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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Well, that's weird...

Bob One reports a lighter side from Seattle

KING 5's Queen Anne tower webcam has been down for over a month. Bob One collects the images with a webcam image grabber and have had to toss the black frames each day after seeing if it's been fixed.

Suddenly today, they appear to have switched the feed for the web site to what I assume is the graphics department practicing for the election coverage next week. It must be nice to know the news in advance.

First, a very close race -- amazing how they know this already.

Taxes added to the cost of gasoline.

The Big One.

I'm sure these images are only exercises in graphics, but why did KING decide to publish them on the web?  I hope our vote still counts.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Property Tax Swap

Inslee refers to a "property tax swap" in his ad.   Inslee pretends this is a tax increase that Rob McKenna created.  In fact, the tax swap to make school funding uniform was ordered by the Washington State Supreme Court.  Inslee is lying.

The tax swap is a geeky accounting idea to straighten out the accounting practices in Olympia and the various county governments. Current practice has counties governments playing with money going to Olympia, and Olympia fondling money bound for the counties.  By reducing bureaucratic red tape, the "swap", when enacted, should direct taxes to their final destinations more efficiently at less cost.

I tried to link to the Inslee advertizement directly, so you could see for yourself.  But Inslee's website,  propertytaxswap.com/, doesn't allow that.  Neither does the Inslee page on YouTube.  Inslee is caught lying and is only ramping up the rhetoric instead of coming clean.  Inslee has set himself against the State Court and public schools.

Update 10/30/12 Inslee upped his lie in a subsequent ad, saying that McKenna will increase property taxes on 47% of property owners. This approximately the effect of the legislature's property tax swap, if the legislature enacts it. Statewide, any tax increase will fall mainly on the wealthier neighborhoods, and there will be a comparably reduction in less well-to-do areas.

This is all a side effect of the tax swap proposal. The main purpose of the tax swap is to stabilize public school funding, and reduce or eliminate the need for local levies. Given that local levies can get voted down, the legislature's idea is that school districts the less reliant on local levies. This comes about because our state constitution requires the legislature to make public education its first priority (Washington State Constitution, Article 9, Section 1: "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders....")

McKenna's ad tells the truth.



~~~~~~~~

KING television, normally a reliable "Democratic" Party supporter, had to correct Inslee's lies.  KING's writer Robert Mak called Inslee's stand "ironic."

Let's get straight talk from Olympia.  Vote for Rob McKenna for governor.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lies about McKenna



TheRealMcKenna.com website is lying. They insinuate Attorney General Rob McKenna lobbied for a personal pay increase and lobbied against a minimum wage increase at the same time. The two events are years apart. TheRealMcKenna.com represents these two incidents as happening at the same time.

In 2007, all elected officials got a pay raise from the Washington Citizens' Commission.  Attorney General McKenna was one of them. 

Four years later, the economy had soured badly. Washington State law requires an automatic increase in state minimum wage.  The automatic law does not recognize bad economic times.  In 2011, McKenna advised the legislature an increase in compulsory minimum wage would work hardship and force some vulnerable businesses to lay off people.

With 8 years service as Attorney General for the State of Washington, Rob McKenna is a far better qualified choice than Jay Inslee. Vote for Rob McKenna for governor.

KING television review of the same ad.

See Property Tax Swap

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summary of State Measures, 2012 - and Impolite recommendations

Initiatives, Referenda, and Joint Resolutions. 

Not every issue has organized supporters or opponents.  Links will be added as the websites become active.

Initiative Measure 1185

I-1185 concerns tax and fee increases imposed by state government: I-1185 restates the existing requirement of 2/3rds legislative majority to increase taxes and fees. The big-state-government forces have dismantled each previous version of this law as soon as they could.

Under our state constitution, initiatives from the people can be modified by the legislature after a 2 year wait. Despite the fact the people have repeatedly enacted I-1185's tax protection (in the form of I-601, R-49, I-960, and I-1053).   In 2010, the people let taxpayer protection lapse, and we got a $5.1 billion tax increase. The tax increase was used to pay off SEIU, the government workers union.

Restating the law reinforces it.

Anti I-1185 forces claim the initiative is unconstitutional, based the strange idea the people ought not regulate their own tax rates.  In 2010, Olympia removed the reporting requirement on proposed tax laws.  Previous law required Olympia tell everything about legislative bills to increase fees and taxes.  Democracy requires that the people know what is happening.  But Olympia's big spenders wanted secrecy, so they ordered anti-democracy silence.  I-1185 reminds Olympia that the people demand open government.

In a smear effort, anti 1185 forces say that BP and Conoco Phillips have given "hundreds of thousands of dollars" (actually, $100,000 each) to support I-1185.  The biggest donor to I-1185 is the Beer Institute ($400,000).  In their haste to frighten us about "big oil," the anti I-1185s forgot about "big beer." As of August 1, the anti I-1185 forces have no donors, no cash, and are $27,000 in debt.  (August 13, 2012 update -- the government workers union, SEIU, bailed out No on I-1185 with $25,000 -- No on I-1185 has no published debt now.)

Impolite recommends you vote Yes on I-1185 to help continue the control of the stupid spending habits of the legislature.

Issue websites: For Voters Want More Choices / Against Permanent Defense

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Initiative Measure 1240

I-1240 will promote creation of a public charter school system: Charter schools are "results" oriented, as specified in the school charter. They are open to the general school-age public, and run as private, not-for-profit, institutions.

Impolite will vote Yes on I-1240, and the creation of charter schools.

Issue websites: For Yes on 1240 / Against No on 1240

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Referendum Measure 74

R 74 will confer no new right of same-sex partnering.  It will only change the legal use of the word "marriage" to include non-traditional meanings.  Current Washington state law RCW 26.60.030 already recognizes homosexual unions and aged persons in domestic partnership without traditional marriage.

R 74 will force the word "marriage" to be used to describe same-sex, mated, couples.  Also, the terms "husband" and "wife" will no longer indicate gender, but will be gender neutral.

A "no" vote on R 74 repeals the new law describing homosexual matings as "marriage."  A no vote also preserves the meaning of the words "marriage," "husband," and "wife."

Advertizing in favor of homosexual marriage says "love is all that matters." If love is the only measure then why can't you marry all of your friends at once? Or the pet you love? Its obvious love is not the only ingredient to marriage.

Impolite believes homosexuals ought to be free to do as they wish, but homosexual pairings should not be grouped together with traditional marriage.

Language should be controlled by common usage, and should never be controlled by government.  Redefining marriage to include non-traditional matings is authoritarian.  This is not a matter for government vote. Nonetheless, Olympia forced this divisive measure on the people.

People have a right to live as they want to, but no one has the right to control the words we use in our language.  Impolite recommends No on R74.

Issue websites: For R-74 Washington United for Marriage / Against R-74 Preserve Marriage Washington

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Initiative to the Legislature 502

Concerns marijuana: I 502 would essentially legalize marijuana possession under state law. The Federal prohibition would be unaffected.  If 502 is passed by the people, the legislature will act on this matter.  An "Initiative to the Legislature" is not a direct action by the people, but an instruction to the legislature to act on a matter the people feel important.  

Approval of I-502 would legitimize Olympia's reluctance to enforce marijuana laws.  Impolite thinks Olympia should take a stand and stop sucking around for support, without prodding from special interest groups.  Impolite doesn't like the idea of legalizing public intoxication, which is the most likely result, but doesn't mind what people do in private.

Issue websites: For 502 New Approach Washington / Against 502 Toke of the Town

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Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution 8221

8221 concerns implementation the Commission on State Debt recommendations regarding Washington's debt limit: Article VIII, section 1 of the Washington State Constitution establishes a limit on state debt. The current limit is 9% of average state revenues for the previous 3 years. Certain sorts of debt would be exempted.

The amendment states it would reduce the debt limit to 8% by 2034, but increase the actual allowable  debt to about 17%, because the revenue calculation base  would be increased. First, the revenue definition would be modified to include property tax as general revenue. Second, revenue calculations would be based on a 6 prior year basis, instead of the current 3 year base. The final result is if 8221 is enacted, the  state will pay more in interest.

Impolite objects to the inclusion of property taxes as "general revenue."  Presently, Washington State uses property taxes to fund schools. If property taxes are included in the general fund, school funding will be complicated, and most likely reduced yet again.  Plus, the debt load the state carries would be significantly increased.

Impolite recommends you vote No ESJR 8221

Another viewpoint - Washington Policy Center 

Washington State tax and revenue sources, according to the DOR.

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Senate Joint Resolution 8223

SJR 8223 concerns investments by the University of Washington and Washington State University: If the people approve SJR 8223, then the University of Washington, under legislative control, will invest in private companies.

The Washington State Constitution directs the legislature to fund public education.  SJR 8223 would fundamentally alter that.  The University of Washington should be concerned with educating students, not funneling taxpayer money to pet corporations.

Impolite recommends you vote No on SJR 8223.

For Seattle Times / Against 8223 University of Washington Daily

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Two advisory items appear on the ballot this year.  "Advisory" means Olympia has already made up their minds, but still feels the need to suck around for support.

Tax Advisory Proposition No 1, also known as SB6635 is complex.  It will eliminate business mortgages deductions for every business except some banks; extend the B&O tax exemption for raw food suppliers; complicate taxes for computer data processors; and clarify the legal definition of leasehold interest.  Impolite thinks mortgages are legitimate business expenditure, and despises complex tax regulations, and thus recommends you vote to vote to repeal SB 6635.

Tax Advisory Proposition No 2, also known as HB2590  Delays until July 1, 2020 the expiration of the pollution liability insurance agency's authority and its funding source (taxes) on petroleum sources.  Impolite urges you to vote to repeal HB 2590


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Information resources

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chris Christie Stumps for Rob McKenna

Chris Christie stumped for Rob McKenna last week.  Here is one of the things he had to say:

"Now I'm sure Congressman Inslee is a nice guy. But here's the problem: He's Congressman Inslee. And he's been part of the problem in Washington, D.C. And I'm going to tell you something: You don't want to import Washington, D.C. problems to Washington State. You need a New Direction, and Rob's going to give it to you."

Governor Christie is a Republican with a Democratic legislature, but he's managed to balance the budget, rally the state around education accountability and reform, and lead the charge on job creation that has been dubbed, "The New Jersey Comeback."

Governor Christie is a setting a New Direction in New Jersey. Now it's Washington's turn and it starts with you. Vote for Rob McKenna.

~~~~~~~~

KING5 television screwed up their report with an attempt to minimize the importance of Christie's support. Its pathetic and funny.  Here's the link.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ads for Governor

I watched the Inslee advertizement and Mr McKenna's ads.

The "progressive" Inslee connects better with the ordinary public even though his ads make little sense. The theme of his ads runs "Here is my family. I believe in the future. I believe in the public. Jobs." The audience is led to fantasize the ads mean whatever they like.

Republican Mr McKenna gives summaries of what he thinks. He also introduced his family, then went on to outline his plan for government; lower taxes and fair regulation. He should have added that lower taxes and fair regulation would promote jobs. Lower taxes and fair regulation will also help the family owned business.

Jobs are a warm and fuzzy button issue for this election cycle. The politician who does not mention jobs cripples himself.

The "progressives" are trying to paint McKenna as an enemy of jobs and progress. The "progressives" themselves want to us back in the 19th century -- its clear they mean one party rule when they say "progress."

The "Progressive" Democrats have run this state for 30 years. They made an regulatory environment painful to the citizen and suitable only for their big business buddies. A change would be a fresh breeze.

~~~~~~~~

Inslee ads are promoting the idea that some industries should receive preferential treatment from state government in order to promote jobs.

If Inslee is elected and actually does this, this is what special treatment will be: Inslee will routinely use taxpayer money to support his favorite companies.

What happens when government is "partner" to private companies? It is a path to taxmoney sinkholes. A never ending stream of public resources are wasted to promote some politician's friends. No public benefit ever manifests.

~~~~~~~~

C'mon, McKenna, I'm rootin' for you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Murray and the Democrats Play With Your Paycheck

Sen. Patty Murray
Senate Democrats are willing to use your paycheck to play political hardball on taxes unless Republicans agree to President Obama's plan to raise taxes on America's top earners.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Monday announced that Democrats are willing to allow a slew of tax cuts and spending expire if Republicans refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy, potentially inching the country off a "fiscal cliff."

"If we can't get a good deal, a balanced deal, that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013, rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus,"

Murray's notion of a "fair share" is nebulous.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 1% of the wealthy pay 40% of the taxes in the country.  She also neglected the fact that 47% of the US does not pay any taxes at all.

Murray is a Senate budget committee member and former co-chair of the debt supercommittee.

Sources Yahoo, Foxnews

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ban of the Killer Plastic Bag

The Seattle City Clowncil enacted law against killer plastic bags.    Paper bags will still be available at most locations for the mandated price of a nickel each. 

"Bring your own bag" is the message the mindless nitwits of the Clowncil says they are trying to promulgate.

The supposed increase in pollution is cited as the cause for the plastic bag ban. When nailed down, the Clowncil members insist there is too many plastic bags in the landfills.  Never mind plastic trash is only 0.4% of landfill trash

The Clowncil should have enacted a recycling program.  But its more fun to tell a formerly free people they aren't free anymore.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The People's right to rule is challenged.

Initiative 1053 was overturned by the power hungry King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller.  

The leftist legislators who backed the court challenge patted themselves on the back, saying they would be able to fund education now the will of the People was out of the way.  

There is no truth to their lies.  The state of Washington spent a total of  $32.1 billion in 2011.  Of that, $17.3 billion of state funds was spent on education, leaving almost $15 billion for the legislature to spend on other pursuits. 

The right of the People to informed self-rule is absolute.  Law cannot be based on misleading the People. 

Law should be consistent.  This is the reason why law should be written down  ---  so law is forced to be consistent with the written record.  If law is not consistent in application or content, it is unfair.

When law is disregarded and a judge goes on making up law form the bench, that is a form of terrorism.  Law is no longer consistent, law is no longer reliable.

If law is not consistent, then law which states racial discrimination is illegal no longer matters.  Terror ensues.

If law about property is abandoned, then property is automatically forfeited to the control of terrorist [government].

Many "progressive" judges willingly legislate from the bench, saying their ruling is constitutional.  But there is no part of the written constitution they base their new law on.  They are practicing terrorist adjudication.

Those judges should be tried for this crime against the right of the People to govern themselves.  "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."  (Washington State Constitution, Article 1, Section 1)

Especially offensive is the statement by big tax coalition that "Initiative 1053 allows a small segment of the Legislature to overturn the principal of majority rule."  The majority of the People made this decision.  The legislature derives its authority from the People, so if the legislature whines about it, the legislature is out of line.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Olympia is too transparent -- Kline

State Sen. Adam Kline announced he is resigning from the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee (The Sunshine Committee), over whether jurors should be able to serve on juries despite no legal eligibility.  Kline indicated government does not need to be that clear about government.

"[W]hile couched in innocent terms as an enhancement of the public’s right to know … is to create a public scandal about illegal aliens serving on Washington juries and use it to advance legislation requiring photo identification for voters and/or requiring citizenship for drivers licenses," Kline wrote.

Kline said he felt strongly about the committee’s fundamental purpose but believes the balance of  power had swung too far in the direction of transparent government.

“The public as a whole, in my view, has equal and competing interests in transparency and privacy,” he wrote, “and I believe strongly that the rightful role of the committee is to reach a balance between the two. That view is not shared by the majority of the committee, in which the press is numerically dominant.”

Seattle should consider retiring Adam Kline.

More at The Olympia Report 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

State’s ‘social-purpose corporation’ law to take effect in June

by Jeff Rhodes

Business owners who also dabble in social activism were granted legal cover during the just-concluded Washington state legislative session in the form of a bill that would protect [politically correct] “social-purpose corporations” from lawsuits filed by investors more concerned with making money than advancing a personal agenda.

And vice versa.

Passed by both houses of the Democrat-controlled state Legislature and signed into law by Democrat Gov. Christine Gregoire, the new law allows companies as of June to charter themselves as social-purpose corporations (SPCs) with the stated objective of pursuing social goals in addition to profits.

And having done so, SPC corporate officers cannot be sued by stockholders more interested in seeing a financial return on their investment than they are, for example, in saving the whales.

Conversely, an SPC’s stockholders now have a tool with which to challenge their company’s directors if they appear more concerned with making money than in the social goals investors were told they embraced.

“There is a growing community of socially responsible, sustainable businesses that want to be able to safely pursue the profit motive, like they historically have done, but also want to be able to pursue specified environmental or social purposes,” John Reed, a lobbyist with the Washington State Bar Association, told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January. “They want to be able to do that in a way that is flexible but in a manner that’s transparent to shareholders.”

Under the law, new companies have the option of organizing as an SPC, and an existing company can re-charter as an SPC with the approval of two-thirds of its shareholders.

Exactly what social purpose (or purposes) the company then decides to pursue are more or less its own affair, but the law broadly suggests goals that are “intended to promote positive short-term or long-term effects of, or minimize adverse short-term or long-term effects of, the corporation’s activities upon any or all of (1) the corporation’s employees, suppliers or customers; (2) the local, state, national or world community; or (3) the environment.”

“One of the hallmarks of these corporations,” Reed explained, “is that it’s the shareholders who decide what the social purpose is to be when they set it up.”

Several states, including New Jersey, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, California and Hawaii, have statutes allowing for the creation of “benefit corporations.”

Washington’s law is similar, but more flexible.

“A benefit corporation is one of the models that would fit under our law,” Reed said, “but others would, too.”

As written, Washington’s social-purpose corporations would be required to notify prospective investors that their goals would not be limited to earning a profit. Also, a copy of its annual report must be posted on the company’s website to show how it fulfilled its social aims.

“It’s important that the company actually live up to its billing,” said Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle). “We don’t want a company claiming to be a social service corporation for marketing purposes when it’s really driven by profits.”

Drafters of the new law, a committee of lawyers within the Washington State Bar Association, reportedly spent nearly two years to create a structure that would serve the needs of various enterprises including, the owner-managed microenterprise; the venture-funded startup; the late-stage, privately held company; the wholly owned subsidiary of a public company; and, the publicly traded enterprise.

“We do need a new business model in Washington state that addresses the needs of investors who are trying to create businesses that do more than just maximize profits,” said Stephanie Ryan, development director for B Lab, a Seattle-based nonprofit that recruits and promotes benefit corporations . “(The law) does not require corporations to pursue social or environmental concerns. It simply gives businesses permission to consider these ideas if they choose to.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Budget Going to Gregoire

"The Washington state Legislature approved a supplemental budget Wednesday, setting the stage for adjournment of a double overtime legislative session.

The Senate passed the measure on a 44-2 bipartisan vote, sending it to the governor for her signature. The House earlier passed the negotiated agreement on a 64-34 vote. Lawmakers worked through the early morning hours passing several bills before taking up the budget"

from The Spokesman Review


Monday, April 2, 2012

The Governor's New Budget Package

Governor Christine Gregoire announced that she is drafting a “compromise budget plan” that would include many of the legislatures “contentious proposals” into one package – to include raising taxes (naturally).

This proposal will be reviewed by House and Senate Leadership. At this time Gregoire would not reveal the specifics of the options or specific taxes. She publicly stated that “in the next 48 hours we could have an agreement.”

Lawmakers are trying to close roughly a half a billion dollar budget imbalance for the next two year budget cycle ending June 2013.

Mark Gjurasic

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bellingham ends photo ticketing plans

Legitimate government draws power only from the ongoing consent of the governed. For this to happened, those people in government have to be listening in intimate contact with the people they govern.

Red light cameras disturb me because they put an automatic, mechanical element between the people and law enforcement. The cameras appeal to government because they are cheap, easy to operate, and efficient law-enforcement. But they isolate government from those they govern.

The Bellingham city council made the right decision.

From The Newspaper.com, March 27, 2012

The city council in Bellingham voted 6-1 Monday night to respect the wishes of voters and pull out of a red light camera and speed camera contract. The city entered an agreement with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) in May 2011 to install the devices, ignoring local activists who had been collecting signatures for a ballot measure opposing camera use.

After a long and drawn out legal battle, the camera ban was placed on the ballot as an advisory measure in November and earned 68 percent of the vote. The same election replaced then-Mayor Dan Pike, the man responsible for the camera contract, with Mayor Kelli Linville who said during the campaign that the cameras were a mistake.

"I think that the mayor and the city council need to pay a lot of attention about what the public thinks about this," Linville said during an October 21 debate. "I personally don't think that it's a good way to generate revenue. The studies show it's not necessarily a good way to make them safer."

Linville and the council approved a settlement that gives ATS $100,000 to break the contract.

From the Bellingham Herald.com March 27, 2012

The money paid to ATS will come from the general fund reserves, but staffing changes she instituted in the mayor's office will save more than that amount each year, Linville said. The dollar amount was a product of negotiations, she said, with the city starting with a lower number and ATS starting with a higher number.

Bellingham would have paid ATS more than $450,000 per year for the cameras. Linville said ATS was willing to approve the new deal because several communities in Washington state have had problems installing and keeping the cameras, and the company knew she didn't support the program. ... "I believe the approach we have crafted together is fair to both parties and, most importantly, supports our citizens' wishes," Linville said in the release. "In working through this matter, American Traffic Solutions has acted as a responsive, respectful vendor and I appreciate the company's willingness to work with us."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Second special session update

Yet once again the legislature is in special session to fix the budget problems of overspending. Endless increases in fees and taxes is the current "solution" offered by the Democrats.

The following front-lines report is from Cary Condotta.

~~~~~~~~~

We are in the second week of the special session. The plan is for legislative budgetwriters to meet most of this week to see if some type of agreement can be reached. There are a lot of rumors circulating, which isn’t uncommon when not much is happening. There is plenty to speculate on, especially when the key players are meeting in closed quarters.

Among the things we are hearing:
  • The majority party is waiting to see if the courts overturn Initiative 1053 decision so they could raise taxes with a simple majority. You can read more about the status of the lawsuit in The Seattle Times story: King County court hears tax initiative lawsuit. Some believe if the court overturns the initiative, it would give the majority a small window to pass some revenue (tax and fee) bills to generate additional monies to make up for the shortfall.
  • The governor has come up with a proposal that would keep sales-tax revenue collected on behalf of local governments in the state’s general fund longer. That could free up $238 million for spending elsewhere. You can read The Olympian article: Legislature considers new maneuver for fixing budget.
The cities and counties seem to be alright with the governor’s proposal and the State Treasurer says it is better method of handling the state’s cash. Whether or not this will solve the budget problem we will have to wait and see. The governor’s idea was just made public late yesterday. Only more time will tell if this or any of the other things we are hearing hold much merit.

What we do know is that the Senate already passed a budget with a philosophical majority – the 22 Senate Republicans and three Democrats. The support for that budget may have increased since they have adjusted their spending plan, particularly the increase in spending on education and higher education.

House Republicans unveiled their own all-priorities budget on Feb. 17 and there are many similarities to the Senate Republican budget. I don’t think the Senate Republican budget is perfect but it is something we can certainly work off of and we only need eight votes from across the aisle in the House. That isn’t many, but House Speaker Frank Chopp has to be willing to consider all ideas and let philosophical majorities come together. And, his caucus is the only one that doesn’t seem to be at the table or willing to budge from their spending plan.
The taxpayers deserve a fiscally responsible budget that addresses our shortfall within existing revenues and doesn’t push the debt into future biennia.

From Rep. Cary Condotta (R-Wenatchee)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Budget Breakdown

  • Senate Coalition Takes Battle Public, and Governor Retaliates at Bill-Signing
  • Gang of 25 Says House Dems Won't Talk, May Force Vote on New Budget Plan
  • Furious Gregoire Threatens to Veto Hostages
By Erik Smith, Staff writer / Washington State Wire

OLYMPIA, March 15 — A legislative impasse over the budget escalated to Defcon-4 Thursday as frustrated Senate coalition forces went public with a new budget proposal and threatened to run over the Senate Democratic Caucus a second time. A furious Gov. Christine Gregoire retaliated by threatening to hold bills hostage and execute them one by one.

Meanwhile, the party that may be more responsible for the standoff than any other – the House Democratic Caucus – wasn't saying a word. On a day when seemingly every political figure and interest group in the state had something to say about the situation, the House Ds made no statements to the press. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, remains as mysterious as the Sphinx.

The Republicans and centrist Democrats who took over the Senate two weeks ago say House Democrats refuse to negotiate, possibly a political strategy aimed at waiting them out. Evidence suggests they are correct. That's why the coalition that now governs the Senate abandoned backroom negotiations Thursday and held a news conference to announce a budget proposal that meets the Dems halfway. Next week, if Chopp's Democrats don't budge, coalition members say they'll pass their budget bill in the Senate and possibly force the House Democrats to negotiate.

But the governor, also a Democrat, says she wants to keep a lid on it. With steam almost visible from her ears, Gregoire told reporters that the Senate coalition is going to have to play it her way. That means they’ll have to do their talking in her office – and no negotiating in the press.

To prove her power, Gregoire canceled bill-signing ceremonies for 26 of the 32 bills that were on her Thursday afternoon agenda. Another 23 bill-signing ceremonies scheduled for Friday have been canceled. And the governor threatened to get tougher. She has until March 28 to sign bills that passed in the final days of the regular legislative session, but if lawmakers don’t start talking in her office, on her terms, she promises to whip out her veto pen. “Maybe that will get their attention,” she snapped.

It was a remarkable day, and one that was made for fingerpointing. State Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Bellingham, drove six hours back and forth from his home district for a bill-signing that never happened. “I think the governor is throwing a temper tantrum,” he said.

Bitter Feelings Behind Impasse

Lawmakers Thursday were in the fourth day of a special legislative session in which nothing appears to be happening, no substantive progress is being made on the budget, and only a handful of members are actually at the Capitol. Most remain at home, on call for when their votes are finally needed.

But in a Legislature where budget disputes are a frequent occurrence, this is no ordinary breakdown. Bitter feelings remain after the extraordinary takeover that occurred in the Senate the night of March 2, when three Democrats broke with their party and voted with 22 Republicans for a fiscally conservative spending plan that won’t leave the state in the red. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate favor a different approach to the state's billion-dollar shortfall. They would stave off deeper cuts by shunting $330 million in current school district expenses into the next budget period, thus ensuring that next year’s Legislature will run short by more than $2 billion.

That 25-24 vote in the Senate two weeks ago flipped the Capitol upside down and ejected Senate Democratic leaders from the driver’s seat. Democrats remained in control of the House.

The problem is that the House Democrats haven’t recognized that control has shifted, said Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla. It is as if they are “in total denial,” he said.

A One-Sided Compromise

Coalition leaders say the silence from the House Democrats requires them to take charge. At their news conference Thursday, attended by seven Senate Republicans and the three rebel Democrats, the Gang of 25 released a budget proposal they say offers their best guess about what it will take to settle the argument. Hewitt said that early next week the coalition may pass the budget in the Senate using the same parliamentary tactic that overrode the Senate Democratic leadership on March 2.

Depending on how the coalition does it, the tactic could force negotiations between the House and the Senate, in the form of a conference committee. That would leave the governor with no direct role in the negotiations, although Gregoire still would hold the veto pen.

When one side won’t talk, you can only guess what it wants, said Senate Republican budget chief Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield. But the angry speeches by Democrats since the takeover left at least a vague impression.

“We are prepared to kickstart this thing,” he said. “I don’t know how much longer the public and the press would expect us to sit here and not start making ground. So we have presented a proposal to the House as a way to get home. That is what we are doing today.”

Coalition Proposal Balances Budget

The budget plan outlined by the Senate coalition Thursday comes quite a bit closer to the last known position expressed by the House Democrats, a budget proposal they passed a week ago. The new proposal from the coalition restores about $140 million in items that were cut in its previous budget bill. Most significantly, there would be no cuts to K-12 and higher education programs. Nor would the budget shift the school-district payment to the next biennium. The Senate coalition gets the money by reducing the ending fund balance from roughly $600 million to $440 million.

Where the coalition won’t budge, however, is on its plan to skip a public-employee pension payment in conjunction with long-term pension reforms. Critics say the skipped payment of $133 million is as much a gimmick as the deferred school district payment, because it would cost the state an additional $400 million over the long haul, but Zarelli notes that other long-term pension changes contained in the budget would produce a net savings to the state of $1.9 billion.

The coalition plan also cuts the Disability Lifeline, the state’s medical-aid and housing-voucher program for unemployable adults – a longtime favorite of the House Democrats. And perhaps as a bargaining chip, the budget proposal tosses an idea back into the mix that was shot down earlier this year by the governor and Democratic leaders – a now relatively modest scheme to launch 10 charter schools in poor-performing school districts.they'll pass their budget bill in the Senate and possibly force the House Democrats to negotiate.

The key thing, Zarelli said, is that the Senate coalition plan will allow books to balance this year and next. So no $2 billion in red ink for 2013.

Some Talk, No Action

What infuriated the governor Thursday was the idea that the Senate coalition is making an end-run around budget negotiations that she has been trying to organize herself. She called legislative leaders into her office the first three days of this week. Then she called budget-writers into her office Thursday morning. The way she sees it, the first rule of Negotiating Club is you don’t talk about Negotiating Club.

“I’m trying to be restrained,” she said. “I’m disappointed. I am frustrated. This is no way to get a budget through the Washington state Legislature.”

It is unclear whether the governor’s approach stands any chance of success, however. “It’s been a mixed bag,” she admitted. And if the talks are supposed to be secret, Hewitt says his side was incensed to see that Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown discussed details Wednesday with the Seattle political website PubliCola.

If anything has been accomplished in those backroom talks, it doesn’t sound like much. So far, say Hewitt and Zarelli, there hasn’t been any discussion of the nitty-gritty details of budgeting. The public silence from the House Democrats accentuates the mystery.

Hewitt said the coalition has tried to operate in good faith since the time of the takeover. He presented reporters with a copy of a formal letter he sent to Chopp on March 5. In his letter, Hewitt said he would like to include the Senate Democrats and the House Republicans in the conversation. “Please let me know at your earliest convenience when negotiations can begin,” it said.

Chopp never responded, Hewitt said. Instead, the House passed its latest budget bill on the final night of the regular session, 53-45, incorporating a few of the ideas the Senate Democrats had proposed – essentially another one-sided compromise, just like the one the Senate coalition proposed on Thursday.

No More Ms. Nice Guy

Gregoire was sharply critical of the Senate coalition forces for taking the battle out of her office, but she said her fury knows no partisan bounds. A close look at the 26 bill-signings she put on hold Thursday shows it was a two-handed slap – 13 are prime-sponsored by Democrats, and 13 by Republicans.

She said vetoes are the next step.

“I have given them a message today. My message is I’m not signing their bills. If you keep making no progress, I will not sign your bills, and then time will run out, and I won’t have any time to do anything but [veto]. I’m telling you the truth.”

And she said she is expecting rank-and-file members and lobbyists to begin putting pressure on legislative leaders. Gregoire said she has had it with a Legislature that should have passed a budget months ago. “We should have had a budget, in my opinion, in December. How is that for where my frustration level is? I have been restrained. I have been complimentary. I have negotiated in good faith. Time is up.”

At the very least, that anger is beginning to trickle downhill. Buys wasn’t the only one who made a useless trip to Olympia Thursday. State Rep. Jan Angel came down from Port Orchard. State Rep. Larry Haler came all the way from the Tri-Cities – and because of snow on the pass, he had to go the long way, through Portland.

Buys’ bill has no impact on the budget. If it ever takes effect, it will change the number of members on the state Dairy Commission. And Buys said, “Just because she’s not getting her way, she’s holding bills hostage that have nothing to do with budget negotiations, bills that have to do with people’s lives. Saying ‘I’m not going to do this because I’m upset – that’s kind of childish.’”

-- END --

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Special Session Update

The legislature has been called back into another special session to address the state's continuing budget shortfall. Deadbeats in the House and Senate do not care to make the books balance -- they want to posture instead. For example, three Democrats introduced totally extraneous "Child Safety" legislation. SB 6628 is supposed to punish reckless endangerment of children by prohibiting unsafe storage of firearms. The exact means is to put an extra fee on persons who have a permit to conceal carrying of a pistol. What?

~~~~~~~~
From Rep. Cary Condotta (R-Wenatchee)

The Legislature adjourned on March 8, but the governor called us back a few days later because there is still no solution in place to address our approximate $1.1 billion shortfall. Of course, if you were in Olympia you wouldn’t know we are in a special session because the only legislators who are here are those involved in budget negotiations. Leadership from each chamber and budget writers continue to meet, but right now those at the table are far apart.

I have talked about the frustration of special session before, but this one may be the most frustrating one of all. Not because everyone has known since May we would need to address our fiscal situation, not because a special session was called in November to take care of it, not because we debated a variety of social issues and other legislation for about 30 days before the budget received much attention, but because there is a bipartisan solution on the table. We are now in our fifth special session in two years.

There were actually four budgets introduced during the session - one by each caucus in both the Senate and House, and the Senate Republican budget passed with bipartisan support. Nothing is perfect, but enough senators agreed on the proposal and chose principles over partisanship. I feel like we would have bipartisan support for our House Republican budget or even the Senate budget if we could bring it to a vote in the House, but Speaker Frank Chopp insists on the House Democrat budget.

I mentioned in my previous update there are two significant concerns with the Democrat budget. First, it delays education payments until the next biennium. Our own Democrat State Treasurer Jim McIntire called it a “felony gimmick.” It basically writes a $300 million IOU and there is no guarantee the next Legislature will pay it. Instead of potentially using those dollars to fund all-day kindergarten, class size reductions or teacher salary increases, the next Legislature will first need to pay off the $300 million.

Second, the Democrat budget leaves us with a $2 billion budget problem in the future. It solves nothing. The majority has been unable and unwilling to make difficult decisions and long-term reforms related to state spending. One-party control in Olympia has been ineffective and all ideas from both parties should be considered as the Legislature works to resolve our budget shortfall. Review the comments below from the three senators who voted with Senate Republicans in support of a bipartisan budget. It sounds like they are tired of continuing down the path of unsustainable budgets and uncontrollable spending.

  • Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue: “Today I stood with a bipartisan group of legislators to support an operating budget and a series of government reforms that will put our state on a strong fiscal footing ... Since before this legislative session began, the message from my constituents has been loud and clear. Another budget that is unsustainable, relies upon accounting gimmicks and sets our state up for a perennial deficit is simply unacceptable.”
  • Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup: “The status quo is that we come back every single year and we cut, cut, cut ... There is a time to campaign for what you want and there is a time to govern with what you have.”
  • Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch: “…it gives the conservative voice a chance to negotiate ... We have to reduce our spending. That’s what families are telling me in the 35th District. They have got to live with what they have and they want to see government do that as well.”

At this time, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the special session. However, I am hopeful if we take some of the reforms and ideas from the House and Senate Republican budget proposals and work across party lines we can reach a bipartisan agreement and leave Olympia with a balanced approach. It is time to put principles and priorities over partisanship and politics.

Cary Condotta

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Taking More

Olympia has never been embarrassed about spending the people's money, even when the people have the situation covered. The Legislature's motto: "Outta our way, you! Give us your money!" Its a mixed message.

~~~~~~~~
Kindergarten

HB 2791, to fund all-day kindergarten for everyone passed out of Ways and Means Committee on party line vote. If enacted, spending will increase $243,507,000 over ten years.

The interesting part is the funding source for this daydream is the proposed repeal of the nonresident retail sales tax exemption. In other words, state visitors will pay sales tax. This bill proposes that will be enough for Olympia to take over kindergarten. Kindergarten is presently an option in some school districts.

When state government teeters on bankrupting itself, it is probably not the time to start state wide kindergarten. Elementary arithmetic shows Olympia should settle other bills first.

State Recreation/Discover Pass
E2SHB 2373, about the state's mismanagement of its recreational resources, ("Discover Pass"), shortens free parking from 30 minutes to 15 minutes, display of a Discover Pass exempts the vehicle. The Discover Pass is $30 per year.

Beginning July 1, day-use visitors at state parks will need to pay $10 per use or have an annual Discovery Pass.

Attendance is projected to drop even more than it already has in state recreation sites if something is not done. The underlying problem is the Legislature is puzzled that people don't want to pay for something they used to get for free.

The projected income is $15,670,200 over 10 years -- wishful thinking.

Friday, March 2, 2012

More income tax proposals

Olympia is searching for new cash sources to fuel their spending habits. The politicians claim every one of the proposed taxes is "fair" or "more fair." More fair than letting us keep the money we've earned, I suppose.

Here we go:

SB 6548 imposes an income tax on "high earners" (later to be expanded to everyone). The stated purpose is to fund education.

HB 2766 imposes an excise tax on the receipt of adjusted gross
income above one million dollars. The concept of defining personal income as sales proceeds is identical to the initiative 1098, turned down by the voters in 2010.

HB 2486 is a monster tax package. It introduces something called the "Corporate Privilege Tax", combined with a personal income tax. The stated purpose is provide for education.
Backers claim sales tax and property tax would be reduced -- thus reducing overall revenues to the state $7,487,420,000 over an 8 year period.

SB 6550 is the Senate version of HB 2486, and is nearly identical.


HB 2744 would replace the business and occupation tax with a flat rate tax on corporate net income. The present business and occupation tax is based on gross business income.

SB 6495 would be a massive personal income tax of $71,666,712,000 over 8 years (the projection runs out that far, but the tax would go on until modified). Backers claim sales tax and property tax would be reduced, reducing the overall tax increase.

HB 2563 - A special category of income tax is capital gains tax. HB 2563 proposes to tax capital gains income at 5%. This state tax is in addition to the federal capital gains tax, currently 15% or 35%, depending on term. See Wikipedia for more on this tax.

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Proponents of capital gains tax always insist taxing capital is "more fair." They insist no one works for capital gains - vile calumny. A person who risks his savings by investing, and thus building the economy, is going to sweat, doing a kind of work no tax-crazed politician will ever understand.

A capital gains tax actually reduces capital available to fuel growth, and thus jobs. Leftist politicians desire to control the people's chance to work, and therefore lust over private capital gains. These politicians are aware of the misery they can cause with their excessive taxation, but they don't care.

~~~~~~~~

The sales tax and other so called "regressive" in Washington State probably helped moderate some of the impact of the current depression. Sales taxes are applied to consumption, which inhibits waste.

Income tax and other so-called "progressive" taxes tax production. A depression like the current one is a drop in production, which had the nasty side effect of making workers unusable. If the state was taxing income from the remaining productive companies, those companies (and their workers) would have faced a dangerous and unfair burden to their future employment.

~~~~~~~~

The best solution to Olympia's current funding problems is to make the tough choices and reduce state spending.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gregoire signs onto homosexual marriage

The leftist elite call it "Marriage Equality." The should call it Marriage Interchangeability. Nevermind, men and women will never be substitutes for each other -- there are differences, you know. Nevermind, the left loves a lie.

The big money is behind homosexual marriage. The powerful elites of the "Democratic" Party back homosexual marriage. The power and sweep of this fashionable change of social laws must be well financed and backed. So this is a done deal, right?

Not as long as words have meaning.

"Marriage" means the connubial union of a man and woman, with the possibility of birth of children from a combination of the man's and woman's DNA. A close substitute for first marriage is a second marriage -- the connubial union of a man and woman often for the purpose or bringing up children from an earlier marriage.

Homosexual "marriage" is no similar, natural, expression of love, like child bearing. Homosexuals can be in love, and even want to cohabit. Washington State has recognized this level of same-sex commitment, including right of survivorship. The call for same-sex marriage is simple-minded destruction of the meaning of language.

The out-of-its-mind left thrives on destruction of meaning. (Did you ever notice the left is dominated by lawyers?) No matter the clear meaning of what you thought you said, a lawyer or a leftist can twist the words 'til they mean more power for government and more regulation for society.

~~~~~~~~
400 years ago...

Whatever Hypocrites austerely talk
Of puritie and place and innocence,
Defaming as impure what God declares
Pure, and commands to som, leaves free to all.
Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain
But our Destroyer, foe to God and Man?"

- John Milton Paradise Lost (l. Bk. IV, l. 738–749).

~~~~~~~~
External link
Protect Marriage Washington

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More gun control

We still don't have a workable budget and Olympia's weak kneed leftists are trying to district with a loser bill.

SB 6628 makes it is a crime to leave a firearm where a child might have access. Problem is, it is already a crime of neglect to leave a firearm where a child might have access. But the Senators useless scurrying makes it look they they care, and are doing something.

The Senate's far left "progressives" Adam Kline (D- 37), Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36), & Debbie Regala (D-27) are behind this proposal. They want to appear compassionate about the recent shooting of the little girl at Armin Jahr Elementary in Bremerton. Everyone's hearts go out to the parents, the kids and everyone. At last report, the little girl is still in critical condition at Harborview. Please join us in prayer for her restoration to health.

Its despicable for the Senators to take political advantage of this tragic accident.

~~~~~~~~

The bill digest describes the proposal in these terms:
"[SB 6628] Expands the crime of reckless endangerment to include storing or leaving a loaded firearm in a location where a person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child is likely to gain access, and the child obtains possession of the loaded firearm."

"[SB 6628] Increases the fee for a concealed pistol license."

There are two purposes to the bill: First, it allows the Senators to strut about claiming they are "doing something." Second, law-abiding people who carry self-protection will face higher fees for being able to protect themselves.

Please email your Senator and tell them "No on SB 6628."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Refining Our Rights, regarding firearms.

Some firearms bills are in the Washington State Legislature.

House Bill 1508 - legislation relating to shooting ranges, passed the House.

Various target shooting ranges in Washington have become surrounded by suburbs. although the ranges were there when the housing went up, and the purchasers of the new houses knew this, those ranges have become targets of lawsuits to remove the ranges.

HB 1508 originally would have ensured that existing shooting ranges were broadly protected against civil liability and criminal charges related to noise pollution. However, this bill was amended and significantly weakened in the state House Judiciary Committee, leaving it as a measure that would no longer provide an adequate level of protection for shooting ranges.

HB 1508 was amended again and somewhat improved on the House floor -- the current version is better than the one that passed in the House Judiciary Committee. In order to strengthen this bill and keep it moving, HB 1508 must get a public hearing and action taken by the state Senate Judiciary Committee by Friday.

House Bill 2471 would exempt Concealed Pistol Licesne holders whose Washington State licenses were issued on or after July 22, 2011, from having to undergo any sort of background check when purchasing a pistol. Additionally, this bill would require only the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check for CPL holders whose permits were issued prior to July 22, 2011.

HB 2471 passed in the state House of Representatives unamended and was also assigned to the state Senate Judiciary Committee. HB 2471 must pass in the Senate Judiciary Committee by Friday.

Please contact state Senator Adam Kline (D-37), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge him to schedule a hearing for HB 1508 and HB 2471. Senator Kline can be contacted by phone at (360) 786-7688 and by e-mail at adam.kline@leg.wa.gov. Be polite.

~~~~~~~~

Washington State's Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.

Article I, Declaration of Rights, Section 24 Right to Bear Arms. "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Obama/National/State

Obama is in Western Washington state this morning, promoting his notion that we need to increase exports. Who would have thought of that? After that, the Darling of the Left is expecting to pick up as much as $8 million in campaign pledges at two afternoon dinners.

~~~~~~~~

America's small businesses are the source of most of America's employment, and the principle source of American innovation. But small businesses are plagued by the Left and Obama's continued attacks. Obama Care itself will add $4,500 in new. annual expenses for every new hire, along with bewildering new regulations.

Under a burden of increasing regulation, a small business is at a competitive disadvantage compared to a big business. Companies like Boeing or GM have to hire a few human resources specialists to assure compliance with the new regulations. No small business can afford costly burden of a few more office workers who only sit in the office comparing rules. The result is big businesses get bigger and the small business is not doing so well.

There are other problems. Some big businesses are under more direct attack fomr the Left. The paper manufacturer Kimberly Clark was forced to shut down its 80 year old Northwest mills because of Obama's expanding environmental regulation.

The attack was indirect; the new buyer of the pulp mill would have been saddled with massive increases of environmental costs. Changes in environmental regulation would have required the new owner to take elaborate measures to "protect" the tidal flats from unspecified dangers - along with environmental "clean up."

The only winners would have been the government certified companies who make their living off the people's misery - and the government people who certify them.

In the end, this made the Kimberly Clark property an unsellable albatross, and 750 workers were laid off.

~~~~~~~~

Government poisons with policy. It cost 750 workers their jobs at KC. Small business is always hardest hit with poison policy ; big business usually can cope. Policies like Obama's have concentrated industrial power in fewer and fewer hands -- and the Democrats insist they are the pal of the little guy. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gregoire Still Doesn't Get It

[When] Chris Gregoire took over from Gary Locke [she] was amazed by the financial surplus Washington state had and wondered what to do with it. I guess she figured it out.

Now Washington state is billions of dollars in debt. ... I think the first thing she needs to learn is to quit spending money we don't have on things we don't need and learn to live on what we have -- just like the taxpayers are required to do that don't have a "bottomless checkbook." That is something she just doesn't quite seem to understand.

By Richard Quint, Lake Stevens

Letters to the Editor, Everett Herald, Monday, February 13, 2012

State Revenue Forecast, 2012

The Washington State Revenue Forecast Council met this morning, Thursday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m. and shows the projected General Fund revenue for the 2011–13 biennium up by $96 million, compared to the previous quarterly forecast in November. This is a revenue increase of .3 percent in the current biennium and the first increase since June 2010. The new forecast increases total projected General Fund revenue for the biennium to about $30.3 billion.

A portion of the $1.4 billion dollar revenue shortfall was addressed in the December special session. With the $478 million in spending cuts, fund transfers and new revenue, from the special session, and the current forecast, the state currently has a projected budget shortfall of $855 million.

Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that there are some “tax incentives” that need to be eliminated; for example, big banks do not pay a B&O tax on income from first mortgages. Other tax breaks to be considered include those for wind turbines and other alternative energy sources – but that is not the comprehensive list. I think it’s fair to say that at this point both parties are looking at all tax alternatives to ensure that those not needed/not working be phased out.

It’s anticipated that the House Republicans will announce their budget on Friday, House Democrats will announce their budget early next week and the Senate budget should be announce the week after.

Mark Gjurasic
Public Affairs of Washington

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Income Tax, Again....

Income Tax, Olympia Style

Although the People just turned down an income tax in Autumn of 2010, Olympia's greed knows no end.

SB 6548, titled An Act Relating to providing a stable source of revenue for education by imposing a tax on high income earners, has been introduced in the Senate.

If approved as written, the Office of Financial Management said the tax would take $1.5 billion in new taxes over the next nine years.

The voters will be asked to approve amending the state's constitution to allow income taxation. I think the people understand that a "tax on the rich" won't stay that way for long. It will become a tax on everybody.

~~~~~~~~
These are the sponsors of the bill.
  • Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Prime Sponsor (D) Seattle, (360) 786-7670
  • Jeanne.Kohl-Welles@leg.wa.gov
  • Senator Sharon Nelson (D) Vashon (360) 786-7667
  • Sharon.Nelson@leg.wa.gov
  • Senator Karen Keiser (D) Des Moines (360) 786-7664
  • Karen.Keiser@leg.wa.gov
  • Senator Adam Kline, (D) Seattle (360) 786-7688
  • Adam.Kline@leg.wa.gov
  • Senator Debbie Regala (D) Tacoma (360) 786-7652
  • Debbie.Regala@leg.wa.gov
  • Senator Nick Harper (D) Everett (360) 786-7674
  • Nick.Harper@leg.wa.gov
~~~~~~~~
Updated March 2, 2012

Here we go:

SB 6548 imposes an income tax on "high earners" (later to be expanded to everyone). The stated purpose is to fund education.

HB 2766 imposes an excise tax on the receipt of adjusted gross
income above one million dollars. The concept of defining personal income as sales proceeds is identical to the initiative 1098, turned down by the voters in 2010.

HB 2486 is a monster tax package. It introduces something called the "Corporate Privilege Tax", combined with a personal income tax. The stated purpose is provide for education.
Backers claim sales tax and property tax would be reduced -- thus reducing overall revenues to the state $7,487,420,000 over an 8 year period.

SB 6550 is the Senate version of HB 2486, and is nearly identical.

HB 2744 would replace the business and occupation tax with a flat rate tax on corporate net income. The present business and occupation tax is based on gross business income.

SB 6495 would be a massive personal income tax of $71,666,712,000 over 8 years (the projection runs out that far, but the tax would go on until modified). Backers claim sales tax and property tax would be reduced, reducing the overall tax increase.

~~~~~~~~

Olympia is searching for new cash sources to fuel their spending habits. The politicians claim every one of the proposed taxes is "fair" or "more fair." More fair than letting us keep the money we've earned, I suppose.

The sales tax and other so called "regressive" taxes in Washington State probably helped moderate some of the impact of the current depression. Sales taxes are applied to consumption, which inhibits waste.

Income tax and other so-called "progressive" taxes tax production. A depression like the current one is a drop in production, which had the nasty side effect of making workers unusable. If the state was taxing income from the remaining productive companies, those companies (and their workers) would have faced a dangerous and unfair burden to their future employment.

The best solution to Olympia's current funding problems is to make the tough choices and reduce state spending.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Homosexual "Marriage"

The legislature has mumbled -- Homosexual Marriage may become law in Washington State. Everett attorney Stephen Pidgeon has already filed to require referendum of the bill. If he can collect enough signatures, the people will be heard.

Complicating this is the law in Washington does not recognize same sex marriage. The Washington State Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1998.

The state already recognizes homosexual couples with domestic partnerships. In 2009 law was enacted to give homosexuals in civil union all the protections of marriage.

~~~~~~~~

Perhaps the legislature and the governor reckon this divisive law will distract voters from the fact that we still have a $1.5 billion shortfall in the state budget.

I told you the work of slashing our budget by another $2 billion would be dreadful, and that's what it is. The result is Washingtonians will get a lot less of what they truly need from state government,Governor Christine Gregoire

We'll see.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Politicians Hate the Initiative Process

It challenges their elitist policy-making "monopoly." It lets the people decide.

The trouble we have is that the government in Olympia has become inbred. They are determined to care for government officials first to, the exclusion of the People. The People must awaken to the fact that when the politicians stop serving the People and start serving only special interests, the whole society is in deep trouble.

For 15 years, Tim Eyman and Voters Want More Choices work to let the people decide important issues; for example, lower car tab taxes, limits on property tax increases, performance audits of government, the 2/3 legislative majority vote requirements for tax increases. They've also made it top priorities to defend the initiative process from “liberal” political attack.

The People had a huge victory last Friday.

Background: Last year, in response to Eyman‘s initiative in Monroe on red-light cameras, the Monroe City Mayor and City Council refused to allow the people to vote Then they sued Eyman for sponsoring the initiative. The people’s own elected representative sued to keep the people out of the political process. Despicable.

The City officials asked the court to impose a $10,000 fine on Eyman and tried to force Eyman to pay the City attorney’s fees. Under the threat of escalating legal costs against an the government with taxpayer-funded resources to pay their lawyers, lots of folks would've folded their tent and gone home. Eyman didn't -- he fought back.

After months of personal anguish and stress, Eyman prevailed against the Monroe politicians’ anti-initiative effort, as on Friday, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Bowden found that the City's action was a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP lawsuit) and imposed a $10,000 fine on the city! The red-light camera initiative is green lighted for a public vote.

Judge Bowden wrote: "Having secured enough valid signatures to place (the initiative) on the ballot, the City's lawsuit burdens the initiative sponsors with having to defend the right of the voters to express their opinions and weigh in on a matter that will directly affect them."

This court decision sends a clear message to other arrogant politicians that such obstructionist tactics will not only fail, but result in substantial financial penalties. It is a huge, huge victory for initiative rights in Washington.

~~~~~~~~

But what does it matter to the authoritarian “liberals?” The People get to pay for everything arrogant mistake the politicians make.

Yesterday, Eyman again drove down to Olympia to testify against another one of the pageant of anti-initiative bills that have become annual tradition in our state's Capitol.

Much of this information is supplied by Tim Eyman.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Homosexual marriage?

There are many different sorts of domestic partnerships. Some arrangements are not intimate -- they are an arrangement to split the rent or just have someone else in the house. Some arrangements are more intimate, but the partners do not want their status clarified. And in some cases people want to celebrate a different sort of cohabiting arrangement, such as non-traditional sexual orientation.

Enter the State -- The "liberals" are telling us homosexual pairings deserve to be described as a marriage. "Senator" Potty Murray explained words are always changing in their meaning. She gave the example of "mouse" which no longer means mouse. Likewise, Murray explained, "marriage" has changed to include homosexual pairings. She missed the fact that some people want to be different and she is forcing them to be labeled the same.

Anyway, "Governor" Christine Gregoire galloped to Murray's aid to forced the changed use of the term on the legislature attention. Both women claim to be very proud of the gobbledegook they are creating. Don't they have a massive budget shortfall to deal with?

Murray & Gregoire are intellectual lightweights, trying to pick a fight with half the people in the state. No word's meaning has been more honored and keenly defended than the word "marriage." It means the pairing between a man and a woman.

These state "liberals" are eager to create a debate with lack of clarity. They condescend to reckon the power of government can even be used to force people change the language they use to call marriage "marriage" -- a stupid government overreach.

The male-female paring deserves special naming -- It preserves wealth for the offspring of the union, and it produces offspring by combination of the genetic material of the two people involved in the marriage. (There are historical exceptions, cuckoldry and similar). In the main, the marriage relationship is unique and unblurable. It takes a monumental act of stupidity to miss this point.

~~~~~~~~

News source

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A public hearing is scheduled on HB 2516, 01/23/2012 1:30PM in the John L. O'Brien Building, House Hearing Rm A, Olympia, WA. The hearing for the associated Senate bill, SB 6239, is scheduled 01/23/2012 10:00AM in the J.A. Cherberg Building, Senate Hearing Rm 2, Olympia, WA

Update -- Because there is a tax or fee associated with homosexual domestic arrangements, the law required a public report, which is not ready yet (so they say).


Update on the update -- The cellar dwellers in Olympia who sort through the legislative output for taxes and fees have discovered they made an error. Here is the text of their notice: "An email notice was previously sent regarding SB 6239, AN ACT Relating to providing equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and changing the domestic partnership laws, while protecting religious freedom. Upon further analysis, this bill does not include a new or increased tax or fee." The same is true for HB 2516.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Banning Plastic Bags

An idea whose time is dumb.

Plastic bags are not a landfill problem the way the paper bags used to be. 98% of the people who have plastic bags re-use or re-cycle them. They are light, efficient and work very well. The legislature is intent on banning them.

Seattle City Council recently banned single use plastic bags. Apparently the Council is still miffed over the People's rejection of their 20 cent per bag tax, so they are beating on the people. By the way, Seattle City Council added a 5 cent fee on paper bags.

The rationale for the statewide bag ban is that it is too hard for businesses to conform to the patchwork of local regulations imposed on plastic bags. It figures Olympia would think the answer to stupid government is more stupid government.

HB 1877, was introduced by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon & Rep. Marko Liias, both Democrats. Liias, you may recall, proposed increasing fees on the People's initiatives in order to silence the common rabble last year.

SB 5780 was introduced by Senator Maralyn Chase and Senator Adam Kline, both Democrats.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

State of the State

Governor Christine Gregoire in her State of the State message on Tuesday, January 10, included her visions for “New revenue options.”

Gregoire said, "In the next 60 days, I ask you to do four things:

1. Use the early start you got in December and quickly pass a budget;
2. Ask the voters this spring to approve a temporary, half-penny sales tax increase for students and their future;
3. Pass my school reforms; and,
4. Pass a major transportation and jobs package”

Gregoire also addressed her favorite topics – new taxes and fees, and closing tax “loopholes”. She said, “We must look for new revenue as well. Close tax loopholes to save vital services like the Basic Health Program for the working poor. It’s a matter of firmness.”

“Firmness” -- not a matter of wisdom, workability or fairness, but Who Is Governor.

Gregoire doesn’t support budget cuts.

Her favorite target is to increase the sales tax.

“Our businesses, our state, our children and our grandchildren can’t afford anymore “deep cuts” to education. About $411 million of the $494 [increased] million sales tax revenue would go to K-12 and higher education." The children need to be rescued from the uncaring state, again.

The House and Senate Democrats will likely both have their own budgets, as well as Senate & House Republicans.

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Gregoire's forth item, a transportation and jobs package, is an ongoing display piece, so everyone can see that She Is Getting Something Done. Politicians get fascinated with an idea and they relentlessly sell the idea to the People, who then clamor for construction. Whether or not a project will ever work out is ignored. Millions get spent.

The present tunnel-under-Seattle project will is one of these. The Alaskan Way Viaduct has been largely destroyed, to the delight of private landholders whose property has dramatically increased in value because of the Governor's action.

The whole project should have been shelved until the economy was stronger. But the "liberals" insisted there was no time to consider the options! The Governor must push forward! Billions have been committed.

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If you've lived in Seattle for a little while, you'll remember the downtown Seattle “Transit Tunnel Project” back in 1987, and the years of complications it produced. When the project was finished it traffic and bus riders snarls concerning transfers and safety problems. So Diesel buses were allowed to use the tunnel but other surface traffic was re-routed. Then things things became more tangled.

We never got the half-billion we spent back in benefits. We really should stop spending until we see where the money goes. We can spend tomorrow only what we still have.

Some material in this report comes from Mark Gjurasic

Rob McKenna's review of State of the State

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