The CRC Zombie Stirs Again

From the folks at
Regional establishment politicians and special interest friends are used to having their way. This is especially true when they encounter opportunities for more power and money-which usually has no connection to the public good. Thus, this unholy alliance continues to resurrect the ruinous and corrupt CRC tolling and light rail project.
The establishment’s old media accomplices (Oregonian and Columbian) have effectively reported new momentum within the Oregon legislature for the CRC project. This is the same legislature that wouldn’t even consider this terrible project about six weeks ago. So what has changed?   Nothing!   The majority of Oregon’s legislature knows this is an increasingly toxic public works project as the CRC corruption and incompetence becomes more widely known.
It is true that the legislators have been under considerable political pressure from the aggressive advocates of this corrupt CRC project. There is massive political and financial power to be gained by a very small group of greedy insiders in the establishment if the CRC succeeds.
Since this message mainly is sent to SW Washington citizens, you should know that if Oregon legislators approve this ‘Oregon led plan’ then they will apparently have authority to set tolls when, and at what amounts, they want. This could happen fairly soon with the current I-5 Columbia River bridge as they attempt to develop funds to pay for the project. And it gets worse! They appear to have the means and intentions to toll the I-205 Columbia River Bridge as well.
This proposed CRC project would be an unconditional disaster. Generational debt for a project that does not solve any actual transportation needs is a given. Further, downtown Vancouver would be crippled for 6 to 8 years while this travesty is built. Reasonable people are understandably appalled.
Oregon legislators need to hear from you about why they should reject the ‘Oregon Only’ plan. They should also know that if this plan is approved, we have a number of options in SW Washington to ultimately stop this project. Use the email addresses below to contact them before the Oregon Legislature meets on January 14th to discuss this further. This action won’t take much effort and if most of you reach out to the politicians below it will send a very strong message.  
The team at

The Consequences of Supporting the CRC

We got this wonderful email and just had to share.  Thank you!
*** Received from today ***

There is no doubt the failed CRC project was broken by any measure. Specifically: (1) irresponsible mega-spending, (2) generational debt, (3) planning only by progressive ideologues, and (4) business people angling to profit regardless of the merit of the activity.
Beware the mutated resurrection of this cesspool of waste and corruption.
The Vancouver city council candidates that are dedicated to continue pushing a CRC type plan are easily identified–and so too are their opposites that will quickly act to stop further movement down this destructive path—for the great good of our city, families, and businesses.
Vancouver City Council – Position 1:
Was not for the CRC and not beholden to the Vancouver establishment: Micheline Doan (strong), Brian Joseph Smith (strong), and Otto Guardado (nuanced disagreement with CRC and establishment),
Was Pro-CRC and tied to the Vancouver establishment: Jack Burkman.

Vancouver City Council – Position 2:
Was not for the CRC and not beholden to the Vancouver establishment: Jeanne E. Stewart (strong)
Was Pro-CRC and tied to the Vancouver establishment: Alishia Topper (establishment favorite) and Ty Stober.
Vancouver City Council – Position 3:
Was not for the CRC and not beholden to the Vancouver establishment: Frank Decker (strong)
Was Pro-CRC and tied to the Vancouver establishment: Galina Burley (establishment favorite) and Jeanne (gavel down) Harris.
Unknown status: Anne McEnerny-Ogle and Adam Fox
If you are a resident of Vancouver and do not want CRC-type incompetence and corruption to continue, please vote for candidates that will help this cause. And for all recipients of this message, please reach-out to five or more friends and pass along this information and encourage them to vote (below is a link to a map of the Vancouver city limits).
The team at

A Tale of Two Candidates

May 27, 2013 Memorial Day Vancouver, WA -  The wind howled and the rain came down in buckets at Vancouver’s Memorial Day ceremonies.   As usual there were a host of “dignitaries” at the event.   Some of these dignitaries were true heroes.   Veterans from World War II through Afghanistan and Gold Star families were present.    Then you had the likes of Vancouver’s former Mayor Royce Pollard sitting all nice and cozy with City Council candidate Galina Burley.  Tucked away safe and sound from the elements between Pollard and City Councilman Jack Burkman it was apparent that the status quo types have made their selection for favorite Council candidate for position 3.

Galina Burley (Left) with an apparently bored Royce Pollard (Center)

Meanwhile there was another City Council candidate standing off to the side keeping a silent vigil over the day’s proceedings.  Never moving, or jockeying for position with the status quo glitterati Frank Decker stood in the wind and driving rain holding the Stars and Stripes proudly as a member of the Washington State Patriot Guard Riders. 

Decker, a 15 year resident of Vancouver is an Air Force veteran, cancer survivor and former school teacher for the Evergreen School District has his Bachelors in Elementary Education from Central Washington University, Master of Science from Boise State University and Master of Educational Leadership from City University.

Frank Decker, candidate for Vancouver City Council Pos. 3

Decker now serves as the Executive Supervisor of Instructional Technology & Assessment, Centennial School District, Portland, Oregon.

After visiting Decker’s website it’s apparent that he is nothing like the status quo.

“I believe that sound economic principles, limited government, and respect for personal liberty are the key ingredients for an environment of job creation and improved quality of life. I will work toward policies that create a favorable business climate; focus on priority spending in budget planning; and stand for accountability, transparency, and citizens’ voices in government. My years of leadership experience as an educator, Air Force veteran, and a director of technology give me the ability to be a strong, effective leader for Vancouver. I pledge that my priority will be you, not any special interests.”

We are looking forward to watching Decker in the months to come in anticipation of Vancouver’s citizens having a clear cut choice for City Council Position 3.


Stone Wall at Vancouver City Hall

An update from Larry Patella on his efforts to give citizens the ability to vote on light rail.

“Yesterday, Charlie Stemper and yours truly accompanied Frank Arnold, a friend and Vancouver Resident as he attempted to serve Legal Documents to Vancouver City Attorney Ted Gathe and Vancouver City Clerk Lloyd Tyler, defendants in our Lawsuit that will give the citizens of Vancouver, Washington the opportunity to vote on whether or not they want Portland’s Financially Failing Light Rail System to Cross the Columbia River.

Upon entering at approximately 10:00 am the former Fish Wrapper building, now known as Vancouver City Hall, we went to the Security Guards Desk and asked where we could find the City Attorney and the City Clerk. We were then asked the nature of our business. We advised the Security Guard that we had just filed a Law Suit against the City of Vancouver and Mr. Arnold was there to serve copies of the Law Suit to the City Attorney and the City Clerk. We were told that Mr. Arnold could not serve the City Attorney. Next she, the Security Guard, advised us that she was unaware that there was such a thing as a City Clerk. Mr Stemper next went over to the Customer Service Desk to see if they could contact the City Clerk. He was advised by the lady at the Customer Service Desk that she did not know who the City Clerk was.
After some heated discussion with the Security Guard, I asked if I could go to the second floor and talk to the City Attorney or the City Manager. I was advised that citizens were not allowed on the Second Floor. After more heated discussion a young lady appeared on the scene. She advised us that Mr. Arnold would not be allowed to serve the City Attorney, but we could leave the documents. When we asked who she was she refused to tell us her name. Fortunately she had a name tag that said “Tammy”. It was at this point that I stepped in and advised the lady known only as Tammy, that we would not under any circumstances leave the documents to be served without a Date/Time Received Stamp on our copies. Tammy Refused.


Frustrated, I advised Tammy that if Mr. Arnold was not allowed to serve the City Attorney, our next stop would be the Columbian (the Fish Wrapper). Because my request to talk to the City Attorney, the City Clerk or the City Manager had repeatedly been refused by the Security Guard, I, using my cell phone called 411, ask the operator to connect me with the Vancouver City Clerk’s Office. Kerry Llewellyn, Assistant City Clerk answered the phone, I told her who I was and she immediately came to the Security Desk, Date/Time Stamped and took the document served by Mr. Arnold for the City Clerk. Kerry was a very pleasant, professional young lady.

Next the lady known only as Tammy, did at 10:53 AM Date/Time Stamp the documents Mr. Arnold served for the City Attorney and the remaining copies stating that she was not officially receiving the City Attorney’s copies. We later found out that the Lady Known as Tammy was the City of Vancouver’s legal department Senior Administrative Assistant.

We left the heavily guarded City Hall shocked beyond disbelief that law abiding citizens do not have access to those that are paid with our hard earned tax dollars to serve us. That we are not allowed in the building we paid some 40 or 50 million dollars for.


 It is the opinion of Charlie Stemper, Frank Arnold and yours truly that there was a deliberate attempt on the Part of ‘someone’ in City Hall to deny Mr. Arnold his constitutional right to serve legal document to the City of Vancouver.

Folks this shocking treatment, of law abiding citizens attempting to communicate with those who are paid with our hard earned tax dollars should upset you as much as it did Mr. Arnold, Mr. Stemper and yours truly. Government is getting out of hand. Or as my daddy would say “they are getting too big for their britches”. That is the bad news.

The good news is our law suit aimed at forcing Mayor “I was against bridge tolls before I was for them” Leavitt and his gang of 4 (Sm

ith, Burkman, Harris and Hansen) to place your Stop Light Rail Certified Petition on the Ballot is filed. However our work is not yet done. We still need your help. Your donations

As evidenced by what we experience yesterday, and the unprofessional Actions of the Vancouver City Council’s behavior at Tuesday’s C-Tran’s Board Meeting, the dictatorial behavior of our local Government (City Council) continues to grow. It has to stop. It needs to stop. A good place to start is to get your Stop Light Rail Petition on the Ballot. We still need you to donate whatever you can afford to help us fund the court actions necessary to have our voices not only heard, but recognized.

Fortunately for us the non-profit tax exempt “Citizen in Charge Foundation located at 2050 Old Bridge Road, Suite 103-B, Lake Ridge, VA 22192, and Phone: (571) 327-0441, Fax: (703) 910-7728 has also agreed to help us.

Here is how the Foundation will help. They have hired our attorney Stephen Pidgeon to proceed with the second round of litigation. It will challenge the constitutionality of Vancouver’s city charter, which the city claims prevents it from placing the initiative on the ballot. Part of that Charter has already be ruled Unconstitutional.

Donations for Mr. Pidgeon’s services can be made to “Citizens in Charge Foundation”. Such donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. In addition, the foundation will protect the anonymity of donors so any person, business, or organization that donates to this effort does not need to be concerned about government or private retaliation for their support. The Foundation has set up a separate account so contributions must be made payable to:

‘Citizens in Charge Foundation – Vancouver’

Please Mail TODAY, your most Generous Donation (check) to:

Citizens in Charge Foundation -Vancouver
C/O Larry Patella,
P. O. Box 5797
Vancouver, WA 98668.

Thank you,”

Larry Patella
CDR USN (ret)


M.I.A. Monica

It looks like Monica Stonier  decided to be missing in action during the important HR 4608 vote.  Amendments to that bill would have put a 2/3rds majority rule in place in order for legislators to raise taxes on the citizens of Washington State.  Below is a photo of Stonier’s desk and empty chair at the time of the vote.  It certainly conjures up images of Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair that represented Barack Obama during the Republican national convention.

Sources say that Stonier was sick with the flu that day however, the word around the capital is that she was told by party leaders to sit this one out.  In fact photos were taken of her car parked outside the legislative building while the session was underway.

Constituents of Clark County’s 17th Legislative District should be concerned about the lack of representation in Olympia.  Their legislator is more concerned about playing it safe rather than representing the will of the people that asked her to be present. Representative Liz Pike, 18th LD made the flowing statement on her Facebook page that pretty much sums the situation:

“Rep. Monica Stonier showed us all yesterday that she really doesn’t have the stamina to represent the good people of the 17th Legislative District. The four important votes she missed yesterday took less than 90 minutes of floor activity. And, if you can’t stand the heat, leave the kitchen!”

For more we recommend: Stonier Misses First Four Votes in the House by Lew Waters

Don’t we have enough empty chairs in government?


The Citizens Right to Know

By: Lynn Costello

On January 25, 2013 the House Committee on Local Government will hold a public hearing on HB 1128 which is a bill that allows a local agency to:  (1) Request a court to enjoin a public records request; and (2) Adopt a policy limiting the number of hours it devotes to responding to public records requests.

It is understandable with tight budgets being the rule of the day that local governments are looking to cut expenses wherever they can.  I believe, however, to put limits on public records requests may be one of those situations where pennies may be saved initially but unforeseen consequences may prove to be more costly.

Sometimes hard-working and well-meaning public employees at every level forget that they work for and are accountable to the people.  It is to the people’s advantage that these employees be reminded of this daily by the fact that through public records requests the people can provide a check on their activities.

It was through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that a journalist and writer discovered that EPA Administer Lisa Jackson had been using a personal email account under a fake name to shield communications with environmental activists from public disclosure.  Ongoing investigations indicate that this practice is far more wide-spread than just this one individual.

From the local planning department to the state capitol there are those who hold power and those who wish to receive special benefits. In the end it is the people who must guard against these temptations, fraud or abuse of their tax dollars.  If you limit access to public records or demand that individuals pay the cost, you are infringing upon their rights as overseers and removing accountability from those who represent us.

If you are concerned about this bill please contact the following members of the Local Government Committee and let them know how you feel.

Dean Takko, Chair –

Joe Fitzgibbon, Vice Chair –

David Taylor –

Linda Kochmar –

Vincent Buys –

Larry Crouse –

Marko Liias –

Larry Springer –

Dave Upthegrove –

“The essence of government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands will ever be liable to abuse.”  James Madison