Posted by: sweeneyblog | July 7, 2013

Sunday Odds and Ends: Parades and Kickoffs

Hello Loyal Readers,

Yes, the Odds and Ends got slightly delayed between the flurry of attention over the City banning marijuana stores and the usual scheduling shuffle that happens around the 4th of July. However, I think you will find it was worth the wait.

Tea Party float

Tea Party Float (picture by Will Homel)

This Thursday I marched in the Blaine Independence Day parade, which was a lovely event as always. While there, I couldn’t help but notice this sign on the side of the Tea Party float. You can click the picture to enlarge it but it says, “Constitutional Government Means Equal Protection” and super-imposed over it is the letters “IRS”.

Well I certainly agree with the sentiment that Equal Protection is important, so I went over and asked the man sitting on the float about the sign and if it applied to gay people as well. He grimaced and looked very uncomfortable, “Well . . . uh . . I guess so.” Then he literally turned his back to me to start talking to someone else.

This is where the Tea Party breaks down for me, if they were truly in support of smaller government, they should have been cheering the recent DOMA decision because it returned power to the states and reduced the influence of that oppressive federal government. They would be filibustering with Wendy Davis to keep big government from forcing vaginal ultrasounds on every woman who wants to make a health decision. But no, they continue to be deathly silent on many issues of personal freedom.

Moving along, I attended three candidate kickoffs in the last couple of weeks. First Kathy Kershner’s kickoff at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. About fifty people attended, counting candidates and volunteers and I have to say, it was the usual cast of characters. Kershner offered up her standard candidate speech but did sneak in some attacks on her opponent Barry Buchanan.

After a few swings about Red Light Cameras and “which seat IS he running for?” she let this one fly; “He sat on the Bellingham City Council while our waterfront turned into a ghost town.” Apparently, Kershner believes that Buchanan was sitting on the Port Commission. Not that the council couldn’t have been more assertive but there is plenty of blame to be passed around about our stagnant waterfront, and Buchanan would be pretty low on the list behind our previous mayors, Scott Walker, GP and the constant shuffle of Executive Directors at the Port.

Barry Buchanan rocking out at his own kickoff

Barry Buchanan rocking out at his own kickoff

By comparison, the Buchanan kickoff was hopping. Over 140 people packed themselves into the garden of the Boundary Bay Brewery for his kickoff. Buchanan’s speech was, frankly, the most fired up I’ve seen him in years. He blasted Kershner for her votes to cut money to the food bank, her wasting over $140,000 on fighting the growth management act and her lack of leadership on keeping the jail a reasonable size.Of course, to be fair, I would say the fault for the swelling jail starts with Sheriff Elfo, trickles through  our present and past County Executives before arriving at the council.

Finally, I briefly attended Clayton Petree’s kickoff. While it did not have the electrifying theatrics of his opponent’s kickoff, there was an interesting cross-section of attendees – with Republicans and Democrats rubbing elbows. That said, the crowd was pretty thin, clocking in around 45 people. One of the few races with a potential to go somewhere, it will be interesting to see if Petree’s post-partisan schtick can gain any traction against Vargas’ incumbent strategy (having been endorsed by retiring Stan Snap and mayor Kelli Linville).

That’s it for the Odds and Ends. Coming up this week, I have some surprising revelations from inside Sheriff Elfo’s email box, an analysis of the State Legislature’s compromises and activity and perhaps some speculation about the 2015 mayoral race.



  1. Riley, as always, your refreshing way of writing keeps me reading to the end of your blog. Nicely done!

  2. Food back? huh?

  3. Poor confused Tea Party. How did IRS get mixed up with Equal Protection? Do they want protection FROM the IRS or BY the IRS? How and to whom do they feel they aren’t being equally protected? Do they just put catchwords into a blender to get their slogans? There’s also a disconnect between the demand for “Equal Protection” and the other sign demanding “Hands Off”.

    • Comment by Ken Kutner… don’t know how to have my name appear.

      • On WordPress that is. FB seems to work.

  4. Since Pete Kremen’s Mustache is speaking out, I feel it’s my turn. As Bill Elfo’s mailbox, I just want to say to Mr. Sweeney, “Nothing to read here, move along.” In case you decide not to move along, then I would like to say, “Nothing you may read is my fault, it’s ahhh, umm, I mean, I’m just a mailbox, I just store and regurgitate what people insert into in me….yeah, that’s the ticket.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: