Now that the dust has settled from our first ever top two primary, we can take closer looks at those we will be electing to represent us in Olympia. One race that merits attention is who will replace Republican Jim Dunn for Representative of the 17th Legislative District.
As we all know, Dunn fell from grace with the Republican Party and lost the primary to challenger, Joseph James. James will be facing off against Democrat, Tim Probst.
Looking over their campaign websites, both seem qualified, both seem to be family oriented men and both seem to care about our community. But, one will be elected to represent the 17th L.D., so voters must make that difficult choice.
Both men have received numerous endorsements from members of their respective parties. Probst has received the endorsement of labor unions locally, as Democrats most often do.
James has received the endorsements of the Human Life Political Action Committee and the Faith and Freedom Political Action Committee, as Republicans most often do.
Both have an impressive array of endorsements from citizens and businessmen, it seems right along party lines. Ultimately, though, only one will be selected and sent to Olympia.
Recently the Columbian made hey out of a slip on James part. Staff writer, Kathie Durbin made a point to ask us, “Is Republican legislative candidate Joseph James math-challenged?” James’ campaign sent out a flyer claiming, “over 90 percent of transportation funds go toward mass transit,” whereas “only 3 percent of us use mass transit.”
Since there is a question of the accuracy of the numbers, Ms. Durbin turns to Dena Horton, the Chair of the Clark County Democrat Party. Ms. Horton, in a purely partisan moment, asks, “How can Joseph James claim to be working for our trust when we can’t even trust him to do his homework on an issue as important as transportation?”
The Columbian isn’t known for fairness when it comes to dealing conservative Republicans, so I was pleasantly surprised to read a letter to the editor on August 27th from Doug Simpson, the consultant who supplied the information to James. Simpson said,
Point tripped up by typo
In the July 17 editorial, “Campaign alert,” it was stated that candidate Joseph James’ consultant “conceded the 90 percent figure came out of thin air and that he didn’t know how much of the state’s transportation dollar goes for mass transit as opposed to highways, ferries, etc.”
Allow me to set the record straight. I am that consultant, and I did not say or imply that, and I feel that reporter Kathie Durbin’s agenda in the July 15 story, “Candidate’s claims called ‘inaccurate’,” was less than unbiased or professional.
News organizations know it’s impossible to avoid every typo, even after proofing. As James’ consultant, I let him down because of my own typo. My apology goes to him and to the public. It is disheartening for any candidate when errors are knowingly used against them for political gain.
The point was that a disproportionate share of transportation dollars goes to transit, which moves an extremely small share of daily trips.
I can personally attest that C-Trans buses that run along my home and stop at the Bus Stop some 20 feet from my kitchen window are rarely filled with more than 4 or 5 riders. Traveling around Clark County I rarely see a C-Trans Bus even half-full. Yet, after voters rejected a taxpayer subsidy to retain many of these routes, C-Trans pulled a switcheroo in 2005 with a special election, restricting votes from the whole County to those areas they considered “would benefit from bus service” the most. After an aggressive campaign, the measure passed and we now pay more sales tax to keep near empty buses running.
Looking backwards on this, Joseph James claim, even with a typo on numbers, was correct. Even if there was a typo on numbers.
Tim Probst, meanwhile, on his website, takes the safe path speaking vaguely on transportation and crediting one Democrat politician with providing for Clark County’s transportation needs, adding, “We can’t afford to allow one of our state representatives to ignore our transportation problems.”
Just who those that would ignore our transportation problems are remains unnamed.
As I indicated in an earlier article, Republican Senator Don Benton spoke out against a desired transportation project that would drain Clark County of tax money while providing little relief. Joseph James agrees with Senator Benton completely.
Democrats, almost down the line, advocate that very project, Light Rail, that would cost Billions of tax dollars, give us tolls for many years and not supply one extra lane of traffic across the Columbia River.
Probst states no specific position on the matter.
It leaves me wondering if Probst agrees with Vancouver’s Mayor Royce Pollard and Portland’s Mayor Sam Adams in their desire to “force us out of our cars?”
Probst deserves high marks for his help in encouraging passage of a resolution calling on the governor and legislature to enact “clean elections” legislation. We do need less mudslinging in our elective process. But, does Probst actually follow those “clean election” calls of his?
Probst has prominently displayed on his website the Columbian article mentioned above, with no mention of the clarification provided by the consultant.
He also links to some soft hit pieces from around the state by our Liberally biased media accusing Republican Joseph James of “stretching the truth.” This time over accusations of “inflating campaign contributions to make the candidate appear more legitimate” and for taking “liberties with the truth” because when explaining his opposition to tax increases, he refers to one as “Christine Gregoire’s Income Tax.”
We are led to believe that Governor Gregoire does not advocate a State Income Tax, which is in reality the true “taking liberties with the truth.”
Democrats desire to impose an Income Tax in Washington State is well known, statewide. The subject has continually come up for decades. As for Governor Gregoire, her words from an interview with the Spokesman-Review out of Spokane, are,
“We don’t have an electorate out there that will support it right now. Clearly, when I go across the state, the support’s not there. So much of it is, how are we going to educate them to the regressive tax system that we have in this state and how we need to have some sort of conversion over to a partial income tax. … So now’s not the time….”
“But it’s not as if it’s not a good idea. It’s not as if it’s not one that we shouldn’t pursue. It’s one that we just have to keep holding hearings and let time pass and eventually I assume we’re going to get there.”
Following some of linked articles prominently displayed on Probst’s site, we find Governor Gregoire’s Help Fight The Attacks site where we are told,
“Governor Chris Gregoire’s position is clear – she opposes a state income tax. Just look at the record:
Yakima Herald-Republic, 08/14/2008: “State income tax? Rossi’s attempt to tar Gregoire is spurious“
Online Town Hall Meeting, 04/08/2008: “You know there has been some comments made by my opponent on this, and I guess he’s forgotten four years ago. Four years ago, I was involved in a hotly contested primary. My opponent was for an income tax, and I made it clear I did not support it. I haven’t changed my mind…”
Seattle Weekly, 05/05/2004: “Gregoire is flatly opposed to a state income tax.”
Spokesman Review, 07/18/2004: “Democratic rival Christine Gregoire is against an income tax…”
Yet, the same Spokane Spokesman Review in an April 25, 2007 article says,
“The chief reason for the regressivity of the tax code is that Washington is one of eight states without an income tax. It’s a tough sell, say leaders, including Gov. Chris Gregoire and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, who support the idea of adopting such a tax. They add that it’s just not the right time to push for it, because the public hasn’t sufficiently been educated on the merits.”
Is this the Democrats idea of those “Clean Elections” Probst brags about advocating? Or, is it just a catch phrase on how candidates may obtain donations for their campaigns?
Looking at the “Latest News” portion of his website reveals 3 of the 5 news articles shown are not about his abilities, but are against Joseph James. Isn’t that the same old tired campaign tactic we have grown tired of? Does he not have merits of his own to display instead of trying to tear down his opponent?
On the other hand, looking over Joseph James’ site, I find no negative mention of Probst.
James speaks specifically and admits errors on his part. Probst, described as a Democratic Party Activist, speaks in vague generalities, leaving out specifics about his ideas and plans, a common thread I find in Democrat Party candidates. We only discover their true intent once elected, when it is too late to properly vet them and our taxes have increased.
If you are as tired of the same old political spin we continue to get from Democrats, while being told they are for us and our taxes continue to increase, never solving the problems they claim they need increased taxes for and ending up with yet more tax increases down the road, then it is time for a shake-up in Olympia.
It’s time to elect Joseph James and Republicans and end this ever so slow yet ongoing slide towards Socialism.
Clark County needs Representatives like Joseph James in Olympia occupying the 17th Legislative District, position 1 seat.