On January 5, 2011, the state senate seat in the 4th Legislative District was vacated when 30-year Senate veteran Bob McCaslin retired.
State law specifies when a state legislative seat is vacated during an elected official’s term, the precinct committee officers in that district gather to nominate three people for the job. It is then the duty of the county board of commissioners to select and appoint one of these nominees.
If the commissioners fail to act within 60 days, the Governor has the authority to make the appointment.
Time is of the essence
On Saturday, January 15, 2011, Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) from the 4th Legislative District in Spokane County, met to select nominees to fill Senator McCaslin’s seat. The nominees are:
- Matt Shea, an attorney and sitting State House Representative from the 4th LD
- Jeff Baxter, a local businessman and former school board candidate, and
- Roy Murry, also a local businessman.
As reported on the Spokane County GOP website, Representative Shea was the first nominee selected and also received the highest number of votes.
The nominees have been submitted to the Spokane County Board of Commissioners; now the commissioners must choose an official replacement. The commissioners have set an extraordinarily long due diligence review period, until March 4, 2011.
In the interim, the 4th Legislative District is without senatorial representation.
Why is it taking so long to appoint a successor?
Local political insiders note that the Spokane County Board of Commissioners may be facing pressure from outside groups and interests.
Meanwhile, voters from the district are understandably frustrated that they are without representation during this critical period of the legislative cycle when bills are being introduced and agendas set in Olympia.
The commissioners are on record indicating that they feel they must complete a diligent review. Surely the sentiment is commendable, but it doesn’t add up. Why would it take up to 60 days to complete a review?
The law is unambiguous about the process, the elected party officers have made their choice, the next steps are clear. It leads to the uncomfortable question – are the commissioners playing politics?
Urge the commissioners to action
We encourage all citizens to contact the commissioners at the numbers below to provide input to the decision-making process and encourage a speedy resolution. The Commissioners have set a February 2, 2011 deadline for public comment on the nominees.
(509) 251-3643 cell
(509) 477-2742 office
(509) 220-2200 cell
(509) 477-2267 office
(509) 994-4351 cell
(509) 477-2741 office
Comments may be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to:
Clerk of the Board
1116 W Broadway Ave
Spokane, WA 99260
How would you feel if you were being denied representation on procedural grounds? Contact the commissioners today!
Washington State Campaign for Liberty is a 501(c)4 lobbying organization which neither promotes nor opposes candidates for public office.
Filed under: Elected Officials & Candidates, Legislation, News
It’s Monday, January 10th, do you know where your wallet is?
You’d better get a tight grip on it. Today was the first day of the Washington State legislative session.
Gregoire Ignoring the Will of the People?
Last week, our fearless Governor proclaimed,“I’m not gonna let 1053 stand in the way of me moving forward for what I think is right.”
Do you, like me, wonder what she means by that?
Initiative I-1053 was, as you recall, the reinstatement of the thrice-ignored voter-approved measure which states “legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval.”
It appears Governor Gregoire wants to shove another bloated budget down the throats of the taxpayer, washed down with a healthy dose of bureaucratic fees – regardless of the overwhelming message sent by the voters!
Will Our Representatives Go Along With This?
Will they have the backbone to represent the over-taxed and over-regulated citizens of Washington State?
Did you know, according to a state legislative office, our current state budget spends almost $1300.00 more per person than the State of California? That’s absolutely unsustainable!
Our legislators are facing billions (yes, that’s billions with a big “B”) in revenue shortfalls. And, of course, we know that “revenue” is the polite political term for your hard earned tax dollars.
Even worse, those billions in shortfalls are completely separate from the billions of unfunded liabilities our representatives in the legislature have passed down over the years!
Brace Yourself for the Scare Tactics
What’s a politician to do? Make as many painful cuts in the budget as they can in an attempt to scare you, the taxpayer, into letting them off the hook with higher taxes and fees.
Here’s an example from the Office of Financial Management, on the Governor’s 2011-2013 proposed budget:
“Deep cuts are made across all areas of state government. The most significant of these include:
- Elimination of the Basic Health Plan, which now offers subsidized health insurance to 66,000 low-income individuals. This saves $230 million in state funds and $117 million in federal funds.
- Elimination of the Disability Lifeline grant for the temporarily unemployable, which serves 28,000 individuals each month, and the Disability Lifeline Medical Program, which serves 21,000 clients each year who have a temporary disability and are unable to work. This saves $327 million.
- Suspension of the Student Achievement Program under Initiative 728, which provides smaller class sizes, extended learning time for students and professional development for teachers. This saves $860 million.
- Suspension of employee salary increases under Initiative 732 for K-12 and higher education teachers and other employees. This saves $280 million.
- Elimination of K-4 class-size reduction funds provided to school districts that exceed the state’s basic education allocation. This saves $216 million.
- Reduction of 3 percent in compensation for state employees. This saves $176 million in state funds and $269 million in all funds.
- Elimination of state general fund dollars for State Parks. This saves $47 million.
- Closing McNeil Island Corrections Center by April 2011. This saves $17.6 million.”
Tune Up Your Political Polygraph
We will surely hear more in the coming weeks and months about how all of the stuff that’s easy to cut has already been pared out of the budget and now we’re “down to the tough choices”.
It’s true, for the political class, the budget binge that bought ballots in prior years, bringing us to this uncomfortable reality was surely much more pleasurable than the inevitable budget purge they face today.
It’s up to liberty activists like you to see through the ploys that legislators may use. We must recondition our legislators to understand that they can’t buy votes with a bloated budget, but they sure can spend their way out of widespread support.
Gear Up For Focused Action!
As the legislative season unfolds, we’ll be tracking some critical bills. From time to time, we may be able to stop a bad bill by contacting individual legislators . It’s interesting how differently legislators can act when they know the folks in their district are “playing along at home.”
Now’s the time to help make sure we can get critical information to you. Are you willing to:
Use this form today to raise your hand so we can let you know when your strategically timed phone call, letter, or email to your representative could help us win victories for liberty!
Filed under: Elected Officials & Candidates, Legislation, Poll
Don’t we have enough laws already?
The tax code is impossibly complicated. It is entirely possible to break laws unintentionally. Enforcement is inconsistent – some very important laws are ignored, while other revenue-generating laws are enforced to the letter.
Patriots believe that we should simply roll back bad legislation of prior years, or remove complicated provisions to condense and simplify the laws of the land.
But…at the state level, our friends in Olympia are already lining up dozens of new laws and additions to old laws to be considered in the upcoming legislative season – before the session has even started!
Beginning in December prior to a new session, legislators are allowed to “prefile” legislation for consideration during the upcoming session.
Do these prefiled bills sound worthwhile to you?
- “Concerning beer and wine tasting at farmers markets”
- “Establishing energy efficiency standards for consumer products”
- “Creating a Washington state ferries commission”
- “Adding to the scenic and recreational highway system”
- “Protecting consumers by assuring persons using the title of social worker have graduated with a degree in social work from an educational program accredited by the council on social work education”
Sausage and Legislation
Is the punchline to the old joke, “What are two things you don’t want to watch being made?”
And yet, watching is exactly what must be done! If the citizens do not pay attention to what our legislators are doing, politicians are free to propose and pass all manner of laws – from the harmful and liberty-encroaching, to the downright silly and time-wasting.
Washington State Campaign for Liberty urges you to join us in holding politicians accountable. With your support, we can keep an eye out for legislative shenanigans.
When we find liberty-encroaching legislation, we’ll need your help to put the politicians on notice!
I know we can count on you, the patriots of Washington State.
A Question of Legislative Philosophy
It seems that today’s political class is more concerned with “getting things done” so they can get re-elected rather than getting things done RIGHT.
Far too many politicians are willing to “reach across the aisle” and attempt to make a bad law “less bad” than to do the right thing and repeal the bad law.
When you’re done voting, feel free to post your more detailed opinion in the comments below.
Some of your fellow citizens didn’t completely follow every step in getting their ballots properly certified. Unless someone takes them an affidavit, their vote won’t count.
Your help is urgently needed if you can volunteer to do a job known as “Ballot Chasing.” When a County Auditor rejects a ballot because the voter forgot to sign their ballot, the ballot isn’t just thrown away. These voters are given the opportunity to sign an affidavit to have their vote counted. A number of pro-liberty candidates need to make sure these ballots are counted to ensure a fair and honest election.
What can you do to help? Volunteers are urgently needed who are willing to make phone calls, and more importantly, to deliver affidavits to our fellow citizens whose vote won’t get counted.
The need is especially acute in the following areas:
• The 1st legislative district. Contact Georgene Faries at 425-232-3092 to volunteer.
• The 24th legislative district. Contact Eric Foth at 360-452-2199 to volunteer.
• The 28th legislative. Contact Pam at the Puyallup Victory Office at 206-406-2903 to volunteer.
• The 35th legislative district. Contact 360-229-0086 or 360-462-1003 to volunteer.
To see if you live in these districts, click here.
If you can volunteer, please contact them now. The elections will be certified on the 12th, so please volunteer if you can. This will be going on this weekend.
Do candidates for state office in your district support liberty?
Washington State Campaign for Liberty sent candidate surveys to everyone that will be on the November ballot for State Representative or State Senate positions. Before you cast your vote wouldn’t you like to know if:
- the candidate supports an income tax?
- if they support our Tenth Amendment rights?
- will they support tax increases?
- what about traffic cameras, National ID, or regional Cap & Trade?
Not all candidates responded.
If the candidate in your district didn’t respond, please contact them and urge them to submit their survey so we know where they stand on liberty issues. Otherwise we can only suppose that liberty is not as important to them as it is to you and me.
Spread the word!
Let your friends and family know where their candidates stand on liberty issues, please send along to your email lists.