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

June 13, 2011

2011 Election Season

Update: Instead of continuing to update this post, I’ve added a page for the 2011 Elections and will update that as my positions evolve.

As of Friday the candidate filings are closed, so they’re off and running.  The Herald has covered the filings both in the news and in their politics blog.   In turn, the Whatcom Democrats have also  covered the Herald politics blog with a layer of partisan comments from some of their officers.  On Saturday the Whatcom GOP had their first endorsement of the season, with their  endorsement of Sen. Doug Erickson’s for County Executive.

It may seem contrary to the somewhat political nature of this blog, but I really don’t find it much fun to speculate about who will file and why.  I don’t find fantasy football of any interest either.  But now that the dust has settled for the moment, I did go through a quick assessment of where I stand at this moment on some of the more important races.

UPDATE: I’ll just keep updating this post as things move along and I learn more about each candidate.

Whatcom County Executive

  • Jack Louws  – I’ve heard good things, but right now its difficult to think of a better candidate than Sen. Ericksen
  • 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 sued?  ROFLMAO, oh and no.

Whatcom County Council District 1, Position B

  1. 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.
  2. Pete Kremen  – I’m not really sure why he’s running yet ????

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.    Having a DOE water quality expert on the council seems a bit like voting to have someone beat your head against a wall.

Whatcom County Council District 3, Position B

  • 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
  • Alan Black – don’t know much yet.

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.

Whatcom County Auditor

  • J. Lynne Walker  – don’t know much about her yet.
  • Debbie Adelstein – don’t know much about her yet either

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.

March 13, 2011

Town Hall Meeting with 42nd District Legislators

IMAG0116I along with few hundred others attended a Town Hall meeting in Lynden yesterday afternoon.  The meet was put on by Vince Buys, Doug Ericksen, and Jason Overstreet, our freshly elected representation for the northern half of Whatcom County. 

After a brief introduction by our well known Sen. Ericksen, Rep. Buys and Rep. Overstreet spent a little time familiarizing us with how the 42nd District Legislators are approaching things down in Olympia.  Their goals, and I think they are good ones, are to balance our states budget without raising taxes, to strengthen the economy and to allow businesses to create more jobs.  They described the principles they would employ as they approached our already very out of whack state budget.

  • No new taxes
  • No fund transfers
  • No Federal Bailouts
  • No tricks, gimmicks or shell game tricks

They also referenced some thoughts that Microsoft’s Bill Gates had on state budgeting.  He said that state budgets have received a puzzling lack of scrutiny and have been "riddled with gimmicks"  and “when you get down to it, the guys at Enron never would have done this.”

The next two hours were spent in Q&A.  The lines of questioners were long within seconds and even though they proceeded quickly, their sheer volume had the program running over by 30 minutes.    Questions, and comments, ran the gamut, but most seemed to be centered on protecting funding for educators of one variety or another.  Their were also a couple of comments regarding Pregnancy Center regulation and the proposed coal export terminal being planned for Cherry Point.  The other thing that was brought up several times was the notion that our legislators were somehow union busters.  One questioner asked if they were operating from the same playbook as Wisconsin, to which Doug Ericksen replied, we live in Washington, I don’t even know what Wisconsin’s playbook is.  On that subject, I find it interesting that so many unions, union members and media refer to the new Wisconsin legislation as a stripping away of collective bargaining rights, when once the facts are read, we find that the employees of Wisconsin will have more collective bargaining rights than Federal employees have had since President Carter signed into law the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978

With the 42nd District covering northern Bellingham and much of rural Whatcom County, the wide variety of views did make for a lively meeting.  Perhaps the most entertaining comment I heard came out in the hallway near the end, when a young man collecting business cards asked one of the legislators assistants if Jason Overstreet was a liberal.  I guess he missed the question where stepped center stage and made it extremely clear that he was unequivocally pro-life and that he would never measure the life in economic terms. 

Overall the Town Hall was great event and I look forward to the next.

More information:

June 15, 2009

News from the FourthCorner

fcOver the last few days, week, and months there has been an ever growing number of events in Whatcom county that take aim at government accountability to the citizens of this area and nation.   Right now local reporting is lagging and lacking so it is nice that ordinary people are stepping up and making themselves heard in person, in the press, and in the growing online community.

Case in point:

  • Do you know that Doug Ericksen is co-hosting PM Bellingham in about 30 minutes?
  • Do you know that Rick Larsen, who spoke in Ferndale on Saturday, stands on HR 1207?
  • Do you know the “Bonner mini-initiative” may face legal difficulties?
  • Do you know who organized all the flag waving on the overpasses last weekend?
  • Do you know if we’ve heard the last of ill conceived Sanctuary City thing?

I’ve listed quite a few local blogs that supplement and sometimes surpass our local media, but another avenue for staying informed is to read Charlie Crabtree’s words and thoughts in his FourthCorner Newsletter. With Charlie’s permission I’ll be posting them from time to time, but the best way to hear what this well informed guy has to say is to go over to FourthCorner and sign up for his newsletter.

Now for some answers from his recent newsletter.  And pay close attention to Rick Larsen’s response to HR 1207, a transparency bill which has tremendous bipartisan support and last I heard was co-sponsored by a majority of representatives.

Representative Doug Ericksen to Co-Host PM Bellingham State Representative Doug Ericksen to Co-Host the PM Bellingham Show Monday June 15th from 5:00 To 6:00 PM . How about Doug Ericksen Co-Hosting on a more permanent basis on PM Bellingham? Tune in and see what you think.

Flag Day Celebration a great Positive Experience
Sunday June 14th was Flag Day.
The tea party grassroots organization had a web site where the public could sign up to stand with the flag on Whatcom County Freeway Overpasses. You can go here to see the results http://www.whatcomflagday.com/ of Flag Day activity. My family and I stood with others on the Main Street Overpass in Ferndale. It was a blustery day so the flags worked hard most of the hour and a half we were there. Being a veteran I have worked under our flag in service to our country overseas. My thoughts didn’t so much go to my service but to those that today are working to defend the country our flag represents. I was proud to stand in for them here at home waving the flag. I do hope they heard the car horns, the semi trucks blowing their horns and even a short siren from a Medic unit. I hope they saw all the waves, thumbs up and flashing lights of so many cars passing below. I hope they feel better knowing that when people stopped traffic to ask why we were waving the flag; we educated them today. Our family so very much enjoyed the day just giving a reminder in a wonderfully showy way what a great country we all live in and how for so many who passed us today the flag of the United States stands for the greatness of our country. We appreciated this opportunity very much.

Mini Initiative to face possible no vote because staff says it may be illegal.
Questions by County Council Members to County attorney’s suggest “legal argument” to be basis for the voters not to have a voice on tax rate increases.

As soon as Mr. Bonner can craft a response to the pages of legalese we will publish it here at the Fourth Corner.

Mr. Bonner still suggests that if you can carve out some time for the County Council Meeting on June 23rd at 6:00PM. Your presence is even more important now. The author agrees with Mr. Bonner on attendance at this Council Meeting. It seems the powers that be in government (even at the local level) have found a way to confound the participation of the people in tax decisions that effect their lives.

Tea Party 12:00-2:00PM Saturday July 4th Bellis Fair area will be the venue
I am told by the organizers that one of the activities nearing completion is a survey for candidates at the local level to fill out. The tea party organizers will then publish the results to interested parties so voters can make decisions on which candidates to support in the fall.

The organizers request your help in getting as many people to show up on the 4th as possible. Sign making activities will be announced shortly.

Congressman Rick Larsen Visits Ferndale
Supporters of House Bill 1207 have their say at Forum
Over 100 people filled the Whatcom Educational Credit Union meeting room in Ferndale at 3:00PM this last Saturday to listen and ask questions of Representative Rick Larsen.

House Bill 1207 is a bill that would require more oversight by Congress of the Federal Reserve Bank. Most in attendance were wondering why Rep Larsen did not support the issue. His response was that basically: in his view there was enough oversight already. He was then asked why he would not vote the views of his voters. An attendee asked if his vote for the “bail out” last fall was representative since he stated that the calls he was getting from the district were 50% no and 50% hell no. He simply replied that he voted the way he did for the best interest of the country and if voters were unsatisfied with that vote they would not return him to Congress. My interest was raised on his talk on health care. He stated that Medicare payments to local doctors for the same procedures in other parts of the country are higher than they are Whatcom County. He thought it was something that needs to be fixed because our local doctors are more efficient and paid less.

So an unasked question would seem to be “If a government Medical Program(Medicare) that has been in existence for over 40 years is not working well today; then how can one think that the government taking over all health care in the nation can work any better?”

Sanctuary City proposal ‘debated’ at City Facilities After the hearings: Does the city council support this proposal? Ask them.
http://www.cob.org/cob/ccmailform.nsf/frmCCMail?OpenForm&Member=Bellingham City Council&memberemail=ccmail To see the arguments AGAINST Sanctuary City Click Here


To see what was in the minds of those FOR Sanctuary City Click Here


March 19, 2009

Lost in budget debates and news stories

Filed under: Feature,Local Issue,Media Issue — Tags: , , — wally @ 6:11 am

spending problem That’s how our Rep Doug Ericksen describes the fact that our state is actually not short on tax revenue, it is just $8 billion dollars long on spending. 

Yeah, I’ve not heard that in the news either.  I also don’t hear much about how our Federal tax burden has gone up to fund the “stimulus” package to states so they don’t have to cut spending to living within their means levels.  

As Doug says in his latest newsletter,  we can balance our budget, but to do so,

“our state must close the walls on liberal spending and commit to a prioritized state government that focuses on the protection of its most vulnerable, public safety and education. This will require restructuring state government  and living within our means.”

Isn’t it again refreshing to hear a politician who seems to realize that you don’t get out of debt by borrowing more money? 

Subscribe to Doug Ericksen’s newsletter.

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