If there is anything Liberal Democrats love it is to play victim, accusing anybody in disagreement with them of “out to get them” and filled with “ill intent.” Monica Stonier, recently elected to her first term as the 17th Legislative District Representative, after three tries, one entailing her quickly moving into the 49th to seek appointment, was given the opportunity to play victim recently and quickly grabbed it.
It was reported by several people in Olympia last week that Monica was absent for the vote on an important amendment calling upon the House to abide by voters wishes to require a 2/3 majority vote in order to increase taxes. This was in response to a statewide citizen initiative, I-1185 that passed statewide by nearly a 64% margin, 67% in her district.
The House amendment failed along party lines.
After posting on her not being present for the vote, according to several witnesses who said they saw her in the rotunda not long after session began, a photo of what was claimed to be her car was circulated with a time stamp showing it present during session.
As it turned out, the car was not hers and the photo was of a different car in a parking spot with the same number she is assigned, but in the wrong parking lot in Olympia. The photo was withdrawn with acknowledgement that it was not her car, but with the allegation of “ducking” the vote intact since she was seen there, but not at her desk.
Word came back later that she was claiming to be excused due to being “ill with the flu.”
The Columbian, who made no mention of the absence, did mention the mistaken photo in a post on their Political Beat blog, Rumor about Clark County legislator fueled by mistaken photo.
As mistaken as the photo was, so is the post at the Columbian as the photo came later and was in support of those who said they saw her there but not at her desk. It was not the basis of the allegation of ducking.
In a letter to a constituent who contacted her, Monica claimed,
“I have also been frustrated when I felt my elected officials were not doing what they were elected to do. Unfortunately, this is a case where inaccurate information has been circulated with ill intent. I was excused on Friday for illness due to flu, along with four other members from both sides of the aisle. Friday’s vote was a procedural vote with an outcome both sides knew days before it came to the floor. My car was not on campus all day. I assume you saw a photo of a car that is not mine, not my parking spot, not even my lot. Some who were circulating the lies have since removed the photos and comments from their circulation.”
Sorry Monica, but it was not “a lie,” the photo was mistaken in that it wasn’t your car. But that does not change those who saw you in the Rotunda shortly after session began.
Along with playing the victim card, Monica did let it out that she campaigned in opposition to I-1185 and along with her claim of the flu, told the Columbian
“I likely would have voted to reject this attempt to rig the system and get around the constitution. The outcome was known days before it even came to the floor.”
As stated above, 67% of the voters in her district approved of I-1185, the 5th time now voters have sent the legislature the message that we want the 2/3 majority for increasing taxes. The effort has been to amend the constitution as and comply with the expressed votes of the people over the past 20 years. If anybody is attempting to “get around the constitution,” it is her and her party who has bypassed, nullified and ignored those calls even to the point of joining with teachers unions in a lawsuit to invalidate the people’s vote in the 4th effort passed in the 2011 election (she is not part of the lawsuit).
I also see it as their effort to circumvent the constitutions expressed right to citizen initiative at Article II Section 1, The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state of Washington, but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature. (emphasis added)
On a similar vein, we saw last evening notice of 9 legislators including Monica Stonier sending a letter to the Coast Guard recommending they deny any permits for the Columbia River Crossing desired 116 foot clearance, covered here.
Our elation that Monica was showing some common sense and independence from her party was soon dashed as she quickly came out this morning with she was never a part of the letter. As she told the Columbian,
“she was asked to sign the letter last week but refused because she did not agree with the letter’s tone, particularly its assertion that building a 116-foot bridge would be detrimental to the economy.”
Given that bridges upriver from the Interstate 5 crossing are at least 140 feet, how is it she misses that a lower river traffic clearance here is a detriment to the economy by blocking future growth of businesses in need of the higher average clearance of the other bridges?
She also said,
“It just did not reflect how I felt about the project,” adding she “wants to protect the tax dollars that have already gone into designing the bridge, and redesigning the bridge to make it taller would be a waste of that money.”
So far, over $160 Million has been wasted on the CRC project and they cannot even arrive at a bridge design with adequate clearance to gain the needed Coast Guard approval to build the bridge, due to inadequate river clearance.
But isn’t it strange that protecting tax dollars going to special interest is more important to her than representing constituents?
The waste of money is forcing this inadequate bridge design on us because Portland, Oregon wants to force their financially beleaguered light rail a short distance into our community against our wishes. Metro is currently $1.6 Billion in the red over unfunded liabilities that will join in being responsible for. Instead of our money being spent more within our own community, we will be forced to send more to Oregon to cover their ill thought out folly and harm our own economy.
She did say she will work on ways to mitigate the impacts on businesses that would be negatively affected by the 116-foot clearance.
Democrats love using that word, mitigate that means, “to make less severe or painful.”
Ideas that have been floated so far include relocating businesses down river from where they currently are located, lifting shipments out of the water and trucking them around the bridge, including a lift span on the new bridge, which is one of the main selling points proponents have used to justify replacing the bridges, to eliminate the need of a lift span at all.
All so that Portland, Oregon can force us into accepting their light rail that would be unable to traverse bridge with sufficient river clearance for current river traffic.
She is wrong that coming up with proper design is a “waste of money.” The waste is continuing down this path with full knowledge that constituents oppose it as planned and if not changed, the negative impact on our community will last at least the next 80 years, with Portland draining our economy and the ability of job creating businesses restricted.
Clark County does not have the population to support light rail. The current proposal will only reach maybe one mile into the county and would benefit Portland, both in our taxes paying for Oregon projects and sending our citizens somewhere besides our community to shop, seek entertainment and work.
In return, we will be stuck helping Portland pay down their massive debt and any future debt uncured as they continue to expand their empire against the will of the people.
And Monica Stonier supports that over her constituents clearly expressed wishes.
That is not representation, it is dictating and is what we commonly see wherever Democrats hold a majority, looking out for unions, special interests and wealthy Fatcats pushing to force us out of our freedoms and into their modes of travel and housing.
That is where Monica Stonier now stands.