Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I'm hearing that people still do not understand my opposition to Ann Rivers. Let me try and explain it to you.

Ann Rivers and I go way back... back to the Curtis campaign in the 18th District in 2004.

(And no, neither of us were aware of his issues.)

There is no question that she is very bright.  She had a background on several campaigns as well as working on democrat staff in Alaska in their legislature as a legislative assistant.

Shortly after the successful conclusion of the Curtis campaign wherein we neutralized David Barnett's efforts to buy that election as he later bought Steve Stuart's election against Tom Mielke by laundering money through buying Washington Conservation Voters' efforts against Curtis... and then attempting to buy Pam Brokaw's election, also against Tom Mielke... a total effort that expended around $275,000, if memory serves... we went into business together.

Yes, the same David Barnett buying politicians here locally now for the Cowlitz Casino scam.

That lasted a  few years... Ann and her husband, Fred, became close family friends... attending our wedding, for example; vacationing with us and the like.

As Lefty Lou Brancaccio began to use the rag he runs as a club against me, I repeatedly told Ann that if she needed to throw me under a bus, she was welcome to do so.

Ultimately, Curtis chose to resign after he ran into rather public "difficulties."  That left a vacancy that someone I had never heard of... someone who had not even lived here for over a decade... was parachuted in by Cathy McMorris and dealt into Curtis's now vacant seat by a deal made between Marc Boldt and the two democrat commissioners in Cowlitz... one of whom later, after having been tossed out of office when he ran for reelection; received a rather nice, $80K per year or so gig working for Clark County at the behest of, you guessed it, Marc Boldt.  (The name "Axel Swanson" ring any bells?)

Strange how that stuff works out, ain't it?

Meanwhile, the cardboard cutout of a worthless state representative who routinely voted with the democrats to screw us on a wide variety of issues, got the gig in Congress by getting shoved into the seat to be McMorris's puppet, giving WA05 TWO congressional seats and our district, WA03, none.

Herrera has, of course, been as utterly worthless in Congress as she was in the state house.

Rivers took a hard swing at getting named Curtis's replacement through appointment.  But Boldt had the fix in for his buddy from state house days, McMorris, and an ignorant twit who knew nothing about the 18th District since she hadn't bothered to live in it for the prior ten years or so got the appointment, exactly as  McMorris planned it... positioning her perfectly to run for Congress against Baird.

Ultimately, Rivers cemented her decision to run for the State House around the time that Herrera had her decision made for her (Remember, if you will, that Herrera at first announced, then it took it back for a brief time, then was all in after a few hours or a couple of days)to run for Congress... about 10 minutes after Baird announced he wasn't running for reelection.

I fully supported her election in every way possible.  I found her to be an honorable, intelligent, visionary person who would keep her word, act as a populist and remain honorable to the constituency she would represent.

Ultimately, she defeated all 6 of the other Republicans in the primary, including such luminaries as Jon Russell.  No mention was made of being supportive of a massive increase in the gas tax or tab fees.

During the time of the campaign, we had many discussions about how she would be "different."  About how she would separate herself out of the herd by keeping her word and being someone who's promise could be taken to the bank... unlike most in the political realm.

My job developed during these discussions.  You see, Congress was/is also looming on Rivers' horizon as well.  Ultimately, that is the next step for her, and had, for whatever the reason, Herrera done the honorable thing and announced she wasn't going to run for reelection, Ann Rivers absolutely was.
And, it goes without saying that she would NOT run for Congress unless I agreed to go to DC and work with her there, as well.

I was, you see, specifically to keep her "grounded."  In this case, "grounded" meant keeping her from becoming the very thing she turned in to.  And in this case, I completely admit to my failure in that regard and I humbly apologize.

I suppose that job offer is no longer open... not that I would take it if it were... since DC seems to draw far too many people of the Rivers ilk to it's power base.

That said, Rivers star skyrocketed.  Recognized as an up and comer, she gave the response to the Governor's Address at the beginning of her term, for example.

She had a great freshman run... and then the allure of making bank off pot growing lights took our esteemed Senator, Joe Zarelli, away from us... and Rivers was appointed for the remainder of his term.

Rivers was then elected against essentially non-existent opposition (much like she faces now) and she continued to be well thought of, doing admirable battle against the downtown mafia on the CRC scam.  In the senate, both Rivers and Benton fought the battle, ultimately successful, to kill off the scam... using a great deal of information provided by our local forensic accountant, and we all know who was primarily responsible for that, right?

And, of course, I'm sure that the hatred aimed at Madore has NOTHING to do with the destruction of the downtown mafia's CRC scam.  Does it?

Rivers' continued to rise in the public's estimation, achieving the most votes by several hundred of any of those running for charter freeholder, which were in excess of over 100 or 105 candidates, if memory serves.

And, of course, Rivers would have been, up to this point, the perfect choice for County Chair; a position she announced for having met with myself, Brent Boger and a few others.

Then session started in 2015. 

And something happened.

Something changed.  Something was ... "different."  And it's never been the same since.

The first sign to me was the skullduggery of the GOP-controlled Senate.

They implemented a rule that required a 60% majority vote to increases taxes.  It got a great deal of media coverage.

Later on, when the gas tax scam came up, suddenly, out of nowhere, the president of the Senate, Lt. Gov Brad Owen declared the rule in question to  be "unconstitutional."

That's not a rulling he can make, of course: that's limited to a ruling by a judge.

That said, Senate Rules allow for any member to challenge any ruling from the President by a simple majority vote.
Then I was struck by the fact that the GOP didn't immediately demand a Point of Order, citing Rule 35, which states this:
Rule 35.
1. The permanent senate rules adopted at the first regular session during a legislative biennium shall govern any session subsequently convened during the same legislative biennium. Adoption of permanent rules may be by majority of the senate without notice and a majority of the senate may change a permanent rule without notice at the beginning of any session, as determined pursuant to Article 2, Section 12 of the State Constitution. No permanent rule or order of the senate shall be rescinded or changed without a majority vote of the members, and one day's notice of the motion. 
2. A permanent rule or order may be temporarily suspended for a special purpose by a vote of two-thirds of the members present unless otherwise specified herein. When the suspension of a rule is called, and after due notice from the president no objection is offered, the president may announce the rule suspended, and the senate may proceed accordingly. Motion for suspension of the rules shall not be debatable, except, the mover of the motion may briefly explain the purpose of the motion and at the discretion of the president a rebuttal may be allowed.
Far be it from me to suggest that the GOP WANTED this rule thrown out without a vote.  I mean, they'd never engage in that kind of subterfuge, would they?

I mean, if they DIDN'T want this rule thrown out, then why didn't they challenge the decision?
Rule 32.
Every decision of points of order by the president shall be subject to appeal by any senator, and discussion of a question of order shall be allowed. In all cases of appeal the question shall be: "Shall the decision of the president stand as the judgment of the senate?"
Imagine if they had done that.  Then imagine the roll-call vote on the appeal.
There was no "one day warning."  I waited for someone... ANYONE... to stand up and make the challenge.  "Anyone" also included my Senator, Ann Rivers.

No one moved.  "No one" included my Senator, Ann Rivers.

The fix was in.

And my Senator was a part of it.

Then, all of a sudden, I was told she was going to withdraw from the election for county chair, for the lamest of reasons: she didn't want people to do what people were doing now: talking to her everywhere she went, including grocery stores, about their issues confronting them.

That, of course, made zero sense.  But it was the only explanation/excuse I ever got.  And that's when the sinking feeling really took hold.

THEN, it became clear that she was, in fact, going to violate her written pledge, used to get elected, and vote for the very legislation she swore she would oppose... also to get elected.

She had SAID, "the people have spoken and I have listened."

John Ley later posted his observations of a town hall meeting wherein Rivers had discussed her decision.  I missed the meeting, knowing that I would have spent most of it taking her to task for lying to us.

In Ley's thread, I proceeded to remind her of her very public pledge to oppose the very thing she now planned to vote for, the ONLY GOP legislator to do so.

Not long afterwords, her husband Fred, who I had considered to be something of a brother, texted my wife to tell her that a planned dinner out at their house in LaCenter was cancelled.

He also offered up the observation that I was now going to go after Ann like I had Marc Boldt.  Of course, had she not acted like Boldt, I wouldn't have had any reason to "go after" her at all.

That was in... February of last year or so?

I haven't heard from my "brother," since.

Last January, she and Brandon Vick, who ALSO voted against the gas tax/tab fee increase, held a town hall meeting.

At the end, this is what happened.

Oddly, Rivers' expressed no remorse for lying to us; instead expressing remorse for making the promise in the first place.  She then goes on to tell us that it was a "business decision," which begs the issue as to why we even need a legislature when a committee of accountants would do just as well for a lot less; and she then follows up with the astounding lie that if she had voted "no" on the tax increase, like every other Republican legislator in Clark County had done, instead of the acknowledged $700 MILLION bill hung around our necks, the number would have been $7 BILLION.

With a "B".

As I stated, that's a lie, of course.  The bill would have passed even if Rivers HAD voted "no."  They had the votes... and it passed with two votes to spare, 27 to 22.

The question is why?  Why did she break her pledge?

Her answer was that it gave Battle Ground a few million for their projects, and it wasted $100 million replacing the Mill Plain and I-5 interchange which, of course, does not NEED to be replaced.

The county is spending $500 million on King County after getting $200 million to waste down here.

There were a few other minor projects... but none of them individually nor none of them combined equaled a reason or justification for Rivers to betray the people of this county and the people of her district to break her pledge.  And when the gas tax advisory took place last November? 

Over 70 percent of the 18th District voted "no."

Rivers has long since refused to communicate with me, understandably, perhaps, given her lies.

But she is MY Senator and she has a DUTY to communicate with ME.

And, of course, if that duty is too much of a burden to bear, she can always resign.

That, however, is the gist of it.  That's what happened.

Meanwhile, with practically no warning or fanfare, in time for the general fund budget consideration, the formerly "unconstitutionally ruled rule" of Brad Owen suddenly became constitutional again.

It was a legislative miracle.

When they needed it to go away, they made up a lie about it being unconstitutional.

When they needed it to come back, suddenly, miraculously, back it came.

Of course, the GOP-controlled Senate had already voted the gas tax out, so certainly no reconsideration of their scam was in order.

And there you have it.

Republican corruption aided and abetted by the democrats.

Not unlike, come to think of it, the corruption going on around here as Crain/Boger/Rivers and the rest of the RINOs coalesce around their efforts to destroy anyone who disagrees with their plan to retake control over the local party and to silence conservatives who have a different view.

The leftists are doing the right thing: Rule One in politics is that when your political opponents are bound and determined to commit political suicide, your job is to help them achieve it any way you can.  That, of course, is why scum like Jim Mains is involved in this sewage... and why democrats are writing checks for this effort.

As a result, my friendship with the Rivers has withered on the vine of their cancer, their lies, their exaggerations and their corruption.

And this is why I currently and permanently oppose my former friend... considering all I and my wife have done for them on both the political and personal level... to be betrayed like this?

A former conservative accuses me of taking my orders from Madore.  That's a crock and he knows it, but they've got nothing else... and, of course, anyone opposing their corruption MUST be doing so ONLY because Madore is telling them to do so.

The idea that they might be opposed because they are WRONG simply has no place in their discussion.

As I pointed out, this individual whines and snivels about his allegations that Madore allegedly "stabbed him in the back."

But Ann Rivers stabbed us ALL in the back.  And it's a blade that will be stuck in the backs of hundreds of thousands as we pay off the bill she yoked us with like the 13th Amendment was never passed.

She does all that without peep one from this former conservative, now reduced to a useless tool to those who kiss his ass every hour on the hour to use him like a rented mule.

But that's his privilege, you see.  He's entitled to his own opinion, but he's not entitled to his own facts.

Meanwhile, the mystery remained.  Who got to her?  With what?  About what?  What happened to the shining star, the one who was going to be "different?"

And in the future, how are we going to know when she's lying to us again?  I mean her campaign website for this cycle promises nothing... and I get that: if you promise nothing, you can't be held accountable for anything and look at all the freedom you have to again ignore the suckers who elected you!

It's the Herrera formula personified.

In the voter's pamphlet this year, she wrote "As a result of listening to your priorities..." blah, blah, blah; blah blah.

What's the difference between "As a result of listening to your priorities..." and "The people have spoken and I have listened?"

None that *I* can see.

So, by all means, vote for her.  Just don't be surprised when she bends us over and rams it in again... and again... and again.

Because it's kinda hard to do the first time.  But after that lying becomes second nature,

Right, Ann?

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