Posted by: sweeneyblog | November 1, 2013

Friday Odds and Ends: Obamacare, Final Days and Conclusions

Hello Loyal Readers,

We are only five days away from the election. Thank goodness. Each person has their own threshold for burnout about elections, and I think I hit mine two weeks ago, now I’m just ready for this to be over. But, no rest for the wicked so full speed ahead.

The Sweeney household continues to be flooded with mailers – positive pieces from both sides trying to win my vote and negative pieces trying to drive it into the ground. In addition, the calls have increased. My wife actually picked up the phone at her work, Terra Organica, and it was a robocall for Clayton Petree. Apparently loafs of organic, non-GMO, gluten-free bread are now being asked to vote.

One interesting trend has been the efforts by local Democratic campaigns to highlight the conservative’s connection to the Tea Party. Rud Browne’s campaign released this ad recently:

It is accurate to say that Bill Knutzen, Ben Elenbaas, Michelle Luke and Kathy Kershner got their start in the Tea Party. But it is more complex then that. Kershner stepped up her involvement in the Republican party last year, eventually becoming a national delegate for Mitt Romney. Knutzen has been a key fixture at Tea Party candidate trainings and Republican fundraiser. On the national level, there might be a divide between the Tea Party and Republican legislators, but locally, they tend to be one interchangeable group of activists.

Nick Evans, GOP Poster Child

Nick Evans, GOP Poster Child

With the latest round of signups for the Affordable Care Act, there is quite a bit of misinformation floating around. I had a discussion online with Nick Evans, an employee (consultant with) of the Whatcom Republicans and allegedly a former Farmers Insurance worker (he confirmed it in the comments below). I was discussing my recent experience with the WA Health Plan finder website when he jumped in and began accusing me of lying about how the income tax subsidy works. I had just gone through the process, so I explained how it worked for me and he kept saying “Not true. Not true.”

I cited sources, linking to and then news stories, then finally taking a screenshot of the actual WA Health Plan finder website. He kept saying that I was lying, finishing with, “You didn’t lie in parroting the lie you have been brainwashed to believe, I’ll give you that. Just saying I probably know the application a little bit better than you.”

I messaged him and asked if he had bothered to check on any of the links or do a simple google search to see if it is possible that I was correct. He said he didn’t have the time to argue about it.

For me, this perfectly summarized the entire Republican perspective on this law. They believe things that are factually incorrect about the Affordable Care Act, and when confronted with contrary information, they immediately dismiss it and refuse to even consider that what they believe might be wrong.

When I started going back and forth with Nick Evans, I considered that maybe he was right and that I had filled out my application incorrectly. I went back and checked the law to make sure that I knew what I was talking about. That’s what is so galling, on this particular issue, the modern conservative movement has lost all perspective and rational action. It is no wonder that the entire movement is dragging down candidates like a large sinking object, sucking them all down the drain. Update: He commented in the blog below with a few minor corrections and I have gladly updated the blog. Because, when confronted with more accurate information, I’m more than willing to adjust my assumptions.

Tim Sweeney in the State Leg from 1980s

Tim Sweeney in the State Leg from 1980s

With an uplifting image like that, I want to pivot to some happier news. My father, Tim Sweeney, is retiring after thirty years in public service. Starting working for the State Legislature in 1983, he then wove his way through a handful of state agencies as a policy expert and communicator. His hard work and dedication shaped how I view the working world and public service as a whole. I know that he is going to continue to do incredible things in his retirement. Congratulations Tim.

And with that, we are done for today. I have been reviewing the last minute PDC filings for anything juicy. If I find something, there should be a few more posts this weekend. If not, then just remember to turn in your ballot – I will have a predictions post on Monday and our election night liveblog on Tuesday.



  1. Dude, you can’t go up against cognitive dissonance. You know better. Now you’ve made him believe with even more conviction.

    • I know – I just thought it was a perfectly encapsulated microcosm of the national mindset and that’s why I wanted to share it with you guys.

      • Yeah, well next time just call them out on their Cognitive Dissonance disorder and move on to engaging someone more fun.

  2. I think it is time to stop calling them “conservatives.” They’re not. They’re not “conserving” anything and certainly do not reflect the values of true conservatism, the kind we saw with Eisenhower, Scranton, Rockefeller, even Ford. The honest conservatives of days gone by had high standards, legitimate values and understood how government worked. These clowns are destructivists.

  3. When and where is the watch party?

  4. Thanks Riley for the badge of honor. You aren’t a true Republican until you’ve been bashed on your blog. A few minor corrections: I am not an employee of the Whatcom Republicans, I am a consultant during elections. I am not a former Farmers Insurance employee, I am a current small business owner of a Farmers Insurance agency.

  5. As Always, nice job Riley of wrapping up the week. Congrats to your dad. He reminds me of a guy I dated back in the early 80’s. ha!

  6. Thanks Riley for running a picture of me when I had hair. A couple of comments. First, where’s the computer? Oh yea, they didn’t have them then. The roses are hiding my typewriter and over my left shoulder you’ll see the bill books that were maintained by a corps of bill clerks who at least once a day and some times more frequently would come through and update with copies of newly introduced bills, replacing previously introduced bills with substitute bills and amendments. This picture was taken early in the session so the bill books only take up one shelf.

  7. […] Nick Evans, political director for the Whatcom Republicans and confused insurance salesman. […]

  8. […] candidate Pedro Celis, Charter Review candidate and by day, an insurance salesman that was unclear about the basic facts of health insurance. The Whatcom Republicans and Pedro Celis have all distanced themselves from Evans after his arrest […]

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