Wally Wonders Why No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

October 19, 2007

Where is Joe Elenbaas?

Filed under: Local Issue,Politics — Tags: , — wally @ 5:28 am

elenbaas-searches.pngLot’s of people are looking for him. Is he lost?

I can get these little reports showing what people were searching for that lead them to this site. Judging from what I see here, there are a lot of people looking for Joe Elenbaas.

If you are one of those who came a looking for Joe then here is what I know.

  1. He is running for Whatcom County treasurer.
  2. He is endorsed by the Whatcom GOP. The GOP is the take care of your money conservative party, not the waste it and tax you more Democratic Party. This seems to be right inline with what you’d want in a treasurer.
  3. Having listened to him a couple of times it is abundantly clear that he doesn’t hold back when something needs to be said or needs to be done. I’ve heard people say that this trait gets him into trouble. I don’t doubt that, but I also would bet that his honesty and openness has made him more effective and I bet has occasionally kept him out of trouble.
  4. Last, I don’t know Joe and I don’t think he knows me, but he strikes me as the kind of guy that is always there for anyone who asks.
  5. I know that I am voting for Joe Elenbaas.

If you want to know more about Joe you can hear him at 10/5 Hear it Now – Bonner & Brooks or read more about him in this Ferndale Record article.


  1. Joe seems to be a fine speaker but I have not heard anything to offset my concerns about his skills to do the job of Treasurer. From my research I have found that the Treasurer’s office is moving towards a more computerized excise tax process. What is Joe’s experience with computer conversions? What is his experience with the type of computer system the county is currently using? As Treasurer would Joe have the experience and temperment neccesary to follow all the Washington Administrative Codes and Revised Codes of Washington that would be required of him? Does he have any experience working with unionized employees?

    Comment by Cheryl — October 21, 2007 @ 8:05 am

  2. What is this I hear that Elenbaas has never ben elected to office, only appointed after a vacancy?

    What is this I hear about Elenbaas is under investigation for fraud or something?

    Comment by Evan Knappenberger — October 21, 2007 @ 9:44 am

  3. Cheryl, I don’t disagree with your concerns. I have thought hard about them as I am sure that most of the Republican Party who also endorsed him has. But Joe is an intelligent person and not financially inept nor corrupt as some would have you believe. I think that Steve Oliver is obviously ahead of Joe on the nuts and bolts of the position and common friends tell me he is a good guy, but I am uncertain where his allegiances lie. While the uncertain effect of Joe’s temperament might be an issue to others, the uncertain effect of Steve’s financial and non-financial supporters is an issue for me. Joe Elenbaas will put Whatcom County first.

    Evan, nice try on the “under investigation for fraud or something?” You should try listening to Joe himself. There is a link somewhere on my front page to the Hear it Now at KGMI. Also, the appointment vs. elected sounds like what I have heard also. I think I have heard him refer to this as answering a call to duty. I count this as a positive. People trust him and he is willing to serve when called. I look forward to counting my vote among those who put him into his first elected position.


    Comment by wally — October 21, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

  4. What are you referring to regarding “Steve’s financial and non-financial supporters” I’ve kept watch on the monies received by the candidates and haven’t seen anything amiss? What are your concerns with his supporters?

    I’m not sure any allegiance other than to all of the taxpayers of the county should be considered in a position that is purely administrative in nature. I have seen no fault with either candidate in their allegiance to the people.

    I’ve heard numerous examples of Joe’s temperment including his recent barking like a junk yard dog, which was very amusing. I was hoping you could tell me that he had more experience in administrative, computer, and finance duties that would qualify him for the position. I have heard he worked for a short time as a bank teller or something about 30 years ago and of course he has experience doing the bookkeeping for the farm. Do you know of any other work experience he has that would qualify him for the position?

    Comment by Cheryl — October 21, 2007 @ 7:43 pm

  5. Steve Oliver had an extremely large donation from his wife and I have yet to read or hear any satisfactory explanation, so I am uncertain what kind of strings might be attached that could be pulled later.

    Steve Oliver is supported by the Progressive Majority who are promoting his campaign as part of their “racial justice” program and the Indigineous Democratic Network (INDN) is promoting him as one of their “select group of Indian candidates for state and local offices” How will his backing by these groups or his membership in the Lummi tribe affect his office? This isn’t about race, it is about primary allegiance, the same way that people question foreign moneys for campaigns.

    Joe Elenbaas one of the authors of the Home Rule Charter, Charter Review Commissioner, planning commissioner, state senator, and teller? :) I’m OK with his experience.

    Comment by wally — October 22, 2007 @ 6:09 am

  6. Wally, it’s his wife. Of course there are going to be strings attached.

    I am serious, I heard that he Elenbaas is under investigation, though I can’t remember where I heard it.

    Comment by Evan Knappenberger — October 22, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

  7. And are you saying that Lummi’s aren’t citizens with just as much (or more) allegiance to the government? When you say this isn’t about race, it is about primary allegiance, what exactly are you implying?

    And as to “racial justice” which I have never heard referred to in this context, I assume that you (And Elenbaas) are saying that we should just ignore the problems of the Lummi people when you say that Elenbaas “will put Whatcom County First” and “race is not the issue here”. You just made it the issue.

    Comment by Evan Knappenberger — October 22, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  8. Regarding the 12:25 comment

    Her donation was way beyond normal spouse contribution in Whatcom County so I am concerned with way beyond normal spouse strings.

    You probably heard about the Elanbaas’ investigation in the Herald, or on KGMI, or in the Ferndale Record. I provided 2 links one of which you can hear Joe talk about things in his own words. It’s not a secret, he is very open about it.

    Comment by wally — October 22, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

  9. Regarding the 12:33 comment

    I am absolutely not saying that Lummi’s aren’t US citizens. I am though, saying that they are members of both the US and the Lummi nations. And I am saying that I have concerns over where primary allegiances lie when someone belongs to 2 nations, whether it is Canada & US, France & US or in this case Lummi & US. I want a candidate whose primary allegiance is to the US and secondarily to the Lummi Nation, Canada, France etc.

    Don’t assume that I speak for Mr. Elenbaas, I don’t. I doubt he even knows that this blog exists. I speak for myself and he seems to do a pretty good job of speaking for himself.

    And, the race thing. See I said this isn’t about race because to me it isn’t. I didn’t bring race into the issue. Steve Oliver did via his support from the Progressive Majority Racial Justice Campaign and the Indigenous Democrats Network. Their programs make race an issue.


    Comment by wally — October 22, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  10. I’m not sure I can agree with your reasoning here. If Steve is beholding to anyone, I would imagine it would be to his wife for allowing him to use all her savings to try to retain a job at Whatcom County. I doubt either of these men can be bought off for a couple hundred bucks as you seem to be trying to insinuate.

    No, I prefer to base my vote on the ability of the candidate to do the job. Which candidate has the administrative, financial, and computer knowledge to run the treasurer’s office and the temperment to respond appropriately with Whatcom County taxpayers and staff.

    Comment by Cheryl — October 23, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  11. Ok. Investigation. Check.

    Race. Check.

    Wife. No Check. How much is it that you think it is inappropriate? And how much did Elenbaas spend for the several hundred large signs that have been around town since June? I assume it came from the family farm money, or family. I thought it was kind of a desperate measure for a race that hasn’t really made the headlines.

    Oh, and I was very impressed by Steve’s avoidance of the investigation in the Weekly. Joe should write him a thank-you.

    Comment by Evan Knappenberger — October 24, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

  12. Steve Oliver has been doing the job as assistant treasurer for about 8 years now, so he’s familiar with departmental runnings and knows what’s involved in doing the job of Treasurer. He talks openly about the need to use computer technology effectively and efficiently in future treasury management.

    Elenbaas has experience in other areas of business but hasn’t worked directly in the Treasury department, so he would have to go through a ramp–up time just getting to know the people and how things work.

    Elenbaas has been critical of the Treasury audits, but remember, it’s Cory who has the final say in these things at the moment, not Steve Oliver. Steve Oliver may be as interested in cleaning them up as Elenbaas when Cory steps down.

    In addition to articles cited above, here are additional links about Ellenbaas on the Net, for those who are gathering information:

    1999 lawsuit:

    KVOS TV Note:

    Comment by A. Petrie — October 31, 2007 @ 3:36 am

  13. Also, here’s a link to an article by Sam Taylor in the Herald:


    Comment by A. Petrie — October 31, 2007 @ 3:55 am

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