Posts tagged ‘Columbia River Crossing’

June 9, 2012

Of ‘Self Inflicted Wounds’ and ‘Fairly Horrible Experiences’

by lewwaters

Once again, we see the bias in favor of the Democrats that the Columbian says doesn’t exist, displayed so brightly it nearly blinds. We saw it early last year as Democrat Jim Jacks abruptly abandoned and walked out on constituents in mid-session as editor Lou Brancaccio maintained there “was no paper trail” to follow to get to any story on his quitting the position he had just been elected to.

I contrasted that to the Richard Curtis saga just a couple years before in a blatant display of bias.

We once again can see it displayed as just a few months ago, the Clark County Republican Party was taken to task over sanctions set in place against County Commissioner Marc Boldt who frequently went against his stated position in campaigning as a Republican to be elected to the County Commission.

Of course, the Columbian did not bother to say anything until months after the sanctioning that I know they had to be well aware of as they were mentioned on this blog in November 2011 and Columbian follows both this blog and Clark County Politics to see what we are up to.

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July 16, 2011

Josephine Wentzel Brings a “Taste of Guam” to the Campaign Trail

by lewwaters

Josephine Wentzel

Several people attended the Josephine Wentzel campaign kick-off for city council last evening, July 15 and were treated to a mouth watering sampling of treats prepared by friends and supporters. All were treated to generous amounts of delicious island BBQ ribs & chicken, Spanish red rice, Pancit, potato salad and more.

Dr. Rick Lee Jackson provided live entertainment with his musical talents and in the capacity of Master of Ceremonies.

But, savory food and live entertainment is not what drew as many as 100 people to Vancouver’s Historic Academy last evening. People turned out to meet and hear Josephine Wentzel, known to many simply as that “NoTolls woman,” for her community activism in opposition to exorbitant tolls on a new Columbia River Crossing. They came to hear what she stood for in her quest to gain a seat on the city council, now held by Bart Hansen who was first appointed in occupy the seat vacated by now Mayor Tim Leavitt after the 2009 general election.

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May 12, 2011

Dump the Vancouver City Cartel

by lewwaters

With the latest stunt of Vancouver, Washington mayor Tim Leavitt and the city council, which more resemble a cartel than an elected body of representatives, it has come time to vote out any up for reelection.

Last September Mayor Leavitt, now known for his blatant lies to be elected as the Mayor in opposing tolling the new bridge that will eventually be constructed across the Columbia River, engineered a little sleight of hand trick, combining a citizen vote on extending Portland, Oregon’s financially failing Light Rail in with a vote for a sales tax increase to “preserve and expand existing C-Tran bus service” in Clark County.

One lone council member, Jeanne Stewart, gauging strong public sentiment against light rail from Portland, cast the deciding vote to split the ballot measures, correctly seeing that the public wasn’t going to fall for Leavitt’s trick and that C-Tran would most lose a significant portion of their funding.

Leavitt and the rest of the city cartel ungraciously voted to oust her from the C-Tran board, replacing her with Larry Smith.

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April 22, 2011

Stand Up To The Elected Bullies

by lewwaters

Although pertaining to Canada, 88 year-old Joy Taylor speaks her mind against these government programs the left claims is for our benefit and so they can “take care of us.”

Her message is plain and simple, “Stand Up To The Bullies.”

How many times now have we seen elected officials ridicule, smear or denigrate citizens? Think Jeanne Harris and ‘Gavel Down’ if unable to think of an example.

How fast did Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt flip-flop on his campaign platform of No Tolls?

How often has Portland Mayor Sam Adams ignored citizen concerns?

Stand up! Speak up! Fight back!
February 19, 2011

What Next at Council Meetings, Jack Booted Thugs?

by lewwaters

The ongoing efforts to silence citizen opposition to extending Portland, Oregon’s Loot Rail into Vancouver, Washington, part of an overly expensive planned project to replace the aging I-5 bridge between the 2 states, is being elevated to a new level, publicly berating citizen’s who exercise their first amendment rights to speak out in opposition.

Saturday’s Columbian contains a front page article, Mayor Leavitt ready to cut open mic at city council meetings featuring the names and photographs of those who have spoken out in opposition to Loot Rail and Tolls at past meetings, including how often they speak.

Previously mentioned HERE, the effort now seems centered around a plan to continue rewriting Guidelines for Citizen Communications, that has been “under review” for several months now and modify or do away with the portion still published that says, “Citizens Communications is the place on the agenda when the public is invited to speak for approximately three minutes about an issue of concern or interest not already scheduled for public hearing during the meeting, or otherwise addressed on the agenda.”

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September 21, 2010

City Council Forms Ethics Panel, Harris Travels to Germany

by lewwaters

Last nights Vancouver City Council Meeting might not have seen the fireworks of the previous week, but it was spirited. Council Chambers were filled to capacity, as they were expected to be, many in attendance to call for the ouster of embattled Council Member, Jeanne ‘gavel down’ Harris.

If you recall, Harris suffered yet another meltdown at the September 13 council meeting, lambasting citizens and fellow council member, Jeanne Stewart, covered HERE, HERE and HERE.

As expressed earlier by the Mayor, in response to allegations from fellow Council members, an “Ethics Committee” was formed last evening to “investigate” charges of violating the Charter of the Council by Ms. Harris. Mayor Leavitt appointed Council Members, Larry Smith, Jack Burkman and Pat Campbell to sit on the panel.

Mayor Leavitt asked for approval to excuse Ms. Harris’s absence from council meetings while she is travelling “on a privately-funded John Jay McCloy fellowship through the International Council of National League of Cities to travel Germany with city leaders from around the United States.” It was said last evening she is acting as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for Vancouver while travelling. It received unanimous approval.

After her meltdown last week, I cannot think of a poorer position for her to fill.

The Columbian has also brought out that Ms. Harris “is going through a very difficult divorce” which is absolutely no defense for her offensive conduct towards others. As someone holding a degree in communication, if Ms. Harris’s private life interferes in her public capacity in such a manner, she should know that she should either ask for a leave of absence or voluntarily step down from the council an allow someone to sit in who would be capable of properly performing to job.

Also of concern is a previously undisclosed email Harris sent out to council members, shortly after she issued her questionable “public apology” last week. According to the Columbian’s Andrea Damewood, Harris sent out an email to fellow council members saying,

“Looks like I’ve lost two policies and we’ve received numerous rude phone calls that my 19 year old customer service rep has had to listen to. Apparently the gavel incident is now on utube (sic). Thanks for making my life hell.”

No, Ms. Harris, no one has “made your life hell” but you and your offensive conduct. Blaming others, or even a divorce, doesn’t excuse or justify anything. Your poor overbearing conduct towards others is not new nor is it a one-time event. Many others have gone through much worse and did not find the need to attack others as you have done for so long.

Twenty eight citizens spoke last evening during Citizen’s Communication and for the most part, were well-received in Harris’s absence.24 of whom spoke on the issue of either Light Rail or Ms. Harris’s conduct. Of the 24, two were in support of light rail being extended to from Portland to Vancouver and only one person, tax happy Democratic state legislator Jim Moeller, defending Ms. Harris. 21 citizens spoke against the addition of light rail and/or Ms. Harris.

Of somewhat concern to me was seeing a Police Officer hovering around at the back of council chambers. Although I cannot attend every council meeting, this was the first time I have seen council call in an armed Police Officer for council meetings.

A query to council on the necessity of his presence brought a response from council member Smith of

“Lately, we have posted an officer for security reasons. We have no security measures at city hall like the court house. There has been no threats on Councilmembers and the crowd that has shown up has been excellent. With unemployment very high and folks stressed out coupled with a shooting in Fruit Valley by VPD, we have posted an officer to protect us all. Someone could target City Hall as an easy hit and to make a point over a city issue such as budget cuts. It is a difficult time for many folks. You never know; and I would like us to be proactive.”

However laughter erupted when a citizen, Ralph Peabody, thanked the council for the Police presence to “protect citizens from the city council.”

City Council candidate John Jenkins and County Commission candidate Alan Svehaug spoke in favor of protecting citizens’ free speech before the city council and opposing Harris’s outbursts.

The ethics panel will first meet to decide how many meetings are to be scheduled to investigate Ms. Harris’s outrageous behavior and to recommend what action, if any, is due her. The Columbian’s John Laird has said she is due a “harsh reprimand,” which I feel is way too lenient considering her history of such outbursts.

From what I hear around town, nothing short of her expulsion from the city council will do.

Jeanne Harris has become an embarrassment to the city of Vancouver, Washington. Citizens’ comments last evening reflected our concern not only over her conduct, but the inaction of fellow council members to curtail her outbursts against fellow council members and citizens’. That she was allowed to act as she did during the September 13 council meeting and not one person, other than Jeanne Stewart, spoke up to her is as embarrassing as well.

It is the job of the Mayor to oversee and conduct council meetings on a professional manner and he failed in that regard. No one interceded to calm her down or remind her she is but a representative of the people she is lambasting. No one, other than Jeanne Stewart, stood up for the citizens’ right to address council in grievance.

As I commented on John Laird’s Sunday column,

“Council isn’t elected to dictate to the public, but to represent us. How are they able to represent citizens if they refuse to listen and instead, impose the views of a majority of 7 people on some 170,000?

That is not representative governance.

Most people, left or right, are civil until they see their voices are being ignored. When government at any level so flagrantly ignores the citizens, we cease to be ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’.”

The time has come to ‘gavel down’ Vancouver City Council Member Jeanne Harris.

UPDATE: Vancouver City Council Ethics Panel Decision HERE

October 21, 2008

Langston Shuns PAC and Special Interest Money

by lewwaters

By now most have undoubtedly seen the television ad hawking David Carrier’s vow and refusal to accept Special Interest and PAC money and even the Columbian’s report of his campaign initially accepting an illegal contribution from another legislative district, which was subsequently returned.

The excuse listed of the Special Interest and PAC monies he did receive come across a bit lame, in my opinion.

Discussing the acceptance of Special Interest and PAC after viewing the last Presidential Debate at Republican Party Headquarters last week, Office Manager, Cindy Langston, wife of State Senate candidate Tom Langston, came up the small group and told us that Tom accepts no Special Interest or PAC money, at all.

We all have heard Political Candidates make claims that cause us to be skeptical and initially, I took Cindy’s claim with a little skepticism too. After all, it is just too easy to find out to who contributes to the candidates by a simple visit to the Public Disclosure Commission’s website, which is updated frequently.

It was a very pleasant surprise to discover that Tom and his wife are truthful. He has indeed not accepted PAC or Special Interest money and his acceptance of the money from the 49th Legislative District is legal as he is running for office within the 49th Legislative District.

Langston PDC Report

Langston PDC Report

Tom’s opponent, incumbent Democrat Craig Pridemore, lists several PACs he has accepted donations from, including the same Seattle law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation that David Carrier states is “from an individual employed by the firm who wished to remain anonymous.”

Pridemore PDC Report

Pridemore PDC Report

Unlike Carrier, I have never heard Pridemore make a vow to not accept such donations and again, accepting from Special Interest and PACs is not illegal. They can leave a candidate beholding to such groups, as we all know, but they are completely legal to accept.

Langston, desiring a more business friendly environment for Washington State, opposes any effort to impose an income tax on us. Strangely enough, Pridemore’s issue’s page is blank, leaving the voters will little information on just where he stands on current issues affecting the state.

Langston’s page prominently displays his stand on the issues and his pledge to the voters in dealing with them.

Pridemore, not willing to make his stand known to the public on his campaign website, leave us wondering if once again he would cave in to others on an income tax since we are again facing a severe budget shortage and as he said in 2005 after voting against his stated principles in raising taxes on Tobacco and Alcohol said, “The Senate has balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and powerless,” even though it was he who cast the deciding vote in passing the legislation.

To Pridemore’s credit, he did later sponsor a tax rebate bill, but even that could face elimination with the current severe budget shortfall we face since Democrats took control of the State Government.

Langston opposes the Light Rail project across the Columbia River that the CRC desires to impose upon us, in spite of voters rejecting it. Pridemore chaired that same commission previously. Does he also advocate strapping commuters to Portland with tolls should they choose to exercise their freedom to drive their car? Does he prefer to force commuters to use public transportation; joining Portland and Vancouver’s Mayors desire to “force people out of their cars?”

Tom Langston has shown himself to be a man of conviction who stands by his word, something we saw Pridemore vote against in 2005. Could that have something to do with his rapid rise in powerful committees in the Senate?

With the serious budget shortfall we face, we need a businessman to represent us, someone who has had to work to make a payroll and keep costs down to turn a profit and stay in business. Saying we need to “trim the fat” in our budget and actually doing it are often very different. Tom Langston knows how to do it.

Craig Pridemore has shown us he is willing to compromise his own principles on our backs.

Join me in voting for Tom Langston, Senator for the 49th Legislative District. Let’s return Washington State to sound fiscal footing and get back on track to improving Washington’s economy and drawing businesses and jobs back to Washington State.

August 23, 2008

Debbie Peterson or Jim Jacks?

by lewwaters

Now that the primary is pretty much finished and we see the choice to replace outgoing Bill Fromhold for the seat of the 49th Legislative District, position one will be between GOP candidate, Debbie Peterson and Democrat Jim Jacks, we need to look at both of these candidates and select who will serve Southwest Washington the best.

A particular hot issue for us in Vancouver and Portland is in replacing the I-5 Bridge or building a new third bridge. Vancouver’s Mayor and Portland’s Mayor have both indicated there will no discussion of new I-5 Bridge unless we accept the addition of Light Rail from Portland’s Max line.

Unfortunately for them, they are not the last word.

Debbie Peterson is on the record in appearing before the RTC Board with her views in opposition to the multi-billion dollar venture of Light Rail extending just inside the State Line from Portland.

Jim Jacks supports replacing the aging bridge, including Light Rail, calling it a 100-year investment in the future. He neglects to mention that in order to build a new 6-lane Bridge to replace the current 6-lane Bridge, taxes will undoubtedly be increased and tolls will be added to the new structure.

For those who deicide to take the short ride on light rail into Portland, everyday for work, undoubtedly there will be parking fees for their vehicles they drive to the Clark College area, fares paid to Portland for ride and increased taxes.

When asked why are you running for the Legislature, Debbie Peterson says she is running to prepare the state for her students when they graduate from school, having been inspired by them for how hard they work in her classroom to learn and grow.

Asked the same question in the July 8, 2008 CVTV interview, Jim Jacks mentions his intent is to “listen and learn” and to his 7-year-old daughter, he said, “they make the rules for people and he wants to make the rules more fair.”

In the August 5, 2008 debate held by the League of Women Voters in Vancouver, both candidates were asked if they propose any changes in the Washington State Tax System.

Debbie Peterson reiterated her stance that our tax system is fine as it is, it is the spending that has gotten out of hand. She vows to fight to bring spending back under control.

Jim Jacks rambled on about services outpacing revenues and how people need services more when revenues are down, before blurting out, “I don’t know how to solve it, I’m not a tax expert.”

Yet, throughout his campaign he claims to have a proven record of “problem solving.”

On his website, Jim Jacks states, “As your State Representative, I’ll fight for investments to strengthen our economy and our community.”

What Democrats don’t tell you is that the word “investment” used by them is code for “tax increases.”

In the July 7 interview, he says the state must be accountable to the public for the money they spend, but goes on to say that communities get the level of services they pay for.

Yet, by August 8 he says, “I don’t know how to solve it, I’m no tax expert.”

Debbie Peterson, on the other hand, presents clear and concise ideas on cutting unnecessary spending to include eliminating Clark County residents getting raped over a costly Public Transportation System that would only benefit Portland.

Jim Jacks did gain the vast majority of votes in the August 19th top two primary with nearly 59% of votes cast, some 11,000 votes.

The Columbian’s Kathie Durbin tells us on their Political Beat Blog that Jacks attended a Rotary Club Luncheon on Wednesday, August 20, where tradition dictates that when members names appear in the newspaper, they be ‘fined,’ the money going to provide grants to community organizations.

To his credit, Jim Jacks was prepared to lay down his personal check in the very generous amount of $59.00, representing the 59%. I do hope it didn’t hurt his bank account too much.

Debbie Peterson has adopted a slogan of “For Pete’s Sake, vote for Debbie PETErson.” It is not only a play off of her name, but she explains on her campaign website that

Pete “ is your neighbor, the librarian, electrician, the teacher, your parent’s caregiver and your garbage collector. Pete is all of us in the 49th, who work hard, care for our families, and make it to that soccer game on Saturday morning. Pete is the one who is asking for a break from taxes that are impacting his or her discretionary spending money. Pete is the one who is asking his and her state government to be responsible, just as he and she are in managing their businesses and homes.”

Jim Jacks, that I see, does not really have a slogan. If he did, from his repetitive use of the words, I imagine it would be “listen and learn with Jim Jacks,” or something of that accord.

In comparing both, I find Jacks to speak in vague and general terms, often using Democrat code instead of just outright saying he will raise taxes to pay for services he feels should be provided.

There is mention of a projected massive budget shortfall for Washington State coming. How is this possible with all the taxes we pay in Washington State?

Debbie Peterson has it right in that it isn’t our taxes that are the problem; it is the out of control spending by the State that must be brought under control.

Throwing money at problems, your money, is the usual Democrat method of solving issues. The only problem is they never seem to be resolved and our taxes end up being raised time and again to resolve the same issues that just years earlier were to be solved with the last tax increase.

Isn’t it time to end this cycle of raising taxes time and again? Isn’t it time to recognize that not all spending is necessary and if there are too many employees, some must find work in the private sector?

Since both candidates desire to improve our schools, which one do you think will do better? A mediator who says he “doesn’t know how to solve the tax problem” and has won the endorsement of the Teachers Union? Or, a school teacher who clearly and concisely laid her ideas on the table and who sees that it was in large part, the teachers Union that ended up causing Washington State Schools to lose a $13.2 Million Grant in Math and Science studies?

If you are ready for a fresh face with fresh ideas in Olympia, visit Debbie Peterson’s campaign site. If you get the chance to meet her through out town, take a moment and ask her about something you think needs addressed.

She is part of our community, being a 30-year resident and makes time for people.

Stop by the Republican Party Headquarters, Thursday, August 28th from 4:30 to 7:30, located on the corner of 78th Street and Hazel Dell Avenue in Hazel Dell. Enjoy light refreshments and for Pete’s Sake, meet Debbie and see for yourself who the 49th Legislative District deserves.