Posts tagged ‘Christine Gregoire’

June 24, 2013

Updated: Lazy C Scrapes Bottom in Benton Bash

by lewwaters

Columbian FishwrapThat the Lazy C has a hate fest with State Senator Don Benton (R 17th) is well known in Southwest Washington and as much as it pains me to say, he didn’t help the cause with his public spat with fellow State Senator Ann Rivers (R. 18th) and filing a complaint against her.

Don has received little if any support over it and they did very publicly ‘bury the hatchet’ this past Saturday.

While I have no doubt feathers are still ruffled somewhat, I know of these people are professionals and understand they must work together in the Senate to reach a consensus on improving the lot of our state.

But apparently that isn’t good enough for the Benton haters down at the Lazy C who begrudgingly buried mention of the reconciliation in the online blog and not the front page as they did the spat. Nor are they willing to let it go as they continue to seek more ways to bash Senator Benton.

October 11, 2012

Massive Tax Avoidance For Wealthy Political Donors Alleged In Washington State

by lewwaters

With the State of Washington suffering some of the worst budgeting and revenue troubles since the Great Depression, it is unconscionable reading that some well-connected wealthy donors to political campaigns may have avoided paying Millions in dollars of taxes, while the legislature continues scheming o take more taxes and fees from the still struggling middle class.

But that is what is happening in our state alleges a 29-year employee of the Department of Revenue.

First broke by the Washington State Wire, Dennis Redmon, who has been employed in the DOR for 29 years, is alleging in a Whistleblower complaint to the State Auditor, “as much as $35 million in taxes have been excused for taxpayers with [political] pull…”

Claiming what has become “routine occurrence,” the complaint states a well connected political contributor known for “large political contributions to the Governor and Democrat among others” avoided paying over $2,000,000 in use tax & penalties on a jet aircraft dating back to 2007. Privacy issues prevent the contributor’s name from being made public, but it is further alleged that when the Tax Assessment was prepared in January 2011, the Compliance Management Team placed a ‘hold’ on the assessment citing “political considerations.”

September 20, 2012

Low Carbon Fuel Standard Will Devastate Washington State’s Economy

by lewwaters

Guest post re-posted with author’s permission

In 2011, American drivers paid an all-time record high average price of $2.53 per gallon for gasoline. In 2012, we have seen average high records broken with a disturbing regularity – including a new record high for Labor Day last month. Economists across the country have discussed at length the impact that high transportation costs have on the economy in terms of reduced household purchasing power and increased prices for goods delivered by truck (i.e., everything that anyone buys at any store), which makes recent efforts by the University of California-Davis and the Obama Administration to develop a Low Carbon Fuel Standard program which will double gasoline and diesel prices particularly disturbing.

The National LCFS Initiative, which is headed by UC-Davis and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab, is dedicated to developing a cap and trade program for transportation fuels called a Low Carbon Fuel Standard that restrict use of traditional fuels like gasoline and diesel in the hopes of spurring development of “low carbon fuels” such as cellulosic ethanol, and increased use of electric and natural gas vehicles – a policy that is fundamentally ineffective and will be devastating to local economies.

April 11, 2012

Weary-Eyed Legislators FINALLY Pass a Budget

by lewwaters

After what seems like almost an eternity, Washington State Legislators finally wrapped up another special session to write a budget that should have been accomplished during regular session this term.

The ongoing battle and ignoring a $1.5 Billion budget gap in order to ram homosexual marriage down the throats of taxpayers ended early Wednesday morning and exhausted legislators, held in the legislature overnight by Governor Gregoire announced, “It’s balanced, it doesn’t cut education, we have an agreement, and it’s a quarter to five” by House Ways and Means Chairman Ross Hunter, D-Medina.

Erik Smith of Washington State Wire reports,

“The 64-34 vote on that measure was one of the final moves in a 40-hour legislative endgame that settled all the loose ends of the 2012 Legislature. Just after 6 a.m., the same bill cleared the Senate 44-2.”

Before going to bed last evening, I left a comment on a Columbian article announcing yet another special session due to the legislature not finalizing a budget still of, “Still fighting the only true bipartisan budget proposed?” My comment relates back to the bipartisan “Ninth Order” maneuver we saw in the closing hours of the regular session earlier in March.

Rep. Jim Moeller D. Vancouver who labeled the maneuver “the worst abuse of power” he had ever seen, replied in the wee hours of this morning,

“The budget is not the issue. The tough decisions are always made on the last day, at the last minute. It’s how the system is set up and that will not change. If we had a king, we would not have to work out our differences like we do now. The decisions would be made for us. I like this way much better. I’ll bet just about everyone else does too.”

Moeller, it must be remembered, was one legislator identified as accepting per diem during the special session while essentially doing little or nothing!

March 11, 2012

Washington State, We Do Have A Choice For Governor: Shahram Hadian

by lewwaters

Tired of the status quo and the same old, same old every election? Fed up yet with the major political parties choosing who we may vote for? Don’t be fooled that our only choice for governor this election is Democrat Jay Inslee or Republican Rob McKenna.

Excerpts from a much longer talk given by Conservative Republican candidate for Governor of Washington, Shahram Hadian. He spoke before the We the People meeting in Clark County, November 11, 2011.

I first posted about Shahram Hadian last October, prior to actually meeting him. I have since met him twice and like who and what I see in this candidate.

As we saw just this weekend, Democrat Jay Inslee has resigned his elected position as Representative for the 1st district, leaving some 675,000 constituents who elected him to be their voice in Washington D.C. without a voice, any advocacy or representation, all so he can pursue his own personal and political gain.

Republican Rob McKenna remains in his office as attorney general, but in spite of impressions from the Washington State Republican Party, doesn’t inspire a lot of conservatives with his moderate views.

March 2, 2012

Republican Coup Advances Common Sense Budget in Washington State Senate

by lewwaters

Maybe, just maybe there is a ray of hope for a little fiscal sanity in Olympia, Washington this evening. Led by Senator Don Benton (R 17th), a rare procedural move was put forth with the help of three Democrat Senators, Tim Sheldon of Potlach, Rodney Tom of Medina and Jim Kastama of Puyallup that let the minority Republicans seize the floor, allowing any bill to be pulled to the floor, even those that haven’t had a public hearing.

Several bills the Democrats wanted passed immediately were cast aside as Republicans brought their budget plan to the floor, which is now moving towards approval.

Remaining Democrats tried in vain to attach 8 amendments, all 8 being defeated.

Senator Ed Murray (D. 43rd) is livid being out maneuvered as he has been. “This is an incredible abuse of power. And considering what my party and myself as chair was willing to do … this is the payback. This is the response,” the Olympian quotes Murray as saying

The Republican budget plan has $251.5 million more for K-12 education in it compared to what Senate Democrats proposed.

February 23, 2012

Freedom of Religious Expression Endangered In Washington State

by lewwaters

Every campaign, politicians stand before us telling us what they think we want to hear in order to gain our votes. Democrat, Republican or Independent, all think they will gain our support with just a little tickling of our ears. Occasionally though, one will lower their guard just a bit and those with a discerning ear might just pick up on what the real candidate thinks or stands for.

Such is the case now with Democrat candidate for Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee.

Most of my readers know that I am not very supportive of Democrats, but before you write this off as just another piece opposing Democrats, I urge you to read on and see how not only Jay Inslee, but outgoing governor Christine Gregoire actually opposes your First Amendment right to Free Religious Expression.

As most know by now, a controversial legal case on the state mandating a Pharmacist stock and dispense the “morning-after pill” was decided in favor of the Pharmacist by U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma February 22, 2012.

The Washington State Board of Pharmacy required the Pharmacies and Pharmacists, under pressure from unnamed state officials and Planned Parenthood, to sell the drug or face losing their license.

The Pharmacists filed suit against the regulation in 2007, claiming that dispensing a drug designed to terminate a pregnancy was against their religious beliefs.

In his decision, Judge Leighton wrote,

“The board’s rules were designed to ‘force religious objectors to dispense Plan B, and they sought to do so despite the fact that refusals to deliver for all sorts of secular reasons were permitted’.”

January 3, 2012

As the Economy Collapses, Gregoire to Announce Support of Gay Marriage

by lewwaters

As we all know, or economy continues collapsing around us.  The debt grows along with interest payments on it. Unemployment remains high, Clark County entering our 4th year of double digit unemployment numbers.

With taxes, fees and rates increasing while wages decline, our governor called a special session to deal with a projected $2 Billion budget deficit. When they convened, we only face a $1.6 Billion budget deficit.

So what it our lame duck governor’s chosen move now? To publicly announce her support for same-sex marriage at an announced Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 news conference.

“Leaders of Washington United for Marriage, a coalition of gay-rights, civil-liberties, labor and religious groups, announced in November they plan to pressure the Legislature this coming session to pass a marriage equality law in 2012.”

October 2, 2011

Do We Have a Viable Alternative Candidate for Governor?

by lewwaters

Shahram Hadian

With a little over a year to go to our next governor’s election, both political parties in Washington State have once made our selection for us on who we get to vote for. The Washington State Republican Party has given us State Attorney General Rob McKenna, who has long had his eyes fixed on one day occupying the governor’s mansion. The Washington State Democrat Party has decided on 1st District U.S. Representative Jay Inslee to occupy the governor’s mansion next, given that current Democrat Christine Gregoire has announced she will not seek a third term.

The establishment in both parties have drawn the lines and decided that is our choices, whether we like them or not.

For too long now we have had party elites deciding on who we get to vote for on many levels. Woe be upon any candidate who doesn’t just go along with the party elites. I saw a close up and personal view of just that in the 2010 election as the GOP undermined and back stabbed a good conservative candidate to ensure Jaime Herrera, the hand-picked and groomed candidate of the GOP establishment’s choice won the nomination.

With this in mind, I am pleased to see a third candidate standing up and willing to give us another choice to look at. Shahram Hadian is stepping up to the plate and by all outward appearances is a man deserving of our attention.

July 13, 2011

Inslee Already Disappoints Supporters

by lewwaters

It appears the 2012 gubernatorial race in Washington is off to a rocky start. With over a year to go before the November 2012 election, both of the candidates have already slipped up in their campaigns.

I discussed Republican Rob McKenna’s blunder earlier at McKenna Naively Falls for Democrat Dirty Trick. It’s only fair to now point out Democrat Jay Inslee’s blunders.

Inslee has long been considered the favored Democrat to run for governor when current governor Christine Gregoire called it quits. As expected, within days of her announcing she was not running again, Inslee threw his hat in the ring.

In announcing his run for governor Inslee said,

“I will propose using a small defined portion of our state pension funds to create a pool of capital available for startup innovator companies pledged to start here and pledged to stay here.”

What he means is to take state pension funds to give to risky start-up companies in biotech fuels and such.

June 13, 2011

Gregoire Not Seeking Third Term

by lewwaters

Being reported in both the Olympian and the Seattle Times, “The Associated Press is reporting that Gov. Chris Gregoire is not seeking re-election to a third term. Gregoire is still set to “announce her future plans” at a 10 a.m. news conference today.”

More to follow, but ever since Christine Gregoire snatched the governorship from Republican Dino Rossi in 2004, the state has drastically increased spending that is now unsustainable.

Gregoire has faced fire for her reluctance to reign in spending that has left the state facing multi-Billion dollar gaps necessitating extreme measures to meet the balanced budget law.

Republican Rob McKenna has announced his intent to run for Governor and it is expected Democrat Jay Inslee will now enter the race to replace Gregoire.

UPDATE from TVW: “She said for the next 18 months of her term, she’ll work hard to ensure the state gets out of the recession. After that, she has no plans — except maybe taking a break to get to spend some time with her family.”

I dread seeing what she classifies as “work hard to ensure the state gets out of the recession,” after how she worked hard to plunge us deeper into this mess.

June 8, 2011

McKenna Makes It Official: He’s Running for Governor

by lewwaters

As expected, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna announced his candidacy for governor this evening. Video of his announcement HERE (announcement begins at about 22 min mark)

McKenna campaign website HERE

McKenna Clark County website HERE

Democrats have held Washington States Governor’s office for 26 years. Republican’s see McKenna as their best chance to gain the Governor’s office since John Spellman left office in 1985.

In his announcement he rightfully said, “The fact of the matter is that the direction we are headed in is simply unsustainable.”

Seattle Times

February 27, 2011

Is the Silence of Same Sex Marriage Proponents a Sign of their Approval of Bigotry?

by lewwaters

First we saw SB 5688, “Expanding the rights and responsibilities of state registered domestic partners” passed and the subsequent brouhaha over R-71 to place it on the ballot for voter approval, finally being passed with supporters claims of it was not an incremental step towards same-sex marriage, even though the author, state senator Ed Murray said it was.

Then, during a lame-duck session as Democrats were losing their stranglehold on the House, a repeal of the Military Policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was passed, ending prohibitions on gays serving in the Military openly.

And now, we have Barack Obama deciding that the Justice Department will no longer defend challenges against the Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, during challenges in federal court. Editorials around the state wasted no time praising the decision since 2 bills are currently introduced in Olympia that will throw the doors open toward same-sex marriage.

Even Senator Patty Murray has come out praising Obama for such a bold step and adding her withdrawal of support of the law she once voted for in 1996. Murray now says, “I support and I applaud the President’s decision because it is time to end this 14-year policy,” and “No American and no American family is treated as a second class citizen . . .” alluding to same-sex unions, but carefully avoiding the use of the word “marriage.”

February 10, 2011

Governor Gregoire Honors Illegal Aliens

by lewwaters

Ignoring the fact that Washington State is deeply embroiled in the worsening economic decline, it is utterly unbelievable to see a group of about 400 people marching upon the capital in Olympia opposing budget cuts intended to close the multi-Billion dollar budget gap.

Even more astonishing, many in the crowd appear to be in the country ‘ILLEGALLY!’ As such, they are lawbreakers! Illegal aliens!

We recently saw in a Seattle Times report: “An estimated 230,000 illegal immigrants were living in Washington state in 2010 — 35 percent more than three years earlier,” with the claim by state senator Val Stevens, “the illegal-immigrant cost to the state is $272 million a biennium for such functions as social services, health and corrections.”

At the rally, illegal immigrants gathered to “urge lawmakers to oppose cuts to medical interpreters and health care for kids and fight bills that require immigration status checks before issuing driver’s licenses.”

While illegal aliens whine and cry for public tax dollars to support them, information entered in Immigration Form I-864, sponsorship of a legal immigrant states, “The information will be used principally by an immigration judge, USCIS or a Consular Officer to support an alien’s application for benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act and specifically the assertion that he or she has adequate means of financial support and will not become a public charge.” (pg 9)

January 19, 2011

Sen. Don Benton’s Reaction to Governor Gregoire’s State of the State Address

by lewwaters

Senator Don Benton, Republican 17th legislative district gives his reaction to the recent ‘State of the State’ address.


Stay up to date with Senator Benton and sign up for his electronic newsletter by visiting http://www.senaterepublicans.wa.gov/Benton/

Newly elected GOP representative Ann Rivers gave the Republican rebuttal to the address here

December 16, 2010

Washington Governor Gregoire, “Cancel the 2012 Presidential Primary Election”

by lewwaters

In her ongoing quest to slash costs to the state, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is calling for the 2012 presidential primary election to be canceled. Delegates to national conventions would instead be selected via caucuses.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican said,

“I join Governor Gregoire in reluctantly asking the Legislature to suspend the 2012 Presidential Primary in Washington. Ever since the Legislature approved the presidential primary in 1989 as a people’s initiative to the Legislature, the primary has been a very popular way to engage average citizens, not just party activists, in the process of helping nominate candidates for President of the United States. But at the same time, we acknowledge that Washington faces a grave budget shortfall and that many important public services must be suspended or eliminated. Suspending this election will save taxpayers more than $10 million. Ordinarily, I would be the last to propose suspending an election, but these are not ordinary times and we all are looking for ways to tighten our belts and live within our means. I look forward to Washington resuming the presidential primary in 2016.” 

Washington State Republican Party Chair Luke Esser disagrees saying

“Eliminating the presidential primary directly contradicts the will of the people as expressed by Initiative 99 in 1989, and it disenfranchises military voters serving overseas and many other voters.”

December 15, 2010

Clark County Commissioners to Turn Down Wage and Car Allowance Increase

by lewwaters

No doubt reacting to a public outrage rarely seen today, all 3 County Commissioners, Steve Stuart, Marc Boldt and Tom Mielke have announced today that they will not accept the scheduled wage and car allowance increase mentioned HERE

The Columbian has the announcement HERE

Of note, after the increase was announced yesterday, over 100 comments have been posted on the papers website. Not one in support of the increase.

Citizens from all over the political spectrum, usually disagreeing on everything, came together in opposition and from what I hear, the county commissioners phone lines were lit up all day.

November 24, 2010

Should State Collective Bargaining Agreements be Declared Moot?

by lewwaters

An interesting concept that I doubt would fly in Washington State, but I would like to see it pursued.

Right off the bat I can see a big problem not only in implementing this, but in getting Democrats in Olympia to agree that a revenue crisis exists to even declare the contract moot.

I wouldn’t mind seeing union powers curtailed somewhat, especially during a revenue crisis as we are currently experiencing, but unless we have leadership willing to take a stand against the public unions, it will never happen.

Zarelli has had his own problems in the past and will undoubtedly receive much grief over this proposal, it comes with the territory. Maybe he isn’t the best one to come forward with it, but regardless, it is an idea worth discussing.

Washington State Senate Republicans have a website, Reset Washington where they also have a poll posted showing currently some 93% of respondents agree with this proposal.

Will the Democrats join in with anything short of stripping the poor and underprivileged of their assistance in favor of protecting unions, which hold some 70% of our budget hostage?

November 8, 2010

Governor Gregoire Disappointed Voters Didn’t “Help Us Out”

by lewwaters

The arrogance of this woman seems boundless. As the video below shows, at a time of deep economic recession with unemployment remaining excessively high and people unable to afford many basic necessities, she whines to KING 5 TV, “I wish voters had helped us out.”

July 30, 2010

Take Your Tolls and Shove Them!

by lewwaters

Once again we are being treated to more propaganda designed to assuage our angst over having tolls and Portland’s light rail shoved down our throats, whether or not we want it. The Friday, July 30 Columbian has yet another editorial promoting Portland’s light rail and tolls on a new I-5 Bridge, In our view: Bridge Progress telling us, “New Metro study reduces concerns about sprawl in Clark County.”

Personally, I’ve lost count of these “studies” that all seem to agree we need to just roll over and embrace losing more of our money to a boondoggle from Portland and to be happy to pay more to cross the Columbia River, just to get to work for many.

But, this editorial is designed to lessen our concern over “sprawl.” We are told,

“Portland’s Metro agency announced Wednesday that a new analysis shows a new bridge with tolls and light rail will have negligible effect in fueling sprawl in Clark County.”

From what I recall hearing at the City Council Town Hall, sprawl is not the worry, but vacating the area is, as jobs and residents discover the expense of having to pay to cross the Columbia River as often as they will have to.

Oddly enough, Metro Council President David Bragdon is quoted saying in regards to this “new study,”

“[it] underscores the importance of tolls and light rail to this project” and will “help Vancouver reach its goal of a compact, walkable downtown area while also improving access for households that live in North Portland and work in Vancouver.”

Where does it help all of the Clark County residents that hold jobs in Portland? Isn’t the “rush hour” heading to Portland in the mornings and reversed in the evenings? I don’t recall the handful of Portland residents that work here having much difficulty crossing the bridge to get to work lately.

Craig Riley, candidate for the 49th Legislative District, position 2 against Jim Moeller, recently expressed his concern of this scenario at a Vancouver City Council meeting about a valued employee of his that lives in Oregon City and commutes. He pays the employees gas fare to help with expenses for the lengthy drive now. Will he have to add more expense to his business to cover tolls too?

But, by and large, it is Clark County residents that will pay through the nose to travel to Oregon to work. Are employers there willing to grant pay raises to cover the added expense of their thousands of employees? I hardly think so.

For those that lived here in the 1970’s, when the 205 Bridge was being as heavily debated, and opposed by Portland and Oregon, recall it was built eventually and no one has had to pay tolls on it, ever. Hints have been dropped that tolls might be added to it now to ensure traffic is not diverted to it to avoid paying tolls on a new I-5 Bridge and to help pay for it all.

How did they pay for the I-205 Bridge and not stick tolls to it?

If you will recall, less than a year after being selected as our new governor, Christine Gregoire imposed a 9.5 cent increase in tax per gallon of gas we are still paying, 5 years later. On September 14, 2005, the Columbian ran an article, “Gregoire says gas tax crucial to transportation, business,” about governor Gregoire coming to Clark County to justify the tax increase.

Standing on the intersection of Chkalov Drive and Mill Plain Boulevard explaining that our gas taxes were going to the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, Gregoire said,

“Today it’s Seattle and the viaduct; tomorrow it’s Clark County and the bridges to Portland. Someday I’m going to ask the citizens in King County to invest in Clark County.”

Well, it look like someday has arrived and what do we hear? Pay Tolls and the increased gas tax, along with every other tax and fee raised this last legislative session.

Why isn’t the Columbian’s editorial board and our elected officials fighting for Governor Gregoire to keep her word?

Visit and support NoTolls.com and let’s work together for an affordable solution that will really benefit Clark County.

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