

Jim Davis 14,099 44.07%
Don Benton 17,893 55.93%

Difference of 11.86% 3,794 Votes

April 17, 2012

Pat Campbell Throws His Tattered Hat In The Ring For County Commission

by lewwaters

At first I thought I was reading a political spoof when I read the Columbian’s article, Former Vancouver councilor to run for county commission Pat Campbell to challenge Boldt, Madore, newcomer, but see that Pat, who didn’t even get passed the primaries in last years’ elections, lost his city council seat after one term.

I lost my smile when I read and saw he is serious, though.

Reading through the article, it is obvious that someone is terrified that conservative successful businessman, David Madore, a well educated opponent to the current CRC project is also running for the seat currently held by Marc Boldt, a strong supporter of the CRC as designed.

Boldt, who was elected as a Republican, has come under the scorn of Republicans throughout the county for his siding with Liberal Democrat commissioner, Steve Stuart so often, more often than he supports conservative Republican commissioner, Tom Mielke, covered by this blog here and here.

And now, Pat Campbell, also a strong supporter of the CRC, feels he should try to fill Boldt’s seat?

April 16, 2012

Come Out and Meet Shahram Hadian, Vancouver

by lewwaters

Although I haven’t mentioned him as much as I would like, Shahram Hadian, the lone conservative running for governor of Washington State will be in Vancouver for a fundraiser at the Old Spaghetti Factory out Mill Plain.

The WSRP may try to ignore him for Rob McKenna, but he forges ahead, spreading his message of Courageous Leadership. Come on out and meet Shahram and see if you agree, now more than any other time, we need Courageous and Principled Leadership in our state.

Click on image for full sized view

Please RSVP HERE or by emailing Clarkcounty4hadian@gmail.com

April 15, 2012

Vancouver Closes Slocum House Theater, While Calling for Creation of a Performing Arts Center (Updated)

by lewwaters

It was just this past March 16, 2012 that Vancouver, Washington Mayor, Tim Leavitt, stood before an audience in the recently restored Kiggin’s Theater and said, “Only because owner Bill Leigh pursued his dream to restore this landmark, are we today able to enjoy Mayor Kiggins vision for the performing arts” in his 2012 State of the City speech.

Also in that speech, the Mayor stated, “I pledged we would work toward redevelopment of the empty Block 10, here near the heart of downtown. In this economy, that has been difficult. But we know that reuse of this property could enhance downtown. So, I’ll soon be working with a group of stakeholders to re-energize the block. And, we will continue to explore new ideas, like a performing arts center.”

Towards the end of the speech, speaking of future possibilities for the city he listed “Establishment of an arts and entertainment district downtown, building even greater vibrancy in our historic heart.”

There is little doubt that “performing arts” is a vital core of Vancouver, especially in revitalizing the downtown district. And knowing how vital the “performing arts” are to downtown, how contradictory it is to see the city pressuring the existing and long standing “performing arts” Slocum House Theater Company out of the home they have had for decades, painstakingly moved to and restored at its decades long location by an all volunteer group of citizens in the southwest corner of Esther Short Park specifically to host the “performing arts.”

The public furor over the city’s plan to raise the Theaters rent, use fees by nearly 400% died down as the city “granted” the theater a 90 day extension on their lease early in January 2012.

Shortly after, the Theater Company issued a press release announcing the March 11, 2012 closing.

Even though the city claims ownership of the property, I am told that prior to 2002, “the only thing the city did was to paint the outside, fix a few plumbing problems and for some reason pay the water bill.”

April 15, 2012

There Is No Republican “War on Women,” But there is a “War on Republicans”

by lewwaters

“The Republican War on Women is real, and it’s extremely dangerous. House Republicans are pursuing the most comprehensive and radical assault on women’s health and reproductive freedom in our lifetime,” said DCCC Political Director, Kelly Ward in an April 13, 2012 email.

Democrat Representative for Massachusetts Barney Frank, in a March 31, 2012 email said, “Enough already. Once again, Republicans have voted to destroy Medicare while slashing taxes for Big Oil and Billionaires.”

Vitriolic Democrat strategist James Carville sent out an email blast March 30, 2012 stating, “What’d you do yesterday? Between breakfast and dinner, Republicans in Congress voted to give Big Oil more tax breaks, cut seniors off from their Medicare, and give millionaires even more tax cuts. It’s enough to give you heartburn.”

Former President, B.J. Clinton on March 30, 2012 claimed, “[Republicans would] rather divide America than lead it. Just look at what’s happening now — are we really supposed to believe that women’s rights are getting in the way of job creation?” Uh, yeah Bill, tell that to Monica.

Former Democrat Secretary of State and Ambassador to the U.N. Madeleine Albright claimed in an email dated March 27, 2012, “Here in America, Republicans have launched an all out attack on women’s rights. They’ve targeted women’s health care and are trying to roll back basic rights that most of us thought were won more than a generation ago.”

March 24, 2012 saw an email from Nevada’s Democrat Senator Harry Reid spewing, “Let me be blunt: The only reason Republicans haven’t passed their radical anti-woman, anti-worker agenda – the only reason we’re able to get anything done for the middle class – is that there are more of us than there are of them.”

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