It is well known that the three most hated people in Clark County by those desiring to saddle the struggling middle class with more a burden to fund and construct an extension of Portland, Oregon’s financially troubled light rail is Sen. Don Benton (R 17th) and County Commissioners Tom Mielke and David Madore.
While no doubt Sen. Benton remains the single most hated person, likely in the entire state by the powers that be and the local paper of record, the Lazy C, Commissioner Madore is proving to be a close second with them.
Their hate of Commissioner Mielke seems to be on hold for the moment as it appears they may be trying to use him as a wedge, but their hate is there none the less.
Since Sen. Benton was hired by Commissioner’s Mielke & Madore, we have seen a full court press and an unprecedented amount of negative coverage of Benton and Madore both within the pages of the Lazy C as well as a lynch mob hysteria whipped up by elements from within the Clark County Democrat Party to recall them, if possible and in lieu of that, considering the high mark to qualify for a recall in our state, to form freeholders in an effort to change the County Charter in hopes of nullifying the election and return a Democrat lean to the County Commission.
Even given the known hatred and efforts of those supportive of the CRC light rail project, I must admit that I was taken aback at the latest effort of Tonya Rulli, Former Senior Deputy Prosecutor, staunch supporter of the LRT and who has shown a propensity in the past to cry wolf and stretch specious claims to great lengths in support of LRT.
While it is assumed she is an accomplished attorney, given her length of time serving in the County Prosecutors’ office, her stretch to file an ethics complaint against Commissioner Madore seems more like the effort of a Middle School girl seeking vengeance against a classmate.
Like many of us, she reads Commissioner Madore’s facebook page on occasion and apparently, ignoring that even elected officials still retain basic constitutional rights, took umbrage at his expressing his personal opinion of a C-Tran related matter, filing an ethics complaint because of it, alleging Commissioner Madore “has violated two aspects of the Code of Ethics.”
At issue for Ms. Rulli was Commissioner Madore’s words back in June,
“Be encouraged. We have plenty of power. The CRC Light Rail Tolling boondoggle is gasping its last breath as our community has rallied to take back our local government…C-Tran lost sight of their core mission years ago. In 2009, they adopted Light Rail, BRT, trolley, streetcar, traffic congestion management, lower carbon emissions, and denser land use as their vision for the future. Since that time, they have become the biggest source of diesel exhaust pollution in the county while moving fewer riders, contributing to congestion and sending costs skyward. New local leadership can restore their core mission which is to provide practical transportation for those that cannot provide their own.”
Rulli asserted those words violated two of the C-Tran Board Code of ethics, “uphold C-TRAN’s mission statement,” and to “treat others with dignity.”
Rulli, acting much like a middle schooler still, even quoted from the dictionary as to the definition of the word ‘dignity,’ further claiming “Madore publicly questioned the presence of a conflict of interest for Vancouver Mayor and C-TRAN Board Member Tim Leavitt (Leavitt) on CRC-related agenda action items.”
That appearance of a Conflict of Interest is further addressed at Mayor Leavitt: Conflicts of Interest or Incredible Coincidence?
That Rulli, an attorney, fails to see the appearance of any conflict of interests on Mayor Leavitt’s part as he votes to approve projects and financial matters between C-Tran and Portland’s TriMet that may directly benefit his employer is astonishing to me.
The real question isn’t whether or not Commissioner Madore may have “With clear motivation publicly impugned Leavitt’s integrity,” in an “undignified, disrespectful, and clearly pre-meditated action,” but why isn’t the Lazy C and others pointing out the obvious to Leavitt and the C-Tran Board?
Commissioner Madore is widely known as a critic of the CRC light rail extension and is a undoubtedly a major reason he defeated incumbent Commissioner Marc Boldt last year by a 9% margin, some 14,000 votes ahead of him.
Rulli is strongly supportive of the boondoggle project and was part of an advisory group that considered funding options for light rail maintenance and operations. She was supportive of Mayor Leavitt’s efforts to “cut open mic at city council meetings” claiming during her public comment she “heard snickers, grunts and other comments, and was stared down by” a private citizen opposed to the project.
Rumors floating about town of a more personal relationship between her and the Mayor were never confirmed nor denied.
But, as can be seen, her history is that more of an activist than an attorney with such middle school antics.
I can only imagine her disappointment to receive word back from C-Tran’s Legal Counsel, Thomas H. Wolfendale that her latest claim is also “not sustainable under the Code.”
In the document received from an informed source, Mr. Wolfendale states,
“each board member is entitled to voice support or opposition to agency actions as the member believes reflects the interest of his/her constituency and the interests of the agency.”
He further states,
“The alleged Director Madore Facebook page statements offer the board member’s view of how the agency mission statement is to be applied to bus operations and the board member’s view of whether the agency acted lawfully with regard to a contract authorization. Whether others agree with Director Madore on either or both issues, the member’s quoted statements are fair comment on the current state of the Board, the goals of the Board, and the actions of the Board.”
“As a general legal principle, an elected public official has a right to express his/her views publicly, including a right to criticize actions or views of the Board and/or individual members. Controlling legal authority in the State of Washington emphasizes that disagreement is crucial to the political process and is an expected part of electoral politics. A board member has the right to espouse his/her views, even through discordant speech.”
Yes Ms. Rulli, even Commissioner Madore enjoys the same first amendment rights that you do to freely express himself, even publicly.
Not to be outdone in the Commissioner Madore hate fest, the Lacy C’s Erik Hidle calls attention to Madore’s posting a Letter to the Editor appearing in a recent issue of the Reflector in support of him and castigating fellow Commissioner Steve Stuart, now the lone Democrat on the County Commission in his post, This is why we can’t have nice things.
Really Erik? You can’t “can’t have nice things” because citizens call out Commissioner Stuart for his ill-behavior?
The letter alleges “the disdain coming from the minority, progressive, establishment person is disheartening and grievous. The usual reaction from the socialist/libertarian, [Commissioner] Steve Stuart, is contrariness. He continually uses verbal intimidation and shows disrespect for the person and position of Commissioner David Madore.”
Commissioner Stuart also sits on the C-Tran Board aside Commissioner Madore and Commissioner Mielke.
Isn’t it strange that a staunch harbinger of ethical behavior as is former Clark County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Tanya Rulli is apparently unable to see ill-behavior in a fellow supporter of the CRC light rail boondoggle and can only imagine it on the part of an opponent.
Really Ms. Rulli, if the project you wish to see completed cannot stand on its own merit, the antics of an immature middle school girl will not make it more palatable to voters and taxpayers.