State Politics & News

Last November 2010, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation submitted a letter to Governor Christine Gregoire, requesting that she be a true governor for change and openly communicate to the tax payers of Washington State the true fiscal condition of the Treasury of the State of Washington.  Please take a moment to read their letter and if you should be so moved...send a letter to the Honorable Governor too.

Yours in Truth  ;-)  Shelly
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) needs our help.  This hard working organization has done the lions share of the work to bring private citizens the information needed to be educated voters.  They are asking that we help the EFF to finish their 'Voters Information Guide' project with some unfinished reports on Washington State Legislators.  This is the link to the article from the EFF .  So, if you have something constructive to contribute to and finish their report, please do so.

Yours In Truth  ;-)  Shelly
Election 2010: Washington Senate: Murray Falls Behind Two GOP Challengers
Washington's Senate race looks increasingly like a referendum on incumbent Democrat Patty Murray with two Republican candidates edging past her this month.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Washington State finds Republican hopefuls Dino Rossi and Clint Didier both earning 48% support in match-ups with Murray. She, in turn, picks up 45% of the vote against the two GOP challengers. Less than 10% of voters in both cases prefer some other candidate in the race or are undecided.
In June, Murray and Rossi were tied as they have been in virtually every survey this year. Since the beginning of the year, Murray has earned 46% to 48% of the vote, while Rossi's support has ranged from 46% to 49%.
Incumbents that fall short of 50% at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable, but worrisome for Murray is that this is her poorest showing of the year. She was reelected to a third term in 2004 with 55% of the vote.
Washington is one of nine states currently characterized as Toss-Ups in the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings.
Read the full report here.

Ericksen, Brandland lauded as ‘pro-retail legislators’

While the the caption of this blog defines the candidates to be big supporters of the Retail sector, I would describe their voting records this way:

"Representative Erickson and Senator Brandland vote for 'Free Market' principles; the way the Founders intended them to."

Rep. Ericksen
Rep. Ericksen42nd district Republicans Rep. Doug Ericksen and Sen. Dale Brandland have been honored by the Washington Retail Association for fiscally-conservative votes taken during the 2010 legislative session. Both Ferndale’s Ericksen and rural Whatcom County resident Brandland voted against lifting the voter-created two-thirds majority required to raise taxes in the Legislature. They also voted against a tax package on things like alcohol, candy and bottled water that raised $800 million to help shore up a $2.8 billion budget deficit.
Sen. Brandland
Democrats during the biennium both raised those taxes and cut $4 billion from the budget due to sluggish revenues caused by the economic recession. Sen. BrandlandThe Washington Retail Association, though, says taxes “hurt consumers and endanger the futures of retailers struggling to survive the damage already done by the recession.”
WRA officials believe more cuts could have been made to the budget, too.
“Members of WRA appreciate those legislators who stuck with us in these tough economic times,” said Mark Johnson, WRA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “They resisted the temptation to increase taxes that can only hurt retailers struggling to survive the recession.”
Read the association’s full press release below the fold.
OLYMPIA - The Washington Retail Association wishes to honor state legislators Dale Brandland and Doug Ericksen of Bellingham among 19 state legislators who fully supported its efforts to reduce financial burdens on retailers and consumers during the 2009 and 2010 Legislative sessions.
Since the peak of retail employment statewide of more than 331,000 at the end of 2007, about 27,000 retail jobs have been eliminated in the recession.
As economic conditions worsened the past two years, the 19 legislators WRA salutes today voted to oppose the Legislature’s maneuver that wiped out a two-thirds majority requirement to approve new taxes. They then voted against $800 million in new taxes the Legislature approved that have increased the cost of bottled water, soft drinks, beer, candy, gum and cigarettes. These new costs ignore government spending cuts the Legislature could have made and made it more difficult to buy and sell these products. These taxes hurt consumers and endanger the futures of retailers struggling to survive the damage already done by the recession.
“Members of WRA appreciate those legislators who stuck with us in these tough economic times,” said Mark Johnson, WRA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “They resisted the temptation to increase taxes that can only hurt retailers struggling to survive the recession.”
Legislators who distinguished themselves by showing 100 percent support for WRA’s efforts to reduce taxes and control costly government regulation are:
In the Senate, Randi Becker (Eatonville) , Dale Brandland (Bellingham), Mike Carrell (Lakewood), Jerome Delvin (Richland), Jim Honeyford (Sunnyside) , Curtis King (Yakima), Bob McCaslin (Veradale), Linda Evans Parlette (Wenatchee), Cheryl Pflug (Issaquah), Mark Schoesler (Ritzville), and Val Stevens (Arlington).
In the House of Representatives, Mike Armstrong (Wenatchee), Bruce Chandler (Granger), Doug Ericksen (Bellingham), Dan Kristiansen (Snohomish), Jim McCune (Graham), Kirk Pearson (Monroe), Matt Shea (Otis Orchards) and David Taylor (Moxee).
The Washington Retail Association is a non-profit trade association representing retailers with more than 2,800 storefronts throughout the state. Its mission is to represent the legislative, regulatory and political interests of the state retail industry on a national, state and local level.


I found this article online and thought it worthy of sharing with you.  This years election will require that we all take the time to read and learn about the candidates more than ever before.  It is critical that we elect, moral people with the back bone and skills to do what politicians are meant to do; "Work for We the People" in preserving our Constitutional rights, liberty and freedom.  Good reading and have fun while you're at it.

Paul AkersYours in Truth  ;-)  Shelly 

Profile | Paul Akers

Website | Paul Akers for U.S. Senate

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Taking the Beltway to School

By Paul Akers | 06/22/10 | 02:42 PM EDT | 13 Comments

After the convention I came away with a new appreciation for the base of our party and the unique situation we find ourselves in for 2010. I believe that the tea partiers and grassroots are the voices of conscience right now, trying to make sure that we hold true to our principles. It will be necessary, thought to win the hearts and minds of the base as well as the moderate/independents in our state. This must be done by demonstrating that our conservative principles are in the best interest of our country and our citizens.
I can speak to this because of my successful background in a myriad of disciplines. In fact, the reason I am gaining independent supporters and democrats is because 2010 is a year like no other. People are feeling restless and concerned about where we're going and their confidence in the current leadership is astonishingly low. I am a proud conservative and have never white washed my beliefs. More importantly, though, I have led others to success, which inspires confidence. I can do this in Washington D.C. as well.
Recently, one of the democrats supporting me told me that I needed to share the following story to demonstrate this priniciple.
Leanne and I are both teachers by training and early in our marriage we taught in a very poor area of East L.A. serving a mostly hispanic community.  I taught high school industrial arts (wood working and craftsman trades) and Leanne taught kindergarten. 
During that time one of the special ed teachers asked me if I would consider accepting one or two special ed students in each of my seven classes, suggesting  a type of vocational mainstreaming. I thought it was a good idea, though I had some reservations, primarily safety, as we worked with some specialized power tools. 
I talked to each of my classes about the idea, telling them that it was their job to help this idea succeed. I told them that it could only work if they were willing to take on some responsibility of being my extra eyes and ears for the special ed students. These kids would need help and reassurance adjusting to things like the constant noise of machinery and remembering to observe safety guidelines. To my amazement the program was a wild success.
The special ed  kids joined our class and were supported by kids who other wise might have ignored or totally dismissed them. The students in my class took a certain pride in helping the special ed kids.
Of further importance was that the special ed students performed tasks and completed woodworking projects at the same level as the other kids. I will never forget one of the kids, named Frank, who came to me after completing his project and couldn't stop repeating himself, "Mr. Akers! Mr. Akers! This is the most amazing thing! I can't believe, I can't believe, I can't believe I've done it!"
I realized at that moment that God imparts the potential of greatness upon every human being. People have enormous untapped capacity.I witnessed a young human being discovering his own capacity for greatness as an emerging craftsman. If such a miracle as this could transpire in my little woodworking class at a high school in east L.A., imagine the potential of our own citizens stepping up to solve the problems in our own difficult times. 
This experience from my teaching profession changed my life forever. My life was changed because I saw more clearly then ever before the potential of human beings to improve their lives and how much richer our world would be if leaders viewed problem solving from this perspective. This has become my life's purpose and it is what I mean when I refer to the concept of servant leadership.
I formed and grew my company on the philosophy and mission of forming leaders by helping people ( my employees) stretch to their greatest and unrealized potential. This simple concept has led to enormous success for my company, Fastcap, a multi-million dollar enterprise that competes internationally and provides well paid manufacturing jobs in the Northwest. 
Now I have chosen to enter the political world, a very different world, where altruistic goals and motives are not always  trusted. But my purpose is to serve my country by allowing my leadership skills that I've developed over the last 30 years of my adult life to make a difference in the direction our country is going. God only knows that purr current leaders are not doing an adequate job. 
The purpose of the Akers for U.S. Senate candidacy is to serve others, to make a difference by getting people to work together for the common good. That common good is the preservation of this incredible country, which has been under assault by the self serving political class.
Our country faces many critical issues, especially those of a financial and economic nature. We are on a treacherous and unsustainable path and the only thing that Patty Murray and our current leaders seem capable of doing is expanding government and spending more money. Their leadership style is one that pits citizens against each other, using class warfare and government dependency rather than citizen empowerment.
As the only candidate who has actually created jobs and who has invested my entire adult life as a servant leader, I plan to take these skills to U.S. Senate to help lead our country back to prosperity

Still No Budget from the Larsen-Pelosi DemocratsIn my not so humble opinion, John Koster fears for the Private Sector, the State and Country to be left for his children and grandchildren.  I too am fearful for the future that my children and (future) grandchildren will have, if 'big' changes do not occur in 2010 to reach back to the Foundations, which made the USA the Country everyone wanted to live.  So I am sharing his email update on what is not happening in Washington D.C.
The Congress is intentionally not putting together a budget for 2011.   The reverberations of this will possibly rock the markets and thus the U.S. economy to its bones.

Yours in Truth  ;-)  Shelly

Democrats Ducking for Cover as Majority Fails to Lead:  "John Koster for Congress"

Washington- As the nation's economy continues to suffer from the drag created by the Democrats' relentless spending agenda, Rick Larsen and his friends in Washington still can't get around to creating a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. One would think that with the country's finances spiraling out of control, Larsen and his colleagues in the Democrat majority would aim to provide a blueprint for economic recovery. Unfortunately for taxpayers, though, Democrats refuse to do the business of governing and will likely limp toward November without a budget in place:

"Facing the uncomfortable reality that the federal government's 2011 budget shows record levels of red ink, congressional Democrats may resolve the politically thorny situation by simply refusing to pass a budget resolution this election year.

"With voters in no mood to hear about Washington's $1.3-trillion deficit, some moderate and conservative Democrats say they would rather sit this one out. They have found common cause with liberal colleagues who don't want to pass spending cuts, especially while the economy is still struggling." (Lisa Mascaro, "Budget Woes? Just Don't Pass One," Los Angeles Times, 5/22/10)

And now, fellow Democrats are running for cover, attempting to avoid political blame by making hollow calls for the party leaders they support to finally take action:

"Freshman House Democrats are pressing leaders to do a budget resolution this year even as senior Democrats lay the groundwork to skip it.

"Several of these freshmen face tough reelection campaigns this year and could benefit politically from passing an austere budget. Republican challengers have made the $13 trillion debt central to their argument against the Democratic majority." (Walter Alarkon, "Freshman House Dems Push Their Leaders to Approve Budget Resolution," The Hill, 5/22/10)

Even Democrat leaders have gone on the record to say that budgeting is one of the fundamental duties of a governing majority in Congress, but these same leaders are now turning a blind eye to the nation's looming fiscal crisis:

In 2006, as Democrats were pushing to take control of the House and Republicans were hamstrung by their own budget woes, [Spratt] said: "If you can't budget, you can't govern." (Jonathan Allen, "Budget Looms Over Midterm Elections," Politico, 5/10/10)

"Boehner dug up an old quote from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) who previously said the 'most basic responsibility of governing is to pass a budget.'" (Jake Sherman, "John Boehner Slams 'Inability to Govern," Politico, 5/13/10)

"If Rick Larsen can't get his party leaders to get around to the business of governing, then he is failing the Washington families he was elected to represent," said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. "Taxpayers are buried under mountains of debt from the Democrats' big-spending policies, but Larsen and the radical party bosses he supports are too afraid of the political consequences to follow through on one of their most fundamental duties. With Washington families tightening their belts and trimming their own budgets, Larsen and his Washington friends just can't stop spending on the taxpayer dime - and they refuse to be up-front about where that money is going."

Paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee
and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

It's not official, because Dino Rossi has not publicly declared his candidacy, but for all intents and purposes it it has been leaked that Dino Rossi will declare his intent to run for Senator Murray's seat in the Washington State Senate.  During Rossi's past '2' gubernatorial races I was a supporter of Rossi.  His last race against Gov. Gregoire, I was disappointed in his lack of energy and enthusiasm.  So I will willingly look at Rossi again, but unless he can show the enthusiasm and straight talk that my '2' favored candidates, Didier and Akers have shown throughout their campaigns, this voter will not be changing her direction.
Yours in Truth  ;-)  Shelly
Looks like it's Rossi vs. Murray
Senate: Republican to declare soon, says source

LIZ SIDOTI AND RACHEL LA CORTE; The Associated Press Buzz up!

OLYMPIA - After months of indecision, Republican Dino Rossi plans to jump into the race to unseat Democratic Sen. Patty Murray this week, a Republican official said Monday.

The entry of the two-time candidate for governor transforms what could have been a walkover for Murray into a competitive race that will likely force her to spend her war chest here rather than helping vulnerable Democrats elsewhere.

The official said that Rossi is hiring staff members and is preparing to make his campaign official Wednesday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private campaign plans.

Republicans had been courting Rossi to get into the race, while national Democrats have been criticizing him in hopes of keeping him out.

But Rossi has been in no rush to start campaigning ahead of the Aug. 17 primary. The filing deadline for all candidates in Washington state is June 11.

Last week, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed another GOP candidate, former football player Clint Didier, a favorite of many tea party activists. But because of Washington’s top-two primary – a wide-open race that allows the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party, to move forward to the general election – Rossi figures to advance.

The late start means Rossi will have to aggressively tap his supporters to raise the money needed to mount a viable campaign against Murray, who won a third term easily six years ago.

Republican political consultant Chris Vance said that in any other year, a candidate starting this late would be in trouble.

This year may be different because of a perceived anti-incumbent wave that is likely to help Republicans, Vance said.

“If the wave is big, Dino Rossi is going to win. If the wave shrinks, he’s probably not going to win,” Vance said.

On Monday, the Washington Poll, released through the University of Washington, showed Murray with a 44 percent to 40 percent advantage over Rossi in a hypothetical November showdown. The statewide telephone survey of 626 registered voters was conducted May 3-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Rossi is best known politically as a runner-up, losing governor’s races to Democrat Chris Gregoire by a handful of votes in 2004 and a wider margin in 2008.

Rossi did not respond to phone calls or an e-mail seeking comment. His spokeswoman, Mary Lane Strow, refused to confirm or deny Rossi’s entrance into the race but said he would make a statement midweek.

Murray was elected to the Senate in 1992’s Year of the Woman. She ran as an unassuming “mom in tennis shoes” but has since climbed to the No. 4 spot on the Democratic leadership team. She faced a relatively weak Republican field before Rossi entered the race and had almost $6 million in her campaign account as of March 31.

Murray has aided powerful homegrown interests such as The Boeing Co., the state’s largest private employer. She also has delivered federal spending to all corners of the state and is known for a special focus on veterans’ issues.

Democrats have been anticipating a Rossi campaign and began attacking his background in real estate investment weeks before he officially entered the race.

“We know that Patty’s got to work very hard, and there’s discontent in the land,” State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz said. “But they picked the wrong candidate to tap into that discontent.”

Among the dozen Republicans who have already announced plans to challenge Murray are two small-government conservatives: Didier, an Eastern Washington farmer who formerly played football for the Washington Redskins, and state Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver. Neither responded to phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.

As a state senator in 2003, Rossi worked with Democrats to balance a yawning budget deficit without general tax increases — a portfolio he is sure to reference heavily on the campaign trail.

A Roman Catholic, Rossi is personally opposed to abortion but has finessed the issue in previous statewide runs by pointing out that abortion law is largely a settled matter in Democratic-leaning Washington state. A Senate run will test that issue in a new way, since senators must confirm nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

State of Washington Congressman Rick Larsen on “Net Nuetrality”
Thank you for contacting me in regard to net neutrality. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this issue.
As a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus, I strongly support efforts to make access to broadband services universal in the United States. Our country must adopt a multifaceted approach to promote broadband access by helping providers expand broadband access in underserved areas, encouraging small businesses to invest in broadband, and ensuring that consumers can choose between high-quality, affordable Internet options.
As you know, network neutrality has been a contentious issue in Congress for some time. It asserts that, in order to promote innovation, Internet service providers (ISPs) such as telephone and cable internet companies should not be permitted to dictate how networks are used. For example, broadband carriers should be prohibited from slowing down internet connections to competitor's websites or charging fees to a website in order to obtain a faster connection.
In 2005 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacted four principles to offer guidance to ISPs regarding the rights consumers have when accessing the Internet through their networks. The FCC's goal in enacting these principles was to take steps to ensure that broadband networks are widely deployed, open, affordable and accessible to all and to ensure that Internet services are operated in a neutral manner. The four principles are:
?consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;
?consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;
?consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and
?consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.
On October 22, 2009, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that the Commission would seek to develop formal rules to codify the existing principles and create two additional rules that apply only to ISPs.
The fifth principle is one of non-discrimination -- stating that broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications. This means they cannot block or degrade lawful traffic over their networks, or pick winners by favoring some content or applications over others in the connection to subscribers' homes.
The sixth principle is a transparency principle -- stating that providers of broadband Internet access must be transparent about their network management practices.
Recently, I joined several of my colleagues in sending a letter to Chairman Genachowski regarding the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules. While I applaud the FCC for taking steps to ensure transparency that will continue to promote greater Internet access for consumers, I have concerns that the Commission is attempting to solve a problem that does not currently exist, and in the process reduce ISPs from continuing to invest in expansion of their broadband networks.
Another concern I have with Chairman Genachowski's proposed rules changes is the exemption of content providers from competition standards that were originally created in 2005, and have thus far worked to ensure that both ISPs (Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast) and content providers (Google and Microsoft) are held to an equal standard of transparency. Unfortunately, the FCC has proposed to maintain transparency standards explicitly for ISPs, while eliminating these standards for content providers. If the FCC is serious about having an open Internet, it should not pick winners and losers in the net neutrality debate.
I believe that Congress and the FCC must continue to promote Internet transparency to ensure competition remains strong and consumers have the ability to access the free flow of information the Internet provides without being denied service or provided service that is degraded. If in some way, these principles are not followed - Congress and the FCC must act in the best interest of consumers.
The FCC has set a deadline of January 14, 2010 for preliminary comments, and a March 5, 2010 deadline for reply comments on its proposed net neutrality rules changes. Please know that I will continue to monitor the issue of net neutrality and will be sure to keep your comments in mind should any relevant legislation reach the House floor for a vote.
Again, thank you for contacting me on this issue. Please don't hesitate to contact me further should you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns on this or any other issue.
Rick Larsen
United States Representative
Washington State, 2nd District