Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Vote Now

Monday, November 5th, 2012

If you’ve still got that blank ballot kicking around, it’s time to get ‘r done. There is a drop box right across the street from 9-11 in Ferndale or you can always mail it. Based on research and/or meeting the candidates in person, here’s how I voted. 

President/Vice President – Romney/Ryan

Governor – McKenna

U.S. Senate – Michael Baumgartner

U.S. Rep, District 1 – John Koster

U.S. Rep, District 2 – Dan Matthews

Lt. Governor – Bill Finkbeiner

Secretary of State – Kim Wyman

State Treasurer – Sharon Hanek

State Auditor – James Watkins

Attorney General – Reagan Dunn

Commissioner of Public Lands – Clint Didier

State Sen. District 40 – John Swapp – He’s not in my area, but I’d vote for him if I could.

State Rep. District 42, Pos. 1 – Jason Overstreet

State Rep. District 42, Pos. 2 – Vincent Buys

Public Utility District 1 – Paul Kenner

State Supreme Court Justice, Pos. 9 – Richard Sanders

Whatcom County Superior Court Judge – Dave Grant

Reject – Ref 74 current definition of marriage is fine.

Yes – I-1185 – Requiring 2/3 majority to raise taxes is a good idea.

Yes – I-1240 – Allows expansion of charter schools, current plan is not working time to try plan b

No – I-502 – Don’t think more access to drugs is good and having the State run the cartel is a super bad idea.

Approve – SJR 8221 – to keep debt limits low. More borrowing to balance the budget is a bad idea.

No – Prop. No. 1 – Add more bureaucrats is no way to fix problems in the port commission.

2010 Election: History making or not?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Nope, not a misprint, rather a reprint.  I was listening to the Morning Show on KGMI with Patti Brooks this morning and heard one of the Whatcom Democrats officers call in and aside from a little partisan bashing I was hearing him bring up the same tired old points about how we aren’t taxing enough or taxing the right people and how the Iraq war spending is to blame, yada yada yada.  It made me think of this post I wrote almost two years ago about the then upcoming 2010 election.  Upon rereading it, I have found that nothing has changed in the last two years and my advice for the 2010 election will suffice for the 2012 election.

2010 Election: History making or not?

We are fast approaching our next election and like so many other elections before, I am hearing how this one is special, critically important and history making. Ok, I can buy into this election being special and even critically important, but as for history making??   I think history making will be determined by which direction we vote, but we need history making.

Our nation is so deep in financial trouble that we may not be able to recover.  As Americans we are living and breathing this fact day in and day out.   Some say that we are in our financial mess because big corporations and the “rich” aren’t paying their share.  Some say that Reagan and Bush tax cuts created revenue shortfalls.  And then there are those myriad of other excuses about how our tax system is regressive, archaic and or ineffective.  Well guess what?  Lack of revenue, tax or otherwise, did not create our mess.

We spent our way into this mess.  Since roughly 1960 everyone we elected to office seems to have made it their personal goal to out spend everyone before them and not just out spend them a little, but out spend them in a big way.  Check the chart.  Revenues are not the problem and they haven’t been.  Spending is the problem.  And contrary to what we hear from some, defense spending is not what is breaking our nation.  In fact, even the ramped up war spending since 9/11 pales in comparison to the increases in spending as a whole.  I’m at the point now where I just laugh when I read debate points about how best to tax our nation.  Get this, it don’t make no difference to me if a tax is progressive, regressive, digressive, whether the rich, the poor, the income or the sales are taxed.  We don’t have a tax problem!  We have a spend twice as much as we bring in problem!

What will make this election historical is if the people we elect quit spending so damn much and start changing the direction that we have been going for the whole of my lifetime.

Here’s part of my voting process:

  • cut or eliminate a program – Vote YES
  • new or restructured program – Vote NO
  • Candidate with a history of spending – Vote NO
  • If the candidate won’t commit to cut spending – Vote NO

I hope everyone will do their part in making this an historical election.

Data for chart is from http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/ and http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/

Dancing on a Fine Line

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

ms I just finished listening to a podcast of The Morning Show with Joe & Patti for 7/24/12 and from his surly attitude you’d think it was about time for  Joe Teehan to take a much needed vacation, but I guess he just got back.  The topic was our State’s newly announce plan to register voters via Facebook and as you might expect if you’ve heard the show, Joe & Patti were on opposite sides of the issue. Joe was arguing for making it easier for other demographics to register while Patti was concerned that using only a drivers license or state ID, which don’t establish citizenship, could lead to non-citizens illegally registering to vote.

I’m perfectly OK with streamlining the process as we did with all mail in ballots, online voting or even Facebook registration as long as the eligibility requirements can be proven to have been met. The requirement to vote in federal elections include being over 18 and a US citizen by either birth or naturalization. Currently a regular issue Washington state license isn’t proof of these requirements.

So what made this episode of Joe & Patti worth blog post?  It was the way that Joe danced along the line between promoting change and promoting illegal activity.   He argued strongly that just because a person was undocumented, commonly referred to as illegal, didn’t mean that they hadn’t contributed to society and therefore deserved a say in the direction of that society.   But as I listened I didn’t perceive any distinction between promoting the idea that non-citizens should be able to go out and vote and promoting the idea that non-citizens should go out and vote.  You’ll have to listen to the show for yourself to get the full effect because I won’t be taking the time to prepare a written transcript.

If I were to promote the idea that non-citizens should be able to go out and vote I’d be advocating for a change in law, but if I were promoting the idea that non-citizens should go out and vote I’d be encouraging someone to break a law.  There is a huge difference between I don’t like the law so let’s change it and I don’t like the law so let’s break it.  I think in a lot of cases encouraging someone to break a law is in itself a crime, so I would wonder if an undocumented person were to register to vote as direct result of Joe’s encouragement would he be guilty of something like voter fraud?   Would KGMI be liable for a radio personality going beyond expressing their opinion by encouraging criminal activity?

Is It Mine?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

capture property rights Property Rights, the Environment and Growth Management are a few of the buzz topics in the current election season and as such, the Bellingham Herald apparently chose that angle when they covered the recent Tea Party Candidate Forum.  In that article they contrasted the current State Reps for the 42nd District, Vince Buys & Jason Overstreet with their challengers for office, Natalie McClendon & Matt Krogh.

People do tend to wrap the environment in with growth management, but both are really property rights issues and on property rights there is a stark contrast between these pairs of candidates.   To understand the contrast you need to understand the property rights issue.

The property rights issue isn’t about anyone wanting to damage, pollute or harm the environment.  The property rights issue is simply about you getting to decide what is the best use of your property, as opposed to others deciding how your property will best serve the community.   That’s the crux of the property rights debate; who is in control of your property, you or the government.

At the forum, when the challengers Natalie McClendon & Matt Krogh, addressed government regulatory control of private land it was pretty evident which side of the property rights issue they land on.

“Land use regulations should be imposed or amended in a way that benefits the community.”

“The goal is the public good,”

“He agreed that private property rights should be respected, but he stressed the importance of  protecting the quality of life in Washington state…

Bellingham Herald

I guess I am in stark contrast to their way of thinking also, because my home is not a charitable contribution for the public good of the community, nor did I work to purchase my home with the intent to protect the quality of life in our state.   We just wanted a place to live.   The problem with intangible ideas like public good and quality of life is that they are often defined by public vote, committee or worse, by a non-elected non-governmental organization.  Then, shortly thereafter those definitions are put into regulation and the government enforces their control over your property use.  It’s usually not even in big ways that really jump out at you, it’s more often in small subtle ways.

Take this recent example happening in the streets of Ferndale.  A year ago land owners along some portions of Main Street could have decided to plant a few of their favorite trees in their front yard near the road and they would have had  every right to do so.  This year however, they have found that the city has seized that portion of their property from them, bulldozed it, widened the road, and then landscaped along their much smaller front yard as the city  saw fit.

Ferndale may need to go to court to assert its authority to move forward with the $4.3 million road project as a public benefit, which trumps the right of property owners to keep their land.

Bellingham Herald

I’ve sat through council meetings and I’m sure the city officials feel that what they are doing along Main Street is in the interest of public good, and that the new landscaping contributes to the quality of life for the people of Ferndale, but how is the quality of life for the homeowners who now have bike lanes and sidewalks running through what used to be their front yard?   Is that vision the homeowners had for their property when they purchased it?  Is it their vision now?   Barring any safety issues, how is it that governments like the City of Ferndale feel they have the power to “trump” your property as a property owner?  It’s the people we elect and send to Olympia to make laws.

Do you want representatives such as Natalie McClendon and Matt Krogh that seem to think along the lines of the City of Ferndale?  Do you want representatives that feel that the government has first right to your property?   I don’t.  I won’t be voting for either of these people and I hope, for the sake of all of our private property, that you don’t either.

Both Vincent Buys and Jason Overstreet have my support because they have already shown a commitment to both protecting our individual right to our own property and to protecting our environment.