Unelected Oregon Bureaucrats Voting On SW Washington RTC

By: Vicki Kraft

rtc-575We need more of our local politicians standing up for SW Washington’s interests. Recently Rep. Lynda Wilson introduced HB 2124 which will remove the ability to vote for the two Oregonians who sit on our local Regional Transportation Council (RTC). The County Councilors are in support of this bill and our local voice as well. These Oregon members will still be on the council and able to provide their input, they just won’t have a voice to determine the outcome for Washington citizens. This makes perfect sense.

Jack Burkman however, standing up for special interests as usual, tries to make the argument that if this bill passes and those two board members can’t vote then we’re not being good partners with Oregon. Maybe not if you’re coming from the perspective, as Jack is, that we need to give Tri-Met (Oregon) eminent domain rights over Vancouver / Clark County property. Jack Burkman voted for this as part of the backdoor contract some of the C-Tran board members created and then passed against the will of Clark County voters in September 2013.

We need local representation standing up for our local voice. HB 2124 is scheduled for a vote in the WA State House Transportation Committee. I’m hopeful we’ll see common sense legislation like this passed…or at least it should be.  People should contact house members on the committee and urge them to move this bill to the house floor for debate and a vote.


What Happened to Moeller?

Did you notice something different about the Washington State House of Representatives on Monday? Not many people did, but those who follow sessions closely may have noticed something was a bit irregular.  Where was Speaker ProTem Rep. Jim Moeller (49th LD)?
The image below shows Rep. Tina Orwall (33LD) with the gavel and acting as Temp. Speaker Pro Tem during Monday’s, (January 19th) floor debate.

Rep. Tina Orwall acting as Speaker Pro Tem January 19th, 2015

Rep. Tina Orwall acting as Speaker Pro Tem January 19th, 2015

So what happened to Rep. Moeller?
Democrat sources say that Rep. Moeller is being disciplined for his role in the current controversy over open carry of guns in the House gallery.  Moeller’s online comments stating that he would not allow open carry of a firearms sparked outrage from gun rights groups across the state.  This led to a large protest of armed civilians showing up at the capitol to press for their gun rights.  A small group of whom entered the house gallery, then as some say, they were provocatively displaying their firearms.  Could it be that Democratic leadership is actually holding Rep. Moeller to account for his part of setting off these tense encounters?

It is unclear how long Rep. Orwall will be acting Speaker Pro Tem.


Is Tim’s 2/3rds in Trouble?

tim_eyman_fit_300x300A new email blast from Tax activist Tim Eyman warns that some Washington State Senators are opposed to a Senate rule that would require a 2/3 vote to raise taxes.

The text from the email follows:


“URGENT: Please forward this to everyone you know. I don’t do Facebook so I ask each of you to get the word out on social media. 
Saturday, January 10th, 2014

The Tacoma News Tribune just reported that Republican Senator Bruce Dammeier opposes reinstating the 2/3 vote requirement for tax increases: Jordan Schrader Jan 8 — Senate Rs Ericksen & Baumgartner pitched 2/3-for-taxes Senate rule Thurs, but Rs not united on it. Sen Dammeier opposes, for example #waleg

Now I’m afraid Republican Senators Andy Hill, Joe Fain, and Steve Litzow are opposed too.
This is very upsetting. If these 4 Republicans defect and join with the Democrats, the 2/3 protection will not be reinstated on Monday. It would be a brutal betrayal of their constituents’ trust.
This vote should be a no-brainer for them: 71% of Bruce Dammeier’s constituents want the 2/3 reinstated, 63% of Andy Hill’s constituents want the 2/3 reinstated, 70% of Joe Fain’s constituents want the 2/3 reinstated, 61% of Steve Litzow’s constituents want the 2/3 reinstated. The other 22 Senators in the Majority Coalition Caucus want the 2/3 reinstated.
Each of you has from now until Sunday night to convince these 4 Senators to not defect and to support reinstating the 2/3 protection on Monday.
Their email addresses are(cut and paste these into the “To” line of your email):bruce.dammeier@leg.wa.gov; bruce@brucedammeier.com; Andy@HillYes.com; andy.hill@leg.wa.gov; joe@votefain.com; joe.fain@leg.wa.gov; Steve@stevelitzow.com; steve.litzow@leg.wa.gov

Send them a clear message: “Don’t betray us. Support bringing back the 2/3 protection on Monday.”
Bruce Dammeier’s contact phone number is: 253-370-7198
Andy Hill’s contact phone number is: 425-577-7269
Joe Fain’s contact phone number is: 206-409-9418
Steve Litzow’s contact phone number is: 206-275-2245
Please take the time to contact all 4 of them this weekend. Tell them to support reinstating the 2/3 on Monday. Tell them not to fight their 22 Senate colleagues who strongly support reinstating the 2/3 on Monday. Tell them to support this invaluable opportunity to protect the taxpayers (for the next two years) by bringing back the 2/3 requirement on Monday.”



Leaked Video Shows Unseemly Support for County Charter

Video obtained by Reality Clark County shows Planned Parenthood field operative openly supporting and encouraging the County Charter process.
The video was taken in early May of 2013* when a liberal leaning group got together to discuss how to get rid of Commissioner David Madore.

*Date corrected from original post.


The Case Against the County Charter


Opponents of the proposed Clark County Charter released the text of the con statement that will appear in November’s Voter’s Pamphlet.  Two of the statement authors were Freeholders themselves and also penned the “Minority Report” in which the shortcomings of the drastic change county governance are outlined.

The Opposition Statement

“Promoters of this plan will tout “Consensus” when none exists. Don’t be fooled; this new charter is not needed by, nor beneficial to you, the voter.
This Charter will destroy your commissioner’s ability to effectively work on your behalf. Those who drafted this charter believe that your elected representative should not “Interfere” with how the government bureaucracy is run.
A wall of separation will be erected between the administrative bureaucracy and the duly elected representatives leading to less accountability and transparency in your county government.
Transferring all executive authority to the county manager will provide cover for politicians. They can now say they aren’t responsible. It will also protect bureaucrats who the public will not have direct access to.
The county manager will now make board appointments as well as choose department heads. Staff will be aligned to serve the bureaucracy. They will be insulated from you and your representative’s oversight.
No one has pointed out the increased cost of the County Manager’s salary to compensate for his increased responsibility. They also haven’t accounted for the increased cost of his deputy manager.
The real costs will be long term as government follows its natural course of expansion and growth. It is now being held in check by you and your representatives. Keep it that way.
You want accountability? Keep the 3 elected commissioners who are responsible and accountable to you, the voter. You are the only “Check and Balance” needed to maintain good county government. Vote NO on this charter.”


Peter Silliman

Tracy Wilson

Stephen Mosier


MINORITY REPORT for the Clark County Charter

Minority_Report_PosterProgressive Pro County Charter gangs are making the rounds trying to tell people that everyone wants this backwards Charter.  What they don’t want you to know is that there were and are voices of opposition.  What follows is a minority report regarding the Charter that was penned by 3 of the Freeholders that voted against the final document. The reader should carefully consider the arguments made to withhold support of this radical change in county governance.

Clark County Charter – May 27, 2014

It has been an honor to serve on the Clark County Board of Freeholders. It has been a pleasure to work with a diverse group of qualified individuals who have been able to put aside political differences and work together in a respectful way. We hope this example of cooperation and goodwill will inspire all those who serve in leadership capacities and provide a renewed sense of respectfulness as citizens interact with their elected representatives.

Specifically, we commend Freeholder Chair Hendrickson for her leadership and tireless efforts in order to conduct our charter work in a timely manner. Though we appreciate the manner in which this process was conducted, and agree the final product is a result of consensus and compromise, we cannot support the charter in its final version. Simply, there are too many aspects of the Charter that conflict with why we ran for our freeholder positions; to defend ideals of limited government.

We disagree with elements of the charter, and find the following areas the most troubling:

1. We are concerned the so-called “separation of power” between the legislative branch (Councilmen) and the executive branch headed by the County Executive will not provide an adequate level of accountability to the voters. Our current form of government already possesses a separation of administrative authority through separately elected executive offices such as; Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, Auditor, Clerk, Treasurer, and Assessor, which comprises a significant portion, if not most, of the County’s administrative functions.

• Separating the remaining county administration under an appointed executive is superfluous and would create a disconnect between the citizens and their government by insulating much of the executive branch from the duly elected representatives.

• The County Executive would have complete authority to appoint all non-elected department managers without confirmation of the elected councilmen. Furthermore, these department heads would in turn staff their agencies without any oversight from our elected officials.

• The Charter also assumes that the Councilmen’s position is part-time, which further diminishes the role of the elected representatives of the citizens, and shifts the balance of power to the appointed County Executive and remaining county bureaucracy.

2. Over time, the Charter will increase the cost of county government and place this financial burden on taxpayers. At a time when we should be reducing the size of government, part-time county councilmen will, in time, vote to increase support staff with new salaries, and generous tax-payer funded benefits including retirement, health and dental insurance, vacation and sick leave.

For these reasons and others, we regretfully must vote “no” on the 2014 Clark County charter.


Freeholder        Freeholder      Freeholder
Tracy Wilson      Liz Pike          Peter Silliman