That may sound like an odd question to ask, given the angst over the Clark County Board of Commissioners since the majority switched in 2012 to a more conservative one and that Democrats have a major effort underway now to completely revamp county government in hopes of regaining their power, but it is a question that all should be considering.
As we know, Commissioner Steve Stuart decided to leave the County Commission since he no longer pulled the strings at County and Ed Barnes was named to complete his term, which ends this year.
Democrats were livid that Barnes was named, even though they nominated him, as their real effort was to propose two people they did not want in order to entice the two remaining Commissioners to name former Commissioner, Craig Pridemore to complete the term and to be able campaign as an incumbent this year.
Their hopes of getting Pridemore back on the County Commission is pretty high, somehow believing he can throw a monkey wrench in the workings to stop the conservative slide of Clark County.
They also have hopes of passing this Home Rule Charter to grow the County to 5 “councilors” instead of three Commissioners. But with the likelihood of that not passing, they will settle for Pridemore back on the County Commission.
And let’s face it, should he win the election, he will be there for one reason and one reason only, to obstruct and do the bidding of the Democrat Party.
In the likelihood we will see the Home Rule Charter fail, his efforts would be for naught as Commissioners Madore and Mielke will still be the majority of votes. I would expect a lot of arguing, efforts to coerce, and demeaning comments leaked to the Lazy C who will end up editorializing on how out of control the majority is, much like they do now, and Democrats wailing and gnashing their teeth because they can’t get their way.
With no logical reason given to not pass a policy, the two conservative commissioners will continue down the path they have started, Pridemore’s efforts would fail and create pretty much a dysfunctional body.
But, that needn’t happen. We do have a choice this election that will give us a fully functional County Commission and one that will actually stand a chance to curtail some moves by the current Commissioners that some Democrats might see as not the best idea.
We are fortunate that former Vancouver City Councilmember Jeanne E. Stewart threw her hat in the ring after the dismal treatment she received from Mayor Tim Leavitt for her standing up for citizens over special interests and the efforts of the Lazy C and others to oust her for a rubber stamp.
Ms. Stewart, even though aligning herself with Republicans, is about the most centrist person I have ever seen in government. She has never voted lock-step with either party’s desires and has always come down on the side of citizens after very careful consideration and analysis of a matter.
Pridemore has decided to try to convince voters that she will vote “lock-step” with the other two on his campaign page;
Anybody that has observed Ms. Stewart over the years knows his claim is false. If anybody has a history of “lock-step,” it is Craig Pridemore, evidence by his comment back in 2005 when he cast the key vote to pass a tax increase when new to the State Senate, “I think the Senate has balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and powerless.”
His reason given for breaking his ‘no’ vote on that tax increase was, “It would have sunk the budget, and we would have been in special session.”
So, in order to ensure leaving the capitol on time and heading home, he simply casts the key vote “on the backs of the poor and powerless” as his party wanted him to do.
An Apr 24, 2005 Lazy C article explained it as, “If the freshman senator had stuck to a no vote, he would have crossed his caucus, sided with Republicans and upset lawmakers’ go- home plans.”
Clearly, Pridemore would be the “lock-step” Commissioner to obstruct and do the bidding of the Democrats since they lost their majority in furthering the agenda they desire.
An agenda that includes forcing Clark County citizens to one day be forced to accept Portland’s financially troubled light rail against our will.
On the other hand, Jeanne E. Stewart has repeatedly shown her independence, voting on the City Council in support of or against matters favored by both parties. Her effort has always been to support what she sees as best for the people, not deep pocketed special interests.
She was wrongfully tied to Commissioner Madore as part of the “Madore Four” in the 2013 election, an effective, although erroneous moniker dreamt up by downtown special interests to win the election.
Once again, the dark forces of the left in the county have linked her to controversial County Commissioner Madore, just as this blog predicted they would do.
But, as evidenced by her own words, she would never subjugate her views and values to another’s.
This may be difficult to grasp for some people, but Jeanne Stewart is the best hope to stop what you may see as Madore’s push. If she sees something that she feels might not be as beneficial to citizens as it could be, she will rationally give her view of why it is not so good and just may sway one other Commissioner.
Where Pridemore would just obstruct, and be voted down since he would not be able to present any logical reason to oppose whatever it might be, Ms. Stewart, after her usual careful consideration, would be able to articulate cogent and logical reasons to not move forward with something and would likely be able to convince at least one other Commissioner to go along with her, if not both.
Reasoning and logic are powerful tools that she possesses and Craig Pridemore does not, given his inability to remain in one job very long, having jumped from the County Commission, to State Senate, to a failed run for 3rd Congressional District Representative and State Auditor, to the Licensing Bureau in Olympia and now, trying to get back on the County Commission, all in less than 10 years.
Regardless of what party each of us may align with, we deserve a functional County Commission that will represent citizens over any special interests, be they left or right. We do not need another County Commission that works to serve just one viewpoint, as it was before 2012.
More than any other elected official in this county, Jeanne Stewart has shown her interests lie in representing us, the taxpayers before any special interests.
Her careful analysis of matters is what is needed and is the only thing that might convince the current Commissioners to look again at some of the things they are doing if she feels something is not necessarily in our best interests.
We have a choice. We can continue with a dysfunctional County Commission that Democrats are wailing and crying about with Craig Pridemore.
Or we can have a fully functional County Commission where both sides will see fair representation with reasoned logic by electing Jeanne E. Stewart.
My vote is going for Jeanne E Stewart, the best friend Clark County citizens could have.