Posted by: sweeneyblog | June 24, 2014

Packed House for Satpal Sidhu’s Kickoff

Over 100 people 250 people packed the Squalicum Boathouse for Satpal Sidhu’s 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 College and his charming demeanor. “An engineer with personality. Believe me, I’m married to an engineer. Satpal is an anomaly!” Lytton praised his work on solar energy, his long history of outreach between the Sikh community and greater Whatcom and his work as a business owner.

Satpal Sidhu

Satpal Sidhu, candidate for the 42nd LD

Sidhu spoke at length about his plans to create jobs. Unlike the standard boiler plate answers about creating jobs (Democrats say, “Invest in infrastructure” and Republicans say, “Cut regulations”), Sidhu talked about closing the skill gap.

His work at BTC centered around identifying industries that needed skilled workers and then tailoring programs to their needs. “Workers don’t need a handful of credits, they need skills.”

The crowd was more than just the usual Democratic attendees. Perry Eskridge from the Whatcom County Realtors was there supporting Sidhu. “I tell people, I’m a conservative Republican and I like Satpal. I like the way he thinks, he is a different sort of candidate.”

I heard more than a couple attendees compare Sidhu to Rud Browne, a moderate Democratic immigrant deeply involved in the business community with some environmental interests who took the County by storm. In my opinion, it is an accurate comparison and I am curious to see how Luanne Van Werven, Bill Knutzen and Nicholas Kunkel will measure up as this campaign moves forward.



  1. Okay, can the Dems get behind him or will they once again “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

    • The latter because they a fools.

  2. Satpal will get the dairy farmer vote for sure.

  3. There were over 250 people in the Boathouse!!

  4. Appreciate your accurate description of the event. I am excited by the wide spread support from many diverse groups in Whatcom County

  5. Here is one Dem that is not impressed. Is he smart? Yes. Has he done a great job providing technical education and employment opportunities? Yes. Will he pick up some AG votes? Most likely. Guess what? For me that is not enough. We need to recognize climate change, loss of biodiversity and overuse of finite natural resources as the primary issue not just for the Dems, or the Nation, but the world, Here we are catering to an outdated view of the world as it was, not as it is. I criticize elected officials for carrying on with business as usual on the precipice of global collapse, but is it any wonder if the parties that nominate the candidates we elect do the same? How about a bold vision for the future that focuses on issues that threaten the survival of the human species? Do not tell me … blah, blah, practical, blah, blah. What is practical about worrying about jobs when we do not have enough water, infectious disease is rampart from destroying habitat and ecosystem services, we have lost our pollinators, and economic stratification triggers global governmental collapse. Just because it is not right in our face does not mean it is not real and unavoidable without drastic action. Either educate this guy about the real issues, so he can include this in his platform, or find someone who is more pragmatic about what the future holds. And I am signing my name, Wendy Harris.

    • Hi Wendy
      Appreciate your concerns and these are real. However, as any responsible and concerned citizen, I am aware of these issues. I was working in Solar PV industry 2008-12 and have worked in Germany, UK, Canada and USA and understand the global climate, energy and poverty issues. I would be happy to discuss your concerns with you, However meeting and brief written brochures do not lend themselves to share the much wider perspective and knowledge for all constituents. Appreciate your kind words and candid remarks for me.

      • Satpal, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss some of my concerns. I attended the green party forum and you were the only candidate for your race that did not address environmental issues in your platform statements. Now, I do not necessary believe the assertions of at one of your opponents, but this was a glaring omission for me. I have heard such wonderful things about you and I would feel more comfortable knowing that you understand the concerns of constituents focused on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Thanks.

    • Only a fool wouldn’t recognize “climate change” but whether it is man made or not has never been proven by facts, only questionable computer models and manipulated data. That is NO reason to jump to to pop culture conclusions that are fads to day and will be gone tomorrow.

  6. Also, Perry is right about Satpal being a new kind of candidate and I am not surprised he has Perry’s support, and I think the comparisons to Rud are apt.

    • Rud has a charming demeanor,as in snake charmer?

  7. Riley, why do you allow people to comment using pseudonyms? It really brings down the level of discussion.

    • Two reasons – the philosophical reason is there are some people who for legitimate reasons (fear for their employment) wish to post anonymously and the more practical of it is difficult to set up and manage. Either I have to use a third party service that collects everyone’s data (i.e. facebook) or a more complicated wordpress plugin.

      I do go through and eliminate comments when they get out of hand – although I am not always up to the task and sometimes there are a few that slip by.

      I’m open to other solutions

    • In your case it elevates the discussion. PS-when I used my “real” name all i got was “death threats” from people like you.

  8. I understand, but it makes these people seem either dumb or disingenuous to assert a valid need to be anonymous and then abuse this privilege to make snide remarks they would not have the courage to say in person. You are, as always, doing a great job.

    • Snide or to the point?

  9. I used to think it necessary to use an assumed name but then I turned 60 and realized that it didn’t matter who thought what about my view or how I expressed it.
    So I think it’s really sad that an anonymous poster without overt fear of personal retribution can’t actually bring themselves to speak with some authenticity and instead just farts out what seems like sporadic nonsense.
    I’m not in love with Mr. Sidhu’s candidacy and,
    even though he’s clearly heads above his competition,
    our district’s track record for sending empty suited Republicans trying their best to not do nothing in office makes me wish Democrats had a movie-star type that could ensure a win in November.
    Of course he has my vote anyway.

    • I usually post under my real name but occasionally I feel it necessary to use a pseudonym for “security” reasons because of the radical left-wing element that is pervasive in the area.

      My family has been threatened many time with retribution for expressing our beliefs. My answer to these wackos is BRING IT ON!

      Civility for these people is a one-way street.

      • I can sympathize with feeling threatened for holding an opinion since I’ve lost a few clients for speaking out without considering my audience.
        But if you were to try and express yourself in an intelligent way that reveals the logic behind your ideology as a Libertarian,
        you might get more traction and less friction.
        It would certainly lead to a better discussion of your cause.

      • I am a Reaganite Libertarian not a Libertarian-big difference.

  10. OK, Riley, here we go again.

    You can have accountability or you can have perfect “safety”, but you can’t have both. Over many years as a partisan of many issues, I’ve received my share of threats and ad-hominem attacks.

    There was a two-year period a while back when we couldn’t get our incoming mail to wait in our mailbox until we got there to pick it up. The mail had legs and walked off?

    I’ve also been attacked by a virulent anti-semite back when I lived in New Mexico. He did not appreciate my political views, and associated my alleged faults with my heritage.

    On another occasion in New Mexico, during a heated political campaign, one morning I went out to the truck and found a freshly killed large rattlesnake draped on the windshield. Talk about getting scared in a hurry!

    My wife has also borne attacks due to her political views. The most spectacular such attack was actually launched from a nationally-syndicated talk show. My wife was named by the shock-jock as attempting to foment an economic boycott based on political criteria which the shock-jock did not like. The accusation was false, but its merely being said on-the-air inspired several local listeners in our community to chime in and (with one individual) even to attempt intimidation. (The latter did not succeed, as anyone who knows my wife might guess.)

    None of the attacks that one receives is pleasant. It is deeply unfortunate when any political discourse descends down to ad hominem attacks, name-calling, or physical threats.

    But accountability is a paramount civic value. Our very nation was founded on the ultimate example of accountability: The signers of the Declaration of Independence signed their real names, not pseudonyms, at the risk of their lives. Under British law, their signing the Declaration amounted to treason, punishable by death. Yet the signers used their real names, and in the process gave our nation- and the world watching this movement against imposed tyranny -a timeless lesson in civil morality.

    So yes, please require a real human name, not a pseudonym. Riley, it is not your job to protect would-be communicators from the consequences of their public utterances.

    Abe Jacobson, a human, with this name.

    • I agree – now I’m working on the technical details of making it happen without selling out to facebook.

      • Oh, you will sell out to facebook the Daily Worker.

      • Huh?

    • Abe,

      Get off your high horse before you fall off!

      Half the books written are published under “pen” names.


  11. I am not having a “campaign kickoff”. I believe it is a trite and pretentious event that has lost all meaning when candidates from both corrupt parties conduct these things in the same manner, in the same buildings, while begging the public for money.

    A candidate’s time is best spent talking to the constituents to find out what they want in Olympia; like my campaign volunteers and myself did to gather signatures for the ballot, not begging for their hard earned dollars.

    Besides, I’ve been actively campaigning since February so a middle to end of June “campaign kickoff” would be nonsense. July 12th, we’re just going to have a “picnick” (Get it?), at Bloedel Donovan Park; not to ask people for money, just their voice.

    The only choice that is a break from the monotony

    • Nick,
      Are you perchance a nephew of Tom Kunkel?
      Abe Jacobson

    • When is the picknick?

  12. […] Satpal Sidhu’s kickoff was all about fresh ideas from a smart man, Joy Monjure’s was all about the depth of connection she has with this community. Joy Monjure […]

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