Monday, January 25, 2010

Message from George Fearing

For an entire decade during my teenage years, the Democratic Party held Central Washington's seat in Congress. As recently as the 1990s, Democrats, north and south, also served Central Washington in the Washington State Legislature.

Unfortunately, Republicans have held the congressional seat of the Fourth Congressional District since 1994. No Democrat living in the Fourth CD has served in the state legislature for the past 8 years. A handful of Central Washington's Democrats hold local offices, both partisan and nonpartisan, but the number is few and wanting.

The Democratic Party built Central Washington's dams, irrigation projects, and the Hanford site. The region's agricultural economy and energy industry prosper more under Democratic Party governance than Republican Party rule. The Democratic Party should be the party of Central Washington.

The time for the Democratic Party to promote its message throughout Central Washington-- and in turn, elect members to Congress, the Washington State Legislature, and local offices-- is long overdue. Please join me in rebuilding the Democratic Party in Central Washington.

I urge you to donate to the Fourth Congressional District Democratic Committee for party building efforts. The money will be used to spread the message of the Democratic Party throughout Central Washington, including radio spots, billboards and other communications. The Fourth Congressional District Committee will approve specific projects. I also urge you to become involved in and attend meetings of the Fourth Congressional District Democratic Committee. Not only will you have a say in how the money is spent, but you will earn the satisfaction of making changes in Central Washington.

Please make your check payable to the Fourth Congressional District Democratic Committee, address 2415 W. Falls Avenue, Kennewick, WA 99336.

Let's make Central Washington red, white, blue and green again!

Democratically yours,
George Fearing, Chair
Fourth Congressional District Democratic Committee

Congressional District Meeting

On Saturday, the 4th Congressional District Democratic Committee met in Ellensburg, WA, chaired by George Fearing (our 2008 CD 4 Candidate). There were 48 PCO's and members in attendance, including two from Klickitat County and 4 from Skamania County. The main order of business was discussion and action regarding the 4th CD Candidate Endorsement. Last week, the 15th LD endorsed Jay Clough as their 2010 candidate for the 4th CD. The State Committee is meeting this coming weekend, and candidate endorsements will be on the agenda there.

The first vote was whether the 4th CD should ask the WSDCC to postpone its Jan 30 choice or to approve the selection on Jan 30. The next possible dates for a vote to endorse would be June 26 at the State Convention, or in September, after the primary. The majority of those present decided that the early endorsement date would benefit our candidate the most.

The second vote was should the 4th CD recommend a nominee to the WSDCC for the Jan 30 meeting. Again, the majority voted yes.

The third vote was for a nominee. There were two potential nominees present: Lewis Picton and Jay Clough. Both gave 7 minute speeches to the group, followed by a question and answer period. Mr. Clough had three people speak briefly on his behalf. Signed secret ballots were cast, and Jay Clough was nominated by more than the necessary 2/3 majority. His name will be forward to the State Committee by both the 4th CD and the 15th LD for endorsement on Saturday.

In other business, by-laws were readopted, and a proposal for office space rental at the Yakima Democrats Headquarters was approved.

Any Democrat living in the 4th CD may join this District Committee by paying dues of $15 ($25 per couple). Dues paying members become voting members. PCO's are automatically voting members. Any Klickitat County PCOs who are interested in participating at this level are welcome at the meetings. They will be launching a website soon, and the link will be posted when it is available.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

State Legislature Is Open For Business

Governor Gregoire opened the new legislative session with her State of the State Address, which can be viewed on video here, and read here.

Fuse Washington ( has placed a great staffer on the ground in Olympia to work on a number of aggressive Progressive projects. As part of the coalition mentioned in the previous post, thousands of petitions urging tax increases were delivered to Governor Gregoire, Senator Brown and Speaker Chopp (Senator Brown has scheduled a follow up meeting with the presenters this week to discuss more deeply). Also this week, Fuse faced off with Tim Eyman as he was proposing his latest initiatve. The video of the encounter is worth the watch.

As we gear up for the elections, it's a little comforting to know there are some extra forces at work legislatively this session.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stand with the Governor

The next 60 days will define what Washington State stands for.

The 2010 Washington State Legislative Session begins today in Olympia, and lawmakers face the difficult task of closing our state’s $2.6 billion budget gap. They have two options: make more spending cuts or raise more money.

Governor Gregoire and Democratic leadership know we can’t afford more spending cuts. They know that an "all-cuts" budget would severely damage our state’s core services like education, health care, and programs for the poor and elderly -- services already hurt during last year’s budget process. That’s why they’ll propose a more balanced approach to closing the shortfall, which will include finding new sources of revenue and closing tax loopholes.

However, they are under tremendous pressure to cave into "Eymanomics" - to slash funding for critical services, hurt millions of people and put our economic future at risk.

The budget process will be a battle. We need to stand behind Governor Gregoire and Democratic leadership. Please sign this petition telling them that we support their opposition to an all-cuts budget and favor their balanced approach to the state’s financial problems:

If the culture of Tim Eyman wins, the results would devastate our state and hurt our kids, our jobs, the vulnerable, and the environment. Governor Gregoire understands this. Last month, she released a supplemental budget that was required by law to include no new sources of revenue.

Her all-cuts budget eliminates the Basic Health Plan, an insurance program for the working poor. It also eliminates the General Assistance-Unemployable (GAU) program, a safety net for the disabled. It suspends funding for school-levy equalization, which aids poor school districts, and all-day kindergarten.

An all-cuts budget is not acceptable, and Governor Gregoire agrees. That’s why she’ll release a new budget tomorrow that will restore those services.

We need you to take action and show the governor that we support her opposition to an all-cuts budget. Please click on the following link and sign the petition:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year, New Election Season

Happy New Year!

The Klickitat Democrat Executive Board celebrated with a meeting today to remedy a few pressing issues. First and foremost, we regretfully accepted the resignation of our chairwoman, Lea Rachford. Lea has a new full time job, and will be unable to put her usual energy into the chair position. State Committeman Bob Hansen has stepped up as Acting Chairman, and State Committeewoman Lorrie DeKay will fill in as Acting Vice Chair until a Vice Chair is found.

If anyone is looking for a new volunteer opportunity as a New Year's Resolution, our merry band of Democrats could use you! Besides the open leadership positions, we could use help in several areas:
  • PCO's (Precinct Committee Officers)
  • Platform Coordinator
  • Yard Sale Coordinator, or other fundraising help/ideas
We will be posting details on these positions on our website in the days to come. Please think about joining us in moving our Democratic agenda forward in Klickitat County, Legislative District 15, Congressional District 4 and the State of Washington. To improve the odds of getting more involvement, we will have our next Excomm meeting on Tuesday evening, February 9, at Los Reyes Restaurant in Bingen, 6:30 pm. We'll have a bite to eat and work on the agenda for the next few months. With a Congressional race shaping up, and the State Convention coming up in June, we'll have lots to talk about.

If you are interested in joining us, you can email and let us know. Someone will call you!

Monday, January 4, 2010

DNC Presidential Primary Rules Changes

From Dwight Pelz, State Party Chairman:

I thought you would be interested in this summary of the recomendations of the Change Commission of the DNC regarding Delegate Selection in 2012. The major impact is to drastically reduce the number of Super Delegates, and have them instead vote to reflect the results of their state's primary or caucuses.

For Immediate Release

December 30, 2009

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Issued the Following Statement on the Democratic Change Commission's Recommendations to Improve the Presidential Nominating Process

Washington - DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after the Democratic Change Commission this afternoon voted to approve its recommendations to the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee designed to improve the Presidential nominating process. The Commission was created as a result of a resolution passed unanimously by the delegates in attendance at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. The Commission made its recommendations to the Rules and Bylaws Committee by unanimous agreement.

The recommendations include pushing back the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held; converting unpledged delegates (DNC members, Democratic Members of the House and Senate, Democratic Governors and Distinguished Former Party Leaders) to a new category of pledged delegate called the National Pledged Party Leader and Elected Official (NPLEO) delegates, which will be allocated to Presidential candidates based on the state wide primary or caucus results; and establishing a best practices program for caucus states to improve and strengthen their caucuses. Under the Commission's recommendations - the pre-primary window could not begin until February 1st or thereafter, and the primary window could not begin until the second Tuesday in March or thereafter.

The recommendations come after nearly a year of discussion about how best to improve the system to make it as accessible and open as possible.

The Democratic Change Commission was tasked by a resolution passed during the 2008 Democratic Convention with recommending changes to the Democratic Party's rules for the 2012 Presidential nominating and delegate selection process.

By appointing the Change Commission this spring, Gov. Kaine has followed through on President Obama's promise made during the election to reexamine and improve the Democratic primary process.

Gov. Kaine, President Obama, and the Democratic Party believe that improving the primary system is an important priority, and that the process should be as inclusive and accessible as possible.

The Democratic Change Commission was tasked by the delegates to the 2008 Democratic Convention with doing three things:

1. Changing the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held

2. Reducing the number of super delegates

3. Improving the caucus system.

The Commission is made up of 34 members and two co-chairs (for 36 members total) and represents a diverse mix of DNC members, elected officials, representatives of State Parties, academics, organized labor officials, grassroots activists, and other Party leaders.