All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ballot 2016

Rob McKenna makes his recommendations:

Governor: Bill Bryant
The Seattle PI just posted a piece on Jay Inslee’s failed governorship. Bill is highly capable and focused on the right issues, like transportation, the state budget and education reform. He would serve all of us very well.

Lieutenant Governor: Marty McClendon
He’s facing Sen. Cyrus Habib, who once supported charter public schools but flip-flopped on the issue to win the WEA’s endorsement. No principles, no endorsement here.

Secretary of State: Kim Wyman
Every newspaper has endorsed her re-election, and most Democratic county auditors have joined their GOP counterparts in supporting her; none of them wants to politicize the state’s election office, but her opponent does.

State Treasurer: Michael Waite
Michael is a finance professional who will actively oppose a state income tax, work to reduce the state’s very high debt, and be a leader statewide for the GOP. He is one of the brightest stars to emerge in the GOP firmament, which may be why his opponent has drawn most of the big labor union endorsements. Michael will be much harder for them to beat when he runs for re-election in 2020.

Comissioner of Public Lands: Steve McLaughlin
A retired U.S. Navy Captain and expert on emergency management, Steve is just what the Department of Natural Resources needs. His opponent specializes in filing lawsuits to stop logging and other active management of state natural resources, which our public schools depend on for school construction.

State Auditor: Mark Miloscia
Mark is a bulldog and ardent defender of taxpayer interests. He knows how important it is to have a fearless, aggressive taxpayer advocate in the Auditor’s office. The Democrats would rather have us forget that their previous nominee – our current Auditor – was charged with federal felonies.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Erin Jones
Erin is more likely to bring an independent approach to this non-partisan office, which our school kids need and deserve.

Supreme Court: Dave Larsen, David DeWolf, Greg Zempel
We need change on the Supreme Court. Now.

Superior Court:
David Keenan, Eric Newman (King County)
Two strong candidates who are smart, have a law enforcement background, and for many other reasons as well are extremely well prepared to serve as trial court judges.
Joe Burrowes (Benton-Franklin)
Judge Burrows is a District Court judge who is supported by law enforcement throughout the Tri-Cities area. He is superb. His opponent is not, although he is fond of claiming that being a District Court judge is not good preparation for the Superior Court, while his own lack of judicial experience makes him better qualified. Huh? Just saying something so nonsensical is all the evidence voters need to vote for Burrowes, even if he weren’t so well qualified.

Court of Appeals, Div. 3: Patrick McBurney
Patrick will bring conservative common sense and deep experience as a trial attorney to a court that needs both.

State Legislature:
I’ve largely focused my endorsements on close races, races for open seats, and on some incumbents who have been particularly fearless in bucking their own party from time to time, or just plain earn re-election with their hard work and common sense. In the interest of relative brevity, this is not an exhaustive list of incumbent legislators whom I admire.

1st LD Senate: Mindie Wirth
5th LD Senate: Chad Magendanz
5th LD House (P2): Paul Graves
12th LD Senate: Jon Wyss
17th LD Senate: Lynda Wilson
25th LD House (P2): Joyce McDonald
26th LD House (P1): Jesse Young
26th LD House (P2): Michelle Caldier
28th LD Senate: Steve O’Ban
30th LD House (P1): Linda Kochmar
30th LD House (P2): Teri Hickel
31st LD House (P2): Phil Fortunato
37th LD House (P2): Eric Pettigrew
39th LD House (P2): John Koster
41st LD Senate: Steve Litzow
44th LD House (P1): Janice Huxford
44th LD House (P2): Mark Harmsworth
45th LD House (P1): Ramiro Valderrama
45th LD House (P2): Larry Springer

Pierce County Executive: Bruce Dammeier
One of the most talented, effective elected officials in our state. Full stop.

President:
You don’t need my advice on this one. [Its not a state level election, but Impolite believes Mrs Clinton is far too secretive to be fit to serve as president.]

U.S. Senate: Chris Vance
Hats off to Chris for running to bring attention to our spiraling national debt, and to the incumbent’s failure to do anything about it.

U.S. House:
Vote GOP unless you live in CD 10, where it should be Rep. Denny Heck. In CD 4, Rep. Dan Newhouse has proven himself to be a conservative leader in his freshman term and has earned re-election.

Ballot Measures:
I-1501 “Consumer Fraud” – NO.
This is a ballot scam brought to you by SEIU to exempt its home care membership roster from public records requests, so their members cannot be contacted and informed that they don’t have to belong to the union to hold their jobs as home care workers. It’s this initiative that’s the fraud.

I-1491 “Extreme Risk Protection” – YES.
I’m with a large majority of law enforcement officials who support this measure to help keep firearms out of the hands of the violent and unstable. If the law is ever misused by opponents to lawful gun ownership, it can be amended like any statute. [Impolite disagrees with Mr McKenna's reasoning.  No law should be enacted which could be used to abridge someone's right]

I-1433 “Statewide Minimum Wage Hike” – NO.
I agree with Bill Bryant. This one-size-fits-all approach is bad for areas of our state with a lower cost of living where small businesses will react to a $13 minimum wage with layoffs or by not creating new jobs at all; they simply cannot absorb such a large increase, on top of what is already one of the highest statewide minimum wages in America.

I-735 “Campaign Spending” – NO.
This measure is merely symbolic, calling on Congress to take action. It is motivated by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which the Left hates.

I-732 “Carbon Tax” – YES.
Any ballot measure that the Sierra Club despises is worth considering. Conservatives who want to reduce carbon emissions know that a revenue-neutral approach that raises the cost of carbon use but lowers other taxes is the only sensible way to go. The Left opposes it because raising gobs of new state tax revenue is their Holy Grail, and this measure doesn’t do that.  [Impolite disagrees:  Hoping a new tax will be used to offset an existing tax is fantasy.  Old taxes might go away if they are repealed.]           

I-1464 “Campaign Finance” – NO.
Over $270 million in tax increases and taxpayer financing for politicians’ campaigns. The rest of the initiative is just a distraction; notice that the proponents’ TV ads don’t mention the taxpayer campaign financing provisions. What they don’t say, says it all.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Governor debates about minmum wage

Gov. Jay Inslee and challenger Bill Bryant were on stage together Wednesday [August 17] for their first debate. Too often the “debates” we see between public officials are the accusations they trade back and forth in TV ads. That’s why real debates are so important. There’s no substitute for putting candidates in the same room, pinning their positions down with sharp questions, and letting them directly challenge each other.

Not surprisingly, the issue of a higher minimum wage came up. With an initiative on this fall’s ballot, you’ll be hearing a lot more on this topic. Inslee said something striking on that stage. Asked about those who might lose their jobs if the initiative passes, he said to look at Seattle’s new minimum wage law: “The evidence has shown no loss of employment, no loss of profitability, no loss of net businesses.”

Only trouble is, that’s not true. The true “evidence” shows much more of a mixed bag. Of course there are some job losses for some low-wage workers, even as others have benefited.

Just ask Felix Ngoussou. The Seattle restaurant owner attended a “media availability” Tuesday of business owners backing the statewide minimum wage initiative. He said he supports the initiative but also said, going off the organizers’ script, “he had to cut staff in the wake of the [Seattle city's] minimum wage hike. ‘I used to have four. I now have two.’ He was asked again for clarification. You reduced employee numbers? ‘Yes.’ Because of the minimum wage? ‘Yes.’ Campaign sponsors scattered in a panic.”

That’s another kind of unvarnished truth that you won’t see in a campaign TV commercial.
-Rob McKenna

~~~~~~~~

The minimum wage debate is based on the idea that if people are forced to pay more for a thing, they will still buy the same amount.  This is absurd on its face.  Obviously if the wage goes up, employers will look for ways to use less labor.

People have gotten confused by the apparent success of unions.  But they overlook the fact that unions represent skilled workers, and further, that unions often certify the skill level of the union members they send out to a job. 

Minimum wage is usually thought to apply only to the beginning worker.  The beginner is usually unskilled and not accustomed to working.  If you remember your first job, you remember it takes a lot of self-discipline to get going to work.

Minimum wage only creates more dependency on government handouts for the unemployed.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Washington State Supreme Court

We are in the midst of a unique political season. There may not be a consensus regarding candidates at the national level, but we all can join together to make a HUGE difference in our state. Greg Zempel, the popular six-term prosecutor from Kittitas County, is running for Washington State Supreme Court Justice (Position 5). We all need him on our state’s highest court.

As you know, I am a close observer of the state Supreme Court and I can tell you, this court has lost the respect of many, as long established precedents in criminal law are replaced with result-oriented, unworkable decisions. This means that our police, prosecutors and trial judges are uncertain about how to proceed in many cases. There is a public safety cost to this uncertainty, as some criminals go free who should remain incarcerated.

The Court’s overreach is unmistakable. As you likely have heard, the justices are holding the legislature in contempt because of funding choices they don’t agree with. They are fining “the state” (i.e., all of us) $100,000 a day, raising serious questions about the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of our state government.

Voter-approved charter schools were also nearly closed by the Supreme Court, threatening some of the most at-risk and deserving children in our state with the loss of schools they love just a day before the new school year was to begin.

Another voter-approved initiative, I-1053, was also overturned by the Court even though the voters have made it clear again and again that they want to require a 2/3 legislative majority for raising taxes.

Greg Zempel was elected in 1994 as the Kittitas County Prosecutor and has been re-elected five times. He has practiced at every court level in our system, from district court to the Washington State Supreme Court, and tried well over 100 jury trials as a defense attorney (his former career) and prosecutor.

Zempel was instrumental in creating the Sexual Assault Interagency Coalition, and Protecting Our Children, a community organization that educates parents on protecting their children from predators. Zempel also assisted in creating the Kittitas County Drug Court which functions to change the lives of drug addicts whose criminal conduct impacts our communities.

Prosecutor Zempel is committed to strengthening public safety according to the rule of law and the rights and freedoms protected in our state constitution.

-- Rob McKenna

~~~~~~~~

Washington State Impolite endorses Greg Zempel, Judge Dave Larson, and David DeWolf for Supreme Cour.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Corruption in the auditor's office

Embattled State Auditor Troy Kelley was back in the news yesterday. Last week a jury found him not guilty of lying to the IRS and deadlocked on the other charges.

The prosecution’s contention, however, is still true: Kelley’s actions to move and conceal millions of dollars were not the actions of someone who was convinced he was innocent.

With the trial over, Kelley apparently thinks that it’s now time to settle scores. He forced two Auditor employees to resign this week and is requiring another to do no work until his retirement later this month.

Kelley's motive seems to be punishing those he deems insufficiently loyal to him during the awkward time during his indictment and trial, when Auditor’s Office employees had to muddle through as best they could.

Deputy Auditor Jan Jutte, who ran the office admirably during Kelley’s absence, told the News Tribune, “I don't know what's going on. I have a lot of staff who are living in fear, asking what they should do, and I don't have any advice for them.” It’s just one more example of how Washington will be better off without Troy Kelley in office.

-Rob McKenna

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Washignton state 2015 measures election results

The People decided the following initiatives (The results are not final at this time):

The People approved Initiative 1366 concerning state taxes and fees. This measure would decrease the sales tax rate unless the legislature refers to voters a constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval to raise taxes, and legislative approval for fee increases. 

The People approved Initiative 1401 concerning trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction. This measure would make selling, purchasing, trading, or distributing certain animal species threatened with extinction, and products containing such species, a gross misdemeanor or class-C felony, with exemptions for certain types of transfers. (My 100 year old Steinway piano, which has keys made from elephant ivory, cannot be sold legally anymore.)

The People were also asked to advise the legislature on four matters.

Advisory Vote No. 10 Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1449, oil spill response and administration taxes, should be repealed.

Advisory Vote No. 11 Second Substitute Senate Bill 5052, marijuana excise tax on medical marijuana sales, should be maintained.

Advisory Vote No. 12 Second Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5987, additional taxes on motor vehicle and special fuels, should be repealed.

Advisory Vote No. 13 Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6138m, increased business and occupation tax revenues and excluded certain software manufacturers from a retail sales tax exemption, should be repealed.

There were two legislative positions decided:  You can find them here.

Three judgeships were decided.  You can see the results here.

What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin