Archive for July, 2014

Yesterday, I was sent this text of a recent facebook post from a Very Respected Member of the local Republican party. It was, of course, not the first time I had heard rumblings about the Grand Paulbot Scheme, but I thought it was so articulate and specific in terms of laying out the secret plan, that it deserved a re-post:

“This needs to be said and the time is now. The current Clark County Republican Party leadership consists of at least 99.9 per cent Paulbot activists. Having acquired the vast majority of PCOs (by any means necessary), they now control the dispensation of funds and the ability to enhance the prospects of their chosen candidates in the upcoming primary election. BE WARNED!!! These people who call themselves Republicans support ONLY other Paulbots.”

Naturally, I was alarmed upon reading that our Executive board was only supporting their friends to the detriment of everyone else. We had, after all, taken great pains to pass new by-laws forbidding party participation in primaries after years of the old CCRP using their resources against us, e.g. paying $5000 of party funds to support certain PCO candidates over others, allowing only their candidates to speak at Lincoln Day Dinners, shutting down conventions and refusing to fill incomplete delegations when their anointed Presidential candidate wasn’t winning, etc. I would really hate to have done all of that work with the PCO Liberty Alliance, only to find that our new board was doing the same things as the old board.

I decided to investigate this claim. Having received secret information from my mole at CCRP headquarters (she made me take out the garbage first), I can now confirm what many have suspected, that the Paulbots (and the other board members who, as it turns out, never voted for Ron Paul) are giving away alarming amounts of party money to candidates. Some of this info is very recent, the Executive Board having voted to distribute funds only a few days ago. What follows is the entire list of CCRP donations year-to-date:

1. Jeanne Stewart (County Commissioner): $8500
2. Lynda Wilson (17th LD Representative): $7000
3. Anson Service (49th LD Representative): $3500
4. Liz Pike (18th LD Representative): $1000
5. Scott Weber (Clark County Clerk): $1000
6. Lauren Colas (Clark County Treasurer): $1000
7. Peter Van Nortwick (Clark County Assessor): $500
8. Josie Townsend (Clark County Prosecutor): $500

Now, I know what you are thinking as you read these names: “Wait a minute, none of those people who received money have ever voted for Ron Paul!” That was my thought as well. In trying to uncover the Secret Paulbot Agenda, it seems like this part didn’t fit. Not only did the board give $23,000 to candidates, significantly more than the $14,850 that the old board did in all of 2012, but they didn’t give a cent to anyone in a contested primary, even to the lone Paul supporter running as a Republican for office in Clark County. So what gives? Is the Secret Paulbot Agenda so nefarious that it is undetectable to the naked eye? Are they using invisible ink and disks that self-destruct in five seconds? I mean, we know the people telling us about the plot are credible, right? They would never just make things up out of thin air would they?

As I continued my investigation, looking for clues about the Grand Paulbot Scheme, I was able to come up with some possible signs that the new leadership is ruining the party. For example, they are sending increasing numbers of PCOs out into neighborhoods to bother people about politics and they litter neighborhoods with more signs and literature from candidates. They even abandoned the old headquarters, the party’s only contact with the at-risk population at Highway 99 and Hazel Dell, in favor of a newer office in the middle of the county, so that more of these ‘Republicans’ might actually use it. I also hear they are secretly planning on having a convention in 2016 that elects all of the delegates, but that may be just wild speculation. So there is evidence of change that even people like Rep. Jim Moeller have noticed and have every right to publicly condemn.  As we already established in a previous post, Moeller would like the Republican party to go back to the way it was before, and apparently, some Very Respected Republicans agree with him. Perhaps this is what Moeller means when he talks about his efforts to “reach across the aisle”?

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Michael DelavarJohn Ley Rockhold
Left to Right: Chris Rockhold, Michael Delavar , and John Ley

 

This year’s election cycle may have more turbulance than usual as three local Republican incumbents have drawn grassroots-oriented primary opponents. In the 3rd Congressional district, Michael Delavar (R-Washougal) is running against Jaime Herrera-Beutler. In the 18th Legislative district, John Ley (R-Camas) is challenging Brandon Vick for the State Representative seat, and in the 17th, Chris Rockhold (L-Vancouver) squares off against Representative Paul Harris. While each candidate brings a slightly different approach to their campaigns, they all have one interesting thing in common; they are all airline pilots.

So why do pilots feel such an easy transition from their jobs to becoming leaders in the political sphere? It makes intuitive sense: Pilots are often entrusted with the lives of hundreds of passengers every day. They are also skilled in communicating with those passengers in a confident and competent manner. They are trained to deal with crisis-situations with calmness and maturity. Finally, they are accustomed to developing and communicating a flight plan in advance of acting upon it. All of these traits find corresponding activity in politics, and experience in these areas can be a refreshing change. Wouldn’t it be nice, for instance, if all of our elected leaders gave us a ‘flight plan’ before their term started so that we could know for certain what specific direction they intended to take our government? So many politicians give us general platitudes and fluff so that we’re never actually sure who we are electing until well after they are in office, and usually it is an unpleasant surprise to find out who they really are. It would also be nice if our local elected officials were as well-trained as pilots have to be before they can go up in the air.

As always, there is a tendency to default to the incumbent in any race, which gives Delavar, Ley, and Rockhold a tall mountain to climb. Jaime Herrera, for instance, raised just under $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2014 alone. Vick and Harris have also successfully tapped into the corporate donation sources that usually ensure incumbent victory. Corporations are looking for candidates who can provide a tangible ‘return on investment’, like the kind Boeing got last year when a special session of the legislature was called just to give them a huge package of tax breaks. That ROI is usually not to be expected from a principled candidate who votes his conscience and has a strong set of ideals to guide his or her vote. Maybe that principled candidate would vote the same way as the prospective corporate donor, but then again, maybe not. Typically, the ‘Moderate’ faction of both parties is happy to provide that consistently malleable presence in the legislature that can be influenced with campaign funds to vote in favor of the corporate donor. By filling the legislature with such ‘Moderates’, it quite naturally follows that we get the corporate welfare and massive spending that is so typical of the big government paradigm.

Note that I am not saying all corporate donations are a sign that a candidate is a ‘sell-out’. Corporations have the right to participate in the political world too, but having a lot of them usually means that a candidate has something to ‘pay back’ in terms of voting and legislating. When searching for a principled candidate, I like to look in the PDCs and see a healthy percentage of donations coming from private citizens. Note John Ley , for instance, who has done a pretty good job of fundraising from private citizens so far. Quite a few folks were so convinced that he would be a good candidate, they gave to his campaign from their own private funds. That is compelling. Rockhold and Delavar also draw the vast majority of their support from private donors.

It will take a strong grassroots movement, including private individuals volunteering and donating their shekels, in order for any of these aviators to succeed against such strong headwinds. While many challengers are somewhat less than serious about campaigning and even less so about actually being an effective legislator, I know all three of these men, and I consider all three worth the time to check out. Each one has a vision and is asking questions that need to be asked of our often complacent leadership. Each one is also devoted to promoting the principles of small government and personal liberty, which I consider a requirement to win my vote.

 

 

Jim Moeller hates the current crop of Republican PCOs so much, he spent a good portion of his CVTV campaign speech talking about us. We’re famous!

(Full Text Below)

 

 

 

 

 

“My name is Jim Moeller, and I want to thank you for the great honor of representing the 49th District in Olympia. In this election, we’ve never had a clear choice to make. Throughout my career, I’ve worked diligently to reach across the aisle to make sure that partisan feuds do not block the basic business of the people. Even in stormy political weather, basic bills can get passed. However, I must report to you that the local Republican party and its representatives in Olympia are personally responsible, not only for killing any possibility of replacing the I-5 bridge within the next 10-20 years, but that they also personally blocked needed and vital transportation improvements from Spokane to Seattle in the past two years. The local Republican Party has been taken over at the Precinct Officer level by its most extreme fractions. Now each and every one of our local Republican officeholders is beholden to a very narrow band of people. These folks offer nothing new but ‘no’. In place of a real bridge project, we now have a pretend community…committee, operating as a political fig leaf to cover incompetent and irresponsible actions of some of our country’s Republican delegation. Our County Commission is now viewed statewide as a laughingstock, while our essentially part-time Congresswoman has no economic plan beyond collecting a paycheck and getting re-elected. The proud party of Lincoln is now an organization of zealots, run by ideologues on behalf of bored billionaires, all of whom operate without any accountability. And now, now they favor placing a large, polluting oil terminal in the heart of this district, on our largest river, and support having long oil trains run throughout this community day and night, each one with enough explosive power to level the downtown or any of the communities along the way. These people…the people have opposed this idea in every way they can, and yet my opponents, one of whom has a long political history of claiming to be the people’s voice, still favors this job-killing, community-killing, and river-killing plan. I know we can do better. In this election, lets come together and make a statement. This summer, when our ballots arrive, let’s not put off voting, let’s not pretend it doesn’t really matter. Early…nearly every day, my constituents have to sit in the tie-up in the middle of the day while our Woodrow Wilson-era drawbridge goes up. One of my opponents even said that the drawbridge is “perfectly fine”. It’s not perfectly fine. I need your help; more importantly I need your vote. This election is all about us, because our state government needs to serve us, our needs, our communities, our families. Please join me in this fight.”

So, to recap:

1. A multi-billion-dollar light rail project that gets most of its funding via extreme tolling of Vancouver residents who work in Oregon qualifies as ‘basic business of the people’ in Jim Moeller’s economy. Of course, this is the same Jim Moeller who thought jacking up the gas tax to record levels was a good idea, as well as the man who bilks the taxpayers for the highest per diem claims of any legislator in Washington.

2. When a bunch of regular citizens dare to notice what Moeller and his pro-light rail buddies are doing and interrupt their busy lives to stand up to this cronyism, they are called ‘zealots’, and, perhaps worse, ‘extreme fractions’. I’m not exactly sure what he means by the latter comment, but it may refer to the fact that we were in favor of a bridge solution that was an extreme fraction of the cost of implementing a light rail system that nobody was going to use. After reviewing the last few votes on the light rail issue in Clark County and the resounding defeats it has suffered at the hands of two thirds of Clark County residents, one wonders if he understands at all the concept of ‘fractions’ and which side of the median his position is on. Perhaps a remedial math course would not go amiss for Rep. Moeller?

3. While the numbers of Republican PCOs continues to set records after each new election cycle, Jim Moeller sees them as a ‘narrow band of people’ compared to the salad days of yore when there were far less PCOs, but they were more to Moeller’s liking. Meanwhile, Republican PCOs continue to outnumber their Democrat counterparts by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. So I guess Moeller, who is himself a Democrat PCO, knows something about narrow bands of people, since he has doubtless been to a few Democrat party meetings.

4. According to Moeller, Republican PCOs want to explode everything: communities, rivers, and kittens. Apparently this rhetoric is part of his efforts to ‘reach across the aisle’ and avoid ‘partisan feuds’. He’s just so genuine, isn’t he?

The hope is that the 49th District will see through this crook and vote for Lisa Ross, who, by virtue of being a C.P.A. is at a minimum able to understand fractions, and how large the fraction of incomes in Clark County already go to taxes. Please consider voting for Lisa if you live in the 49th District.