Reading comments left on County Commissioner Steve Stuart’s announcement of not seeking re-election, you would be led to think somebody real important had died. The Lazy C and supporters of Stuart’s sound more like they are eulogizing than thanking Stuart for his years sitting on the council, furthering their views, even if against the views of a majority in the county.
Stuart was first appointed to the County Commission to replace liberal Democrat Craig Pridemore, who had been elected as State Senator for the 49th legislative district. Stuart joined a Democrat majority on the three member commission along with Betty Sue Morris and Republican Marc Boldt.
His 2010 re-election would have it appear that he would be lone Democrat sitting on the commission as Republican Tom Mielke had won a narrow victory over Democrat Pam Brokaw in 2008 and Republican Marc Boldt had won re-election against Democrat & Vancouver City Council Member Jeanne Harris, but as we all saw, Boldt “moderated” his views and became more aligned with liberal Democrats in his votes with Stuart, leading to his being sanctioned by the local Republican Party and in 2012, slaughtered in his bid for re-election, losing to first time runner David Madore.
Tom Mielke easily won his bid for re-election, so now Stuart, for the first time, really was the lone Democrat, Clark County voters finally getting their desire of a more conservative County Commission fulfilled that they had began indicating was the desire back in 2008.
Stuart no longer had the control of the County Commission he once had and that didn’t set well with him, the Democrat Party or their mouthpiece locally, the Lazy C, the so-called newspaper of record.
For the past year it has been nearly a daily assault of verbal assassination against the Commission majority that took on a vengeance once Madore & Mielke appointed much hated Republican State Senator, Don Benton to head the County Department of the Environment.
We would read and hear commenters before the Commission ranting frequently of how the two in the majority were not going along with the lone Democrat, Stuart, as if the only policies worth adopting were his and his alone, all forgetting that in a Democratic Republic as we have, ultimately the majority vote rules.
Also forgotten, or ignored in reality, is that a majority of voters throughout Clark County handily selected on their own accord that the County Commission needed to move more in the conservative direction, rejecting what Stuart, the Democrats and the Lazy C wanted.
Given Stuart’s unpopular views, much less popular out in the county than in the city limits of Vancouver, his chances for re-election this year are very slim. But instead of just admitting that his time on the commission had come to an end and his views were not in alignment with the majority of the county, he trumps up this claim of negativity in the County Commission, translated to the two Republicans do not cater to his whims.
For any who have watched, the real negativity was directed at Commissioners’ Madore & Mielke as well as Don Benton as we see nearly every week, retired union thug Ed Barnes speaking in a demeaning way towards them and he is at times joined by washed up former mayor of Vancouver, Royce Pollard speaking as if he ran things and making an ass out of himself, but receiving praise from the Lazy C for doing so.
For their part, in eulogizing Stuart’s departure after this year ends, the Lazy C lays it on thick, copy & pasting Stuart’s rant from his facebook page that reads more like a condemnation of county voters who chose a new direction for the County Commission.
From his facebook rant we read,
“It became clear to me by mid-year, however, that my work – and that of many amazing professional County managers who have since left…, was not going to be considered. There is no longer room for facts, figures, input, and information, if they don’t support the ideological aims of the majority. So my job changed.”
Not said is that for four years, that is exactly how Commissioner Mielke was treated by both Stuart and Boldt, pushed aside as the liberal “ideological aims of the majority” was to be the only thing considered.
“I realized that the most important work I could do is shine a bright light on the decisions being made by the Board. To point out inconsistencies in logic, and correct false facts when they were offered. Why is that so important? Because I’m the only one who can do it.”
The arrogance of that last sentence is just astounding! Never mind that voters sent a strong message of their desire for a change in the direction of the County Commission, rejecting the liberal agenda and most importantly, the acceptance of the forcing of Portland’s financially troubled light rail into the county that Stuart, Democrats and the Lazy C have long pushed for.
We saw this arrogant attitude back in 2011 when the proposed building of a baseball stadium next to Clark College ended up being rejected, Boldt switching his conceived support at the last minute after he was sanctioned by the party and Stuart stomping off in a huff after his motion was not seconded and the meeting adjourned.
Like a spoiled child, even though voters sent that strong message on changing the direction of the County Commission, Stuart stubbornly clung to some notion of liberalism should still rule.
And not getting his way, he now decides not to run again, not admitting the tea leaves strongly indicate he will be voted out anyway. And, being a liberal whiner like he is, he can’t help but take slaps at his fellow Commissioners.
Rumors have slipped out of the county, though, that Stuart has spent a lot of taxpayer funds to spend time in Olympia over the past year and there is a strong likelihood that he has a job lined up with WSDOT, not unlike we saw with former State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond landing a nice position with Parsons Brinkerhoff, a major recipient of funds connected with the CRC light rail project.
Just what and whether or not the rumor is true remains to be seen, but it has long been felt Stuart was seeking a position in Olympia and the word has come from a very reliable source.
Likewise, who will run to replace Stuart is unknown at this time, few names being floated just yet. One floated is ex-Representative from the 17th District, Tim Probst. But he does not reside in Stuart’s district, so unless he follows as others have and gets a residence in the district, he is out.
Some feel this freeholder group currently writing up a new county charter to make changes and increase the number of Commissioners will undo the 2012 election results, forgetting that voters have been indicating for many years now they want a more conservative County Commission and that a new Commission very likely could see an even more conservative Commission.
Then too, voters have rejected every single effort in the past to change the county charter and very likely will follow suit when this charter is written when voted on next year, if it even makes it to the ballot, previous efforts also failing to actually make it to voters.
It is unlikely much will change though and Stuart’s rant only shows him to be the coward and whiner he is. Contrary to what he, the Democrat Party and the Lazy C think, it is not up to the majority to bend to the will of Stuart. It’s up to him to present his ideas, state his case and then deal with it like a grown-up if rejected by the majority, just as Commissioner Mielke has had to do for four years.
But Stuart is unable to do that. Like many other liberals who constantly drone on about how they are willing to hear and listen to views other than their own, they are totally shocked to discover that there are views other than theirs.
So go ahead and cry, Steve. Throw out your barbs and blame everybody but yourself. Be the coward you are, just like a spoiled child not getting his way every day and throw your tantrum.
Your departure is long overdue.