Tuesday, May 31, 2005
From the Right Corner: Is it just me? Or are the neo-comms actiing with even more hypocrisy than usual?
Commissioner Stuart, appointed to fill now-Senator Craig Pridemore’s unexpired commission term, appears to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the developer interests of Clark County.
Stuart’s top nine contributors have provided $57,000. Seven of those top nine contributors are developers or associates.
02/10/2005 $10,000.00 KUBICEK GREG HOLT HOMES, INC.
03/04/2005 $10,000.00 LUGLIANI DAVID AMERICAN PACIFIC COMMUNITIES 01/08/2005 $10,000.00 NIERENBERG DAVID & PATRICIA
02/11/2005 $10,000.00 SEBASTIAN RANDAL S. RENAISSANCE HOMES
04/20/2005 $5,000.00 SCOTT'S EXCAVATING VANCOUVER INC
04/20/2005 $5,000.00 ZEPHYR COMMUNITIES LLC
04/20/2005 $3,000.00 PACIFIC FIRST FINANCIAL GROUP
04/01/2005 $2,000.00 P.A.C. #48 OF WASHINGTON
04/20/2005 $2,000.00 PACIFIC FIRST REALTY LLC
Odd, isn’t it? Local fringe leftists whine and snivel about the growth management modifications under consideration, but remain silent in the face of Commissioner Stuart’s handler’s efforts to buy him… and buy his cooperation… to do the very things… the neo comms are whining about.
Such utter hypocrisy.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Nonsense, of course.
There was an “agreement” of some sort… that lasted about 18 hours.
The fact that the terms of the agreement were never defined doomed it from inception. “Extraordinary circumstances” is such a nebulous statement that it’s worthless on its face.
And Reid? He’s such an incompetent that he was made into a buffoon by his own caucus; falsely assuring Frist that Bolton would be confirmed in the last vote… only to have it blow up in his face.
The fact is that with the blow up, Frist and the Republicans were actually proven victorious in their efforts to get at least a few of the heretofore “unacceptable” judges appointed to the DC and 5th District Courts.
Democrats, whining and sniveling like nobody’s business, had assured us all that Justices Owen and Rogers Brown were absolutely unacceptable for confirmation (majority be damned) until this “agreement” was made.
The “agreement,” of course, accomplished nothing for the democrats except to prove that their objections were both bogus and politically driven. Reid, the dem’s idiot leader in the Senate told us of his objection to Owen: that she took an "extreme ideological approach to the law."
In the end, Reid’s idiocy aside, Owen is now confirmed as a Federal Appeals Court judge… and the nuclear option looms as much as it ever did.
So… Where it matters… and it ONLY matters in the “what actually happened” department… The President got one of his appointments confirmed… Reid was made out to look like a clown… and the nuclear option issue remains unresolved.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Interesting post on Portland Independent Media about David Barnett and many other "Members" of the Cowlitz Tribe. Wonder if it's true...
author: Graywolf e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cowlitz People are being run the same way Pine Ridge was run in the 1970's.
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has allowed metis (non-cowlitz people of European dissent) to enroll in the tribe.
Two very important pieces added to the constitution during the June 2000 General Council meeting to maintain council's control over general council.
1. Through a vote by general council, the requirement of 1/16 Cowlitz Blood was dropped so the chairman's son could maintain his set on council and allow other non Cowlitz Indians to maintain their sets too. Every tribe I have contacted keeps this requirement for council elections.
2. The enrollment of "metis" into the tribe to maintain control over the general body of the Cowlitz people was also adopted by those whom wish to keep this control over the Cowlitz People.
This coming General Council meeting in November will cast a blow to at least 400 to maybe 600 Cowlitz Indians being banished from the tribe for no other reason than wanting keep tradition a live and well within Our Tribal Community. And, they all have Cowlitz Blood that is documented in "Robins Roll" of 1856.
One of these tribal members ran for Tribal Chair this last June and lost out to the current chairman who is 100 per cent against the Environmental Groups ( he and his son own a timber company here in Washington State) by just 7 votes. The Chairman called in every vote he could get his hands on to maintain his position as tribal chairman.
Certain members setting on council have given money to other tribal members to get votes for what the chairman puts forth before general council. Council has made deals with outside interests to gain money, land and traded out land in the Toledo area. One deal was made to remove an Ancestor from land owned by one out side interests and to this date council hasn't rein turned our Ancestor to Earth Mother.
In one deal the outside party gave the tribe 43 acres but when council transferred this parcel into Cowlitz Community Foundation from Cowlitz Indian Tribe that parcel dropped in size to 25.28 acres known as the Bill Creek Property. (If you'd like, I can send the property descriptions if you request them)
Next came the alteration of Bill Creek to make way for a bridge, than came an open pit rock query, then a locked gate that tribal members could not pass through. This month saw the county improving the road to the query and made it easier for the corn farmer to harvest his corn and use it to move the queried rock from the pit. (I have taken pictures of this and if anyone would copies and will send them out)
Now for Tribal Housing and the Assistant who works for the tribe. She happens to be related to the party mentioned above. Here is where it starts getting into manipulating by out side parties.
The Housing Assistant has access to any tribal members records, S.S. Numbers and the like (her uncle is the corn farmer who lives in Toledo) and if someone ends up being on the wrong side of this farmer things start happening to said tribal member from her office at St. Marry's (this place was paid for through HUD).
Among the many things happening if someone was to upset this farmer, one might find out that they are no longer eligible for programs like the Elders, where one can go to receive a meal paid for through grants, but this farmer can come over to St. Marry's and receive a meal with out paying for it and have the full run of St. Marry's.
Grant money to run tribal offices also pay the grantee out of this money, which could run from $1500.00 to say maybe $3500.00 a month, while the tribal office gets its cut too, leaving only a small amount to run the program the grantor gave the money for.
If any one remembers what went on during the 1970's on the Pine Ridge Rez. , one could come up with the same kind of situation for the Cowlitz Tribe, where council is the dictator over General Council and if anyone tries to speak their mind, might find themselves excommunicated from the tribe for ever.
In addition to the legislature taking no action based on the state auditor’s identification of $3 billion dollars of misspent, illegally spent or outright vaporized money, she ALLOWED the head of the Children’s Administration to RESIGN, even though HER agency overspent her budget by a paltry $12 million.
Then, to add insult to the taxpayer’s injury her fellow democrats have inflicted on us, “Governor” Gregoire has VETOED the budget cuts that were a START in the process of recovering our millions of misspent dollars.
Thanks, “Governor.” Thanks for screwing us like you did when you increased our taxes $500 million dollars to take care of your buddies.
Gregoire eases children's agency budget woes
5/27/2005, 2:55 p.m. PT
The Associated Press
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Christine Gregoire has eased the multimillion-dollar budget problem at the Children's Administration.
A recent budget veto by the governor stopped the Legislature from cutting the Department of Social and Health Services budget by $16.7 million. The agency said Friday that some of the money will be used to fill at least part of the budget gap at the agency's program for poor and vulnerable children and those in foster care.
The program overspent its budget by $12 million and began cutting some services. The program's new director, Cheryl Stephani, said the agency still is tightly controlling expenses for services and administration until the new fiscal year begins July 1.
Here is a video tribute done for Pat, whose life was tragically wasted by a mistake... resulting in a loss that will dramatically effect many millions for years to come.
Needless to say, I am very disappointed in the choices made by his Ranger unit to attempt to cover up the true circumstances of his death. Those involved must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and this stain on the Honor of the Rangers must be wiped away with their dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States.
God Bless you, Pat... and your family that you were torn from so needlessly and unnecessarily.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
By Donald Lambro
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, breaking his estrangement from the White House, praised President Bush on Tuesday for attempting to fix Social Security and said Democrats were wrong to oppose any discussion until Mr. Bush drops his personal retirement accounts plan.
Mr. Hoffa said preserving Social Security's long-term solvency and pension retirement reform were major concerns in his 1.4-million-member union and that he was willing to work with the administration and the Republican majority in Congress to come up with bipartisan solutions to both issues.
His words of praise for Mr. Bush's efforts were seen as another sharp break with the AFL-CIO and its president, John Sweeney, whose policies and leadership are being challenged by Mr. Hoffa and several other major unions.
"Social Security is a major problem in this country. We have to make sure that it's preserved for those that come after us," Mr. Hoffa said in an interview with Gannett News Service. "I think President Bush should be given credit for the fact that he has initiated a debate regarding what we should do."
May 24, 2005, 10:34 a.m.
The Never-Ending Gubernatorial Race
Rossi v. Gregoire, Round Two.
By Peter Kirsanow
The penultimate round in the dispute over the state of Washington gubernatorial election began Monday in a Chelan County courtroom. Republicans filed a petition contesting last November’s election — won by Democrat Christine Gregoire over Republican Dino Rossi by a mere 129 votes — on the grounds that the alleged errors, omissions, and misconduct of election officials rendered the election’s results unknowable. Republicans want the election set aside and a new election ordered.
Evidence uncovered in depositions and by local media reveals a vote-count process so questionable that it makes what one Democrat called the “nightmare of the Florida (2000) election” look like a model of electoral precision and probity. Nonetheless, the state’s standards for setting aside an election render Republicans’ success at the trial-court level far from certain.
On election night it had appeared that Rossi would win by just a few thousand votes out of approximately 2.9 million ballots cast. Then the fun began. Rossi’s lead narrowed to 261 after provisional ballots were counted two weeks later. A mandatory machine recount featuring a host of peculiarities further reduced Rossi’s lead to 42 votes. A hand recount ensued, providing Gregoire with an eventual victory after batches of uncounted votes kept popping up in boxes, warehouses, and even in the bases of the voting machines themselves. Gregoire was certified as governor on January 10, 2005.
It appeared as early as election night that there might be a challenge to the election. Polls conducted during the recount process showed a substantial majority of Washington state residents favored a revote. Polls also showed that a majority of citizens believed Rossi had won. Republicans filed an election-contest petition on January 7, 2005, citing numerous grounds for setting aside the election. Democrats initially contended that there was no basis for the petition, but evidence unearthed during the discovery process over the last few months suggests that the Republican case may be far more substantive than the rumors, myths, and legends that pervaded Florida 2000.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Are we surprised? I’m not… neither at the sheer gall of these commissioners nailing us with tens of millions of dollars of additional taxes without asking… nor the fringe Left’s acceptance of that plan as a way to govern. They seem incapable of understanding that it is NEVER "government's function" to "create jobs."
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Port going ahead
Good news, bad news, in a way. The Port of Vancouver has voted to enact a massive tax increase, but at least they also voted to wait an entire year in response to criticism they had allowed little opportunity for public input:
Port OKs levy to build industrial area
The new tax will apply to the entire Port district, which includes all of Vancouver, east to Camas and north to near the Clark County Fairgrounds. The 111-square-mile district includes nearly 300,000 residents. The Port currently collects 44 cents per $1,000 in assessed value, which translates to $77 for the owner of a $175,000 home. The additional levy would collect another $78.75 on that house, more than doubling the current rate.
To raise the $60 million, the Port will create an Industrial Development District, which can collect such a property tax for six years and renew it once for six more years. The tax approved Tuesday will be the renewal -- the Port used the system from 1958 to 1963, raising a total of $703,000. The dramatic increase to $60 million is caused by growth, inflation and higher property values.
Now, you say "port taxes" and most people's eyes are going to glaze over. But there are serious issues to consider over the next year, such as why we need to more than double the port tax to create some hundreds of jobs.
Jobs are good, but the oft-used argument that it will reduce traffic problems is open to question. The port could create 10,000 jobs and you would still need a new bridge over The Columbia. Not to mention that this tax will, in effect, compete with the library district, the parks district, C-Tran and the city.
In Tuesday’s installment, an individual claiming to be a neighbor of the upcoming community fabric-rendering leviathan came up with a mound of grade-A horse poop six miles in elevation.
So… we are routinely bombarded with praise for this project from tribal members (who stand to make a fortune) construction unions (who’ll even sell out their SEIU brethren) and those neighboring this monstrosity… BECAUSE WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU IS THEY ARE PLANNING ON CASINO EXPANSION AND THEY KNOW THEY STAND TO MAKE A FORTUNE IF THIS THING IS BUILT.
The rest of this letter is pure eyewash and falsity. It’s delusional to believe that these people give a damn about anyone but themselves. They hide behind tribal propaganda with no thought to the obvious and widespread damage this development will cause. They ARE going to hurt us… ALL of us… and they don’t give a damn.
Opinion - Local View: Neighbor welcomes Cowlitz casino
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
By Salvador Madrigal
Ed Lynch's May 15 local view, "Casino will damage our quality of life," misrepresented the basic issues related to the 152-acre Cowlitz-Mohegan casino project in our neighborhood west of the Interstate 5-Exit 16 interchange. This is understandable, given the aggressive misinformation campaign spearheaded by the La Center cardrooms, which quite naturally fear world-class competition, and a few of their well-paid East Coast lobbyists.
Well-meaning members of the community like Lynch cannot be blamed for being confused.
But a clear look at the facts will tell another story. The area along I-5 including the Cowlitz property has long been slated for development under various plans. It is at the northern end of the Port of Ridgefield's proposed Discovery Corridor. It is already zoned AG20-Urban Industrial Reserve and La Center has in the past attempted to annex the property for an industrial tax base. In short, this land was and is destined for development sooner or later. It will not remain rural.
The question is will it be a clean, architecturally integrated, non-industrial complex, built after mitigating all necessary real environmental concerns, or an eventual helter-skelter industrial development that would make our environment and quality of life worse. As a neighbor, I strongly prefer the first option.
You "strongly prefer the first option" BECAUSE YOU'LL MAKE A PILE OFF OF THAT OPTION IF IT'S CHOSEN!
Do you expect us all to think that you intend to continue living next to this hotbed of crime, drugs, prostitution, higher taxes, traffic jams and overcrowded schools?
We're not nearly as stupid as you would like to have us believe.
We do not want this thing here. We will NEVER want this thing here... and, in the end, if you weren't going to make a pile of cash off this development, you wouldn't want it, either.
As for "mitigating all necessary real environmental concerns," are social costs included in the "real environment?" How about infrastructure? Schools? Needed increases in jail, fire and police protections? How about increased domestic violence costs?
When it came to NONTRIBAL gaming, we're told that it's "...a short term solution that will create a host of long term problems. It will bring gambling into local neighborhoods, increase the amount of gambling, encourage more people to gamble, and ultimately enrich a relative few."
In the world of Megacasino supporters, these effects are perfectly ok when THEY STAND TO BENEFIT.
And who tells us these effects? Why.... Rod Van Mechelen, Cowlitz Tribal Member who will stand to directly and materially benefit from the development of this Megacasino.
This project reeks of disregard for tens of thousands of Clark County citizens. And no amount of dress up by those who will make a buck off this thing can change that.
This sorry, behind-the-scenes, backroom-politics-at-its-finest episode of government arrogance is the poster child for legislation requiring the same type of votes necessary for Port tax increases that are required for school districts, fire districts and the like. Leaving this kind of authority in the hands of those who would abuse it in this manner is a disaster waiting to happen... as it will now happen in 2007.
The conduct of these people is nothing less than despicable. And those of you forced to live under this Taliban-style rule have my sympathy.
Now, the question is: are you going to do something about it?
Port OKs doubling of tax
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
By JULIA ANDERSON, Columbian staff writer
In a 3-0 vote, Port of Vancouver commissioners Tuesday approved a six-year port district property tax increase but delayed implementation of the tax until 2007.
The port district takes in 111 square miles in southwest Clark County with 300,000 residents.
The unanimous vote came after Commissioner Arch Miller first offered to support a tax increase in 2006, but said he would do so only if port staff could supply more details about how the money would be used and how it fit into the port's overall capital spending plan.
Miller wanted answers in 60 days or, he said, he was prepared to reject the tax proposal, recommended by port staff.
After hearing Miller's 13 questions, Larry Paulson, port executive director, said the 60-day contingency would create too much uncertainty and that it might be better to wait a year.
Monday, May 23, 2005
An excellent read.
Leaving the left
I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.
I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.
I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.
My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.
Like many others who came of age politically in the 1960s, I became adept at not taking the measure of the left's mounting incoherence. To face it directly posed the danger that I would have to describe it accurately, first to myself and then to others. That could only give aid and comfort to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and all the other Usual Suspects the left so regularly employs to keep from seeing its own reflection in the mirror.
Now, I find myself in a swirling metamorphosis. Think Kafka, without the bug. Think Kuhnian paradigm shift, without the buzz. Every anomaly that didn't fit my perceptual set is suddenly back, all the more glaring for so long ignored. The insistent inner voice I learned to suppress now has my rapt attention. "Something strange -- something approaching pathological -- something entirely of its own making -- has the left in its grip," the voice whispers. "How did this happen?" The Iraqi election is my tipping point. The time has come to walk in a different direction -- just as I did many years before.
Friday, May 20, 2005
The State of Oregon is a trainwreck. Portland's city government is a nationwide punchline, Multnomah Commissioners view laws as mere suggestions, to be ignored whenever their socialist leanings kick in (Can you say "gay marriage?" I knew you could!)
The Oregon Legislature occasionally seems capable of actual "representation." Every so often, they actually do what the people of their state want.
If only such a system existed here in Washington.
Which leads me to today's example of Oregon's Legislative success, contrasted neatly with Washington's all-to-typical legislative failure.
In Washington, the given is that democrats benefit from the illegal and fraud vote. As a result, the growing demand for proof of citizenship requirements to register to vote was ignored by our government.
In Oregon, they've found a way, apparently, to get beyond that, at least in the House.
My fear here is, of course, that since the illegal/fraud vote goes to the democrats EVERYWHERE, that even if this bill makes it through the process, Leftist Governor Kulingoski will, of course, veto this legislation, because (You guessed it!) the democrats benefit from the illegal/fraud vote.
Friday, May 20, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
Ore. bill: New voters would have to prove citizenship
By Charles E. Beggs
The Associated Press
SALEM, Ore. — People registering to vote in Oregon for the first time would have to show proof of citizenship, under a bill narrowly passed yesterday by the state House.
Supporters say the step is needed to prevent illegal immigrants from fraudulently registering and voting, but foes contend there's little or no evidence that is happening.
The measure passed 31-25 and now goes to the Senate.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Linda Flores, R-Clackamas, said there are no procedures to ensure that only legal citizens are registering because little or no checking is done.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
The d's don't have a case, you understand... all they have is noses bent out of shape because, God forbid, Tom Delay cost them 7 seats in the House by redistricting Texas to actually reflect the political make-up of that state.
Speaking of demo leftist scum, who's the one wearing the sheets, leading the lynching and character assasination?
Why, none other than Ronnie Earle... prosecutor and, well, democrat hack. The guy raised over $100,000 for the Left... beating on Tom DeLay every step of the way.
How much would this lowlife have raised without DeLay as a whipping boy? And why hasn't he actually filed charges? Man... LBJ would be PROUD, I tell ya!
Nah... THERE'S no partisanship HERE.. IS there?
May 19, 2005, 2:34PM
Prosecutor in probe of DeLay PAC raises funds for other side
Earle's speech on political corruption keys on the GOP leader, whom he likens to a bully
By MICHAEL HEDGES
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau
REP. TOM DELAY
Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who denies partisan motives for his investigation of a political group founded by Republican leader Tom DeLay, was the featured speaker last week at a Democratic fund-raiser where he spoke directly about the congressman.
A newly formed Democratic political action committee, Texas Values in Action Coalition, hosted the May 12 event in Dallas to raise campaign money to take control of the state Legislature from the GOP, organizers said.
Earle, an elected Democrat, helped generate $102,000 for the organization.
In his remarks, Earle likened DeLay to a bully and spoke about political corruption and the investigation involving DeLay, the House majority leader from Sugar Land, according to a transcript supplied by Earle.
The Local Hypocrisy of the Left: Neo-Comms upset that Oregon GOP kills up or down vote on bigger school budgets…
There is/are a word(s) for such shear, unadulterated hypocrisy… unfortunately, they/it escapes me.
HHhhhmmmm… Situational ethics? Maybe… but I don’t see that as quite strong enough. Scummy? Could be.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Up or down votes
Pot, meet kettle, also known as the Oregon GOP:
GOP maneuver sets aside Democrats' school plan
SALEM -- The Oregon House's Republican leaders, trying to avoid giving their opponents a campaign issue, found a way Tuesday to keep Democrats from getting an up-or-down vote on a bigger budget for schools.
The Republican majority simply voted to put off considering the Democratic budget proposal until Aug. 31 -- long after legislators are expected to have ended the session and gone home.
The little-used parliamentary procedure left each side accusing the other of playing politics at the expense of good policy.
Maybe they should call in Dr. Frist to explain to them how this isn't democracy.
# posted by stilwell @ 1:35 PM
Guess what, Brighteyes? Jamming tax increases down our throats ain't democracy either... but THAT never seems to bother you... does it?
We eagerly await your explanation of that.
You will, quite simply, not believe how the Columbian spun this sorry episode... calling this pay off a "rent abatement."
Gee. When the downtown hotel/event center finances collapses and the hosing of Clark County taxpayers begins in earnest, you think WE'LL be able to get a "payback abatement?"
Barracks Cooking - Redevelopment plan taking shape at reserve
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
By JULIA ANDERSON, Columbian staff writer
Several components of Arch Miller's multifaceted business plan to revitalize the west barracks at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve are up and running. By summer more pieces are expected to fall into place.
Miller and his daughters, Suzy Taylor and Lynn Rullman, doing business as the International Air & Hospitality Academy, negotiated a lease agreement with the city of Vancouver in early 2004 to renovate the former Grant House restaurant and several buildings at the west barracks. The remodeled buildings were the centerpiece of a plan to add new culinary and hospitality training programs to academy curriculum.
Despite cost overruns on the renovation work and a time frame that's taken much longer than first envisioned, Miller, Taylor and Rullman remain steadfastly upbeat about their business model. Others within city government and commercial real estate also say the idea is a good one.
To bolster the project until more of the plan is operational, the city has approved a 12-month rent abatement agreement on the restaurant, which will cut about $2,500 a month from academy expenses.
Not surprisingly, David Barnett, Chief Shill for the Cowlitz Tribe in their effort to open up their economic black hole, could only "question the accuracy of the results."
This clown didn't offer a SHRED of evidence to show those results to be inaccurate, of course... all he could do was "question" the results.
Is it just me, or is it EVERY SINGLE TIME the Tribe is presented with yet another proof their Megacasino isn't wanted here... all they can do is "question the results."
This represents yet another episode where the Cowlitz prove they don't give a damn about what the people of this County want. No amount of damage to us, our businesses, our families... none of that will make any difference in their desire to punish the people of Clark County with their economic and social "Black Hole," and costs to us be damned... as long as they get theirs.
Survey: La Center opposes casino
Thursday, May 19, 2005
By MARGARET ELLIS, Columbian staff writer
La Center residents who responded to a survey aren't looking forward to a tribal casino moving in next door.
The survey, conducted on behalf of the city of La Center, found that two-thirds of residents oppose the Cowlitz Tribe's plan for a casino on Northwest 319th Street, two miles from the La Center city limits.
The Cowlitz Tribe is asking the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs for permission to build a $400 million casino and hotel on 152 acres. A decision is expected in about a year.
The level of opposition isn't much of a surprise, said Councilman Dale Smith.
"What surprised me was the number of those who strongly opposed," he said. "I thought they'd be more ambivalent."
Do you suppose Paul Berendt, State Dem Chair and well known sprinkler system is going to be crying when he reads THIS report?
Thursday, May 19, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
Election manager linked to false report
By Keith Ervin
Seattle Times staff reporter
King County's absentee-ballot supervisor has testified that she collaborated with her boss when she filled out a report that falsely showed all ballots were accounted for in the November election.
Nicole Way said in a deposition Friday that she and assistant elections superintendent Garth Fell agreed to the misleading report because officials didn't know how many absentee ballots were returned by voters.
Way is the first employee to link an upper-level manager with a practice that failed to meet state ballot-auditing regulations.
The regulations require counties to reconcile the number of absentee ballots returned by voters with the number of ballots accepted or rejected. Way's report showed perfect reconciliation because it simply added the number accepted and rejected to calculate ballots returned.
Elections officials now acknowledge that dozens of absentee ballots were misplaced and the votes not tabulated during the November election. The ballots were never counted as accepted or rejected.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
The democrats, continuing to misread the American public, seem to believe that the People actually support women in combat (wic) when there is no evidence to support such a conclusion.
Is that to say that I believe the blood shed by the women in Iraq or Afghanistan is any the less valuable than their male counterpart?
Nope. For the most part, this isn’t ABOUT the women in either location.
But let me bring up a couple of issues that you, the reader, may not be aware of.
Have you ever thought of the effect on the military of the issue of pregnancy? The Department of Defense never seems to talk about this issue.
Let me go over them… briefly.
First of all, if one is pregnant, one instantly becomes non-deployable. That means that the skills that we, the taxpayer, have paid tens of thousands to provide you for service in war… well, those skills will NOT be utilized as we intended.
This results in the following:
Reduced mission capability at the unit level.
Increased workload on the others actually deploying with the unit… because SOMEBODY has to pick up the slack of the pregnant, now absent, female.
Somebody ELSE is going to get screwed… not just the pregnant female. Who? Easy… the poor schlep that will have to replace her, should a replacement be available.
Second, if one IS deployed, the moment one BECOMES certifiably pregnant one is medically evacuated… resulting in the effects above.
Third, the taxpayer again gets screwed. We pay to have the female evacuated. We pay to have her replacement transported to her duty assignment. We pay for her housing, her medical care, and her base pay and allowances… even though she has voluntarily assumed a condition that get the pregnant female OUT of the situation we’re paying her to be IN.
The information provided here is not top secret. It IS out there… but we so fear the issue of political correctness that we fail to take the steps we NEED to take… the steps that will save lives… and the steps that will; save the taxpayers millions of dollars.
From a War College study done here: https://research.maxwell.af.mil/papers/ay1999/acsc/99-016.pdf
Shows women in all branches of the military are between 3 and 4 times more likely to avoid deployment.
The Military does not appear to have a plan or a clue to deal with this conduct. This self-assumed disqualifying condition is no different then any other type of self-wound to avoid combat.
Does the Military do anything to discourage this kind of result?
Of course not. The military has decided to engage in THE most intrusive, expensive, anti-readiness plans available.
We can't get enough bullet-proof vests for our troops in Iraq, but we sure can support a "pregnancy-float," paying the over 10,000 military members pregnant at any one given time full pay, allowances and other benefits while the other members of the units do the dying... and the taxpayer gets screwed for paying for all that in addition to the cost of training... training that was SUPPOSED to be for war.
Expanding the exclusionary rule... reducing our reliance on women in the military... all of those things will have long-term advantages that we simply refuse to understand or execute.
And, in the end, I fear we will all pay dearly because of it.
We already know he’s a racist. We already know he’s an ultra-leftist fringe nutjober. Now, his mouth has shown that there is no end to his irresponsible actions… no end to the harm he’s willing to cause… the comfort he’ll give our enemies.
Perhaps, in the interests of fairness, Dr. Dean/Mr. Hyde will focus on the actions of a Senator who actually killed someone a few years back. At a minimum, he’ll demand and bluster over the top ten congress members who accepted privately funded trips, won’t he?
Well, since those ten are ALL DEMOCRATS, well… probably not.
Did I mention that Dr. Dean/Mr. Hyde is a RANK hypocrite?
Sorry. My bad.
If DeLay should go to jail, then Dean should go to a nuthouse where, I'm sure, an increasing number of democrats would dearly love him to be.
Dean jeers DeLay on eve of Valley trip
Jon KammanThe Arizona RepublicMay. 18, 2005 12:00 AM
Howard Dean, national chairman of the Democratic Party, said Tuesday that he thinks House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has committed crimes that could put the Republican in jail.
DeLay's office fought back with Dean's own words from the 2004 presidential campaign. The former Vermont governor had maintained that even terrorist leader Osama bin Laden should not be pre-judged if captured.
"There's corruption at the highest level of the Republican Party, and they're going to have to face up to that one of these days, because the law is closing in on Tom DeLay," Dean said in a telephone interview before heading to an appearance today in Phoenix.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
These people strike me as idiots.
One of these misguided souls actually believes… or has the innate stupidity to at least write as if he believes, that Tim Eyman actually represents a “threat to representative democracy.”
That, of course, is a crock. An out-and-out crock of the highest-grade horse-hockey available on the market today.
In fact, just the opposite is true. The ultra-left neo-comms, out to personally and politically destroy those wise enough to oppose them, have completely overlooked the FACT that a non-responsive government, populated by idiots that refuse to acknowledge the will of the people, actually stand as the biggest threat to representative democracy… and not the Watch Salesman from Mukilteo.
What the Left continues to forget… or shove aside… or ignore, is Article One, Section One of the Washington State Constitution, which states the following:
SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER.
All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.
Can they read that? Can they understand it? The FIRST Right in the section, Declaration of Rights, is the very RIGHT that neo-comms ignore… and seek to take away from us at their earliest possible time.
Tim Eyman has actually given the people a voice. But because that voice doesn’t happen to say what the socialist whiners want to hear, they make irresponsible statements and allegations that essentially boil down to one thing and one thing only: In the world of the neo-comm, what the people actually want is meaningless if it conflicts with the government agenda.
If the Left doesn’t like it, they can run their own initiative or referendum to eliminate initiatives or referendums.
They won’t, of course, for the same reason their great wailing and gnashing of teeth over HB 1515 was such a meaningless, put-upon con job: they lack the guts to put their alleged principles where their mouth is, and put their ultra-leftist pap to the test at the ballot box.
In short… their “ACTION” consists of whining, sniveling and complaining… and not constructively advocating for change in the way the Legislature does business so that they, the Body that would allegedly govern us, will gain the responsiveness that will stop their slide into irrelevance.
In the end, there would be no Eyman if the Legislature had not chose and does not choose to ignore the will of the people. If the Legislature were responsive… then we wouldn’t need the Initiative process.
Anything else… such as this… isn’t even creative bitching and moaning. Instead, it’s shear hypocrisy.
But then, you knew that… Right?
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Eyman out to destroy representative democracy
By ANDREW VILLENEUVE
Here we go again.
Apparently angry that the Legislature would dare tackle our state's transportation problems without first consulting him, Tim Eyman is hawking yet another $30 car tab initiative ("Government defies voter approval," May 3).
The initiative process -- and direct democracy -- is nothing today like what its founders envisioned it to be. Special interests have hijacked the process for their own political gain, bypassing the citizen-elected Legislature and public input, to craft poorly written, self-serving proposals designed to appeal to voters' pocketbooks while downplaying the consequences. Eyman is no exception.
Six years ago, Eyman launched his professional political career with Initiative 695, which brought him fame, fortune and arrogance. He exploited citizens' frustration with the motor vehicle excise tax and drafted an initiative that almost eliminated the entire tax. But I-695 had been poorly written, so the Washington Supreme Court threw it out. Afraid of another initiative, the governor and the Legislature gave in to Eyman and eliminated the MVET.
More (of this incredible nonsense)...
They can jack up your taxes... without asking!
We know the state can do it... the past session proves that.
We also know that local officials lost their collective minds over I-695, the first of the Legendary Eyman initiatives (Which was the FIRST demand of the people to lower tag fees to $30 per year... while requiring a vote for all tax and fee increases) which, even though passing overwhelmingly, was tossed out by the courts.
We know that when then Rep. Marc Boldt introduced legislation actually requiring the voter's permission to have ports jack up their taxes… port commissioners around the state in general and in Vancouver specifically lost their collective minds.
Now, the Port Commissioners will be ignoring the will of the people, going through a sham process before the nail us with another increase… much like the Legislature ignored the clearly expressed will of the people with their sham, worthless, election reform.
Here we have Port Commissioners… beholding to, essentially no one, nailing us all with a huge tax increase with no real public discussion, no way for the public to vote and, most importantly, no way for the people to derail this plan.
HEY! I KNOW! Let’s all go down to Port Commissioner Arch Miller’s daughter’s rent-free restaurant at the Grant House and celebrate this underhanded BS! Since we’re taxpayers, maybe we can celebrate this abrogation of public responsiveness with some more taxpayer-subsidized food!
Is EVERYBODY HAPPY?
The next time the media is looking for reasons why people don’t vote… don’t care… don’t get involved… they don’t have to look much farther then this sorry episode.
In Our View: Taxes in the Night
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Columbian editorial writers
Despite assurances there is no "end around" maneuver on the public process, the Port of Vancouver's dark-of-night tax proposal has caught many people off guard.
It's likely that most of the 300,000 affected property owners in the Vancouver area were surprised to read in Sunday's Columbian of the port commission's apparent desire to vote on the tax plan at its May 24 meeting, one week from today. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m., a time inconvenient to most residents, at 3103 Lower River Road in the port's administration building.
Just because the port has legal authority to implement an Industrial Development District tax without a public vote doesn't mean it should. And the Port of Vancouver Board of Commissioners Arch Miller, Nancy Baker and Bob Moser should not do it this time under these circumstances.
Approval of the surprise tax would double the amount of port district taxes paid annually on assessed property. Taxes on a home assessed at $200,000 would jump from $88 per year to $178. The proposed six-year levy would be in addition to existing port taxes of 44 cents per $1,000 of home valuation.
I'm stunned... stunned, I tell you!
Never mind that they've put themselves and the taxpayers of Clark County on the hook for $60 to $70 million dollars for the downtown White Elephant, aka hotel/convention center... which has served, in large part, to be the CAUSE of jacking up more taxes.
Well, you folks and businesses in Vancouver have the government you deserve. Enjoy!
Council generally supports tax hikes
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
By JEFFREY MIZE, Columbian staff writer
Increasing the sales tax and asking voters to bump up property taxes received a generally favorable reception from some, but not all, members of the Vancouver City Council on Monday night.
But finding a precise tax package, intended to shore up the the city's finances for the next 10 years, will take more than one meeting.
Council members spent more than three hours Monday chewing on the multifaceted tax and budget issue.
"There's no easy answer," Mark Brandon, chief lending officer for First Independent Bank, said near the beginning of Monday's discussion. "There's no golden key that's going to open the doors and make things work overnight."
Brandon, who will become chairman of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce next year, serves on a five-member group that has met nine times since the start of the year to hash over the city's budget.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Local View: Casino will damage our quality of life
Sunday, May 15, 2005
By Ed Lynch
To borrow a line from Meredith Willson's "The Music Man," we've got trouble, my friend, right here in River City.
We certainly do, but for us the threat isn't a pool hall but a casino. It's the one the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and its partner, the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, want to construct west of Interstate 5 near La Center. If the tribe succeeds in getting the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to take this 152-acre site into "trust," I'm convinced the gargantuan gambling complex they build will severely damage the quality of life we've worked so hard over the years to develop.
While an environmental impact statement is being prepared, consider that the proposed gambling/hotel/shopping/parking complex (8,500 cars) would be half again as big as any in the state, approaching the size of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Its cumulative impacts will damage forever the surrounding rural community.
If approved, it makes a mockery of existing zoning requirements and shatters any hope for our commissioners to manage growth in one of the state's fastest growing counties.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
From the Right Corner: Even MORE whining and sniveling from the Left... this time, bitching and moaning about the gas tax initiative!
There's a movement afoot, run by two talk jocks from Seattle (Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson) to gather the signatures needed to put an Initiative on the ballot that will overturn the gas tax increase, signed into law by former Attorney General Gregoire.
The Left, so hypocritically big on "choice," (unless, of course, it involves the taxpayer's "choice" as to paying tax increases, in which case, the "choice" option disappears...) are having a cow on this effort, because these two are using their position as talk show hosts in Seattle to push this attempt to insert the political will of the people of this state into the mix.
As a populist, I've always been very big on the will of the people around here. Locally, for example, the Taliban City Council of Vancouver TWICE SUED the voters of Vancouver to STOP them from expressing THEIR will on the matter of the downtown hotel/convention center idiocy that all the Taxpayers of Clark County will wind up paying for.
I supported the implementation of I-728 and I-732, even though the thugs of the WEA lied about costs and so forth... the people voted for it, government should have implemented it.
Teachers should have given up their step increases in favor of their guaranteed pay raises, government employee pay scales should have been cut across the board, as should the number of state employees and expenditures... whatever it took, EXCEPT FOR ANY KIND OF TAX INCREASE, to implement those programs.
Now, of course, they've been implemented anyway, a plan that destroyed the choice of the People (Remember, the Leftist neo-comms are VERY big on choice... unless they don't happen to LIKE the choice you want to make. If they oppose you, well, LOOK OUT BELOW!) embodied in I-601... but that's OK, because, after all, "choice" only matters if the Left SUPPORTS it.
So... what is the Left whining about now?
"This amounts to media outlets creating and supporting a ballot measure. They can comment on issues all they want, but it's pretty clear that without these two clowns having air time, there is no initiative. Which raises a host of issues.
While it might be likely that the voters of Clarktucky County would support the initiative, we might want to consider the effect of talk radio hosts in Puget Sound holding such power. Real conservatives should consider how things might look if Seattle radio ever reflects the actual population of Seattle. Not to mention tiny things like exactly whom the Republic exists to serve. Might as well give Dr. Laura an amendment and the hell with the whole thing."
stillwell snivels on and on, but you get the drift. In yet another show of that hypocritical "tolerance" of the Left, stillwell refers to those who disagree with his neo-communist views as residents of "Clarktucky."
Well, this resident advises Stillwell to follow Mayor "No Choice" Royce's advise: If you don't like it, leave.
As for the gas tax roll back, I admit to some level of confusion. I understood this sorry effort to have one of the blizzard of "emergency clauses" the dems attached to every bill they passed. in this case, specifically so the PEOPLE of this state couldn't DARE overturn the increase.
Of course, I could be wrong... but if I'm right, then this initiative will never survive passage.
Stuart has raised just over $61,000 so far, an impressive feat to be sure (You don't suppose he's been getting the benefit of some of Betty Sue's old school arm twisting, do you?)
But of that amount, a whopping $45,000 has been the product of developers and developer allies.
That's stunning enough, considering Stuart's radical environmentalist background, but I would have LOVED to have been a fly on the wall when some of those developer types read today's Columbian, and got an eyeful about how Stuart is attempting to foil their plans to expand the county's growth boundaries... A move allowing his developer buds to make a killing if implemented.
LBJ is famous for this quote: "Down in Texas, once we buy a politician, he stays bought."
It seems to me that Commissioner Stuart's gonna have a lot of 'splainin' to do... when those people start demanding some return on their investment.
And to those of you dumb enough to write him a 4 or 5 figure check without making sure he "stays bought," well, it seems to me you've got it coming.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I pointed out the obvious: white felons, voting illegally, will almost uniformly vote democrat.
Well, the Tacoma News Tribune seems to agree and they have a few hundred well-chosen words on the subject.
Tacoma, WA - May 11, 2005
Felons vote Democratic, national study says
KENNETH P. VOGEL; The News Tribune
Originally published: May 10th, 2005 12:01 AM
If disenfranchised felons had been allowed to vote, they would have swung the 2000 presidential race to Al Gore, according to a national study Republicans are touting in their fight to overturn Christine Gregoire’s victory in last fall’s governor’s race.
The study posits that since racial minorities and the poor – groups that tend to vote for Democrats– make up a disproportionate number of felons, a hypothetical felon voting bloc would be so overwhelmingly Democratic it could swing national and statewide elections.
On average, 74 percent of felons would have voted Democratic in presidential and U.S. Senate elections dating back to 1972, according to the study’s analysis of demographic and voting data.
Of Democratic presidential candidates, the study predicts that Bill Clinton’s successful 1996 re-election campaign would have gotten the highest percentage of felon votes, at 85.4 percent. Jimmy Carter’s failed 1980 re-election would have gotten the lowest, at 66.5 percent.
A state GOP-funded study by Jonathan Katz, a political science professor at the California Institute of Technology, estimates that Gregoire received 66.3 percent of the illegal felon votes.
And a study by Tony Gill, an associate political science professor at the University of Washington, estimates that Gregoire received 60.1 percent of felon votes in King County, Gregoire’s base and home to by far the largest number of illegal felon votes the GOP says were cast.
Compared with the national study, published in 2002 in the American Sociological Review, Gill writes that his study’s estimate “is too conservative, giving Ms. Gregoire the benefit of the doubt. In other words, the rate at which felons vote for a Democratic candidate is likely to be higher than the estimates provided by the precinct-level of analysis here.”
Katz did not return a phone call.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Local Angle: Portland-Clark County traffic ninth-worst in U.S.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Rush-hour traffic in the greater Portland area, which includes Clark County, ranked ninth-worst in the nation, according to the Texas Transportation Institute's Urban Mobility Report, released Tuesday.
Driving in rush hour takes 1.37 times longer than it would without traffic, according to the report, based on 2003 data. That means a trip that takes 20 minutes in free-flowing traffic takes about 7 minutes longer during rush hour.
Among 85 urban areas, Portland tied with Las Vegas for rush-hour congestion. Portland's congestion grew slightly more between 1982 and 2003 than Seattle's, which ranked 11th.
In the transportation institute's report based on 2001 data, Portland ranked eighth in terms of rush-hour congestion.
Motorists spent 39 hours delayed in traffic in 2003, according to report, which ranked Portland 26th by that measure. That's an improvement over the previous year, when Portland motorists lost 41 hours to traffic delays.
Portland motorists collectively spent 33.4 million hours delayed in traffic, consuming an extra 21.9 million gallons of fuel. The delays cost an estimated $569 million. In these measures, the report ranked Portland 25th.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Fromhold and Doumit… remember that idiotic bill of theirs designed to punish the BIAW?
HHHmmm… What WILL they think of next?
Mixed interests fight unions
Critics say ultimate goal of conservative groups is to cut state worker jobs
BY ADAM WILSON
Washington's largest state workers union says conservative political groups are misleading employees by offering support for decertification efforts while the real goal is to cut state government jobs.
"Who is pushing back, and why are they pushing? Why is the Evergreen Freedom Foundation working in concert with the Building Industry Association of Washington and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation?" asked Greg Devereux, executive director of the Washington Federation of State Employees.
"These outside entities ... are essentially trying to crush what we did accomplish," he said.
The federation referred to the three organizations as the "axis of evil" on its Web site during efforts to hold on to 21 bargaining units rebelling against the union's contract with the state.
"That's the coalition of anti-state-employee groups campaigning against legislative funding of the contracts by aiding in or leading the decertification of state employee unions," the federation said in a news update.
Why? Because you people are idiots. Because the only thing you give a damn about are your fellow union thugs while you do everything in your power to screw the taxpayers of this state. Because your stupidity in singling out the BIAW for retribution could never happen for free.
Thanks for asking.
Monday, May 9, 2005 · Last updated 5:27 p.m. PT
9th Circuit panel overturns part of ruling against contractor
By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
SEATTLE -- Washington state cannot favor minority-owned businesses in awarding road-building contracts because it hasn't proven that minority contractors have experienced discrimination, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
Western States Paving Co. of Vancouver, Wash., sued the state Department of Transportation, Clark County and the City of Vancouver after losing several road-paving contracts to minority-owned firms that had submitted higher bids.
The company argued that federal law allowing states to give preference to minority firms is unconstitutional, and that the state of Washington did not properly follow federal guidelines.
Today, she signs the largest gas tax increase in the history of the United States.
What's it all mean? I'm sure she'll be condemned as lying scum by her leftist supporters... won't she?
Well... probably not.
Gregoire Signs Gas Tax Hike Law, Highway Improvement Package
POSTED: 3:00 pm PDT May 9, 2005
SEATTLE -- Gov. Christine Gregoire has signed the legislation raising the gasoline tax by nine-and-a-half cents over four years.
The money will raise $8.5 billion over 16 years to pay for 270 highway and transportation projects in Washington.
The governor took a five-stop bus ride around the Seattle area today to highlight transportation projects. She signed the legislation at the ferry terminal on the Seattle waterfront, next to the aging Alaska Way viaduct.
Replacing the viaduct is one of the biggest projects on the list the tax will help fund. Others are replacing the Highway 520 floating bridge in Seattle, improvements on I-405 between Renton and Bellevue, and replacing the Puyallup River bridge on Highway 162.
Gregoire says the transportation package will move the state forward on the Columbia River crossing bridge between Vancouver and Portland, the north Spokane corridor and improvement freight shipments over Snoqualmie Pass.
Gregoire says every county in the state will see results.
Known in the Legislative halls as a bully with an anger management problem, Jim West has become an embarrassment that exceeds that of his mishandling of his duties as Senate Majority Leader... Jim West's conduct has been despicable and his denials indicate that nothing would change were he to manage to survive this.
He has become an embarrassment to his state, his city, his party and frankly, to all mankind. The LEAST he can do is resign.
The Times hit it out of the park with their demand that he resign. Hopefully, in this instance, our Eastern Washington brethren and sisteren will accept this advice.
Sunday, May 8, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
West must resign as Spokane mayor
Jim West, who rose to the top ranks of the state Republican Party over many years as a state lawmaker, should resign as mayor of Spokane.
Allegations of child molestation many years ago, along with use of the perquisites of his office to lure a man he believed to be 18 into a date, will overwhelm his ability to fully serve the citizens of Spokane.
Use of a City Hall computer and offers of a city internship to a young man he was courting online show a tragic willingness to abuse power. Elected officials must be held to the highest standards of ethical conduct.
West can no longer preside over the city's business with full public confidence.
Why the former First Lady should stay in the Senate
Sunday, May. 08, 2005
I was having a fascinating conversation with a Middle East expert about the intricacies of Israel's disengagement from Gaza when I noticed the fellow growing impatient. "Enough of this," he said. "What about Hillary?" Welcome to my life. In airports, on checkout lines, at the doctor's office: "What about Hillary?" (Everywhere except in Washington, where everyone "knows" she's running.) I shrug, I try to avoid the question, I say it's too early—and it is. But you want to know too, right? So here it is. I like Senator Clinton. She has a wicked, ironic sense of humor (in private) and a great raucous belly laugh. She is smart and solid; she inspires tremendous loyalty among those who work for her. She is not quite as creative a policy thinker as her husband, but she easily masters difficult issues—her newfound grasp of military matters has impressed colleagues of both parties on the Armed Services Committee—and she is not even vaguely the left-wing harridan portrayed by the Precambrian right. I also think that a Clinton presidential candidacy in 2008 would be a disaster on many levels.
Sunday, May 8, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
David S. Broder / Syndicated columnist
Senate should find a way to defuse the "nuclear option"
WASHINGTON — The Senate returns to work this week facing a calamity that is not yet an inevitability. The partisan dispute over the confirmation of several of President Bush's judicial appointments could be headed for the "nuclear option," which would likely cripple the Senate's capacity to legislate seriously on any of the pressing issues on the national agenda.
Barring a compromise, Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist has locked himself into a position of seeking a parliamentary ruling that would allow Republicans, by majority vote, to suspend the minority Democrats' right to filibuster any more judgeships. Democrats in the last Congress used the threat of endless debate to block 10 Bush appointees to the circuit court benches one step below the Supreme Court. Bush has resubmitted seven of those names and is pressing Frist to bar the filibuster and allow them to be confirmed by a 51-vote majority, an easier mark than the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster. If that happens, Democrats say they will block the Senate from considering any of the measures on Bush's legislative wish list.
Both sides offered their versions of a compromise before the Senate took a week off to let tempers cool. Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid said his party would give a pass to some — but not all — of the disputed judges if Republicans would drop the most controversial of the Bush choices and shelve any effort to change the filibuster rule. Reid also said that in the future, filibusters would be "rare," but his spokesman, Jim Manley, denied published rumors that Reid also signaled to the GOP that there would be no filibuster against Bush's first Supreme Court nomination. "He can't make that promise," Manley told me.
Chris Vance has been, and continues to be, an unmitigated disaster as party chair. The reasons are obvious and legion, many of which have been discussed elsewhere on this blog.
But not the least of which has been his rabid shortsightedness in going around and alienating the mainstream voters on both sides of the aisle from our cherished, blanket primary, tradition.
And now, to compound the errors of his ways, the blindered leadership of the Party, including the executive board, will be suing the voters of this state so they can finally, and irrevocably, achieve their goal.
And, ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake: ALL of this is about “The List.” All of this has been a smoke screen for getting “The List,” and anything else has only to do with the Party agenda.
The LAST thing these hacks want is to concern themselves with the will of the people. In the end, it’s about control and power… but it usually is. Here, they fail to understand that their arguments are legally invalid (there is a reason they call it the “Louisiana Primary,” and that is mainly because it’s legal and in place in another state, tending to lend that system’s imprimatur to the legality of OUR system) and all their idiotic actions will do is further alienate the voters, drive up voter empathy and provide ammunition for the Libertarians… who most people don’t understand support these moves as well.
Congratulations to the Times, who have masterfully stated the case, not only that the leadership of BOTH major parties are acting like idiots, but in reality, that both leaders should be replaced.
Monday, May 9, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
Bring elections back to the people
There they go again. Chris Vance and Paul Berendt, chairmen respectively of the state Republican and Democratic parties, can't stop trying to wrest control of the state's primary election from the people. Now they're trying to tinker with Washington's new primary, approved overwhelmingly by voters in November.
They should just leave the elections to the people.
The whole mess started when the parties sued the state because they wanted Washington's blanket primary declared unconstitutional. Voters used to choose among all candidates and all parties, and the top Republican and top Democratic vote-getter advanced.
The party bosses didn't like Democrats picking Republicans, and vice versa. They won their lawsuit, and last September, for the first time in 70 years, Washington primary voters were confined to candidates from only their chosen party.
People hated it so much that, two months later, voters adopted by initiative a primary that is all but blind to party. Next September, voters will go back to choosing among all candidates for a political office. The top two highest vote-getters advance, regardless of their party.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Dean has been a disaster. As long as they let him run their party, he will BE a disaster.
Dean has a runaway mouth. He’s thoughtless, apparently incapable of a strategic thought, and while attempting a democrat reality check on one hand, on the other, he shoots off his mouth like an AK 47, with remarks that have the effect of an Iraqi car bomb, killing everyone in sight.
Mainstream democrats tried to warn the rest of the Party. But their Party is infested with radical socialists who are doing everything they can to drag the Party farther and farther Left… and now it shows where it’s most important: money.
Democratic National Committee (DNC) fund raising under the chairmanship of Howard Dean shows a disappointing $16.7 million raised in the first quarter of 2005, compared with $34 million reported by the Republicans.
That tends to confirm dire predictions by old-line Democratic fund-raisers of a fall-off in money if Dean became chairman. He had promised to bring in heavy individual contributions, as he did in his 2004 campaign for president. But the DNC in the first quarter received only $13 million from individuals, compared to $31 million for the Republican National Committee (RNC).
A footnote: A recent DNC fund-raising appeal promised to send field workers to North Carolina, which does not have a major statewide election until 2008.
Remove the HOV lane
The Columbian weighs in with a good quote from County Commissioner Steve Stuart:
HOV lanes work elsewhere, but in Vancouver, a one-way car-pool lane that leads to a narrow bridge, then to a bottleneck, has not proved to be a solution. Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart was quoted in a Columbian story by Jeffrey Mize: "I fully support a functional HOV lane across the river into Portland. My problem is this is not a functional HOV lane."
He's right. The experiment was a good try, but it's time to face facts, erase the HOV lanes and let the entire public use the entire freeway on that stretch of I-5.
We'll eventually need an HOV lane, but the lane will need to extend into Oregon. That will require that the two-lane bottleneck in Delta Park be fixed. In this era of declining federal revenues, these kinds of transportation problems will be hard to get done. Another example of the federal government shifting the burden back to states, for what is a federal interstate highway system.
admin – Thu, 05/05/2005 – 10:12am
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I'm thrilled to see them FINALLY come around on this issue... but where've they been for the past four years of this nonsense? The silence has been deafening.
Now, most observers of state level politics know that Paul Berendt, state democrat budda, is something of a nut job. Did you, for example, notice how he cries? A lot?
Anyway, with a reasonably straight face, Berendt and his crew have helped the Republican cause (did I mention he’s something of a nut job?) by identifying an ADDITIONAL 743 votes that HE claims are illegal.
Is this where I say something acerbic, like, “Hello… Hello… anyone home in there?”
First of all, that Berendt could even remotely believe that the illegal voting population of this state, REGARDLESS of their race or gender would vote anything but democrat is truly bizarre.
The democrat party is, after all, the party of victimhood. What better draw to the woe-is-me, illegal felon vote then the party that would allow them to ignore personal responsibility so they can blame everyone and everything but themselves for committing their crimes? It’s the party of the poor (well, unless you’re poor and powerless in this state, in which case, the democrats happened to balance the budget on your backs, according to democrat State Senator Craig Pridemore, mere seconds before he, to, voted to balance the state budget on your backs) … the party of the “expanding program.” What convict would vote against that?
Berendt and the rest of the democrat machine actually expect us to BELIEVE that Rossi picked up the redneck felon illegal vote?
We’re already aware of the bogus efforts of “Every vote must count” Berendt, who’s vote runners screened Republican votes out when they were getting signatures on absentee ballots in King County. We already know that democrats have made the strategic decision to oppose any effort to stop illegal voting, because they’ve determined that they benefit from such a vote.
Now this clown expects us to think that they also don’t get any vote that is illegal if the source of that vote is a “nonunion blue-collar, male Caucasian” convicted felon?
Please. I don’t buy it and my guess is the judge won’t buy it either. And, with the exception of the racial component, which I believe to be trumped by the convict component, Berendt offers absolutely no proof to back up his assertion.
The irony of all this, of course, is that the more irregularities Berendt can provide, the greater the case that the results should be thrown out and we should have a revote.
Clearly, the strategists in the state democrat party have hit the bong a few too many times.
Keep up the good work, Paul. I appreciate that you’re doing everything you can to get Rossi elected and between Christine’s efforts in the last Legislative session and your efforts to strengthen Republican claims that the final tally was bogus… we just might get there.
Saturday, May 7, 2005
Democrats flag 743 votes they say felons cast
By David Postman
Seattle Times chief political reporter
Democrats said in court papers yesterday that they've identified 743 felons who voted illegally in the November election.
And in a separate filing in Chelan County Superior Court, Democrats said they've added two academic experts to their legal team to help show that those felons, as well as 946 submitted earlier by Republicans, are more likely to have voted for Republican Dino Rossi than Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire.
"We know for a fact that nonunion, blue-collar, Caucasian men vote very disproportionately Republican, and when you look at the felon population in the state of Washington, they are overwhelmingly nonunion, blue-collar, male Caucasians," said state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt.
"This could be under any other circumstance the prime demographic Republicans target in their" get-out-the-vote effort, he said. Republicans said they already found errors in the Democrats' earlier list of alleged felons and will carefully review the latest filing.