Archive for January, 2014

Kenny Smith poses with newly-minted battle Ground City Councilman, Lyle Lamb

Kenny Smith (left) poses with newly-elected Battle Ground city councilman Lyle Lamb

 

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Lynda Wilson would step down today as Chairwoman of the Clark County Republican Party in order to focus her attention on a run for 17th LD State Representative. Per the party’s bylaws, Vice-Chairman Steve Nelson becomes the chairman and a special meeting must be called in order to fill the new opening at Vice-Chair. Apparently, due to circumstances involving work, family, and not being able to fit in a full-time, unpaid volunteer position into an already busy life, Steve will not be serving as chairman. It is an unfortunate result of the new bylaws that instead of losing only the chairman, there will now be two vacancies at the head of the Executive board that will have to be filled at the meeting on February 11th.

The sudden necessity for a new chairman and vice-chairman, who must be of opposite genders per RCW 29A.80.030 (although this law may technically only apply to the bi-annual Organization meetings), has caused a lot of candidate searching within the local party ranks. Finding a person who is both qualified to continue the work begun by Wilson in spearheading a resurgent county party, and available for hours upon hours of volunteer work can be a difficult task. Finding one who presents a measured and wise face for the party is even more challenging. Thankfully, a man who has the admiration and respect of many, including this writer, has agreed to run.

Kenny Smith, who currently serves as the Republican 18th Legislative District Chairman, is something of a rarity in politics. He is thoughtful, wise, slow to speak, and completely lacking in ego or pretension. His greatest enjoyment is enabling others to grow in experience and abilities. He has probably spent more time with PCOs than anyone in Clark County, teaching, organizing, and lending his wisdom and experience. He is a one of the best human beings I know, in an arena that often feels bereft of human beings. Kenny Smith will make the Clark County Republican party better. I could wish that the national Republican party was led by more people like Kenny Smith, rather than the egomaniacal sociopaths that are currently in charge, who stamp out the grass roots wherever they find them.

It is unknown at this time if other candidates will enter the race for chairman, or who the vice-chair candidate will be (several names are being mentioned, but nobody has been nominated to date). More info will be posted here as it is made public.

 

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Yet again demonstrating the disconnect between the local media and voters in Clark County, Columbian liberal hack reporter Stephanie Rice recently offered up
this latest attempt to publicly mock County Commissioner David Madore.

A Wednesday discussion on allowing smaller minimum lot sizes in certain agricultural and forest zones included a lesson on property taxes for Clark County Commissioners Tom Mielke and David Madore, both of whom questioned why property taxes would increase even if property owners didn’t decide to split up their land.

What was Madore’s offense this time? Well, it seems that while having a discussion with County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick regarding the likely tax implications of changing zoning on certain rural properties, Madore dared to ask how rising property taxes for people who didn’t plan to split up their land might be avoided. Many of these folks moved out to the rural areas in the first place because they could no longer afford the property taxes and housing costs in the city. David was elected as a representative of the taxpayers, and in doing his job, he incurred the wrath of the big-government shills at the Columbian.

Van Nortwick’s own characterization of the exchange after reading Rice’s spin job:

Wow, talk about taking a briefing to the Commissioners where we were discussing potential options and they were asking clarifying questions on a range of questions. The article doesn’t have the same feel as I had sitting across from Tom and David answering their questions which was why they had the meeting and invited me to begin with.

Of course, the Columbian’s amen corner in the comments section dutifully continues the droning on about how uninformed David is, he who started his own business from scratch that employs over 100 people in Clark County. When one has read these comments enough times, it becomes clear that it is the same five or six people every time, and that they are there as low-level Democrat/Public Union operatives, not as reasonable representatives of the voting, tax-paying public.

It never ceases to amaze me how the left presents themselves as champions for the poor and working classes, while also demanding that they pay higher taxes simply for existing on a piece of property, or crossing a bridge to go to work, or filling up their gas tank. All of these measures, property taxes, bridge tolls, and the highest gas taxes in the country, affect the poor more than the rich as they cut into poor people’s subsistence income while only being a small part of the excess of the wealthy. Jesus explained this principle in the story of the widow’s mite . I have no doubt that David Madore, a committed Christian has read and been influenced by this story. He is doing exactly what the voters commissioned him to do – to be our advocate against runaway government taxing and spending.

On the heels of Lynda Wilson’s recent announcement of her intention to run for the state legislature in the 17th Legislative District comes today’s public statement that she will be stepping down as Clark County Republican Party Chairwoman at the end of the month. She had originally intended to fill both roles, chairwoman and candidate, for the remainder of her term, but she is now putting all of her efforts into winning the state rep seat.

Good decision, in this writer’s humble opinion. Looking around the county, the two areas of greatest focus for Republicans would likely be the 17th LD Rep position and the Clark County Commissioner position currently occupied by political lifer Steve Stuart. In choosing to limit her efforts solely to the 17th LD race, Lynda is also taking personal responsibility to accomplish what the party would have had much of their focus on anyway. Instead of a supporting role, she has chosen to move to the front lines.

Lynda’s accomplishments during her tenure as CCRP chairwoman have been well documented on this blog, but here is a recap:

1. She managed to unite a large body of Republicans in Clark County under one banner, including a large swell of Liberty-oriented volunteers who had been shut out from participation in former days. Her honesty and grace in dealings with the new blood that was manifested in the wake of the PCO Liberty Alliance campaign will always be remembered and appreciated. She is one of the few politicians who can honestly claim to be a ‘uniter’ rather than a ‘divider’.

2. She inherited a county organization that was essentially broke, and of very little use to candidates, and transformed it into a financially healthy organization, flush with cash and ready and willing to help candidates. One of the criticisms that was repeatedly manifested in the months leading up to the organization meeting in 2012 was that the rabble ought not to try to get involved in the party, because they don’t know how to raise money or command respect among the Important People Who Matter. One prominent member of the old guard even wrote to me that if we managed to win a majority of the board, we  would only raise about $15,000 and be gone in two years. In retrospect, this argument has been made to look utterly ridiculous.

3. Under the leadership of Lynda Wilson and her team, PCO involvement has been at an all-time high. Not only have more precincts had representation in the CCRP Central Committee, but more candidates have been helped from PCOs than ever before. Shortly after the elections last November, I attended a gathering of most of the Republican candidates in the last election, and to a man, the message was the same: they had never seen the support from the Republican party that they saw this cycle.

And so Lynda now takes her experiences as an effective leader, a tireless worker, and a great galvanizer of people, and brings them to a new role, that of candidate for state legislature. As a voter in the 17th LD, I am very excited about the prospect of having representation in Olympia such as I know she would provide, and quite frankly, I don’t often get excited about people running for office. Rather than hold my nose and pick the least objectionable as I seem to find myself doing every November, this time I will be looking forward to checking her box.

Some other responses to Lynda’s eminent departure:

“Desiring new leadership for the Clark County Republican Party, in May 2012 some friends and I began to organize the election of a majority of Precinct Committee Officers who also shared our vision.   In December of 2012 they were faced with choosing who that leader would be.  Lynda Wilson was the right person at the right place at the right time, and she made the decision an easy one.  With an admirable combination of strongly held principles and widely held respect, she was able to steer the party in new directions and set fundraising records — all while continuing to honor the legacy and hard work of those who had come before her.  I know she will be missed by all my fellow board members.  But the State Legislature is in dire need of someone who will work to restore Liberty, Opportunity and Trust to the people of Washington State.  Lynda Wilson is just the person to take on that task.  The 17th Legislative District will now have an opportunity to elect an extraordinary representative of the people.  I encourage all who share my respect for her to contact her campaign and offer their support.”

-Christian Berrigan, CCRP Operations Director

“I have worked alongside Lynda for almost five years as we fought hard to restore and protect the people’s individual rights and liberties in southwest Washington. I’ve seen firsthand her ability to come up with real world solutions in efficient and effective ways. Through it all, she has shown a consistency in her character to always do what is right rather than follow the path of expedience. I feel that she will be a strong advocate for the people of the 17th Legislative District and I strongly urge that all my friends, family, and associates support Lynda Wilson in this great endeavor.”

-Steven Nelson, CCRP Vice-Chairman