Majority Rules 2020 Primary Endorsements – Washington State

Majority Rules Endorsements –

August 4, 2020 Washington State Primary

Governor –  Jay Inslee

Lieutenant Governor –  Denny Heck

Secretary of State – Gael Tarleton

State Treasurer – Mike Pelliccotti

State Auditor – Pat (Patrice) McCarthy

Attorney General – Bob Ferguson

Commissioner of Public Lands – Hilary Franz

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Chris Reykdal

Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kriedler

1st Congressional District – Suzane DelBene

2nd Congressional District – Rick Larsen 

3rd Congressional District – Carolyn Long 

4th Congressional District – Douglas Mckinley

5th Congressional Distrct – Dave Wilson

6th Congressional District – Derek Kilmer

7th Congressional District – Pramila Jayapal

8th Congressional District – Kim Schrier 

9th Congressional District – Adam Smith

10th Congressional District – Beth Doglio

A Dishonorable Senate – New York Times Opinion

The New York Times has written a very insightful opinion on the continued partisan politics of the GOP in the US Senate and its relationship to Trump. Entitled A Dishonorable Senate,  it raises many points that the public needs to consider and respond to in moving forward. The necessity for voting Trump  out of office as well as his GOP enablers is made clear by their actions. McConnell also needs to be removed as a priority. The need for continued investigations by the US House and the media is also urgent.

Below are some quotes from the New York Times. I urge you read the whole opinion.

Alas, no one ever lost money betting on the cynicism of today’s congressional Republicans. On Friday evening, Republican senators voted in near lock step to block testimony from any new witnesses or the production of any new documents, a vote that was tantamount to an acquittal of the impeachment charges against President Trump. The move can only embolden the president to cheat in the 2020 election.

The vote also brings the nation face to face with the reality that the Senate has become nothing more than an arena for the most base and brutal — and stupid — power politics. Faced with credible evidence that a president was abusing his powers, it would not muster the institutional self-respect to even investigate. …

The precedent this sets is alarming enough: the Senate abandoning its role as the ultimate guard against a dangerous president. Just as bad is the rationale on which most Republicans have settled for refusing to hear from witnesses — that whatever you think of Mr. Trump’s behavior, it wasn’t impeachable, and there is no evidence that could change their minds.

Given the seriousness of the charges against Mr. Trump, it’s hard to envision anything that this president could do that would require Republican senators to vote for his removal. …

Senate Republicans’ indifference to the overwhelming public support for calling witnesses was of a piece with the party’s minority politics. Its president lost the popular vote by three million votes. Its Senate majority represents 15 million fewer Americans than the Democrats’ minority. In states like North Carolina, it rigs the maps to turn popular-vote losses into legislative majorities, then strips power from duly elected Democratic leaders.

And just in case Americans want to register their unhappiness with Republican leadership, the G.O.P. passes laws across the country to make voting harder and discourage turnout. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” Paul Weyrich, a leader of the modern conservative movement, said in 1980. “Our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

That is becoming the rightful slogan of today’s G.O.P. leaders, who are in thrall to a would-be autocrat, fearful of their own constituents, desperate to lock in control of the courts and the nation’s legal system before a diversifying nation can pry their political authority away.

That was the game Mitch McConnell was playing in 2016, when he blocked any consideration of Judge Merrick Garland, the Supreme Court nominee picked by Barack Obama, a popularly elected president, and held the seat hostage until it could be filled by Mr. Trump. That’s the game Mr. McConnell played again this week.

Make no mistake: The Senate may acquit Mr. Trump, but it will not, it cannot, exonerate him. Mr. Trump is the most corrupt president in modern times, a reality Americans will continue to be reminded of — by continuing investigations by the House, which should immediately issue a subpoena to Mr. Bolton; by a trio of cases in the Supreme Court that seek to reveal Mr. Trump’s shady finances; and, of course, by the behavior of the man himself.

America is better than this. Our democratic government and society is at risk because of the GOP and Trump’s disregard for following the nation’s laws. An aberration has been created by Trump and McConnell that puts the President above the law and the Constitution.   The GOP is allowing an autocratic President to operate with no checks and balances. It is an open  conspiracy that is allowing plutocrats and money interests and corporations to put their financial and self interests above that of the nation and its people. This November’s election is critical to the future of America.

Urge WA Legislators to Pass SB 6610 to End Push Poll Advisory Votes on our Ballot

Help end Tim Eyman’s use of our ballots

to promote his business!

Why is Washington State  allowing Tim Eyman to have access to our ballots to do anti tax push polls done under the guise of so called “tax advisory votes”?

These advisory votes are really free advertising, paid for by Washington State taxpayers, to express opposition against the Washington State Legislature raising revenue or repealing outdated tax exemptions. The ballot language was written by Tim Eyman, not Attorney General Bob Ferguson who writes all other ballot title language.

Its time to end this abuse of using our ballot and taxpayer money to subsidize the profit interests of an anti-tax initiative business run by Tim Eyman.  

Senator Patty Kuderer has introduced legislation to end the use of Tax Advisory votes on our ballots. SB 6610 is in the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations, and Elections Committee. It is scheduled for a hearing this Wed, Feb 5 2020 at 8 AM in Olympia. It must be voted out of committee by Friday Feb 7, 2020to stay alive.

Can you please send an e-mail to the members of the committee expressing your support for this legislation?  Urge they vote to pass it out of committee to get a floor vote by the State Senate. You can also make a quick call to their Legislative offices. The members of the Committee and their contact information is below. Thanks.

Hunt, Sam (D)
Chair
sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7642
Kuderer, Patty (D)
Vice Chair
patty.kuderer@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7694
Zeiger, Hans (R)
Ranking Member
hans.zeiger@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7648
Muzzall, Ron (R)
Assistant Ranking Member
ron.muzzall@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7618
Hasegawa, Bob (D) bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7616
Hawkins, Brad (R) brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7622
Takko, Dean (D) dean.takko@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7636

Steve Zemke
Director – Tax Sanity
www.taxsanity.org

 

Donald Trump and Hitler’s Speeches – My New Order

The following quote is taken from an article in Vanity Fair written in Sept. 1990 by Marie Brenner. The article is entitled After the Gold Rush. Trump is not known to be a reader. Yet it appears that Trump had one book he liked.  Trump was fascinated with Hitler and his propaganda speeches. The book was the sequel to Meim Kampf entitled My New Order.

“Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.

Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

“I don’t remember,” I said.

“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)

Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

Is Ivana trying to convince her friends and lawyer that Trump is a crypto-Nazi? Trump is no reader or history buff. Perhaps his possession of Hitler’s speeches merely indicates an interest in Hitler’s genius at propaganda. The Führer often described his defeats at Stalingrad and in North Africa as great victories. Trump continues to endow his diminishing world with significance as well. “There’s nobody that has the cash flow that I have,” he told The Wall Street Journal long after he knew better. “I want to be king of cash.”

See also – Donald Trump’s ex-wife once said Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, Business Insider, Sept 1, 2015

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson responds to Trump’s attempts to repeal Endangered Species Act

Last week, I filed a lawsuit against President Trump to stop him from undermining the Endangered Species Act. In this era of climate change, we have an obligation to protect threatened species and their habitats. Trump’s climate-destroying agenda is already accelerating the decline of numerous species — now he’s weakening protections for those same animals. The administration is eliminating protections for species already listed under the Endangered Species Act, including Washington’s sacred and cherished salmon and orcas. And they are making it harder for threatened species like our wolverines to be designated as endangered.
When my son was a young boy, he read a book about endangered species. He was deeply impacted to learn that animals he knows and loves could go extinct within his lifetime. If the Trump administration has its way, that book will be much thicker by the time my son shares it with his children. That’s not a world I am willing to leave for my children.
I take my work as attorney general protecting Washington’s climate, environment, and wildlife seriously. That’s been the purpose of 26 of the 50 lawsuits we have filed against President Trump and his administration: to protect Washington state’s wildlife and natural resources — and the future of our planet.
President Trump continually breaks the law to put profits over people and the environment, but I will continue to fight back and win. More than half of our 22 victories against the president are environmental wins — and we’re not done yet.
-Bob

WA State House of Representatives Rules Committee 2019 – Democrats

 

Washington State Legislature – Democrats on House Rules Committee 2019

Name Phone Email Leadership Position LD
Frank Chopp (360) 786-7920 Frank.Chopp@leg.wa.gov House Speaker 43
Pat Sullivan (360) 786-7858 Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov Majority Leader 47
Eric Pettigrew (360) 786-7838 Eric.Pettigrew@leg.wa.gov Majority Caucus Chair 37
John Lovick (360) 786-7804 John.Lovick@leg.wa.gov House Speaker Pro Tempore 44
Tina Orwall (360) 786-7834 Tina.Orwall@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore 33
Marcus Riccelli (360) 786-7888 Marcus.Riccelli@leg.wa.gov Majority Whip 3
Monica Stonier (360) 786-7872 Monica.Stonier@leg.wa.gov House Majority Floor Leader 49
Larry Springer (360) 786-7822 Larry.Springer@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Leader 45
Lillian Ortiz-Self (360) 786-7972 Lillian.Ortiz-Self@leg.wa.gov House Majority Caucus Vice Chair 21
Christine Kilduff (360) 786-7958 Christine.Kilduff@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Floor Leader 28
Mike Chapman (360) 786-7916 Mike.Chapman@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Whip 24
Kristine Reeves (360) 786-7830 Kristine.Reeves@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Whip 30
Bill Ramos (360) 786-7852 Bill.Ramos@leg.wa.gov House Assistant Majority Whip 5
Jared Mead (360) 786-7892 Jared.Mead@leg.wa.gov House Assistant Majority Whip 44
Steve Bergquist (360) 786-7862 Steve.Bergquist@leg.wa.gov 11
Lauren Davis (360) 786-7910 Lauren.Davis@leg.wa.gov 32
Noel Frame (360) 786-7814 Noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov 36
Sharon Wylie (360) 786-7924 Sharon.Wylie@leg.wa.gov 49

see also as google document:  House Rules Committee  Democrats

Testimony in support of SB 5224 to end Eyman’s Anti-Tax Push Polls

Testimony in support of SB 5224 – concerning advisory votes 

 Eliminating Eyman’s push poll tax advisory votes from the ballot

Washington State House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations

Steve Zemke – Tax Sanity           March 11, 2019

The Washington State Ballot for the last ten years has been cluttered with nonbinding push poll questions on tax measures passed by the Legislature.

These so called “tax advisory” questions” were put there as part of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960 as an attempt to increase public resentment to any “tax” measures despite their benefit to  the larger public. The ballot title for each is basically written as an anti-tax push poll based on Eyman’s ballot title language in Initiative 960 that stipulated the polling question wording.

They carry no Legislative weight as they only record voters’ opinions. They are like a public opinion poll paid for by taxpayers. But Eyman tries to use them to build public opposition to funding public services by wording them such that voters will be inclined to respond negatively to any tax increase. Under Eyman’s definition of tax increases he also includes any efforts by the Legislature to repeal any tax exemptions or tax expenditures even if they are no longer needed or are no longer meeting the state priorities of government.

Deciphering Eyman’s ballot title language is very tricky and confusing to voters. They seem purposely written to try to get voters to vote to repeal any tax increase passed by the Legislature.   And unlike initiatives, the write-up on these so-called tax advisory votes in the voter’s pamphlet contain no explanatory statement, no pro and con statements, and no fiscal impact statement.

In fact, the State Attorney General has no real ability to even try to fairly explain the issue in the ballot title since Eyman’s initiative 960 required that the ballot title be worded as he wrote it:

The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people, (identification of tax and description of increase), costing (most up-to-date ten-year cost projection, expressed in dollars and rounded to the nearest million) in its first ten years, for government spending. This tax increase should be:
Repealed . . .[ ]
Maintained . . .[ ]

Please end this waste of taxpayer dollars to promote Tim Eyman’s anti-tax propaganda and misuse of the public ballot to further his self-serving anti-tax initiative promotion business. Vote to move SB 5224 out of committee to Rules and to the House floor for passage by the full House. Push polls to promote a private business deserve no place on Washington State’s ballot.

Update Information SB 5224 was prime sponsored by Senator Patty Kudder and Senators Hunt, Takko, Keiser, Nguyen, Darneille, Das, Wellman, Saldana, McCoy, Hasegawa, and Pedersen. The bill has been heard in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations. Please contact your Representatives and urge they vote for this bill by clicking on this link  SB 5224 and then clicking on “comment on this bill.”  Thanks.

Washington State Democratic Party 2019 Legislative Priorities

Washington State Democratic Party 2019 Legislative Priorities

Washington State Democrats, as citizens of the planet, place the well-being of the people as our highest priority. We believe in the values of community, empathy, equality, tolerance, opportunity, and the common good of the
interdependent world we share.

These are our 2019 Washington State legislative priorities.

Climate Action & Environmental Protection
• Protect our salmon, orcas, and tribal fishing rights by speeding up removal of barriers to fish passage
• Mandate a transition to a one hundred percent clean electric grid by 2045
• Restrict the use of neonicotinoids to save our pollinators from annihilation
• Require single-use plastic bags, straws, and containers to be phased out of stores and restaurants
Fiscal Responsibility & Revenue Reform
• Levy a capital gains tax on the wealthy to fund K-12 schools and higher education
• Develop a fair and equitable property tax code to replace Eyman’s I-747 and the 2017 levy swipe scheme
• Create the Washington State Investment Trust so we have our own publicly-owned state bank
• Abolish indefensible corporate tax loopholes and impose accountability measures for those that remain
Healthcare
• Create the Washington Health Security Trust to bring single-payer healthcare to all Washingtonians
• Adopt legislation to address prescription drug cost transparency
• Provide help to those struggling with opioid addiction by expanding substance abuse treatment programs
• Make substantive mental and behavioral health investments to end the practice of psychiatric boarding
• Ensure everyone has affordable and equitable access to reproductive and sexual health care, including  contraception and abortion, regardless of gender, gender identity, citizenship status, or income
Technology
• Reduce the “digital divide” in Washington State authorizing public utility districts and rural and urban port districts to provide retail ISP and telecommunications services
• Adopt the Washington Internet Privacy Protection Act
• Strengthen our state’s digital defenses to protect critical data like our voter rolls
• Secure public cyber resources and means of gathering public input against abuse by bots
Economic Security, Labor, and Corporate Accountability
• Increase monetary penalties for crimes committed by corporations
• Empower local governments to fight homelessness and protect renters by investing in affordable housing
• Strengthen fines for wage theft and bolster employment and training standards
• Protect good jobs and voter-approved Sound Transit 3 projects by fully replacing (on a 1:1 basis) any revenue lost due to vehicle fee formula changes
Public Safety
• Advance human rights and community safety by abolishing the death penalty
• Implement recommendations of the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing task force, including the establishment of crisis intervention response team pilot projects • Increase funding for geologic hazards mapping plus earthquake, tsunami, and landslide readiness
• Create a civilian review board to implement sentencing reforms
Education
• Fully fund special education and ramp up our investments in early learning and preschool
• Enact the Washington Promise free community college tuition initiative
• Amend the State Constitution to lower the threshold for passage of school bonds to a simple majority
• Empower schools to offer more vocational training opportunities and better civics courses
• Establish disciplinary protocols that eliminate the practice of educational exclusion for children of color
• Track the impact of RCW 28A.600.015 and its effect on the school to prison pipeline (rates of suspension and expulsion) in the state of our schools
• Enact Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) legislation to ensure Washington’s deaf and hard of hearing children have a fluent first language by the time they start kindergarten
Electoral Reform
• Improve Washington’s presidential primary so it protects our First Amendment right to free assembly
• Repeal Tim Eyman’s push polls (erroneously called advisory votes)
• Make postage-free ballot return envelopes permanently available to all Washington voters
• Increase funding for the PDC and expose dark money with tough new transparency laws

Approved by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee on September 16th, 2018

Require Presidential Candidates to Release Their Tax Returns

Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns during the 2016 Presidential Election has spurned a lot of attention and effort to require future candidates running for President to release their tax returns. Below is some relevant background material on the status of efforts to change this in 2020 and beyond.

“In polls, the populace wants disclosure of the president’s tax returns 67%-24% with some polls showing that 64% of Republican’s desire disclosure.”

Forbes, President Trump and Tax Return Privacy, April 5, 2018

Candidates who won’t disclose taxes shouldn’t be on ballot, Lawrence H Tribe, Richard W Painter, and Norman L Eisen, CNN, April 14, 2017

Sign Here – Change.org petition – We want to see Trump’s tax returns.

Can States Ban Trump From the Ballot If He Doesn’t Release His Tax Returns?  New Republic,  March 7, 2018

Maryland Senate Bill 256, March 1, 2018 passed State Senate

Md Senate Passes Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns, NPR, March 6, 2018

Rhode Island -2018 – S 2612 Substitute A June 19, 2018 passed State Senate

Rhode island latest state to try and fail to force Trump to release his tax returns, CNN Politics, June 22, 2018

New Jersey – 2017 – S 3048, passed 2017 by Legislature, vetoed by Governor Christie

Christie vetoes Trump-inspired bill to require tax returns, Matt Friedman, Politico, May 1, 2017

Oregon – Proposed Law would make Trump reveal his tax returns to be on Oregon’s 2020 ballot, Oregonlive.com, Jan 24, 2018

California – California’s Brown Vetoes Requirement that Presidential Candidates Release tax Returns , Common Cause, Oct. 16, 2017

Trump Insanity on Methane

 

Trump is pushing weakening rules regarding trying to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

The New York Times in Sept noted that:

“The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere.
Methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, routinely leaks from oil and gas wells, and energy companies have long said that the rules requiring them to test for emissions were costly and burdensome.”

A recent article in Reuters noted that:

“Methane, the primary component of natural gas, leaks from oil and gas wells during drilling. It accounts for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and has more than 80 times the heat-trapping potential of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it escapes into the atmosphere.
The oil and gas sector is the largest single source of U.S. methane emissions, according to EPA data.”

The Washington Post  pointed out that :

“A new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, written by Solomon and colleagues Kirsten Zickfeld of Simon Fraser University and Daniel Gilford of MIT, underscores the fact that even greenhouse gases that don’t last long in the atmosphere — methane, for instance — can have centuries-long impacts on the expanding oceans. So although the atmospheric warming they cause may taper off comparatively quickly after their emissions are halted, their effects in the oceans are much longer-lived.”

Members of the public have until Dec 15, 2018 to respond opposing the weakening of the rules on methane.

Urge that they do not weaken rules to reduce methane emissions but look at ways to further reduce emissions. Short term “profits” while producing long term climate change impacts is a bad deal.

Go to the website to submit comments on The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Proposed Rule: Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration

Click on Comment Now.