2011 Election Page

I’ve made an effort to research and learn about the candidates in the upcoming election and have provided my interpretation and rating here.  In addition to reading online and listening to KGMI podcast, I’ve attended the Tea Party candidate forums for both Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham as well as a few picnics and political rallies.

There are no complicated rankings nor ratings here;  Smile are good and hence my current favorite, Sad smile are bad and I currently wouldn’t consider voting for them.

Smile Initiative 1125 – YES
This measure would prohibit the use of motor vehicle fund revenue and vehicle toll revenue for non-transportation purposes, and require that road and bridge tolls be set by the legislature and be project-specific.

Sad smile Initiative 1163 – NO
I-1163 concerns long-term care workers and services for elderly and disabled people. Hidden agenda to unionize long-term care workers.

Smile Initiative 1183 – YES
This measure would close state liquor stores and sell their assets; license private parties to sell and distribute spirits; set license fees based on sales; regulate licensees; and change regulation of wine distribution.

Smile SJR 8205 – APPROVED
This amendment would remove a conflicting provision from the state constitution regarding the length of time a voter must reside in Washington to vote for president and vice-president.

Smile SJR 8206 – APPROVED
This amendment will require the legislature to transfer additional moneys to the rainy day account when the state has received “extraordinary revenue growth.”

Smile Smile Smile City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2011-1 – YES
This measure will require the removal of any automated cameras used to issue tickets.

Sad smile Whatcom County Charter Amendment No. 1 – NO
I’m going with NO vote on this. Not because I don’t think the council deserves to have their salaries reviewed, but because there was some funny business about why it’s on the ballot and how it effects the tie between what the County executive can make in relation to part time council members.  I don’t think voters have the full correct information on this one, fix it and I might vote for this next time around.

Ferndale Mayor

Taxation without representation was the word of the day in 1776, but taxation without representation lives on here for those of us outside the city limits of Ferndale.  We are subject to the taxes and rates established by the Ferndale government, yet we don’t get to vote for our representation.  So the most I can get is to throw my 2 cents out on the web.

  • Sad smileSad smile Gary Jensen – If we talk about the legacy of debt our nation is leaving for our children, we can’t  ignore the legacy of local debt that Gary Jensen is creating for the children of Ferndale.   The last number I heard was around $20,000,000 in debt with more projects on the books to be started.   And to make matters worse Mayor Jensen is using two practices that I consider unethical.  1st is what he calls councilmanic bonding which is away to borrow money for projects without having to go to the voters, a process that may be necessary in emergency situations, but not to widen streets, build parks, etc.  Second practice is the practice of using interfund loans as a sort of down payment to get non-related projects started.
  • Smile Lloyd Zimmerman – The smile here may just be a whiplash effect as I quit thinking about Mayor Jensen, but really I’m happy just that there is an alternative to him.


Whatcom County Executive

Updated – 9/7/11
So I anticipated that the hate Doug Ericksen portion of David Stalheim supporters would gravitate towards Jack Louws making this race interesting and possibly tough for Doug Ericksen to win.  I didn’t anticipate that David Stalheim would be endorsing his former opponent, but according to his FB page he apparently is doing so after a meeting with Jack Louws.
This endorsement clearly tips things in Doug Ericksen’s favor because what ever understanding or deal was made in the Stalheim/Louws meeting hacks right into the conservative portion of Jack Louws supporters and positioning him as Democratic Party middle/left candidate.
I wonder if Doug Ericksen send David Stalheim a thank you note.

  • Sad smileJack Louws – I’ve heard good things about him and a lot of people I know and respect favor him.  He also has a good balance of private and public employment, but right now its difficult to think of a better candidate than Sen. Ericksen.  As the election season has progressed, I’ve also found Jack Louws to have more of a mediator feel rather than a leader who I’d want to have as the top spot in our county.  Post primary I’ve changed Jack Louws to a frowny as I see more of what a facilitator rather than leader he is.   Happily embracing the backers of David Stalheim also makes me wonder how he will honestly evaluate the SSA marine terminal issue when their collective opinion is to leave coal in the ground.
  • Smile Doug Ericksen – Doug has represented us well for years in Olympia and I’m all for him now working at home to make this a better area to live.
  • Tom Anderson – Don’t know anything at this point.
  • Sad smile David Stalheim – So in the last 4-5 years he left a community development job for the city of Wenatchee, for a community development job for the city of Ashland, which he left for a job as Whatcom County Planning Director, which he left for a job with the City of Bellingham as Planning & Community Development director and shortly thereafter sues his former employer Whatcom County for problems with their planning.  Now he want’s to quit with Bellingham to become the executive of the county he is suing?  ROFLMAO, oh and no.

Whatcom County Council District 1, Position B

  • Smile Tony Larson – I find Tony to be an independent, level headed guy who has given a lot to this community.  I see him asking all the right questions rather than just rubber stamping status quo.    I supported him before and especially after seeing him in action, I’ll do it again.
  • Sad smile Pete Kremen  – At first I wondered why Pete Kremen was running for any political office after declining to go after another term in the executive seat.   But today I found my answer; he’s a politician and that’s what politicians do, they run for office.  How do I know that he is a politician?  Nobody but a true politician would stand, as Pete Kremen did, in front of the local GOP group proclaiming his conservative leaning principles and saying he would represent us, then turn and hire Riley Sweeney, a severely left listing officer from the Whatcom Democrats to run his campaign.  Sorry Mr. Kremen, I value principles over politics so no smiley for you.  And recently this Pete Kremen/Steve Oliver situation has confirmed him as a NO vote.

Whatcom County Council District 2, Position B

  • Smile Sam Crawford – I like what I see of his values and he has thus far shown he is more than up to the challenges of the position he has had for more than a few years.  He’s a keeper.
  • Sad smile Christina Maginnis – Our county already throws way too much of our money towards stormwater issues and Lake Whatcom without much in the way of results, so having a DOE water quality expert on the council seems a bit like voting to have someone beat your head against a wall.  She did show her overall intelligence at the Tea Party forum, but she also showed her tendencies toward bigger and more controlling government.

Whatcom County Council District 3, Position B

  • Smile Barbara Brenner – I like watching her on the council because like Tony Larson, she is always asking good questions.  I don’t get the impression from her that she has already made up her mind on things, like I do from a couple of the other council members.
  • Sad smile Alan Black – I hadn’t put much effort yet researching this race yet and after last nights forum I know all that I need to know.   Alan Black was vague, unfocused, misunderstood questions, was over the top pro-unions, and was unquestionably for red light cameras.

Whatcom County Treasurer

  • Smile Brian Smith –  So I had a chance to meet Brian today and I can report that the good things I had heard were all true.   His qualifications to handle county finances were definitely there and he struck me as someone who would take his duty as a servant to the people of Whatcom County very seriously.
  • Sad smile Steven Oliver – Well, I haven’t met our current treasurer either, but I’ve suspected in the past, that he was playing politics while at work and I just can’t vote for someone to watch the bank accounts that I have a shady/slippery feeling about.  And recently this Pete Kremen/Steve Oliver situation has confirmed him as a NO vote.

Whatcom County Auditor

  • Sad smile J. Lynne Walker  – The auditors office is one where non-partisanship is a must, but J. Lynne Walkers endorsements is a list the areas most progressive left leaders.   And you don’t read much about her having been both campaign manager and legislative aid to Kelli Linville, former Democrat legislator and most likely the next mayor of Bellingham.  I’m more than a little dubious that she will be able to remain impartial.
  • Smile Debbie Adelstein – On the other hand Debbie Adelstein has remained centered and somewhat unfettered by local politics, which is a good place to be as the county’s impartial auditor.  She is endorsed by a wide cross section of  people including our soon to be former Auditor Shirley Forslof.

Whatcom County Sheriff

  • Steve Harris – perhaps someday he’ll have half the experience of Sherriff Elfo.
  • Bob Taylor – perhaps someday he’ll half the experience also.
  • Smile Bill Elfo – What can I say, we live in a county that borders another nation and there is a lot of potential for crimes due to our location.   He’s been the tough but fair Sheriff that we need.

Bellingham Mayor

I don’t live in Bellingham, but Bellingham is such a large part of Whatcom County that what happens there has significant effects on all of us.  If they raise taxes we pay when we shop.  The more unfriendly they make it for people to live and work in the city, the more sprawl is encouraged.

  • Sad smile Kelli Linville – She lost her 42nd district State Rep gig to Vince Buys primarily due to her over spending issues.  I haven’t heard that she has mended her ways, so I don’t see supporting her doing the same in Bellingham.  If Bellingham over spends like our state has for the last few decades, the money will be coming out or your pocket whether you live in Bellingham or not.
  • Sad smile Dan Pike – Too bad I couldn’t bold the frowny.   As I’ve brought up numerous times here in this blog, Dan Pike has such a gift for taking money away from others that he really had only two career paths, criminal or liberal leaning politician.  I’ve never heard of him passing on a chance to take from taxpayers, so there is no way in Hellingbam that I’d give him an ounce of support.
  • Clayton Petree – Ok, he rides a bike, but so does the current mayor, so no decision yet.  Much more to learn here.
  • Steve Moore – don’t know much yet.

I’ll add more when I have had more time to think on the mayor races and a couple of other positions.  I’ll also be  adding or adjusting the smileys and frownies as I learn more about the candidates.

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