Posted by: sweeneyblog | May 3, 2013

Friday Odds and Ends: Ericksen’s Folly and Freedom Returns

Hello Loyal Readers,

I hope that everyone is enjoying the sunshine this week. As I mentioned over at The Political Junkie facebook, it has been a busy week for me, hence the lower volume of posts. Without too much delay, let’s get to it.

Sen. Ericksen

Sen. Ericksen

Down in Olympia, the legislature is in a two week recess before the special session. During this time, there is a great deal of behind the scenes maneuvering trying to set the agenda and decide which bills get heard. Among this noise, the fate of the toxics funds continue to be a political football. You might remember this from my interview with Sen. Ranker here, he cited unlocking these funds as a top priority.

Without getting too technical, these funds, which are collected from companies that handle toxic chemicals, can be used to clean up spills and toxic areas, creating jobs. The problem is that the process for getting access to these funds is unnecessarily long and complicated, so they haven’t been used. Sen. Ranker has been trying to streamline this process.

Sen. Ericksen, on the other hand, tried to rearrange the acronym of the fund so that it is named after his daughter, Elsa. Yes, you read that right. He wants to mess with state law just so the fund for cleaning up toxic messes is named after his daughter. I wish I was joking.


Freedom Foundation Mailing

In other news, the Freedom Foundation (in the wake of my attendance of their Freedom Academy) sent me a follow-up fundraising letter, book and invitation to a “Freedom Shootout,” where I could “meet other freedom-minded people from around Washington and enjoy the camaraderie with shotguns, BBQ and cigars.”

Despite Whatcom Excavator’s continued whining, I don’t take “juvenile pride” in mocking people involved in this subculture, I’m not mocking them at all. I am amazed and impressed by their bold, unself-aware commitment to this whole identity. Imagine if Futurewise sent out a flyer for an organic tofu cookoff with shirt tie-dying stations and readings from Karl Marx. It would never happen, way too over-the-top, but these guys embrace their public perception. That’s what I find so fascinating.

My last, totally not-important story of the week is that Michael Lilliquist, in addition to running for office, is now challenging Pete Kremen in the category of “Best Mustache in Whatcom”. You can see it here.

That’s about it for this week. Hopefully I will have some more material for you this weekend. Thank you for reading!



  1. […] to Ericksen, who then used to it lay waste to environmental regulations, flout procedure and even push to rename a toxics fund after his daughter. Ranker soldiers on, every time I talk to him he is trying his best to move pieces of legislation […]

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