Posted by: sweeneyblog | May 9, 2014

Rep. Jason Overstreet Retiring, Van Werven to Run

Rep. Jason Overstreet

Rep. Jason Overstreet

Breaking news: Rep. Jason Overstreet has decided not to run for reelection. In a statement he put out on facebook last night, Overstreet explained,

It’s time for me to spend more focused time with my growing family, raising them in the fear and admonition of The Lord, counseling them as they grow in character, and instructing them in the principles of freedom.”

In his place, former Chair of the Whatcom Republicans and former vice-chair of the state Republicans, Luanne Van Werven will run for the 42nd seat vacated by Overstreet. She says, also in a statement online, that she will focus on, “our quality of life.”

This last minute switch came as a surprise to many political observers, myself included, who had expected Overstreet to continue his rather flamboyant career as a state legislator.

More details to come.



  1. Go Luanne Go!

    • You want Overstreet’s Liberty legacy to continue? Try Libertarian.

      • But not with the stridency or rejection of social libertarian ideas

  2. I’m sorry, Riley, but I have to believe this is your version of an Onion article after reading that quote. NO ONE talks like that in this day and age. At least, not in public.

    • Play nice everyone.

      • Will do! But will the establishment play nice with those who threaten to bring honest, corporate influence-free representation and individual liberty to our governing process? We’ll see 😉

      • NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😦

      • Corporations love personal liberty and they thrive on the ideas of Libertarianism since they are people too!
        A lack of rules is what they clamor for and,
        since Libertarianism means nothing and everything depending on the politician which leaves the voters wondering,
        it’s not a good position for advertising your candidacy.

      • What does Liberalism mean besides destroying Liberty and Freedom?

      • You always sound like a broken record. Do you have any original, constructive ideas?

      • Do you-NOT?

        I am very comfortable will the ideas of the Founders of this country. You obviously are not. Shame on you. How UN-American!

      • Oh yeah, take shelter under your umbrella of imaginary ideas of the Founders. You don’t have a clue what they were about. Benghazi! Benghazi! Abortion! Go back under your rock and fondle your copy of Atlas Shrugged….

      • Show where I am wrong. You obviously are NOT well read and are lacking one smidgeon (Obama quote) of substance.

      • Ayn Rand was a major proponent of the right for a woman to choose abortion, seems strange to me how so many out there who readily exalt the philosophy of Ayn Rand, but forget this fact.

      • What does Ayn Rand have to do with this conversation?

      • Nancy told you to go back to Atlas Shrugged (Love Atlas Shrugged BTW), somehow I guess Nancy thought that Rand’s works were relevant to this discussion.

      • Corporations are not people, they are groups of people getting together to conduct business. Money is not speech, it’s a federal reserve fraud. I intend to move forward with legislation that will get corporations out of our legislative process, beginning with campaign finance.

      • On both sides Walter H! 😦

  3. Who from other parties (democrat, green) is going to run?

    • Nicholas Kunkel, Libertarian. Our campaign is growing FAST and is picking up support from the politically disenchanted, democrats who believe that their party should be more moderate and feel that my work on the Noxious Weed Board and Lake Whatcom Watershed Board prove my commitments to the environment, and from Liberty-loving republicans who will miss Overstreet’s commitment to say no to unjust laws.

  4. The Lord must not be doing Her job right if a guy still needs to raise his kids to fear Her and Her terrible punishment.
    Will Van Werven take up the Mighty Sword of Righteousness in public policy as Overstreet has with his level of success and achievement,
    or will she reform herself as a non-secular Heathenist to capture votes?
    More importantly,
    do the Democrats have any graduate from the High Priestess class to challenge her?

  5. Hey Riley:

    Who do we have to run for Overstreet’s seat? Hope it is big name that’s the way to take a open seat. ________________________________________

    • You have Nicholas Kunkel! The Libertarian who has worked tirelessly to bring common sense to our local natural resource management. I’ve served with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association in helping local landowners with their stream restoration projects, the Lummi Nation in monitoring and maximizing salmon harvest opportunities, the Noxious Weed Board in providing input regarding aquatic invasive species, and the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board in helping to build a bridge between county interests and the need for clean drinking water for the City of Bellingham. There’s really only two choices in this election: Authoritarian or Libertarian.

    • The Democrats have NO ONE unless the Vice Chair throws his hat in the ring and ends up going home with his tail between his legs.

      • I have no interest in running in the 42nd this year but if I do, I’ll send you an envelope for donations. Thank you for your unwavering support.

  6. Since April 16th, Jason Overstreet has continued to publicly demand WWU President Shepard’s resignation, then out of the blue, comes Oversteeet’s announcement that he will not run for re-election, in effect, resigning himself. Overstreet’s announcement makes me think of that saying about the chickens coming home to roost.

    I’m glad that Overstreet is not seeking re-election. While I appreciate his public service, Overstreet has not served the majority of Whatcom County residents well. Instead, he has only served a small group of like-minded people who share his ideologies.

    • Hear hear! He did well to support liberty, but his social conservatism in the legislature only hurt his ability to view his constituents ideas about government. Democrats and Republicans both do this, instead of getting out and talking to the hundreds of people for signatory support to get on the ballot, they take thousands in corporate donations to BUY their way onto the ballot! I will never take a dime from corporate or special interests, I’ve been hitting the pavement talking to the people of Whatcom County and they want to see a REAL change, they supoport our movement, they are ready to Try Libertarian.

    • Now if we could just get rid of Vincent Buys, we might be able to get something done about the huge problems facing our state and country. What is the use of electing people to go to Olympia or WA DC to just take up space, vote no on everything, and wallow in lobbyist’s largesse?

  7. […] Overstreet’s surprise decision not to run for reelection, so if you haven’t heard, click over here. However, there are plenty of other stories that caught my eye this week, so here is the rest of […]

  8. Riley, I do play “nice”, but when one of your regular commentators here defaults to their right wing talking points I engage in the appropriate manner, hence my comments. Playing nice is not a one way street and I HOPE this blog doesn’t go down that road. This is politics after all!

    • It is a tricky line to balance and I understand your frustration. I just go by “No insulting other commenters”. Aim your ire at me or elected officials or hopefully, at the issues discussed but swapping name-calling with each other will cause the heavy hand to come down.

      • Riley,

        And I thought you were Irish. The Irish are know for their street fighting and the “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame.

        I hope you are not just a “limp” Irish Stew”.

      • I’m all for a good fight, notice I’m good with anyone taking a swing at me. I just want to make this a safe space for everyone who wants to share their thoughts.

      • Then Walter Haugen. He starts ALL the unpleasantness on this blog.

  9. It would be nice to see some real representation in Olympia instead of (corporate) business as usual. Nicholas Kunkel (L) has fresh ideas to bring to the table. And frankly, who doesn’t like personal freedom, a message that is a staple of the Libertarian Party?

    • How can Libertarians like Rand (Aqua Buddha) Paul claim to be for personal freedom when most of them are against a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions? Bullpuckey!

      • A women’s healthcare decisions include infanticide?

      • Hey John, . . . Women ‘s healthcare freedom is not just about abortion!

      • An infant is defined as a child from birth to one year of age.
        So no, infanticide isn’t a healthcare decision for anyone.

      • Not so (unless you are French) . “Child-murder; the killing of an infant before or after birth.

        *According to the French Criminal Code the word is limited to the murder of the new-born infant.

        In English it has been used for the deprivation of life from the moment of conception up to the age of two or three years.

      • Using the Medical dictionary – – instead of the Catholic dictionary would seem to be more relevant to a medical discussion.
        Catholics use the term for every form of miscarry or stillbirth from conception on but normal people don’t.
        Nancy’s question remains – why does a Rand Libertarian concern himself with a woman’s individual freedom of reproduction?

      • Well the Catholic Dictionary trumps your medical dictionary in this case.

      • Your Catholic dictionary defines Sin as everything from condoms to intercourse to missing confession
        but omits pedophile priests and nazi youth becoming Pope.
        Trump is right, that version is a comb-over of reality is ever there was one.

      • Hey Davedoran – how do you reconcile this?

    • It’s possible that Nancy was talking about preventative contraception or really any health care surrounding women and sex that conservatives seem uncomfortable with.

      • Obviously but that INCLUDES abortions (KILLING OF THE CONCEIVED), re-read the comment.

        “How can Libertarians like Rand (Aqua Buddha) Paul claim to be for personal freedom when most of them are against a woman’s right to make [her own health care decisions]?”

      • That is exactly what I meant, thank you. ‘John ‘Galt’ has his blinders on and can’t or won’t admit that women’s health issues involve such things as cancer screening, birth control, prenatal care—abortion is like Benghazi to people like him–one of the few words that bounce around in his brain. The Republican war on women has managed to deny thousands of women all over the country basic health services because of their twin obsessions–abortion and birth control. Go figure.

  10. Mr. Overstreet’s comments about “instructing” his family (spouse and kids) follows a respected Deuteronomy-era paradigm of patriarchy.

    I feel kind of sorry for those folks who will now be the sole targets of Overstreet’s instruction, but at least we don’t any more have to bear this old-school patriarch instructing the rest of us while he abuses his role as a legislator.

    Abe Jacobson

    • Well said, thank you!

  11. While Mr. Kunkle may err on the side of being overly zealous in his postings here and elsewhere, I embrace his activism,. I know not who else will file; but, of the declared candidates, he has my vote. In response to a much earlier thread where Jason Overstreet (readers of this blog will know I am no fan) was being attacked for being a no-show in Olympia,
    it appears that my suggestion that he values family above all else is correct. Jason’s teachings with his family are counter to some of my beliefs but no business of mine. I applaud him for walking his talk and putting family first

    • Isn’t retiring from public office, citing ‘family concerns’ a classic admission that something else is going on that might be unsavory?

      • Read and compare my comment and then your response and maybe will see that we both are right.

        “A women’s healthcare decisions [include] infanticide?”

        By: JOHN GALT on May 11, 2014
        at 6:26 pm

        “Hey John, your ignorance is showing. Women ‘s healthcare freedom is not just about abortion!”

      • Th Founders hoped those who served who do so for a “limited” time, go back to their families and not become professional politicians. Jason believes in the original principles. Good for him.

      • Overstreet got everything right except the Serve part.

  12. Why aren’t people and corporations at Liberty to spend their money on a SuperPac that doesn’t directly finance a campaign?
    Would a Libertarian impinge on the personal freedom of a lobbyist to push the agenda of their corporate employer into legislation?
    Would a Libertarian support a safety net and social programs that help people without money, paid for by people with lots of it?
    What rules do Libertarians propose to protect consumers at the cost of freedom for the vendor, the landlord or the manufacturer?
    Libertarianism cannot be put into action in any form that promotes civilization and equality, and as such it’s no better than Conservatism.
    Independent might be the label you need because at least that covers all the bases without hypocrisy.

    • Those are all very good questions, it has been in the past a difficulty for many libertarians to answer them. I will nonetheless give it a try!

      1. People and corporations are at liberty to spend money on whatever they please, but open campaign books are a necessity for ensuring that corporate influence does not reach into our legislator’s pockets. Campaigns should only take donations from their constituents, the only ones that our representatives should owe are the voters, not corporations or special interests.

      2. While I can’t speak for all Libertarians (it’s a pretty darn big tent), I can say that I would not allow a lobbyist to influence my decisions through donations and gifts, I will not accept them, they carry the stench of bribery (the salary and per diem for our legislators is MORE than plenty to live comfortably, frankly I think it’s a bit too much). As for donations from individuals, the need for open books is key, if a campaign conscience is clean it will tout it’s contributions rather than keep them buried in a PDC labrynthian database.

      3. Voluntaryism and charity (religious and private non-profits) can play a major role in helping those in need. They have in the past and can continue to do so in the future. If there absolutely MUST be a role for government in providing a safety net, aside from entitlement programs where one can get out what they pay in, it should be funded by lottery. For instance Bellingham, WC, or WA State could operate a homeless shelter lottery or a Food Assistance lottery where the revenue into the lottery is designated to a charity purpose so that people are voluntarily donating their dollars to helping others, as opposed to government distribution of hard earned wealth. BC currently has a successful system similar to this.

      4. This appears to be a question of market regulation. Where there is free market there are more options. For items with elastic demand, such as housing, food, furniture, and the myriad of items for which there are alternatives, the free market can allow one to simply say no and walk away to another negotiation. For items with inelastic demand such as oil, or electricity, the elimination of government subsidy or preference can bring in more corporate competition, driving prices at least slightly lower and giving the consumer more choice.

      Libertarianism has some conservative and some progressive elements. This is why it is the choice for moderates and independents across the board. Live as you want to live so long as you don’t impinge on another’s right to do so. Socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

      • Thanks for your response but selling an e-Coli burger, a car that erupts into flames. a salmonella cantaloupe or a medication that causes more illness than it treats are but a few of a billion examples where a free market consumer can’t just walk away.
        State gambling to support social services and religious exemptions in the tax code both seem wildly Un-LIbertarian to me since they both exploit need and provide special treatment not available to everyone.
        So Libertarianism works on one level – that personal life which is lived in your own home, in private and without affecting your kids.
        Not much political capital there and the Tea Party alignment with the word Libertarian is another good reason to switch to Independent.
        But anyone is better than candidate Van Werven and the opponent who chooses to emphasize her background, her actions and her philosophy about SSA coal in Whatcom county will benefit.

  13. Now that the Republicans have pushed Overstreet aside to make way for a more obedient partisan loyalist, it is definitely time for Republicans to consider Mr. Kunkel.

  14. […] we broke the news that our local gold-enthusiast turned state Representative Jason Overstreet was no longer seeking reelection, leaving an open seat in the 42nd. Soon after this, former County chair and state vice-chair Luanne […]

  15. […] to the theory that rational Republicans asked Van Werven to primary Overstreet in the wake of his WWU criticism, Ralph Munro donated $100 to Van Werven’s campaign. Munro, long-time Republican and WWU […]

  16. […] campaign kickoff last night. Satpal Sidhu is running for the 42nd Legislative District house seat vacated by Rep. Jason Overstreet earlier this year. Rep. Kris Lytton introduced Sidhu, and spoke about his work as the Dean of Bellingham Technical […]

  17. This was posted on may 9th.

    • It is spam. I’m deleting it.

      • Thanks for your vigilance. Keep and eye on Walter Haugen he has been silent for a couple of days-probably planning his next character assassination.

  18. MACK,

    Afraid to use your full name?


    • Brayden is spam – I just deleted his comment. As for you, please use your real name for all future comments. Thank you!

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    • Who are these spammers?

    • Use your FULL NAME please.

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  22. […] Rep. Jason Overstreet is pushed out/unexpectedly resigns. Local gold-enthusiast and incumbent legislator Jason Overstreet announced his retirement from […]

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