Hello Loyal Readers,
Usually, I jump right into my gathered news bits, however, first I want to share a little bit about why these past couple of weeks have been so difficult.
I’m having Bush flashbacks.
In 2000, I was just beginning to become aware of the political world, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I really started paying attention. For those of you doing the math, yes, I was in high school, and as our nation hurtled toward war with a country that had done nothing to us, I was outraged. Furious. How could we elect people so foolish, so terrible and bloody that they would stampede the country to war?
That is when I became involved. I went to protests, I read the newspaper every day, I learned about Senate confirmations and met my state legislators. It took me a few more years to decide I wanted to be a professional campaign manager (and four years in the job to decide I didn’t want to do it anymore,) but Bush’s invasion of Iraq was the spark to my flame.
So when I read about Obama expanding Bush’s NSA
wiretapping surveillance program, while Syria is using chemical weapons and the Justice Department is following around reporters stamping out our leaks, I felt the cold icy hand of cynicism grip my heart. I want to believe that you can work hard and elect people who will hold true to their values and make meaningful improvements in our government, but it is much harder when today looks so similar to ten years ago.
On to the Odds and Ends.
Once again, the County lost in court, with the Growth Management Hearings Board once again ordering Whatcom County to comply with the Growth Management Act. I wish it didn’t take so much time and money from private citizens to force the county to do its job, but it looks like they are going to waste even more taxpayers money on this. We have already spent over $100,000 on a Seattle-based legal team that keeps losing in court, yet the County Council is considering paying them another $40,000 to keep fighting a law that was settled twenty years ago. If you are just tuning into this fight, check out my simple explanation of the Growth Management Act and why Whatcom is doing this here.
Last Saturday, I attended the Whatcom County Republicans meeting because a wide selection of candidates were giving speeches. Last time I attended was two years ago, when Bill Elfo was scheduled to speak about the jail. I showed up for all of ten minutes before Sam Crawford saw me and ran over to Luanne Van Werven to get her to kick me out. Van Werven informed me that Elfo would speak first and I needed to leave as soon as he was done.
This year, they let me stick around. The speeches were short and they did not allow any questions from the audience. It was largely uneventful with most candidates just rehashing the same material that is on their website or at the Dems endorsement meeting. I was mainly struck by how calm and orderly the process was compared to the raucous Democratic endorsement process.
That said, this was not an endorsement meeting. After their speeches, candidates could request a survey from the endorsement chair, Bruce Ayers. If they completed the written survey and it was to their liking, Ayers would schedule an interview where the candidates meet with a select handful of Republicans. After that, the committee will make a recommendation to the PCOs at the Republican picnic in July and the PCOs vote at the picnic. It is quite a contrast from the open air, all members can vote style endorsement process of the Dems.
Finally, I attended Renata Kowalczyk’s kickoff and was impressed by the wide spread of attendees. Her message was an interesting blend of business savvy (she is a business consultant, after all) and her ideas for the port. She made an interesting contrast to my interview with Ken Bell – which should go live this weekend.