Bad idea in my opinion.
County Commissioner Tom Mielke said it best before when he said the positions should be Partisan with, “it gives voters an idea regarding governing philosophy.”
I know it is becoming commonplace to claim “non-partisan” with our Top Two Primary system, but let’s face it, anybody elected brings with them a “Partisan” viewpoint. From City Council members to Freeholders, whoever holds the seat will govern from a “Partisan” viewpoint.
We also know that Democrats now favor Home Rule due solely to the election of Commissioner David Madore and the reelection of Commissioner Tom Mielke, giving the County Commission a true Conservative Republican majority.
Acting within their authority, Mielke and Madore recently hired Sen. Don Benton, a much hated Clark County Republican to be the director of environmental services for Clark County, setting off a firestorm of vitriol, verbal assaults and calls for a recall from County Democrats as well as the Lazy C, who also has opposed any move towards Home Rules every time it was brought up in the past.
A quick look at the Clark County Democrats web page shows them promoting a newly set up web site, Clark County First where we see an obvious website set up by Democrats solely for the purpose of undermining the County Commission by listing “Three Avenues” available to them, Recall, From 3-to-5 Commissioners and Home Rule Charter.
Of the last two listed, within their recommendation for adding Commissioners appears,
“This solution, provided the added Commissioners weren’t Madore toadies, keeps government structure intact; causes the fewest changes, and has the potential to solve the current power abuse problems.”
And under Home Rule Charter we read,
“To satisfy the concerns for open and honest governement, the elected freeholders must not be Madore minions.”
Let me inject here that Mr. Madore was elected by a wide majority of votes in 2012, defeating the incumbent Commissioner, Marc Boldt by nearly 14,000 0r 10%. The County voters voiced their desire for a more conservative County Commission and now, Democrats seek a way to undo that.
In the May 2011 Newsletter, the Clark County Democrats wrote, “Proposed changes in county charter could be awful” and now it is they advocating just those “awful changes.”
Of course, they didn’t think they would lose the majority on the County Commission then, either.
A Saturday, May 28, 2011 Lazy C Cheers & Jeers column saw, “Cheers: To county commissioners for putting an end to the home rule charter process this year.”
March 19, 2013 saw a Lazy C editorial, In Our View: Solutions … No Problems where they say,
“When a wild goose chase clearly defines itself before it even begins, responsible travelers will decline to embark on the journey. Such is the case before Clark County commissioners as they ponder another expedition into the well-known futility of changing county government to a home rule charter.”
June 6, 2013 saw a complete change of heart, after the County Commission acted within its authority to hire Benton as they ran the editorial, In Our View: Listening to the People and claiming,
“Public apathy in home rule charter has been replaced by robust interest.”
They just forget to make mention of their in excess of 30 articles, columns, editorial and blog posts slamming the action of the County Commissioners, basically labeling them just about everything except human beings.
The Lazy C also slyly claims,
“Also, as we’ve acknowledged in previous editorials, some county positions (auditor, assessor, clerk and sheriff) should in no way be tied to political affiliation. Virtually every candidate for those positions whom we’ve interviewed over the years has been reluctant to discuss pure politics and for good reason. None of those tasks should be tied to whether the official is a member of the Republican, Democratic or any other political party.”
Understandable since it is largely known that the Lazy C is little more than the mouthpiece for the Democrat Party, joining in covering up scandals like the Jim Jacks abrupt resignation.
But, while the words sound fair and reasonable, they are not realistic. As we see on the “non-partisan” Vancouver City Council, a majority of five most often vote together in a very partisan manner, Jack Burkman, Jeanne Harris, Bart Hansen, Larry Smith and the Mayor, Tim ‘the Liar’ Leavitt.
The other two, Republican Bill Turlay and Libertarian Jeanne E. Stewart support each other at times, but also view matters before the City Council more in line with citizen’s desire, especially where the Columbia River Crossing light rail project is concerned.
As I said above, every “Non-Partisan” seat is occupied by a person with “Partisan” views.
And I feel very strongly that the Clark County Democrats, still stinging from the decisive defeat in the November 2012 County Commissioner elections, wants nothing more than to undo the voters desire to get their leftwing agenda back on track.
And seeing that the county voters seek a more conservative County Commission, how better to accomplish their goal than to front a majority of Democrats under the guise of “Non-Partisan?”
They give this indication by an article in their June 2013 Newsletter, “Panel to weigh candidates in nonpartisan contests” as well as their March 2013 Newsletter article, “Should our party invade nonpartisan areas?”
They also admit in the March Newsletter,
“Very few candidates or elected officials have been nonpartisan in fact, never mind what a handful of them may claim.”
In another document recently passed by the Clark County Democrats, their Candidate Endorsement Rules we read,
“To be eligible for the endorsement of the CCDCC, a nonpartisan candidate must identify themselves as a Democrat on their questionnaire and/or agree to accept the Democratic Values.”
And now, we see them pouring in before the County Commission advocating for such a “non-partisan” position be set for county freeholders?
Commissioner Mielke says he now advocates a “Non-Partisan” position due to the cost involved, which is admirable.”
But I hope he reconsiders as the cost to Clark County taxpayers, should the Democrats once again succeed in undermining voters and pushing their leftwing agenda back on track could be far more expensive.