Thursday, September 23, 2010

Same Old Same Old from the Party of NO

Congressional Republicans today released their “Pledge to America” – an agenda that simply repackages the same failed Bush-era Republican economic policies that helped cause the economic crisis: tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires; fewer regulations governing corporations and special interests; and just leaving middle class families to fend for themselves.

Rather than charting a new course, Republicans are simply doubling down on those same failed policies, policies that hurt America’s middle class. Republicans’ priorities are clear:
  • Hold tax relief for middle class families hostage in order to pass tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires by borrowing $700 billion America can’t afford – despite the fact that the nonpartisan CBO says passing those tax cuts for the wealthy would be one of the least effective ways to grow the American economy or boost job creation.
  • Increase taxes for 110 million middle-class families and tens of thousands of American businesses by ending Recovery Act tax cuts and cutting off tens of thousands of Recovery Act projects – projects ranging from highway construction to clean energy to environmental recovery – and thereby putting hundreds of thousands of American jobs at risk.
  • Putting insurance companies back in the driver’s seat of Americans’ health care by working to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act – if they succeed, they’ll roll back the new Patient’s Bill of Rights, increase seniors’ prescription drug costs, eliminate safeguards that protect Americans from unfair premium increases, and force small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees to pay higher taxes.
  • Take us back to an era of recklessness and irresponsibility by slashing regulations and the oversight of special interests including big oil, big insurance, Wall Street banks, and credit card and mortgage companies.
  • Increase America’s deficit by trillions of dollars by going back to the same failed economic policies that turned a record surplus into a record deficit – all while making drastic cuts to government services that would force Head Start to drop 200,000 children, end child care subsidies for 110,000 working parents, and cut 3,800 correctional officers at federal prisons.
Republicans’ “Pledge to America” is also notable for its omissions. It doesn’t talk about:
  • Protecting Social Security and Medicare from privatization,
  • Making investments in high-quality education for America’s children.
  • Working to grow critical industries like clean energy and manufacturing.
  • Or working to rebuild America’s crumbling roads, rails, and runways.
The “Pledge to America” is quiet simply a repeat of the same agenda that caused the worst recession since the Great Depression, resulted in the loss of 8 million jobs, wiped out trillions of dollars of American families’ savings, and set middle class families backward. Instead of making a pledge to the American people to do better, Republicans have made a pledge to special interests to bring back the same failed economic policies that benefited them at the expense of middle class families.

Thanks Dwight Pelz, WSDCC Chairman

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sign of the Times

This morning, the first of several 4x8 Patty Murray signs went up in Klickitat County. Using their best engineering and mathematical skills, Jim Minnick and Lloyd DeKay fabricated a frame and stand for the sign on location at the Milestone Nursery on Hwy 14 in Lyle using scrap 2x4s and plywood. The proprietors wisely marked the property line so we would be sure to be legal!

Now the well constructed Victoria Allen for Assessor sign will have some company! Here is the view looking westward ho:

And here is the perspective heading eastward, out of town:

We have several more of these large signs, and they need good spots as soon as possible! If you have a place for one, contact Bob Hansen, or Lorrie DeKay,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fact Check on Tea Party Rally Untruth

This was published in the Goldendale Sentinel, and carried in the White Salmon Enterprise this week ('Tea Partier says soldiers overseas won't be able to vote'), right next to the article on Sunday's tea party in Dallesport (with no photo by the way). Time to demand truth from these righteous and indignant folks. We can start with the estimates of the crowd. Klickitat Democrats who attended estimated quite a bit less than the 1500 plus organizers touted. One of our own even bothered counting cars in the parking area (about 200). They must have all been full SUVs and minivans to reach those numbers.

Thank you, Mr. Marzeles. Keep up the honest and factual reporting. It's just too bad that most people who were there will remember what Mr. Smith said rather than the facts published later. Maybe it's a good thing there were fewer people there than they claim. Let's hope they didn't spread the bad info. This pattern of ignoring facts while spouting inflammatory rhetoric to win votes for your far right candidates is truly evil.

While you're checking things out, take a look at Jesse Burkhardt's editorial in the Enterprise this week.

Military votes will count this fall

Lou Marzeles

It was a day of speeches and a day of a few surprises—and a day of a surprising speech.
At Sunday’s Tea Party event, speaker Jerry Smith told the crowd that Washington State residents serving in the military overseas might not be able to vote in this year’s election, a comment which astonished many.
Smith says he was passing on what he’d learned in news media. “It was all over the major media,” he says, “The Washington Times and others.” When he heard of adverse reaction to his comment, Smith says he checked online on Monday. “I Googled ‘military voters plus Washington,’” he reports.
What he discovered was that a number of states were struggling to get extensions on their federal deadlines for overseas military ballots because of how late many elections were certified. Washington had been one of those states, but it has succeeded in securing an extension.
In Washington, ballots go out next week to overseas military personnel who are legal residents of the state. The move is designed to ensure that Washington military voters have ample time to record and return their votes.
The state applied and was approved for what is called an undue hardship waiver for military personnel, to allow them adequate time to vote. In a letter dated Aug. 27 of this year, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Lynn S. Simpson wrote to Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed acknowledging approval of this waiver.
“Under delegated authority from the Secretary of Defense,” the letter states in part, “I have reviewed the State’s application, consulted with the representative of the Attorney General of the United States, and find it meets the requirements for a one-time undue hardship waiver… Accordingly, I approve the State of Washington’s request to waive the application of Section 102(a)(8)(A) of UOCAVA” for this year’s election. “UOCAVA” is the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act as amended by the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) governing such matters.
Essentially, the waiver permits Washington to allow overseas military voters to get their votes in time to be counted in the fall general election. Ballots returned electronically may be received up to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Altogether 33 states have moved to ensure that their military personnel will be allowed to vote in this year’s general election, according to various news reports. The total number of military personnel accommodated by these states is close to three million. Most states have taken steps to accommodate overseas military voting through the internet. This comes after some 22 percent of military votes were unable to be counted in time during the 2008 election because of delays in retrieving votes from great distances.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's Up with I-1082?

Over the next few weeks we'll be posting links about the Initiatives and Referenda on the fall ballot.

Let's start with this one, since it's gotten less attention than some of the others! At the Washington State Democrats Convention in June, a NO vote on I-1082 was endorsed.

The ad clip is REALLY hokey. I really don't like things that yell at me like a used car or mattress salesman doing his own homegrown ads. Who makes these things? I know kids in middle school who do better video production. I hope they didn't pay much for it. Anyway, check out the link for more info. It's more sane.

Why you should vote NO on I-1082:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Five Facts About I-1098

Five Facts Every Voter Should Know About I-1098:

1. I-1098 would finally reform our state's outdated tax system by establishing a progressive income tax on the wealthiest 1.2 percent of households.

2. I-1098 would generate $2 billion per year dedicated to a trust fund for education, the top priority established in our state constitution, and critical health care programs.

3. I-1098 would cut state property taxes for all Washingtonians by 20 percent and eliminate B&O taxes for 81 percent of small businesses.

4. Even the wealthiest households would pay taxes on only income earned above $400,000 a year for couples or $200,000 for individuals.

5. The recession has forced devastating cuts to education and health care services that threaten our state's future. More than 40,000 Washingtonians have lost basic health coverage and 2,600 education jobs have been eliminated in the last two years. Initiative 1098 will help reverse these cuts and put Washington back on track.

Please share with your friends and neighbors!

The editorial board came out strongly in favor of I-1098 today, in its first ever editorial,
calling it a "watershed on who we are and where we want to go as a state."