The 49th Legislative District has been held in the Democrats hands for a long time now, maybe too long. One of the heavier Democrat districts in Clark County, they have held both seats for almost as far as records go back to.
They have not held those seats in the house only for a very short time since 1970, voters all too often returning them to Olympia when they run for re-election.
With the current condition of the state and Clark County, I think is time the 49th made a big change and replace both Democrats currently holding seats in positions 1 and 2 and give two very capable men a chance to make the changes we need to become a viable state again.
Democrats are no doubt feeling pretty good since in the primary, both Jim Jacks and Jim Moeller came out ahead in the vote count, but I wouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch.
Looking back to the 2008 primary, neither Jacks nor Moeller picked up all that many more votes in 2010 than they did in 2008. Challengers Craig Riley and Bill Cismar picked up a significant number of votes over the challengers that ran in 2008.
In the case of Craig Riley, he gained almost 5,000 votes over the challenger who ran in 2008. Moeller picked up barely over 1,000 more votes.
For Bill Cismar, the increase was close to 3,000 more votes while Jacks barely increased 2,000. And, don’t forget, Cismar did not enter or begin campaigning until late compared with Jacks early entry to retain the seat.
By the time the general election came around in 2008, the number of votes cast more than doubled. Also of note, in 2008 the general populace wasn’t as upset with incumbents as they are today.
So, the potential to see some drastic and long overdue changes for the 49th Legislative District is very good as we approach the November 2 general election.
While the potential is very good to see both seats changing hands, we cannot rely only on potential and must look at the candidates running. From where I sit, neither incumbent deserves to be returned to Olympia, both having contributed heavily to the tax, borrow and spend attitudes we saw in the last couple sessions.
Our state is broke and deeper in debt than we can handle and facing yet another multi-billion dollar budget shortfall and I see nothing from either Moeller or Jacks to suggest anything different than more taxes, more fees and more borrowing to balance the budget.
Jacks is on his first term and still runs on claims of having been a mouthpiece for Governor Gregoire. Cismar, his challenger, is running on being our mouthpiece, wanting to represent us, not the governor.
Since winning the seat in 2008, Jacks has been nothing but a rubber stamp for the Democrat party, voting “yes” on 1,526 bills and “no” on only 4. In 2008, he seemed to have a platform of “listen and learn” and apparently, he has neither listened nor learned, other than to blindly follow the party.
Video of jacks from 2008 rambling on about how we voters basically caused the problems in the state and an open admission that he had no idea what to do can be seen HERE.
Jacks claims to have spoken with business leaders about what they think needs to be done to pull our state back into fiscal sanity. I have yet to see him take any logical action to turn things around for business and I doubt business owners told him they needed a tax increase to survive and prosper.
In February 2010, right after Oregon passed their ill fated measures 66 & 67, I contacted all of my representatives about the time being ripe for incentives to draw Oregon business to our side of the river. Jacks replied,
“We have some measures we are working on to stimulate business development in Washington and I couldn’t agree with you more that attracting businesses, and therefore jobs, to our state is critical to getting our economy turned around in the right direction.”
Jim Moeller replied, “Yes! I saw the wonderful election results last night from our neighbors across the river. Although, we clearly differ on the two measures effects on small business, one thing we do agree upon, this is a great opportunity for Washington!
And what a victory! This was not just another liberal Multnomah County election result but a state-wide repudiation of the failed fiscal policies of conservatives that the only way to create prosperity is to cut taxes and shrink government services. Clearly the voters understand that simply cutting taxes and basic government services like education cannot continue and have any semblance of public education – the hope for our future, or other essential services for our elderly or disabled.
Although we have a very different tax system here in Washington we (like Oregon) will look at targeted tax increases (along with cuts and efficiencies) to help fund the basic building blocks of prosperity like education and public health and freight mobility. We will focus on rebuilding the economy and the creation of jobs in Clark County and across Washington by keeping our eye on the ball and the basics that gave us the prosperity to start with.
Finally, this was a great opportunity to affirm that progressive taxes on the successful and the wealthy is supported by the public when the voter knows what the taxes from the two measures will be used for.”
As can be seen in a recent Statesman Journal article, Oregon is worse off now, not better, although they throw up a smoke screen on the effectiveness of the measures.
Both Jacks and Moeller are in support of an expensive new bridge across the Columbia River with Portland’s Light Rail and strapping commuters with tolls, sending even more of our money across the river to Portland instead of keeping it here in Clark County, where we desperately need it.
Moeller and Jacks speak about “jobs, jobs, jobs” but ignore that their votes in Olympia went a long way to destroy our jobs.
Both Craig Riley and Bill Cismar are presenting common sense ideas that will help heal the harm already done to the fiscal situation of the state, opposing the current overly expensive bridge proposal, with light rail and opposing the notion of passing an income tax that will undoubtedly be imposed on all citizens should voters fall for the smoke and mirrors claims put forth by advocates of an income tax in Washington State.
Video of Cismar and Jacks from CVTV discussing the issues can be seen HERE.
Cismar comes with some pretty impressive qualifications as can be seen by visiting his campaign site.
Craig Riley has been a successful businessman in Clark County specializing in the healthcare insurance industry for many years. A link to CVTV coverage of Craig and Moeller can be seen HERE.
You can read more on Craig Riley’s excellent qualifications by visiting his website HERE.
Neither Jacks nor Moeller have really helped the financial situation in the state or in the 49th Legislative District. We can no longer afford to just vote for people simply because of their party affiliation. We must begin voting for people who have ideas and are willing to stand for them.
Both Bill Cismar and Craig Riley have those ideas and the willingness to bring real change to Olympia.
Let’s make some long overdue changes in Olympia sense people like Craig Bill Cismar back to Olympia in the place of Jim Moeller and Jim Jacks.