Tag Archives: land use

McGavick, McCain, Mc????

Senator John McCain is a conservative Republican running for President of the United States in 2008. He is doing what any potential candidate for President must do if he wants to win. He must build up debts that others owe him that he can call in later.

Mike McGavick is running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate seat in Washington state that is currently held by Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell. McCain was the star attraction at a McGavick fundraiser held Tuesday night at a hotel in Seattle, WA. McGavick hopes to emulate McCain.

However, nationally there is a debate emerging as to just who is John McCain. See Daily Koz’s blog, Bushier Than Thou! as one example. See also the article in The Nation entitled, The Real McCain. That same debate needs to occur for McGavick.

McGavick has not run for office before in Washington state. He is hoping that he can appear to be all things to all people just like Dino Rossi did in his run for Governor of Washington state. And he is hoping for a little of Senator McCain’s overrated independent status in the media.

I don’t think that Democrats can let that happen. McGavick needs to be asked now what he stands for. For instance, what is his position on proposed Initiative 933? I-933 is the initiative being pushed by the Washington State Farm Bureau. It is an attempt to end zoning laws in Washington state by requiring that developers and others receive tax dollars from the state if the state won’t let them build whatever they want, where ever they want.

Initiative 933 is being opposed by the Community Protection Coalition.

If McGavick positions are vague then one needs to look at things like his cozying up to McCain. What is McCain’s record on so called property rights issues?

Well one place you can look is at his voting record. And actually that voting record has been tallied up by none other than a national organization based here in Washington state.

Chuck Cushman, who was involved with the infamous so called Wise Use Movement that attacked environmental regulations in the past, now runs an organization called the American Land Rights Association. They recently changed their name from the “League of Private Property Voters”. Cushman is based in Battleground, Washington.

Their “mission” is “dealing with private property issues including government land use controls, federal and state growth management, wetlands and the Endangered Species Act.”

Their 2003 Private Property Congressional Vote Index is the last one listed. Rating issues such as repeal of the Estate Tax, reducing legal barriers to timber sales and cutting environmental and conservation program funding it gives McCain a positive rating of 67% in 2003. In 2001-2002 he received a rating of 70%, in 2001 a rating of 86%, and a 62% rating in 2000.

By way of contrast Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray in 2003 both scored “0”‘s . On the House side Jay Inslee scored “0”, Brian Baird “8” Rick Larsen “25”, Norm Dicks “8”, Jim McDermott “0”, Adam Smith “8” and Doc Hastings “100”.If McGavick does not like this associating and guessing where he is on issues, then he needs to clearly state his positions. If you go to his website and check on environmental issues it sounds just like what Cushman and the private use people would say because it is so vague. It sounds like something Chuck Cushman would write frankly. I have taken the liberty of making bold those words and sentences that in particular raise a red flag.

Environmental conservation and productive development are not mutually exclusive. We can protect and improve our environment while at the same time allowing responsible human development.
In Eastern Washington especially, the choice to save the salmon or keep the dams has been presented as an either/or issue. This simply isn’t the case.
Washingtonians know what’s best for their communities and its time the federal government let us solve our own problems.
The environment can be protected while allowing for development such as the dams that make Eastern Washington a bread basket rather than a dust bowl.
The federal government must step aside and allow us Northwesterners to deal with the problem as we see fit for we have the greatest at stake when it comes to keeping our state beautiful and our economies strong.

This “environmental statement” does not say where McGavick is on the Endangered Species Act, on protecting Federal Regulations on Air and Water Pollution, on cleaning up Puget Sound, on making polluters pay for cleaning up their toxic waste, protecting wilderness areas, or global warming or much else. It’s emphasis seems to be on his saying we should get the Federal Government out of our state and let us develop whatever we want. This sounds like an appeal to the Chuck Cushman’s of the world, not to most of Washington’s voters who love Washington State because of it’s environmental qualities. These people do not want to trade for the sake of some dollars in developers’ pockets the quality of life we now enjoy.


Developers Initiative filed.

The Farm Bureau today filed an initiative with the Secretary of State to restrict the ability of local and state governments to regulate land use. The Washington State Farm Bureau represents corporate farming interests in Washington state.

The final text of the initiative has not been filed with the Secretary of State according to the Farm Bureau because they have not given its wording final approval. But in a press release,
the Farm Bureau calls it a “Property Rights” initiative and then later calls it the “Property Fairness initiative“.

The initiative as best I can determine from the press release would require that before any new regulations could be enacted, the government entity would have to determine “the damage to the use and value of the affected parcel” that the regulation would cause. Costly studies would be necessary. The words damage and value are loaded words and I see now the potential for lawsuits for compensation over “lost value.” Think of the return on investment possible when what was a swampy woods area to most people was really a “prime potential shopping center to a developer when the case goes to court. Taxpayers will foot the bill for the lawsuits.

Using the threat of lawsuits is a form of extortion by the developers. Washington voters should beware of this initiative and not sign it. It is basically an end run by developers around zoning regulations by imposing a costly threat of lawsuits by developers if they are not allowed to do what they want.

The measure requiring compensation for lost property value that Oregonians recently passed was overturned in the courts.