Against all of the published odds and predictions, you won the election against incumbent County Commissioner Marc Boldt. You had a lot of support and faced the scorn of the Columbian that have ridiculed and demeaned you since you came out publicly against the CRC and light rail.
You invested a lot of your own money in the race, but had a grassroots following that the Columbian has yet to acknowledge, leading detractors who follow you around to frequently make the false claim of “you bought the seat.”
They are not your friends.
You and I served in the Military about the same time, me in the Army and you in the Navy aboard submarines. I don’t know too much what you all did on the subs when not pulling duty, but in the Army we often played cards, many of us learning a bit about the old game of poker.
While not an expert poker player, I’ve won a few and lost a few, the main thing I learned is to keep your cards close to your chest, not let on to others what is in your hand, not give them what they need to use against you, now or in the future.
Since assuming the seat as our County Commissioner, you have made waves, just as we wanted you to do. You have not disappointed us and it is refreshing to see an honest, sincere person representing us and doing everything they can to keep campaign promises.
But you have to realize that drives your detractors into a frenzy. Mike Briggs, Greg Owens and several others seek out any article, any comment made by you just to oppose, demean and degrade you and your efforts, especially in regards to the CRC and Portland’s light rail.
You’re a good and decent person and I like you, both personally and as a County Commissioner. So it is in that sense of friendship that I ask you to please, SHUT-UP!
You’re an elected official now, not just a private businessman and your opposition to the CRC and the good old boy network way things has been being done draws detractors like flies. And they will take any opportunity, any chance to take your words, twist them, and lift them out of context, all to oppose your doing the very things we elected you to do.
I understand that you’re new in politics and still learning about public service. But you also must realize there are those people who want to block the reforms we elected you to do. And many of them work down at the Columbian.
Case in point, Lou Brancaccio and the interview you had with him just today where he asked you about your opposition to Tim Leavitt’s reelection bid and backing an opponent. You answered him and went on to include past mistakes, not properly vetting candidates that you supported and how you will do it differently this time, but that you would fund and help opponents against him.
It’s none of their damned business what you plan to do with Leavitt’s reelection efforts. More importantly, going back to poker, why reveal to your opponents’ weeks in advance what you have in store?
You give them ammunition to use to oppose your efforts as a County Commissioner as well as to oppose the candidate you choose to support.
The Columbian does not need to know who you will support or oppose or even if you will back any opponent.
Secondly, they twisted what you said back in January about partial property tax payments, causing a ruffle between you and the county treasurer. Malicious intent or not, they worked you two against each other and you need to have a working relationship and mutual trust with other elected officials.
You even acknowledged their efforts on your facebook page as “disgraceful gossip being fabricated by the Columbian.” You were right in my estimation. But you keep going back for more.
Look how they covered your hiring of Anna Miller as a Personal Assistant. You should have discussed it first instead of giving the Columbian more ammo to paint you as a freelance rogue Commissioner following your own rules instead of County rules.
After discussing it openly with the Board of Commissioners she’s back, as you desired, but the Columbian used it to hammer you first.
Again, they used the Jon Russell email to Battle Ground City Council members to paint you as trying to strong-arm them into replacing C-TRAN Board Member Bill Ganley to ‘stack’ the board your way.
Shortly after taking office they ran your claim of “it’s possible to cut $400,000 from parks department” but left you looking foolish when they included, “he doesn’t have details of how the money will be saved, deferring to county staffers.”
As an elected official now, you must have your ducks in a row and have some details when you make such a public announcement. Detractors just use it as a means to paint you as unqualified when we know that you are well qualified.
The importance of this is for you to realize, you have no friends at the Columbian. They are in the tank for CRC and light rail and have no problem building an archive to use against you and anyone you support.
They have no problem using anything you do or say to oppose your efforts as a County Commissioner. They have and they will continue, especially when you give them all of the ammunition they need.
As I said, you’re a good and decent man with remarkable abilities. You have great intentions and in my estimation, the proper goals for our County and the taxpayers. You stand to do good things for Clark County, which is why we elected you.
But the Columbian will try to block and oppose you every chance they have.
Together, we all can turn the County around and stop the bleeding of taxpayers. But we cannot be on the defensive all of the time.
Please, stop being so open on so many things that are not County business with the Columbian. Think about what you’re getting ready to say and make sure you have some details to back you up.
Who you may oppose or support in an upcoming election is none of their business.
Hold your cards close to your chest and if it does no concern County Business or policy, don’t tip your hand.
In the spirit of friendship and improving our County, your friend, Lew.